Four Years Later: Brittany Schmintke '19

by Stephanie (Coartney) Dulaney '10

BRITTANY SCHMIDTKE ’19In 2014, Brittany Schmidtke ’19 made the decision to become a Bearcat but faced many unknowns as she embarked on her first year at McKendree. She loved to dance and meet new people but was unsure what to major in or what her future would hold after she finally earned that college degree.

Fast forward to May 2019: Brittany graduated cum laude in biopsychology and began a new journey. She reflected on her four years at McKendree, where she was a member of the Honors Program and PomCats, and worked as a resident assistant on campus, a dance coach at O’Fallon Township High School, and an assistant manager of Marcus St. Clair 10 Theatre in Fairview Heights, Ill.

What do you plan to do with your major in biopsychology?

I would love to pursue dance therapy and having worked at an internship the past two years. I have decided to take a year off from school to apply my knowledge to various programs in the area and go back for my master’s in about a year.

Brittany Schmidtke ’19 at GraduationFour years ago, your favorite classes were Beginning Ballet and Honors Microeconomics. What others have you have enjoyed since then?

My internship and honors thesis this year! Both had to do with what I would love to pursue, and getting the chance to use it and test it was amazing. I also loved my Advanced Ballet class because who am I kidding? I will always be a dancer at heart.

As a first-year, you joined Kappa Sigma Tau sorority, Student Government, the Honors Council, Show Choir and PomCats. What has been your favorite memory in these groups?

They all have one thing in common: the people I'm with. I remember lots of laughing, sass and smiles involved in each organization and am incredibly grateful for the people I have met.

What else were you involved in over the course of your University experience?

I recently joined the O'Fallon Township High School staff as the junior varsity coach for their dance team, the Golden Girls. I also helped put on the 2018 Relay for Life. I have been actively volunteering at an assisted living center in O'Fallon, as well as Spencer Kennel Animal Rescue.

What special or memorable events marked your time at McKendree?

My last dance ensemble show as a senior. I performed for the last time amongst my friends and my dance family. Everyone made the day so special and memorable, and though I said goodbye to my life as a dancer on that stage, I will never forget my memories on the team.

What was the best part of being a McKendree student?

Being given the opportunity to explore things I’m good at, as well as things I’m not. I’ve had the opportunity to make mistakes and grow from them and I will be forever grateful for that.

What one piece of advice would you go back and give “first-year Brittany”?

Try to relax some more. You are a very busy person, but you need to remember to make time for yourself and do what makes you happy. Don’t ever change yourself to fit someone else’s mold, and remember, today may seem bad, but tomorrow is always a new beginning.