Iowa State alumni share experiences at school and beyond

Kelsey Seay, Justin Rosenberg and Kimberly Hurd (left to right) are three of Iowa State’s many successful alumni.

Sage Smith

Iowa State prides itself on the success of their alumni and current students; here are a few young alumni and their experiences at Iowa State and beyond.

Justin Rosenberg graduated from Iowa State in 2013 with a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the College of Veterinary Medicine. Rosenberg grew up in New Jersey, obtained his undergraduate at Ohio and came to Iowa State for its veterinary school.

“As I was doing my research and looking at what schools I wanted to consider for advancing my career, everything I read about Iowa State showed that it had a really good reputation,” Rosenberg said. “It had a lot of good clinical experience mixed in with the didactic learning. It certainly piqued my interest and I applied; I was very fortunate enough to get an interview and I was accepted. Then it was a no brainer decision to attend [Iowa State.]”

Rosenberg said conservation has always been near and dear to his heart. He said he has been fortunate enough to work all over the world because of the skill set he has acquired over the years.

During his time at Iowa State, Rosenberg participated in several study abroad programs, including working with wildlife medicine in places like Australia and South Africa.

“That was great because it got me out in the field with non-domestic animals in a safe setting,” Rosenberg said. “I didn’t have to do any of the foot work to plan, so that was great and I know that there were other programs […] some groups went to Ecuador, some groups that went to Jordan. So there were a lot of different programs […] that was super important to my career.”

Rosenberg said Iowa State also offered him the opportunity to learn how to do examinations, draw blood and perform certain surgeries — tasks that are crucial to the career path he chose.

“It was a great four years,” Rosenberg said. “[I’m] very thankful for the opportunity that I had and feel that I got a very solid foundation of medicine.”

After Iowa State, Rosenberg had various types of jobs, including spending some time in Colorado working with small animal emergencies. Rosenberg also did a three-year zoological residency position in Florida and a one-year fellowship at Walt Disney World. Now, he works at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas, a job he started in July.

At Rosenberg’s current job position, he participates in the everyday veterinary care for the zoo’s collection and is working with the preventative health program to understand the health of the zoo collection.

The next goal Rosenberg has for himself is to pass the American College of Zoological Medicine exam to advance his career.

Another successful Iowa State alumni is Kelsey Seay, who is from Des Moines and currently resides there. In high school she was heavily involved with theatre, band and choir. Her college career began at Simpson College for theatre.

Seay said she had a number of friends at Simpson that were from Ames, so they would visit periodically. After a year and a half, Seay transferred to Iowa State and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts.

“I had talked to some friends in the design college up here too, so it was kind of nice to already have a little bit of an idea of what I was getting into,” Seay said. “It just made sense. I love private colleges and things like that, but it made sense with the program up here that was where I should be going.”

Seay said she didn’t do much outside of the design program, as she took all of the core classes in one semester. Seay said it was nice to be around creative people with similar interests, including friends and professors.

Seay said she has had a passion for woodworking and metalworking ever since her childhood. At Iowa State, Seay spent a lot of time with professors Joe Munch and Chris Martin.

“[We] had some really great conversations, had some not so great conversations because that’s how it works, especially in creative arts,” Seay said. “But I think that really helped me at being able to take critique and […] being able to take all of that and digest that and either use that for the same project or maybe you look at that next project a lot differently than you would have had you not had those conversations.”

Seay was able to work on different projects throughout her time at Iowa State. One of these included building parts for a professor’s exhibition, which helped her to learn how exhibitions get set up and witness behind the scenes aspects.

Seay is now the associate director of the Iowa Brewers Guild, the trade organization for the commercial brewers in Iowa. Seay and her colleagues work with promotions, event planning, legislative work and more.

Seay is working on the Certified Sommelier Examination, an exam focused on the proficiency of someone’s deductive tasting, wine and beverage theory and salesmanship skills, according to the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas.

Seay describes herself as an “experience junky,” as she likes to say yes to new opportunities and other new things she can find. Seay said a lot of people in the industry have become a community for Seay and her husband as they have found many friendships with those people.

Kimberly Hurd, a 2014 graduate of accounting, grew up in Des Moines and lives in Ames with her husband, Colin. Hurd is currently an accountant and property manager at Stapedius Investment.

Hurd said part of the reason she chose to attend Iowa State was because her husband was attending Iowa State. Hurd said she was involved with several activities during her time at Iowa State, including the homecoming committee and entertainment committee.

Hurd’s career choice didn’t begin with numbers. She originally planned to major in kinesiology and switched to elementary education with a math endorsement before making the final switch to accounting.

“All the teachers I had in business [at Iowa State] were very encouraging and wanted you to excel and do your best,” Hurd said.

Right out of college, Hurd had an internship with Northwestern Mutual and then went to a full-time position. Hurd also worked with Renewable Energy Group, Inc. in Ames, where she worked as an accountant. In June of 2018 Hurd started work with her husband at his company, Smart Ag.

Hurd said something she is passionate about is the Kolbe Scott Foundation that her and her husband are the founders of. The foundation supports families who have lost infant children and help children around the world.

The Hurd’s created the fund in memory of their son, Kolbe, who died in-utero due to the condition triploidy, and are now working on a domestic infant adoption through Faithful Adoption Consultants. Hurd is also passionate about the work she does with her husband’s company.

Hurd said as a couple, she and her husband push each other to do things. She said their faith and the experience of losing their son has been a big part of their lives.

Iowa State aims at keeping a close relationship with its alumni. The university has an Alumni Center, located on 429 Alumni Lane. To find more information about the Alumni Center and other Iowa State alumni, visit the Iowa State University Alumni website.