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.

Angelica learns from her major professor

When she first visited Iowa State University, Angelica planned on studying human development and family studies. She took her tour and discovered the on-campus gerontology program. She sat down with Professor Peter Martin and learned more about it, discovering it fit all her needs.

“I was looking for a program that was student-centered, allowed me the flexibility to pursue my own research interests, and had professors who would actively support me throughout my education,” she said. “It checked all of my boxes.”

Once her acceptance letter came, Angelica needed to decide her Program of Study (POS) committee. She knew she wanted Martin as her major professor due to their matching research interests.

She knew she made the right decision when just three weeks into her program Martin helped her prepare a research project to enter for the Gerontology Society of America conference. Her project was accepted, and she presented it in front of hundreds of industry professionals.

Although this happened her first semester, Angelica said she is grateful for his mentoring style.

 “He constantly pushes me to learn, challenges my thinking, and always helps me take steps to develop as a professional,” she said.

Currently, the pair spend time working on a grant-based project sponsored by United Health Care. Angelica still finds herself learning a lot from Martin and looks forward to many more opportunities to study beside her mentor.

“He has given me so many research and professional opportunities – I don’t know what I’d do without his guidance.”

Angelica credits her professional growth to the experiences Martin provided her with. She believes selecting the right major professor is critical for any graduate student.

“Search for a professor who fits your needs,” she said. “Not just in research but in personality and work ethic.”