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Wings to Fly Far

Hannah Haugen and Joshua Startup, the University’s 2012 Distinguished Seniors, have big plans. Haugen will leave for Europe and study in the Netherlands with hopes of becoming a professor of economics. Startup wants to attend medical school and become a physician specializing in orthopedics.

Startup, of Chesterton, Ind., graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He came to North Park after a friend suggested he take a look at the University. Startup liked the idea of attending a smaller university in Chicago.

Startup knew he wanted to major in one of the physical or biological sciences. He was a successful biology student in high school, but struggled with chemistry. That’s precisely why he majored in chemistry at North Park. “I wanted to see if I could do it successfully. I like having a challenge,” he said.

During his North Park years, Startup helped in the University’s chemical hygiene department, learning safe practices, and trained others in how to use instruments in chemistry labs. He did undergraduate research in pharmacology at Loyola and “shadowed” a physician, enabling Startup to see surgeries and learn even more. He tutored students, was president of the chemistry club, was a regular at community service days for North Park students, and conducted science demonstrations for young students. Startup also played football at North Park all four years. This year he was an offensive lineman and team captain. His own sports injuries in high school and being around athletic trainers and physicians led to his career interest in orthopedics.

Assuming he attends medical school, Startup wants to work somewhere in the Midwest, perhaps in rural Indiana, or in an international setting. “Eventually, I’d like to go back and help those communities where they don’t have enough physicians, or there aren’t enough clinics or enough time for physicians to see people who really need it,” he said.

Startup’s mother, Linda Hart, herself a college graduate after many years of part-time study, is not surprised by her son’s North Park University achievements. “He’s been ‘driven’ since he was a very little boy,” Hart said. “I don’t know where he got it. He was a great student, with good study habits. I never had to worry about him,” she said.

Dr. Jonathan Rienstra-Kiracofe, professor of chemistry and department chair, said each year at the end of the year-long general chemistry course, students take a rigorous, standardized national exam. “Four years ago Josh set the record for the highest score obtained on the test by a North Park student,” he said. “Josh has a passion for science, medicine, and research. While his post-North Park plans are not yet fully sorted out, I have no doubt that we will read about an outstanding contribution Josh is making in medical research in a future edition of the North Parker,” Rienstra-Kiracofe said.

Haugen’s interest in study abroad began in high school when she studied in France and developed an interest in economics. “It was such a life-changing experience that it was something I wanted to do again,” she said. Haugen, who earned a bachelor of science in business and economics from North Park, studied at Tilburg University in the Netherlands during her North Park years. She plans to work on a master’s degree in economics at the University of Amsterdam this fall. Eventually, Haugen wants to earn a doctorate in economics and teach, following in the footsteps of her father, Bill, who is a high school teacher. Haugen’s fiancé, whom she met while in high school in Milwaukie, Ore., is Dutch.

Haugen began her college years at North Park in 2009. She had always thought she’d like to attend a larger college or university. Through her home congregation, Milwaukie Covenant Church, she learned about the University and its advantages, such as opportunities for regular student interaction with faculty. “I loved the urban setting. I loved all of the opportunities that North Park had to offer. And study abroad was important for me,” Haugen said.

Haugen graduated from North Park with about 150 hours of college credit, earning 30 of those credits through advanced and college courses in high school. While she was a student at North Park, she lived on campus and was a resident advisor much of that time. She was also a tutor for students studying economics and French.

Dr. Al Kamienski, associate professor of finance, School of Business and Nonprofit Management, worked closely with Haugen. Her legacy is rapid accomplishment and clear focus on her future career, he said. “There has never been a student in my 10 years here who will have traveled abroad, been a resident advisor for multiple years, and graduated with 150 hours and a 3.9 grade point average. That is simply unprecedented,” he said, adding that Haugen’s coursework, right up to the very last class before graduation, was always top notch.

Haugen’s mother, Tricia, said her daughter is a person with strong family roots, but always had wings, needing to fly far. “She always has a plan and great ideas,” Tricia Haugen said. “She makes things happen. It’s always kind of amazed me.”

Next Steps

Learn more about our graduating class of 2012.

Read more from the Summer 2012 North Parker.

Joshua Startup and Hannah Haugen at the honors convocation this spring.