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Nikkel Holmes 

“I was very impressed with the quality of professors and just the quality of education and the quality that they expected out of us as students."

She was known by her Delta Gamma sorority sisters and campus classmates as Nikkel Rowland, but since then her name has changes to Nikkel Holmes or – better yet – Mrs. Holmes to her 6th grade students.

The elementary education alumna is a teacher in Kuna who said educating students is her passion. “That is where my heart is – I care about all kids and education,” says Holmes.

To help her students, Holmes continued her education and received her master's degree in educational leadership.

“The dream is to open up a preschool, an accredited preschool, to provide a high-quality education, developmentally appropriate for preschool-aged children in a nurturing environment and to really provide the foundation of education,” explains Holmes.

She says she learned that educational foundation as a graduate student at the University of Idaho Boise.

Having earned her undergraduate degree from the Moscow campus, the dedicated Vandal worried the tradition, history, and educational value would be lost so far from the home campus. Holmes looked at all her options before deciding on Idaho in Boise, a decision she describes as the best fit.

“I was very impressed with the quality of professors and just the quality of education and the quality that they expected out of us as students; it really pushed me to do my best and to step out of my comfort zone, and I think that is really important.”

When asked to pick her favorite professor, Holmes struggles. “That’s a tough one because they are all wonderful,” she says.

One who made a big impact was Professor Russell Joki.

“He made learning fun. It was weird because it was fun and you didn’t feel like you were learning – like you were working," she notes. "But I came out of those classes knowing a lot and knowing what I needed to know. He knows so much about education.”

Holmes encourages others in the Treasure Valley to consider furthering their education as well.

Whether in Moscow or Boise, she says you can’t beat the education and experience that’s offered. “Go vandals, I love the U of I everything it has to offer!”