By Kellie Herson ’11
|Ashley (left) and Amber Saskowski: Home is now a shared room in Sensenbrenner.
Eight sets of twins and three-quarters of a set of quadruplets: the Class of 2014, the college’s largest ever, is a record-breaker in more ways than one.
From academics to athletics to work, transitioning to college as part of a set of multiples over the course of fall semester has been a shared experience for Kari and Meghan Braatz, Cameron and Christopher Doran, James and Richard Gluth, Michael and Morgan Heim, Jaclyn and Jolene Kerner, Hayley and Rachel Nagengast, Amber and Ashley Saskowski, Miranda and Sarah Wallenfang, and Liz, Nicole and Stephanie Hietpas.
“It is nice to not be the only set of siblings on campus,” says Liz Hietpas, whose sisters also attend St. Norbert. The three women are 75 percent of a set of quadruplets. Each made her college decision independently. Their brother, Michael, is attending the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Academics helped in that decision. (The Class of 2014 also has the highest academic profile ever.) For Stephanie and Nicole, the education program was a good fit, and nursing major Liz had heard about the Bellin partnership program.
Identical twins James and Richard Gluth almost didn’t go to the same college. James changed his mind “at the last minute.” But both enjoy the experience of attending together. “It’s just like having another friend,” says James.
The two enrolled in the same American history course during fall semester and both work at Phil’s, the restaurant/store located in the Campus Center.
Though they admit they’ve pulled it off several times in the past, the two have not yet switched identities here at St. Norbert.
“It might happen again,” Richard warns. “I don’t think we could pull it off in class – our professor is pretty good about telling us apart.”
“Maybe I’ll call you in to sub for me if I can’t go in to work someday,” James jokes.
Of the nine sets of multiples, only Amber and Ashley Saskowski have chosen to room together. The identical twins share a room in Sensenbrenner.
The two women decided that they should be able to handle the proximity, after years of experience.
“We’ve gotten in some fights – they last a day or so,” Amber says. “That’s not any different than being home, though,” Ashley adds.
They plan to live together again next year – ideally, as part of a group of eight in Michels Hall that includes the Hietpas sisters. “We have it planned out so that no two sisters will end up rooming together, though,” says Ashley.
The two both plan to major in political science and minor in Spanish, though Ashley is pursuing a second major in international studies as well. They will take two classes together during this semester: a Spanish course and a comparative politics course.
“We didn’t plan on it – it just happened to work into our schedule that way,” Amber explains. “We’ll have to sit with a lot of people between us. And we’ll make a point to dress differently. I’ll scrub it one day, and you can dress up, and then we’ll switch on the next,” Ashley tells Amber.
During the fall season, the Saskowski sisters played women’s soccer, and Meghan Braatz and Liz and Stephanie Hietpas ran cross-country. Morgan Heim is playing women’s basketball this season.
Though the Green Knight cross-country team is “really close” Liz says, “It was nice to have Stephanie on the team as well because I always knew that she would be there for me when I was struggling – all of my teammates were, but she is my sister and I will always turn to her for guidance and help.”
“We both have someone to train with in the offseasons,” Stephanie adds.
In the spring, Liz and Stephanie will run track with both the Braatz sisters and Jaclyn and Jolene Kerner.
Meghan and Kari agreed that there is no sibling rivalry to be found between them. Kari says, “She runs distance and I’m a sprinter, ” “... so we’re really not that competitive.” It’s Meghan who finishes the sentence.