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Scholarship Recipients

2021

Travis Bonczkowski Headshot

Continuing my education has been a goal for many years. I’ve worked many labor-intensive jobs in warehouses and factories but never gave up on the dream of finishing my education. I always knew I wanted a career in the biological sciences, but it was only until the beginning of the current pandemic when I realized I needed to focus on making a difference.

I had an environmental science teacher in high school tell me that knowledge was only good as long as you used it for something. So, with that in mind, I plan on eventually enrolling in an MD/PHD program immediately after my time at Parkside. I hope to be doing medical research in the fields of virology, immunology, or medical biochemistry years from now.

My first year at Parkside was all online so this is my first year on campus. While it might not seem like much, the first time I stepped into my organic chemistry lecture hall, it finally felt like I was moving forward on that dream I had all those years ago.    

Anna Bowman Headshot

After finishing my education, my current plan for the future is to work at a natural history museum as a curator. I enjoy working with collections and sharing my knowledge with others, so this career seems like it would be a comfortable fit for me.

Studying geosciences at Parkside has allowed me to gain a deep understanding of the Earth, from its creation to now, and even its possible futures, while acquiring valuable skills to effectively apply my knowledge, whether in a classroom setting or not.

Though my experiences have been limited by the pandemic, I was able to participate in a few geology labs outside of the laboratory setting such as walking down to the Pike River to measure its discharge and setting marbles in the Lake Michigan shore to calculate littoral drift. In fact, they make up some of my favorite memories so far at Parkside. I remember that on the day we went to the lake, before we collected our data, me and my classmates all searched for any interesting rocks to take home as little souvenirs, as any geosciences student would do. Seeing all of my classmates’ pockets full of rocks made me feel right at home.

Rachael Hall Headshot

My education has meant the world to me. Taking a few years off before starting college has shifted my perspective on learning. I missed the classroom, and I missed structured learning. Learning is one of my favorite things to do, and I am so happy to have the opportunity to study at Parkside. Although most of my classes have been online, I am so grateful to my professors for trying to make lasting connections through a screen. I have not had the typical college experience, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I am passionate about the therapeutic relationship and how therapy can bring healing to individuals. I have also really enjoyed learning about attachment theory. I am pursuing a degree in psychology and working towards a mental health skills certificate and a professional writing and communication certificate. After graduating from Parkside, I plan to attend graduate school for counseling psychology. My hope is to eventually become a licensed therapist. 

Being a part of student organizations has enriched my college experience. I have really enjoyed being a part of Straylight Literary magazine throughout my time at Parkside. Working with authors to help publish their work has been really rewarding. Throughout the pandemic, Straylight met virtually. One of my favorite memories at Parkside was meeting my team in person and being able to have what started as virtual relationships translate into in person connections.

Molly McBride Headshot

I am pursuing the pre-medicine program and a psychology major at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. After graduation, I aspire to attend medical school and eventually work as a rural physician. I grew up in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, where Dr. Thomas Wood, a physician at Reedsburg Area Medical Center and a UW-Parkside board member, introduced me to the university during my junior year of high school. After meeting with Dr. Bryan Lewis and visiting the beautiful campus, I knew that Parkside was the college I hoped to attend.

Today, I am grateful for my educational experience at UW-Parkside. It has provided me with a clear path toward medical school, helped me develop knowledge and skills in preparation for my future career, and allowed me to meet wonderful students and professors.

While at UW-Parkside, I have worked as a supplemental instruction leader for biology and as a biology and chemistry tutor. For supplemental instruction sessions, I planned activities involving course material and met weekly with a group of students. My transition to drop-in tutoring posed a new challenge as I was unsure which subjects and problems students would request help with. Students asked about a range of topics, from general chemistry lab techniques to organic chemistry reactions, and we worked as a team to improve their understanding. I enjoyed supporting my classmates as they enhanced their understanding of concepts throughout the semester.

During my time away from campus, I often return to my hometown to volunteer in the local hospital and surrounding community. As I progress through my third year at the college, I reflect on my favorite memories of interacting with the friends and faculty members I have met, and I look forward to continuing my studies this semester.

Hillary Piskun Headshot

My future plans include continuing with my education after I have completed my bachelor's degree here at UWP, with pursuing a master's degree. I also plan to seek out a management position using my skills in the Health Information Management setting.

To me my education means opportunity. It means an opportunity to better myself, the opportunity to better those around me, and the opportunity to build a better life for my family. 

My favorite memory at Parkside has been the excellent communication between the faculty, staff, and myself. There are so many staff members in each department that are always willing to help and provide assistance when needed. I always feel welcome and supported here.

Leah Poulos headshot

When I transferred to UW-Parkside as a Sophomore in the Spring of 2018, I was nervous about my ability to do well academically and develop strong connections with peers and faculty. However, these fears disappeared immediately after courses began; my professors were all highly committed to student success and easy to engage with, and I quickly made friends with many of my classmates. Receiving an education from UW-Parkside has enabled me to thrive both in and of the classroom and I am incredibly grateful for each of the amazing opportunities I have had while attending.

My favorite activity has been participating in research with Dr. Francis Mann and Dr. Fabian Preuss. With their help, I designed and ran experiments, analyzed the data from them, and then presented my findings at the local, regional, and national levels. While gaining these relevant, meaningful laboratory experiences, I was able to see firsthand how scientific advancements are translated from the benchtop to the bedside and discover my passion for research.

