Buettner advises students on life at ISU
Published: Thursday, August 23, 2012
Updated: Thursday, August 23, 2012 23:08
Indiana State University honors student Renee Buettner has made the most of her time at ISU, studying nursing, involving herself in various organizations and approaching her third year as a peer advisor.
Such involvement is commonplace for Buettner. While attending Althoff Catholic High School in Belleville, Ill., she participated in 13 extracurricular activities including the drama club, bands, choirs, French club and student ambassadors, all the while remaining within the top ten percent of her class.
Choosing the right university for her study posed a difficult decision, Buettner said. After researching ISU and various other colleges in the area, she found herself being drawn to the Wabash Valley campus.
“After a visit in the dead of winter with ten inches of snow on the ground, I realized that it was one of my top two favorites,” she said of ISU. “I knew if I liked it in the dead of winter, then there would not be any issue liking the atmosphere of the campus in the fall or spring.”
The final decision came at the end of her senior year in high school when Buettner received the ISU President’s Scholarship.
“I knew ISU would be my fit,” she said.
During an honors meeting at her freshman orientation was when Buettner said she knew she wanted to become involved. Ever since, she has worked as a peer advisor guiding students just like herself through the honors process.
“Ultimately, we are there as a source for whatever the incoming students need,” she said. “After doing this for two years, and getting ready for my third, there have been many friendships made between myself and my advisees as well as many questions answered.”
Buettner has taken advantage of many other opportunities at ISU. As president of the Presidential Scholars Association, she hosts meetings every month to plan events, such as the Fall Retreat at ISU’s Field Campus.
She is also a member of the Honors Council and a class representative for the Student Nurses Association.
While going to school and being involved, Buettner has picked up a few good ways to manage her time, including the use of a daily planner.
“If I don’t write it down, it usually doesn’t happen,” she said.
Buettner is excited to see what is yet to come.
“It has definitely been an adventure,” she said. “I couldn’t be more excited to keep moving forward with new ideas and faces for the 2012-2013 school year.”
Students interested in the honors program can become involved through orientation and once-a-month campus events, Buettner said. Some annual events include the Welcome Back event, which is during the first or second full week of class and is held at Wolf Field, where pizza and games are offered. Another event is the honors Halloween party, where students are encouraged to dress up.
Buettner said she thinks very highly of the honors program and faculty, and encourages first-year students to try it out.
“The faculty alone makes you feel like you are one of a kind and have a potential all of your own,” she said. Professor Greg “Bierly, the president of our honors program, knows most of the honors students by name and never makes you feel like you are a burden on his time, no matter the questions or conversations you may have.”
Buettner advises students to “get to know your professors and the honors faculty,” she said. “They are a wonderful resource and extremely helpful in about any situation.”
Buettner said she had the opportunity to form a solid career plan with the help of some professors and fellow students, including Bierly, Betsy Frank and the honors faculty.
“Between talking with [Frank] and my other nursing mentors, I have a better idea of how I want to pursue my goal,” she said. “I feel that after this year I will walk out of ISU with my head held high in confidence in myself thanks to the people I have worked with at ISU.”
Buettner found time for an interview with the Statesman between 12-hour shifts at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, where she is currently participating in a student externship on the oncology floor.
She was paired with a nurse who now mentors her during every shift.
“[The mentor] is there to essentially teach me how to be a nurse and get experience while I am still in school,” she said.
Buettner plans to eventually become a nurse practitioner, specializing in pediatric oncology.
“I love working with children,” she said. “Most of these kids are just thankful to be alive and living to their fullest, no matter how sick they are.”
Upon graduating, she hopes to find a job working with patients in a hospital setting and waiting for a couple years before pursuing further education, she said.