Category Archives: Jimmie Profiles

Homecoming King and Queen Interview

Two weeks ago, the University of Jamestown celebrated their annual homecoming. This consisted of many fun events and activities, including grocery bag bingo, food trucks that served mini donuts and Mexican food, a blood drive, and a 5k run. To complete the festivities, UJ crowned Garrett Bickett Homecoming King and his girlfriend, Anna Holen, Homecoming Queen. We appreciated the opportunity to interview Garrett and Anna and get their thoughts on homecoming, hear about their UJ experience, and learn a little bit more about who they are.  

Q: Tell us a little about yourself. 

Anna: I grew up in small town ND, my parents had 8 kids, and I’m the 7th. All of my siblings came to UJ (except the oldest- she started a family and didn’t go to college). I have 13 nieces and nephews, the oldest 2 are in college and are more like my brothers. My family is very close. I love coffee, my ukulele, and Jesus. My favorite color is black and purple. I also love food. My mom’s cooking specifically.  

Garrett: I’m from Carrington, ND. I have 2 brothers, one older one younger. I’m an exercise science major and I plan to go to PT school when I graduate. I like shoes, cats, and breakfast is my favorite meal. 

Q: What are you involved in around campus? 

Anna: Women’s volleyball team and the Faith in Athletics campus ministry team  

Garrett: Men’s basketball assistant coach, Faith in Athletics Ministry Team 

Q: What are your favorite things to do on campus? 

Anna: Java, going to chapel, going to men’s basketball games.  

Garrett: Play pool with the basketball team, longboard, take pictures, going to women’s volleyball games  

Q: What is your favorite drink at Java? 

Anna: Iced pumpkin latte with oat milk  

Garrett: Orange with cream zinger 

Q: What do you like most about UJ? 

Anna: Coach Jon Hegerle and Teree Rittenbach. Also, the fact that it has given me my best friends.  

Garrett: That it’s better than Valley City 

Q: What was your favorite part of homecoming? 

Anna: The alumni that get to come back to campus. 

Garrett: The football game 

Q: How does it feel to be king and queen?  

Anna: The same as when we weren’t king and queen. Kidding, I’m honored. I’m honored to represent UJ because this place means a lot to me.  

Garrett: It’s pretty cool to be able to represent UJ. And it’s cool to know that Anna got it because of me. 

Q: When did you guys meet and how? 

Anna: We met in the 8th grade when Garrett saw me play volleyball in his home town and he fell in love.  

Garrett: I saw Anna play volleyball and she fell in love. 

Q: What does being a Jimmie mean to you? 

Anna: Being a Jimmie means working hard, giving back, and caring for others. It means being a part of a family that you’ll have forever.  

Garrett: Serving others, treating people well, and picking rock. 

Q: What do you most appreciate about UJ? 

Anna: I appreciate how it’s allowed me to grow in my faith. There have been opportunities here for Jesus to become priority in my life.  

Garrett: The community feel and the professors taking the time getting to know their students. 

Q: What is one of your favorite memories of your time here at UJ? 

Anna: 3-0 northwestern to win the conference in a PACKED Newman.  

Garrett: Beating Dordt and Concordia at home last year in basketball. 

Q: Do you have any advice for your fellow Jimmies? 

Anna: Get to know Jesus. 

Garrett: Take the time to build great relationships. 

Photo credit Logan C. Adams 

Freshman Interview: Hershell Jefferson

Who are you and where are you from?

My name is Hershell Jefferson. I’m from Pensacola, Florida. 

How has your first 6 weeks gone here at Jamestown? 

The first 6 weeks have been treating me well, nothing crazy but the classes are different. 

What is your favorite thing about your experience at Jamestown?

My favorite experience were the activities they hosted for us the second week of school meeting new students. 

How have you gotten involved on campus?

I’m on the football team, other than that I haven’t really been involved but look forward to getting more involved. 

How is this experience different from your experience at home? 

Seeing new people and getting to make new friends is all new to me coming from Pensacola where everybody knows everybody. 

Do you love being a Jimmie?

1000% love being a Jimmie! Let’s goooooo!

