Chris Sietstra ’17
Boyden, Iowa

Passionate Psychologist

Chris has passions for people, psychology, business and God, and his time at Northwestern has allowed all those to intersect. A double major in psychology and accounting, Chris is also earning a secondary coaching endorsement. He’s served on the Campus Ministry Team as a discipleship coordinator for two years and is now an event coordinator. He co-led an SSP trip to Amsterdam and sang on a traveling worship team his freshman year. In addition to being a research assistant and teaching assistant for psychology professor Dr. Laird Edman, he is also a peer tutor for a number of courses.

Perfect fit
Northwestern was exactly the kind of college I was looking for. I wanted a dorm experience, and NWC’s residence life program is incredible. I wanted to be challenged academically, and the courses here are difficult yet rewarding. I wanted to grow in my faith, and that’s continuously fostered both inside and outside the classroom. Not to mention that the facilities at Northwestern were in a whole different category than other campuses I visited. But beyond the pretty buildings and all the “stuff,” it turned out to be the quality people at Northwestern that made choosing to go here all the more enticing.

Faith in science
Before I chose to pursue a psychology major, I never understood all the challenges it would present to my faith. Some of the psychological theories we study seem rather incompatible with Christian beliefs, and I’ve struggled with how I can be both a faithful follower and good psychologist. But I know who inspired the Bible and created both the universe and the people that psychology attempts to make sense of. I feel secure knowing God’s faithfulness will guide me through those difficult questions because he created it all. That doesn’t make it easy, safe or fun, but it sure does make me love and admire our creator more each day.

Personable profs
The professors here are the best. Dr. Feenstra’s cookies are irresistible, Dr. Chi’s cowboy hoedown is like nothing I have ever seen before, and Dr. Edman’s guitar skills, paired with that angelic voice of his, will keep one returning to Trinity Church for years to come—never mind that Mrs. Dr. Edman plays a pretty mean bass. So what do I appreciate most about the psychology profs? That they are my professors, my friends and my role models.

Set up for success
As I have started to research the entrance requirements for some of the graduate schools I want to attend, I just have to shake my head and smile because my professors prepared me so well. All the universities I have seen so far want the same two things: original research presentation experience (which I accomplished in three class projects, including a rigorous senior thesis) and developed experience with psychological statistics (Dr. Edman’s PSY216 Research Design and Advanced Statistics—check!).

School spirit
One of my favorite memories has to be the 2014 Homecoming football game against the top- ranked team from Morningside College. My friends and I painted our chests, arms and backs, and we heckled and cheered from the end zone. I couldn’t speak for a week because my voice was gone, but we made such a great memory that day—and we won.