Pinnacle Q&A: Michelle Schultheis, the 2024 Florham Campus Pinnacle

By Kenna Caprio

April 30, 2024 — Next year, Michelle Schultheis will complete her Master of Arts in Teaching through the QUEST (Quality in Education, Schools and Teaching) Program at FDU. “Afterwards, I want to work at a church or school, where I can help foster a positive and welcoming environment filled with love and joy.” But first up, representing the Florham Campus students in the Class of 2024 at graduation.

A young woman wearing a red dress leans against a wrought iron staircase banister.

FDU: Why did you decide to study education and creative writing?  

MS: I want to leave a positive and lasting impact on people. I love helping people learn and reach their fullest potential. I want to shape and uplift minds of future generations. I chose creative nonfiction writing so I can share my personal journey with and love of my Catholic faith through stories.

FDU: Can you share a particularly challenging academic project or assignment that taught you a valuable lesson?

MS: When I was creating my honors thesis podcast, “Called To Be Love,” I had a wonderful idea, but felt stressed that my project would never be finished and that it wouldn’t be worthwhile. I worried that the podcast wouldn’t be perfect and that it wouldn’t have a positive impact.

Finally, I took a breath and asked for God’s guidance. I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome of my project, and I realized that I don’t have to expect perfection from myself.

FDU: Which college experience do you treasure the most?  

MS: Senior year, I served as president of the Florham Campus Student Government Association as well as president of the Catholic Campus Ministry. I learned about what it means to love others and to help people in everyday situations.

FDU: What was a defining career or academic moment for you?

MS: Creating my podcast for my thesis. On the podcast, I talked about my own journey of rediscovering Christ’s love and mercy within my life. I invited listeners into a place of reflection and growth, where I encouraged them to be open to God and to be reminded of their worth and dignity.

I’m grateful for my thesis podcast because it not only helped listeners in their own lives, but also helped me to grow in my faith.

FDU: What’s your biggest, shoot-for-the-moon dream?

MS: To work for the Culture Project or the Theology of the Body (TOB) Institute.

FDU: What is your FDU legacy?

MS: I hope that I made everyone that I encountered feel valued and that they have a purpose here.

I want to uplift others and remind them of their inherent dignity and worth, while also encouraging them to become the best versions of themselves.

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