Student Writes Article for USA Today

By Ryan Rohlf ‘14

Stress can be tough for anybody – especially for a freshmen adjusting to her first year of college in a state far from home.

Simpson freshman and California native Steffi Lee explored that subject recently in an article she wrote for the USA Today college website.

Lee said that the experience and knowledge she has gained at Simpson helped her to work up the courage to propose the article.

“Brian Steffen, (chair of the communications department) had been talking to me a lot about stress in college and making sure I wouldn’t burn out, so I thought it could be a good story to write,” Lee said. “Also seeing the student body at Simpson and seeing how involved they were made me want to write the article, because I think the topic applies to so many people at Simpson since students seem to be really involved.”

Lee credits a lot of her motivation to the faculty at Simpson, as well as to a high school teacher, Bruce Stevens, who told her about Simpson and all the things it had to offer.

“Simpson’s faculty members really encourage students to start building their resumes and start setting goals for the future as soon as they step foot on campus,” Lee said. “That’s something I think a lot of larger colleges neglect to do.”

The opportunities Simpson has provided Lee are also things that would be harder to come by at a larger college. Just three months after starting her Simpson career, Lee said she had the opportunity to be on national TV and talk about her views on the election.

“I know I never would have gotten the opportunity to go to CBS in New York if it wasn’t for Simpson’s Culver Center,” Lee said. “Through the Culver Center, I got sent to see Scott Pelley on CBS with three other students, so that was pretty great.”

Lee has even been able to take advantage of the opportunities the Indianola community has to offer Simpson students. Since the beginning of the spring semester, Lee has been doing some freelance writing for some local news publications.

“Because of Simpson and its connections, I have even been able to take on some projects for the Indianola Record-Herald,” the local newspaper, Lee said.

Sometimes a little extra push is all it takes, and Lee says that her Simpson faculty and staff mentors have helped her take the steps to make her first USA TODAY College story possible.

“I wanted to write for a college publication, so Brian Steffen really encouraged me to become a part of The Simpsonian staff,” Lee said. “Working on The Simpsonian has really motivated me to work hard at what I want to do and to set more career goals for myself.”

With a variety of writing experiences under her belt, Lee said that it was a bit easier to write the story.

“I knew what kind of sources I needed to speak with to establish the foundation for my story because of my work with The Simpsonian and the Record-Herald,” Lee said. “However, there were times when I struggled to find the right direction. It actually took me multiple tries to get my message across.”

Though writing the article was challenging, Lee said that she would continue to make pitches to USA TODAY College in hopes of future publication.

Read Lee’s Story in the USA Today



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