Hunter Stanis is a transfer environmental studies major from Genoa, IL
Hometown: Genoa, IL
Year: Expected graduation: 2024
Major: Environmental studies
Minor: Biological sciences
Transfer from: Rockford University
Why did you choose to attend NIU?
My sister, Skylar, attends NIU and has only said good things about how much she enjoys going to school here. School at Rockford was nice but was beginning to drag on, and I was convinced to apply to NIU.
What scholarships did you receive and why did you receive them? How has the financial support impacted your experience at NIU?
I received an NIU transfer scholarship and the AIM HIGH transfer achievement scholarship. These scholarships made my transfer to NIU much less stressful and allowed me to focus on my classes while keeping my high grades.
What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you pursuing that as a major, or have you taken another path?
I’ve wanted to be a biologist ever since middle school when I was in the science club. I will always remember when I was in seventh grade and we did a dissection of a cow’s lungs, heart and esophagus. This event was what made me want to pursue biology and ecology.
What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
While the class sizes are much bigger, it still feels like a very personal relationship between me as a student and my professors.
How have you connected with other students to study for classes, meet new people or form new friendships?
In my first semester here, I’ve had many group projects for classes. I am currently working with a group to restore the main lagoon on campus. I also joined NIU club baseball and have enjoyed playing with the guys on the team.
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 a member of Kesem along with my sister and help her whenever she needs help with the group.
What NIU offices, departments or resources have helped you succeed? And how?
The department of environmental studies and the biological sciences department have helped me greatly in narrowing down my interest in what I want to fully study.
Are there transfer-specific resources, offices or services that you use to help you succeed at NIU?
The Scholarship and Financial Aid Office has made attending NIU much more enjoyable and less stressful.
Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
Dr. Holly Jones had been a great professor. She currently instructs my restoration ecology class and sustainable ecosystems class. I enjoy her because she makes complex topics much easier to digest, and even with the limited class time we have, we get to do projects like the lagoon restoration.
How have you benefited by attending class regularly?
Regularly attending class has made topics that are hard to learn in online classes much easier to understand.
Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
My favorite spot is the lagoon on campus. Currently, we are working on the lagoon as a restoration project. I enjoy working with aquatic and riparian systems the most. I enjoy the environment and I work with it every week.
What advice would you give to a student who is researching colleges to apply to?
Look into student life and things to do outside of class. Good classes are important, but you can find that anywhere. You want to enjoy your time while going to school.
Why is a college education important to you?
A college education helps you see different viewpoints and work with other people. College allows you to make mistakes that could be bad for a professional career while you are still learning.
What strategies do you use to manage your time between the responsibilities of school, work, friends and family?
I use planners and work on long projects in advance. On days I know I have plans, I try to do that day’s work in advance so I can go out and enjoy time with friends and family.
How do you stay informed about events and services that are available on campus?
The weekly newsletter email is the main way I see events, but also via word of mouth from club teammates and other students.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
I relax by playing baseball, working out, playing video games and going to the arcade with friends.
Please tell us about your job and hobbies.
My hobbies are the same things I do to relax, which are play baseball, work out and play video games. I also like to watch anime and science videos on topics I’m not studying, like chemistry.