Freshman Spotlight: Philo Ledermann

Philomena Ledermann, who goes by ‘Philo’, has recently joined University of Jamestown as a freshman. Travelling all the way from Regensburg, in Germany, where she has lived all her life, she accepted a scholarship to play soccer as a Jimmie. We asked Philo a number of questions, to get more of an insight on her background and what it is like being a Freshman here at UJ: 

Where is it that you’re from? 

 ‘It’s about 1 and a half hours away from Munich, so it gets very hot in the summer and freezing in Winter, kind of like here’ said Philo.  

Why did you come to the University of Jamestown?  

‘I got the opportunity to play soccer here on a scholarship, so I can choose to stay for 1 year or the full 4 years, but I’m going to play it by ear and see what my bank account allows me.’ 

How long have you been playing soccer?  

‘I’ve been playing since I was 6 years old, so 14 years in total. I played for my school and my club for this length of time. The soccer culture is massive where I live, so I just fell into it through school. I grew up with it playing soccer on the streets with my neighbours when we were younger.’ 

How are you settling in?  

‘Well I’ve been here since the start of August, so I’ve had a bit more time than most freshmen and my teammates gave me such a warm welcome by showing me around campus and easing my nerves.’ 

Have there been any culture shocks for you?  

‘Everything. The food is so much sweeter here, we don’t put ice in our drinks, the legal drinking age is 16, and the beer is so much better at home, no offence.’ 

What are you looking forward to this year?  

‘Hoping to have a successful season and have a great time on and off the field. Excited to learn more about American culture, meet new people and make new friendships.’  

What’s your favourite thing about Jamestown so far?  

‘Definitely the people. They are so nice, open and friendly, it’s definitely one of my favourite things about Jamestown.’ 

After speaking to Philo, we learned that she wanted to experience life outside of being a Jimmie, while she is in the USA. From wanting to ‘visit California’ and ‘experience the holidays here’, there are so many things that she’s looking forward to. She is enjoying her time here so far, excited about her soccer career and has made very memorable friends.

There Are No Limits

By Emma Bennett

When I was a senior at my small high school, I couldn’t wait to graduate and go to a big college.

I had lived in Jamestown almost my entire life, and although I loved growing up here, I was sure that the next step for me would be far, far away.What I missed when I was at a big college

Once I started college at a university out of state, I began to realize that I had taken the best things about a small school for granted. As a freshman, I was paying my dues and taking responsibilities that nobody else wanted, just waiting for my turn to be passionate about what I was doing. I grew increasingly frustrated with my decision to go somewhere that limited me to one, solitary identity: a freshman musical theatre major.

I missed knowing people who were interested in different things than me. I missed performing every chance I got. Above all, I missed being involved and feeling like an important part of what was going on around me. I knew I had the potential to be far more than just that one thing, but I wasn’t sure how to fix it.

Discovering UJ

Eventually, I came home for a visit that happened to coincide with UJ’s fall musical. I was incredibly jealous at how many people got the chance to perform on the Reiland’s beautiful stage. I met some of the students involved in the show and was surprised to learn that they weren’t all theatre majors; they were graphic designers, engineers, nurses, and everything in between. Every single one of them was immersed in and excited about other activities around campus.

I had seen many shows here before, but that experience really helped push me to make the decision to come to UJ; the perfect school for me had been just around the corner all along.

Becoming a part of the campus community

I was so nervous to start classes here. Most people find it difficult to move away for college, but the hardest part for me was coming back to my hometown. I was determined to keep my head down and play the part of the dutiful freshman for the rest of the year, but I was met with such positivity and acceptance that I quickly became a part of the campus community. Since I transferred to UJ, I have become more than I thought possible: a double major (I never would have known I was interested in marketing!), an actor/designer/director, a member of the choir board, and so much more.

I’ve had the opportunity to work multiple jobs, meet so many interesting people, and even help develop a new service organization on campus. I no longer feel defined by one little piece of who I am. There are absolutely no limits to who you can be, and that’s something I learned here.

I came to college hoping to grow and learn and become a better version of myself. UJ has been a wonderful place to do just that. I am so thankful for all the professors, classmates, and friends that have accepted and challenged me along the way, and really made UJ my home.

From Uruguay to ND

By Valentino Grasiuso

When you’re born in a third world country, most people don’t even think of the possibility of studying in the United States; it just seems so far from reality.

But, inspired by the dream of playing basketball at a higher level, I decided to take a chance in the land of opportunities when I was only 16.

