“Even though I loved Madison, UWFox offered me some pretty big incentives to come here and and it was just the right decision for me and my family.”
Current residence: Neenah, WI
When attended UWFox: Fall 2009- Spring 2011
Background before UWFox:
“I graduated from Winnecone HS in 2009 as class valedictorian. I worked at the local Piggly Wiggly my freshman year of high school and at the local swimming beach during my summers. I spent a lot of my time outside school playing soccer, as well as taking jazz and ballet lessons for eight years.
During my spring break my freshman year at UWFox, I was privileged enough to get to go with my family to Maui, Hawaii. I was in Joy Perry’s [UWFox senior lecturer in biological sciences] botany class at the time. When we were sightseeing, I was explaining the different types of plants and root systems to my parents and my brother. I probably sounded like such a nerd, but it was neat to see things that we had learned about in class. I also got to go snorkeling and ride on a zodiac. It was an awesome experience, complete with seeing sea turtles and an octopus, and of course, seeing a luau. ”
Why did you choose UWFox?
“I was originally accepted at UW-Madison. When I met with the advisors there, they encouraged me to do my first two years at UWFox because I am raising my young (now a three-year-old) son while going to college. I wanted something close to home and affordable, and coming from a small high school, I did like the idea of small class sizes to ease the transition between high school and college. Even though I loved Madison, UWFox offered me some pretty big incentives to come here and it was just the right decision for me and my family. I’m really sad to have to leave here.”
Have you chosen a major?
“I started out college with the mindset that going for interior design would be a good idea. I quickly found out that it wasn’t a good fit for me and that I really enjoyed my science classes. I switched my major at UWFox to Biology/Pre-Med during my first semester. I will be transferring to UW-Oshkosh in the fall and my selected major there is Environmental Health. It is an interdisciplinary major and combines human biology with ecology, land use, law and policy. It’s a new major and the only other university in the state that offers it is UW-Eau Claire. With a bachelor’s degree, I can become a registered sanitarian (health inspector) and deal with a wide variety of things from checking food to dealing with public health outbreaks or I can go onto grad school and pursue a master’s degree in public health or epidemiology. With a graduate degree I can work for a place like the Centers for Disease Control or the Environmental Protection Agency.”
What are you learning that you find interesting and rewarding at UWFox?
“I’m currently working with another student, Adrian Landreth, on diverting UWFox’s waste from the landfill into a compost pile we’ve started at the community gardens behind the campus. I really enjoy seeing what and how much we waste. I am currently taking a philosophy class with Professor Dan Putman that I just love. It really challenges me to think and I can sit in his lectures and just lose track of time. ”
What are your career plans after UWFox?
“After UWFox, I plan on transferring to UWO. From there I’d like to go to grad school or become a physician’s assistant. I haven’t quite decided yet, but I’m leaning more towards grad school.”
Other interesting things you’d like to share?
“Some fun and rewarding things I’ve done this year is I got to attend the Nobel Conference in Minnesota with students and faculty members from UWFox. The topic was, “Making Food Good.” The conference has spun a lot of community connections and interest in what it is we are actually consuming. I have since seen author Will Allen speak at Lawrence University and have become really interested in growing my own food. I’m quite proud that I’ve recently become a vegetarian, and I’m learning more about food politics and the social aspects of food in one of my anthropology courses.
Just recently I got to present my compost research at the annual UW System “Posters in the Rotunda” day in Madison and with my classmate, Adrian, and biology instructor, Dr. Teresa Weglarz (senior lecturer in biological sciences). I was also really quite surprised and honored to be selected as the 2011 UWFox “Student of the Year” and the recipient of the Biology Department’s 2011 “Academic Excellence Award.”
I’m engaged, and met my fiancé here at UWFox. I never expected this in a million years! We want to get married in the Galapagos, but we’ll see if that happens. He has opened my musical horizons and this past summer, we went and saw Jack Johnson at Alpine Valley. It was the best night of my life. Besides school, spending time with my fiancé, and being kept on my toes by my amazing three-year old son, Alex, I like to paint, scrapbook and read in my spare time.
Overall, I’ve overcome a lot in my life to get where I am today. In middle school I was attacked by a St. Bernard. I fractured my back in high school and became a mom at sixteen. I owe my success to my family, my friends, and of course my wonderful teachers. As a result, I’m a very determined and hard-working person.”