Inspiring Graduate Joanna Lee, B.S. Marketing and Business Education

'With all of the experiences Stout has provided me, I feel confident going into my first year as a teacher.'
May 30, 2023

Inspiring Graduate: Joanna Lee (’23)

Before graduation, Joanna Lee was hired as a business teacher at Baldwin-Woodville High School.

“I am very excited to start this new chapter of my life and have a classroom of my own,” she said.

Lee earned her marketing and business education degree from UW-Stout on May 6, along with 1,173 graduates.

Lee’s goal coming to college was to graduate in four years, but she learned that with student teaching, MBE was a 4½-year program. By enrolling in summer and Winterm courses, she met her goal.

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Inspiring Graduate Joanna Lee at commencement / UW-Stout

“Working hard to complete my degree is something that I am very proud of,” Lee said. She completed her student teaching at Cumberland middle and high schools, and in St. Croix Falls.

“There is no doubt that Joanna’s commitment to preparing through being involved and developing her leadership skills has her ready to hit the ground running,” said MBE Program Director Debbie Stanislawski.

How have your UW-Stout education and experience changed you?

My experience at Stout has taught me many things, one of those being it is OK to be yourself.

Being able to express who I was and who I wanted to be, while learning about the things I loved, was one way Stout shaped me into a better version of me.

Stout always made sure to create a safe environment for everyone who wanted to explore new hobbies and activities, which is something that I have learned I want to provide for my students someday. Having that safe environment for students is so important and was something that Stout helped to change my perspective on.

How has UW-Stout prepared you to work in your field?

With all of the experiences Stout has provided me, I feel confident going into my first year as a teacher.

From my first semester at Stout I was writing lessons and learning about different classroom techniques I could use in the future. I took many different classes where I would have the opportunity to learn about different types of students I could have in my classroom. I had opportunities to visit classrooms and get real hands-on experience with students.

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Joanna Lee and friends at a Blue Devils football game / Joanna Lee

What stands out about your UW-Stout experience?

I had many professors who opened the door for opportunities.

The staff and faculty at Stout have provided a caring learning environment where I have felt safe to ask questions or go to the staff whenever it was needed. Having educators that make you feel welcomed helps to be more engaged in class and has improved my overall learning experiences.

Though one stands out to me – Debbie Stanislawski has done an outstanding job to push me to be the best student and future educator I could be. She has encouraged me to get involved, helped me to learn and was always there if I was struggling in a class.

How did your involvement impact your experience?

I was very involved in the Marketing and Business Education Association, where I held many officer positions. This organization has provided me with countless opportunities and helped me to grow into the leader I am today.

MBEA allowed me to travel to Chicago for a national conference, judge FBLA and DECA state competitive events, and meet many MBE teachers from around the country. This fall, I will have my own FBLA chapter to lead and motivate.

MBEA has helped me with receiving scholarships, where I was honored to meet members of the Searle family. I also received a scholarship from the Goodman family; the MBEA board; and LeRoy and Elaine Thomas Charlick. I was honored to be chosen for these scholarships.

How did you overcome the challenges you faced in earning your degree?

The pandemic made being a student very challenging, especially a student who was going to teach in a classroom one day. Though online learning was very different than what I was used to, I am thankful to have had this experience.

Being a future educator, learning how the students were impacted by the pandemic firsthand as a student myself helped me a lot in the classroom. Having the option and flexibility to teach online if students ever need it, is something that I will always be fortunate to have learned.

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