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

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.” 🙂

Honors Summer Snapshots: Conor

Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their 2017 summer routines via photos. Conor traveled to Italy and learned just enough Italian not to intentionally cause an international incident:

Hey! My name is Conor Duffy, and I’m a Junior at ISU double majoring in Civil Engineering and History! I also work as an Undergraduate Assistant with the Honors Program when school is in session, so you might see me around. I had the wonderful opportunity to study abroad in Italy during the first part of this summer as a part of ISU’s Sustainability and Statistics Program at the Polytechnic Institute of Turin, Italy. During the Spring semester, we had an introductory class in sustainability and Italian language/culture to prep us for this trip. I’m currently writing this at my desk in Jischke, because now I’m back here for the summer *dejected sigh*. For the sake of trying to condense my favorite parts of my trip, this “Snapshot” will be more of a chronological series of pictures in an attempt to fit as much as I can into one blog post.

These first two pictures showcase the beautiful sights of Turin, Italy (feat. some fellow ISU students)! Turin (or Torino, if you’re Italian) is a city of about one million people located in the north-west part of the country (think “mid-shin” on the boot). The picture on the left is of the Po River, which runs through the city.


Honestly, the hardest part of being in a foreign country is trying to figure out how to order food. Most of the time, the language isn’t even the especially difficult part—customs are. When do we pay? How do we order? Does it cost money to sit down at a table? Usually we just wandered into a restaurant or café, pointed at some food and, with an atrocious accent, vomited out “vorrei cuelo” (“I would like that”) and hoped for the best! Sometimes it went well. Other times, Austin (pictured on the right) ended up with a plate of meat. I’m sure it was great, but he was less than enthused…


A large part of this class was comprised of tours of sustainable factories and farms. The picture on the left is our group preparing to tour the Domori Chocolate Factory, and the picture on the right is our group at Mura Mura Farms (they make fruit for gelato). The kind folks at Mura Mura let us pick some strawberries from their field, and they were easily one of the top five things I’ve ever eaten. Not pictured is a series of lectures on both Sustainability and Statistics. Those are just pictures of (now retired) Iowa State Professor Larry Genalo, who has been heavily involved in the Honors Program for, well, ever.


After a week of class, we typically had a long weekend to travel around Italy (or other parts of Europe). Above are two pictures of our trip to Interlaken, Switzerland—by far the prettiest place I’ve ever been; it’s like someone 3D printed some kind of “basic” Pinterest account. Food is absurdly expensive in Switzerland, but the views make up for it. The image on the left is a picture of Austin and me at a mountaintop viewpoint called Harder Kulm. The picture on the right is of a train station a few miles outside of Interlaken that we took to head back to the hostel after a four-hour hike into the mountains. 10/10 would recommend this place.


We had one really long weekend, and we took that opportunity to head to Rome. The picture on the left is Connor and me (and Officer Nugs—a stuffed horse the people of Anders made us bring to Europe) in front of the Coliseum. The picture on the right is of me and Officer Nugs swimming in the Baths of Diocletian (which, unfortunately, are not filled with water anymore).


We also happened to *accidentally* walk into Vatican City while the Pope was speaking (Papa Francesco is circled in the picture to the left). From what we could tell, we were blessed by the Pope, which is neat. Someone told me Papal blessings spread to those who the blessed meet. I’m not sure if that extends through phone/computer screens, but there are decent odds you might be blessed. CONGRATS (maybe).


Later on, we went into St. Peter’s Basilica, which (spectacularly) has amazing lighting (shown to the left). Not sure if that’s a heavenly beam of light or not, but I was impressed nonetheless. Also, there were preserved saints and popes in there, which was interesting… The picture on the right is of our final meal in Rome, roughly a block away from the Vatican.


And, finally, I find myself back in Ames for the rest of the summer. If you need me for any reason, I’ll be at the front desk upstairs in Jischke. The view from my desk isn’t as nice as the Alps, but at least I’m better with the language!