My ultimate career goal is to become a physician-scientist. In addition to serving disadvantaged populations and working to decrease gaps in health equity, I intend to conduct research that elucidates the cellular mechanisms underlying diseases that afflict my patients and discovers innovative, cost-effective solutions.

Emilija Stankovic Headshot

Hello, my name is Emilija. I am a senior in the pre-physical therapy program, majoring in Applied Health Sciences as well as a double minor in Exercise Science and Health Communications. I plan to pursue my doctorate in Physical Therapy and am currently in the admissions process for the upcoming term.

I am grateful for all the opportunities I have had during my undergraduate career here at Parkside. As a first-generation college student, Parkside has helped guide me through the college experience with a plentiful number of academic resources. As I continue my education, I continue to appreciate the skills that I have learned and the people that have created an impact on my life. My advisor, Kim Armstrong, has helped me through every obstacle that I have ran into and continues to be a resource for me as I apply to graduate school.

While at Parkside, I have been a member of Pre-Health club where I was able to meet peers that are interested in the same field as me and look to them for guidance. This club has provided me with volunteer opportunities, internships, and insight from healthcare professionals that have helped put me on the right path towards my future career.

My favorite memory from Parkside is being involved in a community-based learning project for my communications class. My classmate and I used this opportunity to create a podcast about vaccine hesitancy and distributed it to Parkside students. It felt good knowing that the platform we created helped make Parkside a safer environment. I look forward to making a difference in my community as I move forward with graduate school and am grateful to Parkside for ensuring that I am ready.

Hannah Tangen Headshot

My name is Hannah Tangen and I am a senior, majoring in chemistry with a concentration in professional chemistry. I am also pursuing a green chemistry certification. During my time at Parkside, my education has grown to mean several things to me which include independence, responsibility, excellence, and future opportunities.

An opportunity that I had at Parkside that has made an impact in my life was the opportunity to work with Dr. Allen in the Natural Products lab, SC Johnson Integrated Science Lab, and in her research lab. Some of the projects I have participated in included cannabinoid analysis of Industrial Hemp samples by LC-PDA, Chromium (VI) analysis in water and beverages using IC-ICPMS, and the analysis of cations and anions in surface water samples with IC using a conductivity detector.  The past projects that I have participated in have helped my future plans by solidifying the feeling I have been having that after graduation I would like to get a job working with chemical instrumentation.

Lastly, being at Parkside has made several lasting memories which include helping build the set of Urinetown: The Musical for Behind the Scenes and producing pure Lidocaine in Advance Organic Chemistry Lab.  My favorite memory from Parkside is when my friend and I went to a craft event that was being held in The Den the second week of our first semester at Parkside. We both made dreamcatchers, but what made that event meaningful was the people who were there, running the event and making other dreamcatchers with us who were extremely nice and welcoming. My friend and I did not know anyone at Parkside besides each other, but meeting such pleasant students made the transition to Parkside easier and I have made lifelong friends from being at Parkside.

Headshot of Tyler Thompson

I am incredibly grateful for the education I am receiving through UW-Parkside. My education has helped me gain confidence in myself as a student and feel hopeful for a promising career in the future. The most difficult decision I’ve faced as a student has been trying to determine what I enjoy learning about the most. I finally chose to major in Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics with minors in Math, Chemistry, and Computer Science. Over the summer, I was able to gain experience doing research at the Medical College of Wisconsin through the SPUR program. Without the guidance and advocacy of professors from UW-Parkside, I never would have known to apply and ultimately be selected to participate in that program. Pursuing further study and research as part of a graduate program, such as through MCW, is one of the options I may pursue once I graduate from UW-Parkside. I am also looking into graduate programs for Computer Science which would complement the Bioinformatics portion of my major.

I feel very fortunate to have made the choice to attend UW-Parkside as a sophomore two years ago. I have had nothing but positive experiences here at Parkside. The professors are outstanding! They are very approachable and always willing to help. They make an extra effort to make personal connections with their students too. One of my favorite memories from UW-Parkside was when my Chemistry professor had me go up to the front of the class to shake his hand after I did well on an exam. I’m looking forward to my senior year as I begin working as a tutor for Math, Chemistry, and Biology in the Parkside Academic Resource Center. I’m also excited to have the opportunity to conduct more research in a lab throughout my final year.

Headshot of Jessica Topp

Getting a college education empowers me to be an asset to society and will enable me to pull my family out of poverty while working in a rewarding field. Having gone from being a troubled teen that almost dropped out of high school to someone who values education, I now realize that the sky is the limit. The love and support I continuously receive from friends, family, and UW-Parkside has been paramount to my perseverance and success.

Post-secondary education has opened many doors of opportunity that I never could have imagined. Since I transferred to UW-Parkside, I have been graced with several opportunities that have allowed me to apply what I am learning in the classroom. One of these projects is water quality monitoring for the Pike River, which involves gathering data and collecting water samples for testing. I have also been working with Kenosha County Parks on a restoration project for Petrifying Springs Park. This internship has helped me develop technical writing skills and social skills for natural resource management.

When I complete my B.S. in environmental biology, I plan to work as an environmental scientist with a focus on water resources. My unique background in both electrical engineering and environmental science will allow me to tackle environmental issues in a variety of ways, whether it be assembling control panels for water treatment systems, restoring wetlands, or improving renewable energy technology.

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