December graduates look forward to the future


Alex Kirkpatrick/The Simpsonian

File photo of College Hall

by Hannah Matt, Contributor

More than 84 Simpson students will be diving into adulthood on Saturday, Dec. 15.

These students will participate in the December commencement, where they will receive their diplomas and officially graduate from Simpson College. Contemplating their future, soon-to-be alums Emma Gerdis, Daryl Batt and Emily Schwickerath reflect on their time at Simpson.

Emma Gerdis changed her major from elementary education after her first semester. She will be graduating at the end of next week with a public relations major and human resources minor. Gerdis attributes this change to the communications course she took her first year.

“Lisa Carponelli’s Comm 101 class opened my eyes to how relevant communications was to today. I can help by interacting with people,” Gerdis said.

Gerdis plans to move back home to Waukee after graduating, giving herself six months to find a job in the Des Moines or Ames area. She hopes to gain a job in event management because she loved her internship with the Des Moines Art Festivals. Her main goal is to work in a non-profit field so she can still work with children. Gerdis is excited to graduate, but scared about what the future holds.

“I am not ready to be an adult and have to pay for rent and groceries,” Gerdis said.

Fortunately, Gerdis figured out what she wanted to do early and advises others to do the same. For some students, like Daryl Batt, this was not the case.

Batt is graduating a semester later than her counterparts. After changing her major six times, Batt decided to major in studio art with a concentration in photography.

“I was wanting to study journalism and combine it with photography, but I would have had an additional three semesters after this one,” Batt said.

With her love of learning, Batt encourages others to take classes outside of their designated major.

“Don’t forget to enjoy college,” Batt said. “And if that means one more semester and not graduating early, or even a little late, that is okay.”

“I am very ready,” Batt continued. “But I am looking forward to a change in pace and routine.”

After graduation, Batt will be working at Bella Baby Photography in Des Moines as a photographer. She would like to pursue opening her own photography business.

Emily Schwickerath is also eager to graduate early.

“I still can’t believe graduation is right around the corner,” she said in an email interview. “My time at Simpson flew by and I feel like I was moving in to Barker just yesterday.”

The political science major and religion minor is already employed for next semester. She will be working at a job later in December at the Iowa Capitol. She attributes her success to her adviser John Epperson and also Laurie Dufoe and Karla Gilson in the Student Development office.

“If it works to graduate early, I would highly recommend considering it,” Schwickerath said.

Students can achieve graduating a semester early by taking summer classes or keeping larger class loads each semester they are at Simpson. The credit limit is 19 credits; if a student goes over the maximum amount they will pay additional fees.  

Schwickerath says bringing in high school credits saved her a semester’s worth of tuition. Planning ahead is key to graduating early.

December commencement will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15 in Smith Chapel. There will be three students receiving a Masters in Criminal Justice, one student receiving a Bachelors of Music, and 80 students receiving a Bachelors of Arts degree.