Karli Waldrep

Karli Waldrep

Karli Waldrep is physical education major from Mahomet, IL

Hometown: Mahomet, IL

Year: Anticipated graduation year: 2023

Major: Physical Education

What scholarships did you receive and why did you receive them? How has the financial support impacted your experience at NIU?
I received the NIU Foundation Impact Scholarship, the Mary F. English Technology Scholarship, the Lela Trager Scholarship and the Miriam Anderson Scholarship. Financial support has been a great benefit in my experience at NIU. Through the Mary F. English Technology Scholarship, I was able to receive an iPad and new computer. I utilize my iPad when I am teaching in my clinical experiences, and my computer has helped when my personal computer died. Many of the other scholarships I have received have helped ease the financial burden college can be, and it allows me to focus on my studies rather than focusing on how I am going to pay for my education here 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?
Ever since I was a little kid, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher or a farmer. I remember always playing pretend teacher with my stuffed animals with my school kit. I am pursuing physical education as my major with the hopes of teaching high school adapted physical education. 

What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
My major is physical education with a minor in health education and a certificate in young children with disabilities studies. I wanted to study physical education because I always knew I wanted to be a teacher and I love to be active. Being a physical education teacher allows me to be active and do what I love. 

What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
One thing I found surprising about my experience at NIU was how much my professors care about me as a student. They do their best to make sure we understand the content and understand each assignment. They really show compassion and care for us and want to make us the best teachers we can be. 

How have you connected with other students to study for classes, meet new people or form new friendships?
Since I am a physical education major, most of the students I have met have been in the same classes with me for about a year and a half. Since we take so many classes together, we have formed friendships and it's allowed us to build bonds and connections. It feels nice being able to be surrounded by the same people in my classes, and we all support each other. 

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 involved in the KNPE Majors Club (past president), the KNPE Student Council (PE representative) and CRU (social media). KNPE Majors Club has allowed me to engage with other students in my major and also has provided many networking opportunities. As a majors club, we presented at the IAHPERD convention, and I attended many sessions that increased my physical education toolbox. KNPE Student Council has added to my experience as a Huskie because I am able to be a voice for the physical education students in the KNPE department. I have made connections and been able to bring the needs of the students to the table. In CRU, I have been able to meet so many new people who aren't involved in my major, and it has helped me branch out. 

Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
One of my favorite professors is Dr. Laurie Zittel, who taught KNPE 300 and KNPE 490. She has been my favorite professor because she taught us content in a way that allowed us to understand it through her personal experiences in the teaching field. She also showed so much care for her students, and walking into the classroom each day, you knew she enjoyed having you there. 

Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
My favorite spot on campus is the East Lagoon because in the fall and spring it is so pretty to take a walk, and I love that there is a path that connects to a park in DeKalb. I also love to hammock and read my book at the lagoon when it's warm outside. 

What advice would you give to a student who is applying to colleges?
One piece of advice I have for a student applying to college is to make a list of the pros and cons of each college. Take time to decide what the campus has to offer that you want when you see yourself going to college. 

Coming to college, what is something that you have had to learn to do differently?
One thing I had to learn to do differently was to have good time management. With having classes at various times in the week, I have had to made sure to prioritize my school work and involvement in other student organizations. 

What do you do to relax or recharge?
If I want to relax, I normally will go on a walk to the East Lagoon or I'll go on a drive in the country. 

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your NIU Huskie story?
On campus I also am a Northern Ambassador, so I give tours on campus. Being a Northern Ambassador has been so rewarding because I get to share the joy of being an NIU student with prospective students and show them how much being an NIU Huskie means to me. 

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