Scholarship Recipients


Headshot of Karley Anderson


After graduation from my undergraduate at Parkside with a bachelor's in psychology and minor in Communication, I have accepted and am attending the schools wonderful CMHC program offered by Parkside as well. On my journey to becoming a Professional Counselor, I anticipate not only to become a well-educated advocate for mental health but placing my knowledge within a hospital, private practice, career counseling center, or even a school, the opportunities are endless. My passion to be a leader, helper, and scientist has been acquired throughout my undergraduate career and has placed me where I am today. 

My undergraduate career at Parkside gained me a lot of growth and connections throughout campus. I began helping in school through extracurriculars such as volunteer experiences for Parkside Day and events outside in the community. I have gained leadership through my roles in Psychology club as Vice President and Student Government Speaker of House. Realizations of wanting to proceed in psychology with a counseling degree stemmed from excelling in my psych classes and enjoying the Lab I worked on in Dr. Gregg’s EEG experiments. But best of all it was the people I connected with and have helped along my journey for me to see who I truly wanted to be. My favorite part of my undergrade journey was how much I got involved with other organizations and Greek Organizations through Student Government to throw big parties like the Carnival in Spring 2023 and also meeting with culturally diverse organizations and mental health orgs to help spread the word of events and meetings that were happening. We strived on creating a unity of students throughout the Organizations in the school. I will cherish these memories and lessons as I go forward in my next journey. 

Headshot of E Buono


After graduating from UW-Parkside, I plan to further my education by attending graduate school to pursue a PsyD in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. I am currently majoring in Psychology with minors in both Sociology and Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies. I am obtaining certificates in Child and Adolescent Development and Mental Health Skills. While attending UW-Parkside I have been a member of the Psychology Club and I’m excited to pursue opportunities in undergraduate research labs next semester. My education is very important to me, I have worked with children for the last five years and I am passionate about mental health awareness in children and teens. I am looking forward to having a positive impact on children’s lives in my future career.   

Headshot of A Chapeta


Hi, I’m Ashley Chapeta and I am pursuing an Applied Health Science degree with a concentration in Medical Lab Science. This will be my final year at Parkside. My future plans consist of beginning my clinical rotations in December at Froedtert South and completing my
bachelors degree in May. After graduation, I plan on becoming a generalist in the hospital setting and advancing my career by specializing in a particular lab department. My education has been incredibly important to me and has been the stepping stone to my success. My family is heavily involved in the healthcare industry and my education has allowed me to carry on the
privilege of helping others.
My early time at Parkside was during the COVID pandemic, and social distancing, online courses, my full-time education schedule coupled with my part-time job, and several family responsibilities caused enough schedule conflict to prevent my participation on campus as
much as I would have liked. However, I have enjoyed my time here at Parkside thoroughly and have fond memories. I have attended Cru events, participated in movie nights, and in the arts
and crafts events that Parkside holds. My favorite memory would have to be spending time with my friends in the library. Whether we were studying or just needed a break from the stress of the day and needed a laugh, it was always a precious time that was never wasted.
I am so thankful to have been chosen for this scholarship and will always appreciate and thank Parkside for what you have done for me

Headshot of A Conrad


My future plans are to graduate in three years with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Management and apply for a job in the realm of Golf Course Management as soon as I can following my graduation. I am still undecided, since I am in my second year of college, how I will use my fourth year of athletic eligibility. Currently, I would like to find a way where I can compete and further my career. 

My education has allowed me to excel at a higher level academically and experience new avenues that I wouldn’t have experienced anywhere else. Parkside has enabled me to compete athletically at a high level while also receiving a degree in a field that is very interesting and appealing to me. Not only has this motivated me to become the best version of myself, but I stand in confidence knowing that I chose my college path and made it my own. That is a privilege to be able to do, and I don’t take it for granted. 

The main extracurricular activity that I participate in at Parkside is competing at the Division II level in Men’s Golf. However, outside of athletics, I have been a part of the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and CRU since I arrived at Parkside, and being able to meet other Christ followers at UW-Parkside has brought joy to my life. 

