Honors Summer Snapshots: Megan

Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their 2017 summer routines via photos. Honors junior Megan Rogers is having a delightful summer in her favorite place on the planet:

This summer I got to move back home to the GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD! I might be a little biased… but I am so glad to be back in Kansas City for another summer. There’s no place I’d rather be!

PROOF OF MEGAN’S LOVE FOR KANSAS CITY: Myself, looking lovingly up towards a famous KC mural.

Before my internship started up, my parents and I took an amazing week-long trip to see the Pacific Northwest! Living in the Midwest for almost my entire life left me completely unprepared for the sheer natural beauty of this area… I spent most of the week picking my jaw up off the ground!

MEGAN’S FIRST TIME SEEING A REAL MOUNTAIN: My parents and I at a scenic viewpoint just outside of Portland, Oregon.


MEGAN’S FIRST HIKE UP TO THE TOP OF A WATERFALL: Hiking up to the top of Multnomah Falls in Oregon was my favorite part of this trip, by a landslide! We also visited Seattle while we were in this corner of the US.

This summer, I was so lucky to be hired as an intern in the Department of Student Ministries at the Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas! I grew up in this youth group, and it has always been a dream of mine to return as a college student to serve as a summer intern for this ministry! I’m pretty much getting paid to hang out with middle- and high-schoolers, which is the coolest thing ever. The two other interns and I get to write curriculum for and lead a weekly Bible study, and we also are responsible for running weekly programs like Sunday school and fellowship activities like kickball games and ultimate frisbee sessions. I also will be serving on two different missions trips to downtown Kansas City and inner-city Denver later this summer, for a week each!

MEGAN DOES LOTS OF SPORTS AT HER NEW JOB: Myself, my co-workers, and a large group of high-schoolers after one of our weekly Ultimate frisbee games! I am clearly a very athletic person…not.


MEGAN WORKS AT A REALLY COOL PLACE: Church of the Resurrection is home to a massive 37-by-93-foot stained glass window, which was installed over this past year. It is one of the largest depictions of Jesus in the whole world. I’m honored to call this sacred place my church home and my place of work for the summer.


MEGAN’S CO-WORKERS ARE SUPER AWESOME: Here we have myself, the two other summer interns, Riley and Meg, and our boss and middle-school minister, Andy. This photo was taken on the iconic “Wolf-Tee Wednesday,” which was a tradition started by Andy himself and is celebrated weekly by a majority of our youth ministry. We take this holiday very seriously, as you can see.

I can honestly say that this has been the best summer I’ve ever had, and it’s barely even started yet! I can’t wait to see what the rest of this summer has in store for me, and I am so thankful for the laughter and the joy that I’ve had so far!

Honors Summer Snapshots: Jaclyn

Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their 2017 summer routines via photos. Jaclyn is really enjoying her summer and internship in Milwaukee, 10/10, would recommend:

My name is Jaclyn Stiller. I’m a sophomore in Industrial Engineering, and this summer I am a Global Supply Chain Intern at Rockwell Automation in Milwaukee, WI. I have already learned so much and met so many cool people in the month I’ve been here. I’ve gotten to learn all about supply chain and logistics at Rockwell, which is a global company and leader in industrial automation technology. I’ve also had the chance to explore Milwaukee and all it has to offer.

Rockwell Automation’s corporate headquarters are on the south side of Milwaukee, and we get a great view of downtown. I live about 15 minutes away, in the UW-Milwaukee dorms.


This is called the Collaboration Space. It’s a communal space that was specifically designed to be a comfortable and creative atmosphere. I work up here almost every day, and you can always find other interns around here working on their laptops.


When we’re not working, all of us interns love to explore Milwaukee and check out the many festivals that are going on in the summer. Last weekend, we attended Polish Fest, where we ate kolaczki and pierogi. Next week we’ll be going to Summerfest, which is their annual music festival.


One of my favorite parts about Milwaukee is the lakefront. It’s so pretty, and there are always interesting events happening around as well. On this day, there was the Lakefront Festival of Art at the Milwaukee Art Museum.


We also go to the beach whenever we want. I’m definitely going to miss this perk when summer is over!


