Wednesday, May 24, 2017

By Mikaela Parrick

Translating passion to future profession


Chris Orabutt, of Lake Zurich, Illinois, became a student ambassador for the University of Iowa College of Education in the fall of 2015 after hearing about the opportunity in one of his classes.


“While I didn’t know much about the College of Education at that point, I knew that talking to prospective and incoming freshmen was something that sounded super fun and rewarding,” he says.


“At the first meeting when Jeremy Mims brought coffee and bagels,” he says, “that definitely sealed the deal.”


Orabutt is currently studying secondary history education because he wants to inspire and motivate his students.


“I had good teachers growing up, but I never had any that truly pushed me or motivated me to work harder. I want to be that teacher for future students,” Orabutt says.


His dream is to teach high school economics and U.S. history at a Des Moines public school, which he thinks was inspired by his parents, while simultaneously earning his master’s degree in higher education. He’s also interested in coaching ultimate Frisbee or bowling.


My mom is a reading specialist and teacher and my dad is a bank analyst,” he says.


In addition to pursuing his teaching career, Orabutt is heavily involved in music, both as President of the Men’s Music Fraternity Phi Mu Alpha and as a four-year trumpet player in the Hawkeye Marching Band. This year, he was even part of the undergraduate staff for the trumpet section.


This summer he will be studying immigrant participation in Iowa baseball over the years of 1870-1930 as part of a grant he received by The Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU).

Orabutt says his favorite thing about the College of Education has been his fellow students and their diversity.


“We all want something to do with teaching or education, and so we are all so passionate about it,” he says.


“People truly care about their classwork because it’s all going to translate to our future profession.”