Grad Stories '18: Graduating Classmates From Three Iowa Communities


05/11/2018

Maddie Seutter won't be the only St. Ambrose graduation candidate with former schoolmates from grade school, middle school, and high school.

She almost certainly will be the only member of the Class of 2018 graduating with classmates schools in three Iowa communities separated by more than 70 miles.

Seutter attended St. Columbkille Elementary in Dubuque for three years with Jessie Bahl, then moved to Cedar Rapids where she attended middle school at La Salle Middle School with Kayla Lansing and Payton Janney.

She attended high school at Assumption in Davenport and met Rachel Sigwarth, Josh Metivier, Ryan Dobek, Michael Neubauer, Stasia Nykoluk, Molly Gilchrist, and Ann Froeschle.

Seutter will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in English Education, completing a busy and rewarding St. Ambrose career. She has been the vice president of the Swim Club, a member of the SAU Swim Team, secretary of the National Society of Leadership and Success, and a personal assistant for education professor Dr. Sallee Beneke.

As a founding member of this year's swim team, Seutter swam at nationals and earned NAIA Scholar-Athlete status.

"It was a trial and error program and I didn't know what to expect. But I was happy I stuck with it because it was my one chance to say I did a college sport," she said.

Four years ago, she decided on Ambrose because it was familiar and she wanted a place where she felt comfortable on campus. Nykoluk and Seutter were suitemates freshman year and having all those former classmates helped her comfort level even more.

"It was nice to have people around who you already knew because I personally have a hard time meeting new people and putting myself out there," Seutter said. "I was in classes with some of them and one was a math class. I am not the best at math, but I am good at writing papers. My friends and I would trade off helping each other out in the different subjects to get good grades."

Senior Maddie Seutter


Seutter will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in English Education, completing a busy and rewarding St. Ambrose career. She has been the vice president of the Swim Club, a member of the SAU Swim Team, secretary of the National Society of Leadership and Success, and a personal assistant for education professor Dr. Sallee Beneke.

For the next couple of years, Seutter roomed with Nykoluk and Sigwarth. Maddie describes their friendship as always being together.

"We are always hanging out whether it be chilling and staying in for the night, deciding to go out for the night, or attending campus events such as Homecoming, house crawl, or last blast."

Seutter knows that she will stay friends with her roommates after graduation because they are all staying around the Davenport area.

"I would say Maddie is one of my best friends and we do lots of things together," Sigwarth said. "Freshman year we had American Horror Story watching parties, and now as seniors, I love just hanging out with her and our other roommates for hours just talking in our apartment."

Sigwarth will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and is president of Society of Women Engineers. She is also an Engineering Ambassador.

"If I didn't know anyone coming in I may have had a completely different friend group than I do now," Sigwarth said. "I met all my friends through Maddie and Stasia. I wouldn't want it to have been any different. Coming to college already knowing someone definitely helped make the transition from high school more comfortable. I knew there was someone I could easily ask to lunch or talk to if I had anything I needed to discuss."

In addition to providing the place where their friendship grew, St. Ambrose also provided Seutter with values she will keep even after graduation.

"Through the Teacher Education Program, I have learned that you should own up to your problems and take responsibility for your actions," she said. "I have learned perseverance by being on the SAU swim team. In general, I have learned to associate and speak with different people since people are liberal and diverse here. People are culturally different, and you have to know that you may not always agree on everything."

As her parting advice to incoming Ambrose students, Seutter cautions against doing too much all at once.

"When I was a sophomore, I was dead-set on graduating in three years, but then I didn't get to enjoy my years because I was always studying and very overwhelmed. Don't overload yourself and enjoy your college experience. And be friendly, even if you already know people at Ambrose; everyone is welcoming and open to meeting new people."

Share This Story

Engineering | News
two students giving presentation

As part of the SAU Undergraduate Summer Research Institute, junior Perla Hernandez conducted a parametric study of the thermochemical gasification of biomass.

Read More

News
two students in hydrology lab

Seniors Andrea Bonetto, Ethan Zeller, Sheiny Tjia-Fleck, and Andrew Huffman constructed an experimental flow apparatus with a fluctuating water level, which they programmed to be controlled by an Arduino.

Read More

Engineering | News
supernova from NASA Flickr

Three St. Ambrose students worked with Dr. Robert Mitchell to calculate the distances to exploding stars - supernovae - in other galaxies using Expanding Photosphere Method (EPM), thereby determining the distances to the galaxies themselves.

Read More

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 27 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!