Inside Linfield - Learning Support Services

Featured Student 2021 

Emberline is wearing a Linfield University shirt holding a Linfield Bound sign.


Name: Emberline Fernandez

Class of 2024

Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in Psychology and Neuroscience

Why did you choose Linfield? 
I was looking for a small university because my high school had been so large and I wanted a smaller more personal experience. I was also looking more specifically at Washington, Oregon, and northern California because I am from Colorado and wanted to be closer to the ocean and also because I wanted to live in a place where it rains a lot. I wanted to go to a liberal arts school because I think well-rounded learning is important. Unlike many other liberal arts schools, Linfield also had a solid hard science curriculum because of its school or nursing which was important for my pre-med studies. Additionally, Linfield offered me a nice merit-based scholarship which made me feel like academics are really well valued here. All and all Linfield has been a wonderful fit for me.

What do you plan to pursue after Linfield? 
I plan to go to med school to become a pediatric (hospitalist) doctor.

What activities do you participate in on campus?
I am a member of Linfield’s Circle K International and Resident Hall Association chapters. I am in the pre-med club and am a member of Linfield’s local sorority Sigma Kappa Phi. I am also very excited to announce that I will be an RA next semester in the Jane Failing pet-friendly dorm! 

Why did you choose to register with Learning Support Services? 
At the beginning of my freshman year, just as the Covid-19 pandemic was hitting, I began experiencing some problems with my joints. The doctors couldn't find a diagnosis and for a while I was having difficulties with basic tasks like walking, typing, and writing. I was seeing two or three doctors a week and had to move back home to Colorado. Despite this craziness LSS made the impossible possible for me. With their support I was able to go fully remote and attend all my classes via zoom. I was able to successfully carry a 17 credit hard science-filled course load and pass all my classes. LSS was able to provide me with a note taker for when I couldn’t write, extra test time so that I could rest my wrist joints and take breaks, deadline extensions and attendance flexibility for when I was having bad flare-ups. LSS allowed me to seek out a diagnosis while still being a successful college student,

What has been your experience working with LSS within the office? 
LSS is so wonderful. I feel like you're supported and being cheered on by everyone in their office every time you reach out. They are very responsive to emails and requests for meetings and are always willing to help. They are also very flexible and creative when it comes to figuring out how to make things work for everyone.

What has been your experience communicating with professors about using accommodations? 
So far I have had nothing but positive interactions with professors regarding my accommodation. I think this  is partly because I have made it my policy to always have a 1 on 1 meeting with each of my professors at the beginning of each semester to talk through everything. I normally just shoot them an email saying, “Hey, is there time we can meet to talk about my LSS accommodations?” Then, in the meeting I talk to them about how I should ask them for assignment extensions, how long they feel extensions should be, how I should let them know when I’m going to be absent. I also talk to them about my goals and what their expectations are. I feel like if you use good frequent communication, especially if you talk to them ahead of time, professors are happy to help. Everyone at Linfield just really wants to  see all their students succeed.

What strategies do you use to help you meet your academic goals? 
Having this joint condition has altered a lot of things for me and I have had to really change what productivity means to me. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that I have to plan for me being nonfunctional sometimes and this means I can’t procrastinate any more. I can’t put things off until tomorrow because I may not be able to do those things tomorrow. I always try to get started on things right away when they are assigned, so I have plenty of leeway. I’ve also learned that it is important to think about all of your assignments from all of your classes together instead of thinking about  each class separately because this helps a lot with prioritizing and managing your time. I have also learned that when you have a barrier to your learning it is important to have perseverance, but also to be patient with and kind to yourself because we are all doing the best we can. The other big thing for me is just writing things down everywhere. Put a deadline on your calendar, create reminders on your phone, set alarms, whatever works for you to help you remember to get things done.

What advice would you give students who are thinking about working with LSS? 
LSS and Linfield professors are not scary, everyone here wants you to succeed. I know it can be really hard to ask for/accept help, but it is way better to have accommodations and never use them than to suddenly need them and not have them/be able to get them in time. I really encourage students to set up LSS accommodations at the beginning of the semester so you don’t have to worry about getting them set up the week before a test or something like that. I also would suggest that you try to  keep an open mind about new ways of doing things because SS has some really great ideas if you just try them out. Another thing is, that no one has to know that you have accommodations outside of LSS. You get total control over which teachers get the accommodation letters. One of my close friends was a notetaker for 3 of my classes and never knew that they were for me, so if you are afraid that people will find out, don’t worry your information is kept very confidential.

- Emberline Fernandez, Class of 2024


Previously Featured Students

Olivia Edgington

Zeila Medina 

Learning Support Services
Melrose Hall 020