LAS 2017 senior spotlights


The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is proud of our graduating seniors! Meet some of the outstanding seniors of LAS and learn why their Iowa State experience has been special to them.

Spring 2017 LAS Convocation will be held Friday, May 5 at 8:00 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum.

Traer Schon

Journalism and Mass Communication

Career Plans
"I am still figuring out my career situation, but am looking to pursue a career as a broadcast or multimedia journalist."

When I came to ISU, I never thought I’d
"Be the editor-in-chief of a campus magazine. I remember when I visited in high school, I flipped through a copy of Ethos magazine and thought how cool it would be to work on it — little did I know that i would end up helping to run the magazine for three years."

Advice to future journalism majors
"Get involved, and get to know your professors. There are so many student media and other involvement opportunities, there’s bound to be something for you. It’s smart from a professional and networking standpoint, but in my experience it’s also fun and very rewarding — it’s a great way to make friends in your major or or who share common interests. Also, professors are great resources and great people to get to know — especially in the Greenlee school, they are always willing to help you out and send new opportunities your way (but only if they know who you are)."

How I plan to make a difference in the world
"Working in journalism, I think I have a unique (and challenging) opportunity. I hope to use my platform to tell engaging stories of people from all kinds of backgrounds and situations, in a way that can interest and relate to everyone. I think much like at Iowa State, the strength of our country is in its diversity, and I hope wherever I go in my career, I’ll be able to share a wide-range of stories, especially from communities that haven’t always had a mainstream voice."

Most memorable senior experience
"I think the most memorable experiences have been all of the (many) lasts — my last home football game, last issue of Ethos, last improv show in the M-Shop, and so on. They aren’t necessarily the most fun moments, but they’ve given me opportunities to step back and think about everything I’ve been able to do at Iowa State — the "adventure I chose" — and how much I’ve enjoyed my four years here. I accomplished pretty much everything I set out to, and then some, but all of the memories and friendships I’ve developed along the way will be what sticks with me long after that brisk walk across the stage at Jack Trice Stadium."

Arianna Bohning

BA Music and International Studies

Career Plans
"Still figuring it out!"

When I came to ISU, I never thought I’d
"Take a semester to study abroad in Ireland!

Most memorable freshman experience "Living in Elm Hall, I remember rushing downstairs at exactly 7 p.m. every Sunday night to Convos Dining Center for their late night meal bundles (which my group of friends cleverly named ‘Undie Bundies’)."

Proudest moment "When I got to play one of the most iconic English Horn solos of all time in Dvorak’s New World Symphony with the Iowa State Symphony Orchestra.

How I plan to make a difference in the world "Continue to spread the joy of music, culture, and art with the world in the hopes that we can learn to appreciate and celebrate our differences."

Kyle Perkins

BS in psychology with a business minor and leadership certificate

Career Plans
"In the short term, I’m accepting a position as an Educational Technology Fellow at Curriculum Associates in the Boston area. In the long term, I hope to pursue a PhD."

Most memorable freshman experience
"My freshman year I had the honor of performing in Carnegie hall as a member of the Iowa State choral ensembles. It was an awesome opportunity to represent our university and I will never forget doing something I love in a place with such a rich history."

How my professors/advisers helped me prepare for a great career
"I have had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of incredible people at Iowa State. The staff I’ve worked with in the Department of Residence and LAS Career Services have pointed me towards countless opportunities and always inspire me to push myself to new heights. Working with Dr. Carpenter in her research lab taught me to always explore ways to innovate. At the end of my 4 years here, I can safely say the value of my degree was further amplified by the wonderful people who have pushed me to grow than the knowledge I’ve accumulated in the classroom."

Proudest moment
"This February, I had the opportunity to present a session at the UNI RA Conference. We were selected as one of the top five programs at this conference and, based on its success, had the opportunity to present our program in other venues at ISU as well. Furthermore, I was extremely proud that one of the friends presenting with me had been a previous resident of mine. Watching his growth over the past two years makes me extremely excited about the role I’ve played in his academic career, and even more excited to see how he continues to grow and affect the people around him!"

How I plan to make a difference in the world
"While I don’t know exactly where my career path will take me, I’m certain that I will be impactful as long as I continue learning, teaching, and challenging others to grow."

Michael Clinkscales

BS in Psychology

Career plans
"Pursue acting professionally."

When I came to ISU, I never thought I would . . .
"Be able to find something that has fit me as well as the Department of Theatre and Music has. The entire idea of college theatre was intimidating to me, so to find such a welcoming and creative environment was very refreshing.**

The best lesson I learned from an internship . . . "Came from the time I spent as an employment counselor at the Polk County Jail. The lesson was there is no time too late in life to change yourself for the better."

