Riley Arkema

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New Era, Michigan

Scholarships I Received 

  • DC Presidential Scholarship
  • DC Distinguished Scholar Scholarship
  • JJR Leadership Scholarship
  • Daniel Challenge Scholarship
  • DC Alumni Scholarship
  • Off-Campus Cross-Cultural Experience Scholarship 

Favorite Spot On Campus 

Mezzanine of the BJ Haan. My dad studied there and I found it a great place to study, pray, and quiet myself before God.

Favorite Class 

Anatomy with the Cadaver Lab + Organic Chemistry 1

A Concept That Blew My Mind 

I think one of the coolest things I learned at Dordt was the process a muscle goes through in turning energy into movements such as flexion or extension. I specifically remember sitting in class and discussing how actin, myofibrils, myofilaments, and sarcomeres are stimulated via sodium, calcium, and potassium ion channels to turn ATP into a movement!

Cool Things I Did At Dordt 

One of my favorite things about Dordt is the multitude of opportunities I had to be involved in so many different areas on campus. I was blessed to be a part of the Dordt hosted REU program that took me to Ukraine for two weeks, where I wrote psychology and statistics papers which are in the process of being published. I was able to attend Oxford University in the UK while on a semester abroad which was an incredible opportunity to meet people and broaden my horizons as well. I played lacrosse for four years at Dordt which allowed me to engage in a form of competition and meet and become friends with a unique group of guys as well all while traveling to Madison, WI, and Chicago, IL on a couple of occasions. Finally, I had a great time serving on Residence Life and Student Government as it helped me understand some of the inner workings of the college and the processes of making changes and improvements on campus as well.

Obstacles I've Overcome 

I think the largest obstacle I've overcome here at Dordt would be the self-doubt I experienced when I decided to switch majors away from engineering my freshman year. I remember questioning and doubting my purpose and future, but so many professors and staff took the time to sit down with me to help me verbalize my goals and interests which I am now pursuing and loving.

Who I Was When I Came To Dordt 

When I came to Dordt I think I was overly content with myself and how I was living my life. I was set on becoming a mechanical engineer, I was eager to meet more people, I was glad to be away from home, and my faith was active and visible but not entirely genuine.

How Dordt Impacted Me 

The fours years I have spent here at Dordt have guided me to see what being a part of God's kingdom truly looks like. Through classes, conversations, challenges, and other personal experiences unique to Dordt my eyes were opened to true service in God's kingdom in many ways which I am excited to use and live out in my future.

What's Next For Me

After I graduate I plan to work as a CNA and medical scribe for two years before attending medical school in pursuit of an M.D. or D.O. degree en route to becoming an orthopedic surgeon or ER doctor.

What I Would Tell Prospective Students 

I think I would tell prospective students that the best way to figure out how to live life is to just do it. College, and Dordt especially, is a great place to figure out what you like, love, and do not care for in a safe and forgiving environment. I think simply taking the jump to try various things and do things I did not know I would like resulted in the coolest parts of my experience at Dordt.

How Dordt Helped Me Do More 

My choice to attend Dordt was, if I am completely honest, a very safe choice. It was a community which was extremely similar to everything I had known growing up, and even though it was over 700 miles from home the people I knew here made it feel like home. That being said, I feel as if Dordt has more than readied me to go out and make the uncomfortable decisions that take me where God has ultimately called me. Dordt has not only educated me about psychology, biology, and chemistry but about the world as a whole and what it means to live as a Kingdom citizen in that world.