Home-grown students succeed at Simpson


by Jessie Ernst

Leaving home is sometimes the main motivation behind a student’s college choice, but some former Indianola Indians have made Simpson their home slightly away from home.

With many Indianola High School graduates attending Simpson, they can almost create a community of their own.

Despite the fact all these students came from the same high school, they make up a very diverse group.

Junior Katie Albrecht is an art education major who belongs to Pi Beta Phi. Freshman Ben Miller is a member of Alpha Tau Omega along with sophomore Tucker Priebe, a transfer student at Simpson. Stacia Weinman is a freshman participating in Simpson soccer and freshman Erik Lickiss keeps himself busy with his music major.

At first, it would seem as if the Indianola graduates chose Simpson just because it was close to home, but this is not the case; Simpson offers interesting opportunities for all students.

“I watched a girl [from my school] play soccer here when I was young, so I wanted to be like her,” Weinman said. “That was in third grade.”

Although choosing a college was a simple decision for Weinman, she still considered her options.

“I looked into Morningside and UNI, but stuck to Simpson,” Weinman said.

The right college decision proved to be more difficult for Lickiss.

“I looked at Iowa, Luther, DePaul, Central and Wartburg,” Lickiss said. He ended up choosing Simpson over Central.

“The campus fit me,” Lickiss said.

Albrecht showed similar feelings.

“I like that Simpson is small; a community of its own,” Albrecht said.

Like Lickiss and Albrecht, the other IHS alums can’t imagine themselves attending any other college.

One of the benefits previous Indianola students enjoy by picking Simpson is the proximity to their parents – and their parents’ washers.

“I go home on the weekends to do laundry and my mom cooks dinner,” Miller said.

Other Indianola natives agree.

“I go home about once every other week to do laundry and have mom’s cooking,” Lickiss said.

This unified response – home cooking and free clean clothes – only proves one thing: the sure way to a college student’s heart is food and money.

However, not all IHS alums rely on their parents.

“I hardly ever go home,” Albrecht said. “I might see my parents less than people that live farther away.”

Like Albrecht, many IHS graduates that reside at Simpson admit they stay on campus most of the time.

“I’m here 24/7 unless I go to Wal-Mart,” Miller said.

In fact, most of the students are too busy to leave.

The activities on campus keep the former Indians’ schedules so full that it doesn’t feel as if they are close to home.

“I live at Pi Beta Phi and have an executive position that keeps me very busy,” Albrecht said.

Other Greek members also keep themselves occupied on campus.

“My favorite thing about Simpson College is the Greek life,” Miller said.

Extra-curricular activities around campus create a hometown atmosphere all in itself. Weinman said attending Simpson is “just like going to a school that’s two hours away.” Lickiss has had a similar encounter with going to college so close to home.

“It’s a really nice experience because I’m in my surroundings, but then again Simpson is it’s own community,” Lickiss said. “You don’t realize you are still in Indianola.”

Miller found a completely different perk to attending college in his hometown.

“On the weekends or on breaks my friends come home,” Miller said. “It’s nice because I don’t have to travel very far to see people.”

The other home-grown Simpson attendees agree with Miller, but not all are sure they want to stay in Indianola after graduation.

A few plan to attend graduate school and others are unsure of their futures.

At least one former Indianola student wants to stay in her hometown.

“I want to eventually teach at Irving Elementary where I went to school,” Weinman said. “I’d like to end up here.”

Although there is much indecision on further plans, all the IHS graduates recognize Indianola is a great area to live.

“It’s a good place to raise your kids,” Priebe said.