Celebrating our graduating Panthers

Our graduating seniors found the right fit when they came to the University of Northern Iowa. Their tireless academic preparation, strong relationships with faculty and other students, and wide variety of out-of-class experiences have helped create a strong foundation for their future. These are but a few of our promising spring graduates:

Jared Connerley

Jared Connerley
Hometown: Cedar Falls, Iowa
Major(s): Supply Chain Management
Post-Graduation Plans: Working as a Supply Chain Analyst for General Motors, located in Grand Blanc, Michigan.

“I truly value the overall openness and supporting culture that UNI has which helps students succeed. The small class sizes enabled my professors to know my name, which led to classes being more personal and discussion based. I also enjoyed getting involved in community outreach throughout the Cedar Valley.”

“I had a substantial amount of major-specific courses to make me competitive in my field of study. Another great resource that has helped prepare me is my involvement in student organizations like the Supply Chain Management Association. This helped me develop my leadership and organizational skills which I believe will transfer well to the workplace.”

“[One reason students should choose UNI is] all the opportunities that UNI has to offer matched with the support received from professors, administration, and the community.”

Erika Kuhn

Erika Kuhn
Hometown: Waterloo, Iowa
Major(s): Theatre Performance
Post-Graduation Plans: Working as a St. Croix Festival Theatre acting apprentice in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, while also touring as an actor for the show “Map of My Kingdom” with Swander Woman Productions throughout the Midwest.

“Making the decision to pursue a career in the arts meant looking for the best value in my education. UNI gave me small class sizes, endless opportunities as a theatre artist and an affordable, well-rounded education.”

“UNI helped me pack as much preparation as possible for my field in four years. But more importantly, it instilled in me the knowledge that I am a lifelong student of my passions, and that I now have a foundation to grow and learn so much more upon.”

“When I look back on my college experience, I feel incredibly accomplished and can say with absolute confidence that there was never a dull moment. I wouldn’t trade my college experience for anything.”

Wesley Castro

Wesley Castro
Hometown: Fort Dodge, Iowa
Major(s): Movement and Exercise Science
Post-Graduation Plans: Pursuing a doctorate in occupational therapy at Drake University.

“The first thing that drew my attention to UNI was its size. UNI is small enough to feel welcoming yet big enough to offer a multitude of opportunities for students.”

“I was lucky enough to develop a great relationship with multiple professors who went above and beyond to enhance my education. They made my academic career extremely rewarding by challenging me and constantly looking out for my best interests.”

“UNI students have a huge sense of school pride. From academics to athletics, you can tell that UNI is something the students here are proud to be a part of.”

“I have created friendships [at UNI] that have become my support system, such as my sorority sisters in Alpha Xi Delta. I have also had wonderful professors and advisors who have helped me find the path that was the right fit for me.”

Jasmine Beecham

Jasmine Beecham
Hometown: Ankeny, Iowa
Major(s): Psychology
Post-Graduation Plans: Pursuing a Ph.D. in applied social and organizational psychology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).

“I have created friendships [at UNI] that have become my support system, such as my sorority sisters in Alpha Xi Delta. I have also had wonderful professors and advisors who have helped me find the path that was the right fit for me.”

“I would not have even known that my graduate major existed without my professor’s guidance and support of me declaring a major and applying to graduate school, and helping me navigate what I will need and what I want to do.”

“While at UNI, I have found so many people who are ready and willing to help me achieve my goals, whatever they may be. The size of this campus makes it feel like a community where I can meet and recognize so many people and friends every day.”

Jessa Drake

Jessa Drake
Hometown: Maquoketa, Iowa
Major(s): Master’s in Special Education: Field Specialization
Post-Graduation Plans: Teaching fifth grade special education at Wing’s Park Elementary School in Oelwein, Iowa.

“The relationships I have built with my professors has been one of the biggest factors in my educational success. The professors worked hard to help me choose the path I wanted for my master’s program, and they were present throughout my entire experience.”

“For me, being a graduate assistant while receiving my master’s was the best preparation I could ask for when it comes to supervision, co-teaching and coaching. The relationships I built with the undergraduate students I supervised prepared me for collaborating with my future colleagues.”

“[UNI] provides an environment where students feel comfortable to share their thoughts and ideas and to learn new skills in the process. UNI not only educates their students, but builds a community relationship with them so that they can be successful.”