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Congratulations to 2020 Leadership Studies graduate, Jillian Kurovski!

Author: Troy Rutter | Image: Troy Rutter

Jillian Kurovski will receive a Leadership Studies Certificate and a degree in Animal Ecology with a minor in Entomology and Speech Communication from Iowa State University. Congratulations, Jillian!

What are your career plans after graduation?

Post-graduation I will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay to pursue a Master’s in Environmental Science and Policy with a special focus on ecology and arachnology.


What other goals do you have for your life after graduation (hobbies, travel, self-improvement, etc.)? 

In the future, my career goal is to become a professor of science and contribute to breaking down barriers in academia for marginalized students.


What was your favorite Leadership Studies class? And why?

My favorite leadership studies course was Speech Comm 212. In this course not only did I find I had a passion for public speaking, but I met my mentor who encouraged me to get a certificate in leadership studies as well as pursuing a graduate degree. I took this course almost 3 years ago, and my mentor, Joel Hughes, continues to be one of my greatest pillars of support, kindness, and laughter to this day.


How do you feel Leadership Studies has made an impact on you?

Leadership Studies has helped me become an individual not only suited for academic work but work that revolves around people. It’s hard to avoid people (though I’m sure we wish we could sometimes). Learning how to navigate conversations and making meaningful connections are life skills I wish everyone had the time to learn in school.


After your time in the program, what is your definition of leadership?

There is no “one” form of true leadership. Leadership looks different across many contexts. Simplified, I would say leadership is the ability to have a group of people’s attention who are willing to listen and follow what you say.


What activities, clubs, groups were you a member of at ISU?

I participated in the Asian Student Union, Environmental Education Club, and Delta Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc.


What is your favorite memory from being at ISU? 

There are too many to name- If I had to pick, I would say a compilation of all the times I have been loved and supported by my friends and mentors.


Do you have any other memories or thoughts about Leadership Studies that you would like to share?

One memory that has stuck out to me was telling people how I was going to be taking a “super easy non-essential” listening course for my leadership studies. I looked down on it since it was a 110 course. As it turns out, it was one of the most formative courses of my career, and I will always be grateful to have learned such an essential skill.


What would you say to someone considering a Leadership Studies minor or certificate?

Do it, and don’t look back!