Heather Maag '16

watertown graduate

Johanna Scheich

Degree: bachelor of arts in English
Current Career Role: U.S. deputy scheduler for South Dakota Sen. John Thune

Johanna Scheich came to Mount Marty looking forward to playing athletics at the collegiate level and to studying within the English Department. She found a community that supported her to reach her full potential — plus confidence in faith to let God lead the way when life doesn’t go as planned.

Why Mount Marty?

There were a few reasons Johanna Scheich chose to attend Mount Marty College (MMC). It all started with her mother, who fueled Scheich’s decision to attend Prestigious Academic Scholarship Day at MMC. At Scholarship Day, incoming college freshmen with a 3.5 GPA or 24 ACT score come to campus to compete for generous scholarships, some even offering full tuition reimbursement.

After attending Scholarship Day, Scheich received news that helped make her decision a little easier.

“MMC offered me an amazing scholarship,” she says.

That academic scholarship meant Scheich could continue playing basketball at the collegiate level while succeeding in the classroom. She was also hooked on MMC when she read about the English Department.

“I loved the description for the English major,” Scheich says. “The part that got me read: The English program is ideal for students who like to read, write and think critically and creatively. … English majors want to make a difference, to have an impact on the world.”

College size was also a defining factor. Scheich knew a smaller school was the right choice for her.

“If you want to just be another face in the crowd, then MMC is not for you,” she says. “But if you’re wanting to make a difference and get involved, then MMC is the perfect place to find out what you’re capable of.”

Mount Marty Impact

Today, Scheich works as a U.S. deputy scheduler for South Dakota Sen. John Thune, and she attributes the success she’s achieved in her daily life and at her job to the skills she gained and experiences she had in college. 

“MMC allowed me to juggle many things at once, to take on any kind of project and do it well,” she says. “My professors prepared me to feel confident taking on whatever was thrown at me. MMC gave me more than a degree — it helped me form the way I want to live my life.”

The unlimited personal attention Scheich received from professors and administrators helped her learn what she is capable of accomplishing.

 “I received a degree, but what I really received was the opportunity to exercise my potential,” she says.

Road to Success

Just a week before graduation, the plans Scheich had lined up in preparation for graduation — teaching English in Austria — fell through. She turned to her faith for direction.

“My prayer partner at Sacred Heart Monastery had invited me to evening prayer and games and treats afterwards,” Scheich says. “I went to the Peace Chapel to meet my partner, but I arrived quite early. As I sat in the Peace Chapel, I started to pray the most fervent I had ever prayed. I told God: ‘I surrender! Whatever you want me to do, that’s what I want to do.’ I asked him for guidance and for him to use me to do his will. After prayer, I took a deep breath and had a wonderful night with the sisters. The next day — let me repeat, the next day — I received a call from Sen. Thune’s office. They had an opening in D.C., and they wanted me. Isn’t God good?”

Scheich says Mount Marty’s community gave her a strong faith foundation for her life.

“Before I went to D.C., my brother and I talked about some of the things I was excited for in D.C., and I told him that I was excited to become involved in the faith community,” she says. “I was ready to take what I had learned to a new city where I could share my experiences and continue to grow.”

Every day in Washington, D.C., is different for Johanna as a deputy scheduler, but she welcomes whatever comes her way with an open mind and excitement to learn more.

“I enjoy the versatility of my days and the challenge of overcoming obstacles,” she says. “My goals are to continue to go wherever the Lord is leading me by living a joyful, magnanimous life of love.”