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Stritch Student Story

Nicholas Rondinell

Stritch Senior

Double Major

  • Creative Writing
  • Graphic Design 

Nick Rondinelli’s initial visit played a deciding role in his selection of Cardinal Stritch University. Not only did he discover his ideal creative career path, but he also discovered multiple scholarship opportunities – including one for enjoying his favorite pastime. “Stritch has been very generous with scholarships,” he said. “I was on the fence about playing volleyball in college, but while I was touring Stritch, I met the coach and was told that if I had the skills, they could offer me an athletic scholarship. I did, and they did – along with a few academic scholarships. That was pretty influential because who doesn’t need as much financial help as you can get when you’re trying to choose a college?”

Of course, an athletic program is only as good as the coaches at the heart of it, and Nick has nothing but praise in that department. “We practice four days a week and our head coach, Dan Mathews, does a great job of planning practices that hone our skills as players and are fun to engage with. It’s a real inspiration for me to come to practice every day and work hard because I see that he’s working hard right along with us. The other athletes I’ve talked with also say that their coaches are dedicated to helping them become the best players they can be.”

<p>Taken by Nick on one of his hikes.</p>

Taken by Nick on one of his hikes.

<p>Taken by Nick on one of his hikes.</p>

Taken by Nick on one of his hikes.

According to Nick, he’s plenty busy out of class and off the court, as well. “I’m co-president of the Sigma Tau Delta honor society here at Stritch, as well as an Online Writing Lab (OWL) intern serving as a peer tutor to offer students feedback on their college writing assignments. I also have an internship at a PR/Marketing firm and hope to be hired once I graduate.” In his ‘spare’ time, Nick and friends hike, head for the Lake to chill out on the beach, hit the weight room or hang out in the of the campus lounges watching movies or playing pool.

Nick Rondinelli

Creative Writing & Graphic Design

“Being able to communicate with my professors about projects that I’m passionate about is very important to me.”

The big advantages of a smaller school

When it came to the big-school or small-school question, Nick knew Stritch was a perfect fit. “I really like that Stritch is a smaller school. I feel that I have a better relationship with my professors and with my classmates. I can go to any of my professors and ask them about the homework or even just casually chat with them between classes and talk about any projects I’m working on independently. As an art and writing major, being able to communicate with my professors about projects that I’m passionate about is very important to me. I’m able to form personal relationships with my professors, who have great experience in the field and can help me out by personalizing their suggestions to me about how to improve whatever I’m working on.”

The smaller school advantage is just as great when it comes to making friends. “Because we’re so small, we have plenty of opportunities for interaction. Stritch has a great freshman orientation program with group activities and lots of icebreakers. We have a cruise down the Milwaukee River and just hang out. So right off the bat, you make a few new friends. That goes for classes, as well, because the classes are so small."

“Also, when you’re in smaller classes, you get more of a chance to hear other people’s opinions – often those that you wouldn’t ordinarily be exposed to. We have quite a diverse group of people who attend Stritch, and because we’re so small, I feel like I can connect with these people on a much more personal level. There are lots of different cultures and ideas being presented in class, and that helps foster new ways of thinking.”

Next up for Nick

Like so many Stritch students, Nick has been able to combine his studies with on-the-job work experience in his future field. When asked what’s on the horizon, Nick said he’s leaving his options open. “What’s next for me? In addition to pursuing writing and art, I’m thinking about authoring a series of books I have in mind and possibly getting into game design. I have a few ideas floating around inside my head.”