Detail: How Your Gift Helps

Laura Niederer '18

Laura Niederer '18

"Change is inevitable...embrace it and develop yourself along with it."
Laura Niederer, a Marywood scholarship recipient, reflected on how her time at Marywood helped her change and grow as a person.

Laura Niederer '18 was a Nutrition and Dietetics major and scholarship recipient at Marywood. She excelled in her studies while also being heavily involved on campus, which included roles such as...

  • President of the Honors Program Committee<blockquote>
  • President of “GetFruved,” a fruits and vegetables club that promotes nutrition wellness and stress management
  • President of the Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Recipient of the Velmabelle Cornford Scholarship by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation.

Laura articulated the changes and growth she experienced while at Marywood as a speaker at the 2018 Scholarship Lucheon:

Sister Mary Persico, members of the Board of Trustees, administrators, faculty, staff, fellow students and benefactors of Marywood University, good afternoon and welcome.

My name is Laura Niederer and, to begin, I’d like to tell everyone a little about myself as both a student and as a person, reminiscing on how I got here today, and how I did not.

This past December, I received my Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics with a Citation in Honors and continue to be an active member of the campus community at Marywood. I also currently have the pleasure of being the President of Marywood GetFruved and the Honors Program Club here on campus.

As a person, I’d like to describe myself as self-motivated and never without a plan. I prefer to dedicate myself to a goal and streamline my focus. However, I’ve also come to learn of the extreme value and power of adapting to change and embracing self-development.

For example, I knew I’ve wanted to become a Registered Dietitian since I was a junior in high school.

In knowing that, I sought a University that would offer a great program in Nutrition with the ability to combine my education with a dietetic internship through what’s called a Coordinated program.

I sought a school that would recruit me to play field hockey and offered it at the Division 3 level.

I sought a smaller university on a beautiful campus that was affordable and would offer great education.

I was lucky to find all of these great things in Marywood and was thrilled to have found a home away from home. So thrilled in fact, Marywood was the one and only University I applied to.

As my first semester started, I was thrilled to be involved in everything I could have ever wanted in college. I was a part of a talented and motivated field hockey team, I was doing well in classes, and making new friends every day.

However, this euphoria would soon begin to slip away as my priorities began to change…

The joy of being a member of the field hockey team was becoming more distant as my interests in maintaining strong academics and becoming involved in extracurricular activities intensified. I am not saying that balancing these three things is impossible. In fact, it is very possible. However, it just was not for me.

All in all, the sport I had played for 10 years and had been recruited to play at the collegiate level no longer brought me the same joy it had in the past. 3 games into the season… I decided to quit… and it proved to be the most difficult decision of my life. No one likes to quit, no one likes to admit they have quit, but I had to embrace this change and let myself develop.

Thereafter, doors soon opened. Many doors. Upon an absence in leadership within Marywood’s Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, I nominated myself for President. Unsure of how to be a leader, but confident in my passion for the club and I decided to walk through the open door and remained club President for the next year and a half.

During my sophomore year, my priorities had changed again, leading me to the decision to not apply for the Coordinated Program in Nutrition, that would combine my internship with my degree, saving me A LOT of time. I had decided that separating my education from my supervised clinal hours would be the best step for me. Ultimately, I changed my mind. No one likes to admit they changed their mind on this big of a decision, but I had to embrace this change.

However, despite this decision, doors once again opened. I discovered many great internships along the East Coast that would emphasize my love for research and public health. Recently, I was accepted to intern at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. What a door to have opened!

To everyone in the room who has donated. Thank you. You have not only supported my ability to study at a great University that has helped me realize my fullest potentials and discover my best self but are constantly supporting countless others to do so too.

So, my message today, is to let yourself develop, and let Marywood help you do so.

I want you to sign up and quit and persevere and pursue a dream and change it and go back to it and change it again because that is life!

I came to Marywood as an athlete and I just left as athletic.

I came to Marywood on a scholarship and I left as a scholar.

I came to Marywood as a reluctant follower, I left as a confident leader, Giving a speech! I could have never imagined this….

Change is inevitable, please embrace it and develop yourself along with it.

And lastly, upon these developments and difficult decisions, remember that Marywood will always open doors for you. So please…walk through them!

But… as every Marywood student always does, please remember to kindly hold it for the person behind and walk along with them, as we can only develop our best selves, together.


Laura will work at her internship and sit for her registered dietician's exam. She plans on earning a doctoral degree in public health nutrition in the future.

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