Student success: Spring 2014 grads

Ben Lahue

Ben Lahue

Majors: Management Information Systems and Accounting
Hometown: Toddville

I lived on campus my freshman and sophomore years, met some amazing people, studied a lot and enjoyed every minute of it! During my junior year I learned that time management is one of the biggest keys to success, that's for sure. Working multiple jobs and staying involved on campus while maintaining my grades wasn't easy, but I did it one day at a time. My senior year was probably the most rewarding and fast paced. I completed my Honors Thesis, sat for the CPA exam, stayed active on campus and worked when I had time. I still managed to find time for friends and family while ensuring I continued to do the things I love.

I received countless job offers and recently accepted a position as an advisory associate with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Chicago. I'll be working with a variety of clients across countless industries. I'll be helping each one of them transform, improve their business processes and implement new technologies.

I had the opportunity to interview in New York and it made me realize something: UNI may be a small school in Iowa, but it's just as competitive as some of the top schools in the nation. Not only has UNI prepared me for life, it has made me realize how lucky I am to have lived a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity these past four years.

Logan PooleLogan Poole
Majors: Biology and Biochemistry
Hometown: Cedar Rapids

Due to my experiences at UNI, I will be more than prepared for my future in graduate school. Because of the low student-to-faculty ratio, I was able to begin research in a lab as a freshman, which is unheard of in larger institutions. My undergraduate research has allowed me to attend a national American Chemical Society (ACS) conference and network with potential future employers. I have also been actively involved in multiple student organizations on campus, most notably the UNI ACS chapter. With the UNI ACS I have helped organize multiple outreach programs including the Family Weekend "Magic Show" and the ACS Halloween House. Not only do these programs encourage scientific curiosity in elementary and middle school students, but they promote the university as well.

Graduating from UNI will mean the end of an awesome experience and the start of something amazing and new. I believe that my time at UNI has left me well prepared for my future in graduate school.

After graduation I will be attending the University of Chicago to earn a Ph.D. while studying cancer biology. I am most interested in studying the molecular mechanisms of cancer metastasis.

Kaverne A J Yi-Jun LimKaverne A J Yi-Jun Lim
Majors: Finance: Investment Emphasis, Real Estate and Accounting
Hometown: Singapore

Throughout my academic career at UNI, I've been able to take advantage of many enrichment opportunities that UNI has to offer, such as passing the Time Value of Money Mastery Examination, earning the Financial Analysis Certificate awarded by UNI, representing UNI in the CFA Institute Research Challenge, participating in the Krause Portfolio Challenge, networking with professionals, gaining internships and attaining a full scholarship provided by the CFA Institute's recognition program through UNI's finance department to take the CFA level I examinations. UNI and its faculty members have always prioritized itself to put students first and help students reach their career goals. I am very grateful to have chosen to come to UNI.

It's an honor to graduate from UNI because of how it has shaped me into excellence and given me many opportunities to meet professionals from fields related to my major. I have achieved so much throughout my academic years here. UNI has molded me so well in becoming ready for the working world and I am proud to be a part of UNI.

I will be working for Ernst & Young, LLP in the Financial Accounting Advisory Services are in Minneapolis, Minn.

Sarah JentzSarah Jentz
Major: History with an English: Literary Studies Minor
Hometown: Le Mars

I have been involved in fantastic organizations during my career at UNI, including Panther Marching Band (PMB), the history club, Phi Alpha Theta honor society and Social And Behavioral Representatives. Some of my favorite experiences at UNI were marching in the Dome with the PMB. I've met many of my closest friends and my fiancé through PMB. And I've met professors who truly care about the success of their students. I could not have made a better choice for my undergraduate college.

It's a bittersweet moment because it is a success and a goodbye. It means separating from friends but not losing them. It's leaving a place I've called home for the last four years but knowing it will always be here to welcome me back.

I plan on getting my master's degree in library and information science. As for UNI, I could not have made a better choice for my undergraduate college.

Shateisha BruceShateisha Roleetris Bruce
Major: Post-secondary Education: Student Affairs (master of arts degree)
Hometown: Waterloo

My time at UNI has been very enriching. To make the choice to return to school when you are working full time, running a program (I am the program coordinator for an evening accelerated business program at a local community college) and a single parent is no easy choice to make. The sacrifices I made were worth it. The support from faculty and staff was awesome. The relationships built with the other students are priceless. I graduate with a strong sense of fulfillment by my experience at UNI.

After graduation, I will continue to hold my program coordinator position. At some point, I plan to relocate and make the South my home and continue working in higher education.

For me, graduating from UNI means I have added value to myself that I can, in return, pass on to my son, my family and friends, my students, and the world as a whole. I feel it is my responsibility to give back to world, and UNI providing such a quality learning experience has empowered me to do just that.

Sean KlippelSean Klippel
Major: Theatre: Drama and Theatre for Youth
Hometown: Waterloo

In my time spent at UNI, I have been immersed in wonderful opportunity and presented with truly outstanding experiences. UNI has given me a number of chances to explore the world outside of Cedar Falls: teaching a summer in Michigan at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, interning for the Omaha Theatre Company as a teaching artist, and representing UNI at a number of national and state conferences including the New Play Development for Young Audiences conference and the TASH conference in Chicago, and served as a patron from UNI at the Research at the Capitol event in Des Moines. Other treasured experiences of mine at UNI have been the Strayer-Wood productions in which I have performed: Mad Forest, Bat Boy: The Musical, A Mid Summer Night's Dream, Lysistrata, Playful Inventions and now Twelfth Night. Of all of my theatrical experiences at UNI, our devised performance of Playful Inventions sits at the top of the list. This piece of theatre led to my passion for working with youth on the autism spectrum. It also has driven me to participate in a year and a half long research grant sponsored by Autism Speaks. The most profound moments I am leaving UNI with are any of those in which I have taught the young people that have come into my life. I have worked with a community of the most unbelievably imaginative youth in which I have UNI to thank. These truly are moments that will live with me for the rest of my life.

I have recently accepted the position of associate education director at The Coterie, a renowned children's theatre in Kansas City. I hope to continue my work in youth theatre, focusing on developing new works for youth on the autism spectrum.

One of my favorite features of UNI is the Gallagher-Bluedorn's Kaleidoscope Series program. It provides awesome opportunities for both student teaching artists and the young people it reaches in the community. I also love UNI's Homecoming and faculty. Some of my greatest memories are from that one week every year and the university's faculty are among those most supportive, passionate and intellectual faculty that I have come to know.

Olivia CezarOlivia Cezar
Major: Marketing/Management
Hometown: Gary, Ind.

I enrolled at UNI as a nontraditional student and single mother. I've been able to transfer my real-life experiences into student leadership positions and in-class discussions. My 11-year-old twin boys, Christopher and Christian, have been able to be active in my college career, allowing us to grow as a family.

I've been able to sharpen my skills as a leader and team player, encourage others and, most importantly, recognize and take advantage of opportunities. I was recognized as Student Leader of the Year in the College of Business for 2012 through 2014 and have also been a UNIBusiness recruiter and ambassador for four years.

I'm relocating to Houston, Texas, to pursue my career in the sales industry. I am excited about entering this new phase and applying all the wonderful information I've learned during the last four years.