Halle Kilburg

Halle Kilburg
Major/Job Title:
Elementary and Middle Level Education
Bellevue, IA
Class Year:

Halle Kilburg

How did you end up at UNI?

I grew up in a very small community and in a family of seven. I knew I wanted to go to college and become a teacher, and UNI and Cedar Falls just felt like the perfect fit to do this.

Why did you choose to pursue this degree, and at UNI? 

My mom was my kindergarten teacher, and ever since I was little I knew I wanted to help others learn and grow. UNI was the best spot for this. 

What’s been your favorite experience at UNI so far?

Getting to feel really connected and part of UNI as a whole has been a wonderful experience.

How has UNI helped you achieve your goals?

So many of my professors have encouraged me and challenged me to grow, and through this there have been some wonderful learning opportunities.

What challenges have you faced as you've worked toward this degree – and how have you overcome them?

Advanced literacy practices, or ALPs, have been the biggest challenge that I've faced. There is a lot to juggle, but my classmates and professors have all been wonderful in offering support. I have learned so much through the process.

Everyone has an idea of what college will be like — and then you get here. What has surprised you about UNI? About being in college? About yourself?

While in college, I have learned a lot and grown up a lot as well. While I have learned a lot in the classroom, I have learned even more through the experience of moving to a new place not knowing anybody. I was surprised by how much growth comes out of discomfort. It can be scary, but once you push past the initial discomfort, so many new horizons appear, and you surprise yourself with just how much you are capable of.

We often say UNI is student focused; a place where professors care--and teach; a place where learning happens in and out of the classroom and is perfectly sized. How do any of these statements ring true for you?

My science teacher, Jesse Wilcox, took a video on the first day of each of us saying our names so that by the first week, he could know us all and call us by our names. Additionally, he set up a 10-minute block to meet with each and every one of his students so that he could get to know us more. At UNI, the educators care, and that makes all the difference.

What advice would you give to students considering UNI?

College is a wonderful experience. There will be ups and downs, but you are going to walk away with phenomenal memories, a plethora of knowledge and more self-growth than you thought you were capable of.

How has your experience at UNI shaped/impacted you?

I have become a much more confident and independent person through my experiences at UNI. I have been challenged, supported, and lifted up.

What three adjectives describe yourself?

Motivated, nostalgic, kind

Next steps?

I plan to teach at an elementary school somewhere in Iowa!