College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Celebrating our Fall 2018 Graduates

Posted on Tuesday, December 4th, 2018
Congratulations to our graduating Panthers! Below are a few of the many inspirational CSBS students graduating this semester.

PatriciaPatricia Brandt

Hometown: Algona, Iowa​
Major: Social Science Education Plan B 
Post-Graduation Plans: Student teaching at Algona Middle School and Humboldt High School.

"UNI has prepared me for my post-graduation plans tremendously. As a pre-service teacher, I was in local classrooms getting experience working with school-aged kids and mentor teachers. This experience in the classroom will help me feel more confident as I near having my own classroom. 

I think students should choose UNI for their education because of the great environment here. The students are nice, the professors are extremely helpful, and there are so many opportunities to get involved on campus and grow your leadership skills." 

MaryMary Corwin

Hometown: Dike, Iowa
Major: Social Work
Post-Graduation Plans: Considering the Advanced Placement MSW program at UNI, with intentions obtain employment as a Social Worker at the Veterans Health Administration hospital in Iowa City or one of its satellite clinics.

"Being a non-traditional student, I was apprehensive about being in class with young adults; however, I found it to be an incredible time of growth for me personally due to my fellow student’s contrasting perspectives and boundless energy.

UNI has an excellent reputation for its Social Work program. Getting to know the Social Work program cadre and observing their dedication to student’s success has inspired me to give strong consideration to furthering my educational pursuits through UNI."

Alexandra EldridgeAlexandra Eldridge

Hometown: Iowa City, Iowa
Major: Social Work
Post-Graduation Plans: After graduation, I plan on working in the field of social work for a few years before pursuing a master’s degree or a degree in nursing.

“My advice to future UNI students is to sample courses from different subjects and majors; don’t be afraid to try something new and different. You never know what area you will shine in! I started out as a theatre major and, while I love acting, I found my passion in social work.”

Madison Foley

Madison Foley

Hometown: Bettendorf, Iowa
Major: Criminology
Minor: Politics and Law
Post-Graduation Plans: Attending law school in fall of 2019 to pursue federal criminal defense work.

“My professors and advisors have absolutely been the most influential in my time here at UNI. I have received recommendations from several instructors and been given invaluable guidance about law school. I truly cherish these connections and know that they will last for countless years.”

Nicole GustafsonNicole Gustafson

Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Major: Secondary Social Studies Education with an Emphasis in Psychology
Post-Graduation Plans: I plan to work as a substitute teacher in the Cedar Rapids area for the remainder of the 2018/19 school year while searching for full time employment in the fall.

“I have had so many professors here at UNI that inspired my continued love for the field of teaching and my content area of social studies. A few that stand out in my mind are Dr. Jack Yates, Dr. Gregory Bourassa and Dr. Emily Machen.

Above all, the most rewarding experiences were the times I got to spend in the classroom with students. I am so thankful that UNI builds so many hours of time in actual classrooms into their education degrees. Nothing was more beneficial than seeing the amazing teachers I got to work under teaching in the classroom.”

Ben HagerBen Hager

Hometown: Cedar Falls, Iowa
Major: Criminology
Post-Graduation Plans: Work as a Communications Specialist for the Iowa State Patrol.

“I’ve been interested in policing since I was young. After thinking about what I wanted to get out of a future job, I landed on criminology; I wanted to get out into the community and help people. I did a couple ride-alongs around the area and I knew that criminology is what I wanted to study.

I wish I had become a major sooner than I did. Criminology is such an interesting topic and all the professors I’ve had love teaching and are willing to help you find what you like, develop your strengths and be prepared for your future career.”

Katelyn HoffmanKatelyn Hoffman

Hometown: Carroll, Iowa
Majors: Sociology and Criminology
Post Graduation Plans: I am currently planning to move to Kansas City in May to work as a Student Affairs professional at a community college level; then, after a year or two, go back to school for my Master’s degree in Higher Education.

