Senior Spotlight: Tim Palese


Photo by Austin Hronich/The Simpsonian

by Jonathan Facio, Layout Editor

Q: Where are you from?

A: I am from Lakewood, Colorado. It’s a suburb of Denver just to the west of the city in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Q: What’s it like being from out of state?

A: Being an out-of-state student is a really interesting experience. You get to see a lot of things that you don’t otherwise see or notice. Small things like fashion differences or even differences in the time people eat. I like to travel a lot and I always have. Ever since I was a little kid I told my parents that I wanted to go to school out of state, so it’s really cool to actually say I am fulfilling that childhood dream. I would actively encourage everyone to live in a state other than the one they were born in for at least a little bit. It is such an eye-opening experience and you will learn so much about yourself!

Q: What do you love about Iowa?

A: My favorite thing about Iowa is how green everything is and how much grows here. In Colorado, the native grass is brown, and we mostly just have a lot of pine trees and small desert, alpine plants. The color and sheer number of things growing here astonished me the first time I saw it, and it continues to be my favorite part of Iowa. To me, growing up in an arid climate, the variety of plants that can grow even in Buxton park is mind-blowing.

Q: What are your majors?

A: I am a double major in history and chemistry with a minor in art history.

Q: What are your plans after college?

A: My dream job and ultimate goal is honestly to be a professor. However, I am not sure what I want to be a professor of yet, so I plan to figure that out first. Additionally, all of the very best professors I’ve had at Simpson are professors that didn’t go straight to graduate school and spent some time doing something other than teaching before they returned to academia. I have worked as a SARA for three years now, and I know that that is something that I am really passionate about and that I love. So I am looking to continue my advocacy work and continue working with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. I am also planning on going back to Colorado to be with my boyfriend until he graduates college then we plan to go somewhere together.

Q: What is your favorite Simpson memory?

A: If I had to pick one particular memory that stands out from others, it’s probably the first historical reacting to the past game I played here. It was in my History of China class with Professor Judy Walden. I was the emperor of China, and it was so much fun. Almost every night of the week me and my First Grand Secretary, Mallory Hanson, would meet for hours plotting and planning. There was one particular night where we were in the library all the way up until the library closed, talking about the class, the game, how we were going to win. When they finally kicked us out of the library at like 12:10 a.m., it was absolutely pouring rain outside. I didn’t have an umbrella, and Mallory only had a small one. So, after spending something like three-and-a-half hours nerding out about history and plotting against our enemies, we were huddled under this tiny pink umbrella running across campus in the pouring rain in the middle of the night. I’m sure to everyone else it was absolutely hysterical, but to me, it’s honestly one of my favorite memories.

Q: Do you have any advice for first-year students?

A: First, get outside your comfort zone, and take classes you never considered. You never know when you might uncover a new passion. Random opportunities that you never considered before will pop up, and even when they seem intimidating or scary, but go for them! In my experience, it is the random unexpected experiences that are usually the most impactful. My next and perhaps biggest piece of advice is to speak up. Students have voice, and student voice matters. What you say does matter and your opinion deserves to be heard. You are the future and you can affect change, but only when you speak up and let yourself be heard.

Q: What has been your experience with Greek Life?

A: Greek Life has been such an incredible experience and part of my life. My favorite thing about it is how close everyone in my house is. I think of every single person in my house as a part of my family. Whenever you need something, anything at all, you can go to any of your brothers. So, I guess I would say the best experience I have had with Greek Life is the amount of community and connection that has come from it. A sense of safety, comfort and belonging that really has made both Kappa Theta Psi and Simpson College itself feel like home.