Jump-Starting a Helpful Career

Abbie Suntken

Cyclone spirit runs deep in Abbie Suntken’s family. Her mother, father, stepmother and uncle all attended Iowa State University, and when the now-sophomore from Omaha, Nebraska, first set foot on campus, she fell in love with the atmosphere and sense of community.

Abbie’s affinity for helping people, specifically children, led her to pursue a degree in psychology, which she sees as the path to a career in which she can be of service to others. Upon graduating from Iowa State, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in social work with the goal of becoming a licensed social worker.

Abbie currently works in the Office of the Registrar on campus, where she assists other students with schedule changes and answers questions about tuition and fees. She’s also part of Autism Speaks U — a club that seeks to raise awareness about “the fastest growing developmental disorder in the United States.”

A multiyear recipient of the Gretchen and Warren Backlund Scholarship, Abbie said she greatly appreciates the support. “As an out-of-state student who is paying for my own education, this scholarship enables me to focus more on my schoolwork and accomplishing the things that I came to Iowa State to do,” she said. “To me, it’s not just the financial assistance; it is someone believing in me and supporting my journey. Because of that, I’m better suited to achieve my goals.”