Isabel Minnis ’21

Major: Adolescent Education with a concentration in Spanish
Hometown: Tampa, Florida
High School: Jefferson High School, Tampa, Florida

Clubs and Activities
Swim Team
Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC)

Why did you choose Iona?
I chose Iona because of the academic and athletic opportunities it presented me. On my recruiting trip, I was able to sit in an education class taught by Br. Gunn. I remember immediately falling in love with Iona. Of course, being so close to NYC is new to me, too. I loved the idea that I could take advantage of how close it is to us.

Why did you choose your major? 
I have always been really passionate about education. Growing up, my family moved often, and I had opportunities to attend all kinds of different schools, including a suburban public school; a private Catholic school; an urban, low-income magnet school; and even an American-International School in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I believe my experiences have led me to want to pursue a career in education.  

What have you accomplished so far that you are most proud of? 
In the summer of 2019, I had the opportunity to coach a summer league swim team in the town I live in. We qualified for the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation (TAAF) State championships at the end of the summer. It was an incredible experience to be able to take the kids to College Station, TX, and watch them swim at the Texas A&M University facility. We ended up winning the entire swim meet. I think I am most proud of this accomplishment, not because of anything I did - because it was really the kids who won the swim meet - but because it was such a rewarding end to the summer. I knew how many early mornings my kids spent at the pool- giving up their whole summer for this one weekend.  I am most proud of them. 

Is there a particular area of study in your major that you are most interested in right now? 
Because I am concentrating in Spanish, I am very passionate about ESL learning. Additionally, I am very passionate about equity issues in education. I believe my generation of teachers is responsible for helping solve the inequities in our current education system.

Tell us about being on the swim team.  
I am a member of the Women's Swim team at Iona! I absolutely love that I am able to continue my swim career at the collegiate level. I have been swimming competitively since I was in elementary school. It was always my dream to swim at the Division I level. Being a part of such a close-knit, loving and supportive women's team is more than I could have ever asked for. They are my second family, and the pool here is my home away from home. I am also a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC). I go to monthly meetings and relay information from SAAC to my team. Recently, SAAC reps for each team helped get their entire respective sport to register to vote as a part of the MAAC SAAC voter registration campaign. In the near future, we are participating in the yearly thanksgiving baskets for those in the community, and the annual Lift-O-Ween, which benefits the Gullotta House, which helps Westchester families who face financial or other hardships.

What are you looking forward in the next year?
I cannot wait to student-teach next year! While I am definitely nervous for it, I know I will be prepared to use everything I have learned so far here at Iona in a real classroom setting.

What are you looking forward in the future
I hope to eventually move overseas and teach ESL somewhere new! I would love to live somewhere, or even a few places, in South America.  

Any advice to prospective students?
My best piece of advice to prospective students is to not be afraid to ask for help.  There are so many people at Iona who are more than willing to help you out, as long as you ask. I learned very quickly in college that you cannot handle everything yourself. There is never any shame in asking for help when it comes to tutoring, counseling services, career advice, etc.