"I made a lot of friends at UWFox who are young, and they’d be shocked when they found out how many family activities I did and held down a job for the first couple of semesters."
Hometown: Pleasant Hill, California
Current residence: Grand Chute
When attended UWFox: Summer 2007 to December 2008
Background before UWFox:
Suhonen was born in Finland and immigrated to the United States at age four. Upon her arrival, she spoke only Swedish, as she lived in Sweden when she was learning to talk. Because of the language barrier, she struggled academically and finally learned to read in fifth grade. Suhonen learned to speak Finnish in California because she lived in a primarily Finnish community there.
Why did you choose UWFox?
"I chose UWFox because courses for UW-Oshkosh were taught right here in Menasha."
Have you chosen a major?
Suhonen is a December 2008 graduate of the innovative Bachelor of Applied Studies (BAS) degree program that focuses on leadership and organizational studies. It’s a unique collaboration between UW-Oshkosh and UWFox and is aimed at working adults who already hold associate degrees.
What are you learning that you find interesting and rewarding?
"I am a mother of five children and always put the needs of my family first," Suhonen explained. "I made a lot of friends at UWFox who are young, and they’d be shocked when they found out how many family activities I did and held down a job for the first couple of semesters."
During her last summer at UWFox, she struggled in a biology course taught by Dr. Dubear Kroening. "Professor Kroening kept encouraging me. He did not give up, and I learned a lot. The professors at UWFox want to encourage you. Students are not a number here."
What are your career plans?
Since graduating in December, Suhonen is pursuing a job that taps her new skills. "I want to be an encouragement to others to fulfill their potential. Even at age 50 you have 20 years of a career left in your life. It’s important to work at something you love." She is also looking towards a master’s degree in educational leadership at some point in the future.