Joan Kowalski

Executive Assistant to the Vice Provost for Student Life
at Creighton University

More about me:

I have been working for Student Life at Creighton University since September 1998. In my role, I provide administrative support for the Vice Provost in her day to day operations. The Office of the Vice Provost is the administrative center coordinating the efforts of the departments within the Division of Student Life. We are a Division of 130+ people. As a collective, we strive to be integral to all student experiences, and understand each student is unique. We take into consideration the uniqueness of our students through the array of activities, programs, services and initiatives that enhance our students’ educational experience.

I am married to a wonderful husband, and this year we are celebrating 34 years as a married couple. My husband, Steve, is a professional photographer. He started his career as a full-time photographer 20 years ago. He dabbles in portraits, corporate events and weddings; but his passion lies within being in the outdoors and journaling the beauty of God’s creation.

In our spare time, we each enjoy riding our motorcycles around the country. That’s right, I ride my own Harley! I knew I was destined to do this when I was 5 years old and rode on the back of my uncle’s bike. I enjoy riding on winding roads throughout the United States, taking in all the grandeur of God’s creation. Mountains are especially enjoyable. You can feel the changes in the climate as you road I am on draws near the mountain side; the ride becomes cooler on the side of the mountain that doesn’t receive direct sunlight; while the heat permeates from the side of the mountain that receives the sunlight. There are no words to describe how wonderful the experience is while touring the countryside on 2 wheels.

Steve and I have 3 adult children who we love very much. Each is as individual as a person can be. Our son, Steven, is a graduate from Creighton University; our daughter, Kelsey, is in retail at a local men’s store, and our youngest daughter, Kara, is a licensed cosmetologist. Each one is a unique gift from God, bringing to our lives distinct blessings. I do know that parenthood is the most important vocation of my life. Whether I’ve been successful in this area of my life is for God to decide. I just know this is the most difficult journey I have taken during my time here on earth.

In my free time, I enjoy designing jewelry. I have a very small business that provides me with a creative outlet. I enjoy using my imagination, hands and skills to design one-of-a-kind pieces which I sell at art fairs, on-line and a few retail stores across the country.

Writing these reflections:

When I was asked to write reflections, I asked myself, why would they ask me? I’m not sure I’m the right person for this responsibility.

I can say that I have been blessed with a faith that surpasses all of my mortal understanding. During times when I feel alone, I know that God is there with me through challenges, opportunities and celebrations. I believe God has a purpose for me, and he continues to show me where he wants me to be.

Sometimes I claw my way through life, never letting go of my Father’s hand. While life has not met my expectations of where and what I believe I should be doing…you know those times when you are brought to your knees in prayer wondering why you are placed in certain situations? The one thing I do know is when He calls me by name, I will answer. I know when I call out His name, he hears my voice. God’s response to my cry for help may be those opportunities which cause me to cling to Him so tight for support and strength, that I realize He is carrying me. That’s when I realize that I am not in charge. God and I may argue from time to time (actually me telling God I’m not happy), but I know He will not leave my side.

I hope my writings bring some hope to others who happen upon my reflections. I’m a rookie at this, so be merciful to me those of you who read my words. I appreciate this opportunity to share my thoughts and reflections.

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