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Meet Nicholas Surprise ’20

Name: Nicholas Surprise
Major: Biology, Biomedical Concentration
Minor: Music
Graduation date: May 2020
GPA: 3.89
Hometown: Wautoma, Wis.

Organizations and activities:

  • Knights on Broadway
  • Abbey Singers
  • Dudley Birder Chorale
  • Knight Theatre
  • Green Knights for Diabetics
  • Dean’s List – all semesters
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society 
  • Soloist in St. Norbert College Honors Recital – 2018 and 2019
  • St. Norbert College Literary Award for Poetry – 2017


Scholarships and awards:

  • Trustee Scholarship
  • Music Scholarship

Proudest achievement at St. Norbert:

My proudest achievement at St. Norbert was being able to participate in Knight Theatre’s production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” in January 2018. Knight Theatre is an organization on campus that produces a musical each January that is fully student-run. Over the January term, students remain on campus, rehearsing each day. “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” is an incredibly difficult show; however, we were extremely successful. Knight Theatre is special because it allows you to become very close with your peers and work together to create a beautiful work of art in a short period of time.

I am also proud of a more recent achievement. In our developmental biology course, my lab group and I were able to successfully transfer tissue from one species of Planaria (flatworms) into another. We were able to get the tissue transplant to “take” and be incorporated into the body plan of an organism of another species. This may suggest an evolutionary conservation of stem cell pluripotency. We will be continuing our research in the spring semester.

Favorite place on campus:
My favorite place on campus is the Mulva Library, specifically the second-floor study rooms. Because I am often there studying, I have grown fond of the particular characteristics of each study room. I am particularly fond of the study rooms with the large windows that allow for a wide view of the sky, as it is always helpful to study with natural light.

How I feel about my involvement in campus life:
I think that St. Norbert is really unique in that students from a wide variety of backgrounds are able to participate in the same activities and organizations. For instance, while I am a biology major on campus, I am heavily involved in vocal music organizations, which allow me to participate in something I am very passionate about, even though I am not studying it for my major.

Plans for the future:
After graduating St. Norbert College, I plan to move to Madison, Wis., and apply to work at a biotechnology company there for a few years. After that, I plan to apply to graduate school. I have not decided what I want to study in graduate school yet; however, I am currently interested in stem cells and developmental biology.

What I’ll remember most about SNC:
What I’ll remember most about SNC is the faculty and staff who take the time to make lasting impressions on students. The faculty and staff truly care about the students at St. Norbert College and take every opportunity to show students this through their actions. I have been lucky to have become very close to numerous faculty and staff members on campus. This is not something that happens at every institution but is part of what makes St. Norbert special.

What my scholarship means to me:
My scholarship is very important to me because I would not have been able to afford to attend St. Norbert College without it. I have been lucky to have received numerous scholarships throughout my time at St. Norbert, which have allowed me to continue my study. I am very thankful that I have been able to attend St. Norbert because I have been able to acquire an intensive education, make lifelong friendships and collect memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

St. Norbert gives students the opportunity to experience the richness of college life, pursue their dreams and expand their knowledge of the world. Every quarter, the St. Norbert Fund profiles a Standout Student who is making the most of that opportunity.