Collegiate Friar – August 2022

Young alumna Emma Nikolai ’19 starts veterinary school at Purdue this fall!
Collegiate Friar – August 2022
Young alumna Emma Nikolai ’19 starts veterinary school at Purdue this fall!

Fenwick Graduation Year: 2019
Hometown: Oak Park, IL
Grade SchoolSt. Giles
College: Purdue University (
West Lafayette, IN)
Major: Animal Science, Pre-Vet
Summer Internship: Study Technician Intern at Labcorp in the development and reproductive toxicology department
Career Aspirations: I graduated a year early from undergrad and I am beginning veterinary school at Purdue University this fall, so my main goal is to get my doctorate of veterinary medicine. However, I am unsure exactly what type of veterinarian I wish to become. I am leaning towards small animal medicine and possibly specializing in something like surgery or internal medicine.
Fenwick Achievements/ActivitiesI began high school as a three-sport athlete with cross country in the fall, basketball in the winter and soccer in the spring. However, it came to be a little too much as classes became more difficult and I began to focus more on my horse riding. So, my sophomore year, I just played basketball in the winter and switched to swimming in the fall. I finished out my junior and senior year with just swimming in the fall and, in place of basketball, I joined Banua chorus. My senior year, I was also involved in Spanish Club, WYSE and National Honor Society. 
Fenwick teacher who had the most influence on you: I am lucky enough to feel like one of the many students that Mr. Finnell had a major influence on. I had Mr. Finnell my junior year for pre-calculus. Throughout this class, he always encouraged me to be inquisitive and ask all the questions I may have had on homework or a previous exam. His class also prepared me for success in the infamous AP Calculus BC class with Mr. Arscott. My senior year, I also enjoyed frequently stopping by Mr. Finnell’s classroom for little chats between classes. He was always so supportive and had such a deep care for each of his students. Outside of the classroom, I got the opportunity to work with Mr. Finnell during Banua. The love that he has for teaching and helping with BFG [Blackfriars Guild] has really encouraged me to pursue a career that I love and that makes me excited to work every day! Mr. Finnell is truly a Fenwick legend! 
Fenwick class that had the most influence on you: AP biology with Mr. Wnek was not only one of my favorite classes, but it also taught me so much! Throughout the class, I realized how much I enjoy biology and the life sciences. This love of biology helped me decide to pursue my undergraduate degree in animal science. Like many other Fenwick classes, this class also greatly prepared me for success in my college classes. Especially because the way that Mr. Wnek taught his class was similar to how many of my college professors teach their classes. Lastly, Mr. Wnek’s AP bio class was not only very informative, but it also taught me how much fun learning can be. 
Best Fenwick experience/the one you would like to live again: Hands down, girls’ swimming and diving was the best part of my Fenwick experience! Despite joining the team as a sophomore, I quickly felt a part of the team. The coaches and all the girls were so welcoming and supportive! The coaches were so amazing and knew how to push us to go above and beyond what we thought we could do, while also creating an extremely fun team environment! Despite all the hard work, long practices and early mornings, girls’ swimming knew how to have fun! Some of my favorite memories include our pre-meet team cheers, jamming to music during practice and all the games we played during black-and-white week, which was the week leading up to our inter-squad meet to kick off the season each year. Swim team was not only just a team, but we were a family, and it was where I met some of my best high school friends. Overall, I will never forget my time on Fenwick girls’ swimming and diving! 
The Fenwick experience that changed you the most: I definitely feel my time at Kairos changed me the most out of all my Fenwick experiences. Despite having three older brothers and many friends attend Kairos before me, I had no idea what to expect. It was such a unique experience that really helped me grow in my faith and feel more deeply connected to my Fenwick class. Kairos helped me learn the importance of being kind and respectful to all those you interact with because you never truly know what someone may be going through. Kairos also helped me realize how many people truly care about me. In summary, Kairos was a once-in- a-lifetime experience that helped shape me into who I am today. 
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