March’s Student Leader of the Month

Published: March 25, 2015
By: Spencer Gray '15

Our campus is full of student leaders, this month we recognize Hillary Vara. Here is an interview to learn a little more about March's Student Leader.

Q. Hometown?
A. Wind Lake, Wisconsin

Q. Year at Parkside?
A. Junior

Q. Major and/or minor?
A. Psychology Major with a minor Women Studies and a certificate in Mental Health

Q. Organizations involved with?

·Peer Health Educator
·Campus Ambassador
·Academic Peer Mentor
·ROAR Leader
·Neebo Bookstore
·Student Center Staff: Campus Concierge Desk Representative
·Admissions Staff: Front Desk Representative
·Biology Club
·Starting to get my foot in the door with the Women's Center

Q. Hobbies outside of school?
A. I have a weekend job off campus. Movies are my stress relief. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, and my lab Ruby; she gets a lot of my attention! I cannot wait for summer; I love to go out fishing and boating.

Q. Why did you pick UW-Parkside?
A. One of the main reason I chose Parkside was the distance from home. It not being home but not being too far way either. I was also impressed by the small class sizes with on average being a 1:18 ratio. The class sizes make is so easy to build connections with professors and campus staff. I am not really a city person and Parkside is right in the middle of park, what could be better? College gets stressful, and being able to enjoy the surroundings makes it a little bit easier.

Q. Why did you choose your major?
A. I really wanted to jump into the medical field and UW-Parkside has a 93% acceptance rate into the medical school of your choice, that was a major decision maker at the time. As I was doing my general education courses and starting some of the prerequisites to be an Applied Health Science major I fell in love with Psychology. The human mind is something so interesting into me. As I got to know the Psychology Department I knew this is what I wanted to do. That is why I believe general education requirements are so important. My minor of Women Studies was also decided based on completing general education courses. Sometimes it is not about the money but what inspires you and can motivate you to wake up in the morning.

Q. Some people are born leaders, were you always a leader?

A. I would love to say yes but I would be lying. I learned a lot by coming to college. I have grown a lot over the last few years and what I learned is be passionate. I want to be that someone people can come to for guidance and I want to help people to set goals. I am a leader today and still growing!

Q. Why did you decide to become more involved at Parkside?
A. My love for the University of Wisconsin Parkside and the higher education process is what motivated me to start getting involved. I love to help people and impact them in any way I can. I love this campus and university and I feel strongly about supporting it.

Q. How and why did you become a Student Leader here?
A. One of the hardest parts of college is to step out of your comfort zone, but it can be the most rewarding. I try to be the best I can be and as long as you are trying you are winning. The experiences I am having are helping me develop into who I am and is allowing me to making connections. I love the staff and they have helped me in many ways! I want to leave an impact on this campus, making it an even better place than when I started here. I want to graduate and start a career, but I do not want to forget where I cam from.

Q. Who has inspired and maybe continues to inspire you?
A. My parents are my number one fans and fully supporting me through the years. I have learned so much from them and continue to as they encourage me through my journey. I got my hardworking side from my father and my goal setting side from my mother. I am very fortunate to have them.

Q. Plans for after this semester? Summer? After graduation?
A. I am taking 18 credits this semester so it has taken a lot of time management on my end. I plan on taking a few classes during summer to secure my graduation for Spring of 2016. During summer I have some traveling plans starting with visiting St. Louis, Missouri, Orlando, Florida, and California. After graduation, I plan to go to UW-Milwaukee for Administrative Leadership with a concentration in higher education. I love college and I want to help students grow, just as many has have helped me here. Knowledge and experience is power and I am so grateful to be part of this university.

Thank you Hillary! We are lucky to have you as a Real.Amazing. student at our university!
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