It was nothing but pure excitement and fun during my exchange year—so much so that I decided to come back for my senior year of high school and try to find a University to attend.

UJ was the first school to give me a chance, and from the moment I opened the first package, I knew it was a good fit. Traveling further north to an even smaller town seemed crazy at the moment, but that’s one of the many lessons that this experience gave me: it doesn’t matter where you are—what matters are the people you are with.

Even though basketball didn’t end up working out, I am grateful for everyone in the program for taking me in and giving me a chance. I realized I was still looking for something bigger. Basketball opened many doors for me, took me to the United States, and now it was time to move on.

I found my spot in the team, not during the year I played, but during the years I didn’t. Being a part of the group in a different role made me realize that sometimes, experiences are meant to take you to a different place, but we shouldn’t be afraid of letting go.

UJ has a very special place in my heart. Throughout my years, I met some of the most incredible people. The ability to stop by your professor’s office to talk about schoolwork or personal endeavors is something you don’t hear from a lot of schools, so I am very grateful I had the chance of learning from the people I did. They not only taught me business, but many life lessons I will carry with me for a long time.

My English wasn’t very good at first. Throughout the years, my friends always worked with me to progressively improve and become part of their culture. An experience like this, being 6000 miles away from home, is not easy. I missed, I doubted, I struggled, but UJ always made me have a positive look on whatever was going on.

For future/current students and alumni, I would say: take risks, do what you love, and embrace discomfort. Life is what you make it, and opportunities seem crazy until they don’t. They say we have two lives; the second one starts when we realize we have only one. UJ helped me start living my second life.

The Jimmie Family

By Jenna Windjue

From the moment I set foot on the University of Jamestown’s campus, I knew where I was going to spend the next four (or more!) years of my life.

I was blown away by the small but beautiful campus and all the resources it had to offer. When I was considering coming to UJ, I reached out to my high school coaches, who had both been Jamestown College graduates. This was the first time that I had heard the UJ community described as “the Jimmie family.”

My coaches went on and on about their wonderful experiences in Kroeze Hall and described so many traditions and memories that made a positive impact on their lives. Their love for UJ was obvious, and I knew that I wanted to be apart of something that would continue to change my life many years after graduation.

Over my last four years at UJ…

I have learned a lot from being a part of this Jimmie family. Besides learning how to cope with enough “unprecedented events” for a lifetime, I have learned to build strong relationships with people who share my same values and ideals. I have been fortunate to surround myself with amazing people who challenge me to be a better person, teacher, and leader every day. It honestly seems like UJ is a magnet for truly amazing people, because the friends I have made at UJ are lifelong friends who have made my time at UJ unforgettable.

The full Jimmie experience at UJ would not be what it is without the unrivaled education from dedicated faculty. Each professor I have had at UJ has made a lasting impact on my life and has taught me so much. I have spent many hours in their offices asking them every question from chemistry to the meaning of life.

Professors at UJ enhance the Jimmie experience, because you get to know them on a more personal level then at any other University. As a future educator myself, I recognize how important these relationships are for a successful education. I am grateful to the faculty and staff at UJ who go above and beyond to ensure that the education we receive here makes us competitive employees and leaders in our future fields.

I take a lot of pride in being a Jimmie. So much so that I am constantly teased by my family for wearing Jimmie apparel… a lot. But I would not have traded my time at UJ for anything. I have loved learning and being in the supportive environment that has shaped me and so many Jimmies before me. I have loved being a member of the Jimmie family, and I look forward to continuing to embrace this unique community for many years to come.

Thank you to every member of the Jimmie family for continuing to support and represent the principles and ideals the University of Jamestown is founded on. It is because of you this university is one of a kind! Go Jimmies!

The Best Choice Isn’t Always First

By Nate Swanson

To say that University of Jamestown was my first choice of college would be a lie.

I actually didn’t even know about UJ until my senior year of high school. I ended up getting an email to participate on the esports team here, and I couldn’t pass up that opportunity. Though Jamestown wasn’t my first choice, I am so grateful to have come here.

Since coming here, I have made many friends and participated in tons of activities. The friends I made here are really like family, and I couldn’t be more grateful than to have met them. Additionally, I really love the closeness of everyone here. Jamestown really offers a kind of connection that you just can’t get at any other college. Whether it’s going to basketball games, or simply studying in the library, you can always find someone you know.

