Student Spotlight: Alyssa Pfluger
Following a very successful home-schooled education, Alyssa Pfluger’s parents knew their daughter needed an additional academic challenge when she was 15. College of DuPage turned out to be the perfect fit.
Now at Valparaiso University’s Christ Honor College, she credits COD faculty with ensuring her success not only in the classroom, but in the College’s social setting as well.
“College of DuPage is a community college, but it’s a college where the faculty and professors are willing to go beyond their normal class time to help you and they’re willing to be cheerleaders to help you obtain your goals,” Pfluger said.
Taking two to three classes per semester, Pfluger balanced college and high school coursework, volunteer work with Brookfield Zoo and an internship at the Field Museum, in which she was the only non-graduate student. Additionally, she became involved with various College groups, including Casa de Amigos and the Living Leadership Program through Student Life.
“I was initially so completely overwhelmed. That first class was so intimidating, but I honestly don’t know where I’d be without this experience,” she said. “Encouraged by my success, I soon applied for progressively more challenging tasks and positions at each organization. I am so appreciative that my family recommended College of DuPage. It’s been an experience and that will truly help me as I move forward in my education.”
Much of Pfluger’s coursework was inspired by her work outside of school. Anthropology and English courses helped as she studied and reported on behavioral changes in maturing snow leopards at the zoo, while Spanish language courses aided her work with the Field Museum’s Environment, Culture and Conservation department.
Additional leadership development and speech classes helped Pfluger in her work with LaGrange Area Teen Theater Ensemble, where she directed productions, mentored and trained interns and facilitated public relations, advertising and marketing campaigns.
The College’s Living Leadership Program also provided a great way to get involved on campus and learn more about the institution and its students, Pfluger said.
“I realized how much life changes when you choose between being an observer and an active participant,” she said. “I chose to participate and take control of my future and paths opened up to me one after another, making me believe COD really is the College of Dreams.”
At Valparaiso, Pfluger is double-majoring in Communication/Public Relations and Humanities, and she's pursuing three minors: Business Administration, Environmental Sciences and Pre-Law Concentration, with the hope of eventually earning her MBA. A 2013 summer internship with the Alliance for Water Efficiency is providing invaluable experience.
"My goal is to work in environmental conservation, which is why my internship with the AWE has been wonderful," she said. "I credit COD with giving me the skills needed for my work and the confidence to apply."
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