A Q&A with one of the 750 students who received a diploma Dec. 14 at UW-Stout:
Name: Jerica Hall
Hometown: Wisconsin Rapids
Major: Mechanical engineering
Awards, honors: Previous bachelor’s in athletic training from UW-Eau Claire
Why did you choose UW-Stout? In fall 2015 I started out as an intern athletic trainer with UW-Stout. During that year I realized I needed to build things. I played with the idea of being an architect, but I still wanted to use my human anatomy background. I wanted to build prosthetics, so I decided to be an engineer. I choose Stout because my husband has just started to go to Stout for mechanical engineering, my older brother graduated from Stout in manufacturing engineering, and my younger brother was just finishing his supply chain degree. Going to Stout was then an easy choice. I would still get to be with my husband every day, and being a Blue Devil seemed to run in the family.
What are the biggest obstacles you faced in earning your degree? I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety just before I started this degree program. Managing and maintaining my mental health was the hardest obstacle. It turns out school isn’t very good for my mental health because I don’t feel like I leave school when I go home. There are still assignments and group projects that need finishing. Through med management and UW-Stout counseling, I have been able to graduate with some sanity!
What stands out among your college experiences? My final capstone project. My group and I have spent more than 1,000 hours on this project, and we have built so much camaraderie from this learning experience. From all the late nights and inside jokes, I want to thank them for all the fun I’ve had and express how much I appreciate them and all of their hard work!
What’s next? I will be moving to the Twin Cities to live with my husband and our puppy. My plan is to have a manufacturing job soon.