Another semester has come and nearly gone, which means it’s almost commencement time. Congratulations to all the graduating Panthers of fall 2022! All your hard work has paid off!

To celebrate, here’s a look at a few of our graduating seniors. 

Nic EnglinNic Englin

Hometown: Rockwell City, Iowa

Major: Music Education, Instrumental

Briefly describe what you’ll be doing after graduation: After finishing up student teaching, I will be looking for music teaching jobs in the Twin Cities metro area.

“Don’t be afraid to try and don’t be afraid to fail! College is a new time for you to explore who you are, what your interests are and what you want your story to be. You will mess up, and that’s okay! You’re at UNI to learn, and part of that learning involves messing up or finding things that don’t work as well. But perhaps the most important thing is to have fun while you’re here! The years that you’re at UNI go quickly, so make sure you take time to enjoy yourself!

"I'm so excited to put the skills that UNI has helped me develop into practice, especially in a new environment. I'm not from Minnesota, but getting familiar with a new state and education system is something that I can't help but be excited about and the new opportunities that await."

Sarah GastineauSarah Gastineau

Hometown: Urbandale, Iowa

Major: Marketing: Advertising & Digital Media 

Briefly describe what you’ll be doing after graduation: Digital marketing coordinator at Red Lab in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

“I became interested in marketing through working in the Office of Admissions. I realized I enjoyed promoting a ‘product’ to prospective students touring UNI. I’ve been working with Red Lab part-time for almost a year now, and I love my coworkers and all the education I’ve received about digital marketing and website development. 

“My most rewarding experience at UNI was being President of the Asian Student Union to plan diversity and inclusion events. I was able to gain experience and meet so many people. Also, being involved awarded me the Servant Leadership Award.” 

Lindsey HubbellLindsey Hubbell

Hometown: Pocahontas, Iowa

Major: Environmental Resource Management

Minors: Geography, Earth Science, Art, Music, GIS Certificate, Sustainability Certificate

Briefly describe what you’ll be doing after graduation: I am in the process of applying for the Peace Corps and hope to do something involving sustainable agriculture or forestry.

“I took a gap year after freshman year and joined a national service program called AmeriCorps. During that time, I reflected on what was important to me and what I wanted to contribute to the world. I felt like environmental studies was something I could be really passionate about. I added the geography/GIS side of things to add some technical skills that greatly assist in that field. 

“I was very active in student orgs in high school, and when I first got to UNI, I felt like a small fish in a big pond. But over time, I found my ‘niche.’ I got involved in my department and in other departments and found many ways I could be involved and build a community. I joined Cecilians choir and Ukulele Club, and I got to be the president of the Geography Club for a semester. It was all of these ‘side-quests’ that made my time at UNI really special.”

Kelli OlsonKelli Olson

Hometown: Waukon, Iowa

Major: Doctor of Education (EdD), Curriculum and Instruction 

Briefly describe what you’ll be doing after graduation: I am employed with Keystone Area Education Agency in Elkader as a school improvement facilitator and curriculum director for the Allamakee Community School District.

“The program schedule made it possible for me to maintain a work, life and school balance. I was able to attend night classes at a time that did not overlap with work hours and weekend classes via Zoom.

“Everything I learned while at UNI applied directly to my current role. The knowledge and skills gained throughout my experience provided me the opportunity to look at education from different perspectives and to analyze the existing literature in regard to effective instructional practices.”

Baylee PetersenBaylee Petersen

Hometown: Dike, Iowa

Major: Biology

Minor: Chemistry

Briefly describe what you’ll be doing after graduation: I am going to be applying to physician assistant schools for the 2023-24 cycle. 

“All of my professors have been so influential to my path here at UNI. One specific experience that has been very rewarding is having the opportunity to do research. I have gotten the chance to travel to Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota and go wild caving while collecting data to observe back on campus. Through research, I have gotten the chance to work with a lot of cool people including other students and faculty. 

“While at UNI, I have learned how to study well which will be very important in physician assistant school. I have also learned how to work as a team and be a strong leader.” 

Dietrich WagnerDietrich Wagner

Hometown: Altoona, Iowa

Major: Athletic Training and Rehabilitation Studies

Briefly describe what you’ll be doing after graduation: Masters of Athletic Training at the University of Northern Iowa. 

“I was a transfer student, and I was nervous about transferring to UNI not knowing anyone in my program. Since then, I have gained a lot of new friends and have created good relationships with my professors. I met a lot of new people with the same interests and goals as me. 

“If someone were considering the same major or a closely related major, I would tell them to consider the athletic training program at UNI. Not only do you get a lot of hands-on experience in class and in labs, but there are also so many opportunities to learn in this program. They have a lot of clinical experiences ranging from athletic trainers to orthopedic surgeons. I have always believed you can learn something new from everyone, and with the variety of clinical rotations and professors and classes, you can gain a lot of knowledge within the health care field.” 

Sydney WeaverSydney Weaver 

Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Major: Speech Language Pathology (graduate degree)

Minor: Education Endorsement

Briefly describe what you’ll be doing after graduation: I accepted a job offer at a pediatric hospital as an outpatient speech language pathologist. And I’m getting married!

“I truly enjoyed my entire experience at UNI. With small class sizes, students are better able to build long-lasting relationships with classmates, supervisors, administrators and professors. This had not only allowed for great networking opportunities, but it has also grown amazing relationships professionally and personally. My professors and supervisors within the speech language pathology program have been the most influential throughout my time at UNI. They were always there and continue to be a resource and friend for not only their current students but students who have graduated.

“Throughout graduate school, my professors and administrators within the speech language pathology program assisted me in being prepared for job searching, application and interview processes through frequent lectures and discussions. I believe that as a professional in my field there is always room to grow, and my professors/supervisors have been great role models. I have been provided with a significant amount of resources and networking opportunities to assist me in my career.”