Joshua Weber ’23, Spring Lake Park, Minn.
Major: Biology Education

Please tell us about yourself.

I am currently a sophomore from Spring Lake Park, a small suburb just north of the Twin Cities. Attending Concordia was the best decision I could have made. I hope to be a biology teacher someday and have found that each faculty and staff member I interact with here seems to genuinely want me to reach this goal. While at Concordia, I have been able to not only pursue my passion for education but to also pursue my passion for music all while strengthening my faith and connection to my religion.

I am involved with several groups on campus, such as The Concordia Band and the Alumni Call Center, and also work as a tutor in the Center for Student Success, a chapel ambassador for Campus Ministry, and a lab assistant in the biology department.

Why did you choose to attend Concordia?

I chose to attend Concordia because it had been a dream of mine since visiting the campus in 10th grade. While still in high school, my family was eager for me to start the college search process, so one day during my sophomore year my parents told me that they had signed me up for an overnight visit at a college called Concordia in Moorhead. I only knew a little about Concordia at the time, mainly that a parent of one of my friends with a successful teaching career had graduated from Concordia. I was interested in being a teacher and, since my family hadn’t given me much choice, I decided to go on this overnight trip with a bit of skepticism at the forefront of my mind. However, upon arriving on campus, I felt at home. The family-like community of Concordia made me instantly feel as if I had always belonged here. The overnight stay was nothing if not informative and, with all the numbers and prices being thrown around, I unfortunately decided to rule out Concordia as a feasible option for college.

Following that trip, I remember thinking that if I could find a college in my price range that felt as right as Concordia I would know exactly where to go after high school. Nevertheless, this proved easier said than done and, as I grew closer to senior year, I kept thinking back on my trip to Concordia. I eventually decided to apply to see what would happen and, sure enough, my admission was not only accepted, but I also received enough financial aid that Concordia became a real possibility. No longer a dream, I decided to more thoroughly investigate Concordia, inquire about specific scholarships available and communicate closely with the Office of Financial Aid and with my admission representative. Finally, I decided Concordia was the college I was going to attend in the fall. My dream was finally in reach. I could never have imagined that an impromptu campus visit would affect the next big stage of my life.

I could never have imagined that an impromptu campus visit would affect the next big stage of my life."

How did you choose your major?

I was fortunate enough to have a chance to experience and explore the education profession before I even stepped foot on Concordia’s campus. My high school offered a new College in the Schools (CIS) teacher education course my senior year, which gave me the opportunity to student teach in a middle school classroom for an entire year. Prior to taking this course, teaching was on my mind because of the many teachers that had positively impacted my life.

As for the subject matter, science had always been my favorite subject in high school and my 10th grade biology teacher probably had the biggest impact on my life, so I hoped to follow in his footsteps. The moral of the story is that if you are interested in a career, try and gain as much comparable experience as you can in that field of study to see if it is truly right for you.

What advice would you give to a prospective student from the Twin Cities?

As a student from the Twin Cities, I would advise other students from the Minneapolis region to not be afraid to look beyond the big universities that are close. With more than half of the faculty and staff having graduated from schools in the Twin Cities, it was as if my high school was almost pushing its students to stay in the Twin Cities for higher education. But there are many great options beyond the Twin Cities, colleges that are unique and offer different opportunities than the ones in that area. Expand your horizons and look past your comfort zone; you may just find the college of your dreams.

Do you have any favorite professors or classes?

As a sophomore, I haven’t taken too many classes, but of the ones I have taken Biology 121 and Spanish 212 are among my favorites so far. As for professors at Concordia, you will find that all the faculty and staff work toward the common goal of helping each individual student succeed in the way that is best for them. Three professors that have helped me do that include Dr. Carol Pratt in the biology department, Dr. Mark Jensen in the chemistry department, and Dr. Peter Haberman in the music department. Each of these professors has helped me and continues to help me in various ways in coming closer to achieving my goals and, for that, I am extremely grateful.

What do you like best about being a Cobber?

What I like best is the incredible community of Cobbers. I work in the Alumni Call Center and have had the opportunity to converse with Cobbers of all ages and walks of life. Sometimes the only unifying factor between us is the fact that we are both Cobbers, but that is often enough for us to have deep and meaningful conversations. Becoming a Cobber means that you are now a part of the biggest family you might ever be a part of and, like any other family, we all care and look out for each other. This is something that I feel is unique to Concordia and something I never want to lose.

What are some of your favorite Concordia memories?

My favorite Concordia memories would not have happened if I had not put myself out there and joined the groups that I did during my freshman year. Of these memories, spending time with my friends late at night in our dorms and my experiences during band tour stand out in my mind. While on tour, I was able to meet high schoolers that reminded me of myself, which was fun because I was able to show them what band is like at the college level. I also made lasting memories with my bandmates, not only of playing music together but also of us getting to know one another. One final memory that stands out would be when I sang at the freshman talent show, Frosh Frolics. Singing in front of hundreds of people is something that I never would have done while in high school and if it had not for my Orientation Club I never would have done it during my freshman year of college. However, because I took a chance and decided to get to know my Orientation Club, I can now proudly say that I performed at the 2019 Frosh Frolics. It is a memory that I will never forget.

Published October 2020