Leaving an impression

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Jacqueline Imonode carves her own path at the university.

For Jacqueline Imonode, it wasn’t enough just to follow in her family’s footsteps.

With eight siblings, five of whom attended Northern Arizona University, it would have been easy for her to simply follow suit and walk in the shadows of her older brothers and sisters. However, Imonode had a different plan, and set out to carve her own path within the campus community.

Forging a path

Despite her family’s affiliation with the university, Imonode wanted to keep her options open when deciding on which higher institution to attend. However, she ultimately chose to come to Flagstaff after falling in love with the campus during one of her routine trips to visit her older sister.

“The campus is really beautiful and I love Flagstaff,” Imonode says. “I also liked the community-based feeling that I got. I now feel like Northern Arizona University is my home.”

Imonode initially planned to major in dental hygiene, but changed her major to speech sciences and technology once she discovered her passion to work with younger people as a speech pathologist. In pursuing this path, she was also excited about the opportunity to leave the comfort zone of home and make a difference abroad

“I would really like to work in a school with kids who have speech impediments,” Imonode says. “I’ve seen that speech pathologists can go to developing countries and help where these kinds of resources aren’t readily available to kids.”

Imonode is also a highly active member of the university community. When she isn’t focusing on her homework, she spends time as a member of the Student Health Advisory Committee, a group dedicated to improving health conditions on campus, and as a member of the Chi Omega sorority on campus. 

Building her legacy

Even though she has forged her own path, Imonode doesn’t hesitate to seek the counsel of her more experienced siblings.  Initially, she struggled to cope with an increased workload and the more rigorous academic demands. She turned to her older sister for help, who provided her with personal guidance and referred her to Student Support Services, which helped refine her study habits.

Imonode also joined the Office of Student Life as a student worker. As a student employee, it is her responsibility to work with her peers who miss an extended amount of time from classes and ensure that their professors are fully aware of their absence. Imonode also works with clubs around campus that request specific times and venues for events.

Imonode’s position requires regular interaction with her fellow students, which she says allows her to be herself while on the job.

“I always have good interactions with all of the students,” Imonode says. “I try to maintain professionalism on my own and work hard to help others. I’m really grateful for that job, and am very lucky to be working at a great place on campus.”