Deciding to continue my education and basketball career at Wittenberg is definitely one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I feel very lucky to have found a second home here. When I was in high school trying to decide where to go, I went on upwards of 20 college visits. Choosing which one I wanted to go to felt like an impossible decision for so long. That changed as soon as I stayed here on campus for an overnight visit with the basketball team. The sense of community I felt here was something unmatched at all the other places I visited, so that day I bought a Witt sweatshirt, and the rest is history.
On campus, I am the student manager at the University’s main switchboard. I also work in the Motor Pool/Transportation Department, and I am a member of the women’s varsity basketball team. My experience at Wittenberg has greatly shaped me as a person, given me long-lasting relationships, and has provided me with countless opportunities for which I will be forever grateful. Two of the most significant are the opportunity to travel abroad to Australia, and the opportunity to make connections and find a home in the Springfield community.
In May of 2018, our basketball team traveled abroad to Australia to not only explore a new culture with the people we love, but also to play the sport that we love. We spent a total of eight days in the “land down under” -- four in Melbourne and four in Sydney. The fact that I get to say that I visited some of the most well-known landmarks in the world, AND played basketball abroad with 12 of my best friends is absolutely unreal.
The fact that I have had the opportunity to make connections and find a home in the Springfield community is something that I also consider to be very valuable. When I first arrived on campus, I knew there was a Chipotle nearby and that’s about all I cared about. I had no idea how important this city and this community would eventually be to me. Through the University’s mission of service, and a close friend from the area, I’ve come to be very invested in Springfield. Because of Wittenberg I have volunteered at Catholic Central Middle School as a tutor for a class, at the local nonprofit Project Jericho for my community service requirement, and at various basketball camps and tournaments in the area for my team. I have also spent a great deal of time in this community outside of the school year because I have lived here off-campus and year-round going on three years now.
This summer I was fortunate to be a part of the Hagen Center Summer Internship Program – another experience I will be forever grateful for. Through the program, I got to spend a full week doing nothing but being immersed in the Springfield community. It was incredible. I could geek out for hours about all the cool people and influential speakers we got to meet. While still within the Hagen Center Program, my specific internship was at United Senior Services (USS), a nonprofit in downtown Springfield whose mission is to be Springfield and Clark County’s resource for people age 55 and better. At the beginning of my internship, I did fairly normal intern work: I posted to their social media, did miscellaneous office work, created new Excel sheets, and compiled information for special events. Toward the end of the summer, circumstances led to me stepping into the marketing coordinator position, and eventually taking on the position I hold now, which is the part-time creative designer.
I couldn’t be more grateful. I’m getting to do work that I enjoy doing, with coworkers that I work really well with, and I’m getting a ton of real-life experience that will definitely impact my future career for the better. After graduation, I plan to stay in Springfield and either continue working at USS or find a similar job in the area. All I want is to be living in this incredible community, and to be doing meaningful work through which I can express my creativity.
Jenna Bluemlein ’20
Hometown: Edgewood, Kentucky
Minors: Spanish and Studio Art