Cecelia Haase is an elementary education major from Belvidere, IL
Hometown: Belvidere, IL
Year: Expected graduation: 2023
Major: Elementary Education
Are you a first-generation college student?
Yes. I am the first person in my family to attend college.
What scholarships did you receive and why did you receive them? How has the financial support impacted your experience at NIU?
I am a recipient of the A. Kerby and Helene Tink Teacher Education Endowment Fund, the Dick Noreen Honors Scholarship, the Dr. Laurence A. Mack Memorial Scholarship Fund and the NIU Scholars Scholarship. This financial support has helped me dedicate my time to my academics. I have been able to really put all of my time and hard work in to achieving academic success at NIU!
What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you pursuing that as a major, or have you taken another path?
When I was growing up, I wanted to be an elementary school teacher. Before I began kindergarten, I begged my mom to buy me school supplies because I wanted to be like my sister's teacher. I would play school with my friends and family, and I would force them to let me be the teacher. Teaching and learning has always been a passion of mine. I am currently pursuing this major, and I could not be more excited to begin my career.
What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
I am an elementary education major with an emphasis in ESL. I decided on this course of study because teaching has always been my passion. I want to be like the amazing teachers I had while growing up. They developed my passion for learning while establishing a relationship with me. As for the ESL emphasis, I consider language to be an important part of life, and I believe everyone has the right to education while maintaining their native language.
What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
I have found NIU to be another home! I truly enjoy my time here, and I am pleasantly surprised by all of the wonderful opportunities NIU has to offer. Whether it is scholarships, extracurriculars or learning opportunities, NIU has something to offer for everyone.
How have you connected with other students to study for classes, meet new people or form new friendships?
Yes, I have connected with other students more than I thought I would. I have established life-long friendships with individuals within my cohort. I am so grateful for my classmates, and we have the same career-related goals. We help one another with our classes, and we push each other to do our best.
Are you involved in any student organizations, mentoring programs or extra-curricular activities? If so, which ones? How have they added to your experience as a Huskie?
I am in the University Honors Program. This program has presented me with scholarships and opportunities that have helped me succeed as a student and human being overall. It has pushed me to become the best student I can be!
What NIU offices, departments or resources have helped you succeed? And how?
The College of Education has helped me succeed! My advisors and professors have assisted me in learning more about the education field. They are always there to help the students and provide them with resources.
What Honors Program opportunities or support have helped you get closer to your academic or career goals so far?
I have been able to attend workshops as a student and take courses that were more challenging. I attended CODE workshops about various sociocultural issues people face. I took a mental health course that helped me learn more about myself and transfer the information to my education courses.
What do you enjoy the most about the Honors Program?
I enjoy the classes the Honors Program has to offer. I feel as if they challenge me and force me to test my limits, in a good way. I think the courses are unique, engaging and interesting for Honors students.
Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
My favorite professor has been Katherine Brosier. I had Professor Brosier for two of my education courses. She taught Development of the Elementary School Child and my introductory clinical course. Although these courses were online, I feel as though Professor Brosier created a safe online culture. She was always there to help me and provide feedback on assignments!
How have you benefited by attending class regularly?
Yes, I have benefited immensely by attending classes regularly. As a student, I have connected with my professors and classmates. It also provides an opportunity to ask questions and learn in a more effective way.
Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
My favorite spot on campus is the seating area behind Davis Hall. I find this area to be relaxing and there is a beautiful fountain!
What advice would you give to a student who is applying to colleges?
I would advise the student to tour the campus, if possible. NIU had always been a choice of mine, but after visiting, I knew this was the university for me! Also, I would recommend to research programs the college has to offer and if they interest you or relate to your intended course of study.
Coming to college, what is something that you have had to learn to do differently?
I have learned to set a routine. It is crucial to set routines while in college to be successful. Setting aside time for homework, meetings, social time and classes has helped me manage my life much better.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
I enjoy baking, watching movies and spending time with my family. It helps put my mind at ease and realize everything will work out.
Follow @HuskiesofNIU on Instagram and see the university through the eyes a different Huskie each week