“UWFox is the ideal campus for a student like me. I’m a single mom with no college background. I started college uncertain of what to expect and uncertain of how it would coincide with my current lifestyle. ”
Hometown: Menasha, WI
Current residence: Menasha, WI
When attended UWFox: Fall 2010 to present
Background before UWFox
I went to Appleton Christian High School, which turned into Valley Christian High School during my senior year, and graduated in 2001. I also graduated from Fox Valley School of Massage in 2009. In May 2008 I obtained a contract position with RR Donnelley and Sons Fulfillment Services (RRDFS). My job was running reports and following up on customer orders. I soon worked my way to become the Traffic Coordinator for one of RRDFS’s biggest fulfillment clients in that warehouse. I gained knowledge regarding customer service, all types of shipping and shipping programs, different computer programs and the inner workings of successful publishing companies in the United States. I made positive connections with my clients and enjoyed working in an environment which promoted growth and encouraged positive changes to processes. I had opportunities to suggest ways by which we could streamline different processes and was an integral part of drafting and executing these changes.
After RRDFS I enrolled at UWFox and began working at the UWFox Bookstore. A lot of what I learned at RRDFS has helped in working at the campus bookstore. It’s made an incredible difference in my college experience and has been a great way to meet people on campus. I get a unique take on some of the processes that happen behind the scenes at UWFox.
Did you do any interesting travel or have any interesting experiences before coming to UWFox?
Before enrolling at UWFox, I was a mechanic in the Army for five years. During my service, I was stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany for two years and Colorado Springs, CO for two years. I served two tours in Iraq, both of which were strengthening and rewarding experiences. Throughout my first deployment, I had the opportunity to go on convoys and deliver supplies to other bases in Iraq, giving me the chance to see the country and face unique challenges. I’ve also been to The Netherlands, Qatar, and Kuwait through my military service. I met some amazing friends during my service, many of which I still keep in close contact with and have had opportunities to visit over the years. The United States Army has changed my life and - aside from my son - is the most influential experience I have ever had.
Why did you choose UWFox?
UWFox is the ideal campus for a student like me. I’m a single mom with no college background. I started college uncertain of what to expect and uncertain of how it would coincide with my current lifestyle. In the past, I struggled with accomplishing regular academic goals. When I entered UWFox I surprisingly found myself with a new found passion for knowledge through the close interaction with each of my professors. I needed an open atmosphere that could help me acquire the tools and knowledge I needed to succeed, and I found it here. UWFox is close to home for me. The faculty and staff have the capability to work more directly with students because of the smaller campus and class sizes. I appreciate the effort UWFox places on adult non-traditional students to guarantee success.
Have you chosen a major?
I am majoring in social work/social welfare.
What are you learning that you find interesting and rewarding at UWFox?
UWFox continues to challenge me in ways that I didn’t expect. I’ve taken classes that have helped me grow academically and personally. Through (associate professor of anthropology) Renee Gralewicz’s “Food, Culture and Identity” course, I developed an interest in the food habits of other cultures. I even discovered the unappetizing process by which American food reaches the table. I’m now more selective in the brands I choose to purchase and the types of food I buy for my family.
Both the instructors and students make my educational experience rewarding. I‘m confident and comfortable with my professors. Each of them goes out of his or her way to answer my questions and offer guidance through any situation. Furthermore, the friendships that began here for me have been instrumental in class choices and a great encouragement to me in every aspect of my student and personal life.
My most cherished lesson at UWFox is that I can succeed at anything I set out to do. Both my instructors and friends have helped me realize how much one individual can accomplish! I am now on the Dean's List because of the support and fellowship UWFox has given me.
What are your career plans after UWFox?
After I complete my educational goals at UWFox, I’m planning to transfer to UW-Oshkosh to obtain my bachelor’s degree and then my Master’s Degree in Social Work. My primary objective is to work for the Veteran’s Administration (VA) to counsel women Veteran’s, specifically those who have suffered abuse or assaults while in service. I am also planning on seeking volunteer opportunities in the same field either locally or overseas.
Other interesting things about yourself that you’d like to share?
One of the absolute most important things about me is my faith. It was not until I had my son that I was even able to see the bigger picture in life, that it wasn't about me. Becoming a mom has humbled me and allowed me to be open to God’s promises. I know that without His love and grace, and the love and support of friends and family, my son and I would be in very different places right now. I’ve been so blessed in the past four plus years of my life and it just keeps getting better. From my son being extremely sick then healed as a newborn with MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), to the jobs and educational opportunities I‘ve been given, to the fantastic new relationships that are forming and growing in my life. I’m forever grateful for God’s direction and unconditional love and for those who have walked alongside me through these changes. What a fantastic life this is!