Hometown: Miami, FL
Not every Stout student calls the Midwest home. For junior Charlo Siprien, who was born and raised in Miami, a simple suggestion turned into a complete change of lifestyle.
“I was looking to get out of Florida,” said Siprien, who is majoring in Applied Science with an emphasis in material and nanoscience. “My high school engineering teacher went to Stout and suggested it to me.”
With that, he came to Stout and experienced a very different life here in Wisconsin.
“The people here are a lot more friendly,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s just a small town thing, but people hold the doors for you and strangers will say hi as they walk by you on the streets. Those kinds of things don’t happen in Miami.”
Siprien immediately became involved on campus, meeting friends through clubs and organizations including Material Research Society, Habitat for Humanity, Ally Initiative, and University Housing. For other students who may be coming to Stout from outside of the Midwest, he says staying involved on campus is critical.
“You should definitely talk to your professors more as well,” said Siprien. “They’re people too and they’re willing to help you with that transition more than you realize.”
Hometown: Glenwood City, WI
There’s nothing unusual about choosing to go to a university 30 minutes from home, but for fifth year senior Travis Johnson of Glenwood City, it was a decision that almost didn’t happen.
“In high school I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to go to college because I was just so sick of school,” Johnson said.
That changed when a new business teacher came to his high school and had him enter a schoolwide marketing contest. After winning first place, Johnson found a new career interest: business.
Today Johnson works as an inside sales intern with PowerTech Group in Eau Claire where he will also be working full-time when he graduates in December. While that in itself made Stout a good decision, Johnson knows the college experience was worth much more than just the job he landed.
“Having the freedom and meeting a lot of new and different people, it’s an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything.”
Hometown: Monsineee, WI
Visiting Disney World is on many people’s bucket lists. For junior Ashley Priebe, working there is something she can cross off hers.
Priebe, an Entertainment Design major, always wanted to work at Disney and chose Stout because of the way they help students find internships that other universities might not find. As it turns out, everything worked out perfectly.
“I actually found my internship while walking around outside,” said Priebe. “I saw some stuff about a Disney internship written in chalk on the sidewalk, and I checked out the website and got it.”
With that, Priebe moved to Orlando, FL for a few months as a merchandise cast member at Disney World, which meant she had plenty of time to explore the magical kingdom that had been calling her name since she was a child.
Since returning home last summer, Priebe now knows for sure that working with Disney is something she wants to do after graduation.
“If I decided to go to a different school, I doubt I would have ever found that internship,” she said. “I know coming here was the right decision.”
Hometown: Eau Claire, WI
You know you have it set when your biggest hobby aligns with your major. That’s the case with UW-Stout sophomore Cody Runge.
Runge, a Health Wellness and Fitness major, is a huge fitness fanatic. He can be found any afternoon in the fitness center on campus, often helping train his friends.
“I started working out a couple years ago and found out I really like fitness,” he said. “Whether it’s helping out my friends in the gym or working with kids at youth football games back in high school, I realized this is the career field I want to be in.”
After coming to Stout, Runge was ecstatic to find a peer group that shared his interests.
“I’ve really enjoyed the camaraderie here,” he said. “My freshman year I was on a wellness floor and because we shared that common interest, we’ve been able to make those friendships last.”