Bachelor's in Secondary Mathematics Education: Indiana University Bloomington
Master's in Student Affairs and Higher Education: Indiana State University
Hometown: Terre Haute, Indiana
Current Position: Associate Director for Operations and Assessment-Career Development Center
Where did you go for undergrad and how did you decide on your major?
For undergrad, I came to IU and I majored in secondary mathematics education. Math wasn’t ever my thing, but I knew I wanted to teach. The summer before my senior year, I started to rethink teaching. During my junior year, I had tons of in-classroom experiences. I had somewhat of a meltdown when some of my students weren’t understanding concepts after I had spent a fair amount of time explaining. It hit me then that I didn’t know if I would be able to sustain that. I had tons of fun during my undergrad. I was on the bowling team, and I participated in the Global Gateways program. I student tight in Dublin, and it was incredible. It was my first time on a plane, and I got to take a trip to Spain.
What about grad school?
I went to ISU for student affairs and higher education. I always had a high value on education. My dad had dropped out of college and my mom didn’t go. We had financial, and I realized how important higher education was.
How did the 21st Century Scholars Program help you? What was your experience like?
I went to a camp at IU in the 8th grade as a 21st Century Scholars, learned about the Covenant, and realized that college would be feasible. Everything I’ve been able to do and where I am today is because of this program. When I came to school, I didn’t ever meet with an advisor and there wasn’t any programming. It’s evolved since then. Now I’ve partnered with advisors like Jen and Andrew.
Was there anything you had to overcome during your college experience? If so, how did you overcome it?
My family had some housing issues, and we were without a home for a while. I felt guilty for coming to IU instead of getting a job. I also felt like I was missing out on my siblings’ lives. However, I found jobs on campus and started to feel like I was around people like me. Especially, living in Wright, I found that I had a community.
Did you know anything about IU before you made your decision?
I didn’t know a bunch about academics, as it wasn’t explained to me. However, I didn’t apply to any other schools, and it was the best option for a 21st Century Scholar.
What was your post-grad journey? How did you end up working at IU?
I was a 2020 May graduate and got accepted to a IU job in January, pre-covid. I still had a job after the pandemic and the next year I moved to Bloomington. Working from home was boring, but now it’s great. I have a lot of pride. I can’t imagine going to another university and feeling the same way. I currently help with the websites, marketing, and media for the Career Development Center. I am starting a doctoral program, focusing on higher education.
Do you have any advice for current 21st Century Scholars, maybe ones who will be going into the workforce?
You will always know the discrepancies in privileges and may feel like an imposter, but you have to tell yourself that you made it to college, and you can do everything you want to.
What’s been your favorite memory of Bloomington or IU?
Going to Dublin, learning about cultures that were not my own, and indulging in different ways of life. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
What's your favorite Bloomington spot?
I love Switchyard Park. On campus, I like the area by Wells and the Bell Tower. There used to be a Yogi’s on 10th and Dunn that was my favorite. Crazy Horse, Nicks, Siam House, Mother Bears, and Pizza X are all awesome too.