Simpson Students Reflect on Completing a Successful Academic Year

(Three Simpson students – Maureen Snook ’16, Maxine Lauzon ’17 and Danielle Allen ’17, asked to job shadow the Office of Marketing and Public Relations as part of a May Term class. As part of their visit, we sent them out to interview students. Here is their report:)

Why did you choose Simpson?

Tanner Augustine from Parker, Colorado, a first-year student with a dual major in Marketing and Sports Management, said he chose Simpson because he “enjoyed the small but friendly community.” He said Simpson has people who encourage and support you, and he “really got to know students and professors here as well as make lifelong friends.”

Jasmine Ward from Kansas City, Mo., a first-year student who is majoring in Marketing: “Simpson has personal relationships. The professors know your name and are willing to help you if you just ask… The friends you make here are special. You feel like you matter and that you’re part of something.”

Jordan Lowry of Oskaloosa, a first-year student majoring in Environmental Science: “The small class sizes help you to pay attention in class, and the professors notice when you are not working at your best. I was surprised about how well I got to know my professors.”

Ethan Newman, a recent graduate with a dual degree in Math and Theater, recalled that he came to Simpson for the Math department and the departmental programs offered. Ethan was surprised that he was able to double major and that his experience was different, but better than what he expected.

Katie Eichelberger, a first-year student from Altoona, was attracted to Simpson because of its location and the soccer program. She also liked the idea that she could graduate in three years with a degree in Marketing and minor in Public Relations. She said she is happy with the great atmosphere Simpson offers and the independence a person can achieve while still making new friends.

First-year student Rachel Kaale from Indianola was pleased with the basketball program and how the athletes at the Division III level were clearly passionate about their sport and were there for the love of the game. She was impressed with how sensitive and attentive the coaches are to the players and what’s going on in the players’ lives. Rachel describes Simpson as “well-rounded” where there is really no one area that is greater than the others because all of the programs are strong and successful.

Dustin Martens, who graduated this spring with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, noted how different college was from the movies—particularly with class participation. Martens was surprised and happy when he joined Greek life and became a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.

What was a highlight for you during the past academic year?

Robert Lyons of Denison, a first-year student studying Political Science and Public Relations, said he was “happily surprised by the amount of freedom I had in creating projects and forming groups.” He founded the Rotaract Club, in conjunction with Indianola’s Rotary Club, to encourage community involvement among Simpson students. “Seeing everyone at the first meeting meant a lot to me.”

Senior Andrew Zepeda of Hacienda Heights, Calif., said his greatest triumph was earning a 3.0 grade-point average.

Carlton Moody of South Bend, Indiana, a junior who’s majoring in Business Management, said a highlight was raising his grade-point average, which he accomplished by “studying, and the teachers helped by having study sessions.” He said it’s easy to contact professors for extra help and advice.

Ethan Newman: Receiving an award for his light design at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival this past January.

Kate Hayden, a junior from Indianola, described her Semester Abroad trip to London, recalling the city transportation and the street art. She said she was surprised to discover that she could afford Simpson as well as a Semester Abroad. She is particularly happy that she will be able to graduate on time with a degree in Multimedia Journalism.

Alex Funaro from Carlisle, a sophomore majoring in Criminal Justice, said his highlight was being able to ride along with a law enforcement officer as part of a class. The opportunity “opened my eyes,” he said, and he remains committed to a future career as a state trooper.

Dustin Martens said his highlight was completing his senior seminar. He wrote a paper about the philosophy behind how people interact with one another, particularly in comparing the wait staff and patrons of a country club.

Haley Stamats of Cedar Rapids, a first-year student, said she has been thrilled with the people she has met in the music department. She enjoys the sense of communication and dedication that everyone shares. She also said Simpson’s size allows her to receive more personal attention and better roles than she could achieve at a larger institution.

Ayana Taplin of Angelton, Texas, a senior studying Music, said her greatest moment this year has been joining the Where’s the Fun club, where she has met many “quirky and fun” people and taken part in events such as Bingo-Paloosa and Pinata-Palooza.

Kayla Price of Sioux City, a first-year student, said being on her own was a highlight. “I like the independence a lot,” she said. Now that she’s in college, “motivation has to come from me” and she enjoys being able to choose what to do and when to do it.

What advice would you give a high school student thinking about what college to attend?

Lauren Kisley of Osage, a first-year student with a major in Biology: “Simpson may not be your first choice, but keep an open mind because you’re never going to know if it will be the right fit. So visit and ask questions.”

Tanner Augustine: “Really think and choose a place where you feel at home. If you take time to visit Simpson and feel at home, then this is the place to be.”

Robert Lyons: “Simpson gives you all the keys to find success. It is up to you whether or not you use those keys.”