Featured Grad: Cheyanna Kempel ’17

Cheyanna Kempel ’17

Major: English/Language Arts

Hometown: Lincoln, NE

Activities Involved in at Doane: President of Chi Delta, Treasurer of Cardinal Key, Tennis team captain, SALT member, Omicron Delta Kappa member, Hansen Leadership Advisory Board chair.

Plans after graduation: Pursuing a Masters degree at Doane, will be teaching 9th grade and 11th grade English classes at Lincoln North Star High School.

What was your most memorable experience at Doane?

How can I pick just one? Maybe this moment is memorable because it just happened not too long ago, but conference tennis might be one of those moments I'll never forget. We lost, and while it was an upsetting feeling, I truly have never been so proud of one of my teams. This group of guys and girls fought so hard and so fearlessly, I couldn't be mad at the loss. Sure, I was sad that my college athletic career was over, but feel better knowing that I'm leaving the program in better shape than it was when I got here four years ago. This tennis team and our coaches will have a special place in my heart, for sure.

What was the most beneficial class you took during your four years at Doane and why?

From the perspective of an education student, I'd say my methods courses were some of the most beneficial. Honestly, some days, it wasn't about learning content in those classes, it was about breaking down our experiences in the classroom, relating, and working through problems and success with professors and peers.

Who was your favorite professor on campus?

There's no way I could pick just one favorite on campus, because so many professors have taken interest in what I'm doing here and after graduation. A couple I've been close to are Dr. Johnson-Farr and Dr. Kalbach. They've been looking out for me for a long time here at Doane and I owe them so much for their time and effort. They care about their students and want to see us all walk away from college feeling like we have a good grasp on the real world we live in.  

How were you able to balance the workload that comes with being a student-athlete?

It definitely takes a lot of planning. I brought homework with me to most away meets and would try to get some done on van rides. On longer trips, like spring break, I would get up hours before everyone and do homework in the hotel lobby. But, really, it's just a matter of time management, even if that means working early in the morning or late at night.

Your sister Brianna is also on the tennis team at Doane. What was it like being able to play with her?

My sister, Brianna, is a year behind me and so we've grown up doing everything together. She tried really hard to not go to Doane with me, but she saw the same thing in it that I did, so it's no surprise she chose Doane. It's great having her here because, as much as she hates it, she lets me guilt trip her into playing tennis with me. Of course, sometimes we fight sometimes, but we always work it out quickly and she's my go to person for pretty much everything tennis related and not. What's best about having her here is that family is really close and supportive, so it's made tennis a family affair for us.

Who or what will you miss most about Doane?

I'm going to miss walking on the path and knowing everyone I pass. Everyone says what makes Doane special is the people, and it's true. I've made my best friends here. I'll miss the convenience of always seeing someone I know in the library and in the caf or running into people on and off campus.  

How did your time at Doane shape you into the person you are today?

During my time here at Doane, I'd say I had some moments when I "failed", or at least, things didn't go how I thought they would. This is something I hadn't really experienced before, but there are people on this campus that helped me through it. They guided me in new directions and encouraged me to pursue my passions.

What would your advice be to students in the incoming freshman class in the fall?

My advice to the incoming freshman class is to prioritize. Always put academics first and manage your time and activities. There will be times when you have to pick one of two directions to go, and that's when you have to look long and hard at those priorities. But, always put you and the people you care about first. Nothing is more important than taking care of you and your people.

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