Reese Vedder networks socially and academically through Hawkeye Marching Band

Reese Vedder is a junior studying Marketing and Mass Communications, and a trombone player with the Hawkeye Marching Band. The Iowa Challenge asks students to engage: get involved and be a leader.

How do you Engage at Iowa?

I play trombone and I am a squad leader for the Hawkeye Marching Band. I knew as soon as I decided to come to Iowa that I wanted to audition to be in the marching band, and I’m so glad I did. Being in the marching band keeps me motivated academically and socially, and presents me with opportunities that I will never have again. I’m really grateful for the people I’ve met through marching band and the experiences I’ve had.

How has marching band changed your experience at Iowa?

Marching band has improved my experience at Iowa by creating a large network of people (250 members) that I would not have met otherwise! I think that knowing people from all different majors and broadening my social circle has really been a key to my happiness here at Iowa. Also, you can’t beat the traveling perks of going to a bowl game with the football team. I’ll never forget marching in the Rose Bowl, or other bowl games, because it is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.

What advice would you give to new students on how to engage at Iowa?

My advice to students trying to engage at Iowa is just to go for it. Don’t hesitate or hold back. By starting right away, you will have more time to develop relationships and prove yourself as a leader, which will lead to more opportunities and you’ll hopefully get more enjoyment out of your involvement. If you end up not liking something, at least you tried it and now you know, so that you can go and try something new!

What impact do student organizations have on campus?

I hope that student organizations have an impact on students that makes them feel like they have something to look forward to. Something that is enriching their college experience. I know that through my different organizations I have met so many awesome, inspiring people, and developed new passions along the way. By having things you are passionate about, the happier and more rewarding your experience will be. I think that if more people are able to feel this way, it will positively affect the overall health and climate of our campus.

Where do you want to end up after college?

After college, I want to end up somewhere new that I can explore and get to know. I really want to visit Boston, Portland, and Austin. To me, my dream job revolves less around what I’m doing, but the people I’m doing it with, but I also want to have a job that gets me excited every morning. Preferably a company that has a strong commitment towards environmental sustainability and/or philanthropy.

About the series

The Iowa Challenge encourages students to get the most out of their college experience. We encourage all students to Excel, Stretch, Choose, Engage, and Serve during their time here at Iowa. Learn more about the Iowa Challenge here

The Division of Student Life is creating profiles of students who have shown their work in relation to the Iowa Challenge in some way. If you know a student we should feature, contact