The College of Applied Science and Technology (CAST) welcomed a fantastic group of new faculty at the start of this academic school year! Some of CAST’s newest faculty and staff members took the time to answer a series of questions that share some insight into their background, research interests, hobbies, and more.

Wrapping up our final group of profiles is Lauren Nelson, an academic advisor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Tell us about yourself! Where are you from? Where did you study?

I am from Waterloo, Iowa and earned a bachelor’s degree in human development and family science from Iowa State University. After undergrad, I went on to get my master’s in student affairs from the University of Northern Iowa – so working as an advisor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences in both of these areas was the perfect fit for me!

What originally got you interested in working in student affairs?

I have always been interested in human behavior and have a passion for helping others. Thanks to a number of opportunities I got involved in during college, I discovered that I loved working with young adults, who are typically experiencing a stage of life where each decision they make can have a big impact on their future. Working with college students and helping them navigate these important decision-making processes has been SO rewarding, especially as a new professional in the field.

How have you adjusted to this year’s new learning environment?

I am currently in my first full-time, professional role, so this experience has been unlike anything I ever expected. Surprisingly, meeting with my students via Zoom has been extremely efficient and effective in performing my job from home. I have discovered new methods of communication and am thankful for an awesome team who has helped make my own transition from student to professional very smooth.

What do you do in your free time? Any hobbies, community involvement, etc.?

Quarantine has helped me discover my love for cooking and re-discover how much fun reading can be. I think I watched every show on Netflix during the first month of shut-down, so it was important for me to find other ways to spend my time. My favorite thing to cook involves anything breakfast-related. Made from scratch, of course!

How does it feel to become a Redbird?

Becoming a Redbird is such a great feeling! I have never lived anywhere else besides Iowa, so moving almost five hours away from my family was a bit scary for me. The ISU community is filled with some of the kindest, most welcoming people I have ever met, and I am so excited to officially be part of the Redbird family.

Do you have any goals for the upcoming year?

I am hoping to get more involved in the ISU community and connect with other professionals across campus who share a passion for student success.

Want to learn more about the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at Illinois State? Check out their website for information on majors, programs, and other ways to get involved.