Emma Lohman – Staff Writer
As soon as First-year Malia Kabis set foot on the Gustavus campus, it felt like home away from her home in Maple Grove, Minnesota.
“When I toured Gustavus, it really just gave me a comforting feeling. I knew I didn’t want to go to a big school where I couldn’t really talk to my professors if I needed to… And [Gustavus] was known for its science and music programs,” Kabis said.
The last two factors were important to Kabis, as she won a music scholarship and is double majoring in exercise physiology and Spanish. After she graduates, she hopes to become a physical therapist.
“I always knew I wanted to do something in the medical field specifically because of my care for other people.”
Kabis is also planning to study abroad in Peru next spring. Machu Picchu is one of the first Latin American landmarks she remembers learning about, and she is looking forward to having the opportunity to tour it.
“I’m really excited,” Kabis said. “I’ve always loved Spanish and being able to speak another language with someone—I think that’s super cool.”
Another one of Kabis’s passions is music. Kabis is a member of the Choir of Christ Chapel and takes voice lessons with Dr. Melissa Williams.
“Malia’s zest for life is contagious. She has such great energy and a love for singing that makes her so much fun to work with,”
-Dr. Melissa Williams
Besides her involvement in Chapel Choir, Kabis keeps busy as a manager for the Gustavus Gymnastics team. In this role, she works with the team three days a week and goes to all their meets. Kabis was in dance classes for eight years and was a gymnast up until her senior year of high school, and she is glad that gymnastics can still be a part of her life in college.
In her free time, Kabis enjoys photography, sketching, fitness and playing sports as well.
“You can probably see me throwing around something outside with my friends—frisbee, football, whatever it is,” Kabis said.
Meeting new people through classes and extracurriculars has been one of the highlights of this year for Kabis.
“The people [at Gustavus] are just so kind and welcoming,” Kabis said.
She also appreciates the beauty of the Gustavus campus and being able to watch the sunsets from the top floor of Norelius.
One of Kabis’s favorite courses that she has taken this year was her First Term Seminar, Music and Nature, taught by Professor Esther Wang. The course involves examining different types of music from pop to classic to see how composers have found inspiration in nature to create some of their most beautiful and lasting works.
“[Kabis] is a bright spot in my day. She is open, kind, funny, smart. FTS was a special group this year and [Kabis] was one who made the class extra memorable,”
Although online learning was a challenge for Kabis in the beginning, she was able to get through it and feels prepared for her next three years at Gustavus.
“I’m really proud of myself for figuring out my stuff right now as a [first-year]. I feel like a lot of people struggle for a little bit in [figuring out] what they want to do and what they’re majoring in and if they’re minoring and professions and all that. And I have my majors, I’m studying abroad…I struggled for a little bit in the beginning too, but now I feel good about knowing what I want to do. I know what classes to take finally. It’s been a huge weight off my shoulders ever since I got it figured out,” Kabis said.