Brenna Kundel

Brenna plans to teach in an elementary classroom and create an inclusive space for her students. When she isn’t studying, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her friends and family.

Get to know Brenna

  • Major: Elementary education
  • Minor: Learning technologies
  • Class: Junior
  • Hometown: Davenport, Iowa (Scott County)
  • Career goal: Create welcoming, equitable, and meaningful learning experiences in an elementary classroom
  • Clubs/activities: Dance Marathon, Future Teachers – Future Leaders Learning Community peer mentor, College of Human Sciences Honors Program, Teacher’s Assistant
  • Awards/honors: Dean’s list, Laura Brenner Deeny Scholarship, Dubes Family Education Scholarship, Durwin and Margorie Hanson Scholarship Fund
  • Favorite place on campus: Jack Trice Stadium or central campus 
  • Most influential ISU mentor: Elizabeth Norris
  • Favorite class: EDUC 377, Teaching Literacy in the Primary Grades
  • Why Iowa State: Loyal ISU fan and campus felt like home

Brenna Kundel changes major to cultivate meaningful education experiences in the classroom

It seemed clear that Brenna Kundel was destined to be a teacher. From a young age, she could be found playing school with her younger siblings and teaching them the math she was learning. Yet, when she began preparing for college, her career path decision began to seem too simple.

“When I got to junior year of high school, I noticed my friends were having problems figuring out what they wanted to do, so it almost seemed too easy that I had known what I wanted to do my whole life,” Brenna said. “I started to second-guess it.”

When college came around, Brenna made the decision to go in with a clean slate and try meteorology. Quickly realizing that major wasn’t the right fit for her, she utilized Iowa State’s Career Coaching service to help direct her path. It was through this experience she decided to give education a chance.

Now a junior studying elementary education, with endorsements in mathematics, reading, and coaching, Brenna has had the opportunity to share her story as a peer mentor for Future Teachers-Future Leaders—a learning community for change of major and transfer students.

“I was a change-of-major student, and the learning community helped me a lot,” Brenna said. “I wanted to pass on what my peer mentor did [for me] to other classes and students.”

Brenna also works as a site supervisor through Raising Readers in Story County. Here, she practices lesson planning and catering to students’ specific needs through individualized plans.

“Working with [Raising Readers] has turned into a getaway from my homework,” Brenna said. “I don’t think a lot of people get to say that about their work.”

Brenna enjoys watching her agendas be taught and tracking the progress students make.

“It’s cool to see [students] tackle words that they wouldn’t even dream of a couple weeks before,” Brenna said. “It’s crazy to see how quickly they develop and progress.”

After graduation, Brenna hopes to teach in an elementary classroom—where she plans to institute meaningful education experiences for her students and help them discover their passions.

“I want to create a classroom that makes students excited to learn, and I want to make sure my students feel welcome no matter what identities they may have,” Brenna said.

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