Olyvia Kuchta is student speaker

Olyvia Kuchta will receive a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and speak on behalf of her graduating class at UW-Green Bay commencement on May 16 at the Kress Events Center.

Kuchta was chosen by a committee of UW-Green Bay faculty members and administrators. She was nominated for the honor by Associate Prof. Kathleen Burns of Human Development. Burns wrote it was difficult to summarize Kuchta’s achievements and potential in only a few words, and then offered a long list of adjectives: “intelligent, motivated, resilient, personable, professional, achievement-oriented, and hard working.”

Kuchta graduates with magna cum laude honors and distinction in the major.

Her senior honors research project examined attitudes about mental illness. She completed an independent study on women and leadership, and she excelled in undergraduate internship assignments with Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin, the UW-Green Bay Psychology department and Camp Lloyd, a summer camp program that helps children deal with the loss of loved ones.

As a student researcher, Kuchta has co-authored a chapter on the psychology of grief and twice submitted projects for poster display at the Psi Chi portion of her field’s leading regional professional gathering, the Midwestern Psychological Association annual conference. She gained extensive experience working as a peer mentor for entering freshmen. For her work as an office assistant with the Human Development and Information and Computing Science academic programs, she was a finalist for the 2015 UW-Green Bay Student Employee of the Year Award.

Kuchta was chapter president for Psi Chi, the psychology honor society and one of UW-Green Bay’s largest and most active student organizations. Among her successes was organizing a well-attended public panel discussion that brought together faculty experts from three different academic areas to debate the topic “mind vs. brain” and the nature of human free will.

Kuchta is a 2011 graduate of Bay Port High School in suburban Green Bay.