They Did It—You Can Too
Get to know about our latest honors alumni and how they spent their time in the Honors Program.
Class of 2017–18
- Kathleen Bendele
Kate Bendele is a returning adult student who is completing her Bachelor of Science. She is an education major with a concentration on English language arts. Kate has had multiple works published in Confluence, a student-run literary and arts magazine. As an education major, she is dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge as a means of fostering engaged, fully developed minds. During a dual listed ENG/WOST course, Kate became interested in health education and the way in which such education influences students’ future health, well-being, and opportunities; this interest became the impetus for this Honors Project.
- Bre Anne Briskey
Bre Anne Briskey is a senior history and psychology major. She is a fourth-year Chapman Scholar. Bre Anne is a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha, Phi Kappa Phi, Psi Chi, the National Society of Leadership and Success, and the current president of Phi Eta Sigma. She received the Top 50 Award in 2017 and 2018. Bre Anne presented at the 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Student Research Symposiums along with presenting at the eighth, ninth, and 10th Undergraduate History Conferences. She is a student mentor for the Department of History and works with the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. After graduating in May, Bre Anne plans on attending graduate school to study history.
- Rachel Caruso
Rachel Caruso is a senior English literature major with double minors in professional writing and linguistics. She has spent her undergraduate career delving into many different areas of English because of her passion for the subject. She spent several years working for the Writing Center before procuring a job at Northrop High School this past winter. At Northrop, Rachel works mainly with Level One ESL students, who are mostly Hispanic students just beginning to learn English. Working with high school students sparked a love of teaching in Rachel, and she has decided to go to graduate school to get a master’s degree in English with a teaching specialization. She hopes to teach high school English and then eventually move to a curriculum position. Rachel’s passion for reading and literature—particularly young adult literature—is something she hopes to pass on to high school students.
- Helena Carvalho Schmidt
Helena Carvalho Schmidt is a senior majoring in English, political science, and communication, with a certificate in international studies. As an international student from Brazil, Helena has integrated herself into the community by being involved in many areas on campus. She is a writing consultant at the Writing Center and the leadership intern for the Office of Student Life and Leadership, where she helped structure the new leadership program and the support structure for the Disney College Program applicants. She is currently the vice president of the Model United Nations student organization (in which she was the permanent representative in this year’s American Model UN conference in Chicago), Lambda Pi Eta (national communication honors society) and the International Student Organization, while being involved in other groups like Pi Sigma Alpha (political science honors society) and the Dean’s Diplomats. She was a Top 50 student in 2017 and received the Georgiana Kryzminski Scholarship for excellence in English (academic writing), as well as an award for Excellence in International Studies. Helena tries to maintain an international perspective; she practices and expands that perspective with coursework in international studies, involvement with the local international community, and her study abroad in Belgium in the summer of 2017. Once she graduates she plans to pursue a career path with international impact in human rights and socioeconomic development (wherever that may be), involving a master’s program in international relations, serving in international/intergovernmental institutions, and—possibly—a Ph.D. Eventually she aims to return to Brazil and become a catalyst for change in order to perpetuate social development in her region.
- Cody Davison
Cody Davison is a senior chemistry premedicine major. His favorite chemistry course is physical chemistry, since it’s where physics meets chemistry to explain how many real-world processes happen down to the molecular level. He has researched inorganic and organic chemistry with both Professor Donald E. Linn Jr. and Professor Steven Stevenson. His exploration of complex molecules with Professor Stevenson led to his Honors Project. His passion to help people drove him to volunteer at a hospital for three years and pursue medical school. After he graduates in May, he plans to take a year off before entering Indiana University’s School of Medicine to become a surgeon.
- Adrita Iman
Adrita Iman is a senior biology major, with dual concentrations in genetics, cellular and molecular biology, and microbiology and immunology. Adrita is a Chancellor’s Distinguished Scholar and has been doing research at Professor George Mourad’s genetics and molecular biology lab since fall 2016. She is a member of the AmbassaDons; the International Student Organization; the interdisciplinary honors society, Phi Kappa Phi; and the biology honors society, Beta Beta Beta. She received the research assistantship scholarship from the Honors Program in spring 2017, was the recipient of the Emil R. Seidel Scholarship Award from the biology department for conducting research contributing to the advancement of agriculture, and has recently been named the university’s Outstanding Senior in Biology. She has been a student worker for IT Services and the Honors Program. Adrita will be finishing classes and graduating in May with a bachelor’s degree in biology, an associate degree in chemical methods, and a Biology Research Certificate. She will continue her academic journey as a Ph.D. student at Indiana University in Bloomington under the Genetics, Cell, and Developmental Biology Program starting in the fall of 2018.
