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Student Spotlight

Jesse Anderson

Jesse Anderson

“Since I started at UWFox I’ve learned a lot about the world around me and filled in so many gaps in my knowledge base”

Age: 26

Hometown: Janesville, WI

Current residence: Winneconne, WI

When attended UWFox: Fall 2008 to Spring 2011

Background before UWFox:

“I attended Menasha HS before transferring to Janesville Parker HS, graduating from Parker in 2001. I’ve worked various part-time jobs and I was a union laborer for seven years. My specialty was concrete, and in my career I’ve poured parking lots, curb and gutter and sidewalks all over Wisconsin including at the UWFox campus. I was born in Oklahoma, and moved to Wisconsin at age two. I went to seven different schools throughout Wisconsin before graduating from high school, and I moved to Florida for a winter once.”

Why did you choose UWFox?

“I decided that my laborer’s job, although high paying, was merely a means to an end; that end simply being a paycheck, which just wasn’t doing it for me. Many of my goals and interests had nothing to do with the direction I was going in, so I did a 180-degree turn and applied to UWFox.  I knew that it was economically realistic to attend college at UWFox and I knew that I’d have better access to professors there than at a four-year campus. Most of all I felt like it would be easier to transition into a competitive university if I had the type of background made possible by a smaller campus.”

Have you chosen a major?

“I plan to double major in Psychology and Sociology.”

What are you learning that you find interesting and rewarding at UWFox?

“There is so much going on out there in the world that I have always been very curious about. In the past I have often found myself trying to learn about important and practical subjects so that I would have the capacity to do something about the problems that I saw around me. Since I started at UWFox I’ve learned a lot about the world around me and filled in so many gaps in my knowledge base.

I’m also learning a lot about goal setting and leadership as a result of my involvement in the campus’ student government, clubs and various committees. It is very rewarding to be a part of so many great groups of people.”

What are your career plans after UWFox?

“I would like to earn an Associate of Arts and Science Degree with an emphasis in Psychology at UWFox and then transfer to UW-Madison where I’ll pursue the B.S. in Psychology and Sociology. Then I’d like to go on to graduate school for a Master’s Degree, and perhaps eventually earn my Ph.D. as well. When it comes to a career I would like to do research and write books in the area of human behavior and development both on a personal and social level, perhaps even going the route of documentary film making.”

Other interesting things you’d like to share?

“Like many of us I’ve always had a dream to live life on my terms. It was always implied to me that I wasn’t the type of person who could get into any college, much less afford it. But I refused to subscribe to those limiting beliefs and not long ago I decided to take action and follow my dreams.

“In 2008 I took what I thought was a big step and applied to college, and was accepted. It was a profound experience for me. On that day I made a promise to always take the first step in any journey worth taking. In 2009 I raised the bar and got involved on campus and maintained good grades. Off campus I wanted to experience a new level of personal freedom and achievement as well.

“Armed with only a backpack full of essentials and our wits, a friend and I traveled to northern Washington and backpacked south by way of hiking national scenic trails, and hitchhiking the highways along the Pacific coast and across the western United States. We traveled like this for two months and covered over 5,000 miles through 11 states, eight national parks and seven major cities. Like my dream to go to college, my dream to experience epic and bizarre adventures became real because I let it.

“After the transformative experiences I’ve had while traveling and getting involved at UWFox I’ve learned to always respect life and seize the day regardless of the status quo.

“There was a time in which I didn’t think that someone like me could make my dreams become reality but I was wrong. The possibility was there, it was just hiding. So I encourage anyone who doesn’t think they can live life on their terms to believe it, see it, and then reach out and grab it.”


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