Student success: Spring 2013 grads

Approximately 1,644 UNI students will graduate this spring. A few are giving us a sneak peek at their next adventure...

Willie Morales – New York City, N.Y.
B.A. – liberal studies

Willie's time at UNI began as a transfer student in the fall of 2002. In 2005, his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, so he returned home to help his family. While at home, he had the opportunity to participate in an international opera voice competition in Italy where he remained to perform for six years. UNI staff remained in touch with Willie the entire time he was abroad. His return to UNI has everything to do with the connection that transcended the Atlantic Ocean. After graduation, Willie is joining the Masters in Public Policy program at UNI.

"Graduating from UNI means that I can finish what I start no matter the obstacles. It means that no matter the hardship, no matter the odds, no matter how difficult times may be, I have the tools to face adversity and not just survive, but thrive!"

Erin Evans – Altoona, Iowa
B.A. – psychology and gerontology

Erin chose to attend UNI because of the small town atmosphere along with the great student-faculty ratio. Her adviser and gerontology classmates inspired and encouraged her to get involved in the community, which made her time at UNI much more enjoyable. Even before graduation, Erin landed a job as an assistant activities director at a nursing and rehab facility in West Des Moines.

"Graduating from UNI means a lot to me. Obtaining my degree from UNI means that I will always have a long list of professors that will be there for me whenever I need advice."

Brian Murphy – Oelwein, Iowa
B.A. – English education with speech and theater minors

Brian chose to attend UNI because he knew, even as a high school junior, that UNI would best prepare him to teach in Iowa after graduation. He worked on campus all four years and was a member of the UNI Varsity Men's Glee Club. Brian secured a job at the Meskwaki Settlement School in Tama, Iowa, as the only English teacher in the building.

"Simply put, graduating from UNI was a reassurance that I would find a job as a teacher in Iowa."

Andrea Alert – Elkhart, Ind.
M.M. – music performance

Andrea chose to attend UNI because she really liked the viola professor and campus. She was very busy while at UNI – she participated in the Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra, attended UNI Proud meetings and worked two on-campus jobs. After graduating, Andrea will be working at West Music in Cedar Falls as a violin, viola and cello studio teacher.

"Graduating from UNI means that I will be successful in everything I do. Although it wasn't easy, I was still able to find success at UNI and I hope that will continue into whatever I do in the future."

Ali Stoddard – Cedar Falls, Iowa
B.A. – business management

Growing up in Cedar Falls, Ali knew she wanted to attend UNI. Not only was she familiar with the area, but she knew she would get a great education with her business management major. Ali gained an excellent education from her professors and feels the most influential class for her was Leadership Skills. "...everyone needs to be a leader at some time in their profession..." After graduation, Ali is moving to West Des Moines to work at Hy-Vee's corporate offices.

"Graduating from UNI means knowing I can handle anything that is put in front of me."

Willie MoralesErin EvansBrian MurphyAndrea AlertAli Stoddard
Willie Morales
Erin Evans
Brian Murphy
Andrea Alert
Ali Stoddard