Centennial Class Profiles
Hometown: Silverdale, PA
Campus Activities: track and field, cross country, student diplomat for prospective students, volunteer work (such as the Special Olympics and Relay for Life)
As a nutrition major at Messiah College, Jacklyn VanArsdale has discovered a way to use her education to fulfill her passion for people and service. From the very beginning of her time at Messiah as a first-year student during Welcome Week, she remembers the rewarding experience of setting up a carnival for inner city kids. “I love the chances I have been given to serve,” she says, “and making connections with people is so valuable.” Her passion continued to be evident throughout the next four years here as she volunteered in multiple events, such as the Special Olympics, all while remaining a committed member of the Track and Field and Cross Country teams.
For VanArsdale, deciding to major in nutrition was an opportunity to combine her passion for people and service with her love for nutrition. This career path will allow her to live out her calling, and she has already begun that process while still a student. Her most memorable experience in doing so has been her chance to study abroad in Africa. VanArsdale accompanied one of her nutrition professors to Burkina Faso where they did groundwork research on a plant that the United States is interested in using for childhood nutrition. She describes her trip as an excellent opportunity to gain new understanding as well as to serve. “One of the top reasons I chose Messiah was because of the great study abroad programs they have here,” VanArsdale says, although she was drawn to Messiah for other reasons as well. “I noticed an atmosphere of friendliness that I wanted to be a part of, and I also saw Messiah as a place where I could have a crisis of faith and move through it—I wanted to be challenged in my faith so that it could grow.”
After she graduates, VanArsdale has an internship lined up at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Eventually, she would like to pursue a masters in counseling or nutrition so she can one day do outpatient nutrition and build long term relationships with people and see them meet their goals. As far as her next step at the Hershey Medical Center, VanArsdale is excited to think on her feet as she uses her education in nutrition and her passion for service to meet the needs of those whom are hospitalized. “Littlest impacts make the biggest impact,” said VanArsdale. “And as I leave Messiah, I hope that the younger classes will continue on in their studies with a part of them that has been impacted by the class of 2010.”