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2022 Senior Spotlight: Ruth Doty

Ruth Doty

Ruth Doty ’22 has faced much adversity and growth during her time at SAU. Her whirlwind of experiences in the past five years has put her on a path of self-discovery and better prepared her for post-college life.

“I didn’t choose SAU; SAU chose me,” Ruth always says.

Growing up in Downriver, MI, Ruth never imagined staying in-state for college and was originally planning to attend Baylor University in Texas. After a slight change of plans, she decided to enroll at SAU.

Ruth intended to use SAU as a stepping stone, but after falling in love with the community, professors, and unique environment, she committed to staying put.

“Each professor corporates their spirituality and faith in the curriculum. They all challenge us to think critically for ourselves and share the love of Christ at the same time.”

Through SAU’s cross cultural program, she discovered an opportunity to spend a semester in Japan. Ruth began studying at Tokyo Christian University during the first semester of her junior year. While there, she traveled around Tokyo, connected with people from all over the world, and learned about Japanese culture. She credits this opportunity as a massive role in who she is today.

“It was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had.” 

Not even three months after she returned home, Ruth got into a severe car accident and walked away with eight fractures in her spine. It was a tough time for Ruth and her loved ones, who supported her physically and emotionally throughout this problematic recovery. Because of the injuries sustained, she was forced to wear a back brace for six months and still suffers from back pain. Due to her accident, Ruth is graduating a year later than she originally planned.

“I am exceptionally grateful for my family and friends who supported me during this challenging time,” says Ruth.

In the Spring of 2021, one of Ruth’s professors for oral and digital persuasion required volunteer hours to complete the class. Looking for places to volunteer, Ruth learned about ENGin—a company that connects American students with Ukrainian students for English assistance.

Through ENGin, Ruth met Valentyna, a master’s student in civil law and politics who lives in Ukraine. Ruth meets with Valentyna weekly, despite the current conflict going on in the country. 

“I have learned so much from my relationship with Valentyna. She has played a major role in my time at SAU and is the biggest factor in why I want to go into politics,” says Ruth. “When the conflict in Ukraine ends, we plan to meet in person to learn even more about each other’s culture.”

Over her five years at SAU, Ruth has been through many ups and downs while still holding a solid faith in the Lord.

“SAU has taught me the importance of not only sharing the gospel verbally but with my actions as well.”

Even though Ruth loves her hometown in Downriver, she plans to stay in Jackson after she graduates and start her career within the city under a representative of State Farm. Ruth has a strong passion for politics and humanitarian efforts, and she wishes to have a future that works towards being a part of meaningful change.

Written by SAU marketing student Arielle Knight.