If you’ve spent time in the Krueger Center or anywhere in the Student Center then you’ve probably seen, or better yet heard, a loud and infectious laugh. The source for that boisterous joy comes from Judy Jean, a senior biomedical science major.
While happy to call Union home now, this Missouri native was originally hesitant on coming to Nebraska.
Being the youngest of five siblings had its advantages when it came to choosing colleges. "I didn’t want to come here because all the kids from my church did and I wanted to be different,” explains Jean, “but one of my older brothers [Makenzy Jean ‘15] was coming here. Then everything just worked itself out.”
Jean enjoyed her freshman and sophomore year, but felt something was missing.
Feeling a heavy need, something inside Jean told her to stop being in school altogether but she didn’t know what else to do. The thought of studying abroad wasn’t enough either, but after a long time of praying and thinking, she found her answer in God.
In the beginning of what would have been her junior year, Jean had the opportunity to serve in Thailand for a year to teach elementary school English.
“It was a big decision to make, but I’m glad I was able to get the opportunity to do something bigger than myself,” comments Jean. “If anyone has the opportunity to become a student missionary or simply travel the world they should.”
With the children having a large impact on her life, Jean now sees herself teaching middle schoolers as a career, maybe after she's done with medical school.
Jean felt refreshed after taking that year off. She took advantage of the time, focusing on herself and serving others. The next year she came back to Union with a clear mind and a better sense of purpose.
“There are so many things I want to do with my career in the future and in life in general. Right now figuring out what to do for a career, my hobbies and just organizing my thoughts are such important things to do,” she explains.
When asked about any funny memories she had, Jean has a tough time coming up with any.
“Funny stories about myself usually revolve around me doing something ridiculous,” she said, “I have so many it’s hard to choose which one.”
With a deep appreciation for her friends and family, Jean is always finding different ways to support the people closest to her.
“I have a lot of family members and we're all close, family is important to me and I take every opportunity to spend as much time as I can,” she said.
Jean is passionate about the things she loves—whether science, traveling, teaching or family and friends. Take some time out of your busy schedule in getting to know her.
Her great personality will make you smile if not laugh.
Caroline Guchu is a sophomore studying communication.