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Student Spotlight

Lea Van Rossum

Lea Van Rossum

“In high school I also had a sense of comfort and security that allowed me to be myself and stand out from my peers at the same time; UWFox offered me the same opportunity.”

Age: 20

Hometown: Wrightstown, WI

Current residence: Wrightstown, WI

When attended UWFox: Fall 2011 - Spring 2013

Background before UWFox

I attended Wrightstown HS and graduated in spring 2011.  While I was in high school I played on the women’s soccer team, was in the National Honor Society, was a volunteer at the Brown County Library and was in the marching band.  I worked daily on my parents’ farm, feeding and caring for hundreds of veal calves.

Why did you choose UWFox?

I enjoyed growing up on a farm in a small town because of the support I received from everyone.  On the other hand, this also worried me while I was deciding what college to attend after high school because I was afraid I would lose that feeling of support from my peers and teachers.  However, I was surprised to find that at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley the feeling was not lost.  I was able to meet many people who actually cared about how I was doing.  In high school I also had a sense of comfort and security that allowed me to be myself and stand out from my peers at the same time; UWFox offered me the same opportunity.  While at UWFox I was never under pressure to be someone other than myself, and I loved that feeling.

Have you chosen a major?

Biology

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

In high school I also had a sense of comfort and security that allowed me to be myself and stand out from my peers at the same time; UWFox offered me the same opportunity.  While at UWFox I was never under pressure to be someone other than myself, and I loved that feeling.  All of the professors at UWFox knew how to push me to do better without me realizing it; that’s how good they are.  I truly appreciated how the faculty and staff, even the dean, would stop and talk to me on a personal level.

What are your career plans after UWFox?

Upon graduation from UWFox with my associate degree I’m transferring to UW-River Falls to major in biology.  After I earn my bachelor’s degree at River Falls, I then intend to transfer to UW-Madison to attend the Veterinary School there.  After graduation from UW-Madison, I hope to become employed at a veterinary clinic as a large animal veterinarian.

Other interesting things about yourself that you’d like to share?

I’ve been involved throughout the UWFox campus while pursuing my associate degree.  I’m a math and chemistry tutor at UWFox. I’ve received scholarships as a result of the efforts of the UW-Fox Valley Foundation’s annual fundraiser, e.a.t.s. (educational assistance through scholarships) and it’s important to me to volunteer my time at this annual event so others have an opportunity to partake in a college education through the assistance of scholarships like I have. 

I’ve also been volunteering at the UWFox  GEMS program (Girls in Engineering, Math, and Science) event held at UWFox. That allowed me to help engage younger girls in science related activities.  For me, this was an important event to volunteer at because some girls don’t realize that women are able to partake in occupations in the math, science, and engineering fields. When I was younger, I thought occupations in those fields were for men, not women, which is why I want girls to understand that they can be a part of those fields as well.

Being active throughout the community is also important to me.  I was involved in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for three years.  I enjoyed being involved in this program because it allowed me to be a role model to my “little sister.”  Furthermore, I volunteered at the Kindergarten Round Up program during summer school in Wrightstown to assist the teachers in their class rooms and to help the children work on their projects.  I work in the bakery at the grocery store in Wrightstown on weekends and at my family’s farm before and after classes (both of these jobs require me to be at work by three am).  Working and volunteering has allowed me to develop skills, such as time management and responsibility, which enable me to be involved in multiple volunteering opportunities and jobs while pursuing my associate degree at UWFox. Even though I’m helping others when I am volunteering,  I’m also learning from them; I am able to learn about different cultures and am able to hear about the different experiences people have had.   Overall, I believe that in order for myself to mature as a young adult I need to be exposed to different cultures and people, which both occur when I volunteer throughout the community and on the campus at UWFox.

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