Name: Jessi Weber
Major: Applied mathematics and computer science; concentration, business management; minors in business administration, economics
Awards, honors: Four Chancellor’s Awards; two-time recipient of Senator of the Month Award from Stout Student Association; Outstanding Member of the Year for 2018 from Tri Sigma National; first recipient of the Campus Catalyst Award in 2018 from WI Coalition Against Sexual Assault; Samuel E. Wood Medallion Award recipient from UW-Stout in 2019.
Why did you choose UW-Stout? I can vividly remember completing the tour at Stout and knowing that this place was where I belonged. The program I had attended, Transfer Tuesday, had speakers and presentations that boasted about the high rate of students being employed immediately following their graduation. We were shown firsthand the small class sizes and the connections students were able to make with their professors because of this. Our tour guide made sure to show us various labs where students learned from participating and doing, not just from lectures or slides. They stressed to us how important it was that students were able to take classes related to their major immediately, not later on, allowing for them to decide from the get-go if they had made the right choice in major. All of these qualities grabbed hold of my attention and seemed to make my decision effortless. It seemed clear to me that students were important here and that there were programs to help students succeed. After 4½ years, I can say with certainty that I made the right decision of attending here and that the students on campus matter.
What are the biggest obstacles you faced in earning your degree? It was being a female in the applied mathematics and computer science program. There are not a lot of females in the AMCS program, and that can make it intimidating. In addition, there times when biases are held against you because you're female. While it was frustrating to face, I learned a lot about my own capabilities and how to push through when faced with the difficulty of having to prove myself to others. It's tough in the beginning, but I made some phenomenal friends and connections in the program that made getting through courses fun and easier for all of us.
What stands out among your college experiences? It has been the involvement on campus. I was involved in anything I could make time for — Tri Sigma National Sorority, Students for Consent, Stout Student Association and Stout Ambassador. Being involved in activities and groups that I was passionate about and excited to be a part of truly made this campus a home for me. I've made lifelong friendships here, gained valuable experiences, created meaningful connections across campus and had numerous opportunities that I wouldn't have had if I were not involved. One of my favorite quotes puts into words how leaving behind all of this feels, "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." — A.A. Milne
What’s next? Honestly, absolutely nothing at the moment is next for me! It's a bit scary to say since I've been such an involved and busy individual throughout my entire undergraduate career, and the thought of having an empty schedule is not an idea I'm used to having. The only plan I really have is to rest up, take some time to enjoy hobbies I haven't been able to focus on and do a bit of traveling to catch up with old friends. After that, I'll start putting my résumé out and looking for jobs that are in this area, as I will be staying in Menomonie.