Photo By Nolan P. Schmidt
It cannot be said enough: teachers are underappreciated. Not only do they take on a selfless duty (and do it willingly), but they are also tasked with creating the next generation of adults. What our society looks like decades from now will be a product, in part, of our nation’s teachers and their influence.
Senior Alyssa Lind is giddy about the opportunity to shape future generations. She has known for some time that working with kids was in her future. It was not until she discovered NDSU’s dual degree in elementary education and human development and family science, did her future become more clear. She wants to help the kids of the future. In a perfect world, she would do this in the Twin Cities area, where she grew up.
Away from the classroom, Lind is a stellar sprinter for the Bison women’s track & field program. She is a pivotal piece in NDSU’s historically great 4×400-meter relay team. Lind was the anchor on that relay team that captured the Summit League title last fall.
Aside from that, Lind saw herself as the conference runner-up in the 400-meter dash in 2019. While she looks to finally capture a conference title in that event this year, her goals away from the track are far greater.
Alyssa Lind is ready to take her next step in life. That step will see her impact thousands of lives for years to come.
Was elementary education something that always piqued your interest before coming to NDSU?
I always knew growing up that I wanted to work with kids, I just didn’t know exactly how I wanted to do it. Originally when I was first applying to NDSU, I didn’t have a declared major. Coming into my freshman year, I decided I wanted to do elementary education. They have a dual degree program here where I get my elementary ed degree through Valley City State and then human development and family science through NDSU.
Since you are getting those two degrees, how does that amplify your education and prepare you for the professional world?
Most of my human development and family science classes have aided me in understanding human behavior, development and growing up. That’s super important to understand being in education and being a teacher. Understanding how children develop and how their thought processes work. If you’re not understanding that, you can’t be an effective teacher. It’s definitely helped me a lot just to understand how to go about teaching and doing it the right way.
Now that you have been in the classroom for practicums, what was that experience like for you in terms of how it pertains to your journey to becoming a teacher?
My first practicum was in a small private school here in Fargo. The class size was just 11 kids. It was a super good experience, just because it was a lot more one on one time with the students. I think your experience can really just depend on what school you’re at because it can be so different.
I did a cultural diversity practicum in the Twin Cities and that was an amazing experience. I do want to end up teaching in the Twin Cities if possible. I like having more diversity in the classroom.
Is going back to your hometown, teaching at a school, at least in that area, if not, a school that you may have attended, the ultimate goal for you? To end up in a place you are familiar with.
Yeah, I’m going to do my student teaching back in the cities, but I’m not necessarily needing to be in the city I grew up in. I want to be within the Twin Cities and my goal has always been more like an inner-city environment. I wouldn’t mind going somewhere else around the country though too.
Can you speak to how beneficial the NDSU academic resources are to student-athletes?
I think our resources are extremely valuable and you can sometimes forget that they are available. I just know that it’s super nice to have in the back of my mind. I can always go to Carter [Kruckenberg] to ask him any sort of question that I have. This past semester, I had to push my student teaching to the next fall because I will be in track so I was having Carter help me decide what classes I should be taking. I needed to get up to a full-time student so I can be eligible to compete. He was just helpful in helping me determine what I should be taking. I think it’s just valuable to know that I have them there.
What were some of the learning curves that you had to go through that turned out to be most beneficial when you came to NDSU?
I would say time management was definitely something I had to learn once I came to college. In high school, I was a very big procrastinator, which didn’t end up hurting me then. I would always get things done. I needed to be on top of my stuff once I got to college. With all the traveling with track and being away from practicums, I needed to be on the ball. I just learned to be a lot more on top of my things in college.
Have those qualities carried over and helped you succeed in a time where you are doing a lot of virtual learning?
I think virtual learning has definitely been a challenge for me at times. Staying motivated and being able to actually pay attention and get what I need from the classes. I think those organization and time management skills that I’ve already gained have helped me. We’re not in class to be reminded of everything, but also my professors are always so open to helping us while we were on Zoom and stuff, too. That was very beneficial as well during this time.
How have you handled that long layoff of not competing? How have you approached the competition side of things when there has been a big absence of competition for track and field specifically?
It’s been especially hard because this whole past fall semester, I’d been put into like three different quarantines. I haven’t been at practice consistently for more than two weeks. It’s just been challenging to stay motivated and know that we are going to be competing. I’ve kept reminding myself that this is my senior year and I am going to give all that I have left. I’m going to take what I can get and try to just make the most of the situation. Like valuing the time I do have left with my teammates and the competition that we get. I know our coaches are just trying their best to make anything work for us.
Knowing that this is your senior year, is that motivation enough for you to want to compete at a high level?
I would say so. I would also say it comes in waves for me sometimes just because it’s easy to get down. Sometimes, it seems like so many things are taken away. I’ve just told myself that it’s a lot easier to complain, but it’s better for yourself and everyone to just look at the positive side and stay motivated. You’re going to feel better about it that way. I don’t want to have any regrets. I want to just make the most of what I can and see what I have left.
What are some goals that you’ve set for yourself this season?
The entire time I’ve been here, I’ve thought having a conference title in the 400 would be spectacular. That has obviously always been a goal of mine. I am continuing to look forward to that. It’s just trying to stay motivated and try and reach that and do the best that I can even with the obstacles that are in place.
For our 4×400, we want to take the conference title with that as well. We want to go out with a bang. We’ve always been strong in the 4×400 in our conference. It’ll definitely be interesting because we have a lot of new teammates this year. I am excited to see what happens.
You never know what’s going to happen.
Hometown: Bloomington, Minn.
Major: Elementary Education
– 2020 Summit League All-Academic Team
– 2019-20 Summit League Commissioner’s List Of Academic Excellence