Incoming freshmen preparing for fall semester

By University Communications
May 30, 2014
Ray Rivera, center, talks with an incoming freshman.

Photo: Ray Rivera, center, talks with an incoming freshman.

The spring semester just wrapped up last week, but the fall semester at University of Wisconsin-Stout already is on the minds of some students.

More than 250 high school seniors were on campus Tuesday and Wednesday, May 20-21, for the first two days of First-year Registration and Orientation for incoming freshmen.

Other orientation sessions will be held Thursday, May 22, along with June 3-6, June 17-20 and Aug. 15.

The sessions are for students who already have committed to UW-Stout. Registration remains open for new students and for upcoming orientation sessions. Contact the Advisement Center at 715-232-1465 to sign up for a registration date or for more information.

Britta Miller, orientation coordinator for the Dean of Students Office, said it's a big day for students and family members. "Students are excited to be here, and some are nervous. For some of them, it's their first time on campus," Miller said.

It was a long day for Sean Griswold, of Slinger in southeastern Wisconsin. He and his mother woke up at 3:30 a.m. to make the long drive to Menomonie.

Griswold had been to campus previously, but he was looking forward to meeting his adviser for his major, cross-media graphics management, and learning more about where he’ll be spending much of his time the next four years.

“I’m getting prepared and organized for the upcoming year,” said Griswold, who like other freshmen will be registering for his fall classes, getting his campus ID photo taken and checking out the residence halls, among other things.

Griswold learned about the cross media graphics management major through a high school teacher who is a UW-Stout alumnus. “It’s one of the best programs in the country,” Griswold said.

Courtney Ommen, of Hastings, Minn., also chose UW-Stout because of a major she wanted — entertainment design with an emphasis on animation. She hopes to work someday for Pixar, which produces animated movies. “I like the school, and I know what I want to do,” she said.

She is especially looking forward to getting started in the fall. “The chance to meet new people and have a new experience is really exciting,” she said.

Students and family members were welcomed by Jackie Weissenburger, UW-Stout provost and vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs. “We’re really pleased you chose UW-Stout. We’re very student-focused and want to make sure you have every success academically and socially,” she said.

Weissenburger said students should expect a friendly atmosphere and should plan to work hard academically and get involved in organizations to increase their chances for success. She also said students — and parents — should be pleased to know UW-Stout’s career-focused majors have resulted in a 97 percent employment rate among new graduates.

After the welcome session in the Great Hall of the Memorial Student Center, students broke away to meet with their advisers and other students during Connection Sessions around campus.

Parents stayed put and attended a session called Partnering with Families for Success by Dean of Students Joan Thomas, who discussed student behavior, safety, getting involved on campus and other topics.

Students and parents, together, attended sessions on topics such as housing, financial aid, studying abroad and the Cooperative Education program.

A Resource Fair in the Great Hall had information about virtually every major aspect of the university.

When students return in September, they’ll be leaving their parents behind. Move-in day for students at the residence halls is Sunday, Aug. 31. Fall classes begin Wednesday, Sept. 3.

Summer Session classes begin Monday, June 9, and end Friday, Aug. 1.

UW-Stout, Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University, has more than 9,300 students in 45 undergraduate majors and 23 graduate majors, including one doctoral degree. UW-Stout, established in 1891, prides itself on the success of its students in the workplace, with an employment rate at or above 97 percent for recent graduates. The university was awarded the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2001. Learn more at