This year Prof. Gehrz’s teaching assistant, Kerry Bloomfield (’17), will be serving as the department’s social media coordinator. Among other projects, Kerry will be working on a redesign of this blog and conducting interviews with students and alumni. First, though, an interview with Kerry, a double-major in History and Biology who is also active in Bethel’s forensics program.

Kerry BloomfieldWhere are you from, and how did you decide to attend Bethel?

As a student from Maple Grove, Minnesota, I was aware of Minnesota’s PSEO (Post Secondary Enrollment Options) program, and wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to begin college early. Bethel has a strong academic reputation, and is specifically known to be a great school for PSEO. Originally, the plan was for me to spend my senior year of high school at Bethel and then transfer to a larger school, preferably further from my hometown. Unfortunately for the Intro to History students this spring, Bethel tricked me into staying by providing me with great financial aid, wonderful extracurricular activities (such as speech and debate), and an incredible (albeit sometimes extremely frustrating) community of believers. 

When you started your studies here, your original major was Nursing. How did you make your way to a double-major in History and Biology? Are you still interested in working in health care when you’re done at Bethel?

In high school, I took a class called Opportunities in Emergency Care, which prepared students to become Emergency Medical Technicians. Since I was enjoying and doing well in that class, and I had plans to attend college, I was encouraged to pursue nursing. I also added a history major during the fall semester of my sophomore year because I have always found history to be fascinating, and because I had 12 credits from AP history classes, which I wanted to put to good use. After beginning the nursing program in the spring, I discovered that nursing wasn’t really matching well with my interests or my personality, so I dropped nursing. I added a biology major because I find science classes both challenging and fascinating, and because I had about half of the requirements for the major completed from my pre-nursing courses. I am currently undecided about my plans for the future, but I think I may be leaning towards either law school or education. 

In addition to working as a History Department TA, you’ve got some other interesting jobs on campus. Can you tell us a bit about them? 

I’ve actually got six jobs this year, counting this position. (I’m apparently not a huge fan of sleep or having a social life.) Four of those positions are on campus, including this position and:

  • Compass Mentor: The Bethel Compass Transitions Program pairs incoming students who are on the autism spectrum or have a diagnosis of ADD, ADHD, or anxiety disorder with a mentor who assists the student in building social networks, developing study and time management skills, and assists with whatever else is needed for the student to have a successful transition into college.
  • BUILD Job Mentor: The Bethel University Inclusive Learning and Development (BUILD) program is a 2 year program that provides academic, vocational, residential, and social learning experiences to students with intellectual disabilities. As a job mentor, I focus more on the vocational area, and will be working with several BUILD students as they develop vocational skills through participation in an internship.
  • Sodexo: I also have a few random shifts at the Royal Grounds and occasionally work in the Dining Center. Why, you may ask? Because I am a fan of free food.

As for my two off-campus jobs, I work in a group home in Maple Grove and a nursing home in New Brighton.

For current students, Kerry added the following invitation: “For the remainder of fall semester, I plan to have office hours in AC212 on Wednesdays from 2-3 PM. Feel free to stop by with any questions, for help with 4-year planning/time management advice (I’ve gotten very good at that in the past few semesters), to share ideas for blog posts, or if you’d just like to chat! I’d love to get to know more of our history majors and minors!”

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