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Alumni Spotlight: Ann Strom

University of Northern Iowa Alumni 2017

Thanks to the schol­ar­ship, I was able to find a job on cam­pus I actu­al­ly enjoyed that would fur­ther my career, rather than hav­ing to look for a bet­ter-pay­ing job. I took a posi­tion in the tutor­ing cen­ter for low­er pay because I was not wor­ried about how I was going to cov­er my tuition. This gave me an oppor­tu­ni­ty to work with stu­dents and improve my teach­ing skills.

Cur­rent posi­tion: First-Grade Teacher

Cur­rent cityDes Moines, IA

How did the Bright Schol­ar­ship ben­e­fit you through­out col­lege and after?

Receiv­ing the Bright Schol­ar­ship relieved a large amount of pres­sure about how I was going to afford col­lege or pay back stu­dent loans. My par­ents were already help­ing my broth­ers pay for col­lege and to have to wor­ry about my school on top of theirs would have cre­at­ed even greater finan­cial strug­gles for my fam­i­ly.

How did your col­lege expe­ri­ence pre­pare you for the post-col­lege work­force? In what ways were you unpre­pared? 

As a teacher, it was vital for me to have a col­lege edu­ca­tion. Col­lege gave me use­ful skills that helped me adapt and adjust to the class­room set­ting. While I loved UNI’s edu­ca­tion pro­gram and learned a lot while I was in col­lege, I learned many things in my first few years of teach­ing that could only be expe­ri­enced in an actu­al class­room.

Where are you now in your career? Where do you see your­self in five years? 10 years? 

Right now, I am lov­ing being a first-grade teacher. I am start­ing to look at master’s degree pro­grams to fur­ther my edu­ca­tion, with a focus on lit­er­a­cy instruc­tion. In five to ten years, I hope to be a read­ing spe­cial­ist, work­ing with strug­gling stu­dents in small groups.

Who is your biggest inspi­ra­tion and why? 

My aunt is my biggest inspi­ra­tion. She has worked hard her entire life. She is also on top of all things fam­i­ly. She always knows when everyone’s birth­day is. She has cards and Christ­mas planned out months in advance. She is kind and com­pas­sion­ate and works to help every­one she can.

What is one of your favorite col­lege mem­o­ries? 

One of my favorite col­lege mem­o­ries is being a part of the Pan­ther March­ing Band and going to Lon­don to play in the Lon­don New Year’s Day parade.

Thanks for get­ting to know our schol­ars and alum­ni! Stayed tuned for more spot­lights and oth­er updates on our News & Events page, as well as oth­er updates!