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Katie Moore had no idea how worldly her education would be staying close to home and attending the University of Iowa.

IOWA CITY– Growing up 12 miles north of the University of Iowa (UI), Katelyn Moore was reluctant to become a Hawkeye. She wanted to go farther away. But a family dinner outing ultimately changed her mind, and led her to an education that has taken her around the world.
One night in Solon while at a restaurant with her parents, Moore chatted with a fellow patron who asked about her college plans. When she mentioned she was considering elementary education, the man invited her to Iowa City for a campus visit. He happened to be Dean emeritus of the UI College of Education Nicholas Colangelo.
"He set up a tour for me and, once there, I instantly fell in love with the campus and the college," said Moore, who earns a bachelor of arts in elementary education in May. "I felt at home because the tour guide and all the people I interacted with that day made me feel calm. I developed strong relationships at Iowa right away."
After enrolling, Moore took advantage of multiple opportunities to expand her horizons. She took part in India Winterim, a three-week study abroad program where she was able to learn about a different culture and visit multiple classrooms. She spent a summer working with American children as a camp counselor at a U.S. Marine base in Okinawa, Japan. And, she traveled to Costa Rica over spring break to teach multilingual students with a group of peers from the UI College of Education.
Spending time abroad influenced how she learned and how she will teach, Moore said.
"Going to India was my first time out of the country. India is so different from the United States and Iowa that it really forced me to be open-minded-and it made me want to never stop traveling and to never stop getting out of my comfort zone," Moore said. "All my international experiences have taught me to value and celebrate diversity and to find ways to use those differences in the classroom. Doing so will encourage me and my students to keep an open mind."
Moore also took part in educational experiences domestically. In the summer of 2019, she interned at NASA's Langley Research Center, in Virginia, in the Office of STEM Engagement, where she learned methods for engaging K-12 students in hands-on science activities.
"I learned so many different ways to incorporate technology into education," said Moore, whose education degree includes endorsements in reading and language arts. "Virtual reality, for example, allows you to go on field trips without leaving the classroom. I'll be taking that to my students in the future."
The opportunities Moore pursued as an undergraduate are available to all students in the College of Education-and are highly encouraged. But Moore stands out, said Ted Neal, clinical associate professor and a 2017 graduate of the college's doctoral program in teaching and learning.
"Katie is so intrigued to learn. She pushes herself and her boundaries so that she can be the best she can be," added Neal, who was part of the study aboard program in Costa Rica and also taught in Portugal and Australia. "Going abroad showed her that the world is a lot bigger than Solon or Iowa City. And at NASA, she got to work with world-class scientists and gain access to resources that most teachers don't have. All of that will benefit her as a teacher."
It was in high school Moore first considered a career in education. She worked at a day care and said she quickly realized she couldn't imagine a future for herself that didn't include interacting with children every day. Though she aims to teach internationally, the Coronavirus Pandemic put those plans on hold, and she now is looking for a job closer to home, ideally teaching fourth grade.
"I student-taught fourth grade at Coralville Central. I like it because it's an age when they're really starting to come into their personalities, and they're so creative," she says. "But no matter what classroom I end up in, I'll be happy because I'll be teaching."
Moore said Iowa prepared her well to teach.
"All of my professors here have been outstanding. They truly care about the well being and success of their students. We are taught critical thinking skills and then have the chance to practice them with students early on by spending time in classrooms," she explained. "All the opportunities I've had at the University of Iowa helped me grow as a learner, as a future teacher, and as a person-and I don't know that I would have gotten those at another institution."

'For the Kids' in the hospital-and in the classroom
Katie Moore
Degree: BA in elementary education
Hometown: Solon
Future plans: Work as an elementary school teacher-eventually internationally
Graduating senior Katie Moore participated three years in UI Dance Marathon, a student-led organization raising money to support pediatric oncology patients and their families. She ran the Chicago Marathon to raise money for "For the Kids," or FTK. She hopes to organize a mini fundraiser for philanthropy in the elementary school she teaches in.
"My sister had participated in Dance Marathon and I wanted to try it at least once. I loved it! I never would have run a marathon if it hadn't been for such a good cause."
Did you know?
The secondary education program at the University of Iowa College of Education is in the top two percent in the nation, and the elementary education program is in the top six percent.
More than 98 percent of Iowa's Teacher Education Program graduates were working as educators or not seeking employment, according to 2018-19 data from the UI Pomerantz Career Center.
The UI College of Education has more than 28,000 alumni across 78 countries, 50 states, and every Iowa county.