Alumna Terri M. Sonnek LeBlanc ʼ00

Terri M. Sonnek LeBlanc ʼ00, an English major with a certification in secondary education from Cornell College, trusts her gut and feels her internal instinct hasn’t steered her wrong yet.

“My favorite memory of Cornell is the moment I stepped on campus for the first time as a high school senior,” she said. “The campus just felt right and I knew I had to enroll there from that very first moment.”

When LeBlanc isn’t riding her horse Jezebel, snapping photos (for which she’s won awards), or watching movies with her husband Jay and their two cats, Coal and Selene, you’ll find her deeply buried in the world of books.

Terri M. Sonnek LeBlanc ʼ00
Terri M. Sonnek LeBlanc ʼ00

She proudly volunteers with Iowa’s longest running science fiction and fantasy convention known as ICON by managing their digital presence and overseeing their publicity materials. LeBlanc enjoys helping connect authors to readers; so much so that she organized a large author-signing event called Imagine Other Worlds with Authors (I.O.W.A.) and spends two days a week in a bookstore giving her recommendations out to shoppers.

LeBlanc has a day job too. If you guessed that it’s connected to the world of books, you’d be right. She works for Author Accelerator, a company that provides authors with support to finish their books through a combination of techniques that includes editing and coaching authors.

“My unofficial title is Wizard of Operations,” she notes.

LeBlanc doesn’t just help other writers achieve their goals, she is a correspondent for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette writing book reviews, keeping her critical eye sharp and her own writing voice active.

Her advice to students interested in enrolling at Cornell?

“The best advice I can give is to never discount your gut,” Terri said. “My gut led me to Cornell and my amazing professional career where I get paid to read books and hang out with authors!”