Graduate Q&A: Javante Watson-Hall

By University Communications
May 16, 2017
Graduate Q&A: Javante Watson-Hall

Photo: Javante Watson-Hall

Following is a Q&A with one of the 1,375 students who received a diploma May 6 at UW-Stout.

Name: Javante Watson-Hall
Hometown: Milwaukee
Major: Human development and family studies, with a concentration in international relations

Awards, honors: 
Boys & Girls Club Stein Scholars and Sponsor-A-Scholar, Ruth E. Westfall Scholarship, Dietrich and Elisabeth Thompson Ethnic Minority Scholarship, Lawton Retention Grant, Honors College, McNair Scholars Program, CEHHS Outstanding Student of the Year 2017, Samuel E. Wood Medallion recipient 2017.

Why did you choose UW-Stout? I originally started at Stout for the hospitality major because I had heard it was a great program by my high school counselor. I checked out more about the school and decided to apply. When I was accepted and started my coursework, I began to realize I didn’t want to work in hospitality after having some serious experiences in the field. Then my heart led me to the HDFS program, starting the second semester of freshman year. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

What are the biggest challenges you faced in earning your degree? It was earning my degree while trying to stay connected and grounded on campus because the student of color percentage was and still is very small. Stout is welcoming and has a lot of great resources on campus that do help students strive for greatness, but as far as seeing students that looked like me and more students on campus it wasn’t there for me. I was part of this living and learning community through the Multicultural Students Services office called Stoutward Bound, where there were other students of color facing the same struggles I was. I had a lot of these wonderful people throughout my time at Stout help keep me grounded and fill any voids of loneliness because they became my family away from home.

What stands out among your college experiences My growth in social skills, personality and involvement have changed tremendously. I honestly can’t recognize who I used to be when I first got to Stout because I have grown so much mental and physically. I was so shy and timid that I had the hardest time interacting with people; it was frightening for me. By coming to Stout and going to Stoutward, it helped jump start my growth in a positive way. I would like to give a huge thanks to Multicultural Student Services current and previous staff because they were the first group that helped start me on my journey to success and have all contributed in numerous ways to my growth. Thank you!

What’s next? I have been offered a full-time position with AmeriCorps Milwaukee and secured my seat for graduate school in fall 2018. I will be working in Milwaukee for a year working with first-year and ongoing students in college. After I complete my full term with AmeriCorps, I will be moving to Vermont to attend the School for International Training Graduate School to pursue my master’s in international education.