Outstanding Students

Angéle Brasel

Where are you from?

I was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, but have spent the majority of my life in Iowa City,


Why did you choose Kirkwood?

Kirkwood offers a wide range of excellent courses taught by some of the greatest professors out there. My brother attended Kirkwood about a decade ago, and I recall him having a great time and participating in a variety of unique and interesting activities and projects, so I thought it would be natural to start here before transferring to a four-year university like he did. It also appeared to be the most financially sensible option, and I appreciated the idea of small classes when first starting college.

What is your major and how did you choose it?

I chose biology as my major, because biology is always connected to who you are, no matter where you are. It’s a reflection of the universal beauty that exists in all living things. When I’m in nature, I feel the most connected to biology. In nature, there is the energy of growth, new beginnings and evolution that are all fundamental elements of our own growth and transformation, reminding us that we, too, are extraordinary reservoirs of life’s energies.

Therefore, biology is inherently fascinating to me because it is the study of life. I am able to dive deep into what takes place at a cellular and molecular level and learn about things such as genes and DNA and how they serve as a blueprint for the creation of organic life. Understanding the intricate details and complexity of living organisms never ceases to amaze me, and I am astounded by how all of these things work together to allow us to walk, think and breath. Not only that, but knowing what everything beneath my conscious surface is doing to keep me alive every second of the day inspires me to never give up. Additionally, being able to have hands-on learning with labs is beyond thrilling for me as a learner who appreciates immersive and tactile experiences, so having the opportunity to experience my textbook come to life is another reason as to why I chose biology as my major. Molecular biology, neuroscience, genetics and epigenetics are some of my favorite subjects to study since they are only a few of the boundless frontiers that have the potential to transform our lives in magnificent ways.

What has been your proudest moment at Kirkwood?

There are many moments that make me feel proud, and it’s usually the kind and thorough feedback I receive from my instructors on my work. Hearing their kind remarks after I work hard on something motivates me to try my best at everything I do. In addition, I am currently working on an honors project in my General Biology II class, and I am looking forward to presenting my project at the end of the semester to other students and faculty who are also a part of the Honors Program here at Kirkwood.

What are your plans after Kirkwood?

After transferring to a four-year university this fall, I plan to continue pursuing my degree in biology. This, I believe, will serve as a stepping stone toward my goal of attending medical school and achieving my dream of eventually becoming a physician. Psychiatry and dermatology are two specialties that I am most interested in.

What inspires or motivates you?

God and my family. My brother Shane encourages me to think outside the box, work hard and always be myself; my sister inspires me to be strong, forgiving and kind; and my mother inspires me to be a fighter, to never give up until the very end and to always believe in myself. My purpose is my family, so they will always inspire and motivate me.

Tell us about who you are outside of Kirkwood – hobbies, family, other interests, etc.

I enjoy playing the electric guitar, listening to music, and creating art outside of Kirkwood activities. I would love to get started on some artwork to submit to the Kirkwood journal. Also, through serving as a crisis hotline counselor and being a member of Kirkwood’s Active Minds club, I am passionate about advocating for people who are suffering from mental illnesses. It’s always good to be available to those who need support.

What does being named an Outstanding Student mean to you?

It means that someone was kind enough to think my academic efforts are worth commending, and I feel so honored and appreciative of this. It means a lot to me because I truly prioritize and value my education, and being congratulated on my accomplishments in this way as I learn inspires and motivates me tremendously.

Categories: Outstanding Students