Shanell Nieuwendorp ’18
Orange City, Iowa

Public servant

Shanell says she chose Northwestern because it’s an affordable Christian institution that would provide her with a positive, encouraging environment where she would be challenged academically and grow spiritually. A double major in political science and criminal justice who is in the pre-law track, Shanell also plays intramural sports, tutors in the Peer Learning Center, and was a member of the Student Government Association and orientation staff. After graduation, she wants to attend law school with the hopes of joining the military to serve as a judge advocate general.

Seeking justice
I have always had a passion for truth and justice. The summer following my junior year of high school, I attended Iowa Girls State, sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary of Iowa. It really encouraged and confirmed my interest in how the political system works. While at Northwestern, I also took advantage of an externship opportunity in Douglas County, Neb., over spring break my freshman year, which also further confirmed my interests.

Pledging allegiance
When studying political science, you encounter a variety of important topics that intersect with faith and politics. Many believe the coexistence of faith with politics is an oxymoron, but I believe there is harmony between the two. What I have found the most challenging and yet strengthening to my faith is discovering the relationship between pledging allegiance to both God’s kingdom and the earthly kingdom he has provided.

Critical thinking
I am most appreciative of the Christian perspective the political science professors embed in their courses. They do a great job of maintaining a neutral stance on various topics in class while also stressing principles in perspective with the kingdom of God. They purposefully put their own opinions aside and challenge us to think critically.

Total package
Northwestern has equipped me with all I need to excel, not only professionally, but socially and spiritually as well. The college offers great courses taught by excellent professors who are instrumental in helping us learn the material needed to excel in the professional world. Through opportunities like externships and internships, there are many chances to gain hands-on, real-world experience. Campus activities also offer a wide range of interaction with peers, and chapel, Praise and Worship, and weekly discipleship groups facilitate spiritual maturity.