Leading by example

CATEGORIES: News, Students
Ann Lent

It’s safe to say that Ann Lent (’23 political science, international studies) is never bored. The Iowa State senior has taken full advantage of her Cyclone experience over the past four years.

Lent, a double major in political science and international studies who is also minoring in music and psychology, pursued both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science concurrently. She will earn her bachelor’s degree on Dec. 16, followed by her master’s degree in 2024. Seeking dual degrees simultaneously is nothing new for the academically ambitious Lent.

“I was drawn to the concurrent program because I had accomplished something similar when I received my associate’s degree along with my high school diploma,” Lent said. “I’ve enjoyed finding unconventional ways to push myself academically and reach new heights.”

Beyond the classroom

A rigorous academic schedule like Lent’s might discourage some students from pursuing extracurricular activities outside the classroom. But Lent has fully embraced opportunities to get involved with clubs and organizations she is passionate about.

From student government, to her sorority, to music ensembles, to the honors program – Lent has been busy from sun up to sun down the past four years doing what she loves and excels at – leading others. Her advice for students who seek to be strong leaders? Put others first.

“A good student leader is one that participates in leadership for the good of the organization and not for their own personal benefit,” Lent said. “Coming into college, it can be easy to fall into the trap of what’s best for your resume or what would make the best moment to post on LinkedIn. However, those choices don’t often match what the members of your organization need for success. The best leaders understand that they are just one piece of a much larger organization and that their role is to help enable those around them to succeed.”

Marshal in charge

Lent’s strong academics and her leadership roles in numerous campus organizations have not gone unnoticed. She was selected by College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) Dean Beate Schmittmann to be the student marshal at the college’s convocation on Dec. 15, a high honor for a graduating senior. Lent will lead the processional of students into convocation and speak at the event.

Lent was nominated for the role by Academic Advisor Zack Bonner.

“Ann reflects the best in LAS not just due to her academic achievements, but also due to her experiences, awards, and her work with university students of all backgrounds,” Bonner wrote in Lent’s nomination letter. “She has taken advantage of many of the extracurriculars and experiences LAS has to offer.”

Future plans

Following graduation, it’s unlikely that Lent’s bustling schedule will halt. She plans to continue the final year of her master’s degree at Iowa State, and then apply to law school. But Lent is hesitant to limit new possibilities.

“I’ve never been great at imagining the future because I don’t want to miss opportunities that arise while I have tunnel vision on something I assumed would be my plan,” she said.