Outstanding Students

Caelin Santee-Buenger

Where are you from? 

I am from Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Why did you choose Kirkwood?

I chose Kirkwood because of its smaller classrooms sizes and the better interpersonal experience its teachers give. If I did it over again like in the movie “Groundhog Day,” I would always choose Kirkwood because all of my teachers have tried their best to help me whenever I reach out—which is what really matters to me.

What is your major and how did you choose it?

I chose Mechanical Engineering as my major because of my interest in engineering and cars. My grandfather was an inspiration for me, who was a civil engineer.

What has been your proudest moment at Kirkwood?

When I accomplished my personal challenge to get better grades in the current semester than the last—and getting a 4.0 GPA last semester.

What are your plans after Kirkwood?

I plan to transfer to Iowa State University for a bachelor’s degree in my major. Afterward, I want to move south where there is no snow.

What inspires or motivates you?

The personal challenges I once faced are my drive to do better. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel and I can make it as bright as it can possibly be.

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

I have an ardent passion for cars and have for several years. I own a Firebird that I love working on; cabin fever is driving me up a wall.

What does being named an Outstanding Student mean to you?

It is an honor and I feel uplifted by it. I am proud of who I am and think this is a side effect of being dedicated to myself.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

To everyone who considered me for the award, thank you. I mean it, I super appreciate it.

Categories: Outstanding Students