#PeopleofNIU Photo by Institutional Communications
Hometown: Gurnee, IL
What is your major, and why did you choose your field of study?
I chose history since I find it to be a fascinating subject and it is vital to remembering how we have gotten to where we are.
How did you learn about NIU, and why did you choose to attend?
I learned about NIU through my own research. I wanted to be close to home but also far enough away where my parents could not drive to see me all the time. I also wanted to go someplace where diversity is appreciated and plays a vital role in campus life.
Are you involved in any activities at NIU? What else do you do for fun/hobbies in your spare time?
I am the president of NIU's LGBTQ+ student organization, Prism. I am a member of two groups run through the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center Speaker's Bureau and the TransAction Task Force. Over the past year I helped the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality write a proposal to have a major in the department. In my spare time, I enjoy playing video games and hanging out with friends.
What has been your favorite event at NIU, and why?
My favorite event at NIU has been Queer Prom. Prism hosted this event in March 2017, and it was the first time in recent years that the event had been planned. It was a ton of fun putting together but a lot of work. The hard work paid off when so many people showed up and everyone was having a great time.
What do you like about our campus and community?
I really enjoy how connected people are with one another. There are so many amazing organizations on campus that work together to make great events. I think it is great that there is a group for basically anyone and everyone at NIU.
What has your experience inside the classroom been like at NIU?
My classroom experience at NIU has really been great. I have had the best mentors as professors, and they all have challenged me in different ways.
What is something you have experienced at NIU that you will be able to take with you into future endeavors in your field?
I think the amount of care that the administration has for its marginalized students is something I can definitely take into my future career. I am looking to go to grad school for student affairs and I think the experiences I have had here at NIU will help me as I continue through that profession, since diversity and inclusion of identities in higher education is something I want to work on
Would you recommend NIU to others and why? What’s a general piece of advice you’d give to someone starting college?
Yes! There are so many organizations to get involved in and there's always something happening on campus. One piece of advice I do have for new students is to go to class. Class is an essential part of the learning experience!
What is up next for you after your time at NIU? Any career aspirations you would like to share?
I plan to go to grad school for student affairs. My big goals are to either work in a resource center or in academic advising.
Any family or other loved ones you would like to mention?
My boyfriend is the most amazing person; he has helped me through so much. He has really pushed me to be my best and to try my hardest.
What is your favorite place to hang out in the DeKalb area and why?
Downtown DeKalb has some really neat stores and the restaurants are amazing. I enjoy going to the game store and attending some of the shows at the Egyptian Theater and The House Cafe.
Do you have a life motto or any words you live by?
What is in the past cannot be changed, so work on changing the future.
Ronan Kaiser, a May 2019 graduate, was a 2018 Lincoln Laureate finalist.