What stands out about your Stout experience?
The main thing that stands out is the faculty from my major. The HDFS faculty mean so much to me and each one of them carries a special place in my heart. Their kindness, support, and dedication to their field and their students have helped me grow significantly as a person and as a professional. Just about every faculty member that I’ve worked with on campus had extended so much patience and grace towards me, which has helped me navigate the college experience.
How have your Stout education and experience changed you?
My experience here has changed me significantly, and it’s hard to put it into words. I’ve felt at home here at Stout, which has been so deeply meaningful. I’ve grown to be more confident in myself both personally and professionally. I think about who I was when I first came here, and I feel like a completely different person now – for the better.
The faculty, staff and friends I have at Stout believe in me and care about me as a person. Without the supportive environment I’ve had here, I know I wouldn’t be who I am today.
How did you overcome the challenges you faced in earning your degree?
First, there was navigating college throughout the pandemic. I felt so disconnected from my professors and peers during this time, which made school difficult in a lot of ways. As someone who’s going into a field working with people, I love being around others and I thrive off social interaction. Not having that during the pandemic was difficult. I made accommodations, such as doing activities and connecting with friends virtually, but it wasn’t easy.
Also, I’ve really struggled with my mental health throughout college. I’ve also had some personal and family conflicts that have made school extremely difficult at times. I’ve overcome these challenges by going to therapy and using the tools from that to grow. Working on my mental health has by far been the hardest thing I’ve done, though the work has been so worth it.
How did your involvement impact your experience?
I’ve been a part of the Stout Ambassadors Club throughout my senior year, which has given me the opportunity to connect with UW-Stout alumni and make connections with faculty and students. This club also provided me with volunteer experiences on campus to connect with individuals throughout the UW System.
I have worked at the Instructional Resources Service office since my freshman year and have been a student supervisor there since my sophomore year. Recently, I was nominated for a student leadership award due to my work at IRS, which is an absolute honor to me.
These experiences have added so much value to my time at Stout. They’ve helped grow my leadership skills and overall confidence, helped me connect with people on campus and helped me create meaningful personal and professional relationships that I’ll have for the rest of my life.