- Shannon LaClaire Rahn
Shannon LaClair Rahn is a senior psychology major with a special interest in education and prevention of nonsuicidal self-injury, as well as suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Shannon is a student board member for Active Minds, a student group geared to suicide education and prevention. Previously she served as a COMPASS suicide-prevention intern, as well as a work-study student in the psychology department. While working in the medical department of a large hospital in Illinois, Shannon worked with underprivileged patients who needed assistance with their medical bills. Through her work at that hospital, she witnessed firsthand the lack of access many uninsured or underinsured patients had to quality mental healthcare. This knowledge, combined with her ongoing interest in psychology, inspired Shannon to return to college and complete her undergraduate degree. She will finish classes in May and plans to obtain a graduate degree in mental health counseling.
- Moriah Landon
Moriah Landon is a senior music therapy major at IPFW, with voice as her primary instrument. She is involved in the Symphonic Band and Choral Union ensembles on campus, and previously was in the University Singers where she had the honor be in a solo quartet for Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Moriah is an active member of both the IPFW Music Therapy Club as well as the Greater Fort Wayne Campus Ministry. She is also a leading member and substitute conductor of the Mastodon Pep Band where she is also a frequent National Anthem soloist, as well as being a senior employee for the Williams Theater Scene Shop on campus. Moriah’s call to be a music therapist came from her experiences of growing up with and helping to take care of her cousin who has Down syndrome. It was his struggle to communicate paired with Moriah’s experience with her first client in practicum sessions, a young girl with Down syndrome, that inspired her to pursue this honors research project. Moriah will be finishing classes in May and from there will be going on to an internship with Opportunities for Positive Growth in Lafayette, Indiana.
- Rachel Roberts
Rachel Roberts is a senior business major with concentrations in marketing and management. She has participated in externships with Career Services and Student Life and Leadership. She is a member of Intervarsity, and Honor Dons. She enjoyed being involved in International Table, where she engaged in discussion with international students to learn about different cultures and enjoy a variety of cuisines from other cultures. She also had the privilege of being a peer mentor for different international students for four semesters. The fall semester of her sophomore year she had the honor of studying at the University of Northern Iowa through the National Student Exchange. During her junior year she traveled to Morocco with her international business class. In Morocco they were able to conduct focus groups at AUI University with DeBrand Fine Chocolates and Hoosier Hill Farm. During the summer of 2017 she gained valuable experience being an intern group leader at General Motors. She has gained unique marketing experience at Fort Wayne Newspapers working in the advertising and customer service departments. She has enjoyed being a part of the Fourth Annual Communication Showcase and the 21st Annual Student Research and Creative Endeavor Symposium. She is currently working on her Black Belt Lean Six Sigma Certificates and her Endorsed Certificate. Rachel enjoys helping people through customer service and is interested in ways to improve the customer’s experience. This inspired her to do her honors research on brand loyalty with mobile applications. Rachel will graduate in May.
- Fiona Sackett
Fiona Sackett is a senior history major, minoring in theatre. As part of her Honors’ program, she acted as the dramaturg for Frankenstein: An Act of Creation. In addition to that, she has been involved with the theatre department as a carpenter for the past three-and-a-half years and acted as the prop master for the production of Stupid F*@%ing Bird. Fiona has also presented at the History Symposium and Indiana University Women’s and Gender Studies Conference in 2016 and 2017. She is planning to go to graduate school in order to become a professional dramaturg.
- Tianna Schuerman
Tianna Schuerman is a senior communication sciences and disorders major with a minor in linguistics and a gerontology certificate. She is the president of the Speech and Hearing Club and is an active member of the ASL Pah! Club and sign choir. She recently received the Top 50 Award for the second time and received third place at the 2018 Student Research and Creative Endeavor Symposium. She spent the last two summers volunteering her time at Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities Summer Speech Camp and actively volunteers in the community. During the fall 2017 semester, Tianna volunteered for the AAC Poss-Abilities Theatre Camp, which ignited her interest in augmentative/alternative communication. This ultimately led her interest in this honors research project. Tianna will be finishing classes in May and from there hopes to attend graduate school for speech-language pathology.
