Outstanding Students

Austin Burchers

Q: Where are you from? (city, state) 

A: Cedar Rapids, Iowa 

Q: Why did you choose Kirkwood? 

A: I chose Kirkwood because of its reputation, cost, and ease of access in forwarding my education and preparing me to move onto another college. 

Q: What is your major and how did you choose it? 

A: I have always wanted to help people, that has always been my driving force in life.  So, I knew I wanted to follow that path.  I started out going for my AS to go Pre-Med at another school, but that changed to Psychology, then Nursing, then after some issues, it changed again to Social Work and Psychology. 

Q: What has been your proudest moment at Kirkwood?  

A: Honestly, I can’t say that I have had one.  I have just done my work and had some large and small hiccups along the way, but I just kept moving forward trying to get that diploma.  I never sought recognition or praise, I just tried to do my work, get good grades and graduate.  

Q: What are your plans after Kirkwood? 

A: I plan to transfer to a Mount Mercy University and obtain my bachelor’s in social work and Psychology.  Then potentially my Masters, but I have been kicking around the idea of law school after obtaining my bachelors and focusing on Human Service and Social Justice law. 

Q: What inspires or motivates you? 

A: I have always wanted to help people, as I stated above that has always been a real driving force within my life, so getting a higher education to learn the tips and techniques to help more than I could otherwise.  Plus, money, kind of tired of living paycheck to paycheck as a working student. 
 
Q: Tell us about who you are outside of Kirkwood – hobbies, family, other interests, etc. 

A: I am a pretty-big homebody.  I like to spend my time reading, watching movies, playing tabletop or video games, working on my cars, or hanging out with some friends.  I have three dogs (Abby, Mischka and Buddy) that love to take car rides.  I also love to get to the gym, hopefully this summer when things open up more, I will be able to get back there and maybe do some traveling. 

 
Q: What does be named an Outstanding Student mean to you? 

A: It is an honor to be named an Outstanding Student at Kirkwood.  I was never the greatest student growing up, and it really wasn’t until late in high school that I started to apply myself, so this is a nice reminder that I am not as dumb or unmotivated as so many thought of me.  It just took until I was in my 30’s for me to recognize it. 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add? 

A: While Kirkwood and I have had a somewhat rocky relationship with my time here, the knowledge that I have gained is invaluable.  To anyone struggling or questioning themselves in college right now, do what will make you happiest.  But never stop questioning, never stop learning, and never ever give up on yourself!  Because even the smallest progress is still progress.   

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