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by Abi DobsonStudent Contributor

Kaitlyn Howell is a junior Elementary Education major from Elkhorn City, Kentucky. As a first-generation college student, she decided to attend Alice Lloyd College because receiving an education at an affordable cost and close to home was important to her. Coming to ALC, Kaitlyn is pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher and following in the footsteps of Mrs. Lloyd and Miss June, who believed that every child deserved to receive the gift of an education.

In the fall of 2021, Kaitlyn was accepted into ALC’s Teacher Education Program (TEP).  The TEP is preparing Kaitlyn for her career as a teacher by allowing her to acquire skills she will use for years to come. During her time at ALC, she feels that a balanced education and an open mind have been emphasized throughout her required courses. She believes this will help her teach elementary students to develop and communicate their ideas. She states, “I am passionate about helping people and the arts. One of the major reasons I want to achieve a career in Education is my passion for helping people. I’ve always enjoyed helping others, and I can use my background in art in combination with my future career as a teacher. This way, I will be able to approach each facet of teaching with creativity.” So far, Kaitlyn’s favorite class in the TEP has been Mr. Michael Ware’s Art for Elementary Grades. In that class, she has been given the opportunity to expand on one of her emphases and learn how she can apply art to her classroom. As academia may not interest all of her future students, Kaitlyn hopes to bring artistic activities into her classroom to help those students see school in a more positive view.

Kaitlyn has an impressive record of being on the Dean’s List every semester she has attended ALC. Outside of her studies, Kaitlyn participates in ALC’s Kentucky Education Association-Aspiring Educators (KEA-AE) branch along with ALC’s Alpha Psi Omega (APO) chapter. With KEA-AE, Kaitlyn attends required meetings and discusses critical components of the future of education. Kaitlyn helped APO with the animal shelter drive that collected food, blankets, and toys for the Kentucky River Animal Shelter.

At ALC, every full-time student works a minimum of ten hours a week at their assigned work-study job. Kaitlyn works an additional ten hours to receive extra financial assistance. She splits her time between the Alumni Relations Office and the Campbell Arts Center. In the Alumni Relations Office, Kaitlyn’s tasks include assisting the office in Alumni updates, fundraising, mailings, and planning and decorating for events. For four years, the Alumni Office has hosted Alumni Purpose Day encourages alumni to donate back to the college that gave them so much by creating activities and giving away prizes. On Purpose Day, Kaitlyn helped make phone calls, logged donations, and helped mail an estimated 400 blankets plus extra gifts to ALC’s dedicated Alumni.

In the Campbell Arts Center, Kaitlyn is an Auditorium Technician. She helps with the technical aspect of convocations and the janitorial aspects of the auditorium.  ALC’s convocation program equips students with unique experiences that give them extracurricular knowledge and prepare them for future careers. This past semester, Ambassador Kelly Craft spoke at convocation and discussed her experience as a U.S ambassador. PBL hosted a convocation for Breast Cancer Awareness Month that taught students how Breast Cancer affects patients and families and how to give a self-exam. Kaitlyn helped each speaker adjust the microphone and the volume from the sound booth. She also helped guest speaker Allison Amburgey change her PowerPoint presentation last minute to ensure her comfort on stage.  Kaitlyn takes pride in making sure the auditorium is in its best condition and has stayed late many nights to vacuum the carpet and sweep the stage.

Kaitlyn’s passion for education and a love for the arts has allowed her to help Dr. Charles Mullins teach his Theatre and Film Studies class. Dr. Mullins states, “Kaitlyn has played a vital role in the students’ learning process. She has brought her unique skills and experience to my Theatre 301 class. She shares my love and interest in film, and she is fun to work with. I cannot wait to see her succeed in her future as a teacher.” Kaitlyn helps Dr. Mullins prepare PowerPoint presentations and engages with students in-depth during class discussions. Dr. Mullins’ mentorship is preparing Kaitlyn for her future by allowing her to learn how to prepare lessons and to work with others.

As Alice Lloyd College prepares Kaitlyn for her future, she values education even more and looks forward to having her own classroom. Once she becomes a teacher, she hopes to bring the lessons she learned at ALC and teach her students how to think for themselves and problem solve. As she goes through the TEP, Kaitlyn constantly thinks of how she can improve the education system and encourage her students to reach for the stars to have the same opportunities she is having at ALC.