Office of Communications
2 East South Street
Galesburg, IL 61401-4999
June 14, 2017
Members of the Knox College Class of 2017 have big plans post-Commencement, from pursuing graduate school and working for AmeriCorps to accepting internships and teaching outside of the United States.
Here's a look at what some of Knox's recent graduates have planned.
"Knox provided a very supportive environment. It pushed me to take classes and go for internships to see what interested me. Knox made me confident enough to take risks, regardless of whether they'd fit into my long-term plan."
"The Knox College program in Besancon was indispensable because it allowed me to both study abroad in France for an extended period of time and it improved my French language skills."
Alejandro Beltran, a chemistry major, is pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Maryland.
"I'm a first-gen, low-income [student]. I came to the United States when I was 10. Now, I have three fellowships and a stipend. I have a personal relationship with every one of my professors. I was in the COAST Program, and then the McNair Scholars Program, and through the McNair program I did an honors project. Now, I'll be working with a Latino professor and representing minorities in a STEM field. It's exciting. I didn't realize how much I'd done until a couple days ago."
Steffi Antony, an anthropology and sociology major, is pursuing a master's degree in nursing at the University of Illinois.
"Coming to Knox, I always thought I'd be a health care worker. Then, I realized I want to help people on a larger scale. I wanted to be a leader. I came in very shy but seeing in classrooms how much people speak out and how much professors want you to open up, I learned that I can do that, too. I ended up becoming senior class president and our senior class speaker. Knox made me realize that growth begins at the end of my comfort zone."
Mitch Prentice, a creative writing major, is one of two students selected nationally for a Gatehouse Media internship.
"I took a journalism class my sophomore year before I knew what I wanted to do. [Assistant Professor of Journalism] James Dyer, one of the best professors I had here, was very blunt, and I really appreciated his teaching style. That first class branched into everything I'm doing now."
Diandra Soemardi, a chemistry major, is pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Maryland.
"I am very well prepared [for life after Knox]. I did two years of research under my professor in chemistry, and that helped a lot. The techniques that I learned prepared me to do research in a Ph.D. institution." She hopes to help with the scientific community in her home country of Indonesia. "We have a lot of brilliant people, but limited resources," she added.
Stephanie Cordero-Gonzalez, a double major in psychology and self-designed interpersonal communications, will be an elementary school teacher through Teach for America in Gary, Indiana.
"Knox gave me the skills in forming relationships, as it gave me the confidence to connect with people who are different than I am. I wouldn't have had internships, gone abroad, or completed two off-campus studies without the resources we had here."
Approximately 300 students were in the graduating Class of 2017, where actor, philanthropist, and activist Eva Longoria delivered the Commencement address on June 4. Find more about Commencement, including photos, videos, and words.
"Knox made me confident enough to take risks, regardless of whether they’d fit into my long-term plan.” — Jesse Okwu, an economics and anthropology and sociology double major, is attending the University of Michigan to study public policy.
"I really want to work in higher education because I have seen firsthand how smaller institutions like Knox have changed lives for the better." — Elisabeth Zarnoti, a self-designed major in business communications, is working for College Possible, an AmeriCorps organization.
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