Editor's Note: The following first appeared in UNI Today, UNI Alumni Association’s Alumni Magazine. UNI Today is published during the fall, winter and spring. To see complete issues of UNI Today, visit unialum.org/uni-today.
University of Northern Iowa sophomore Jarrod Lister believes he can get through anything. And, he’s probably right.
As a 16-year old, Jarrod was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a disease of the colon. The Ankeny, Iowa, native underwent two years of treatment before doctors determined that drugs and medications were ineffective in treating the disease.
To combat the life-threatening complications of the disease, surgery was required. Just months before enrolling at UNI, Jarrod endured a series of three operations that removed his colon and saved his life. This battle strengthened Jarrod’s determination to push through the rigors of earning a college degree.
“It’s a lot of hard work to continue through something like this,” Jarrod said. “I just want to apply myself as much as I can and show that nothing is going to keep me down.”
“Faculty has been spectacular during this time,” said Jarrod. “All my professors have been nothing but helpful. They are very understanding. They just want to help me in any way that they can to continue my education and do as well as I can.”
Scholarships also play a major role in Jarrod’s education. He received the Alderman Scholarship, which assists needy, worthy and appreciative students within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (CSBS).
“Receiving this scholarship has really taken a lot of that worry about money off my shoulders,” Jarrod said. “My focus has shifted from how am I going to pay for this into how am I going to make this the best learning experience I can have.”
Jarrod, a Psychology major, spent his summer as the media director at Riverside Lutheran Bible Campus. Last fall, he served as a teacher’s assistant for Professor Rowena Tan.
The University of Northern Iowa has launched a $40 million scholarship initiative that concludes 2018. To date, more than $20 million has been raised. To participate in this initiative and help support students like Jarrod, visit uni-foundation.org.