I’m so lucky to get to have this great internship experience at Rockwell Automation. Summer is going by quickly, and before I know it, I’ll be moving back to Ames for sophomore year of college!

Honors Summer Snapshots: Logan

Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their 2017 summer routines via photos. Logan is working for Garmin, who should’ve hired him years ago as he’s been adding his own programming to his own Garmin products for at least as long:

My name is Logan Heitz and I’m a senior studying Software Engineering and Mathematics. This summer I’m working at Garmin in Olathe, Kansas as a software engineering intern. It’s hard to believe that I have already been working here for five weeks as it has been a blast so far. I’ve learned a lot about software engineering and about Garmin as a company and will have many more great opportunities before heading back to Ames in August. I’ve also been keeping busy exploring the Kansas City and Olathe areas.

There are about 130 interns working at Garmin headquarters in Olathe this summer across all of their different segments, from aviation to outdoors.


I’m working in the Marine consumer segment for Garmin this summer and as you can see we have a wide range of products, all the way from high end Chartplotters to Fishfinders. The Fishfinders are what I’m mainly working on this summer doing embedded software development. This has been a great opportunity as I’ve not had a chance to do much embedded software development in my course work.


Indian Creek Trail is right by my apartment and is a great place to go for a run or a walk.


One of the nice things about getting away from Iowa is actually having professional sports teams. So far, I’ve gotten the chance to see the Kansas City Royals play once for Garmin’s summer event at Kauffman Stadium. Unfortunately, there was a rain delay and the Royals lost eight to zero against the Cleveland Indians. I plan to get to another game before the summer ends.


I’ve also gotten the chance to hang out with fellow Honors students Jackson Voigt and Ewan Shortess a few times this summer as they are both in the Kansas City are for internships as well. One of the events we went to was Boulevardia: a big two-day event with live music put on by the Boulevard Brewing Company here in Kansas City.


I haven’t been completely free to explore Kansas City this summer as I’m taking Religion 210 online, so I spend some of my time studying for that. Speaking of which I should probably study for my test next week.

Honors Summer Snapshots: Alex

Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their 2017 summer routines via photos. Honors senior Alex McPhail is working and studying in Ames, but still finds time for running, entertainment, and anime:

It’s hard to believe that it’s already June! Summer has been going by so fast, and I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this way. Despite how fast it is going, it has been quite a fun summer so far despite having a steady summer routine.

I opted to stay in Ames for the summer and continue my job with ISU Dining. I work at the Memorial Union Food Court, and while right now I just work in the venues, I have started to undergo a bit of training to prepare for my new position as a Student Assistant Manager in the fall! The start of the summer was honestly quite boring at work, but now that orientation is going on it’s been much busier. I really enjoy talking to families as they come through to get food.

I help serve breakfast at the Dish in the morning and then switch over to serving pizza at Godfathers during lunch.

After work, I spent a few hours working on homework for the two online classes I am taking over the summer as well as studying for the GRE which I will be taking next month. While having to do schoolwork during the summer isn’t the best thing, it’s nice getting a couple of classes out of the way now so my schedule will be more open during the school year.

While most of my summer has been taken up by work and school, I have had the opportunity to do some pretty cool things, which I will show with a photo montage below.

At the beginning of the summer I went to Des Moines with my family to partake in the Bubble Run!


Also near the beginning of summer I headed back home to Cedar Rapids to see RENT at the theater. This was the 20th anniversary tour for the show, which has been off Broadway for a few years now. I saw the show a few years ago when it was on its final tour, and as my favorite musical, it was an absolute thrill to see it again after thinking I wouldn’t get to see it live again!


At the end of May I headed to Ohio with a bunch of friends to attend a big anime convention called Colossalcon! This convention is at the Kalahari resort, so a lot of our time outside of the convention was spent going to the waterpark and enjoying all the attractions that the resort had to offer. Fun story: 2 of our friends spent all day Saturday (like 10 hours) at the waterpark on this surfing simulator. We never got to see them in action, but they say they got really good and can now do tricks and all kinds of crazy things.


This convention is all about the swimsuit cosplays. I only did this one swimsuit costume, pictured here with three of my friends also in their own swimsuit costumes. It was so much fun getting to walk around the outdoor waterpark and swim around in costume that I definitely want to do more the next time I go to this convention!


