Year: Class of 2010
Major: Studio Fine Arts
Minor: Human Resources, Educational Studies, Art History
Higher Education: Master of Science in higher education and student affairs from Indiana University
Hometown: Salem, Indiana
Current Occupation: Director of IU Corps
Past IU Involvement: RA, Research Assistant, ping pong club, student athletic advisory board.
Why did you choose IU Bloomington?
"There was no particular reason. It was more by accident. When I visited Purdue it was a rainy and dreary experience. I hadn't been out of town much and when I did the Bloomington visit with friends (pre GPS days) we got lost and had a fun adventure so I had a positive, fun experience associated with my IU visit. Plus my grandpa was a big IU basketball fan and that's all I heard about growing up."
What advice would you give to a senior that you wish you would have known?
"As an undergraduate, I didn't pause long enough to take in all the resources, tools and advice the office had to offer because I just thought I had to do it all myself and navigate the college experience alone.
I know there's a lot of information out there, but the 21st Century Scholars office is made up of a team of people dedicated to making sure students are successful at IU. If anything, just pause and realize these people in the office are your advocates and take advantage of what they have to offer. (advice, events, workshops, resources) They are here for you and want you to be successful."
What was an obstacle that you overcame as an undergraduate student?
"I struggled a lot with mental health issues as an undergraduate. Before I came to college nobody ever talked about this and I didn't know these struggles can be relatively common for college students. When I was just about ready to give up on pursuing my goals, I had an IU faculty member point me to a really good mental health resource which helped me change directions. Due to my own battles, I have become very open about the issue in order to help others and reduce any related stigma. It’s still a journey for me but I am now able to coach others and encourage them to find resources. I’m proud of the fact that I learned how to navigate the system and advocate for my needs in spite of this personal struggle. College is hard and you need to reach out for help when you need it!"
How did the 21st Century Scholar services at IU Bloomington benefit you?
"I really didn't understand the true benefit until I got to be as old as I am now with my own children. As a young person, you don't understand what $10,000 a year means or whatever your particular price tag is, especially coming from a family with less financial resources. I realize now I may have dropped out of school due to lack of funds or I would have been in so much financial distress. There was no way I could have realized that financial benefit as a college senior.
Also, the scholarship allowed me to start that next step in a better position, like for me it was grad school. Someone there had first mentioned Graduate School to me and I didn't understand what that meant. They talked about all the tools available to help me figure it out, like this GRE prep course that I otherwise wouldn’t have known about. Had I not got that master's degree I would not be where I am today and I’m not sure I would have passed that GRE test without the suggestion of the prep course. I could not have figured all that out on my own."
How did you remain successful as a 21st Century Scholar?
"I definitely had my ups and downs but luckily I have been blessed to be able to work through the failures and pick myself back up. There were really difficult times I really had to work hard to get through. After I figured out what I wanted, what direction I was headed, and focused, then my grades got a lot better. Reaching out sooner for help would have avoided some of the harder times.
Also I really got down on my luck after an advisor saw a bad math score and said I wasn’t able to go in a certain path because of one score. I had always been a great student in high school so this was a big setback for me. I soon realized you have to push past what one person says about your abilities and not let anyone else choose your path for you. You know yourself best."
What was the best thing about being a 21st Century Scholar?
"The financial blessing was more than I realized and now that I have three kids of my own I am really aware of it. I wouldn’t be where I am today without this program, the added layer of support offered, and all the doors that were opened for me as a scholarship recipient."
What were your favorite classes at IU and why?
"Art history my senior year, taught by professor emeritus Sarah Burns, covering the history of architecture in the United States. She knew her stuff and I always looked to forward to her class and even invited my boyfriend to attend. She had such energy and passion she brought to the classroom and you could see it through all her photographs of all her experiences. To this day, I'm obsessed with architecture and cannot wait to read more. She was just so giving and so thoughtful but yet so well respected.
Another one was 2D Art. I've never worked so hard for one class in my life! The instructor cared so much about quality and precision—I was taught how important it is to respect quality and to respect what you present forward and how you present yourself. She cared about everyone’s projects and made me feel proud of my work and I still have some of the pieces today!"
What activities (including employment) were you involved in?
"I always had part time jobs since there was no Covenant scholarship at that time. I worked at the golf course, in residential programs as an RA, as a research assistant and with parking operations."