My current favorite memory at Parkside was fighting for a Conference Title in Augusta, MI my freshman year. Being able to compete alongside the seniors on the team and my freshman roommate was an experience that I will never forget. However, I am hoping that there will be more memories to come that will bring even more joy to my college experience. 

Headshot of S Dominic

Simon Dominic

Future plans - Strength and conditioning coach and Athletic training  

My education has meant everything to me because it’s my way of repaying my mother back for all the sacrifices she’s made in getting me here. 

Most special thing I’ve done here at Parkside is traveled the road to compete with the track and field team. 

My favorite memory from Parkside was disco night basketball game. 

Headshot of B Gray


My name is Brandon Gray, and I am a senior in the Sustainable Management program at UW. I’m a transfer student with an Associate’s degree in graphic design, with close to 15 years of experience in the design and printing industry. I have a specific interest in waste reduction and the circular economy, and with my background knowledge in manufacturing the SMGT major was an obvious choice.   

Choosing Parkside for my education was directly inspired by the work my grandmother, Stella Gray, was able to accomplish during her tenure. She was formerly an English professor here at UWP and always stressed the benefits of education. Stella was always a kind and caring personality and was inspiring to the many students who attended her classes.  When she passed, she left large shoes to fill and this process has been my way of honoring her memory.  

While attending Parkside I have continued to find different volunteer projects, with a specific interest in Kenosha history and preservation. My favorite memories here will always be the conversations with those who encouraged me to chase my vision and passions– Dr. Brian Lewis and Professor Rita Kozak, among others. Without their encouragement my outlook would certainly be much different. It is because of this that I’m extremely thankful to the SMGT staff as well as the entire CNHS board. Thank you for believing in me. 

My future plans include additional volunteer work, and continued civil service in the city of Kenosha. My heart and passion are in the development and continued renewal of the Uptown area, and I hope to partner in some capacity with the efforts currently underway. There is much work to be done and I want to be a part of making our neighborhoods safe and with equal opportunity for everyone.  

Headshot B Greathouse


My dream is to work in sports, and it has been since I was a sophomore in high school. Now that I am a senior here at UW-Parkside I have realized this is definitely where I belong. For me this is where I found my why. I have always wanted to be able to work in something where I have a chance to be a part of something that is bigger than myself. Sport has provided me with just that! Through my education I have been able to fully enrich myself with the ideas and emotions that also come with sport. The best education I have ever been able to have has been my hands on learning. This has been able to be possibly through working with Parkside as well as traveling to London to work the Royal Windsor Triathlon! Currently my future plans after I graduate are to stay around the area and get a job in Milwaukee or Chicago and Parkside has given me a get location to be able to go out there and get this work accomplished! Throughout being able to be at Parkside I have really come to love the community that I have been able to become a part of! 

Headshot R Gregorek


Hello, my name is Rebekah Gregorek and I'm a Psychology major here at UW-Parkside, along with a minor in Economics. I plan to pursue a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology to have a career as a therapist. My education has helped me discover a subject I fell in love with as well as helping me determine a career that I'm passionate about. I've always enjoyed helping people become better versions of themselves one step at a time, and be someone they can turn to in times of hardship, and my education at Parkside is an essential step to achieving this desired career path.  

Throughout my time at Parkside, I've participated in a couple of CBL/volunteer projects involving food pantries as well as been an active member of the Psychology club and Active Minds. I plan to become more involved in the activities within the clubs I'm currently in through my junior and senior years which I'm eager to do. My favorite memories that I've made during my time at Parkside have been with my close friends that I've made here, whether it's collaborating in class or studying together outside of class. They make me excited to come to school every day, and I'm so grateful that I've met such amazing and unique people here. 

Headshot of C Halladay


My name is Clare Halladay and I am a sophomore at UW-Parkside majoring in Biological Sciences. I have always been drawn to the sciences and knew that I wanted to pursue a career somewhere in the field. From a young age, I had always wanted to be a veterinarian, and that has remained my goal as I entered Parkside for my secondary education. After graduation, I have the goal of pursuing veterinary school, and ideally completing an internship and residency to become a board-certified veterinary surgeon. Currently, I work at a veterinary urgent care in addition to my studies and fall more in love with the field every day.  