I also had the opportunity to do a lot of nice photoshoots of the various costumes I wore to this convention. This is a picture of my boyfriend and I cosplaying the characters Ochako and Deku from the anime My Hero Academia!


I attended a concert near the beginning of June as well. This was the Volbeat, Avenged Sevenfold, and Metallica concert at the Iowa Speedway. All three bands were amazing to see and it was a fun experience!


The last big thing I’ve done, as of the time of writing this blog, was going home once again to attend the Insane Inflatable 5k run! This was a run that included a variety of inflatable obstacles spread out throughout the course. Some were a bit tricky due to being wet from rain the night before, but it was still a fun race and the obstacles were a nice challenge and break from running.

Honors Summer Snapshots: Katie

Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their 2017 summer routines via photos. It’s all work work work work work for Katie Fleming, who is interning in vet clinics, working at her golf course, and enjoying what little free time she has:

Hi there! My name is Katie Fleming and I will be a junior majoring in pre-veterinary biology with a minor in animal science. This summer I have been interning with two veterinary clinics near my hometown of Dubuque, Iowa. The first clinic I am working with is Tri-Vet Associates in Farley, Iowa. This is a unique clinic because it is a mixed clinic (meaning they serve both large and small animals) in rural Iowa. Half of the clinic is dedicated to small animals, which is 99% dogs and cats. The other half of the clinic is designated for large animals, which is mostly cattle and horses. The clinic has a cattle chute, which gives them the ability to perform examinations and surgery on large animals right there in the clinic. However, if the owners cannot transport their livestock to the clinic, the doctors will also travel to their patients on farm calls.

I spend the majority of my time with the three small animal doctors. Interning with veterinarians is much more relaxed than with human medicine; the first day I was there I vaccinated patients, assisted in surgery, and got hands-on experience in all their appointments.

The second clinic I am working with is Teasdale Veterinary Clinic in East Dubuque, Illinois. Even though Teasdale is in Illinois, it is only about five minutes from my house, which is much closer than the twenty-five minute drive to Tri-Vet! This means every Tuesday-Friday morning, I get to drive over the Mississippi.

I like being able to work with two separate clinics because I get to experience different businesses. While Tri-Vet has nine veterinarians and about fifteen staff members, Teasdale is a single-doctor practice with one tech and an office manager. These differences have given me a chance to think about what sort of practice I want to work with in the future.

Classic intubation for surgeries where animals are under anesthesia

When I’m not at my internships you can find me at the Dubuque Country Club golf course, where I work. The best part of this job is the killer sunsets I see every night!

Finally, in my free time (which I don’t find myself having very often), you can find me hiking at the Mines of Spain State Park or playing with my three dogs. Brutus (black blob attacking Teddy) is our new 10-week old puppy and is technically my brother’s, but I claim him as mine. My other dogs are Teddy (black and white), the thirteen year old hermit who wants to be left alone, and Dudley (yellow), the two year model who is the most adorable dog on the planet. You would not believe how long it took me to get this photo and I promise it’s the best one!

Mines of Spain State Park – one of the cooler things about Dubuque. I’ve rock climbed that bluff and dropped my phone off the top but thanks to Otter Box, it still worked!


Doggos, as described above

Graduating in Honors: The Project

by Mala Sharma

Hi everyone! My name is Mala and I am a recent graduate in Biology with a minor in ‘freaking out about my honors capstone project’. For all of those honors students that are in or will be in the same minor discipline as me, I have written this blog post about my capstone project journey in hopes that it a) makes you feel better about your own project/you can learn from my mistakes and b) it de-mystifies the whole process.

Starting from the top:

  1. Start talking to professors about becoming mentors about 1-2 semesters before you are going to start working on your project. Advice from a professional procrastinator: do not wait the week before the proposal deadline. The deadline for project proposal submission is Sept 21 and Feb 21 for those presenting in the Spring and Fall, respectively.
  2. Fill out all the forms with as much detail as possible. This will trick people into thinking that you know what you are doing. But more importantly, it will prevent you from having to do a re-write if the honors committee doesn’t think there is enough content for a project. Here is a link to the forms that you will need to submit: https://www.honors.iastate.edu/uhp/Project_forms.php
  3. Make it meaningful. Don’t just do anything so that you can check off one of the requirements for graduation. Pick a project that you’re passionate about otherwise you’ll be grumpy when you have to wake up at 5 am on Saturdays so that you can get your DNA samples PCRed, digested, and run on a gel before the sun sets.