- Meg Steigerwald
Meg Steigerwald is a senior communication sciences and disorders major minoring in psychology. She is an active member and officer of the Speech and Hearing Club and member of the ASL Pah! Club. Meg spent six months in South Africa prior to beginning her undergraduate studies, a time that heavily influenced her decision to pursue speech-language pathology. Upon returning home, her volunteer experiences with the deaf community at Turnstone and alongside her other peers solidified her decision. Completing this honors research project was both a challenge and an opportunity for Meg. She hopes to learn more about child language while simultaneously preparing for potential research opportunities in graduate school. Meg will be pursuing a master’s degree at Indiana University in Bloomington this fall to become a speech-language pathologist.
Class of 2016–17
- Matthew Danielson
Matthew Danielson will be graduating with degrees in political science and English (concentration in writing). His senior project in political science explored the diversity of Indiana’s political culture, and his senior English project, which is also his senior Honors Project, uses literary theory to examine the cultural context of the Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes cartoons of 1952. Matthew is a current recipient of the Withers Scholarship, presented at the IPFW History Undergraduate Conference, and is the winner of the 2017 Outstanding English Major Award and the Sylvia E. Bowman Award for literature studies. Matthew serves as the current president of the campus Lutheran student group, interns for the College of Arts and Sciences Media and Communications, works in the Math Testing Center for CASA, is a registered Suzuki violin teacher, and is in the process of finalizing which graduate school to attend next fall.
- Heather Dewey
Heather Dewey will be graduating this semester with a major in history, minors in Spanish and creative writing, and an International Studies Certificate. After working for a year, she intends to apply to graduate programs for world history and to become a historian who studies historiography and public perceptions of history based on the standard narrative presented in media such as textbooks and popular culture. Although Heather wasn’t involved in clubs, she is a lead consultant with the Writing Center, did editing and grant writing for the computer science department, and worked for Enterprise & Society. She coauthored an article with Richard Weiner, professor and chair, Department of History, which is under review, about human rights in Frank Tannenbaum’s books on Mexico and the public’s reactions to him. Heather was a teaching assistant for Holocaust and Modern Genocides and won three awards: a IPFW Exemplar Award, Outstanding Senior in the History Department, and Outstanding Researcher in the History Department. In her spare time, she and her sister (an illustrator) are working on a novel that they plan to self-publish.
- Cody Fuelling
Cody Fuelling is finishing his fourth year at IPFW, with majors in history and political science, an Honors Certificate, and an International Studies Certificate. He has been a research assistant for two professors in the Department of History and currently works as a teaching assistant in the Department of Political Science. He has presented at the Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Annual Undergraduate History Conferences and works as an assistant book-review editor for Enterprise & Society. He has received three scholarships from the Honors Program, has been a student representative on the College of Arts and Sciences Student Affairs Committee, and was on the team representing Purdue Fort Wayne at the second-largest American Model United Nations conference in the United States. He will be interning at the United Nations Population Fund this summer before starting his Fulbright research grant to Luxembourg.
- Andrew Hakes
Andrew Hakes majored in history with two minors, one in political science and the other in psychology. He is also working to obtain the International Studies Certificate and Honors Medal. Andrew’s area of interest in history is revolution, particularly during the Cold War, and two semesters ago he studied abroad in Argentina. After graduating, Andrew plans to take a few years off to better decide what he would like to do with his life, but he does want to travel and increase his language skills.
- Ariana Jehl
Ariana Jehl will be graduating with her B.S. in elementary education. During her time at IPFW, she has been involved in Students for Life, Love Your Melon, the National Society of Leadership and Success, Spanish Club, and the Honors Program. She enjoys being involved in her community by volunteering, instructing dance classes, coaching high school cheerleading, and leading a middle school youth group. Her passions include drinking coffee, meeting new people, helping others, and traveling. Ari leaves in April to teach English in Ecuador for a few months and is excited to see where life takes her!
- Zachary Jones
Zachary Jones is a biology premed major who will be graduating this May. Zachary noticed Professor Mark Jordan’s interest in salamanders during his freshman year and decided to jump on the boat with him, traveling to many wetlands over the years to collect both adult and larval salamanders. Zachary has participated in the Biology, Chemistry, and Pre-Med Clubs, serving as both the vice president and secretary of the latter. Once Zachary graduates, he plans to work in a medical lab until he decides to pursue a career as a medical doctor.
