Post Classifieds

Local designers encourage student to explore options at Kirkwood

Outstanding Student, Elena Kaloupek

By Christina Uptain
On April 17, 2019

Interior design, non-traditional student Elena Kaloupek is on her second round of college. After being involved with business, marketing and photography, she felt a pull in a different direction, which is how she found herself at Kirkwood. 

Q: Why did you choose Kirkwood Community College? 

A: This is a second career for me and I moved to Cedar Rapids at a time when I was figuring out what was next for me. I had some exposure to interior design through my photography work and several designers in this city were the ones who encouraged me to check out the program here.  

Q: What are your plans for after Kirkwood? 

A: Our program requires an internship, so I am currently at OPN Architects in downtown CR. They have built a number of buildings in the city and I am going to see if they have a position open to apply for but I am going to apply at others as well, since I don’t plan on leaving the area anytime soon. My degree is work-ready, so I have a variety of options available to me. 

Q: What is your favorite memory or experience during your time at Kirkwood? 

A: The community that is created in the interior design program is so fun and strong. We all go through every class together, we have a studio we work in… we spend time developing our projects and learning from each other, and it is so rewarding.  

Q: What/who is your inspiration? 

A: I am the youngest of four, and we all used to play together about owning businesses and dabbling in creative things, but we all had different strengths. Out of high school, I really didn’t see creative options, so I went into marketing as a creative edge to business. I think it formed a lot of how I view interior design now in a fun way. My parents always encouraged us to be outside and find creative things to do and creating crafts and problem solving when I was inside.  

Q: Who are you outside of KCC/academics? 

A: I am originally from Mt. Pleasant and my husband’s job moved us here to CR about four years ago. He works for Veritas Church downtown as a college pastor and I am also very involved. That is the vision for our marriage, so we go where that job goes and I can do my work anywhere in the world, though we don’t plan on leaving in the near future.  

Q: What does being named Outstanding Student mean to you? 

A: It is a pleasant surprise. It’s nice to know that especially as a student on my second time around, my hard work has paid off and I am being recognized on my own merit. 

Interview conducted by Christina Uptain, Co-Managing Editor 

Outstanding Student Elena Kaloupek works on pallet samples during labs on March 27.
Photo by Jeff Sigmund.


Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

More kirkwoodstudentmedia News Articles

Recent kirkwoodstudentmedia News Articles

Discuss This Article



Online VS Paper


Kirkwood students often admire Lasik Omaha doctors that are carving new paths in the field of eye care and transforming the way routine eye procedures are done.

Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Please Select Your College/University:

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format