Miranda Dean: Youth Homes of Mid-America

What has she been doing?
Miranda Dean, a junior Psychology major, has spent spring semester interning at Youth Homes of Mid-America in Johnson, IA.  The mission of this organization is to provide troubled youth and their families a path to independence.  As part of her internship, Miranda supervises the youth by conversing with them, playing games, sharing meals, and organizing off-campus activities such as exploring museums and bowling.

How did the internship help her define her career goals?
While participating in the internship, Miranda was able to narrow her focus for where she wants to go in the future.  Before beginning the experience, she had the broad goal of becoming a clinical child psychologist.  However, now she knows she wants to work in a clinical setting with adolescents who have suffered from trauma or abuse.

What did her supervisor have to say about her work?
Lou Chapman, Campus Supervisor for Youth Homes of Mid-America, commented, “Miranda impressed me with her strong personality. Although she is a very soft spoken person, she commands respect from the clients she has worked around.  Miranda has dealt with crisis situations with the utmost professionalism and is often proactive and overts potential crisis situations before they explode.”

How did she find out about this internship?
Miranda learned of her internship through her academic advisor, Professor Don Evans.  Don helped her to formulate a list of potential sites based on her interest.  Simpson College faculty and staff are great resources for brainstorming internship ideas.

What advice does she have for other student interns?
Miranda shared, “One piece of advice I have for students beginning an internship is to step outside of your comfort zone. Personally, I never would have imagined myself working in a youth home setting because I tend to be very reserved and quiet. However, it has turned out to be one of the best experiences I’ve had during college so far and I have grown tremendously from it.”

Simpson Partners with Local Organization

Senior integrated marketing communication majors partnered with Neighbors Helping Neighbors to create a public relations plan for the organization. Neighbors Helping Neighbors is currently working towards becoming a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The organization, based out of Des Moines, is a new immigrant assistance program created to help Burmese refugees adjust to life in the United States.

Three groups presented their plans to the representatives from Neighbors Helping Neighbors, who selected the winning group. Each group had an account executive, designer, research director, presentation director and editor. Students applied for their position and were placed into teams based on their position choice.

Alejandro and TylerEach group brought a unique presentation and format. All of the groups provided primary, intermediate and secondary publics to which the client should focus on, as well as three-four objectives that they should strive for. The groups also presented a SWOT analysis to provide the clients with a viewpoint of their position and how they can move forward.

“All you have to do is hit publish,” Sarah Stout said about the website her group created. AVIZSY, formed of seniors Sarah Stout, April Sigmund, Alejandro Caballero, and Tyler Crandell gave a unified presentation with ready to use materials for the client. They presented the good sides, as well as the bad side to the clients. AVIZSY also used a phase approach to their objectives. “We used this approach because it is more manageable and easier to follow,” Stout said.

NHNLOGOTwo things blew this group over the top, their logo and volunteer handbook. This group created a logo that was bright, using the colors orange and yellow, and traditional, using font that reflects the seriousness of the program and traditions that can come as the program grows. The shape of the logo represented people linking together to represent the joined forces of the United States with Burmese refugees. The volunteer handbook was ready to use for the organization right now and was filled with information pertaining to the success of the program.DSCN0154

“AVIZSY hit everything we were looking for,” Vinh Nguyen said. “They showed passion for the refugee group and were highly dynamic and worked very well together. Their logo matched with our mission, people helping people. Their handbook and public relations plan provided useful information and was ready to use.”

Think this project sounds interesting? Contact one of our professors to find out about similar projects.

13 Simpson Students Take Part In MICS 2013 Programming Contest

Assistant Professor Mark Brodie took thirteen Simpson students to the 2013 Midwest Instruction and Computing Symposium (MICS) held April 19 and 20th in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The students made up 5 teams who participated in a 3-hour programming contest against about 50 teams from small colleges all over the Midwest.

Special congratulations go to Adam Smith, Zach Huebener and Mike Henry who finished in 3rd place, solving 5 out of the 7 problems, and winning $200. The team of Linsey Williams, Jaris van Maanen, and Joel Gawarecki finished in 6th place, solving 4 out of the 7 problems. No other college had 2 teams that finished in the top 6.

