By Laura Wiersema ’18
One of the benefits of a Simpson College education is that students must obtain credits outside their major. It is part of receiving a well-rounded education that is at the heart of a liberal arts college.
Sometimes, those classes make all the difference, often leading students to discover a new field of study they love. And Simpson makes it easy for those students to change majors.
Corydon’s Madi Wilson ’17 arrived at Simpson during her freshman year planning to be a high school English teacher when she graduated. So she signed up for some education classes that year, but on a whim she also took a journalism course. She loved it.
“Brian Steffen (Department Chair of Multimedia Communication) encouraged me to take more journalism classes,” Wilson said. “After that point, I switched directions and decided to go into the communications field. I love writing, so journalism has been perfect for me.”
While she started down the path of journalism, Madi continued to pursue a degree in English as well. And she couldn’t have made it through the endless writing from both majors without the guidance of professors Brian Steffen, Mark Siebert and David Wolf.
“They were always willing to meet with me, listen to me complain, and provide advice and words of wisdom,” Wilson said. “They’ve influenced my life tremendously by encouraging me through tough times and showing that they truly care about helping me reach my personal and academic goals.”
Someday Wilson hopes to be a communications and media studies professor, maybe even at Simpson College. That’s why she’s planning to continue her education in the fall to work toward her masters and doctorate degrees.
Wilson’s time at Simpson was molded by much more than her studies, however. She stayed highly involved in several activities including The Simpsonian, Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, intramurals, First Year Council, Campus worship, Alpha Lambda Delta honor society, Sigma Tau Delta English honor society and off campus organizations.
“I feel so blessed to have been involved in all of these organizations,” she said. “I’ve built confidence, grown as a leader, strengthened my faith, and I’ve developed relationships with professors and friends that I know will be lifelong.”
And as she did all these things, she made memories along the way, whether it was big events like Stand Around, CAB bingos, Homecoming Week or Greek life activities or simple tasks.
“I was honored to be Simpson’s 2016 Homecoming Queen, so that’s definitely a memory I will never forget,” she said. “I will also never forget taking late night road trips with friends, pulling all-nighters, and writing 10 page papers the day before they’re due, though I don’t encourage it.”
Wilson knew coming in that her experience at Simpson would be a personal one, deliberately choosing it for its small size. But she didn’t know how involved she’d be able to be in just four short years.
“There was literally always something to do, even on the weekends,” she said. “For this reason, I barely ever went home and I only live about an hour away. I loved that there was always something to do because it gave me the chance to meet new people, network, and have fun.
“Simpson College has changed my life, and I’m so thankful to have been a part of this community.”