Jamestown also offers tons of activities that I am so happy to be a part of—one of which is theatre. The type of acting we do at University of Jamestown is an experience I never have had before. Before UJ, I had only ever done improv at my local high school. When coming here, I really didn’t know what to expect, and I was surprised in a fantastic way! I have done as many shows here as I could because of the amazing cast and crews that we have here!

I am so grateful to Jamestown for the close relationships and fun activities that I get to do! There really is nothing like it anywhere else.

The Right Choice For Me

By Emma Stoehr

August of 2017, I had to finalize my decision on where I wanted to attend school and play basketball.

I called the head coach at the time, Greg Ulland, and told him I was committing to the University of Jamestown. His response to my commitment was the first sign that I was making the right decision.Starting off my freshman year was exciting and nerve racking all at the same time.

I came in only knowing my roommate, and I was five hours away from home. It was very hard to adjust at first moving from a big town (Woodbury, MN) to a smaller town (Jamestown, ND). I also felt like I was the only one that missed home like crazy and was constantly busy with school and sports.

After my first semester, I started to get into the groove of things. I found a good group of friends that created a lot of fun in Kroeze court yard. Also, we attended more sporting events other than our own. Freshman year flew by and in the blink of an eye I am finishing up my last semester as a nursing major. I have learned so many life lessons throughout college and have created so many memories that will stick with me forever.

There are a few things that made Jamestown the right choice for me.

First, I knew I wanted to give basketball a shot my first year of college. This has been such a highlight in my four years of college and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My teammates are like sisters to me and the bound that we have created, especially my senior year, is something special that I will never forget. This team has taught me how to be a better leader and how to be there for someone when it may not be their best day. Also, all the hard practices and time commitment has taught me that not everything in life is going to be easy.

Second, deciding to choose nursing as my major. I started off as a biology major, then exercise science, and finally settled on nursing. Yes, it is okay to not know what you want to major in when you first come to college. Juggling nursing and basketball was definitely stressful and time consuming, however it has taught me time management and multitasking. The nursing faculty is extra special and if I would have met every one of them before choosing this school, this would have determined my major from the start. I never thought I would have the type of relationships with my professors that I do. They personally know me, and you don’t get that type of relationship with professors at a bigger school.

Third, the small class size. I never thought I would attend a college that seemed smaller than my high school. However, this was the best choice for me. I have a nursing class of 18 students. I feel this has allowed me to focus and be committed to being attentive in class. Also, a majority of the students are athletes, so they are able to relate to be a student athlete. I like being able to walk around campus and say hi to a majority of the people I walk by.

Overall, coming to the University of Jamestown has molded me into the person that I am today. I now know what it means to be a Jimmie and I have loved being a part of the Jimmie family.

An Experience to be Thankful For

By Ryan Haahr

University of Jamestown was not my initial choice for college, but after taking my visit there, I knew that I was going to call Jamestown my home for the next four years.

It checked all the boxes I was looking for in a school. It was far enough away from home that I was independent but not so far away that I could not go home some weekends and visit family. The feeling of home during my visit to UJ really put me at ease and it made the decision very simple. I had no idea what the next four years would bring but looking back it has been a blessing for sure.

Involvement at UJ
University of Jamestown has given me so many opportunities to grow as an individual while completing my schooling. From baseball and Student Senate, to Science Club and other activities, these different things I have been involved in throughout my career at UJ has given me experiences that have helped me grow as a person, and I will hold them dearly for the rest of my life.

Friendships for a Lifetime
University of Jamestown has also given me a ton of lifelong friendships that I will forever be grateful for. Having my best friends leave after freshman year was tough, but the fact that we still talk almost every day goes to show the quality of friends you make at a school like this. The friends that stayed and came later on down the road are the ones that I hold close too. The ability to interact with them daily and go through the college experience together is something that I will look back on after I leave UJ and appreciate all the more.

Thank you UJ!
If I could say one thing to UJ, it would be, thank you! I would not be the person I am today without everyone at UJ. From friends to professors, they have shaped me into the person I am today. I hope everyone has an experience that they can be thankful for at UJ, because it has given me everything I could have every wanted.