Jace Leininger

Jace Leininger wants to earn his M.D. and specialize in pediatrics in the future. When he isn’t studying, Jace enjoys weightlifting, participating in intramural sports, playing video games, and socializing with friends. He also loves the activities that take place during homecoming and Greek Week at Iowa State.

Get to know Jace

  • Major: Kinesiology and Health
  • Class: Junior
  • Hometown: Mason City, Iowa (Cerro Gordo County)
  • Career goal: Obtain M.D. and specialize in pediatrics
  • Clubs/activities: Exercise is Medicine, Best Buddies, St. Jude Up ’til Dawn, CHS Honors Program, YSS Impact, student tutor
  • Awards/honors/scholarships: Human Sciences General Scholarship, Iowa State Kinesiology Scholarship, Winifred Tilden High Scholar Award, Cardinal Leadership Scholar Award, President’s Award for Competitive Excellence, Dean’s Leadership Seminar Member
  • Favorite place on campus: The Hub
  • Most influential ISU mentors: Beatriz Spalding
  • Favorite class: BIOL 255, Fundamentals of Human Anatomy
  • Why Iowa State: Liked the campus and the small, homey feel of it

Jace Leininger benefits from CNA position, aims for medical field with specialization in pediatrics

Growing up with his mother being a physical therapist, Jace Leininger had always taken an interest in the medical field. Going through many sports injuries in high school helped him determine that the medical path was for him. Specifically, he hopes to obtain his M.D. and specialize in pediatrics.

He credits his passion for pediatrics to the role models he had growing up as a child, like his mother, and wants to emulate that in his future career in pediatrics.

“I think when you’re older and you have the ability to spend that time and that effort towards those kids and give them something to look up to and strive for, I think you owe it to them,” Jace said. “Especially if you took advantage of that when you were younger.”

Jace is involved in a number of clubs and activities on and off campus, some of which are directly related to youth and helping others, such as Best Buddies, St. Jude Up ’til Dawn, YSS Impact, and tutoring.

Aside from his club involvement, Jace is also a certified nursing assistant (CNA) at ABCM Corporation in Hampton, Iowa. In his position, he cares for nursing home residents and helps them with day-to-day activities.

“I think that being a CNA is the number one thing that’s prepared me for going into what I want and solidified my understanding of what I want to do,” Jace said.

Jace’s favorite part about his job is talking to the residents and getting the hands-on experience of working with patients every day. He also appreciates working through a period such as this one during the COVID-19 outbreak, as it has prepared him for stressful environments going forward.

Although he wants to work with kids in the future, he said he is grateful that he has been able to look at things from a completely different point of view in his position as a CNA.

“You get a unique perspective on what hits you at the end of life [as a CNA], and one of the biggest things is people not living life to their fullest potential and taking advantage of every opportunity,” Jace said. “So I think putting kids on the right foot to do that — that’s what I want to do, that’s what I care about.”

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