- Dayvid Myers
Dayvid Myers began attending IPFW as a dual-credit student in the spring of 2013. He was awarded the Chancellor’s Distinguished Scholarship based on his SAT scores. He enrolled as a full-time student in the Information Technology program in the fall of 2013. He later added minors in both computer science and organizational leadership. He joined the Honors Program in fall 2014. He earned the majority of his honors credits in H-Option computer science courses. His largest H-Option project was for his second semester Java course. For this course, he designed and programmed a Battleship game with a graphical interface and an AI opponent. To date, Dayvid has earned a 4.0 GPA in five out of his planned eight semesters for a cumulative GPA of 3.92. He was employed as a tutor at the College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science’s Student Success Center before he left to begin a software developer internship at General Dynamics Mission Systems. Over the last several years, Dayvid has been privileged to learn from many incredible instructors in the fields of information technology, computer science, and organizational leadership.
- Aaron Thieme
Aaron Thieme graduated in May with a B.A. in philosophy and a minor in professional and applied ethics, a B.A. in women’s studies, and a B.S. and Undergraduate Research Certificate in mathematics. Over the last few semesters, he has been working at the Computer Science Department’s Analogical Constructivism and Reasoning Lab. He attended the 2014 Summer School in Logic and Formal Epistemology at Carnegie Mellon University, the 2015 Summer Seminar in Philosophy at University of Colorado Boulder (where he began work on his Honors Project), and the 2016 Summer School in Logic and Computation at the University of Göttingen. Aaron won the Indiana Philosophical Association’s Undergraduate Essay Prize in 2014, 2015, and 2016, and has presented his work several times at professional conferences. In the fall he will be attending graduate school in philosophy.
- Kakathi Tummala
Kakathi Tummala was born and raised in India. She completed high school in India and took the necessary exams to go to medical college there. Although she was all set to go to medical school, Kakathi didn’t feel ready and wasn’t sure if she wanted to become a doctor. During a vacation to America after 12th grade, she decided that she wanted to study here. Her parents did not like the idea. In fact, nobody did. For them, she was not only doubting a good career choice but also wanting to study in a different country that is 8,792 miles away from home. To Kakathi, America presented the opportunity to explore different career paths that were not easy to do back home. Now, after almost four years of exploring, she is going to apply to medical school this summer. Many people told her that she wasted four years just to go back to the career choice that she had in front of herself in the first place. But to Kakathi there is a difference. Now she is choosing this career with all her heart and not because someone asked her to. From her experience, she has learned that it’s OK to be unsure sometimes, and it’s OK to wait and figure out what you want. You don’t have to do what everybody wants you to do (unless that’s what you want too).
Class of 2015–16
- Justin Anderson
Justin Anderson is originally from Kokomo, Indiana. He moved to Fort Wayne to work at General Motors after high school. After working at GM for some time and working with several engineers, Justin decided he wanted to pursue further education in the engineering field. Throughout the first two years of college, Justin worked part-time as a TIG welder while loading up on classes. The summer before his senior year, Justin accepted an internship at Tuthill Corporation, where he focused on manufacturing engineering. Justin was recently offered a full-time position as a manufacturing engineer at Tuthill and will be starting May 2016. Justin played baseball and basketball in high school and is still a huge sports fan. In his free time, Justin likes to work on his dad’s 1971 GTO and spend time with his girlfriend.
- Sarah Bercot
Sarah is an honors student graduating this year with majors in both French and English, with a concentration in literature. She has been president of the IPFW French Club for two years. While at IPFW, Sarah has been recognized for her work in French, English, and Arabic, and she has been the recipient of the Excellence in Foreign Language Award (Arabic and French), Excellence in Service of a Foreign Language Award (French), the Outstanding Senior Award, and the Beverly Hume Memorial Award. She also won third place in this year’s Student Research and Creative Endeavor Symposium for her poster titled “The Algerian Revolution: Zhor Zerari’s Prison Poetry in Translation.” Sarah plans to enroll in graduate school to pursue a career in translation, but is looking forward to first spending the next academic year living in France, having accepted an assistant teaching position with the Académie de Nancy-Metz.
