Niko Wallace

Expected Graduation: Spring of 2020

Major: Chemical Engineering

What are some of your hobbies and interests?

“I like to do lots of things. My favorites include soccer, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, hiking, traveling, snowboarding, wakeskating, playing the piano, and cooking.”

What is your favorite view in Duluth? 

“My favorite view in Duluth takes place in the fall at the top of Ely’s Peak. From the top, you can see for miles. And combined with the cool autumn breeze and colors, it is absolutely breathtaking.”

What do you like about the community at Newman?

“I like the community of Newman because of the true relationships you can build there. I can tell the people of Newman are sincere in every sense of the word. They genuinely care about me and are a people I can be around that always push me to be better. The community of Newman has become a team I can run with through the journey of life. We build each other up each day. And, to have a group of friends in college that genuinely care for you, is critical. They humble me every day by their immediate desire to serve those around them, and it generates an environment like no other. To me, the Newman center here in Duluth is not a community but a family. One that lives to grow stronger in faith and love by uplifting and serving those around them.”

Why should other students at UMD come to an event? 

“There are so many events and things going on at college all the time. Between the Newman events, sports games, different clubs, and intramurals it can be hard to decide which event to go to. From experience, I can say I have never walked away from a Newman event feeling disappointed or as if it was a waste of time. In fact, most of my fondest memories of college are of Newman events. Whether it be Mass, Bible Study, Adoration, weekend retreats, or special events, I always seem to walk away with an overwhelming sensation of true joy and peace: something I haven’t found anywhere else on campus. On top of that, accepting the call from Christ to attend the Newman events has changed me tremendously as a person. Christ has used Newman to shape me into and individual I never knew I could become.”

What advice would you give Catholic high school seniors who are anxious about college next year? 

“The jump from high school to college can be very frightening at times. There are so many uncertainties to worry about. If you’re a person feeling anxious and nervous about the upcoming year, first know that you are not the only one. Second, head over to Newman. It’s a great place to meet good people. Having good friends to walk with through that initial transition into college will really help diminish any anxiety you may be feeling. Everyone is super kind, and it’s easy to meet new people. Especially if you’re someone like me who is more introverted. Most of the time all you have to do is show up and people will just start sparking conversation with you. Some of my strongest relationships have come from people I met at Newman. I encourage you to think of all the Newman strangers as friends you haven’t met yet. It helped me a lot in getting connected with the people around me when transitioning from high school to college.”