Wartburg gave me the tools to be successful

By Katie Hirv ’22

When it comes to doling out praise for the supportive guidance and valuable advising offered by Wartburg College faculty and staff, Leah Campos ’21, of Coal City, Illinois, is quick to offer up her positive experiences.

“I came into college as a biochemistry major to pursue forensics. Once I realized I didn’t really want to work with dead bodies all day, I decided that working with the living might be best, so I switched to a pre-med path,” Campos said. “After realizing I didn’t have aspirations of being a doctor, I decided to study neuroscience in the hopes of doing the 3+1 nursing program with Allen College. My adviser at the time suggested I take a human behavior class, saying it would pair well with what we were learning in neuroscience.”

Campos loved the class so much, she switched her major to social work. Though she didn’t know what she wanted to do with the degree, she was confident the area of study was broad enough to allow her to find her calling. Dr. Tammy Faux, professor of social work, has been Campos’ an advocate, mentor, and friend since she joined the program. 

“Leah exemplifies a student who is succeeding on multiple levels at Wartburg,” Faux said. “On her softball team, she’s not just a team member, she’s also a leader and has helped her team locate service events and activities. She’s somebody that takes initiative.” 

Campos’ involvement in the social work program has opened doors for her to complete multiple internships and experiential opportunities while at Wartburg, including a field placement at Harmony House in Waterloo.

Leah Campos

“At Harmony House, I was able to work directly with patients with traumatic brain injuries and patients with disabilities,” Campos said. “Then my junior year of college, I had the opportunity to work with Kate Haberman, a local social worker who owns her own therapy practice called Monarch Therapy Services. Together, we ran Respite Options of Northeast Iowa, a respite program for foster parents to be able to have a certified provider watch over their children. I was the client liaison, connecting families to providers who fit them best.”

During the upcoming Winter Term (2021), Campos will work at People’s Community Health Clinic in Waterloo to complete the social work program’s senior practicum.

Campos also stays involved with campus life, with commitments to the Wartburg softball team, Ambassadors, Dance Marathon, the Social Work Club, Phi Alpha Honor Society, the Holiday Shoppe planning committee, and Unified Sports Day.

Though she’s found value in each of those experiences, Campos has gained an extended family with her softball team.

“My head softball coach, Jamie Mueller, has been a coach, friend, and a sister-away-from-home for me from day one,” Campos said. “My most memorable Wartburg experience would be making it to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 10 years as a softball program and being within the top 25 nationally ranked teams. We worked hard to represent Wartburg, and that is truly a team I will never forget.”

With only one year remaining, Campos feels confident she has made the most of every minute on campus.

“Wartburg has given me the tools to become successful in my future career endeavors as well as a strong woman in today’s society. The people here are what makes Wartburg truly worth it. Each person I’ve met has played a part in shaping the student, athlete, and person I’ve become at the end of my short four years here,” Campos said.