Education has always been a passion of mine. I think it is so important to always continue learning, and that is why Parkside has been such a great fit for me. The environment is always incredibly positive, and the education is second to none. This year I have joined both the new pre-veterinary club, as well as our section of Habitat for Humanity. Being involved in both of these groups has been very rewarding, educational, and fun, and has enriched my experience at Parkside immensely.  

One of my favorite memories from Parkside has been being a part of Albert Harris’ biology lab. He has such a passion for educating, as well as for the study of biology as a whole. Every class was very interactive, and he always went the extra mile to ensure his students thoroughly understood the material. He has remained a driving motivation to me throughout my courses ever since.  

I am very appreciative of this opportunity and am very excited to continue my education and involvement in such an important field. 


Headshot of N Meyer


My name is Natalie Meyer, and I am a Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics major with a minor in Psychology. I plan to keep my options open post-graduation. I have considered graduate school, but I am looking forward to entering the workforce and seeing what STEM career paths are available.
My education at Parkside has been a truly life changing experience for me. I have made some of the most valuable connections with other students who have now become my best friends, and my education has taught me just how resilient of a person I am. Succeeding in challenging biology, math, and chemistry courses has made me significantly more confident in my academic
and professional abilities.
During my time at Parkside, I have participated in ecological undergraduate research in conjunction with the Pollinator Patch Program, where we record bumblebee activity on the campus cross-country course. I am in my second year of this project, and have been honored to display our research findings at multiple events including the 2023 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), hosted in Eau Claire. This event was by far my favorite moment from my time at Parkside. Earning the opportunity to share my work alongside thousands of students from across the nation was incredible, and to be able to experience that with my UWP colleagues was something I will never forget!

Headshot of J Monroy


Growing up, my mother cemented the importance of education in my life. Being a student-athlete has made it more clear to me that my success is only as good as I want it to be. With great pride, I acknowledge that my education will set me up for success due to the efforts my family has made and my day-to-day persistence to learn. I am currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in kinesiology, and my hopeful future plans are to eventually move out of the state to Colorado to either work as a strength and conditioning coach at a university or as a physical therapist in the city of Denver. 

In addition to my academic experiences, I am currently a member of cross-country and track and field. This has become a big part of my life here in Kenosha. I've had the opportunity to travel to different states for competitive meets. My favorite memory from Parkside so far has been traveling to Colorado and having the privilege to race at the collegiate level for my first collegiate race ever. I've met a lot of great new coaches, teammates, and athletes who continue to make an impact in my life. 

Thank you again for providing me with the opportunity to continue my academic and athletic journey here at Parkside. It is an honor, and I am grateful.  

Headshot of M Peroutka


My name is Markie Peroutka.  I’m a senior pursuing a degree in Psychology with a concentration in Neuroscience. After graduation, I’ll be attending graduate school to earn a Master’s Degree in Pathology Assistance.    

In the fall of 2020, I entered my college experience without student activities or any of the Welcome to UW Parkside fanfare, a few students physically on campus, and online classes. I took this as an opportunity and began working in the PARC where I learned about the University by answering student questions as we were one of the few places in person during that time. As a member of the Student Advisory Board for the Gender and Sexualities Advocacy Center (GSAC) I was a student representative on the Search and Screen Committee (twice) for the current GSAC coordinator. In 2021, I was chosen as a Peer Health Educator and solely ran the program for 2 years. My internship at the Kenosha County Medical Examiner’s office and shadowing Pathologists in the Milwaukee area has been so helpful in confirming my career path. I was invited to guest lecture in a few Freshman Seminar classes on topics surrounding mental/physical health. Since 2020, I've been involved with a research study at the Animal Care Facility and co-presented at the WiSys Spark Symposium in Oshkosh. I also work at the Parkside Police Department as a Community Service Officer. Every opportunity afforded to me through professors, staff or my advisor, Dr. Lewis, has prepared me for Graduate school and life’s next steps. The support and willingness to help me achieve my life goals and career will forever be my fondest memory of UW Parkside. I feel prepared for the future and look forward to what is in store.  I humbly thank the College of Natural and Health Sciences for this scholarship. 

