Student of the Month - November

Benjamin Harks 

Benjamin Harks


  • Hometown: Marion, Iowa 
  • Major: Mechanical Engineering but I am currently considering a switch to Biomedical Engineering with a Computer Science minor. 
  • Year: Freshmen 
  • Points of Passion: In High School I was very passionate about competitive robotics. I think what made me passionate about that was my drive to figure out how to make things work, especially if I get a vision for what my project should look like. 
  • Career Goals: I am still working on my career goals, but I would like to use my passion for designing solutions to create prosthetics. I see prosthetics as a field that will advance exponentially in my lifetime and I would like to see it grow. 
  • Quarantine Check-in: During quarantine I have used my time to get more familiar with computers. I have been getting comfortable with Linux operating systems and programming a few small projects. 
  • Favorite thing about Honors: I really like the smaller scale and more discussion-based classes that I would get through the Honors program. This year has not allowed me to experience it quite the same, but I am looking forward to Honors classes when everything is in person. 

Previously Featured Students: 


Danielle Baltimore



  • Hometown: Ames, Iowa
  • Major: Economics
  • Year: Sophomore
  • Points of Passion: I genuinely treasure my time at school. I take satisfaction in participating in classes that further my knowledge about anything or aid me in perfecting skills. I also just recently joined Women in Business, which I expect will develop my professional skills, and I hope to take on a leadership role in the club in the future.
  • Career Goals: I am not sure yet, but I am leaning towards something in research. I really like my major-specific classes, and I would like to choose something where the information is always changing so I can learn new things constantly.
  • Quarantine Check-in: My time in quarantine has been very uneventful. I feel like I have more time to allocate towards my hobbies, and I like spending time (safely) with some of my friends when I get the chance. I’m pretty introverted, so I don’t mind the majority of my time being spent alone. I’ve also been meaning to learn how to cook more complicated meals.
  • Favorite thing about Honors: Since we are at a university with over 30,000 people, it’s nice to see some of the same people in my classes. No matter the subject, I can usually find a familiar face in one of the Honors courses.

Mallie S.



  • Hometown: Urbandale, Iowa
  • Major: Double Major Communication Studies/Film Studies
  • Class: Second Year now
  • Points of Passion: I'm passionate about helping friends, but also, I've been interested in helping the TransAlliance club here on campus. I'm currently the Secretary for the club as well. It's been a great way to meet other trans people, but also helpful with just forming connections between people. Though this year hasn't provided many opportunities I'm still eager to continue the club's activities.
  • Career Goals: My career goals are to hopefully end up working in film, and I have a heavy interest in becoming a Sound Designer at some point. Though I would also be interested in managing social media for films and production.
  • Quarantine Check-in: I have honestly been just trying to relax during quarantine, but other than that I've been meeting with friends online to chat and keep updated with them, writing up some story ideas I get, and working to better myself with better exercise and diet!
  • Favorite thing about Honors: Honestly, my favorite thing about Honors is the classes. I had a class last year that dealt with literature of old English plays, and I found it super interesting and unique to go through! I'd love to be in more honors classes after I finish up some of my Gen Eds this semester and want to try and find some niche topics to explore. It's definitely the classes that have made me most interested about Honors.

Want to get involved in Trans Alliance? 

TransAlliance is a group of Transgender, NonBinary, and gender noncomforming people on campus, along with allies who would like to come and support their fellow students. Meetings are focused on relaxing and spending time with one another while also discussing Transgender topics in an open space. We are currently planning on meeting Thursdays at 7:30 P.M. through Zoom! The details about these meetings can be asked primarily through the Instagram or GroupMe that we have set up! We are also working on setting up Engage for the club, so keep an eye on that!

GroupMe: GroupMe

Engage: Engage Site

Instagram: Instagram