If there’s one thing that has stuck with Dr. Sarah Feldner, it’s now to “roll with what life gives you” — a lesson she learned from both her mom and grandmother. It seems a fitting mantra for Feldner who just a few months ago stepped into an acting deanship in the Diederich College of Communication.
Feldner recently took a few minutes to talk with Marquette Today about her family, love of baseball and what her grandfathers unwittingly taught her about courage and family.
Hometown: Born in Texas City, Texas; raised in Monticello, Indiana
Family: Married to Scott; two middle school boys
Hobbies and interests: I spend a lot time with my kids at sports and I love it. Our family is also a big follower of the Milwaukee Brewers. I also run the occasionally half marathon. I’m not sure it if is a hobby, but I truly love just being with friends and family — at a game, on a dock by the lake, on a boat, at home, out for dinner…doesn’t matter where — there’s nothing like good conversations.
Favorite movies: Tough call: The Princess Bride or A League of Their Own
Heroes: I have been blessed with many hero encounters. But at the top is my mom who showed me how to roll with what life gives you, and who was a gifted educator and an always present parent. I also had an amazing grandmother who also showed me how to roll with life, raising two sons on her own and touching many lives in the process.
Favorite quotes/mottos: If I am honest, the quote I repeat the most is from Tom Hanks’ character Jimmy Dugan in A League of Their Own: “You’re still missing the cutoff. That is something I’d like you to work on for next season.” There are so many situations where this just seems the right thing to say.
Currently reading: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Favorite vacation spots: Given a choice between a beach and a lake: I choose a lake in the woods in “Up North,” Wisconsin.
Biggest career learning experience: Relative to Marquette and what it means to have a career at Marquette: going on an Ignatian pilgrimage in the summer of 2004.
Fun facts: My grandfather was an engineer who was killed during the Texas City explosion of 1947. It wasn’t until I read the book City on Fire: The Explosion that Devastated a Texas Town and Ignited a Historic Legal Battle by Bill Minutaglio, that I truly understood the life of my grandmother who lost her husband on that day and raised two sons on her own.
After I had been attending the University of Kentucky as an undergraduate, I learned that my great grandfather taught there for one year in the zoology department. My senior year I wrote a historical nonfiction piece about that year. In my research, I learned that the reason he stayed for only one year was that his wife hated living in Lexington and missed home so much that her father gave him the family farm on the condition that he would bring her back to Indiana.