Ripon nurtured ‘growth mindset’ to advance career of Jeri Belongia Loewe ’96
Being a student-athlete was important to Jeri Belongia Loewe ’96 of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and it brought her here to Ripon College. “Ripon was close to home, and Coach Julie Johnson sold me!” Loewe says. “Her energy and passion made me want to be on her teams. I later learned that her leadership and character would become something I aimed to duplicate in my own life.”
She says being a member of the women’s basketball and softball teams at Ripon College also taught her about how she wanted to live her life. “Julie taught us commitment, hard work and accountability, and most importantly she rooted these things in love and acceptance,” Loewe says.
Loewe majored in biology and minored in psychology at Ripon. She first worked in the manufacturing industry doing research and development and process improvement. She left seven years later to pursue her original passion of health care. She earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. She was in the first graduating class of a newly developed Accelerated Program for students already in possession of a bachelor’s degree to earn their BSN in one calendar year.
As a registered nurse, she worked in public health for 12 years. Then, in 2016, she helped create a new position within the local private healthcare system which would link together primary care and behavioral health.
“As a behavioral health care navigator for Agnesian Healthcare, I helped develop and implement a depression screening process as well as advocated for integrative health at all points of the healthcare system,” Loewe says. “Now, in my new role as project manager in Performance Excellence, I hope to use my skills in process improvement and my passion for prevention along with a love and empathy for people to continue make our healthcare systems better and our communities stronger.”
She adds, “Ripon College taught me to have a growth mindset (before ‘growth mindset’ was even a thing!). My professors helped me to ask meaningful questions and then seek answers. At Ripon, I was encouraged to be an active learner, critically thinking and challenging the status quo. It prepared me well for a career in quality improvement. I am proud to be a lifelong learner and a member of the Ripon College family.”