The Gustavian Weekly

Sophomore Jill Scheel strikes a balance | The Gustavian Weekly

By Maggie Sotos Staff Writer | January 16, 2009 | Variety

Sarah Cartwright</em>

Photo by: Sarah Cartwright

Sitting still, Jill Marie Scheel might look like any other Gustie sophomore. She sports straightened hair, a book in her hands, loves to snack on puppy chow and always wears a friendly smile. But inside this young lady, two polar opposite forces battle for control.

Jill, a native of Hector, Minnesota, perfectly demonstrates the left-brain—right-brain duality of a liberal arts education. On the right side, Jill devours the hard sciences. A self-described type-A personality and undeclared chemistry major, Jill is on a pre-pharmacy track here at Gustavus. “I’ve always wanted a health career,” said Jill, citing her sister Katie, a 28-year-old registered nurse and Gustavus grad, as a source of inspiration.

On the left side, however, Jill savors music. A pianist for fourteen years and a soprano section leader of Chapel Choir, Jill enjoys the flute, percussion and yearns to study the cello. “When I was three or four, I remember my older brother Adam getting mad at me because I was playing ‘Heart and Soul’ at the piano and he hadn’t taught me how,” she said.

It is hard to believe that a woman who lists The New Pornographers as one of her favorite artists also aspires to become a health care professional, but such is the delightful paradox that is this talented young Gustie.

During the year, Jill also keeps herself occupied with Pre-Health Club and Africa Partners Medical (APM). This past November, she chaired the Advertising Committee of the Battle of the Majors, the fledgling group’s largest event to-date (incidentally, those BOM buttons were Jill’s baby project). “She is a very dedicated member of APM,” said the organization’s founder, Senior Chemistry Major Vwaire Orhurhu. “The immersed contribution of Jill—as well as other members—to BOM was impeccable and outstanding.” Vwaire credits Jill’s creative advertising with the event’s high turnout.

“We hope to make the Battle of the Majors an annual match and gain more campus recognition,” Jill said. “We were very excited, because it was the first time APM pulled off a campus-wide event.”

Jill was not always so involved in clubs and organizations. During her first year at Gustavus, she kept a fairly open schedule. “But I took the involvement fair this year very seriously,” she said with a laugh.

So what is on the horizon for this outstanding young student? In addition to pharmaceuticals, Jill says teaching music lessons would be enjoyable. In the meantime, Jill is spending the month job shadowing at Soderlund Drug in St. Peter, as well as the hospital pharmacy at Immanuel St. Joseph Hospital in Mankato. Both positions took months to seek out and secure.

But January Interim Experience is also a time for the multi-talented Scheel to relax. To this end, she loves Jane Austen, the occasional chick flick, the Twilight series, Facebooking more often than she wishes and accomplishing her secret ambition: “I’ve always wanted to learn the dance from Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The whole thing, beginning to end.”

But will Jill’s left and right brain work together to accomplish such lofty aspirations?  Next time you are getting a prescription filled, keep your eyes peeled for a zombie dancer.