THE BUCKSBAUM EARLY ENTRANCE ACADEMY RETURNS TO DES MOINES

By Rachel Farrier, Katie Garber, Madi Huffmann, Shayla Ides, Collen Mahoney, William Mitchell, Keishanique Moton-Tyler, Andrew Shearer, Kelsey Vandenberg, and Andrew VanNice

It is fast becoming a tradition to bring the Bucksbaum Early Entrance Academy’s incoming class to Des Moines, Iowa to explore the city and learn the history of the Belin-Blank Center founders.  The field trip is also an opportunity to continue building a sense of community among the students.  The following are a few student reflections on the experience:

We began our day at the Des Moines Botanical Garden.  The deep roots of the Belin-Blank Center and the Bucksbaum Academy benefactors were evident.  The wide variety of plants from around the world also brought into perspective what the academy is all about. Much like these plants, we all come from different backgrounds.  But with the generosity of these paragons of kindness, we will blossom together.

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BUCKSBAUM EARLY ENTRANCE ACADEMY WELCOMES SECOND CLASS

On Sunday, August 13, 2017, the Bucksbaum Early Entrance Academy welcomed its second class. The students consist of Rachel Farrier, Katie Garber, Madi Huffmann, Shayla Ides, Collen Mahoney, William Mitchell, Keishanique Moton-Tyler, Andrew Shearer, Kelsey Vandenberg, and Andrew VanNice. Accompanied by their families, the students dined at One Twenty Six, and were greeted by Belin-Blank Center Director, Dr. Susan Assouline, Assistant Director, Student Services, Jan Warren, Administrator, Bucksbaum Academy, David Gould, Counseling Psychology Doctoral Student, Alyssa Zwicker, and Honors Program Director, Dr. Art Spisak.

The keynote presentation was given by Julia Zalenski, J.D., a 2010 graduate of the University of Iowa, and an early entrance student herself. The following are Ms. Zalenski’s inspiring remarks to the incoming class:

I am so pleased to be here to help welcome all of you to Iowa City, the University of Iowa, and this wonderful program. The Belin-Blank Center’s programs have been important to me for many years, and I would just like to take a moment to recognize the faculty, staff, grad students, and everyone else whose hard work and dedication make them possible.

I came to the University of Iowa when I was 17, and in the grand and venerable tradition of teenagers everywhere, I thought I knew a lot more than I actually did. I knew that I had wanted to do something else, anything but more high school, and had grabbed on to this program with both hands. In my application I probably talked about seeking new challenges, but what those challenges were I could only have imagined. They felt elusive, like what I was looking for was just out of sight, and if I kept moving forward as fast as I could, I had to catch up eventually.

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