The Best of the Barons sought students making a difference both on and off campus, and nominee Andrew Rankin is doing just that.
The biology major from Steubenville is involved in multiple extracurricular activities. He is co-lead for Works of Mercy’s nursing home ministry, a member of Disciples of the Word household, a personal trainer in the Finnegan Fieldhouse and a biology tutor.
In addition to his many extracurricular activities, Rankin also is a nurse’s assistant in a nursing home off campus. He shared that he was able to see what a nurse’s job was actually like.
“I gained a lot of respect for what nurses do and what the profession does,” he said.
However, it was through this experience that he learned that the nurse’s role was not a fit for him. Rankin decided that he wanted to have more of an impact in the patient’s life, such as helping with decision making and discerning what problems the patient was having.
“I want to be more in preventative care,” Rankin explained.
He described that he wanted to be able to “cut off the disease before it spreads too far.”
His hope for after college is to become a medical doctor or a chiropractor.
“I really enjoy leading,” said Rankin, explaining that a doctor does have more of a leadership role. “I actually enjoy that team dialogue, trying to find problems and solve them.”
Extracurricular activities have also been an enjoyable learning experience for Rankin.
“I’ve always liked being involved in different activities, keeping myself busy, broadening my horizons,” he said.
Rankin shared that, through these experiences, he encounters different perspectives and aspects of life. He then tries to see them as he is supposed to see them and how God sees them.
“I try to incorporate all the different aspects of life into whatever it is that I’m doing,” said Rankin.
He also encouraged students to become more involved in ministries and groups.
“I would really recommend other students to get involved in other activities, not just on campus, but also off campus,” said Rankin.
A lot of it has to come from one’s own initiative, admitted Rankin, as one has to step out of his comfort zone. He emphasized the importance of seeing other people’s perspectives and connecting with them on their level.
“The only way to do that is if you’ve seen what the person has seen and felt what that person has felt,” Rankin explained.
He shared that his own experience of being involved in off-campus activities showed him life outside of Franciscan University. Rankin said that he is able to work with other individuals who might have completely different beliefs, and he can understand situations that other people are going through more fully.
He also encouraged students not to confine themselves to having a job just on campus.
“You can learn things you would never think you would learn,” said Rankin.
While one is able to see the benefits and downfalls of different lifestyles, it is important to take those experiences back to campus and to converse with friends, explained Rankin. He also challenges people to see how those experiences fit within the university.