- Matthew Furge
Matthew Furge is a Chancellor’s Distinguished Scholar and has had the opportunity to pursue three majors during his tenure at IPFW. He is scheduled to graduate in May with degrees in business finance, economics, and interpersonal and organizational communication. The combination of these degrees was chosen in an effort to combine two key aspects of his life: conducting research and interacting with others. As a student on campus, he has had the opportunity to pursue individual research topics that have led to service learning and personal research projects. Matthew has had the opportunity to present his findings in significant ways, including presenting his service learning findings to the Erin’s House organization in Fort Wayne. Matthew also had the chance to witness academics present research findings at a professional economics conference in Chicago, where he was able to present his initial honors research findings. While studying at IPFW, he has had the opportunity to combine the theoretical foundations behind concepts with real-world applications. This past summer, he had the opportunity to travel to Korea to learn about the differing economy and culture of a foreign country in an effort to further solidify the basic principles gathered in the classroom. Matthew hopes to pursue an M.S. in either finance or economics in the near future.
- Sean Godfroy
Sean Godfroy is a senior in the Honors Program pursing an English major and a history minor at IPFW. He has been a dean’s list student for the entirety of his enrollment at IPFW and received the Sylvia E. Bowman Award for 2013–14. Sean is pursing a degree in English to further his goal of becoming a published author, seeing it as a valuable way to hone his skills. Through a combination of peer-reviewed papers at school and small online side projects, he has spent the last several years trying to refine his work in preparation for a large-scale project. He hopes to publish a story that can walk proudly alongside the many books that inspired him in both quality and success. Sean has worked in the College of Arts and Sciences publications office as an intern since last September and in the Writing Center as a desk worker and consultant since the year before. He held the position of senior content editor at the IPFW Communicator during the 2013–14 school year.
- Sara Jackson
Sara Jackson is a proud daughter of Fort Wayne, who happens to be a geographical mutt after growing up in Florida, followed by many moves hither and yon. A senior at IPFW, she will complete a B.A. in English with a concentration in writing this December and a B.A. in French in May, after a semester abroad in Aix-en-Provence. Her research interests as an undergraduate student have taken her to 10 conferences and led to two publications. In addition to being a Withers Scholar, Sara is a member of the national honor society Phi Kappa Phi and has received scholarships from the university, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Honors Program, several academic departments, and multiple outside organizations. She has also completed the certificate requirements for the Honors Program at IPFW, an A.A. in history, a Certificate in International Studies, a summer intensive in human-rights law in Strasbourg, France, and a minor in medieval studies. While at IPFW, Sara has served in student government, the Writing Center, Model UN, Anthropology Club, French Club, the University Democrats, and the English honor society Sigma Tau Delta. After graduation, she looks forward to working as a teaching assistant for one year in France and later serving in the Peace Corps, while also pursuing an M.P.A. with a focus on international development.
- Amanda Leaders
Amanda Leaders is a senior double-majoring in business management and marketing. During her time at IPFW, Amanda has been actively involved in many campus groups and activities such as Delta Sigma Pi, Beta Gamma Sigma, the BIG Event, and a leadership retreat. In the fall of 2014, Amanda was picked to be one of 12 business students from the top 100 to be named a Bill Lawson Scholar, and she was invited to an exclusive business class: D490 Special Studies in International Business. This particular semester, the class partnered with Fort Wayne Metals. During this class, Amanda traveled abroad to Ireland to study international business and visited many companies, including a Fort Wayne Metals plant in Castlebar, Ireland. Amanda will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in business in May 2016.
- Luisa Pires Luciano
Luisa Pires Luciano is a political science major who has been accepted to Georgetown University and American University in Washington, DC, for graduate programs in conflict resolution next semester. She is getting the Blauvelt Award for service in the political science department and has been selected to represent the class of 2016 at commencement this May. Luisa has been a member of the Model UN team for three years and president for two, during which she led the group to the American Model United Nations Conference in Chicago, one of the largest in the country. Two years ago, she was selected as one of the students to attend the Bahrom International Program in South Korea, where she studied Korean culture and history. Last summer, Luisa went to Germany to participate in the Europe and Middle East in Transition program, which prepared her for her Honors Project with classes on conflict management. For this, Luisa received three scholarships: from the Honors Program, the IPFW Office of International Education, and the Office of Sponsored Programs.
