Loyola University Chicago

Weekend of Excellence

Edet Nsemo

PHOTO: Natalie Battaglia Edet Nsemo, who received a Purple Heart while serving in the Marine Corps, now helps fellow veterans adjust to college life. “I jumped at the opportunity to help others transition more smoothly than I did,” he says.

College of Arts & Sciences

Edet Nsemo

Major: Political science  •  Class: 2016  •  Hometown: Chicago

What will you be doing at this year’s Weekend of Excellence?
I’ll be getting recognized at a ceremony for military and veteran students. (Nsemo served in the Marine Corps and received a Purple Heart while on duty in Afghanistan.)

What’s your favorite memory at Loyola?
My first day of junior year comes to mind. Everyone awkwardly introduced themselves in class. Then the priest took over. I never had a priest as an instructor before, and I quickly realized the benefits of a Jesuit education. The next 16 weeks were spent learning about the Civil Rights Movement through the lens of the law. The lessons learned that semester have never left me. They guide me still.

Tell us about your volunteer work and/or involvement with student groups.
I serve as a peer mentor to incoming veteran students. I jumped at the opportunity to help others transition more smoothly than I did. As a transfer student—and veteran—I came to Loyola both a part of, and apart from the community. I was here a year before I learned the secret study spots and bathrooms with normal soap. We are a tight-knit subset of a larger community, so we look after each other. Trust me, good soap matters.

How has your time here helped shape you as a person?
My time at Loyola has been life changing. It has refined in me a sense of purpose. There are many that have helped me along the way; chief among them is Professor John Allen Williams. One of the first lessons he taught me was, “Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”  This lesson resonated in ways that transcend the classroom. I am not just graduating—I’m graduating with a plan.

And finally, what do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?
Making a difference. I left the military to get educated, but along the way I’ve learned that education transcends the classroom. While experience has taught me valuable life-lessons, education has allowed me to understand them. I have been prepared to live an extraordinary life. And in 10 years, that is exactly what I’ll be doing.