When Emily Seibel first came to Kent State, she immediately thought “I could make this home for four years.” She wasn’t sure exactly what major she wanted to study, but, after looking at the courses she liked, she discovered the Human Development and Family Studies major. One of her passions in life is helping people, especially the homeless. She has helped out at a homeless center in Cincinnati where she is from, gone on home visits with the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, and currently works at the homeless center of Portage County here in Kent. This past summer she also went on a mission trip to Guatemala in order to “create group learning activities for children and to improve outdoor social spaces via landscaping initiatives...[and] developed an activity for children in which they made capes out of t-shirts and came to realize that ‘you’re your own superhero.’” When she graduates, she would like to focus on helping children in mental health counseling programs somewhere close to home.
Emily has taken advantage of many opportunities here at Kent State, including going to Ireland and studying abroad. Her faculty advisor, Dr. Maureen Blankemeyer, encouraged her to go, and she was even able to visit a cousin of hers in Scotland. Dr. Blankemeyer has always been a role model and advocate for Emily, and even went on the trip to Ireland with her. Emily has also been a part of the Body Acceptance Movement which helped her self-esteem a lot and was a great experience for her.
She has not always had the best relationship with her family and had to overcome several obstacles in her life, but one person who has, and always will be, a role model for her is her father. “He has supported everything I have done in my entire life and even when I had the wildest dreams, he had my back and with a big smile on his face. If I could face life with half the smiles he gives, I’d be thrilled.” Her friend Mark has also been a rock in her life and has been there for her through “hell and back”. Her mother has been a great source of support for her as well, and has been “a rock star in putting up with [her] snarky attitude and stubborn personality. [They] are very similar in [their] ways, which makes [them] butt heads, but she’s given [her] the tough love [she] needed to succeed.”
Another person she looks up to is her brother’s best friend’s mother, Linda Geil. Linda lost her son when he was only seventeen, but “didn’t let that stop her from being amazing.” She started a scholarship in his name and began knitting crafts, which she sells to help fund the scholarship.
What Emily will remember most about Kent State are the experiences she has had with people, especially her freshman year in Lake Hall. The people she met there have influenced her the most socially in her college career and, even if she doesn’t talk to some of them anymore, they have shaped who she is as a person today. In ten years she hopes to be working in a medical setting as a patient advocate helping people understand what they’re going through and developing coping mechanisms. She would also like to be serving the community and helping those in poverty.
Advice she has for student is to “take advantage of any opportunity that is thrown your way, whether you think it’ll be cool or not, it’ll be cool. You’ll learn something from everyone and everything if you let yourself.” Emily always looks for the best in people and believes that “anyone can find the dirt in someone; be the one who finds the gold.”