Graduation year: 2011
Majors: Teaching mathematics and mathematics
Activities: Chi Alpha Pi, Alpha Psi Omega, Omicron Delta Kappa, Pi Mu Epsilon, UNYK Dance Troupe, Residential Life, Erickson Hall Council, Upper Campus Council
Post-grad plans: Mathematics teacher at Delavan Jr./Sr. High in Delavan, Ill.
Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
Yes, I had hoped to become a teacher, and that’s what I did.
Your peak experience?
My student teaching experience. I walked into my classroom the first day, and I knew it was where I belonged. I was able to form great relationships with my students, and I didn’t ever want to leave.
What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
I learned how much I could influence someone else’s life. When my student teaching experience was coming to a close, I received lots of letters, pictures, and words of thanks and appreciation from students and staff, and now that my college experience is coming to a close, the same thing is happening with my friends and co-workers. I had no idea I could make a difference.
Besides your family, who helped you get to where you are now?
Two of my math teachers. My high school math teacher’s passion and enthusiasm is what made me want to become a math teacher. After my first college math course, I started to question my mathematical abilities until I found the same character as my high school math teacher in one of my college math professors, and my interest in the subject was renewed.
Advice for this fall's incoming class?
Academics are very important, so always put forth your best effort. Also, make sure to get involved on and off campus in groups/clubs because that is where you will make your best memories and meet amazing people.
"Melissa is the kind of student I love to have in class: engaged, enthusiastic and hard-working. For those same reasons she will be the kind of teacher I would love to have teach my kids."