FlipSide Face: Katy Philby


Freshman Katy Philby came to Simpson College from Ankeny High School for the location and the small and friendly campus, and she’s stayed here because of the atmosphere and the great people. 

“I love to learn, and I love all of my classes right now,” Philby said.”I am really enjoying my Education classes which are my major.”

Philby is receiving endorsements in early childhood and reading in which she hopes to go on to obtain a master’s degree in Library Science. Her goal is to become a children’s librarian one day, but she has other options.

What differentiates Philby from other students is her longtime hobby of caring for butterflies. After nursing a monarch butterfly back to health as a child, Philby developed a fondness for monarchs and has since dedicated a lot of time to their protection. She started a Monarch Waystation garden two years ago.

“Butterflies are amazing little creatures and they are a lot stronger than most people think,” Philby said. “However, because of all of the pesticides being used, many species are dying out.”

That’s why Philby thinks it’s so important that people contribute to the monarch’s cause.

According to Philby, monarchs migrate to Mexico and make a stunning 3,000-mile trip each year, and hopes to help them better survive. She encourages others to check out www.monarchwatch.org and learn more or help out with the cause. Philby’s been to MonarchWatch headquarters in Kansas.

“MonarchWatch is a non-profit organization that helps to promote the education about Monarchs and helps to provide a safe habitat for them,” Philby said.

Freshman Annaleah Herrman, said that Katy has the perfect personality to fit her hobby. She also said her friend has the gentle nature necessary to properly raise her butterflies and ensure their safety. Herrman said those same qualities are part of the reason they’ve become such good friends.

“Katy is a gentle spirit,” Herrman said. “It takes a lot of patience and calmness to raise her butterflies but she does it and loves it.”

Philby also finds time between homework and butterflies for other hobbies, such as reading, kayaking and volunteering. She is also a member of the pep band, the Wesley Service Scholar program and Education Club, in addition to enjoying community dance classes. 

Philby hopes to use her next few years at Simpson to participate in even more activities, meet new people and travel. She said she’s has grown and become independent during her time at Simpson. She said she has a lot of optimism for the future as well and offered some words of wisdom for surviving her type of hectic freshman year.

“My advice would be to stand up for yourself around your friends, roommates, and peers,” Philby said. “If they are truly good friends, they will listen and respect you for who you are.”

This summer, Philby intends to volunteer at a public library and Living History Farms in addition to working and vacationing in Wisconsin. She is excited to try new classes next year and work toward finishing up her education requirements.