Student finds passion for legal studies

Mount Mercy may not be Harvard, but for one Mount Mercy senior she has discovered the path to her career choice through her legal studies minor here at Mount Mercy.

Stephanie Russell, a senior English major, has had this interest in the area of legal studies since she was young.

“I have always had an interest in law, it is something that has been on my mind since I was a kid,” says Russell.  

“One of the things I have thought about is mediation. I think I could be pretty good at solving disputes between people.”

Russell grew up in Clarence, Iowa; only 30 minutes east of Cedar Rapids on U.S. Highway 30 on a small farm, and admits to not doing a whole lot of farm chores.  

“My chore when I was younger, to play with the cats and dogs all day. I guess you could call me a lazy farm girl, but that I considered it work that needed to be done.”

Even though Russell grew up in a small town, she really has grown attached to Cedar Rapids.  In fact, she hopes that one day she can live in Cedar Rapids permanently, maybe even in the Czech Village/New Bohemia area.

One thing that has helped her become attached to Cedar Rapids is her recent summer internship at the National Czech and Slovak Museum.  Russell was a visitors service intern, working at the information desk, putting together a policies and procedures manual, and working with volunteers to train them on the computer and to give tours.  

“Most of the volunteers at the National Czech and Slovak Museum are 75 and older, so there was a lot of training on the computer.”

When asked about some of her favorite moments at the Museum, Russell describes how she loved seeing the reaction of the people walking into the museum.

“There is a 6 foot by 8 foot chandelier in the main entrance and people just awe in amazement when they walk in,” said Russell.  Russell also had the chance to point out to visitors that the floodwaters of 2008 reached the bottom of the chandelier.  

A common question that Russell received was regarding her heritage.“Most people would come in and ask me, ‘Are you Czech?’  And I would reply, ‘Nope, I’m German.’”

Russell has become recently engaged to her boyfriend, Adam, who is a 2011 alumnus of Mount Mercy University. They have not yet set a date for the wedding. Russell is looking forward to the journey she has ahead of her.  

This Student Profile was written by Ben Wood, Editor in Chief, and was originally published in the Mount Mercy Times in the September 12, 2012, issue.