The other students who participated were Ben Dimit, Jacob Feld, Simeon Olsgaard, Evan Kimberlin, Kendra Klocke, Thomas Klein, and Tony Clark. All the students enjoyed the contest and are enthusiastic about competing again next time!

Here are all the students:

MICS 2013 Programming Contest

Adam, Mike, and Zach receiving the 3rd place award.


Joel, Linsey, and Jaris:


Mike, Adam, and Zach:


Jacob and Ben:


Evan and Simeon:


Tony, Thomas, and Kendra:


History Students Visit National World War I Museum

In March, students from Prof. Judy Walden’s HIST 370 class (“Europe and World War I”) visited the National World War I Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.  The museum offers an amazing collection of artifacts and displays interpreting the “Great War.”

Displays vividly brought to life events that the students had been studying all semester.  History/Secondary Education major Nicole Gearhart (’14) commented that “seeing a shell that weighed hundreds of pounds makes it much easier to fathom how so many men could die” in the war.  The  recreations of a shell crater and a trench had a powerful impact on Josh Zieman (History and Political Science, ’14), who said he now has “a new appreciation of shell shock” from “seeing the intimidating weapons and from just looking at life-size models of the trenches.”

Most importantly, the museum helped put a human face on the immense scale of destruction of the Great War, while at the same time reminding us that individual men and women held the guns, drove the ambulances, survived the bombardments, and died on the battlefields.  Visiting the museum helped students understand that history is composed of “events that were lived by real people whose stories are left to us not only in books, but in the things they left behind,” in the words of Mitchell Nicholas (Criminal Justice, ’13).

HIST 370 students by the "Memory" sphinx, part of the World War I Liberty Memorial in Kansas City.  At the memorial, "Memory" shields her face from the horrors of war.

HIST 370 students by the “Memory” sphinx, part of the World War I Liberty Memorial in Kansas City. At the memorial, “Memory” shields her face from the horrors of war.


Alissa Deutsch: KPMG LLP

What has she been doing?
Alissa Deutsch, a junior accounting major, spent spring semester as an Audit Intern in the Des Moines office of KPMG.  KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing audit, advisory, and tax services.  During her internship, Alissa acted just as an audit associate would, serving on an engagement team for six clients.  At the end of her internship, Alissa was fortunate enough to receive a job offer beginning after her graduation from Simpson College.

What strengths did she gain within the position?
Alissa brought a positive attitude to her internship each day, which she found to be important as there were many busy times during the spring season.  She also learned the importance of building strong client relationships and had the opportunity to strengthen her teamwork skills.

What did her supervisor have to say about her work?
Jeff Jacobs, Manager and Auditor for KMPG LLP in Des Moines, said, “Alissa was an integral part of several audit engagement teams this spring.  Her positive attitude and strong work ethic definitely contributed to the success of those teams and their ability to meet client deadlines.  We are looking forward to Alissa’s return to KPMG in the Fall of 2014.”

How did she find out about this internship?
Alissa was referred to the internship by both a former KPMG intern and Assistant Professor Shane Cox.  Assistant Professor Cox was an Audit Associate II with KPMG between 2005 and 2007.  To learn more about KPMG internships, please visit http://www.kpmgcampus.com/index.shtml.

What advice did her supervisor give for future interns?
Jacobs recommended, “Discuss potential internship opportunities with the accounting professors at Simpson to leverage the connections that they have with potential employers.  Also – take advantage of the opportunities that the ICoRN program offers.  There will be many more chances to interact with larger firms that might not always recruit students directly on campus through the ICoRN events.  Lastly, I always encourage students to seek out opportunities to build their networks and interact with potential employers early on in their careers.  In my mind, it’s never too early to be thinking about your longer term plans and how to best position yourself for a future internship or career, especially if it happens to be in public accounting.”

Why does she think internships are important?
Alissa shared, “I feel it is important for Simpson students to have an internship to be able to apply the things they have learned in classes and be able to network with future employers.”

