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 city: Des 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.