Rubbing Shoulders

A picture of Nathan Ryder

When Nathan arrived at Dordt, he was unsure of himself and did not know what his future would hold. Over time, however, he found a place for himself and figured out what he wanted to do after graduating. He picked Dordt because it was a safe option, keeping him in the Midwest with classmates that he already knew. After his freshman year, Nathan began to worry he was stuck inside a bubble.

“I tried to go out of my way to make new friends and meet people I didn't already have some connection with,” he says. “I was impressed by the courage and humility of some of the international students that I met, as they had traveled well out of their comfort zone to be where they were. Inspired, I signed up for SPIN, the Studies Program In Nicaragua.”

In addition to his semester abroad, Nathan participated in many activities at Dordt. He participated in theater, worked as a camp counselor, participated in concert band and choir, went on PLIA, and played a club sport. Nathan’s participation in these activities gave him skills and hobbies that he still values today. Most importantly, he is grateful for the people he met.

“I loved being at Dordt because I was able to be involved in so many different things,” he says. “This allowed me to rub shoulders with people in all sorts of majors and activities. The people I was able to meet and share my life with at Dordt have caused all of the spiritual and emotional development that I have experienced in the last 5 years.”

Nathan also shares that Dordt’s coursework prepared him for higher learning and to engage life with a theological framework. He was able to spend summers working with the Biostatistics summer research group, developing close relationships with students from other universities and challenging his faith.

This work helped Nathan gain experience and confidence in his career. After graduating, he stayed at Dordt, researching with Dr. Nathan Tintle during the summer and following school year. He was able to assist with Chemistry labs and Calculus classes, and that year, he applied for graduate school. Nathan enrolled in the Statistics PhD program at Colorado State University.

“The influence of incredible mentors is the primary reason I have been able to start the next steps of my career and of my life. I cannot be more thankful for the opportunities and guidance provided by not only professors in my field, but in any area that I was striving to improve. They are, each and every one, my role models in all things.”