20 under 40: Beth Frankenstein

Beth Frankenstein 

Director of student development, secondary programs and transitions at NCC

SHELDON—Working at a college with the students was always something Beth Frankenstein wanted to do.

Frankenstein fills numerous roles at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon. One of those roles is a student counselor.

“I have a level of respect for the self-discovery process with college,” said the 34-year-old Sheldon woman. “You are discovering a lot of who you are. It is hard, exciting and I help people through it. I love seeing self-reflection going on when someone is trying to figure out who they are. The person you are when you start is not the person you are when you finish.”

As a counselor Frankenstein works with students on a variety of issues — social, emotional and behavioral.

“It is hard to see students hurting,” she said. “I deal with students who have a lot going on in their lives. It is difficult because there are things they need and I can’t give them the ‘A’ they need for the degree.”

One student who comes to Frankenstein’s mind that she helped is one whose parents did not wish their child to go to college. The parents told their child it would not be a successful venture.

“They passed with great academic grades,” she said. “If you want it here you are going to succeed. Now when I see that student in the hallway I smile every time.”

Frankenstein also directs students to right financial resources. She serves as an academic adviser to college transfer students and makes sure they enrolled in the correct classes. She is in charge of NCC’s partnership with area high schools and helps those students take college courses and programs events in correlation with the high schools such as Career Days and the annual art show.

“The high schools here have such dedication to their students and to excellence,” Frankenstein said. “Getting to partner with them is very empowering. It is exciting to work with them. They are so genuine. High schools completely want to do the best for the students. I get to be a part of that which is very fun.”

She also helps nontraditional students make the transition into college.

“I help them meet their economic and educational goals,” Frankenstein said. “Nontraditional students have a lot of hardships. There are grants to help them along.”

She hopes that the energy she brings to her job motivates the students.