Although Ella Schlueter is wrapping up their first semester on campus, Schlueter knows they belong here. UToledo is their home.
Schlueter, an arts education student from Hartland, Mich., chose to visit UToledo on a whim, visiting campus on a random day off from high school.
That visit would open Schlueter’s eyes to the experiences that being a Rocket would provide.
“I fell in love with the architecture, community and size of UToledo,” Schlueter said. “The Toledo Museum of Art was something I had not seen at any of the other schools I was looking at, so that really influenced my decision as well.”
Schlueter received not one, but two full ride scholarships to UToledo and had the difficult decision of choosing which one to accept. They were awarded the Jesup Scott Honors College Presidential Scholarship — UToledo’s highest distinction for undergraduate students — and chosen as a Judith Herb College of Education Herb Scholar.
The Presidential Scholarship provided Schlueter with benefits too good to pass up, and features experiences that only a select group of students are offered.
From enjoying a breakfast with The University of Toledo President Gregory Postel to a special Presidential Scholar family weekend, where parents visited campus and met Honors faculty and staff before attending a football game, Presidential Scholars connect inside and outside the classroom. The group of 13 students in various majors and graduating classes all share the common interest of growing up with high standards for their academic success.
“I always knew that I was going to pursue Honors, whether I received a scholarship or not,” Schlueter said. “I love having classes full of people who love to learn.”
From expanding their interest in visual literacy through Honors classes to connecting with their astronomy professor about the behind-the-scenes efforts in creating great lectures, Schlueter is grateful for UToledo’s encouraging environment.
Dr. Heidi Appel, dean of the Jesup Scott Honors College, said she is delighted to watch Schlueter grow from a student to a scholar while building their creative and critical thinking skills.
“It’s been exciting to watch Ella use their fearless intellect and fierce curiosity to explore UToledo,” Appel said. “Their honors interdisciplinary experiences in the arts and humanities are carrying right over into their science courses.”
Schlueter’s career plans were fueled by their eagerness to learn and, by extension, to help others find a passion for learning. They knew for most of their high school career that education was the perfect path for the higher education pursuits.
“Education was something that I found so much enjoyment and fulfillment in and then as I got to my junior and senior year of high school, I needed to narrow down to a subject matter,” Schlueter said. “I eventually settled on art because it was something that I love to do, but also something that I was looking forward to, with my relationship to it changing over time.”
Schlueter is interested in teaching at a high school but is looking forward to student teaching and expanding their experience with different grade levels. Even in their first year on campus, they are eager to become more than an educator, but an influence and mentor to students.
“It’s important that students have the opportunity to see themselves in their mentors, especially being LGBTQA+ and non-binary,” Schlueter said.
“I want to let my future students know that, however you feel, you are valid, you’re seen and you’re represented.”