ISU through time: A generational look at the community


Graphic designed by Annie Gulick.

Many people travel through campus every day to arrive at their next class without knowing that others around them carry on a special tradition.

Hundreds of students march along the campus sidewalks with pride as they follow in the footsteps of their parents or professors who attended Iowa State in hopes that they can share their experiences with the next generation.

Carter Weiss, a junior studying finance, is a member of Generation Z (Gen Z). He follows in the footsteps of his father, who attended Iowa State as a young adult.

“My dad would tell me about his school years to get me ready for classes,” Weiss said. “My family has done it since my grandparents met here. It’s nice to carry on the tradition.”

Getting involved with campus activities and events has helped Weiss branch out and make new friends while pursuing his major.

“I want to do well in my classes, but I also want to get some time to relax and meet new people,” Weiss said. “I want to make my family proud by attending Iowa State and excel in my major.”

The younger generation is not the only proud group of Iowa State to showcase what it means to be a Cyclone. Many millennials, who gave rise to Gen. Z, also hope to leave a legacy for future students.

One of these millennials is Jessica Hansen-Moench, an academic adviser for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Hansen-Moench graduated from Iowa State in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and again in 2010 with a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy studies.

“I arrived as an undergraduate wanting to pursue a career in psychology,” Hansen-Moench said. “I came back after getting a master’s in higher education because I knew that I wanted to help students to find their path at Iowa State.”

As an adviser, Hansen-Moench enjoys helping students find what they want to do with their education and find a career path they will be interested in.

“I love to encourage students to get involved with their major,” Hansen-Moench said. “The biggest thing is for students to get involved with social activities and find life-long friends and connections.”

Hansen-Moench watches many people get involved with activities and groups once they find their footing on campus and hopes to continually encourage new students to do the same.

“I think that being social with your fellow classmates is a great way to expand your horizons while pursuing your major and finding your niche,” Hansen-Moench said.

In addition to students and advisers, Iowa State’s teaching staff is also full of Cyclones who carry the legacy given to them by others. This includes Amani Elobeid, an economics teaching professor and a member of Generation X.

“I came to Iowa State to learn how to educate others,” Elobeid said. “I had connected with my professors and classmates on a deep level while taking classes. I want my students to experience the same thing while teaching.”

Elobeid graduated from Iowa State in 1994 with a master’s and in 2001 with a Ph.D. in economics. When she attended Iowa State, she was entranced by the work of her professors.

“After I graduated, I decided to get my master’s and come back to Iowa State to teach classes,” Elobeid said.

Elobeid encourages her students to enjoy their classes and connect with each other when studying. She feels her time at Iowa State is treasured by her students every morning.

“I remember the first class I taught,” Elobeid said. “It was a wonderful experience getting to know my students and seeing their smiling faces when I introduced myself. If I could do it all over again, I would.”