Andrew "Drew" Abrams

Drew Abrams
Major/Job Title:
Community Health & Recreation MA
Iowa City, Iowa
Class Year:
May 2023

Andrew "Drew" Abrams

How did you end up at UNI?
I originally came to UNI to become an English teacher. I completed my BA in 2018 and then went to teach at Anamosa Middle School. I enjoyed my time as a teacher, but missed my outdoor recreation community. Eventually, I decided to come back to get my MA in Community Health and Recreation (now known as the Recreation, Tourism and Nonprofit Leadership MA program).

Why did you choose to pursue this degree at UNI?
During my undergrad, I was a part of this wonderful community. They made UNI feel like home. I wanted to be able to provide that same experience for others.

What’s been your favorite experience at UNI so far?
Being a part of the Adventure Trips program will always be my favorite experience. It has pushed me in ways I could never have imagined and has provided me with memories I will never forget.

Describe your experience as a graduate assistant and what you've gained from that experience.
I'm a GA within the HRCS department. I program our Adventure Trips, teach various courses, and work with our coordinators on professional development.

How has UNI helped you achieve your goals?
The College of Education essentially saved my program, without them I wouldn't be here this year.

What challenges have you faced as you've worked toward this degree – and how have you overcome them?
At the end of spring semester 2022, the Adventure Trips program was cut from Recreation Services. This was essentially the whole reason I had returned to UNI. Needless to say, I and many others were devastated. Through that summer, I started exploring potential options through the College of Education and eventually we figured out a direction we could take the program. Through the fall semester, we worked on getting material together and putting together a plan for the spring. Now here we are, running college-defining trips once again.

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?
When the program was cut, the amount of support I felt from professors all across campus was incredible. Many wrote in expressing their support for our program and we received so many kind notes from so many departments. It felt like they truly cared.

What advice would you give to students considering coming to UNI for graduate studies?
Study hard and be friends with your professors.

What three adjectives describe yourself?
Dedicated, passionate, caring

What’s next?
I graduate at the end of this semester and then I'm out to Utah where I have a position with Utah Tech!