My name is Lauren Nale and I am a senior pre-occupational therapy major at NIU. I am starting my first year as a Northern Lights Ambassador (NLA). Being a representative of the College of Health and Human Sciences and of Northern Illinois University as a whole is a privilege I am excited to take on. Besides being a NLA, I am extremely involved in the NIU community. I am also a University Honors Fellow for the second year in a row; I am working on my third year of research, this year as a University Honors Scholar; I am the Co-President for the Student Alumni Association for the second year in a row; I am also working at NIU’s Scholarship Office. As you can tell, I have my hands full, but I can truly say it has been worth all the hard work and dedication. My involvements have helped me to develop great skills, and have given me unique experiences. As I am now applying to graduate school for occupational therapy, these opportunities and involvements I have taken part in will surely make me stand out as a more committed and hardworking student.
However, when I have time to breath– I like to cook, read, and craft. I am originally from New Lenox, IL, but have been a resided in DeKalb for the past few years. I also have three sisters, one of which is starting her freshman year as a pre-nursing student at NIU tomorrow! I couldn’t be more excited for her to be a Huskie, and I know she’ll be an engaged and involved student as well.
I chose NIU originally because of the Nursing Program. I wanted to go to a public university in Illinois, and NIU’s Nursing Program was the best. However, before actually coming to NIU, I decided nursing wasn’t for me. After some experiences shadowing, I found occupational therapy. I had already decided on NIU and was falling in love with it, and NIU had an OT emphasis in the Rehabilitation Services Department, so I decided to stay! It is the right distance from home for now, and it is also relatively inexpensive. NIU is also a research based institution, and for a student going into the medical field, like myself, research is almost essential.
After being involved all over campus for 3 years, I decided to apply to become a NLA. I had friends who were NLA’s and I knew the program had to be great because it was based in the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning (OSEEL). I thought that my involvement and experiences on campus could contribute to the NLA purpose of being a student representative. After finding out that I was selected to be in the 2013-2014 cohort of NLA’s, I was definitely most excited about meeting alumni and sharing my experiences to potential students. I was even able to be in the Alumni/Foundation committee, like I hoped to be.
In less than 30 words, my most influential experience at NIU has been joining the University Honors Program. University Honors opens doors of opportunities to students, and I have been able to have unique experiences and have built up essential skills for research and for graduate school.
So excited to be an NLA and to be a senior!