Outstanding Students

Emilee Linder

Where are you from? Hedrick, Iowa.

Why did you choose Kirkwood? I chose Kirkwood for the well-known nursing program as well as the competitive athletic programs. When choosing a college, Kirkwood was the best fit for me academically and athletically.

What is your major and how did you choose it? Nursing. I have known I wanted to be a nurse since a very young age. My grandmother is a big reason that I chose this career. She was a nurse near my hometown. I got the opportunity to shadow her in high school and could see how much she positively impacted other people’s lives. I knew that I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. I started working as a CNA when I was 16 and knew that this would be the right career for me. I love to help others navigate through both sickness and health with my compassion and knowledge. 

What has been your proudest moment at Kirkwood? My proudest moment at Kirkwood was last year at the NJCAA National Softball Tournament. During the tournament, I was also starting my first week of the technical nursing program. At the end of the week, our team came home with a 3rd-place national finish. The week seemed so surreal as both my dreams of becoming a nurse and playing college softball were right in front of me. 

What are your plans after Kirkwood? After Kirkwood, I plan to work at Saint Lukes’s here in Cedar Rapids while continuing my education at Mount Mercy to obtain my BSN. I also plan to stay active in softball, volunteering when I can and hopefully staying part of the Kirkwood Softball program. 

What inspires or motivates you? Something that motivates me throughout nursing school is knowing the ability I will have to make an impact on so many lives one day. My compassion drives me to be the best student I can be in order to provide quality and safe care to my future patients. Those who inspire me are my fellow nursing students and my softball teammates. Both nursing school and softball can take a lot of time and energy in order to succeed. Seeing others strive in both of those things, inspires me to do the same. 

Tell us about who you are outside of Kirkwood. Outside of nursing school and softball, you can find me working at Saint Lukes’s, on a walk, or spending time with friends and family. I have one sister who is an elementary teacher. My mom is a cosmetologist and has her own salon and boutique and my dad is an electrician and business owner. 

What does being named an Outstanding Student mean to you? To be named an Outstanding Student means the world to me. My time at Kirkwood has been challenging to say the least. From six hours school days, straight into softball practice, then to the library to study, or even missing class for games, I haven’t been able to catch much of a break. To be honored in this way, shows me that the hours I have committed to this have all been worth it. My wish with the nomination of this award is to show others who may have a schedule like mine, that if there is a will, there is a way. 

Is there anything else you’d like to add? I would like to thank all of my professors, academic advisors and the nursing department. I could not be in this position without their continuous support and guidance. To my coaches, I could not thank you enough for allowing me to represent our college on such a high level while also supporting my dreams of becoming a nurse. Coming to Kirkwood was the best decision of my life and I will forever be grateful. To everybody out there in nursing school who might feel like you will never make it, you will. Keep going and never let anything stop you from chasing your dreams!

Categories: Outstanding Students