Meet Katie Kinzler, Future Leader

I first met Katie during a group interview that was held as part of the process of becoming a resident assistant (RA.) We immediately clicked, and to me she came across as the sweetest person, who was dedicated to helping people and those in need. Ever since then, we've come a long way, from being placed in the same building, to spontaneous late night adventures. Get to know Katie by scrolling down! 

Major: English with Secondary Education Certification and Hard of Hearing/Deaf Education Endorsement, and an American Sign Language Minor

Go To Fall Drink: Salted Caramel Frappuccino

Favorite TV Show: Friends!!!!!!

Best Place You’ve Visited: I absolutely love going to Kansas City! It’s my family’s annual vacation spot. We love site seeing and always have to go a Kansas City Royals game!

Favorite Movie Snack: Popcorn with M&Ms

Which organizations are you a part of and why did you choose to be a part of them?

I am a dancer for Dance Marathon. I chose to do Dance Marathon because my sister did it when she was in college, and I thought it sounded like a lot of fun, but after joining I realized what important work Dance Marathon does. So many of our Dance Marathon kiddos are the most positive people you could possibly meet, even though they are going through this unimaginable battle. Anything I can do to make this fight easier for the kiddos is nothing compared to what they are going through. I am also a student leader in a student organization named Cru. Cru is a Christian organization whose goal is to spread God’s love throughout our campus and help students build their relationship with Christ. As a student leader, I help to host a Bible study for freshman woman in Petersen/Hillcrest and plan our weekly meetings at the IMU. Cru was the first organization on campus that I felt like I really belonged in. Everyone welcomed me with open arms and accepted me for who I am, which meant the world to me! As a student leader, it is my goal to help others feel welcomed into our community!

Why did you choose ASL as a course?

In high school, I had a friend, Kody, who lost his hearing when he was two years old, so throughout his elementary and high school career he had to have an interpreter. Kody had a cochlear implant, so he could hear a little bit out of one ear, but he couldn’t hear well. Because of his cochlear implant and lip-reading skills, he could communicate well with students, but he always had this special connection with his interpreter because communicating through sign language was easiest for him. After seeing the relationship between them, I decided that I wanted to be a person that could give people who are deaf an opportunity to have access to easy communication.

Who's your inspiration, or role model, in terms of your major?

The person who inspired me to become a teacher originally was my fifth-grade teacher, Mr. Montross. On one of my report cards he wrote told me that he thought I would make a good teacher because I had a gift for helping my classmates understand the material. Although I have switched my major many times since fifth grade, teaching was always the one I ended up coming back to. When I came to the University of Iowa, I was originally an elementary education major but switched to secondary education because of my rhetoric teacher, Nicole. She had a passion for literature that I had never seen before and encouraged me to look deeper into literature rather than just on the surface. This encouragement helped me find a passion and interest for literature that I didn’t realize I even had, so as a high school English teacher it is my hope that I will be able to help some of my students find a similar passion earlier on in their life. The idea of teaching high school students can be really intimidating at times, but my high school science teacher Mr. Hester is the best role model I could ask for when it comes to working with high schoolers. Mr. Hester is a teacher that has respect from every one of his students but can also have fun with them in the classroom. He treats every single one of his students with respect, so they respect him in return. As I get ready to take on this challenge, I will definitely be looking to Mr. Hester for guidance.

What is your dream job and why?

If I ever got the opportunity to help teach long term patients in a children’s hospital that would definitely be my dream job. I think that education would be a positive distraction from the battles that are fighting while staying in a hospital, and it would be an awesome opportunity for the kids to keep up in class work while in the hospital. This would have to be done delicately, to not overwhelm the kids, but I think it would also be the most fulfilling job possible.

If you could go back in time, what would you tell your high school self?

There is so much more to life than high school! I am so grateful to have had the high school experience that I had. I was involved in many clubs, had a job, was given opportunities to travel, and had an amazing support system through my teachers, family and friends. But I put so much pressure on myself to make the high school days amazing because I thought that those would be the best and most memorable days of my life. I was so wrong! Although I do love looking back on the many opportunities I had in high school, nothing compares to the memories I am making here at the University of Iowa. I didn’t realize there was a whole world of life changing opportunities outside of the tiny town of North English. My advice to my high school self is to make great memories but realize that my high school career does not define the rest of my life!