Headshot A Rayniak


My name is Angie Rayniak, and I am currently a Junior, studying Geoscience here at Parkside. For me, coming back to college to pursue a bachelor’s degree as an adult student was initially a bit intimidating, however, the time allowed me to realize what I wanted to do in life and what I didn’t. That realization solidified the path that I wanted to take towards pursuing my education and getting my degree in Geoscience. 

My intention for the future is to either move on to graduate school at UW Milwaukee, or work in the field as a professional geologist or hydrologist. In addition, I have always had a side-interest in documentary filmmaking and would love to use the knowledge acquired from my education here, to create films that help demystify environmental issues, and make complex topics easier to understand for a broad audience. 

While here at Parkside, I have had the opportunity to participate in many hands-on labs in the Geoscience department; from surveying the turbidity of the campus ponds, to wetland delineation, to calculating longshore drift along Lake Michigan. Also, this year, I have had the privilege of working as a Research Assistant for Dr. Li, in studying different carbonate minerals’ absorbency of anionic and cationic colored dyes from water. Seeing the results firsthand from the various experiments has truly been invaluable in my learning. 

In closing, my favorite thing about Parkside is the people. There are so many knowledgeable Professors that truly want you to succeed and want the best for you. The same goes for the students. It’s easy to say that the people here at Parkside really set the stage for success in many ways.  


Headshot of A Torres


I'm Alexander Torres, a senior at Parkside pursuing a Bio/Pre-med path. With a decade of experience in the healthcare field, I aim to deepen my impact on patients' lives by furthering my education in medicine. My goal is to attend medical school, acquire essential skills, and use them toward community betterment. Specifically, I would like to address healthcare disparities in underrepresented areas, ensuring that individuals there don't encounter the challenges I faced. For me, education is a powerful tool that enables me to understand my future profession and help the people around me. My meaningful experiences at Parkside would have to be the RUSCH program. This program not only exposed me to real-world work but also widened my perspective on our community, for which I'm immensely grateful. My favorite memory at Parkside will always be the days following finals and the long nights at the commons with all my friends, testing each other and supporting each other throughout our wonderful journey at Parkside.  

Headshot of D Wohler-Newell


I am currently a Junior at Parkside majoring in Chemistry with a Professional Chemistry focus. My future plans include obtaining my master’s degree and pursuing a PhD. My education has always been my number one priority and continuing my life in academia is my dream. When I came here my freshman year, I was undecided on my major. Within my first semester, I declared chemistry as my future. With inspiration from my amazing professors, I now wish to become a professor myself. Being in an environment where I will be able to teach others about my passion while I continue to learn is the future I am striving for. Without Parkside, I would never have realized this dream. 

Parkside is not only helping me establish my future academically, but socially as well. I have made great friends here and we have created a lot of memories that I hold fondly. For instance, my favorite memory I have here was in organic chemistry lab. While my friend and I were waiting for a reaction to reach completion, we played “chemistry hangman” and taught our professor how to play as well.  

Thank you Parkside and the CNHS for giving me this honor. I can’t wait to see what my future holds here! 


Astrid Levesque headshot

My first year at Parkside has brought me various valuable opportunities to further my educational journey, both through courses and hands-on experience. My courses have allowed me to further explore my interests and beyond that, I have been able to further my education through getting involved in clubs. Currently, I serve on the executive board for the Parkside Journal of Science and am a senator in Student Government. Additionally, I am a student government representative for the Parkside Asian organization and am conducting undergraduate research using rats and skinner boxes studying feeding behaviors. These experiences have had a great impact on my life and have been some of my favorite memories. One of the most memorable of which was getting together with a big group of friends from my general chemistry class and studying together in the study rooms in the commons. For the rest of my education at Parkside, I plan on continuing to engage in psychology research, clubs and participating in more research. After graduating I plan to attend medical school. 

bailey peterson headshot

My name is Bailey Peterson, and I am pursuing a degree in Applied Health Sciences with a concentration in medical laboratory science. My family has a strong background in the healthcare industry, so I've been immersed in science since before I can remember. From studying my sister's nursing textbooks in middle school, to assisting with procedures in an animal research laboratory in high school, I've always had a passion for the STEM field. I am looking forward to continuing to be a part of scientific research and the advancements that will come along with it.  

