Senior Spotlight: Claire Tillotson


Photo submitted Claire Tillostson

by Amelia Schafer, Staff Reporter

Q: Where is your hometown and where did you go to high school?

A: I am from Burlington, Iowa and went to Burlington Community High School. Fun fact, Burlington is home to the crookedest street in the world, Snake Alley.

Q: Why did you choose Simpson? 

A: I picked Simpson because my best friend from high school, Mikala Yee, came here. It also seemed like the perfect fit for me. I knew I didn’t want to go to a huge school to start off with. 

Q: Did you know what you wanted to do when you arrived at Simpson? If not, what helped you decide?

A: I had a general idea of what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to help people, so I took a lot of psychology and biology-based classes. I ended up being a double major in psychology and neuroscience.

Q: Could you name a couple of professors – in or outside your major – who were influential and why?

A: There are so many professors that have helped me along the way. Don Evans and April Drumm-Hewitt have been the most influential. They have seen me struggle but never gave up on me, which helped me to succeed. I can’t thank them enough for all of the time and effort they have put in to making me the student I am today. 

Q: What were some of the other activities you participated in?

A: My freshman year, I joined the swim team and Tri Delta. I recently joined the Miss America Organization and am your current Miss Okoboji 2020. I will go on to compete for the title of Miss Iowa in June. I have become much more confident because of these organizations. Being [the] president of Tri Delta has improved my leadership skills and holding a Miss America title has allowed me to have a voice to advocate for causes close to my heart.

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?

A: I plan on taking a year off before going to get my master’s degree in psychology. I am hoping to work at a research lab in Madison, Wisconsin.

Q: What’s a favorite memory from your time at Simpson?

A: I have so many memories at Simpson so it’s hard to pick just one! One of the best memories was when I went to Ghana, Africa for May Term my sophomore year.

Q: What’s your favorite song and why?

A: This is a hard question. I don’t really have favorites, but there are some songs I listen to more than others depending on what I am doing. “Woman Up” by Meghan Trainor is one I listen to a lot. It’s so upbeat and has a good beat.