    Here are some examples from last semester:

    Ann used her research experience of working in Dr. Wells’ psychology lab to conduct her own study on influence of others on fingerprint examination.

    Lauren used her capstone project to show others the benefits of studying abroad through a creative expression of her own experience of studying abroad in Europe.


    Alyssa used her major in psychology and her passion for the Greek community to analyze the social dialogue surrounding fraternity/sorority life.

  4. Once you’ve got your data, put it into some presentable form whether it is a poster or a creative expression. Again, start doing this early. The Honors Symposium is usually during dead week so if you wait the day before to start making your poster, you’ll be stressed, your roommates will be stressed, Janet at the printing lab will be stressed… Also, s/o to Janet for getting my poster printed two hours before the symposium. She’s the real MVP.
  5. Put some concealer on under your eyes to hide the dark circles. Finish this look with some snazzy business professional clothing and head on out to the Great Hall at the MU to present your project. I suggest having two kinds of speeches ready. Have a short, 1-2 minutes long speech with big picture concepts for those that are not in your discipline. Have a longer 5 minute speech with big, fancy words for those that are in your discipline.
  6. After the symposium is the convocation where you get your HONORS MEDALLION! Cherish it forever or at least a week so that you can wear it at graduation!

Congratulations to the 2017 Honors graduates!


Honors Summer Snapshots: Laurel

Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their 2017 summer routines via photos. Honors senior Laurel Smeins is spending the summer in Ames working on campus and studying for the MCAT (and she still makes it look good):

It’s hard to believe a whole year has passed since I wrote my last “Summer Snapshot” blog post.  At this time last year, I was having the time of my life exploring Spain and Europe through the ISU on the Mediterranean Valencia program. This summer, reality, and my hurting bank account, intervened. Apparently eating copious amounts of gelato and laying on the beach all day won’t help you get into med school, so thus I bring you Summer 2017: “The One Where Laurel Studies and Works and Generally Never Leaves Ames” (Friends fans anybody?). Spoiler alert: it’s not that exciting. But if you’re still reading this, I suppose it can comfort you that not everyone is spending the summer boating at their lake home or traveling the globe like your Instagram feed might imply. Some of us are living perfectly average and slightly boring lives.

Between work and studying, my summer is pretty much revolving around getting into medical school. I work in an Exercise Biochemistry lab on campus that studies the link between exercise and immunity. My primary role is growing and maintaining cells that are then used in plaque assays to determine the strength of immune response to influenza virus. It’s a lot of trial and error (emphasis on the latter) but I get to set my own hours and lay groundwork for my Honors project, so it’s a decent gig.


When I’m not at work, I’m likely studying or working on my medical school application. I’m taking the MCAT (the Medical College Admission Test, for those of you lucky enough to not know what it is) at the beginning of August, so it’s crunch time – I literally live and breathe MCAT. I am currently working through a 7-book study set and taking an online prep class, so an embarrassing amount of my time is dedicated to preparing for this test. Apparently I’m a glutton for punishment, as I also decided it was a good idea to take Biochemistry (BBMB 404) this summer as well. The class is online, though, and relatively self paced, so I have the flexibility to work on it whenever my schedule allows. My favorite places to study (and have my daily life crises) are the Periodical Room in Parks Library on campus and Café Diem in downtown Ames.

During what free time I do have, I enjoy exploring all that Ames and the surrounding area has to offer. From art and music festivals downtown to wonderful parks and trails like Ada Hayden and nearby attractions like Ledges State Park and the High Trestle Bridge, it’s not hard to find something to do. If I want to stay close to campus, I’ll go to Tj Cups for some bubble tea or hammock on central campus with friends. While my summer may not be as glamorous as last year, I’ve genuinely enjoyed living in Ames, and hopefully after these months of hitting the books, the next episode of my life will be “The One Where Laurel Gets Into Med School.” 🙂