475 Graduates Find Success in Classroom, Look to Future

More than 475 undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Education conclude their studies at University of Northern Iowa this spring, despite the disruption of COVID-19.

2020 graduatesThe diversity of preparation within the College of Education often gets overlooked. Its graduates include future teachers at the early childhood, elementary and middle level education levels along with K-12 physical education. Others look to begin their careers in working with youth, public health, recreation therapy, nonprofit management, movement and exercise science, coaching, health and wellness. Graduate students are ready for expanded roles in curriculum and instruction, special education, student affairs, allied health and higher education.  Many will choose to continue their education in graduate and doctoral programs. 

"The word 'unprecedented' is quickly becoming overused, but it remains apt. At all levels, our graduates have persevered through both the natural rigors of our excellent degree programs as well as the unexpected impact of this spring semester," said Colleen Mulholland, dean, College of Education. "We admire and respect their commitment and their ability to carry on. Most of all, we're proud of their achievements and wish them great success." 

Among this year's graduates are Fidei Beattie, elementary education; Annie Simmons, leisure, youth and human services; Paige Matthews, athletic training; and Leddia Tallman, health promotion. Each share their individual stories of accomplishment.

Fidei Beattie elementary educationSenior Profile: Fidei Beattie, B.A., Early Childhood Education





Leddia Tallman, public health, health promotion Senior Profile: Leddia Tallman, B.A., Health Promotion





Annie Simmons leisure, youth, human services, nonprofit leadershipSenior Profile: Annie Simmons, B.A., Leisure, Youth and Human Services




Paige Matthews athletic training MATRPaige Mathews, Master of Athletic Training

In spring 2020, Paige Mathews became the first graduate of the UNI master's degree program in athletic training. This graduate program was Iowa's first to provide this degree level to meet updated national standards for certification in athletic training. She was featured earlier this spring in an InsideUNI feature.