Dani Goedken

Dani Goedken

Danie Goedken
Major/Job Title:
Political Science
Hometown:
Dyersville, Iowa
Class Year:
2022

Dani Goedken

What brought you to UNI?

I was drawn to UNI because of their size. I wanted a university large enough to meet new people everyday but small enough that I would be able to make meaningful connections with my professors. It was important to me that my professors knew my name and I was more than a face in the crowd.

What did you enjoy most about attending UNI?

My experience as a peer mentor and PLUS leader with Rod Library Learning Center was the most impactful experience in my academic journey. I found my passion for teaching and aiding students in their success and college adjustment. This experience greatly impacted my decision to attend the UNI Masters of Student Affairs in the fall.

Dr. Donna Hoffman was important to my success as a student. She has helped me explore career options, fall more in love with politics, has been a reference, a mentor, and faculty advisor to my undergraduate research. She always pushed me to be my best and was always there to answer my questions and guide me. Her Introduction to American Politics class my first semester on campus is the reason I switched my major to politics. I can’t thank her enough for the impact she has had on me as a student.

How did you become interested in your major? 

I have always had a passion for reading, history, politics, and civil rights but in coming to college I chose a major that I did not have a passion for. I chose the major that would get me a good job someday and I ended up hating my classes. After taking Introduction to American Politics with Dr. Hoffman in the fall of my freshman year I quickly knew I needed to change my major. With support from Dr. Hoffman and other political science faculty and advisors I changed my major and now I simply could not imagine myself graduating with any other degree!

What were some of your favorite classes? 

  • Modern Presidency with Dr. Donna Hoffman
  • Race and Public Policy with Dr. Jayme Renfro
  • Senior Seminar with Dr. Scott Peters
  • Political Theory: Power with Dr. Ana Kogl

How have you been involved outside of the classroom?

  • NI Feminists President
  • Northern Iowa Student Government Senator and Campaign Team Leader
  • UNI Proud Executive Team Member
  • UNI Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Director of Public Relations and Marketing
  • Peer Mentor & PLUS Leader
  • Independent Research with Faculty Advisor
  • Intern at Waypoint Domestic Violence Services
  • UNI Inspire Conference Presenter
  • Heartland CRLA Conference Presenter

Post-graduation plans?

UNI Masters of Student Affairs Program Fall 2022

How did UNI prepare you for your post-graduation plans?

The Political Science Department puts a lot of emphasis on research, writing, and communication. These skills have aided me in my application and acceptance to the graduate program and will continue to be useful in the program this fall. I have gained a deep understanding of how to effectively research and write papers through in class work and independent research. I will continue to use these skills to further my research of higher education and prepare for my thesis in the future!

What advice would you give to high school seniors (and/or transfer students)?

Try everything! I never imagined myself going to grad school in student affairs or even knew it was an option. I had applied for a job as a PLUS Leader on a whim my freshman year and absolutely fell in love! I knew from then on that I would be working in a university someday!

GET INVOLVED!! I met my best friends through student organizations and now I couldn’t imagine my life without them! The friends, connections, and experience from student organizations cannot be matched. I have too many amazing memories in student orgs to count!