Early Dismissal for Cejka

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

SL native to receive BVU diploma after only three years

Senior Robyn Cejka wants to become a doctor someday. She does not see dollar signs, though, just the opportunity to serve others. After only three years at Buena Vista University, Cejka will be graduating this May. Her time here on campus may have been short, but her experiences and opportunities, especially in volunteerism and traveling, will probably stay with her for a long time to come.

Cejka did not travel far from home by choosing to attend BVU. She is from Storm Lake and liked BVU because of the close proximity to her family. Her parents are John and Kyle Cejka, and she is the youngest of three children. She had no pressure from her family on where to go after high school, since she was the first one in her family to go to college.

When Cejka, a biology major, first arrived at BVU, she quickly became involved in Circle K and therefore volunteerism. Her time as president of the group just recently ended.

"I admire her drive and tenacity," Maggie Baker, director of community service and internships, said. "She puts her mind to something, and she accomplishes it with flying colors. We were fortunate to have one of her focuses be service."

Through her involvement in community service and through the travel opportunities she has taken advantage of, Cejka knows she wants to be a doctor so she can serve people. She is not in it for the money and feels working as a doctor in a third world nation would give her the opportunity to serve others while traveling, as well.

Dr. James Hampton, associate professor of biology, said Cejka's "desire to become a doctor comes from her heart and not her head."

Cejka had hardly traveled before attending BVU. She has since traveled on three Alternative Week Offsite Learning (AWOL) trips and on the Interim trip to Africa last summer. The first time Cejka stepped foot on an airplane was her trip to Jamaica during her freshman year.

"That trip to Jamaica really seemed to have an impact on her life and had her thinking about what she wanted to do, where she wanted to go and the person she wanted to become," Baker said."

The most recent AWOL trip took her to Costa Rica over spring break one month ago. She also served as a site leader for the Minneapolis, Minn., AWOL trip where students volunteered at an AIDS clinic among other things.

"Travel opportunities the University offers are unparalled," Cejka said.

Cejka's other involvements have included the Science Club, SCATE, Swope Hall Council and the off-campus association.

Cejka was a four-sport athlete in high school but decided not to participate in sports while in college. However, she remains active by working out and participating in wellness programs here on campus. She says working out is "a healthy addiction" she has.

Cejka has taught aerobics classes on campus and taken part in and spoken during the women's wellness group meetings, as well as leading floor programs in the residence halls on such topics as nutrition.

Cejka is also one of the finalists for the Senior of the Year Award, which will be awarded at the Academic Banquet at the end of April.

She said she was surprised and excited to be voted by her peers as one of the three female finalists, especially since most of the students she entered BVU with as a freshman are only juniors this year.

Professor of Biology Dr. Gerald Poff and Hampton are two professors that have had an impact on Cejka while at BVU. Cejka is also an academic assistant for Poff. Cejka is appreciative of both of them and the support they have given her as well as the help with recommendations for medical school.

"It makes me believe they think I'd make a good doctor if they're willing to write positive recommendations," Cejka said.

"She's a premier student," Hampton said. "She's very diligent and intelligent, which are a combination professors love. She came to college with a kind of youthful exuberance and developed into a mature intellect."

The only medical school Cejka applied to was the University of Iowa. March 15 was the day she would know if she had been accepted or not. Unfortunately, she learned she was not accepted. Cejka believes her young age might have played a factor in that.

It was hard for Cejka to place the fate of her future in the hands of someone else, when she usually has control over most things. Cejka has not given up on her plans, though, and will take a year off and reapply next year. In the meantime, Cejka would like to move to a small city and work as a personal trainer at a fitness facility.

Those who have worked with Cejka throughout her time at BVU are fairly confident in Cejka and her future.

"She's just a bright young woman," Baker said, "and I'm excited to see the things she is going to do in this world."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: