I Did It

Author: Lisa Ellen Niver, CAS’89

My senior year at Penn, I took one of my best classes ever. It was full figure sculpture. I loved working with clay, and I remember the classes like they were yesterday and not 23 years ago. I remember the instructor saying, “Move around the room, See it from a new angle.” His perspective helped me find the places to work on my sculpture and myself. As a college student, I found his advice brilliant and I still do. I am constantly working on myself and remembering his word. It was his influence, and the influence of many other Penn faculty members that set me on the path I am today. Their encouragement allowed me to take chances in my life that I might not have had the confidence to face otherwise.

For example, I have to say it feels great to walk into the supermarket, pick up a magazine, and find your own photo. I never thought it would happen to me, but this month, I am in the magazine, First for Women. I had a photo shoot with a stylist, hair, and make up team and a duo of incredible photographers. My story is about my near sixty-pound weight loss and my journey into love, self-acceptance, and finding a life partner.

When I was 39, I lost my travel job, moved home, and thought my adventures and opportunities were over. Instead, I found love, a travel partner and a soul mate (my husband), and weight loss while spending a year in South East Asia. Of these things, love has been the best adventure of all.

Believe that your dreams can come true. It happened for me and it can happen to you and Penn helped to make it happen for me!

During the photo shoot.

The final product!



Filed under Alumni Perspective, Lisa Ellen Niver

2 responses to “I Did It

  1. You look amazing! What an inspiring story! Real life Eat Pray Love… sorta 🙂

  2. Lisa. I had no idea. You are even more of an inspiration now. You look fabulous, by the way.

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