The Student Experience

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Freshman Experience


Jordan Anderson

anderson_jordan_1Year expected to graduate: 2012

Hometown: Clayton, Wisconsin

Major, Minor: Early Childhood Education and a minor in coaching.

What are your extracurricular interests?
My extracurricular hobbies are playing sports and watching them. My favorites are baseball, football and basketball. I also collect football, baseball, and basketball cards. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends as well.

Why did you choose Stout?
I chose Stout because it is close to home and it has one of the best Early Childhood Education programs around. I also like the city of Menomonie. I feel like I am at home.

Why did you choose ECE?
I chose ECE because I enjoy working with children and I want to make a difference in a child’s life. I also want to guide them in the right direction.

What do you like best about Stout?
I like the small town atmosphere. It is just like at home. I also like the small campus because it doesn’t take long to get to each class. The people are also very friendly here and that is a big plus.

What is your favorite class and why?
My favorite class right now is DAP: Infants and Toddlers. This is my favorite class because the instructors are great and I enjoy going to lab every Friday to work with the children. It teaches me a lot of the things I will need to know leading up to my work experience.

What has been your most memorable experience so far?
Making the football team was memorable and also making it to second semester is good too.

Who is your favorite professor?
My favorite professors are Kari Merritt and Jamie Lynch. They are great at explaining things and they have such a passion for what they do and teach. It rubs off on the students as well. It is a big plus having them to look up to in this major.

How was your transition from high school to Stout?
My transition was tough right away. I was not used to being away from home and the classes were much different than in high school. The classes at my high school weren’t as challenging but about half way through the first semester I settled in nicely.

What do you like most about Menomonie?
I like the small town atmosphere. I also like the campus because it is close together, you don’t have to walk very far to get from one class to the next. I have been to Menomonie hundreds of times in my life and I just like the city. It’s got just enough stuff to do to keep you busy.

Larissa Rittenberry

Hometown: Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin

Major, Minor, and Certifications: Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Special Education Certification, (possibly sign language certification)

What are your extracurricular interests?
I volunteer at Wakanda Elementary as a mentor, work as an Assistant Teacher at CFSC, America Reads, and I teach club activities at River Heights Elementary.

Why did you choose Stout?
I decided to go to Stout, because I knew that I wanted to go into Early Childhood Education and I knew that they had a great program. I am the third generation to go through Stout and the ECE program, both my grandfather and mother are wonderful teachers, and if I get the education they did, I believe I will also have the chance to have a great career as a teacher.

Why did you choose ECE?
I truly enjoy working with children and it is my dream to become a 4-K Teacher.

What do you like best about Stout?
I enjoy the dorm life and the ECE classes.

What do you do for fun on the weekends?
I spend time with my friends and participate in dorm activities.

What is your favorite class and why?
My favorite class this semester is MUSIC 206 – Music for the Young Child, because we get to work with children and learn new activities to incorporate into lessons.

What has been your favorite memory at Stout?
My favorite Stout memories are the ones I make with the girls on my dorm floor!

How was your transition from high school to Stout?
It was rough at first, I didn't enjoy Stout my first semester, but now that I have involved myself into the Stout community more and have found my spot I now am enjoying it more.

What do you like most about Menomonie?
It reminds me of my home town and gives me a family feel.

Sophomore Experience


Stephanie Stuckmann

Year expected to graduate: Winter 2010

Hometown: Howards Grove, Wisconsin

Major, Minor: Early Childhood Education, with the Early Childhood Special Education Certification.

What are your extracurricular interests?
I love to play volleyball, I am on the club team at Stout. Also playing intramurals, working at the Health and Fitness Center, Student WEA, and hanging out with my friends.

What do you like best about Stout?
I love the atmosphere, especially the hands-on experience I get in the classroom! The small class sizes are also very nice; the professors are really able to get to know their students and they go above and beyond to help.

What do you do for fun on the weekends?
I usually spend my weekends catching up on homework and working at the Health and Fitness Center. Often times on the weekends I also have volleyball tournaments. It's also nice on the weekends to just relax from the hectic week.

What has been your favorite memory at Stout?
My favorite memory I've made at Stout would have to be all the relationships that I've made throughout the past three years. I've met a lot of great, influential people.

What has been your most memorable experience so far?
My most memorable experience so far is definitely my study abroad experience in Scotland and Ireland. This was without a doubt one of the greatest times of my life, I learned so much and got to experience things I never though I would experience!

Who is your favorite professor?
My two favorite professors are Kari Merrit and Alec Kirby. I've had great experiences with both of these professors and they go above and beyond. I had a class with professor Kirby my freshman year first semester, two and a half years later I had another class with him, and he still remembered who I was and my name. I was very impressed!

How was your transition from high school to Stout?
Surprisingly much easier than I anticipated. I was a little unsure how I would be the first few weeks would go being so far from home and taking college courses. I had quite a smooth adjustment and I think I was very well prepared.

What do you like most about Menomonie?
It's a small town much similar to the one I grew up in and I feel safe here.

Jenna Erickson

erickson_jenna_1Year expected to graduate: Spring 2011 

Hometown: Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota

Major, Minor, and Certifications: Early Childhood Education, Spanish Minor

What are your extracurricular interests?
Riding my horses, rescuing animals, nannying, wedding planning, shopping, traveling

Why did you choose Stout?
Small campus, rented books, laptops, and I was told by a professor at the University of Minnesota that Stout is the best school for ECE in the midwest.

Why did you choose ECE?
I've always been involved with children, my mom had a daycare in our home. I also come from a family of teachers. I knew at a very young age that I wanted to be a Kindergarten teacher.

What do you like best about Stout?
Every teacher you have knows you by name by the time the semester ends and they really seem to care about each individual person. I love that it's a small and has a personable atmosphere.

