Gustie of the Week: Brenna Germscheid

Kaitlyn DoolittleStaff Writer

As a first-generation college student at a private institution, Senior Brenna Germscheid wasn’t sure what to expect from her time at Gustavus Adolphus College. However, with resilience and a dedication to finding a community, Germscheid was able to make the most of her time on the hill. 

My time at Gustavus has looked very different from year to year. I am a first generation college student so going to college was very scary for my parents and I, since neither of us really knew what to expect, especially for a private college,” Germscheid said. 

Similar to most students on campus, the Covid-19 pandemic did not help Germscheid find her place in the greater Gustavus community. “Of course there was the struggle with Covid and online classes being a new thing for all of us. It was around then that I really started to pull back from things I was involved in and found myself just not enjoying school all that much,” said Germscheid. 

As soon as restrictions were lifted, Germscheid was eager to join organizations and fulfill her time with on-campus events. “I dove head first into all of my involvements and schoolwork and refound my love and appreciation for everything I was in,” said Germscheid. 

Some of Germscheid’s activities include singing in the Gustavus Choir, volunteering with the Alpha Sigma Tau sorority, and advocating for women’s rights in the Women’s Action Coalition. 

Germscheid is grateful for her time in the Gustavus Choir and the different experiences it brought to her life. “The people in the Gustavus Choir are amazing and I’ve met some of my best friends through it. It has also given me amazing opportunities to sing in places such as Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco,” Germscheid said. 

[Germscheid is] a gem! Deeply committed to her work inside and outside the classroom, Brenna always carries herself with poise and purpose. And she does it every single day with a smile,” director of Gustavus Choir Dr. Brandon Dean said. 

Though joining was a last-minute decision, Germscheid holds dear memories with her sorority. “My sisters are the kindest and most amazing people I’ve met and it really is a family. It also gives me so many opportunities to volunteer and give back to the St. Peter community,” Germscheid said. 

“Brenna perfectly embodies what it means to be a Gustie. She is passionate, driven, kind, considerate, committed, and never complains when the time comes to step up as a leader and get the hard work done. She is involved in so many areas on campus and has made her life count during her time at Gustavus,” Co-President of Inter-Greek Council Gabrielle Lavan said.

While her sisterhood is a safe space, Germscheid enjoys having an environment specifically for sharing her thoughts on feminist activism. “I love being a part of a group focused on advocating for women especially during a crucial time like now. Having a space to share ideas and learn how to advocate for women all around the world has been amazing for me,” Germscheid said. 

Germscheid is also a welcoming face to prospective students as an on-campus tour guide. 

“Being able to be the first face many future Gusties see is so much fun and rewarding. I love the admissions team and all my fellow tour guides a ton and I look forward to all of the big Admission Day events where we have tons of potential students,” Germscheid said. 

In comparison to her feelings of belonging in the culture of Gustavus, Germscheid had an easier time finding her area of study in the sciences. “Ever since I was little I loved learning about the sciences, especially biology. When I was in high school I really grew an interest in medical science, especially a focus on disease biology. I also spend a lot of time outdoors, camping and hiking, and am really passionate about environmental justice, so I know environmental studies would be a great fit for me to study,” said Germscheid. 

Germscheid was able to apply her passion for the sciences in her most recent internship experience. “I was a research and development intern at 3M in Maplewood, MN. I was able to spend a lot of one on one time with top researchers there and be mentored by them during the 3 months I was there,” said Germscheid. 

Germscheid’s future will consist of a similar passion for research and collaboration with her fellow scientists “I want to pursue medical research, specifically research on hereditary disease, working to find possible cures. Otherwise I would also love to work in the field of conservation science and educate people about the need to conserve our natural resources,” Germscheid said. 

Similar to the skillsets learned in a lab setting, Germscheid encourages her fellow Gusties to experiment and embrace the unknown. “Don’t be afraid of the unknown. If you want to join a student org, a class, a music group, or a sports team don’t question if you are good enough or if you will fit in. The best thing you can do is try. Don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way if you need it, there are more than enough people on this campus that are more than willing to help. You will find your people eventually,” Germscheid said.