Whatever the goal, Artur Schneider ’17, D.O., is willing to do the work to reach it. Then, he’s motivated to set another.
“All my life I’ve enjoyed challenging myself and figuring out the steps I need to take to be good at something. It’s not so much about the outcome as the process,” Schneider said. That relentless work ethic enabled him to graduate from Franklin College magna cum laude with a record-setting swimming career and motivates his career pursuits in cardiovascular medicine today.
Creating the life he began to envision more than a decade ago would not have been possible without highly supportive parents, he said. After all, they helped instill the courage that led him to move more than 4,400 miles away from home in Zurich, Switzerland, to Franklin, Indiana. Back then, Schneider was dreaming of taking his high school academic and athletic accomplishments to the next level. Since colleges in Switzerland do not offer sports as part of the cocurricular experience, he looked for other options to be optimally challenged and supported as a college student. Finding Franklin College took a combination of solid family planning and strategic assistance from a consulting company for international students seeking opportunities in the U.S.
Head swimming coach Andrew Hendricks, now also the Franklin College athletic director, was the first person to contact Schneider after viewing his student profile. Some lengthy phone conversations and emails with Hendricks led to a key campus visit. “Franklin was the only college I wanted to see. I liked Coach Hendricks and knew he was going to be a good person to have in my life,” Schneider recalled. Hendricks and Franklin did not disappoint.
“I remember pulling into the parking lot and seeing a spot reserved for me. I thought that was the coolest thing.” Schneider said. His father, a surgeon, was unable to make the trip, but his mother was by his side. “Coach Hendricks was so kind when he showed us around campus, and we even met with President (Jay) Moseley. My mom doesn’t speak a lick of English, but she liked what she saw, and on our way home she said, ‘This is the place for you.’ Looking back, especially now that I’m about to become a father, I can’t imagine how hard it was for my parents to let me go.”
To say that Schneider thrived at Franklin would be an understatement. He faithfully made the Dean’s List while majoring in biology and completing three medical internships, including one in Africa, where he helped deliver a baby. “That was my junior year and such an incredible, humbling opportunity that I shared with Sarah Hendricks ’17. Franklin College oversaw the entire process that helped us get there and intern for a month,” he recalled. “As I’ve gone further in my medical training and seen how many resources we have here (U.S.) it’s even more humbling to look back and see how differently health care worked in Ghana.”
His athletic experiences also were memorable. He was a three-time NCAA Division III national qualifier in swimming, and his Franklin College records in the 200m-individual medley, 50m- and 100m-freestyle as well as the 100m- and 200m-backstroke remain unbroken. He also co-holds records with teammates in the 200m-, 400mand 800m-freestyle relay and 200m-medley relay.
“Swimming was a lot of hard work, but Coach Hendricks helped transform my mindset to think bigger and always try to improve. He had a very positive impact and tried to help all of us make the best of ourselves in the sport and life.” Schneider’s support network was strong at Franklin thanks to coaches, faculty, staff and classmates. “I instantly had 40 friends on the swim team and was always invited to someone’s home for the holidays. When I didn’t have a car at the start Coach Hendricks drove me around to get stuff for my dorm, and having my academic adviser, Edward Chikwana (former chemistry professor), be from Zimbabwe was helpful. He was a lively mentor who kept me on track academically and also understood what it meant to be far from home and family.”
Schneider’s work ethic hasn’t waned since his days at Franklin; it propelled him through medical school at Marian University, where he graduated in 2022. Now, he’s completing an internal medicine residency at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Jacksonville, Florida. Several thousand applicants from around the world vie annually for the 16 available residency spots, indicates the Clinic’s website. Schneider recognizes how fortunate he is to have the opportunity. “It certainly took a village to get me here,” he said. “My parents and my wife, Aubree, have all been so supportive and selfless over the years. They all deserve to win, too, and I want to be sure I make them proud.”
He also recognizes the huge impact his liberal arts education has had on his journey. “The structure at FC was set up very well to help us succeed in medical school and a career. Across the board, FC did a great job of preparing us for the next steps after graduation.” Schneider wants to specialize in cardiology. “It’s a specialty that merges acute and long-term care. I like that it allows me to be part of the patient’s full journey and build strong relationships while still being involved in high-acuity procedures. It’s also a very innovative field that will allow me to further explore my interests in medical research.”
Although he’s traded Speedos® for stethoscopes, Schneider still enjoys recreational swimming. He wears goggles gifted by Hendricks. “Every time I put them on I’m thankful I’m not back at one of his morning practices,” Schneider said. Joking aside, the men remain great friends. “Whenever there’s a big life event, he’s one of my first calls. I wouldn’t be where I am today without help from Coach Hendricks and many other people at Franklin College.”
Editor’s Note: The Schneiders became first-time parents on June 17, 2023, when their son, Jude Harlow, was born.
By Amy (Kean) VerSteeg ’96, Publications Editor, Franklin College Magazine
POSTED Aug 7, 2023