Graduate Student Profiles

Maria Espino

Maria Espino hopes to work as a faculty member at a research institution after she graduates with her Ph.D. When she isn't studying, Maria likes to journal and plan, listen to music, and go to the gym. 

Samantha Hirschman

After graduation from Iowa State University, Samantha plans to work for a small, liberal arts institution in an office for career services, academic advising, or accessibility services. When Samantha isn't studying, she enjoys putting puzzles together and spending time with her family and her partner, Emanuel.

Steven Waddell

Steven Waddell hopes to one day run his own college. In his free time Steven enjoys photography, writing, video games, basketball, and being vegan. 

Emily Parent

Emily Parent intends to use her degree to work on her weight management program full time. When she isn't studying, she enjoys going for a run, cooking, and relaxing on the lake with friends and family.

Melissa Abner

Melissa Abner's dream career is to be a full professor in a thriving fashion merchandising program and be in charge of that program. When she isn't teaching in her current position as an assistant professor or working on her Ph.D., she enjoys spending time with her three-year-old and husband at sporting events, boating, or doing anything else outdoors.

Gina Lee

After earning her master’s degree and Ph.D. in gerontology, Gina Lee wants to work at a research institution. During her free time, you can find her dancing, watching movies, or Instagraming.

Lauren Stratton

Lauren Stratton sees herself doing research, programming, and/or policy work for an organization devoted to helping older adults and their caregivers after graduation. In her spare time now, she stays active at her church, does community theater, and plays with her two bunnies.

Carter Reed

Carter Reed wants to use his doctoral degree to eventually teach university students. During his time outside of class and lab work, he enjoys playing sports, reading books, playing guitar, and hanging out with friends.

Hannah Dannewitz

Hannah Dannewitz looks forward to working in long-term care administration after she graduates. Until she enters the industry, she enjoys spending time cooking, binge watching TV, and spending time with her dog, Kaia.

Michael Lynch

Michael Lynch's goal after obtaining his Ph.D. in hospitality management is to continue teaching at a research university and help to advance the study of customer relationship management and loyalty programs. In his free time Michael enjoys spending time with his students, golfing, cooking, and traveling.

Peiyi Lu

Peiyi Lu hopes to use her doctorate in gerontology to be a researcher after she graduates. For now, Peiyi enjoys spending her time exercising, watching TV, and traveling.

Katie Anthony

Katie Anthony wants to be a professor at a research institution to continue researching and teaching. When she isn't balancing the many responsibilities of a Ph.D. student, she enjoys reading and traveling back to her hometown to see her family and her dogs.

Chloe Steffensmeier

Chloe Steffensmeier hopes to one day use her master's degree in gerontology to work for the Department on Aging. In her free time, she enjoys playing piano, being outdoors, and spending time with friends and family.

Olivia Diggs

Olivia Diggs wants to become a tenured professor at an R1 teaching and research academic institution. Between research projects, Olivia finds time to kayak, attend concerts, and support her siblings in their sporting and music activities.

Jordan Arellanes

Jordan Arellanes hopes to become a professor at a research-intensive university. Jordan spends time fishing, coaching soccer, and playing with his dog, Lana, when he isn't in the lab.

Kathryn Southard

Kathryn Southard's goal is to become a professor within a kinesiology or exercise science department at a mid-sized university. In her free time between research you can find her gardening, walking her dog, or baking.

Shaohua Pei

Shaohua "Linda" Pei aspires to become a faculty member or administrator in international higher education. When she isn’t on campus or working on her research projects, she enjoys doing extracurricular activities with her kids or traveling with family.

Amanda Bries

Amanda Bries plans to do clinical research at a teaching hospital and eventually complete her doctorate. When she isn't studying, she enjoys staying active by training for races, practicing piano, and wood burning.

Jess Alley

Jess Alley hopes to open her own business collaborating her education with her love for the outdoors. When she isn't studying, she enjoys running, climbing, and backpacking.

Mitch Stephenson

Mitch Stephenson aspires to be a university professor of biomechanics. When he isn't studying, he enjoys indoor exercises, motorcycle riding, and building/restoring items like furniture and vintage stereos.

Joey Lee

Joey Lee wants to teach as a professor at a small or mid-level university or at a community college. When he isn't studying, he enjoys playing basketball, working out, and spending time with his one-year-old son.

Amy Pilcher

Amy Pilcher knows she wants to be a director of online learning. When she isn't studying or at her assistantship, she enjoys practicing Taekwondo and Korean with her sons and spending time with family. 

Angelica Jasper

Angelica Jasper aspires to teach gerontology. When she isn't studying or researching, she enjoys taking advantage of doing nothing, kayaking, and being outside.

Carlos Casanova

Driven by a traumatic experience immediately following high school graduation, Carlos Casanova is determined to become a professor in an Institution of Higher Education, along with staying actively engaged with youth in the Latino community.

Emily McKnight

Emily McKnight aspires to be an author, certified dating/relationship coach, and a tenured professor. When she isn't studying, she enjoys spending quality time with her family.

Anupma Singh

Anupma Singh aspires to become a professor. When she isn’t on campus or working on her research projects, she enjoys taking care of her two sons, listening to books on Audible, and watching different sporting events.

Melissa Delinger

Melissa Delinger plans to open her own non-profit organization. When she isn't studying, she enjoys spending time with her family, husband, and daughter. 

Greta Stuhlsatz

Greta Stuhlsatz will use her degree to teach at a research institute. When she isn't studying, she enjoys being active outside by biking or playing disc golf, relaxing with a good book, knitting/crocheting, and spending time with the wonderful people she's met at Iowa State.

Erin Neill

Erin Neill hopes to work at a university where she can research and continue working as a social worker. When she isn’t studying or working as the networking officer in the HDFS Graduate Student Network, she enjoys spending time with friends and her significant other relaxing, exploring Des Moines, and participating in yoga classes at the gyms on campus.

Randie D. Camp

Randie D. Camp plans to help others through her graduate degree. When she isn’t studying or working on research, she enjoys reading young adult novels, being ridiculously silly with  her son, or watching a Marvel movie.