Outstanding Students

Stephanie Whiteaker

Where are you from? Rockford, Illinois.

Why did you choose Kirkwood? I chose Kirkwood because I heard from many that it was a respected community college.

What was your major and how did you choose it? My major is an AAS in business management. Oddly enough, I started at Kirkwood for my degree in nursing. After dabbling into online business, I fell in love with business as a whole. I was looking for a major that was the best fit for entrepreneurship and this major aligns with what I was looking for. 

What has been your proudest moment at Kirkwood? Being encouraged, selected, and going to EntreFEST 2022. It was an amazing experience. I’m typically introverted, but networking with such an amazing group of people is something that I will never forget. I’m both proud and humbled by the experience. 

What are your plans after Kirkwood? After Kirkwood I plan on entering a new industry. I also plan to continue my education and eventually receive my MBA.

What inspires or motivates you? There are so many things that inspire and motivate me. The best way to encapsulate them is by telling you that life experiences and the people that I’ve come in contact with have helped inspire and motivate me. 

Tell us about who you are outside of Kirkwood. I work at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I have three wonderful daughters, love D.I.Y projects, traveling, and being outdoors. 

What does being named an Outstanding Student mean to you? Being an Outstanding Student means overcoming obstacles. Sometimes we get in our own way. Pushing through and trying again takes grit. This is a learned skill, and outstanding students acquire and sharpen it. 

Is there anything else you’d like to add? I would like to add a word of advice for any student who feels like graduation is a long way off or may seem impossible. Please don’t stop. You will get there. Take it one semester at a time. Life happens, but this is important. Time will pass no matter what you’re doing. Make each decision with your success in mind. 

Categories: Outstanding Students