Our graduating seniors found a place where they belonged at the University of Northern Iowa. Their tireless academic preparation, strong relationships with faculty and other students, and wide variety of out-of-class experiences have helped create a strong foundation for their future. These are but a few of our promising fall 2019 graduates:
Name: Megan Kooker
Major: Gerontology, social work
Post-graduation plans: Interning with Friendship Village in Waterloo.
"I came to UNI because of the gerontology program. It’s one of the only universities in our area with an undergraduate program in gerontology. I also love the size. I have never felt like just a number here. The professors and other students really care about you, and help you reach your full potential.
"I have had a lot of 'outside the classroom' experience at UNI, which I think will really contribute to my future career. I volunteered at an adult day services center with a professor, which has really contributed to my learning. I interned at a few organizations in the field of aging, as well as traveled to a gerontology conference. "
Name: Syntesha Burt
Post-graduation plans: Offered two different positions, one at Bakari Behavioral Health in Waterloo and the second at Resilience Counseling Agency in Waterloo.
"What I enjoyed most about UNI was the experience itself. It strengthened me, motivated me and made me who I am today. I have gained some good relationships both personally and professionally. I have become more knowledgeable, aware of who I am and my culture, and I enjoyed the interracial relationships I was able to have here on campus.
"UNI has made me more comfortable being myself. I am more responsible, knowledgeable and approachable. All of which I will need for my new job."
Name: Jon Hellman
Major: Manufacturing Engineering Technology with an emphasis in Advanced Manufacturing; Technology Management
Post-graduation plans: Attending UNI as a graduate student while continuing to work at John Deere as a part-time student.
"What brought me to UNI was the opportunities it had with surrounding companies. I was able to attend UNI full-time while working as a part-time student at John Deere in Waterloo. The proximity and the classes I took made the role an even better fit.
"UNI provides many resources to students to ensure their success and the cost of tuition and the location of the campus gives students many options when it comes to occupations."
Name: Jalie Belloma
Post-graduation plans: Work in the field of human services to build experience before returning to college to get my master’s degree in sociology.
"I attended UNI because I heard very good things about the sociology program from former students, and it was a large university but still had small class sizes. I also liked the fact that the majority of classes at UNI are taught by professors.
"I have enjoyed every minute of my time spent at UNI. I am very passionate about learning and UNI has been an incredible place for me to do so. Each professor I have had has helped me to grow and learn new things that will stay with me forever. It has been a privilege to learn from individuals who love learning as much as I do, and who truly want you to succeed in life no matter what path you choose."
Name: William Spurr
Hometown: Cedar Falls
Major: Computer science and earth science
Post-graduation plans: Currently interviewing for a full-time job.
"My computer science education gave me a lot of programming experience, which is useful to know in any computer field. My campus job gave me a ton of real world tech support and system administration experience that I expect to draw upon every day in my future career.
"UNI has an easy-going atmosphere. People are friendly, class sizes are small and professors want to interact with you. The dining center food is excellent, especially the desserts."