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Alison Winkler

Evergreen Park, Illinois

Early childhood education major
Future teacher
Facebook junkie

See for yourself

"There's a lot to do in the Quad Cities. The best places to eat out are BW's, Panera, Noodles and Company, and Village Inn."

Alison and her twin sister, Kate, chose St. Ambrose because they knew it was a place where they would both feel comfortable. Their older friends from Mother McAuley High School spoke of how much they liked St. Ambrose and how nice the res hall rooms were. When Alison enrolled she was homesick at first, but her sister and a circle of friends soon remedied that. Now Alison throws herself into college life and all it has to offer. Alison has clocked more than 70 hours of observation time (and counting!), working towards becoming a pre-school or elementary school teacher.

In his/her own words:

Why St. Ambrose?

I didn't want to go to a big school. I learn better in small classes because you can get know your professors. I feel like they can help me learn more when they know who I am. Also everyone here is very friendly and accepting. They say "hi" to you. That's not always the case in Chicago, so I was kind of taken aback at first! It's so easy to make friends here.

How is college life with your twin?

Kate and I have the same big group of friends, but we're closer to different people within the group. She helped me get through my homesickness. Next year we're still living together, but in a different room. She likes to work out all of the time and tries to get me to come with her. I'm the girly-girl. I prefer my idea of fun-shopping, trying different restaurants and hanging out with friends. If I played sports I would be mocked.

I'm thinking about study abroad, even though I get extremely homesick. My friend is in Australia now, so I Skype her and talk to her on Facebook. She's having a blast. I'm jealous.

How are you preparing for life after college?

I always knew I wanted to be an early childhood teacher. My mom teaches pre-school and also children three years old and under, so I've been exposed to teaching my whole life. My advisor has been really helpful; she makes sure I know how to do everything the right way. Starting was really easy, too. Classes like Intro to Teaching are really instructive. We're learning how to be teachers step by step.

The education major requires many observation hours, so you can get as much hands-on experience as you need. I've done more than 70 hours of observing in a Davenport elementary school and the Children's Campus. When I observed at Madison I worked with the same teacher and the same group of kids. I helped them with their homework and projects. I think it was fun and helpful for them; I know it was for me.

What are your favorite Ambrose traditions?

Last Blast for sure because it's a lot of fun. It's a great way to let loose before you have to crack down and study. And it's one of the last chances to hang out with all your friends before you go home for the summer. St. Patrick's Day is another good one. We have get-togethers with our friends from the South Side and Iowa.

How do you like campus living?

I used to live in Bechtel Hall. But I called it "Hotel Bechtel" because it has housekeeping service and everything. It felt like a home instead of a jail cell.


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