Kadina Koonce, Geography

Favorite class or professor? Why?

One of my favorite professors and my advisor is Professor Michael Schmidt in geography. He’s amazing. He’s one of those professors who is super passionate and when he talks about a topic he pours his passion in. It’s not just words in a textbook, it’s something you experience every day. That was one class that I really enjoyed and it kind of brought me into geography.

Next steps after graduation?

This fall I will be attending the University of Nebraska, Lincoln pursuing a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs. I specifically want a career in higher education with an emphasis on study abroad and global education on a college campus. I got to study abroad and it was a life-changing experience. I love working with students and with study abroad I’ll get the geography piece as well. Study abroad is wonderful and ties you to the country you visit. If more students went somewhere else and experienced other cultures, we’d be much more accepting.

Why did you attend Sac State?

I only applied to Northern California CSUs—I’m from Monterey—and Sac State turned out to be the perfect medium. It’s 10 minutes from downtown, but not smack in the middle of the city. We have the river and the campus is green and beautiful. It also has a great geology program and has the USGS on campus.

Best memory?

Getting my job with Campus Tours because it wasn’t normal. I had applied at Campus Tours and didn’t get the job. A few months later I had been going to a lot of UNIQUE programs and I participated in their limbo contest. I won and the director of admission, Charles Cole came up to me and said ‘I see you at all these events. You should be a tour guide. You start this summer.’ That was the catalyst and marked my start with Campus Tours and I love, love, love my department.

Advice for freshman?

My number one piece of advice, and I give it on my tours, is don’t let high school depict what you are going to do or who you are going to be. I thought college was going to be impossible for me but once I got here, I invested myself in as many things as I could. In college you are a whole new person. You get to experience life differently and how you want to do it.

What would your “walk-up” song be?

“Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson.

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Kadina Koonce