History Students Earn Honors

The History department would like to extend its congratulations to all Simpson students who received awards at the annual Honors Convocation, but would like to give a special shout out to the many history students who received a variety of awards (and not just for history!):

Rawley Butler and Ryan Stumbo — Outstanding Seniors in History 
Matt Comer and Krystal Daggett — Phi Alpha Theta Award 
JoAnna Freeland – Outstanding Senior in Political Science
Josh Zieman — Alpha Psi Omega Junior Award (Theatre)
Kristina Kelehan — Women & Gender Studies Activism Award
Colton Calvert – E. G. Booth Award

A reminder of how great our students here at Simpson are!

Honors Convocation Awards

On Thursday, the Department of Communication & Media Studies celebrated the accomplishments of top students in Multimedia Journalism and Integrated Marketing Communication with the whole of campus in a ceremony held in Smith Chapel.

At the event, awards for top honors were given to accomplished students in each of the academic areas at Simpson.

The Department of Communication & Media Studies was pleased to award the Top Senior in Integrated Marketing Communication to Alejandro Caballero and the Top Senior in Multimedia Journalism to Alejandro CaballeroJesse Stewart. These two students have both produced amazing work at Simpson and in the greater community in the four years they have been here.

Alejandro Caballero is an accomplished photographer and designer and the faculty and staff were thrilled to work with him on The Simpsonian and in his position of editor-in-chief of the Simpson College student-led magazine, ID Magazine. His freelance photography work has also been recognized for excellence.  Join us in congratulating Alejandro on his accomplishments!

jesse-and-zach1Jesse Stewart came to Simpson with a focus on radio and for the past two years has served as Station Manager of the KSTM Simpson radio station. You can find him most mornings on-air 88.9FM. He also maintains a busy schedule of gigs as a professional musician. After graduation, he will begin a full-time position at a radio station in northeast Iowa. Call or write to KSTM to send Jesse your wishes of congratulations.

In less than two weeks, the department will graduate a group of very accomplished students who have worked hard in their years at Simpson to grow as students and professionals. Their achievements have been on display recently at the Iron Journalist competition for Multimedia Journalism and next week, the Integrated Marketing Communication students will present their communication plan for a local client. These students have bright futures ahead of them and we are proud of their achievements.

Honors Awards in the Department

The Business Administration and Economics Department is pleased to announce the student honors award winners who received certificates and plaques at Thursday’s Honors Convocation Ceremony.

1. Outstanding Senior in Management: Audrey Morris

2. Outstanding Senior in Marketing: Alyssa Frank

3. Heckert Award for Outstanding Senior in Economics: Whitney Thompson

4. Outstanding Senior in International Management: Brad Davison

Junior Matt Nichols accepts the Lisle C. Wilson Outstanding Junior Award

Matt Nichols accepts the Lisle C. Wilson Outstanding Junior Award

5. Eberhart International Scholarship: Leah Otieno

6. Lisle C. Wilson Award for Outstanding Junior: Matt Nichols

Junior Alissa Deutsch Receives Outstanding Junior Award

Junior Alissa Deutsch accepts the Feyerharm Award for Outstanding Junior

7. R.J. Samson Enactus Award: Audrey Morris

8. Feyerham Award for Outstanding Junior: Alissa Deutsch

9. Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants: Mikayla Struebing

10. Institute of Management Accountants: Ling Ng

11. Financial Executives International: Michael Kern and Mark Cronin



Lindsay Nash: Wellmark’s Well for Life Center

What has she been doing?
Lindsay Nash, a senior with majors in Exercise Science and Management, had the opportunity to intern at Wellmark’s Well for Life Center in Des Moines, Iowa.  Within her position, Lindsay taught group exercise classes and learned how to effectively personal train.  She also had the chance to network with the exercise specialists on staff and learn such skills as performing assessments.

What strengths did she gain within the position?
Through this internship, Lindsay built her confidence for teaching group classes.  She also strengthened her communication skills and opened herself up to learning all that was needed in the field.