What do you do for fun on the weekends?
Go out downtown with friends, take my dog to the dog park, watch the TV show Friends, go to movies.

What is your favorite class and why?
My favorite subjects are Music and Spanish. I really liked Music for the Young Child and I learn more and more every day in my Spanish classes.

What has been your most memorable experience so far?
I love working in the Toddler One room! I have never thought of myself teaching such young children but I really enjoy watching them explore and learn.

Who is your favorite professor?
It's a tie between Kari Merritt, Ruth Hofland, and Jim Kiesow. They are all amazing at what they do, they make class fun, and they honestly care about every one of their students.

How was your transition from high school to Stout?
I've always been really independent so I was very ready to move out on my own. I loved the independence and my roommate and I got along really well also so that was a huge plus!

What do you like most about Menomonie?
I'm a city girl so I'm not quite use to this small town living. I'm not too crazy about Menomonie but I like how everything is open later than usual since it's a college town.

Junior Experience


Mollie Erdman

erdman_mollie_1Year expected to graduate: Spring 2010

Hometown: Cumberland, Wisconsin

Major: Early Childhood Education

Why did you choose Stout?
I’m a transfer student, and when I started looking for a place to transfer to, Stout seemed to be the easiest and best fit campus that I had looked at. Once I was here, I was sure that it was a perfect fit for me. This campus offers some many opportunities and things to do, on top of having great teachers and staff working here.

Why did you choose ECE?
Early Childhood Education has been something that I have always wanted to do. Being a teacher is not a job that will not make you rich with money, but fills your heart with joy every day. Watching children grow and learn is an amazing thing to be a part of it, and Stout really fosters a ton of opportunities to work hands on with children and experience a lot of things in a great learning environment. 

What do you like best about Stout?
There are so many things, but I think that first thing that come to mind is that Stout offers the opportunity to work with children right on campus, and in a primary environment. Getting right in and teaching lesson and being with children is the reason that I’m here and they let me do that with great supervision and direction.

What has been your most memorable experience so far?
I would say working with the children on campus at the Child Family Study Center. This is such a great experience to meet these children and get to work with them every week. I feel like having this onsite center, is a so amazing, because it gives me the opportunity to explore teaching children right here on campus.

Who is your favorite professor?
Professor Molly Deal-Welch teaches Psychology, she is so knowledgeable in her area and is understanding, and she really gets you involved in the class. Kari Merritt — She teaches a few different classes, but she is also so knowledgeable about children and how things work in the real world. Jill Klefstad — She teaches some of the core classes that are very important in the ECE major. She is a very good at giving accurate feedback, and she is very knowledgeable because she has worked as a kindergarten teacher, so she speaks from experience.

What do you like most about Menomonie?
Menomonie offers some really great things to do, but you have to look for them. I really enjoy being outside, so I like to bike, rollerblade, and just take walks around the lake. Menomonie has things like a movie theater, bowling alley, roller rink, and Stout always seems to have some kind of free entertainment happening.

Senior Experience


Lindsey Gerber

gerber_lindsey_1Year expected to graduate: 2009

Hometown: Exeland, Wisconsin

Major: Early Childhood Education

What are your extracurricular interests?
I have been a member of the UW-Stout Women’s Basketball team for the last three years.  It has been one of the most fun and rewarding experiences of my life thus far. I learned so many skills that I can incorporate into the classroom. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be part of such a wonderful team.   

Why did you choose Stout?
I chose to attend UW-Stout after spending my first collegiate year at UW-Whitewater. I chose to transfer to UW-Stout because it was close to home and my family and I was very interested in education. I knew of the great reputation that UW-Stout had for education and job placement rate. 

Why did you choose ECE?
I chose to major in Early Childhood Education because I have always been interested in education and working with children. I enjoy spending time with young children and find a great deal of joy in the experiences I share with them.

What do you like best about Stout?
I love the opportunities and experiences that the Early Childhood Education major has to offer.  I also really like the teachers that I have worked with at UW-Stout. There is a real community feel within campus and I really appreciate the community of learners that UW-Stout tries to build and maintain.

What do you do for fun on the weekends?
Most weekends during the year I am playing basketball. The weekends that I am not playing basketball I am home visiting my family or spending time with my friends in Menomonie. We play racquetball, tennis, basketball. UW-Stout offers a wide variety of opportunities for different interests.

What is your favorite class and why?
My favorite classes have been the curriculum classes because they have really introduced me to the true content of teaching. I have developed lesson plans and tools, implemented lesson plans and worked with young children in many different schools. These classes have prepared me for the future and I feel more confident because of them. 

What has been your favorite memory at Stout?
My favorite memory has been playing on the women’s basketball team and spending time with all of my friends.  I also have really enjoyed getting to know the people in my major and working with them in class.

What has been your most memorable experience so far?
My most memorable experience has been the time that I have spent in elementary schools.  I have had the opportunity to get to know so many different teachers and students. It has been a great experience for me. I have also really enjoyed being a part of the women’s basketball team and all the time that I have been able to spend with my friends.

Who is your favorite professor?
I have loved all of my professors.  I think that my favorite professor was my general psychology professor, Molly Welch-Deal. She is very upbeat and full of energy. She loves teaching and I really enjoyed her teaching style. She made it fun to learn.

How was your transition from high school to Stout?
I transferred to UW-Stout from UW-Whitewater after my freshman year of college. It was a smooth transition and I am so glad that I made the decision to transfer.  Not only do I feel more comfortable being closer to home, but I love the school and the opportunities that it presents both personally and professionally.

What do you like most about Menomonie?
I really like the community feel that Menomonie has. It is not too big and not too small. I like the amenities that it offers and the closeness to Eau Claire and the cities and their amenities.