Name: Kareen Billetter
Hometown: Valparaiso, Indiana
Major: Occupational Therapy
Graduation Year: Bachelors: 2020 Masters: December 2021
Why be an ACE Mentor? What attracted you towards the position?
Transitioning to freshman year was not the easiest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I moved halfway across the country to a school where I didn’t know a single person, and was 16 hours away from my support system. I eventually made friends and found my support system at UNH, but academically I had so many things I wanted to do but no idea how to accomplish them all: the honors program, minoring, and studying abroad, on top of my occupational therapy major. I spent countless hours with my friends trying to figure out how we could all get it done. The ACE program takes away the uncertainty for many freshmen, both socially and academically. They can ask questions about any aspect of UNH to a mentor who has been in their shoes and has been trained with all the information. I wish there had been somebody like this for me, so I wanted to be this person for someone else.
Looking back on your time at UNH so far, what are you most proud of and why?
I’m most proud of my time spent studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Academically, I worked hard to be able to rearrange my schedule to make time for this opportunity. Even though I had everything approved and planned out, I was so nervous to have to speak almost entirely Spanish and not know anyone before I got there. I ended up meeting some of the most amazing people and traveling all around South America to some of the most beautiful places. I got to have such a unique and amazing experience, and I am so glad I worked hard and was able to study abroad.
Let's talk favorites: do you have a favorite course and/or professor? Why is the course or faculty person so great?
My favorite professor I’ve had at UNH was Tyler Jamison for HDFS 625 (adult development and aging). She was a person that truly made you care about what she was teaching, and because of this I am now minoring in Human Development and Family Studies. On the last day of classes, she told us to come with any questions we had about “adulting” and she would answer them all. Everything from taxes, loans, and buying a car to finding a partner, meeting the in-laws, and kids. She truly cares about her students and it is very evident through the way she teaches.
What motivates you?
What motivates me is the possibility to stand out. I’ve never been a person to blend in and just do as everyone else is doing. Therefore, I am always pushing myself to do things differently, take it one step further, and not settle for average.
How is your experience at UNH preparing you to achieve your goals?
Being so involved on campus is definitely helping prepare to reach my goals. With such a wide variety of opportunities, you can choose what is important to you and these opportunities will help you stand out. At the same time, the collaboration between all the clubs, organization, fraternities and sororities, and everyone else on campus helps prepare me for my job where every day I will collaborate with other medical professionals.
What are you planning to do after graduation?
After graduation I would love to work in a children’s hospital. I have always wanted to work with a pediatric population but love the dynamic and collaborative nature of a hospital, so it’s the perfect fit for me. I’m not sure what part of the country I’ll end up in, but I’m always up for a new adventure.
What do you love about UNH?
I love that UNH truly feels like a family. Everywhere I walk on campus I see someone that I know, my professors truly take the time to get to know who I am outside of being a student, my bosses care about how I am doing not just my academic well-being, and Dean Ferrara says hi to me whenever he sees me (not often can you say the dean of your college does that). I’ve been able to get involved on campus and in the community in so many ways and found support through all of them. From organizations and clubs to jobs to studying abroad, I have been able to involve myself in everything I wanted, and I am so grateful for that.