A Q&A with one of the 1,319 students who received a diploma May 4 at UW-Stout:
Name: Becca Maxwell
Major: Environmental science, concentration in environmental health, minor in chemistry
Awards, honors: All-Region academic team for cross country
Why did you choose UW-Stout? I initially chose UW-Stout because of the great food science major, and I got recruited to run on the cross country and track and field teams. I switched majors sophomore year to environmental science and was amazed at how close the students were and how inviting everyone was in the program. Throughout the three years I have been in this program I have found lifelong friends and plan on keeping in touch with the great teaching staff here. Everyone is so much fun, and I cannot imagine going anywhere else for the experiences I had here at UW-Stout.
What are the biggest obstacles you faced in earning your degree? I was very hesitant to switch majors because of how much work it would be and all the new people I would meet, but my adviser was beyond helpful with transferring my classes and making me my own personal graduation plan. On my first day as an environmental science major, my adviser saw me standing outside the classroom with all the other students and she walked by and said, “This is a new environmental student, introduce yourselves.” And the other students came over and started talking to me. To this day I am still friends with some of them. I was pleasantly surprised at how welcoming everyone was.
What stands out among your college experiences? I can tell how passionate the professors here are, and they truly love what they do, so any questions you have they absolutely love to answer. They love talking outside of class and during office hours, and if they cannot help you with something they will find someone who can. They genuinely want our college experience to be the best it can be, and I am very grateful for all they have done for me throughout these three years in this major.
What’s next? I will be going to Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in Finland, Minn., in August. There I will be a student naturalist for 10 months, teaching classes and immersing others into the environment around us. I will receive six graduate school credits and plan to either continue to graduate school or look for a job in the Twin Cities area upon my completion at Wolf Ridge.