Forever True, For Iowa State

An education in exploration

Growing up in Ames, Karine Holmes wasn’t sure she wanted to stay for college. But once she arrived on campus, everything changed.

“I’ve had so many great new experiences, it’s felt like a totally different place,” she says.  

Karine’s initial plan was to study engineering; she wants to make an impact in environmental health. Discussions with professors and exposure to guest speakers inspired a slightly different path.

“I realized I wanted to be a scientist,” says the senior majoring in geology. “I was attracted to research, and I know there are endless paths I can take with a geology major.”

Her first semester, Karine received a Dean’s High Impact Undergraduate Research Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The award has supported her research in climate change in the Stable Isotope Paleoenvironmental Lab, which examines changing ocean dynamics and marine climate variability.

Made possible by a generous gift from an anonymous alumni couple to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences during the Forever True, For Iowa State campaign, the award gives undergraduates the opportunity to participate in meaningful research, a rare opportunity among Tier 1 research universities. This is just one example of how the historic fundraising campaign has helped elevate an already exceptional education for the 21st century.

“I’m so grateful for support from donors. It’s helped me find my future path and purpose in life,” Karine says. “I plan to pursue a doctorate and continue conducting research that will help communities prepare for and adapt to climate change.”