What does her supervisor have to say about her work?
Gina Ryan, General Manager for Plus One @ Wellmark, shared, “Lindsay did a great job stepping in as our intern!  We have a lot going on at our site (between staff and programming) and she was able to pick up on everything very quickly.  She communicated with the staff effectively through verbal and written.”

How did she find out about this internship?
Lindsay found out about her internship through both a family friend and Assistant Professor Nicci Whalen.  Many internship opportunities are never actually posted, but are gained by referral.  Lindsay’s story shows the power of networking and building relationships.

What advice does she have for students completing an internship?
Lindsay encourages interns to “make sure you make the most of the entire experience and don’t just go through the motions; learn absolutely everything that you can while you are there!”

Business Administration and Economics Seniors

In the next few weeks, the Department of Business Administration and Economics, will graduate over 100 students in 6 different majors.

Many of these students have made great use of their time at Simpson, participating in class and extracurricular activities, working part-time in industry, becoming actively involved in the community through service and interning at businesses in central Iowa and across the country.

As these students look at their plans after graduation, they have great things waiting for them.  Here is a look at a few of these Simpson Success Stories:

Whitney Thompson, Senior Economics and Mathematics Double Major, Computer Science Minor

Senior Economics Student Whitney ThompsonWhitney Thompson has a busy summer ahead of her.  After graduation, she has just a few weeks before her July wedding to get her life in Simpson packed up and ready to roll to the next destination-Columbus, Ohio where she’ll begin a Ph.D. program in Economics in late July at Ohio State University.

Whitney came to Simpson intent on pursuing mathematical research and along the way, added an Economics major under the advisement of Professor of Economics, Jim Palmieri.  During her time here, she has increased her theoretical knowledge of the two disciplines while also expanding her applied abilities through two summer research fellowships working in statistics, economics and computer science at Miami University of Ohio and the University of Michigan.  Her success in academics is recognized through the awards she has received while here: Outstanding Junior Student of Economics, Outstanding Senior Student of Economics and Outstanding Senior Student of Mathematics.  Her involvement outside of the classroom included 2 seasons with the Simpson Tennis team, participation in the Mathematics Club and regular participation in Math Modeling Competitions.

Whitney is not sure whether she will pursue a career in academia, government or private industry when she finishes her Ph.D. but we are confident this is not the last we will see of her name.  She is a dedicated student and researcher who is bound for greatness in the field.

Sarah Stout, Senior Integrated Marketing Communications Major, Marketing Minor
Student Sara Stout

Photo Credit: Luke Behaunek

Sarah began her career at Simpson as a Marketing major making the switch to IMC after her sophomore year.  Even after, she remained involved in the Business Administration and Economics department participating in the Enactus (formerly SIFE) student group and interning in the Emerge at Simpson incubator project her senior year.  Sarah completed three internships during her four years at the Iowa Events Center, The Schwann Food Company, and at Emerge at Simpson.

Her approach to the job search was exclusively through networking.  Her internship at Schwann’s and success in the intern marketing competition led to one job offer.  She has parlayed her networking at the regional Enactus competition to another offer and by reaching out to Simpson alums, she has received a number of others.  While Sarah is not sure where she’ll end up as she weighs her options, we are confident she will find success in her future.

Accounting Majors, Michael Kern and Michael Schwery


Kern and Schwery, as they call each other, have a lot in common.  They are both graduating soon in Accounting, both completed internships at the public accounting firm KPMG in the Winter of 2012 and they have both found success after graduation through full-time employment at KPMG.Senior Michael Kern and Professor and Department Chair Mark Juffurnbruch

They have also set themselves apart through on-campus activities and involvement.

Michael Kern started the Accounting Club at Simpson and has worked hard to develop the organization to a resource for current students looking for professional development and career connections and opportunities.  He also found success and connections through his fraternity.


Senior Michael SchweryMichael Schwery was involved on campus in the Enactus group and in his work as a Student Resident Hall Coordinator.  He also completed an internship at Mid American Energy prior to his audit internship experience at KPMG.

Together, these Michaels have guided younger Simpson students through KPMG internships where they are establishing a legacy of excellence and success.