by Greg Maher
At 21 years old, she seems ready to take on the world. She talks energetically, has a million dollar smile and a personality to match.
Every day she comes to school to take on many tasks. She is a student, an employee and a leader at the University of La Verne. She is senior diversified major, Heidi Rudin, and while she lives a busier life than most college students, she is allowing things to slow down in order to tackle the responsibilities of her senior year at ULV.
“There was a time when I couldn’t live without my day-to-day planner. My life would have been done if I would have lost that. Every hour, or every half hour I had to be somewhere. It was a meeting, class, ASF, sorority things, or something. I would get up early in the morning and sometimes get home at 10 p.m. because of all of the activities. My day-to-day planner was a lifesaver,” said Rudin.
She has been involved at La Verne in many different capacities. Currently, she works at the Student Center Desk and in the mailroom.
“She has been great. She is really on top of things and always knows what’s going on,” said Melissa Jaunal, coordinator of student programs.
Rudin was also an OWL (Orientation Week Leader), which inspired her to apply for the job of orientation co-coordinator.
“I loved being an OWL. It’s the best thing I have done as far as becoming acquainted with La Verne and the family atmosphere here,” Rudin said.
“So many people from different groups, clubs and organizations all came together as one body for one purpose. No matter where everyone was from we all worked together and I think we all learned from it. That’s what made me want to be coordinator, seeing everyone work together,” she said.
Rudin was an ASF Forum member beginning in fall 1994, but resigned after last semester to work on senior tasks.
“I hated student government in high school. I didn’t see how it represented the student body when it was just a popularity contest. When I got to ULV, I realized the student government is there for the students,” she said.
Rudin has lived in the residence halls for four years and has worked at the University every year, including summers, since her sophomore year. Since fall of 1993, she has been a member of Iota Delta sorority.
“I look back and that is such a big reflection, such a big part of my college experience. There are so many memories. I learned what true sisterhood is about. I also learned that hard work can really pay off,” she said.
Rudin was also elected Homecoming Queen this year.
“That was an interesting time. I was very honored and surprised, I didn’t expect it. I was so busy planning the event, I never really got to enjoy it until that Saturday came around. I was just very honored,” she said.
She is just one of many family members who have attended La Verne. Her father, uncle, aunt and three cousins preceded her.
“I heard La Verne stories my whole life, it was a big joke around the house. Who is going to La Verne next? Not me, not me,” said Rudin.
She did come, but as far as keeping it in the family, Rudin’s 19-year-old sister chose to attend Whittier College instead of the family alma mater.
When Rudin started college, she had one goal in mind.
“When I first came to La Verne, all I wanted was to get a degree then get married. I didn’t want to get involved with anything except academics. Then I started to get involved because there was so much ULV offered. I just jumped in head first and I loved it. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done, getting involved at ULV.”
Rudin credits Iota Delta with sparking her involvement in college life.
“Rush was how I got involved. It’s as simple as that. I pledged Iota Delta and the active sisters at the time encouraged me to get involved. They pushed academics as well as student activities. Rush was one of the best things I have done at ULV.”
Rudin’s activities have caused her to reevaluate her original plans.
“Now I’m getting the degree, but I’m not ready to get married just yet,” she said.
Rudin likes the small atmosphere of La Verne, but believes it has its disadvantages as well.
“It’s like a double-edge sword. It’s small and you get to know everyone really well. It feels like a family. On the other side, everyone knows everything about you. Things travel fast through gossip and other means,” she said.
Being so busy, she hardly has a moment to relax. “I love music, hanging out with my friends, and dancing.
Dancing is my favorite thing in the whole world. My schedule is so busy though. I rarely have free time.”
Spending almost all of her time at La Verne, Rudin looks forward to the time she has with her family. “I’ve spent so much time here the past three years, I don’t spend much time outside of ULV. I have worked and lived on campus for the past three years, including summers, I’m consumed by ULV. When I’m not here, I spend my time with my family,” she said.
Rudin’s plans include returning to La Verne to obtain her teaching credential.
“I want to have a teaching job,” said Rudin, whose ideal career would be as an elementary school teacher.
“It’s hard to say anything else. I don’t want to set a specific path. I want to let my life go wherever it takes me,” she said. “I have a lot of philosophies on life, but one of them is to go beyond comfort zones. Don’t let comfort zones hold you back. Test boundaries, don’t always do what is comfortable, allow change to happen. Even though it’s different, it’s the best thing for you. I learned that quickly in college.”
Rudin has many fond memories of La Verne that include classes, events, and experiences. But, now that she is nearing the end of her senior year, Rudin will remember the people she has encountered along the way.
“There is so much to remember. I think I will remember the people more than anything. They have helped me become the person I am today.”