WSJ names Worthington woman 'Best in Class'
SIOUX CITY, Iowa -- It's not too often that Worthington natives see their names in New York ink. But Nicolle DeRocher (n?e Donovan), a 2005 graduate of Worthington High School, received that honor when she was named "Best in Class" by The Wall St...
SIOUX CITY, Iowa -- It's not too often that Worthington natives see their names in New York ink.
But Nicolle DeRocher (née Donovan), a 2005 graduate of Worthington High School, received that honor when she was named "Best in Class" by The Wall Street Journal.
Each college or university that participates in the Journal-in-Education program and subscribes to the WSJ is eligible to nominate one student for the newspaper's Student Achievement Award.
DeRocher was nominated by the business department at Briar Cliff University, where she graduated in May with degrees in psychology and business administration with an emphasis in marketing. Each school chooses its own criteria for nomination.
"We based it on academic achievement and how engaged they are at Briar Cliff," said business department chair Anne Garreans. "She was involved in SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise), which is an award-winning team for Briar Cliff University; campus ministry; and the volleyball team."
DeRocher said she was the first-ever Worthington resident to attend the school on a volleyball scholarship, being named an Academic All-American once she was there.
"Volleyball is a full-time thing there, and I was a double major as well," she explained.
DeRocher was a member of Psi Chi, an international honor society in psychology and a member of the alumni committee.
She was also named to the Dean's list every term of her college career, graduating cum laude and serving as secretary of SIFE.
What's interesting is how close she came to pursing a career in psychology instead of business.
"I did an internship up in the St. Luke's Hospital and I was in the mental health unit up there and I saw a lot of things that opened my eyes," she recalled. "I like to see results and with patients up there you don't see the progress you'd like to see. So it just wasn't cut out for me."
DeRocher had been thinking about a business minor anyway, and decided to major in both fields.
"I was really happy that I kind of switched over," she said. "I interned with the (Sioux) City parks and rec department when I was a junior. When I was a senior, I started as an intern at the convention center for the city.
"That developed into where I am now; they hired me on full time once my internship was over."
Now she lives with new husband Corey in Akron, Iowa, and works as a catering sales associate.
"I get to ... plan different events, meeting with brides and event planners and people from businesses having meetings," she said. She's currently working on a marketing and business plan for Distinctive Gourmet, which does catering for the city.
"We're coming out with brand-new menus so I'm kind of heading that up as well," she added. "It's going well so far."
DeRocher is the daughter of Kevin and LeAnn Donovan of Worthington.