A Reason, A Season, A Lifetime

From Alumni Lane

Written by Melea Reicks Licht and Kirsten Kraklio | Image by Matt Van Winkle

Kirsten Kraklio and Melea Reicks Licht pictured in the ISU Alumni Center

Melea Reicks Licht, former Senior Director of Communications, ISU Alumni Association (left) with Kirsten Kraklio, Director of Communications and Iowa Stater Editor, ISU Alumni Association (right) in the ISU Alumni Center. 

Have you heard the saying people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime? I’ve grown to appreciate that within a career, opportunities also come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. 

In July, I accepted a promotion at Iowa State to direct communications for the University Library. I’m excited to serve and advance the university I love in new ways, and it’s wonderful to be back in the heart of campus. As the plaque on Parks Library reads, “The excellent library is the heart of the excellent university.”

Leading the effort to bring Iowa Stater magazine to life will always be one of the greatest joys and accomplishments of my career. It was an honor and a privilege to work with the amazing team at the ISU Alumni Association, the university, and the ISU Foundation. 

With this strong framework in place, please join me in welcoming Kirsten Kraklio as the new editor of Iowa Stater and director of communications at the ISU Alumni Association. 

I remain yours, forever true, an Iowa Stater for life!

Melea Reicks Licht signature

Melea Reicks Licht
(’00 Public Service and Administration in Agriculture, M.S. ’05 Agricultural Education and Studies)

When I moved from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Phoenix to finish my bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication, I intended it to be for a season. Two years in the desert and then on to other adventures, I told myself. Eleven years later, it turns out my move to the Southwest was a little more permanent and impactful than I had anticipated.

I bought my first house. I adopted my first dog. I gained a wonderful community of friends and colleagues, and had the opportunity to tell impactful stories for a variety of brands and companies. I also got to escape winter (I am now gladly accepting all your parka recommendations). 

But this year, I decided I was ready for another season of life. One that entailed returning home to a land where we say “ope” and “pop.” I was ready to be closer to family, including a younger sibling who is currently enrolled at Iowa State. Having enjoyed working and teaching at Arizona State University, I knew I wanted to stay in higher education, so I started watching the careers page at Iowa State. And I felt like the stars had aligned the day I saw this opening appear. 

I want to thank Melea for all she has done to prepare the Iowa Stater for its next chapter, as well as our small but mighty team of staff members who have put all of their love and hard work into this issue during the transition. 

I am excited for the opportunity to share the stories of Iowa State and Iowa Staters with you for years to come. 

Kirsten Kraklio, kkraklio@iastate.edu