Maggie Ruopp ’16

In the Johnston Center, she merges her biggest interests—gender, history and media—into one Cultural Studies emphasis. 

Maggie Ruopp ’16 says failure is important.

“If you are trying to be perfect, you will never take risks and you should take good risks. College is a time when you should be failing as much as possible, because there are so many people here who will help you figure out how to succeed.”

An untraditional student from Milton, Vermont who started at Redlands four years after graduating high school, Maggie followed her philosophy to create a rich and diverse experience for herself as a student in the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies.

She loved the idea of “learning for the joy of learning” and shaped her emphasis—Cultural Studies: Gender, History and Media—through a broad set of courses and with instructors who “made her brain light on fire.”

Making the most of her years at Redlands, Maggie served on the Associated Students of the University of Redlands (ASUR) Cabinet, on the search committee for the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and as a peer advisor. She worked as stage manager on student theatre productions, where she enjoyed the juxtaposition of the structured plan against the unknowns of live performance. She has also found opportunities to work in her love of comedy, performing during presentations and at community events.

Maggie said through her leadership role as community director in Bekins Hall, she enjoyed the freedom to be an individual and do what she is passionate about in the community.

“Living in an intentional community allows you to see on a small scale how your actions affect others. We do things by consensus, so you have to listen and find the common ground. This has been important to me and to my academics as well.”

Maggie says she sees post-commencement opportunities everywhere, including graduate school, but hasn’t yet made a decision.

“I am proud and excited of what I have accomplished here. I hope to do work I love, with people I love.”