Following is a Q&A with one of the 1,379 students who received a diploma May 5 at UW-Stout.
Name: Eric Kuhn
Major: Cross-media graphic communications
Awards, honors: University Recreation Senior Service Award, 2017 Co-op Student of the Year recipient, Summa Cum Laude
Why did you choose UW-Stout? Around my teenage years, I really began to develop a passion for photography and videography within my action sports hobbies. In high school, I took graphics courses as my electives. I was able to use software to manipulate the photos I was taking and produce a wide variety of printed materials. The hands-on learning, I received, paired with the ability to express my creativity and a great instructor who just so happened to be a UW-Stout graduate led me here. I got accepted into the program before even touring the campus. Who would have known that four years later this little, unknown community would have changed my life in such an unforgettable way?
What are the biggest obstacles you faced in earning your degree? It’s just being able to push past all the distractions. Juggling schoolwork and a job, all while being directly surrounded by your best friends who might not have the same workload as you. Well, you can see what kinds of problems might occur. I was able to push past the craziness and remain focused. College brings together students with all types of backgrounds, experiences and skill sets. Being able to collaborate with your peers and understand the diversity of strengths can be challenging. Just being willing to step outside your comfort zone, meet new people and forge your own path can be so rewarding.
What stands out among your college experiences? Hands down the biggest thing was the impact this community of students has had on me. Going back to the fact that I just showed up here, no expectations, no best friends from high school and ending up becoming so attached to the campus and people I’ve met here is just crazy to say. My experiences with University Recreation and fellow peers in my program will remain with me for the rest of my life. This community truly provided a platform for me to prosper and chase my dreams.
What’s next? I was fortunate enough to have opportunities knocking at my door, which really came down to me deciding what the best fit would be. My girlfriend, who I met the second day of school at the Backyard Bash freshman year, and I will be moving to Des Moines, Iowa, where I accepted a sales position with Mittera, a multimedia communications company. Though this next step frightens me, and I’ll miss the life of being a student, I’m ready to continue building my story and chasing my dreams.