 My time on-campus has been fairly limited, as I have had few classes in person classes up until this point. I am looking forward to becoming more involved in extracurricular and on-campus activities this year. Next year, clinical rotations are going to be a valuable part of my educational path, and I anticipate this to be the highlight of my college experience.  

 Unexpectedly, my favorite memory at Parkside so far has been the tedious work I completed in my genetics laboratory last year. Here, I was able to advance my comprehension by learning a variety of techniques and processes including the genetic mapping of Tribolium castaneum, micro-pipetting, and operating electrophoresis machines. I am looking forward to creating new and lasting memories as I enter the last half of my undergraduate educational career.

cristian marquez headshot

Good Evening. My name is Cristian Marquez and I am a Physics major at UW-Parkside. My future plans are to enroll in UWM’s mechanical engineering program after I get my associates in Physics from Parkside. My dream job would be working for any company making an impact and helping society move forward. My education has meant a lot to me, it gives me hope that someday I will work a job I love and be passionate about.  

I'm currently participating in an Internship with Tecomet in Kenosha as a design intern. My favorite memory while being at Parkside was when I met my physics professor, Dr. Paul Mohazzabi. Never have I ever met someone with so much passion for teaching. Paul has made learning enjoyable instead of stressful. I will miss Parkside once I graduate but unfortunately, like all good things in life they must come to an end at some point! 

elise zevits headshot

I came to UW-Parkside to prepare for a career in medicine after obtaining my original undergraduate degree in history and working as a teacher abroad. My initial goal was simply to take the courses I would need for medical school, but coursework and research opportunities at Parkside have steered me in the direction of an MD-PhD program. While I am keeping my options open in terms of specialization, I hold a particular interest in endocrinology and type 1 diabetes research, as well as a desire to improve access to high-quality treatment options and patient education.  

I was initially nervous about returning to school and wondered whether I could handle the science coursework and I credit a few talented professors and inspiring mentors for guiding me along this path and equipping me with the skills to help me thrive here. From our very first conversation about returning to school for pre-medicine studies to ongoing MCAT prep sessions, I have also benefited tremendously from the guidance and enthusiastic support of Dr. Bryan Lewis.       

Among my favorite memories from Parkside so far was the opportunity to work alongside my faculty mentor in the Chemistry Department, Dr. Ilirian Dhimitruka, studying free radical compounds and their broader effects on human health. I look forward to continuing our research and contributing to building a deeper understanding of these unique compounds and their potential applications in the realm of human health and disease prevention.  

Another incredibly rewarding experience has been serving as a Supplemental Instruction leader for Organic Chemistry I helping students not only master the content but enjoy the learning process as well. This experience truly demonstrates the interconnected nature of teaching and research — something I wish to carry forward into my medical career.

hunter cheney headshot

Greetings, my name is Hunter Cheney. I am a senior majoring in chemistry with a minor in biological sciences. After graduating from Parkside, I aspire to attend graduate school and obtain my doctorate in chemistry. My hope after receiving my Ph.D. is to eventually become a professor. 

Before I started my undergraduate studies, I enlisted in the United States Army and I believe my time in service was required in order to full appreciate the true extent of academia. Parkside has afforded me the opportunity to grow academically, obtaining new knowledge and hard skills required for future endeavors, as well as enhancing my scientific inquiry process.  

At Parkside, I have worked as a supplemental instruction (SI) leader for organic chemistry, a chemistry tutor, and an assistSTEM mentor for the chemistry department. I hope the guidance, motivation, and support I have provided to students helped pave a clearer pathway as they work towards their respective future. 

