When she decided to return to college, Melissa decided to attend UWFox because it was close to her home. Raising a young family while going to school is always a challenge and Melissa says the professors were very understanding of her needs.
Name: Melissa McWethy
Hometown: Lake Bluff, IL
Current Residence: Lake Geneva, WI
Current Work Title and Employer: Global Food Safety & Quality Certificate Specialist; Tate & Lyle
Years attended UW-Fox Valley as student: 2003-2005
Degrees earned: Associate Degree, UW-Fox Valley; Bachelor of Science Degree, UW-Green Bay
College Major: Human Biology (Emphasis Health Science)
What led you to choose your program or major?
My intention was to become a Veterinarian. Instead of pursuing a Pre-Veterinary degree, I chose to study Human Biology with an emphasis in Health Science, and minor in Chemistry. I felt this option was a wise choice, as this degree offered more flexibility for future career choices.
How does your current job relate to your program or major?
I have always been a foodie, and I have enjoyed cooking since middle school. The Human Biology coursework correlates to a Food Science program quite well as many components of each program overlap. In my current role, I am working with Non-GMOs. I review and create policies to reflect both government and internal standards for food safety and quality. Working for a global company has been eye opening, my co-workers are some of the best and brightest in the food industry, and I could not be happier!
Why did you decide to become a University of Wisconsin student at UW-Fox Valley?
I chose to study at UW-Fox Valley based on the proximity of the campus to my home, and the experience my brother had while attending the campus when it was still Fox Valley Center.
Is there a professor or staff member at UW-Fox Valley who made a difference in your life or inspired you?
While I was a student at UWFox, there are two professors who stood out as inspirations to me and who made a difference in my life. Dr. Teresa Gonya and Dr. Martin Rudd. I would not be where I am without the guidance from these two individuals; I am happy to call them both friends.
What stands out to you about your time as a student at UW-Fox Valley?
I was a returning student with a young family when I made the decision to complete my education. I was grateful to have professors who understood the needs of a commuting student and the demands of motherhood. My first semester back, my oldest daughter was diagnosed with a lifelong medical condition. The staff at UW-Fox Valley worked to accommodate my situation so I could focus on the needs of my children, yet still maintain my academic goals. They were amazing and I cannot thank them enough.
Outside of the classroom, what activities, clubs or organizations did you participate in at UW-Fox Valley?
While a student at UW-Fox Valley, I was a member of the Chemistry Club. The majority of the members were also classmates in many shared courses, so participating in club activities was quite enjoyable. After graduation, I became a member of the e.a.t.s. committee assisting with the organization, planning, and execution of the scholarship fundraiser. I was also a guest chef for several years at e.a.t.s. events.
What is your best piece of advice for an incoming UW-Fox Valley student?
Get to know your professors; they are your best key to success! Talk to them, ask questions, and discuss how you can do more. Do not be intimidated!
Knowing what you know now…what would you tell your college self?
As the saying goes; you reap what you sow…… the final result is worth the effort!