A Q&A with one of the 1,319 students who received a diploma May 4 at UW-Stout:
Name: Lucas Morgan
Major: Mechanical engineering, minor in mathematics and minor in materials science
Awards, honors: Scholar Athlete football, Co-op Student of the Year, Samuel E. Wood Medallion Award, Summa Cum Laude, Student Athlete Advisory Committee president, Stout Student Association senator
Why did you choose UW-Stout? I chose UW-Stout because of the major, affordability, location, environment and to play football. The decision was between Stout and Platteville, and boy am I glad I didn’t go there. If I had to do it again, I would choose Stout in a heartbeat.
What are the biggest obstacles you faced in earning your degree? Some of the biggest obstacles I faced were just juggling everything I was involved in while still doing well in each. Some specific challenges were my rigorous major; my senior capstone class, which included full documentation and building of a specific engineering project; three summer engineering internships; being a student-athlete; and blowing out my knee my sophomore year, which required two surgeries. After rehabilitation, I returned to football and tore my other ACL last fall.
What stands out among your college experiences? Football taught me a lot of great values and gave me some of the best memories and friends of my college career. The organizations I was able to participate in helped me to grow as a person, give back and prepare me for a professional environment. I also enjoyed many weekend festivities with great friends.
What’s next? I have already accepted a job with a company called Sonoco in their Global Plastics division. The plant I will be at is in Dekalb, Ill., and I will be moving there after graduation to start work in June as a manufacturing associate in their emerging leaders program. It’s about a two-year rotational and orientation period before moving up the ladder for qualified candidates right out of college. I met Sonoco recruiters at the 2018 Fall Career Fair, had an on-campus interview and then was flown out to corporate in Hartsville, S.C., for another interview before I received an offer.