My professors care about me as a student and person

NAME: Mallary Erbes 
HOMETOWN: Urbandale, Iowa 
MAJOR: Elementary education

INVOLVEMENT ON CAMPUS: Volleyball player, Dance Marathon (executive team and participant), Student Athlete Advisory Committee executive team, Unified Sports Day (organizer and participant), service trips, Secretary of Alpha Chi honor society, Kappa Delta Pi honor society, Phi Eta Sigma honor society, Member of the National Society of Leadership and Success

HOW DID YOU CHOOSE WARTBURG: Ultimately, I chose Wartburg because of the people. The Admissions Office, professors, coaches, and students were very helpful in my college search. I knew that they cared about me, and Wartburg would help me best achieve my goals. 

HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON YOUR MAJOR: When I was a little girl, I always dreamed of being a teacher and having my own classroom one day. My mom has taught kindergarten my whole life, and I looked up to her a lot. As I got older, I started to think about other career options and opportunities. Something always drew me back to education; howeve, I came to Wartburg thinking I wanted to go into a neuroscience field but changed my major to elementary education the week before classes started my freshman year. I have always had a passion for working with kids and helping them learn and grow. Education gave me the perfect opportunity to use my skill sets and pursue my passions.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS AFTER GRADUATION: I have accepted a job with the Ankeny Community School District to teach kindergarten at Southeast Elementary.

Mallary Erbes

HOW DID WARTBURG PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR NEXT STEP: Wartburg has prepared me inside and outside of the classroom for my next step. First, Wartburg has provided me with an excellent education and has also provided me with amazing professors who care about me as a student and person. I have been prepared with 170+ hours of field experience in a variety of locations and schools, including teaching in inner-city New York City. In my co-curriculars, I have learned leadership skills that will help in my teaching career. In my work-study, I have been involved with the community/schools and learned communication skills.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS: My favorite class was Human Relations. This class taught me about living in a diverse world and how to be a more mindful member of society. I took Human Relations my freshman year May Term and traveled to New York City as a part of the course. My experience in New York City teaching in inner-city schools is one that I will never forget and have learned many valuable lessons from.

WHAT WAS YOUR MOST DIFFICULT CLASS: The most difficult class I have taken at Wartburg is Science Methods with Dr. Bechtel. Dr. Bechtel knows how to push students to their limits without (completely) breaking. Though the class was tough, we worked through it together, and I will definitely be a better educator because of it.

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU NEVER THOUGHT YOU COULD DO BEFORE COMING TO WARTBURG: One thing I never thought I would do before coming to Wartburg is going on a service trip to the Redwood Forest. In the spring of my junior year, myself and nine others took off in a van for a 30+ hour drive one-way to Camp Campbell in northern California to be camp counselors at a sixth-grade science camp. The adventures, failures, and successes along the way were unimaginable, and it was easily one of the best experiences I’ve had at Wartburg.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WARTBURG MEMORY: Although many amazing memories come to mind when I reflect on the past four years at Wartburg, my favorite memory is from the service trip I went on my junior year to Camp Campbell in northern California. This experience allowed me to help others and improve the lives of youth there. It also was an experience of self-growth and understanding. On the trip, we became a family and laughed until we cried.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT CAMPUS LIFE : The sense of community is what I liked most about campus life. I knew no matter where I was around campus, I would see a friendly, smiling face. Campus life also allowed me to connect with more people and create new friendships.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS : One thing I would tell current students is to get involved. Being involved was one of the main ways I created connections and was able to make a difference in our community. The friendships built and memories made through being involved are ones I will carry with me forever.

WHY WAS WARTBURG WORTH IT: Wartburg has been worth it for so many reasons. The relationships I have made here will last a lifetime. I have met some of my best friends and shared so many amazing memories with them. The people at Wartburg are some of the kindest and servant-hearted people I have ever met. Wartburg has helped prepare me for my career and helped me develop skills necessary for success in life. I can confidently say that Wartburg has given me opportunities I never would have had anywhere else. The relationships, education, and experiences have made Wartburg so worth it. I feel extremely blessed for all of my experiences at Wartburg the past four years!