Learning community helps Colleen adapt to Iowa State
Colleen grew up in a Cyclone family, visiting campus and attending several basketball games growing up. When it came to deciding where she wanted to go to college she never questioned Iowa State, especially with her interest in how nutrition affects an athlete’s performance.
“I realized I loved working out when playing sports during high school and learning that what I fueled my body with affected my performance physically and mentally,” she said. “Iowa State has a very strong program for pre-diet and exercise, so I knew I wanted to be here.”
During orientation, the June before her freshmen year, Colleen asked her adviser, Anne Oldham, about which clubs she should get involved in. Oldham recommended the food science and human nutrition learning community.
“She pushed that it was a group to be part of right away,” Colleen said. “And that’s exactly what I wanted.”
Colleen signed up for the incoming freshman learning community when she registered for her classes. The first meeting included all freshmen and peer mentors, but after that they divided into groups based on where they lived on campus. Colleen said she appreciated this because it made the club feel smaller.
“I knew I could get a hold of someone if I needed to,” she said. “It’s not just a big club, but a group of people connecting and helping each other.”
Throughout the year, Colleen and the other members received numerous volunteer, field trip, and networking opportunities. She also connected with professors and met a lot of students in her major, making classes seem less intimidating.
“The community gave me new experiences I would have never known how to seek out,” she said. “The peer mentors gave me a new perspective. We got to volunteer and learn new things.”