By Nabi Dressler
As college application deadlines approach and students explore their college options or narrow down their future schools, the College and Career Center (CCC) is hosting an alumni panel tomorrow, Wed., Nov. 27, featuring Class of 2012 and 2013 graduates who attend universities all across the country.
The panel, which is in its third year, will take place in the community room during all lunch periods (scroll down to see the complete list of alumni who will be in attendance and their colleges). Instead of the panel being exclusive to seniors as it has been in past years, all juniors and seniors are welcome to attend this event, and eat their lunches during the discussion.
According to college guidance counselor Diane Bourn, the panel “started out as a way to bring back wealth of information from students who have been on the other side of the fence.”
Bourn said the panel has been really valuable for everyone who has attended thus far. Teachers have brought entire classes to the panel discussion, but even so, it hasn’t been as well-attended as Bourn would like. The CCC hopes that every year, the word will get out more and more people will attend.
To organize the alumni for the panel, Bourn recruited the graduates in a number of ways. At the National Decision Day party the CCC hosts each May, Bourn asked then-seniors if they would want to come back the following year to talk about their colleges and got a few students from that initial list. Bourn then brainstormed students she remembered from the class of 2013. She sent out some emails to the alumni and asked them to pass the message along to any of their friends who may be interested.
“I had such a great response that I had to start turning people away,” Bourn said.
This will also be the first year that the panel will feature alumni from the class of 2012 as well as 2013.
“That way, you’ll catch the [alumni] who have been on campus for only a couple of months as well as those who have been through almost a year and a half [of college],” Bourn said. “They may have a little different perspective to pass on.”
Bourn believes this panel will prove useful to juniors and seniors alike.
“I think it could benefit juniors as they’re just starting the process of looking into colleges,” Bourn said. “I think the wisdom of our students will help them [with], ‘What kinds of things do you look at early on and how do you start that process?’ It can help seniors as they’re just finishing up with their applications, to start thinking about, ‘What should I put into making that final decision?'”
Bourn said the panel also gives insight on how to be successful and start off on the right foot in college.
The panel itself is rather informal. After Bourn kicks off the discussion with her questions and the panel introduces themselves and describes their colleges, majors and how they chose their colleges, the audience dictates the direction they want the discussion to go into with their own questions.
Here is a list of all the panelists that will be present:
Class of 2012:
Julia Wolfe-Truman State
Walker Brewer-University of Chicago
Sara Helwink-U of I
Kelsey Henquinet-St. Olaf
Class of 2013:
Claire Perkins-American University
Emilee McArdle-U of I
Eileen Mctigue-Notre Dame
Curtis Glennon-University of Iowa
Bobby Caldrone-U of I
Elisabeh Fredrickson-University of Iowa
Kevin McNally-Notre Dame