Spartans of UD: Nate Bardon

Sep 23, 2020

Spartans of UD highlights what makes University of Dubuque special – the people.

Nate Bardon, of Dubuque, Iowa, is a senior triple majoring in English in secondary education, English, and philosophy and ethics.

1. What do you enjoy most about attending University of Dubuque?

“The thing I enjoy the most about attending UD would have to be all of the new people I've met as well as all of the new things I've learned. The culture of UD is such a breath of fresh air compared to what life was like growing up, and I've gotten the opportunity to meet so many people, students and professors alike, that I probably never would have if I had not come here. All of the classes I've taken at UD are also so new and refreshing, as I have more choice when it comes to the types of classes I want to take and subjects that I want to learn.”

2. Your professors describe you as someone who truly values learning. Although it extended your time as a Spartan, you recently added a philosophy major to your degree and now are majoring in English, secondary education, and philosophy. Why did you choose to add a third major?

“Honestly, when it came to adding the philosophy major, I was pretty torn about it and asked at least two different professors what they thought I should do. I was informed that this would be a great learning opportunity, and I would be able to develop myself as a person even more. I think that helped me finally decide to take on the third major, despite the extended time and work that would have to go into it. I think I always knew subconsciously that I was going to add the philosophy major, as I found myself really loving the classes and content, it was just a matter of having other people reaffirm my thinking.”

3. How are you able to balance three majors?

“I'm sure that if I started my first year with three majors, I definitely wouldn't have been able to do it. To me, I think the biggest advantage is that I added my third major when I was already a senior and had finished all of the required courses for one of my original two majors. Other than that, I think the balancing becomes much easier with all of the support I receive from my friends, family, and professors, and all the motivation they give me. A small, tiny part could probably be attributed to stubbornness as well.”

4. In 2019, you researched character education in secondary English as part of the John and Alice Butler Summer Research Fellowship. What did you discover during the fellowship?

“I think the first thing I discovered during the fellowship is that research is never really complete. Based on the limitations of students I could research, my findings are not as conclusive as I wish them to be. Most of my findings indicated that classic literature had less obvious and direct impact on character building in secondary students than more contemporary literature, but this could be linked to the preferences of the students themselves as well as the various literature types being taught. If I were to continue this research, I would probably try to insert more control so that the results are firmer and more indicative of character building.”

5. What advice for you have for other Spartans?

“Based on how long I've been here, I'd say it never hurts to put yourself out there and talk to new people and your professors. Classes become a lot more fun and they tend to make a lot of sense if you insert yourself into the discussion and ask questions whenever you have them. There are a lot of times when things can get super overwhelming, but that's when I say you should use the resources you have available. Contact someone you know you can have a heart to heart with or pop over for tutoring assistance in the Academic Success Center! Rather than think about college as a chore or job you must fight through, think of it as a challenging adventure you choose to go on."