Saturday, Dec. 14 was a big day for UW-Green Bay’s newest alumni, and each reflected on something a little different as he or she waited to cross the commencement stage. For student speaker Andrea Reisenauer, it was the opportunities her time at the University presented, from study abroad to working closely with professors who care. For two adult degree graduates, it was the quality of learning and benefits of a practical education. And for an EP&P grad eager for his son to see him graduate, it was the value of an education in sustainability — something he’ll take with him into the future. They’re just four of the 450 stories of UW-Green Bay’s midyear class, highlighted here:
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“That, class of 2013, is my advice for you,” Reisenauer said during her commencement address. “See the magic, and live the adventure.”
For Environmental Policy and Planning grad Matthew Ard, part of that magic was inspiring his young son, who was on hand to watch his dad graduate.
“My son’s going to be here,” Ard said just prior to the ceremony. “He’s four, so I think it’ll be a big deal – setting a good example for him.”
Preparing for her moment in the spotlight, student speaker and Outstanding Student award winner Andrea Reisenauer reflected on her time at UW-Green Bay.
“It’s really been an incredible journey here for me, especially because I’ve had so many opportunities at Green Bay that I don’t think I would’ve had anywhere else,” Reisenauer said. “I’ve been able to study abroad twice to Spain and Italy. I’ve been able to work with professors here on campus to translate books and just do some incredible things.”Interdisciplinary Studies graduates Kassie Dufek and Melanie Lovato were thinking back too, thankful for the decision they made to enter UW-Green Bay’s Adult Degree Program and thrilled to be graduating.
“The learning was just unbelievable,” Dufek said.
Added Lovato: “I think, too, the learning was practical. It was for me very — common sense courses. It’s stuff I could use throughout my career and throughout my life.”
Ard’s big takeaway? Sustainability.
“It’s been sort of the forefront here and the professors really instill that in people,” he said. “And it’s so important to, when we move out of here, educate people. That’s the most important part of being able to make positive change.”
Moving forward, many grads said they felt ready for whatever was to come next.
“My journey here has really helped shape me into a more confident person,” Reisenauer said, “ready to take on the world.”