Spring Hill College sparks student leader’s passion for improving healthcare for all

Touring colleges as a high school senior, Dionte Rudolph knew she wanted to attend a school that supported the exploration of her interests and passions, whatever they may be.

By the end of her Spring Hill College tour, in her hometown of Mobile, Alabama, she knew one thing – she wanted to help others.

“When I finished that tour, I was able to recognize that my passions included serving other people with the abilities that God had given me,” Rudolph said. “I had no idea what that looked like exactly, but I believed that Spring Hill would help me figure the rest out, and I was right.”

Every year, Rudolph has received personalized instruction and guidance from Spring Hill College faculty and staff.

“The curriculum is not about just checking classes off a checklist,” Rudolph said. “Right before freshman year started, I was very apprehensive about my course load. One of my advisors assured me that I was more than capable and has made sure to assist me every step of the way from that moment up until now,” she said.

“Professors that I had my very first year at Spring Hill are people that I still go to for advice on everything from what I should take next semester, summer internships and even what jobs I should look into,” Rudolph said.

After taking a diverse course load and having professors who challenged her to broaden her thinking, Rudolph decided to major in health science and minor in sociology. She shifted her focus from becoming a physician’s assistant to studying the policy side of healthcare.  

“I talked to professors, volunteered in the community, took more classes and even went on immersion trips,” Rudolph said. “I realized I wanted to address not only the individual causes of negative health outcomes, but the systemic challenges that lead to recurrent health issues,” she said. “I now want to work on the policy side of healthcare to try to alleviate some of the disparities that are present now.”

Beyond academics, Rudolph has built an impressive resume: Vice President of Spring Hill’s Student Government Association, President of her Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. chapter, senior resident advisor and member of both the Diversity and Inclusion Action Team and Jesuit Refugee Service action team.

The supportive atmosphere on “The Hill” helped bring her out of her shell and into student leadership, she said.  

“What surprised me the most about Spring Hill was how easy it was to find community,” Rudolph said. “As soon as I got to Spring Hill, I was so shocked by how friendly everyone was. Every time I pass by someone, I am greeted with a smile.”

The spirit of mutual respect and love is based on the Jesuit tradition of cura personalis, or care for the whole person:  Spiritually, socially and intellectually. This has been a guiding principle of Spring Hill since its founding as a Jesuit college in 1830.

“At Spring Hill, cura personalis is all around us,” Rudolph said. “It’s about those insightful and intentional conversations that I have had with professors and friends that cause me to want to go deeper. It’s about being coming out of your comfort zone to ask the questions and seek the answers that will ignite your passions so that you can make a positive change. It’s about being ready and willing to use the talents of your own mind, body and spirit to change the communities that you encounter for the greater good,” she said.

The tradition guided Rudolph to her passion.

“No matter how big or small, I think that being compassionate, kind and aware of myself and others will allow me to impact people near and far in ways that I can’t imagine.”

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