My favorite memory/activity has been participating in research with Dr. Ilirian Dhimitruka. With his guidance, I aided with design and conducted experiments, analyzed data, and presented our findings. Dr. Dhimitruka is solely responsible for inspiring my new-found passion for research, for which I would never have received without my time here at Parkside. 

joel lee headshot

My future plans very broadly are to continue to help people wherever I go. The reason that I came to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside was because we have the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. I knew this was a program that would give me the ability to help people not only in my leisure time, but also in my professional life. This is why I value my education, because it allows me to do things professionally that I otherwise would not be able to do. While I love learning for the sake of it, I feel that if you do not apply what you have gained from education to the world around you then you are not honoring the privilege that has been given to you. I have had the pleasure of receiving an education here at Parkside and have done many special things within these walls. One particular thing that stands out in my mind is when my classmates and I partnered with the Parkside Library to hold a community conversation on microaggressions. We had great food, delicious drinks, and most importantly productive conversations about an issue that many of our students and faculty face in their everyday lives. While this is certainly a special thing that I have done at Parkside, I’d have to say that my favorite memories at Parkside are actually what might appear rather mundane to some people-sitting in class with my classmates and learning about topics that I am extremely passionate about from some of the best professors that I have ever had. Lastly, I would like to thank the College of Natural Health and Sciences for this considerable gift and recognition! 

julia jones headshot

After graduating from Parkside, I plan to continue my journey of lifelong learning by attending graduate school to pursue my Ph.D, and possibly become a professor one day. I chose to study physics with the intent of applying it to solutions for the environmental issues we will continue to face. However, I won’t be doing this right away. First, I will resume an ongoing, self-driven “sabbatical” that began before attending Parkside in 2017. Traveling and working around the world, specifically on farms or communities that emphasize sustainable, organic, and self-sufficient practices is something I am very passionate about. I look forward to incorporating what I learn into my future research/career.  

My focus throughout my education has primarily been on the sciences, but one of my favorite experiences here was traveling to China with Voices of Parkside through a choral exchange program. We performed several concerts with strangers that quickly turned into lifelong friends, and I will cherish memories from that summer forever. Majoring in physics with minors in biology and computer science, on top of being a Research Assistant for two years, my journey at Parkside has been long and arduous. I learned though, that sometimes when we feel buried, we have actually been planted! I am thankful for the foundation Parkside has provided for me to grow as a scientist, an artist, and a thriving human being with the ability to contribute to the higher good.  On top of all of the opportunities and knowledge I've gained in my years here, I am able to graduate this spring with virtually no student debt, which is a blessing I do not take for granted. Thank you Parkside and thank you CNHS for believing and investing in me. 

logan sivak headshot

My education has been a top priority for me ever since I started going to school and for as long as I can remember.  I have always had very high expectations for myself and have set challenging goals that I am striving to achieve.  I hope to take part in giving back to the community by helping others get back to doing daily activities. 

I am currently pursing an Applied Health Sciences major and my hopeful future plans are to eventually earn my master's degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I hope to one day work at Munster Community Hospital near my hometown in Indiana.   

In addition to my academic experiences, I am currently a member of the Parkside softball team both of which have provided wonderful opportunities and memories.   My favorite memory at Parkside was team bonding at the beach when we played flag football and capture the flag with softball.  I am very grateful that Parkside has given me amazing friends that have now become family. 

nick winter headshot

My education has been a cornerstone of my life. It has given me the chance to explore different pathways and learn more about myself as a person. Here at Parkside, my education has been no different as through my courses here, I have begun to understand what it means to truly learn. Besides my courses, my education has also been enhanced by getting involved in other activities. For instance, I am currently working as a Supplemental Instruction Leader, serving as the Treasurer for the Physics Club, and conducting research on bumblebees near campus. All of these experiences have had a big impact on my life and created various memorable moments. One of these moments was when I was studying with my peers for an upcoming exam. We had a lot of fun going over the anatomy of various organisms, but more importantly, we became a support group for each other. After attending Parkside, I plan to pursue a master’s degree, with a focus on Biological Sciences.  

Headshot of Ria Patel

My name Ria Patel, and I am currently a Junior at UW-Parkside majoring in Biology and minoring in Psychology. In the future, I plan on going to medical school and getting my Master’s in Public Health. I hope to become a physician who also works within the Public Health field by collaborating with community organizations.   