“All of my professors have had an incredibly important impact on me during my time at UNI by opening up their doors to me whenever I had a question, needed help, or even just needed to talk. They always helped me and had my best interests in mind. In particular, Dr. Kysar-Moon has been incredibly influential during my time here. She has stayed after hours or outside of office hours just to help me and other students, has opened her door to me whenever I needed to talk or ask questions, and, above all, has made me feel supported during my college years. Dr. Kysar, along with all of my other professors, classmates, coworkers and friends, have made UNI a very special place to me and for that I’ll be forever grateful.”

Harris HostagerHarris Hostager

Hometown: Iowa City, IA
Major: History Education – All Social Sciences Endorsement
Post-Graduation Plans: I plan to teach high school social studies in the Twin Cities area after graduation and eventually move back to Iowa.

“The experiences that will stand out as the most rewarding include: teaching not only in Iowa, but around the U.S. in a variety of different environments and classrooms; spending many late nights in Rod Library studying or typing away with friends (while not usually fun, this was definitely rewarding); getting involved with different student orgs I’m passionate about including History Club and UNI’s radio station 94.5 KULT-LP; and the close friendships I have made over the past four years.”

Damian KlinkenbergDamian Klinkenberg

Hometown: Muscatine, Iowa
Major: Social Work
Post-Graduation Plans: I currently plan on gaining some more work experience before I decide to pursue a graduate degree.

“Professor Jim McCullagh was one of the most influential people I had the opportunity to learn from during my time at UNI. He has a wealth of knowledge and experiences and his teaching style helped me develop many of the skills I have now.”

Ashley KnerrAshley Knerr

Hometown: Wellman, Iowa (currently reside in Cedar Rapids)
Major: Social Work
Post-Graduation Plans: I have recently been offered a position from my internship with an Assertive Community Treatment team. I also plan to be active with Medically Assisted Treatment and support for those with Opiate Use Disorders in the area.

“My internships were definitely some of the most rewarding pieces of school. They were ways for me to learn hands-on how things are in the field and gain experience that I may never have had otherwise. The Trauma class with Dr. Vasquez was one of the most rewarding classes that I have had as well. I learned a lot of significant information and took a lot away from that class that I can utilize moving forward."

Lexie LindnerLexie Lindner

Hometown: Letts, Iowa
Major: Master’s of Social Work (Distance Education)
Post-Graduation Plans: I just recently accepted a full-time position at Crisis Text Line, supervising volunteer crisis counselors on the 24/7 platform.

“First and foremost, from start to finish, my entire family’s support (including my one year old son) has been the backbone of motivation and encouragement throughout my entire MSW journey.

I have been so fortunate to have met and been a part of what I consider (biased) to be the strongest cohort at University of Northern Iowa. In an online program it can be challenging to really get to know other members of your cohort. Whether it was a question about an assignment, middle of the night study session, or just a funny GIF to keep us going throughout the challenging days – I cannot imagine what my program at UNI would have looked like without them.”

Kailee MartensKailee Martens

Hometown: Bemidji, Minnesota
Major: Political Science and Psychology
Minor: Sexuality, Women’s and Gender Studies
Post-Graduation Plans: I will be attending law school in the fall, and I’ll see where life takes me with that.

“The most rewarding experience I have had is being part of the program Camp Adventure. This program has allowed me to travel all over the world and provide support for military children. I will always be thankful for the experiences I have had and the experiences I have been able to provide for children as a Camp Adventure counselor.”

Carrie RogersCarrie Rogers

Major: Criminology
Minor: Family Services
Post-Graduation Plans: Head back to work equipped with a degree that was 20+ years in the making.  

“The students at UNI are so amazing, it’s like a family. I was surprised how friendly they are and they helped make going back to college a wonderful experience.

I gained so much personal growth during my time at UNI, but what stands out the most are the skills I learned in my conflict resolution class. This class is worth its weight in gold; it is applicable to every career and area of life, I wish I had taken it 20 years ago when I started college.

No matter what age you are, you CAN finish your degree!”

Jessica Trotter

Hometown: Hudson, Iowa
Major: Psychology
Minor: Mental Health
Post-Graduation Plans: Behavioral Strategist at Harmony House

Advice for future Panthers? “Be open to new ideas. Join that club that you think might look cool, talk to a professor if you have any questions and most importantly: be ready to make connections.”