Katie Feeney ’22

"From the first time I walked on campus, you could feel the 'goodness' in the air. I realized that I wanted to be a part of that."

Hometown: Cairo, N.Y.
High School: Cairo Durham High School

Why did you choose Iona?
From the time I began applying to schools, everyone I met who knew about Iona said that I would be a great fit there. At the time, I didn’t know what that meant. However, after applying and then visiting, I soon realized that what everyone was saying was true! From the first time I walked on campus, you could feel the “goodness” in the air. I saw people wearing their Iona gear, waving and saying hello to their peers walking along the sidewalk, and smiles on the faces of groups of friends that I passed. It was then that I realized that I wanted to be a part of that. Along with all of that, I had an amazing tour guide who sold me on the Speech department, and told me all about study abroad opportunities, as well as the many other amazing things that Iona had to offer. It was because of all of this that I made Iona my home.

Why did you choose your major?
I chose Speech Language Pathology as my major because of the impact that it can have on someone’s life. Growing up, I witnessed a family member suffer from a stroke. I saw first-hand the consequences that speech impairments can have on a person. I think that communication is one of the most important aspects of our world, so if I have the chance to help someone improve their communication skills or learn to speak again, I think it would be such an honor.

What have you accomplished so far that you are most proud of?
I would say that the thing I am most proud of is becoming a Student Campus Minister. I feel as though Iona holds their student leaders to a very high standard, so I am very lucky and appreciative to have been given a spot on the Campus Minister team. This past semester, despite all of the craziness going on in the world, we were able to get students involved in service, and hopefully impact the communities around us.

Tell us about something you learned (in or out of the classroom) that really surprised or excited you.
This past semester, I took a lot of really good classes, one of them being an interviewing course. In this class we learned what it means to be a good interviewer, how to be a good interviewee and basically all the do’s and don’ts of it. This class was extremely helpful and gave me a lot of the tools I will need in the near future, when applying to grad programs or jobs! I am very grateful that Iona offers a course like this and I highly recommend students to take it!

Tell us something you’ve learned about yourself since coming to Iona.
I think the most important thing I have learned about myself is that I have the potential to be a leader. Going into freshman year, I thought that I just wanted to cruise through college unnoticed and just get all my work done. However, I soon realized that here at Iona, every single student has the opportunity to advance and become a leader. I found that out for myself when I applied to be a Campus Minister and was then chosen! Although it is nerve wracking, Iona has given me the tools to become a leader. I believe that will make me stand out in the future.

Do you belong to clubs/teams? Or do you participate in other activities? Tell us about your experiences with Mission and Ministry, especially as a team leader.
On campus, I am a Gael Guide, a part of the Iona Players, and a member of the Speech and Hearing Club as well as the ASL Club. From my freshman year, the Iona Players served as a place where I could grow my confidence and create real and meaningful relationships with my peers. This year, I began my role as a Student Campus Minister working alongside the Office of Mission & Ministry. My officer role is Spirituality Assistant. I run the bi-weekly bible study on campus and my outreach group is Loftus Hall. The service project that I co-lead is Midnight Runs! CM Chris Tinoco and I had to change a few things due to COVID-19 rules and regulations, but we were still able to serve many homeless folks in NYC this past semester. Being a first time Campus Minister, it is terrifying to have a leadership position amongst students who are basically the same age as you. However, with the support and guidance of every member of the Office of Mission & Ministry, it made many tasks less daunting. I think this past semester working as a leader with my fellow campus ministers, it proved that even during crazy times, service and compassion can still be shown to those in need.

Have you participated in any internships or have you had any research opportunities? Tell us about that. What did you learn and how will it help you?
While I haven’t participated in any internships or research opportunities yet, I am very excited to be taking an observation class next semester where I will be going into different settings (whether it be physically or via zoom) to observe other Speech Language Pathologists in action! Although it is not research or an internship, I did study abroad the spring semester of my sophomore year. While it got cut short due to the coronavirus, I still learned so much and got to experience the world while also earning course credit!

Has any class, professor, mentor or friend had an important impact on you since coming to Iona? How?
I have had so many great professors, mentors and friends in my time at Iona that it is hard to choose! However, I would say that my Mission and Ministry advisor, Mr. Benjamin Mead has played a vital role in my success this year so far. He helped me to feel more confident and comfortable in my new role and always assured me that even at the most stressful and hardest points in the semester, things could only improve. His advice and mentorship impacted me in so many ways!

What are you looking forward in the future?
I am beyond excited for the next three semesters that I have left at Iona. I cannot wait to continue my role as Campus Minister this semester and continue to positively impact the Iona College community as well as the communities surrounding us. I am excited to continue my degree in Speech Language Pathology and learn more about the field and get some hands-on experience. Aside from that, I am excited to cherish the rest of my time here at Iona, because I know that time is going to fly. I will surely miss it when I graduate!

Any advice to prospective students?
My advice to prospective students is to get involved. Coming into my freshman year, I knew one person. I had no one else and just knew that I had to get involved in something, just to keep myself busy. I joined the Iona Players and instantly found a family who shared a common interest. From there, I met so many people through the connections of others. I know for a fact that the reason that I love Iona so much is because of the relationships and connections I have made simply by getting involved. Even if it is going to an event held by your RA or stopping by the steps of Spellman to get some free merch, once you know one person at Iona, you know about 20 more. My advice is to step out of your comfort zone, say hello to that person you don’t know in the elevator, go to that basketball game, and you will for sure find yourself a family here at Iona.