Meet the next generation of Panther graduates

While COVID-19 made for a challenging end to their college careers, 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 Fall 2020 graduates:

UNI graduate Spencer WilleyName: Spencer Willey

Major: Supply Chain Management

Briefly describe what you’ll be doing after graduation: I will be moving to Cedar Rapids and begin working as an associate procurement buyer at Collins Aerospace. 

“Since I originally came from a small town, I felt that UNI would be a great fit for myself. I was also attracted to their highly regarded business program and wanted to take full advantage of their small student to teacher ratios. As a result of the small class sizes, I had a really great opportunity to connect with a lot of my fellow classmates and professors, which certainly enhanced my experience at UNI. 

“UNI is filled with many great opportunities to learn and challenge yourself. Not to mention their education is top of the line and it is geared to set your future up for success.”

UNI graduate Morgan JonesName: Morgan Jones

Major: Elementary Education

Briefly describe what you’ll be doing after graduation: After graduation, I will substitute teach in the Waterloo and Cedar Falls school districts until the summer of 2021. Then I will continue my military career by attending Basic Officer Leadership Course for four months. Upon completion of my military training, I will be going back to school for my master's degree. 

“UNI helped prepare me for my career as a classroom teacher by giving me ample opportunities to get into the classroom with students and apply what I was learning. Instead of learning everything in theory, UNI enabled me to test and challenge myself with real world experiences. 

The professors truly cared about me as a person, supported me and better prepared me for teaching. UNI also brought me to the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program where I was given a full-ride scholarship and introduced me to life-long friends. I have been able to travel all over the country and even the world through ROTC. ROTC has been the most influential part of my journey by molding me into a strong and adaptable leader.”

UNI graduate Damond JonesName: Damond Jones

Major: Psychology and Sociology

Briefly describe what you’ll be doing after graduation: I plan on attending the University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign for Labor and Employment Relations.

“UNI helped me with learning how to effectively communicate with people different from me. Not only that, but some of the professors that I have had have actually helped me by giving some background knowledge on graduate schools, so I feel a lot more comfortable handling myself in that environment. I have been able to do so much here - a lot more than I thought I was capable of. From being an orientation leader and showing others what joys UNI can provide, to meeting some of the most influential and inspirational professors. I have enjoyed the overall journey of my time here at UNI.” 

UNI graduate Caleb GippleName: Caleb Gipple

Major: Public Administration 

Briefly describe what you’ll be doing after graduation: I plan to relocate to Richmond, Virginia and work for my fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, as a regional director. 

“I decided to attend UNI after my tour of campus. After walking around with my tour guide, I noticed the sense of community on campus that I had enjoyed at my small high school. With the size of campus, the sense of community, and the opportunities that UNI offers I knew I wanted to be a Panther. 

“UNI prepared me for my career in many ways, but one of the biggest was critical thinking. From my major and the experiences we had, I developed the invaluable skill of thinking critically. With this skill, I feel equipped to go out and be a change-maker in my industry.”

UNI graduate Sidney TaylorName: Sidney Taylor

Major: Social Sciences Teaching 

Briefly describe what you’ll be doing after graduation: I will be interning at the Iowa State Fair this summer and searching for my first teaching job at an Iowa middle or high school. 

“UNI has such a welcoming atmosphere. I knew it was ‘the one’ when I first visited. It was a great size. Large enough where I met new people every day, but small enough where I saw several of the same kids and got to know them. UNI prepared me for my future career by educating me on social issues, and giving me the resources and experience to become a well-rounded individual and a life-long learner. This will benefit me as an educator by allowing me to connect with all people and contribute to society.”