Our graduating seniors continued to impress with their academic brilliance, strong relationships with faculty and other students, and wide variety of out-of-class experiences to create a strong foundation for their future. These are but a few of our promising Class of Spring 2021 graduates:

UNI graduate Ayah Al-DuraziName: Ayah Al-Durazi

Hometown: Waterloo, Iowa

Major: Political Science

Briefly describe what you’ll be doing after graduation: I will be attending Colorado State University in their masters in public policy and administration program with a concentration in international policy and management in Fort Collins, Colorado.

I came to UNI due to how close it was to home; however, I stayed here because I truly felt as though I belonged here. I was able to build a community with students though student organizations, as well as faculty, and it felt as though faculty cared about my success.

UNI, specifically the political science department, has given me the necessary skills to move onto a graduate program. Classes within the department helped me find my passion in creating policy to help others, which led me to choosing my graduate program. UNI has given me the opportunity to make connections and network with people who have helped guide me in my decision for my post-graduation plans and who I know will continue to help me further in my career.

UNI graduate Kyle Lee ChizekName: Kyle Lee Chizek

Hometown: Beaman, Iowa

Major: Theatre Performance

Briefly describe what you’ll be doing after graduation: I am applying to University of Minnesota-Mankato for their MFA in theatre with an emphasis in directing. My end goal is to be a college theater professor.

The support from the faculty of the theatre department was a major help in getting me ready for possible graduate school. They knew when to push me, they knew when to make me question, they knew when to let me try and fail and then try again to create something even better. I think without their support, I would not want to take on the challenge of grad school and would not have the desire to do higher education in theatre.

UNI graduate Candie CuevaName: Candie Cueva

Hometown: Garner, Iowa

Major: English Teaching

Briefly describe what you’ll be doing after graduation: After graduation, I will be teaching English language arts at Belmond-Klemme Jr./Sr. High School in Belmond, Iowa. After teaching for 3-5 years, I plan on pursuing a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. 

I came to UNI because I wanted to go to a school that had small class sizes and a strong teaching program. These two qualities of UNI ended up only being the tip of the iceberg when it came to what I would love about the college as a whole.

Students should choose UNI because it is a place that is warm, supportive and all-around magical. At every corner of this campus, there is a friendly face waiting to see you, hear you and help you be better than you were yesterday. The personal and academic growth that UNI fosters is unmatched, which is why the experiences you will have here are absolutely priceless. 

UNI graduate Haley RodgersName: Haley Rodgers    

Hometown: Winfield, Iowa

Major: Movement and Exercise Science

Briefly describe what you’ll be doing after graduation: I will be attending the University of Iowa’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program in Iowa City.

My mom and sister attended UNI, and they both had nothing but positive things to say about the college. After high school, I wasn’t 100% set on my career goal yet, so I was intrigued by all of the other options UNI would have given me should I have wanted to change my major.

UNI provided me with an abundance of high-quality knowledge in my courses. This will allow me to have a good background of information prior to entering graduate school. The professors made me feel comfortable to seek out extra help, which I know will be helpful as I move forward in my academic endeavors. The relationships I’ve built with professors has also created several learning opportunities for me, such as being a part of research.

UNI graduate Lilah FlickingerName: Lilah Flickinger                    

Hometown: Matherville, IL

Major: Criminology and Political Science                

Briefly describe what you’ll be doing after graduation:  I have a conditional job offer with a Department of Justice agency, and I am currently going through the last step of the job process. Once they are finished with my background check, I will receive the final job offers and locations that I can choose to be placed at.

As an out-of-state student, I came to UNI knowing absolutely no one here, so I was very nervous at first if I would make any friends here. However, after putting myself out there, joining clubs and talking to others in my dorm, I quickly made so many life-long friends here at UNI that I will have for a long time.