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Read About Our Graduates

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May 2017


Talk to a St. Ambrose University graduate in the Class of 2017 and you are likely to hear the words "achievement" and "success."

That is how it should be.

But, talk to our graduates a little longer and you will realize their unwavering dedication to their goals and dreams, to advancement, their families; their resiliency and adaptability to challenges; their quest to care for others, their communities and the world; and their appreciation for the opportunities, encouragement and support they say allowed them to shine.

The SAU Class of 2017 includes graduates who never gave up on promises or pushing themselves; a woman who now honors her deep tie to the Civil Rights movement; a chemist who believes one success will allow her to soar; caregivers who will help people -- not patients -- have the highest quality of life; a gifted writer who believes her college career was about so much more than a degree; a future social worker who wants to 'give back' the support her parents received; a man who follows the footsteps of a compassionate educator; and a graduate who learned English in order to help others speak.

Grad Stories 2017: Crossing the Goal Line

Fourteen years after Nate Norman left school early in pursuit of a career in the Canadian Football League, he will officially cross the finish line and be awarded a Bachelor of Elected Studies degree. But the former Fighting Bee football player said he is not finished. Read Nate's story about a promise and an ending that includes bees. 

Grad Stories 2017: A Connection to History

When Breanna Toney received her Bachelor of Arts in Marketing degree, she accomplished something her great-great grandfather, the revered Charles W. Toney Sr., did not. She leaves St. Ambrose with a diploma and a lesson in family history that ties her to social justice. Read about Breanna and the discovery of a SAU Civil Rights connection. 

Grad Stories 2017: 'SAU Has Continually Challenged Me'

It was a fourth-grade class that led Allie Daniels to discover her passion in life: chemistry. She leaves St. Ambrose University with a promise to continue asking questions, finding answers and encouraging other girls to pursue their science dreams. Read how a chemistry summer camp led Allie to SAU and her future.

Grad Stories 2017: More Than Athletics

Academics and a soccer scholarship brought Michael Ohioze ‘across the pond' and to St. Ambrose, where he added a second sport -- track -- and continued to excel. He may be the person who collects the accolades, but he attributes his success to those "behind closed doors." Read his story of growth and appreciation. 

Grad Stories 2017: "Support System Is Always a Must"

Caring for others is natural for Sara Strauel, who will soon begin working at University of Iowa Hospitals as a palliative care nurse on the respiratory and critical care unit. She learned about nursing at the age of nine, when she became a caretaker for her late mother, and is now fully dedicated to a profession that she feels is a passion, not a job. Read about Sara's SAU support system and how she will support patients.

Grad Stories 2017: Her World Expanded

Hannah Blaser said being a member of the St. Ambrose Honors Program expanded her view of the world, leading her to become a more compassionate and understanding person. For Hannah, having four years dedicated to personal growth was a great opportunity, one she fully embraced. Learn how Hannah changed at SAU.

Grad Stories 2017: 'Yes I Can Do This'

Gerene TeKippe's 'can do' attitude and spirit of adaptability allowed her to succeed, and soar, at SAU, despite a physical disability. The Des Moines, Iowa, woman said she is not stopping at a psychology degree. Gerene is already working on a Master of Social Work degree at St. Ambrose. Read about the lesson Gerene has carried through life.

Grad Stories 2017: SAU Helped Professional Achieve in America

Bryan BustosCamona is a two-time Chilean national champion at Super Smash Brothers and eSports commentator for ESPN, yet he is hesitant to brag about his accomplishments and the challenges he overcame to earn a Master of Speech-Language Pathology degree. Learn about what led Bryan to St. Ambrose and the friends who made the community a home 

Grad Stories 2017:  Clinic Aided Their Learning

Lessons were put into action at the St. Ambrose Interprofessional Health Clinic and provided Kaitlyn O'Leary '16 and Danika Schroeder with a remarkable learning experience. The women are following different career paths, but both say their professors, peers and clinical opportunities had a great impact on their post-graduate education. Read a story about their SAU experience.  Watch a SAUtv story about the Interprofessional Health Clinic. 

Grad Stories 2017: 'I Want To Be Like My Mom'

Faith and community helped Dylan Mitchell work through tragic loss after his mother and two sisters died in an automobile accident. Years later, Dylan realized St. Ambrose was his best opportunity to realize his dream: to follow his mother into education. Read about the lesson she taught Dylan and his goals. 

Grad Stories 2017: 'Covering' a Hit

Lindsay O'Brien can't write or even sing a song. But the new Graphic Arts and Art History graduate did design the cover a 'Issues,' a chart-climbing debut single by Julia Michaels, Lindsay's step-sister. Family ties didn't ensure the opportunity for Lindsay. She had to beat music industry veterans to "cover" the single that has risen as high as No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Read about Lindsay.  

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