My proudest moment at Iowa State . . .
"Has really been a series. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as finishing a show, having given your all, and going out to the lobby to see your family and friends who have come to share in your work."

I hope to make a difference in the world by . . .
"Inspiring honesty and helping to expand the reach of theatre to communities that haven’t been involved or have felt left out."

Omokhoya Abalu

BS in Journalism and Mass Communication

Career plans
"I will be working as a Paralegal/Legal Assistant in New York City."

Most memorable senior experience
"Spending an amazing semester in France while traveling through Europe and returning with an enriched perspective on the world."

How my professors and advisers helped me prepare for a great career
"They are genuinely caring and aim for you to succeed."

Best lesson learned during my internships
"Always be willing to learn and let your voice be heard."

Advice to future journalism majors
"Follow your curiosity and watch it grow, whether it’s in writing, photography, broadcast, etc. Get involved immediately in the plethora of campus publications and media groups because having work experience will take you far. Never settle and constantly push yourself to do better, to be more creative, and to accomplish your goals. Be conscious of the words that you speak and the thoughts that you think to channel more positivity into your work and your life; remember that your thoughts shape your reality. You got this and you’ll be great."

Emily Gries

BA in French and BA in Communication Studies with a minor in General Business

Career plans
"I will start full-time in June at Rockwell Collins as a Communications Specialist."

When I came to ISU, I never thought I would . . .
"Have the chance to study and live abroad in Paris, France! Not only did I earn credits toward my degree in French, I made invaluable friendships and learned skills far beyond what was taught in the classroom. Through my internships I learned to question anything and everything. Not only does it shows that you are passionate about your experience and willing to learn, but it helps you to excel and can even earn you a full-time position!"

How my professors and advisers helped me prepare for a great career
"They provided a foundation of support and guidance that helped me find my majors and courses I loved, and also a career that I can’t wait to start."

My proudest moment was . . .
"This spring when I was named Outstanding Graduating Student in French by the French Faculty in the Department of World Languages and Cultures. I feel I’ve come so far in my four years here in developing my French language skills, that to be recognized for this was really special to me."

Sara Schumacher

BS in Statistics

Career Plans
"I have accepted a full time job as a Statistical Analyst at Kingland Systems and will also be attending graduate school at Iowa State studying sociology."

Most memorable senior experience
"During the fall semester I attended a study abroad trip to Sydney, Australia under an English 314 course. There I got to explore the visit the awesome beaches and hang out with the koalas and kangaroos while forming friendships that will last a lifetime. The friends you travel with know the real you!"

Most memorable freshman experience
"The second half of my freshman year I served as my floor’s Social Chair. During that semester I arranged multiple parties with our brother floor, including a Valentine’s Day event and an end of the year event, which were all a great success. We really got to know each other and still meet up and talk about our freshmen memories."

Best lesson learned during my internship
"I learned that confidence is the most important quality. My confidence during my interview and confidence speaking with the executives of the company set me apart from the other students. If you are confident, you earn your employer’s respect and are offered many more opportunities."

Advice to future statistics students
"My advice is to learn as many statistics software programs as you can. The more experience you have, the more attractive you are to companies. Also, the more experience you have the quicker it is to pick up more software proficiencies and you can even pick a favorite. At my internship and soon-to-be full-time job we are using software that I hadn’t learned in classes, but I was better prepared to ask the right questions and to dig into its capabilities because I knew from experience."

Kaili Meyer

BS in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in Psychology

Career Plans "I’d love to continue working in magazines, whether that be freelance or full-time as an editor. I plan on starting my own business and passionately pursuing that as well."

When I came to ISU I never thought I would . . .
"Found my own magazine. Starting Happy, Strong, and Healthy (HSHS) Magazine from the ground up was never on my ‘to-do’ list! But it’s by far the best decision I made while at ISU."

Proudest moment "When I spoke at HSH’s first ever release party I could barely contain myself. All of the work the entire team put in finally came together and the result was beautiful. We had a speaker there who spoke of her intense battle with an eating disorder and it was really powerful. To see a bunch of college kids get together and get excited about health — that made me proud."

How I plan to make a difference
"I plan to make a difference in the field of health and fitness. I’m very passionate about self-love and treating your body well. I want others to learn to love their bodies, find strength, and fuel themselves well (it’s OK to have a cookie … or 2!)"

Advice to future journalism students
"Work hard and believe in yourself. It’s one thing to be a good writer, it’s another to be a great journalist and storyteller. Once you figure out the difference — that’s when the magic happens."