Catching up: How I spent my summer vacation

Young Alumni News recently caught up with some young Iowa Staters and asked them what might be considered a common question: How did you spend your summer vacation? We got a few great, uncommon responses, which you can read below. Did you do something cool with your summer vacation? Contact Young Alumni Council marketing committee chair Andrea Fellows ’06 at to share your story with Young Alumni News.


Evelyn Huyhn Roberts (’09 journalism) of Oelwein, Iowa (originally of Des Moines) is backpacking across Europe while her husband is on an eight-month deployment with the U.S. Navy. She quotes Helen Keller — “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing” when asked why she’d head off on a crazy adventure on her own — and blog about it along the way. Young Alumni News recently caught up with her (over email, of course) to find out a little more about her adventure.

YAN: What inspired you to start your traveling blog?
ER: I decided to start my travel blog because I’m doing a six-month solo backpacking trip across Europe and I decided that was the easiest way for friends and family to keep up with me and my travels. It was also meant to help me keep track of all the places I went and all the amazing things I saw. Although, to be completely honest, I am quite rubbish at keeping it updated. I only have three or four posts, even though I originally planned on doing weekly posts. I’m too busy enjoying Europe!

How did your time at Iowa State prepare you for your travels?
You meet such an array of people when you’re at Iowa State. There are so many opportunities to learn about other cultures and customs. Being around such a mix of people really makes you appreciate all the world has to offer. Traveling is no different. I’ve met so many interesting people from every corner of the world on my journey. Although we come from different cultures and backgrounds, it’s incredible how much we all have in common as well.

How do you show that you’re “Forever True” to Iowa State?
To me, being “Forever True” to Iowa State and the state of Iowa in general means being genuine and friendly. I’m sure we all know what it means to be “Iowa Nice,” and that’s what I’m trying to spread as I travel around Europe. I often get remarks that I’m the nicest American people have met while traveling, and I like to think that’s because of my Iowa Nice roots.

What advice would you share with the class of 2015?
My biggest piece of advice to the Class of 2015 is to follow whatever life path makes you happiest. Too often people feel pressured to live their lives a certain way or follow a certain life path. It’s cliche, but don’t be afraid to take chances, seize opportunities, and jump in with both feet. It’s your life and only you know how you should live it. Don’t let others bully you into living their version of your perfect life.

Photo above courtesy Evelyn Roberts; taken at The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.


Giovanna Rajao is a soon-to-be alum and Rio de Janeiro native who spent her summer interning with CNN International at the World Cup in Brazil. Although she’s not a young alum just yet, Young Alumni News was inspired to reach out to her and find out more about her unique experience.

YAN: What inspired you to apply for an internship with CNN International?

GR: I wanted to have the best preparation before applying for jobs upon graduation, and in my mind, there’s no better company to gain an in-depth understanding of the field of journalism than CNN.

What was your role as an intern, and what was your role at the World Cup?
Some of the work I did at CNN International and Español included assisting producers with logging interviews, monitoring news, and compiling material for editing, performing story research and fact-checking for various programs and specials. During CNN’s World Cup coverage, I was responsible for assisting on shoots and on ground crew activities, transcribing and translating interviews and press conferences from Portuguese to English, and research for presenters and shows.

Not only did you have the opportunity to experience the atmosphere of the World Cup, but it occurred in your hometown. Describe what it meant to see your hometown transform into the center of international sports and cultural attention for the summer.
This experience was a dream I never even had, and even though it’s over now, it still seems surreal to me that I was able to be in Brazil for it. The World Cup has always been something sacred to me, and some of my fondest memories as a child were watching the games with my family and cheering for my favorite teams and players. Never did I think though that I’d to be able to be a part of a celebration that for years I’ve enjoyed by watching it on TV. Nothing really compares to it.

How did your classes/studies/experiences at Iowa State prepare you for your roles throughout your time at the World Cup?
Being involved with journalism-related organizations at Iowa State has been crucial to my involvement with CNN. Organizations like ISUtv gave me a feel for the work I knew I’d do in the “real world,” and many of the things I did at ISUtv transferred to the work I did for CNN.

Do you have a favorite Iowa State sports team, player, or coach?
I had never watched a football game before coming to Iowa State, but today, football season is my favorite — and nothing gets me more excited than hearing Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part 2” at Jack Trice.

What advice do you have for the class of 2015?
Be bold, take risks, and get involved. Iowa State is a great place to gain the necessary skills to achieve what may seem to be impossible, but if you work hard, there’s really nothing can stop you from achieving your goals.

Photo above with Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar courtesy Giovanna Rajao.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s