Tuesday, December 12, 2023

One of the most valuable lessons Liv Plowman has learned as a University of Iowa student is to be open to new things. Doing that has led the 2023 fall graduate to a job teaching art to school kids—a career she didn’t foresee when she first arrived on campus.

Plowman, who is earning degrees in art and in art education, is from Clarinda, Iowa, where she worked as a certified nursing assistant during high school. It was a job she loved, and she originally planned to pursue a nursing degree at Iowa. Then fate stepped in.

“Early in the pandemic when my classes were online, I remember thinking, ‘Am I really doing what I want to do?’ I wished I had taken some art classes,” she says. “I never got better grades than when I switched majors. That showed me that you should do what you love.”

As Plowman thinks back on her time at Iowa, she recalls what has made her Hawkeye experience so special.

Who was your most important mentor on campus?

Dr. Allison Rowe helped cement my passion for art education. She’s like the mom of the art education department. She taught almost every single art education class I was in and helped me throughout my degree program. She’s always been so supportive. When I switched to art education, she made sure that I stayed on track and didn’t have to be in school longer than I had to.

I always thought I wanted to teach high school and help older kids find their artistic passions, but then I had a student teaching placement with little kids and I absolutely loved it. I just signed a contract to teach prekindergarten through fourth grade in a rural community in southwest Iowa, and I’m really excited about it. I remember Dr. Rowe telling me, “You might end up being with ‘the littles’ and really liking it,” and she was right.

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