The Gregorian Institute Shield, composed of the crossed gold and silver keys of the Papal Insignia, an open book with the words 'Via Veritas Vita' ('The Way, the Truth, and the Life') written on its pages, three golden six-sided stars on a red banner, and a Germanic cross.

at BENEDICTINE COLLEGE

WATCH: Mission Drove Raven’s Lab Innovation


The Benedictine mission of community, faith and scholarship transformed culture in Europe at the dawn of Western Civilization and Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, believes it can do the same in America today. To Transform Culture in America, Benedictine College plans to Form its students deeply in the mission, Advance its mission through alumni in every walk of life, and Extend its mission regionally and nationally.

“I am Marianne Jennings and I’m made for Greatness.”

That’s how senior nursing major Marianne Jennings ends her discussion of how Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, changed her plans as an 18 year old and made her a woman who has innovated a microscope technique for others.

The college’s mission of community, faith, and scholarship transformed her and will launch her to bring that mission to others. “Benedictine has helped me be confident in my faith and learn how to incorporate my faith into every aspect of my life,” she said. “Treating every person like they are Christ is extremely important.”

Watch the video above or at YouTube. Her words from the video follow.

I decided to come to Benedictine College after visiting my brother. I had already picked a college and picked out a roommate and everything. I came here and I spent a weekend with him and it just felt like home. I just knew that this was where I was supposed to be.

Ever since then I’ve known that I made the right decision.

My name is Marianne Jennings. I am a senior from Lenexa, Kansas, and I am studying nursing. My sophomore year, I was taking microbiology as a prerequisite from the nursing program. And we had to differentiate the stains under a microscope — so, if it’s purple or pink will tell you if it’s a positive or a negative. I couldn’t see the colors under the microscope because I’m colorblind. I missed them all.

I was talking to my friend Audrey in Haverty one day, kind of telling her I love microbiology, but since I’m colorblind I couldn’t, because there is so much to do with color. So we just got to googling and seeing if there was anything for people of colorblindness that would help them see what’s going on under a microscope and it turns out there’s not. There are the colorblind glasses of course, but there’s nothing specific to a laboratory setting. So we just started talking about creating something that would work for people with colorblindness, for students, for professionals, for anyone that is going to be in that laboratory setting working with microscopes and stains.

We were able to get funding for a Discovery Day project for just a pair of glasses and I tried them and it worked. So right now we have just been testing with someone wearing the glasses and then looking through the microscope lens just to see if it would be compatible with the lighting. This year we received additional funding for a Discovery Day project, so we are going to purchase another pair of colorblind glasses and we are going to cut the lenses down roughly to the size of what a microscope lens would be and then we are going to try and create basically a sleeve that would go over the microscope lens. It would be very nice to have just one piece of technology that you can put on or remove from the microscope depending on whether a person is colorblind or not.

Working on this project has opened my eyes to working on something that I am really passionate about and finding a problem and finding a way to solve a problem as best I can and I think that that will also be applicable with nursing. Hopefully, after college, I can find a job on a mother-baby unit and then, dream job, eventually, down the road, I would love to get my master’s or my doctorate in women’s health and be a nurse practitioner and get a midwife’s license.

Benedictine has helped me be confident in my faith and learn how to incorporate my faith into every aspect of my life. Especially with nursing, I think faith-based care and treating every person like they are Christ is extremely important.

I received multiple scholarships from Benedictine when I was a Freshman. It was the decision for me almost whether to go to college or not. They were so willing to help me find a way to come here. It wasn’t even just that I wanted to be here — it was that they wanted me here. Without the generosity of the donors I might not have been able to attend college in the first place and I wouldn’t have had the amazing experiences that I have been gifted here.  I don’t think I would be the same person that I am at the end of my journey here as I was when I was 18 years old looking for a home.

I am Marianne Jennings and I’m made for Greatness.


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Erin Lopez