My education has allowed me to have the freedom to explore different subjects/ideas. My passion for science and medicine started as an area in my education where I wanted to expand my knowledge. I became fascinated by the subjects and realized that I wanted to pursue a career in medicine and public health. Additionally, my education played a critical role in allowing me to become more open-minded and think more creatively.   

While at Parkside, I have gotten to participate in many special activities. One that specifically stands out is going on a house build with UW-Parkside’s Habitat for Humanity. Being able to help build a house for people in my community is an experience that I will truly never forget.   

My favorite memory from Parkside has to be my long study sessions with my friends. Booking a study room, filling all the white boards with all our notes, and complaining about our test all night was not the most glamorous experience, however, there is nothing better than finally fully understanding the material and getting to show the professor what you know!   

samantha meyer headshot

After graduating with my bachelor’s degree in psychology over ten years ago, I decided it was time to pursue a master’s degree. My life took many exciting and unexpected twists and turns between the completion of my bachelor’s degree and my enrollment in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate program here at Parkside. During that time, I had many valuable experiences and life lessons that lead me to where I am today. I am grateful for the experiences I have had in my career, which helped reignite my passion for working in the mental health field. I am very thankful for my supervisors and colleagues with Racine County Crisis who encouraged and supported me in my decision to future my education.   

I have just started my second year and my education here at Parkside has already given me so much knowledge and insight into the field of counseling and mental health services. The content covered in courses has been informative, has benefited me in my current employment and has been instrumental in my personal and professional growth. I am excited to continue my education and work towards my goal of becoming a licensed professional counselor. I plan to continue to work in our local communities, as the need for mental health services continues to grow.   

Being a graduate student, my experiences on campus have been different than my undergraduate experience. The graduate program’s cohort model has allowed me to become close with my fellow classmates and develop strong relationships. I appreciate the sense of community this has brought to my educational experience here at Parkside. I am grateful for those relationships and am excited to see myself and my classmates grow into professionals in our field. I look forward to developing more lasting relationships with others, both here at Parkside and within our community.  

shelly diesz headshot

My education has always been my top priority since I was a little girl. I always try to learn as much as I can from my classes because I know in the future, I will be directly involved in helping people in need. After I graduate, I plan to attend graduate school with the intent of becoming an occupational therapist. My dream would be to work in an outpatient rehabilitation center where I can help patients return to their daily lives.  

While I have been at Parkside, there have been many activities that I have participated in. I am on the softball team here at Parkside and some of my best memories come from moments with my team. The one particular activity that holds the most special place in my heart is our first team bonding. That day was when I first really got to know my teammates and form friendships with them.  

One of my other favorite memories from Parkside is my softball team's Halloween practice. We were all allowed to dress up as whatever we wanted for this practice. A couple of my teammates and I decided to go as characters from different episodes of SpongeBob. Planning these costumes brought me closer to these people who are now some of my closest friends. 

vanessa reynoso headshot

I would like to thank you for choosing me as a candidate for the scholarship sponsored by the College and the CNHS Advisory Board for this year. I am a first-generation Latina student interested in becoming a neurosurgeon. My plan after receiving my bachelor’s degree is to attend a Medical School program to further my education. Education to me means a key to opening doors for a better future, while also expanding my knowledge and helping me gain new skills to become not only a student but a learner. Education is a powerful skill no one can take away from you.  

My parents come from Guadalajara, Mexico where it is extremely hard to get a good education. I truly appreciate my parents for their hard work so I will always strive for my education. At Parkside I feel at home. Parkside has helped me out a lot in my career but one special event that I have participated in that has impacted me a lot is the Multicultural Leadership Retreat. This experience was very introspective for me because it helped me think critically about who I am as a leader. Another memory I will never forget is when one of my professors Dr. Penny Lyter invited me to brunch for Easter; not only did Dr. Lyter made me feel certain that I can achieve my goal, but she is a great positive role model who inspires me to be great.  

Once again, thank you.  


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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