- Grayson Ostermeyer
Grayson Ostermeyer is a biology major with a minor in psychology. As an IPFW student for almost five years, he genuinely attests to the excellent programs and opportunities that our university offers to students to reach their scholastic potential. Discovering the Honors Program a few years ago has allowed Grayson to take advantage of the H-Options to fulfill special projects, among them a research paper addressing the impacts of pharmaceutical patents on access to medicines in India, a review paper he composed describing common anesthetics and analgesics used in the United States, and interdepartmental research describing colony formation on spiral-shaped mollusk shells. His role as the LEAD peer health educator for the past two years has also provided Grayson with exciting learning and outreach experiences, such as a discussion of student suicide on WQSW-LP 100.5 FM, hosting fashion shows and cooking series, lecturing hundreds of middle-school students about alcohol abuse, addressing the Homestead High School seniors about mental health and the college transition, and being invited to speak at several live webinars. Grayson was awarded the 2015 Youth Advocate and Partner by the Allen County Drug and Alcohol Consortium for his active involvement in substance abuse educational initiatives at PFW. For three years, he has been involved in Professor Ahmed Mustafa’s students’ master’s thesis projects. Last spring, Grayson was awarded a summer research grant through the Office of Sponsored Programs to study sea cucumber stress physiology and sea cucumber tissues and elderberry extract, which constitutes his Honors Project work. Next year, Grayson will begin work toward his master’s thesis at Washington State University to characterize aspects of phloem transport in plants and will be supported through a teaching assistantship at the Franceschi Microscopy and Imaging Center by assisting students and faculty with various types of electron microscopes. Grayson is a recipient of the Dr. Beaumont S. Cornell Scholarship as well as a travel grant by the Office of Sponsored Programs to attend Aquaculture 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- Crysta Terry
Crysta Terry is majoring in psychology with a minor in biology and will be graduating in August. During college, she has been an officer for the Honors Student Organization and is currently an officer for the psychology honor society, Psi Chi. Crysta is a Chancellor’s Scholar and last school year was awarded the Honors Research Assistantship Scholarship for her work with Professor Ryan Yoder on spatial learning as well as the Honors teaching assistantship for PSY 329 Psychobiology. She has been a research assistant in Professor Yoder and Professor Carol Lawton’s labs for the past two academic years. Crysta has presented research for Professor Yoder and Professor Lawton’s lab at IPFW, Chicago, and New York and will be presenting for Professor Lawton and Professor Yoder again next month at MPA in Chicago. Last year, her research team was awarded second place at the undergraduate level at IPFW’s Research Symposium for their research with Professor Lawton on “Video Game Experience and Perception of Self-Motion.” She currently works as a mental-health assistant in the ER at Parkview Randallia. After graduation, Crysta will be applying for a behavioral neuroscience doctoral program.
- Kira Witte
Kira Witte began her IPFW career in the fall 2011 semester. She was awarded the Chancellor’s Scholarship based on her high school GPA and test scores, which constituted half of her tuition for her time at IPFW. Starting out as an elementary education major, she then added both the Early Childhood Dual License and the Special Education Mild Intervention Dual License. She also enrolled in the Honors Program and began networking with other honors students on campus. During her time at IPFW, Kira has maintained a very high GPA, earning a place on the dean’s list and semester honors list every semester. She has earned a 4.0 in five of eight full-time semesters, for a cumulative GPA of 3.94 at the end of the spring 2015 term. In the spring semester of 2015, when the education department reopened the IPFW chapter, Rho Kappa, of Kappa Delta Pi, an international honors society in education, Kira took on the position of secretary and aided her colleagues in recruitment, planning, and execution of initiation and meetings. During student teaching, Kira was awarded a stipend from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education of almost $5,000 for entering the high-needs field of special education. She is set to graduate at the end of the fall 2015 term. During the past few summers, when she was not in class, Kira spent her time working at Camp Red Cedar, which is a camp with programming for kids and adults with mild to severe special needs, as well as camp programming for kids without special needs. Starting out in the summer of 2013, Kira worked as a camp counselor for two summers and was then promoted to Activity Coordinator for the 2015 camp season. In the past four years, she has been challenged by her professors and peers, has had the opportunity to network with others in her chosen career, and has made good friends that she remains in contact with. When reflecting on her time at IPFW, Kira will never forget her experiences.