College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Celebrating our Spring 2020 Graduates

Posted on Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

As the Spring 2020 semester ends, our graduating seniors are preparing for a historic online commencement celebration. We are so proud of their accomplishments and know that, despite these chaotic times, they will go on to achieve incredible things.

Below are just a few of the many seniors graduating this year. Click on each name and/or photo to view their full profile.

Micah DanielMicah Daniel

Hometown: Marshalltown, Iowa 
Major: Social Work
Post-graduation plans: Micah was honored to be accepted into the Master's of Social Work at UNI. He will be enrolled in Summer 2020. 

"It was exciting to be able to expand my knowledge in social work and be a part of a community that focused on training men and women to be change agents. Obviously, other students, peers and teachers have shaped my thinking in this field that is ever-changing. Yet, the important lesson learned for me has been for mental and emotional self-care in order to be able to help others who are wounded and hurt."


Tyler DetermannTyler Determann

Hometown: Forest City, IA
Degree: Master's in Social Work
Post-graduation plans: Tyler is currently employed with Four Oaks Family and Children Services in Cedar Rapids, but having recently moved, he will be looking for counselor positions at various agencies in the Ames and Marshalltown areas.​

"There are multiple faculty that I would like to give a mention to. During my undergraduate career, Dr. Kimberly MacLin played a big part in making my time in the psychology department rewarding and also memorable . . . Professor Libby Fry also influenced the time I had in my Master’s level of education . . . Professor Jenny Becker and Dr. Steve Onken also influenced my experience at UNI by taking the time to actively listen and hear what questions I had outside of class, and provide their own life knowledge of the field to assist in not only my education but also my future career outlook . . . Dr. Katherine Van Wormer and Dr. William Downs are now retired but also helped promote my sense of self-confidence."


Abigail FerAbigail Fer

Hometown: Davenport, IA
Major: History, with distinction in Peer Education
Post-graduation plans: This fall, Abigail will enter the Master’s in History program at Minnesota State University, Mankato.  

"Although it is difficult that I cannot spend my last couple of days as a student with the faculty and students that I love so much, I am extremely happy and grateful that I chose to earn my education at UNI. As I took toward the future, UNI will always have happy memories. Go Cats!"


Brennan HamiltonBrenann Hamilton

Hometown: Mason City, Iowa
Major: History
Minor: English 
Post-graduation plans: This fall, Brennan will enter the Master’s in History program at UNI.

"I loved getting to know all of my amazing friends and my boyfriend, Matt. I really enjoyed being a member, and later the president, of the History Club, and participating in history courses and taking my capstone in Greece with Dr. Bruess and Dr. Varela. My favorite classes, which has inspired what I want to research in grad school, was Modern Eastern and Central Europe with Dr. Sadkowski, as well as Modern Soviet Russia with Dr. Bruess."


Carolyn PhamCarolyn Pham

Hometown: Davenport, IA
Majors: Psychology and Art Studio (drawing emphasis)
Certificate: Industrial-Organizational Psychology 
Post-graduation plans: This fall, Carolyn will be pursuing a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology at Ohio University.

"I really loved getting to know my professors. One of my favorite experiences was being a teaching assistant for a couple of psychology classes. Christine Bennett and Dr. Jiuqing Cheng have been really helpful and influential! I TA’d for Bennett, and we got along really well. I completed a research fellowship with Dr. Cheng, and he was really influential in my post-graduation plans."


Maritza SalinasMaritza Salinas

Hometown: Jefferson, IA
Major: Geographic Information Systems: Planning, Policy & Development
Post-graduation plans: This summer, Maritza hopes to take part in NASA’s DEVELOP summer program for the Satellite Beach Energy project. This fall, she will enter the Master’s in Geography program at UNI.

"It’s unfortunate that we aren’t getting to walk like everyone else before us, but we are living history. What we decide to do with this time will resonate with our children and their children (and maybe even their dogs). It’s important to stay positive! Some of the greatest innovations came out of the Great Depression. It’s time to cash out on your creativity, show your worth and help as many people as possible in the process!"


Anya ShoreyAnya Shorey

Hometown: Sioux City, IA
Major: Psychology, General Music Studies
Post-graduation plans: This fall, Anya will be pursuing a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology with an emphasis in Vision and Hearing Sciences at the University of Louisville.

"The most helpful experiences I had at UNI that will prepare me for my future was conducting research. I have been a research assistant for multiple professors in the psychology department and that hands-on experience has taught me so much more than I could learn on my own."


Zach StegerZach Steger

Hometown: Strawberry Point, IA
Major: History Education
Minor: Social Sciences Secondary Education Endorsement 
Post-graduation plans: Upon graduation, Zach will be teaching financial literacy at Denver High School.

"By far the most rewarding aspect of my time at UNI was the interactions and relationships I formed with the faculty. The university has a strong community of professors who genuinely care about students in their education and in their lives. They do this while having strong credentials in their respective areas of study and push students to sharpen their skills and broaden their perspectives. I utilized every opportunity I could to interact with the faculty, and because of that, I cultivated fantastic relationships with many professors. Some of the most influential include Thomas Hesse, Thomas Connors, Brian Roberts, Robert Dise, Kyle Tobiason, Fernando Calderon, Judith Dohlman and the late Donald Shepardson."


Lillian TeaterLillian Teater

Hometown: Morton, IL
Major: Textiles and Apparel
Certificate: Sustainability 
Post-graduation plans: Lillian has accepted a merchandise analyst position at Kohl’s Corporate Buying Office in Milwaukee, WI.

"Through my time at UNI, I got the opportunity to take on various leadership positions such as co-editor-in-chief of Uprising Magazine, executive director of Catwalk 28, and STEM ambassador for Textiles and Apparel. When I think back to my first day at UNI, I didn’t know much about the program or what I was passionate about. I am forever grateful to Dr. Lynch and Dr. Mord for their expertise in the field and passion for their students. Learning from them helped me grow so much professionally and personally, and I can’t imagine my time at UNI without them or those leadership opportunities they encouraged me to take on."

Isaac UbbenIsaac Ubben

Hometown: Aplington, IA
Major: Geographic Information Science: Environmental Science and Policy
Minor: Anthropology
Certificate: Unmanned Aerial Systems
Post-graduation plans: Isaac plans on working for Bayer Crop Science over the summer as a field inspector while looking for a permanent position.

"There are so many amazing people, faculty and students, in the Geography Department, and I feel privileged to have met them and call them friends. Some of my favorite memories were late nights spent in the GIS lab cramming to finish projects. Those nights would inevitably lead to off-topic conversations, but those were some of the best conversations! To me, the most disappointing part of this pandemic is missing out on opportunities to make those memories with peers."