Learning Communities

IDEAL (InDustrial Engineers are Leaders) Learning Communities

The 2019-20 IDEAL Learning Communities peer mentor: (l-r) Luke Safris, Kristen Naber, Hans Mueller, Landon Getting, Ameer Ratrout, Meghan Heavener, Macie Vannurden and Thomas Berquist.

At Iowa State University, learning communities are groups of students who generally take several courses together and are in similar major programs. IDEAL Learning Communities help Industrial Engineering students transition into college life by developing a supportive network of students, peer mentors, faculty and staff. Peer mentors are successful, experienced IE students who share their academic, internship, study abroad and campus involvement experiences with community members. They regularly schedule out-of-class activities, ranging from study groups to social events.

2019-2020 IDEAL Peer Mentors
Macie Vannurden
Year: Sophomore
Major/Minor: Industrial Engineering
Hometown: River Falls, Wisconsin
Hobbies: Singing, shopping, painting my nails and bullet journaling
Clubs and organizations: Institute of Industrial Systems Engineers (IISE), Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE), Sales Engineering Club, Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society, President’s Leadership Class
Favorite memory at ISU: Move in day! It was such a liberating and exciting time. I loved setting up my dorm room and meeting all my new neighbors and future friends!
Advice for new students: Stay balanced! Make time to meet people and get involved but don’t let that take away from your studies and personal time!
Interesting fact about me: I never leave the house without my nails being painted.
Luke Safris
Year: Junior
Major/Minor: Industrial Engineering
Hometown: Johnston, Iowa
Hobbies: Theater, Singing, Dancing, Reading, Watching Movies, Listening to Music
Clubs and organizations: DubH Hip Hop Club, FarmHouse Fraternity, Iowa Statesmen, IMSE Ambassador, The Engineering Ambassador and Mentorship Program (TEAM), STARS, Hammocking Club
Favorite memory at ISU: Performing at the homecoming pep rally for the Yell Like Hell Finals
Advice for new students: Get Involved! It’s one of the best ways to make friends, expand your horizons, and get out of your comfort zone. The activities you get involved with will bring you the memories you’ll remember long after you leave ISU.
Interesting fact about me: My family has a three-legged cat named “Tripod”
Landon Getting
Hometown: Fort Dodge, Iowa
Hobbies: Ping pong, tennis, longboarding, and playing board games with friends.
Clubs and organizations: Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers (IISE)
Favorite memory at ISU: Competing at the First-Year Honors Program Retreat with my section, L2.
Advice for freshmen: Take advantage of Iowa State’s resources and join campus organizations! There are a lot of opportunities to help you acclimate to the University and meet new people.
Interesting fact about me: I had to make an emergency landing on a gravel road while taking flying lessons after my sophomore year of high school.
Thomas Berquist
Major/Minor: Industrial Engineering
Hometown: Plymouth, Minnesota
Hobbies: Golfing, Boxing, Investing
Clubs and organizations: Iowa State Pre-Law Club, Investment Club, Phi Delta Theta
Favorite memory at ISU: My first Iowa State tailgate against the University of Iowa
Internships: Rockwell Collins, Procter & Gamble, The Walt Disney Company, Tesla, Boeing
Advice for freshmen: Network! Even if you think you aren’t going to have a shot with a certain employer, go talk to them because those same recruiters will come to the next career fairs and will remember you.
Meghan Heavener
2nd Year Concurrent MBA Student
Major: Industrial Engineering/MBA
Hometown: Plainfield, Illinois
Hobbies: Going to concerts, dancing, exercise, and playing hackey sack.
Clubs and organizations: MBA Association Officer, CyBIZ Lab Consulting Team Lead, MBA Ambassador, Alpha Pi MU member, IISE member, IMSE Student Ambassador
Favorite memory at ISU: My favorite memory at ISU was going on a community service spring break trip with the organization on campus, Students Today Leaders Forever.
Advice for freshmen: Get involved immediately! Not only for experience to put on your resume, but also so you can discover your interests and make new friendships on campus.
Interesting fact about you: I almost always have a hackey sack with me
Kristen Naber
Major: Industrial Engineering
Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Hobbies: Tennis, volleyball, concerts, Netflix, and hanging with friends
Clubs and organizations: Institute of Industrial Systems Engineers, Alpha Sigma Kappa, WiSE
Favorite memory at ISU: Going to football games with my friends.
Advice for new students: Put yourself out there! Talk to someone new or join a new club because you never know who you’ll meet or what you’ll end up liking.
Ameer Ratrout
Major and minor: Industrial Engineering
Hometown: Rochester, Minnesota
Hobbies: Travelling, soccer, spending time with friends and family
Clubs and organizations: Sales Engineering Club
Favorite memory at ISU: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Milwaukee Bucks @ Hilton Coliseum
Advice for new students: Attempt everything on your own first, get stuck on problems and then seek help. You’ll gain a much better understanding of the content you’re studying!
Hans Mueller
Major: Industrial Engineering
Hometown: Egan, Minnesota
Hobbies: Watching/Going to Cyclone Football/Basketball games, Drones, Hiking, and hanging out with friends
Clubs and organizations: Election Commission of Student Government, and Dance Marathon
Favorite memory at ISU: Rushing the field at Jack Trice after our football team beat #4 TCU during my Freshman year
Advice for new students: Keep an open mind! Be open to trying something you’ve never done. College is the time to do that thing you’ve always wanted to do. Also Leave your door open!
Interesting fact about me: I’ve never eaten at a Chipotle.