Class of 2021 graduates are prepared to lead and inspire

On Saturday, May 8, UW–Madison will celebrate its May 2021 Commencement. We are tremendously proud of all of our students — nearly 600 of them — graduating from School of Education programs. 

We reached out to a few of our graduating students from bachelor’s to PhDs to learn more about their favorite memories, advice for incoming students, and even where the best place to eat on campus is. Scroll down to learn more about these amazing graduates, and click their names to read their stories.

Pablo Aquiles-SanchezPablo Aquiles-Sanchez
BS, Education Studies and Sociology

Advice for incoming students — “Take risks! Don’t limit yourself to the stereotypical image of what ‘college life’ should look and feel like. I’ve learned so much by taking the ‘unconventional route.’”


Shehrose Charania
BS, Health Promotion and Health Equity

Future plans — “UW–Madison has brought me closer to my passion for health equity, allowing me to defy the impossible, and encouraging me to embrace the value and validity of my voice.”


Dawn Crim
PhD, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis

Reasons for pursuing graduate study — As I continued to move up in my career, moving into leadership roles in higher education, I wanted to continue adding knowledge and expertise and obtain a PhD. … I have taken one class every semester including summers to earn the degree.


Geetanjali Deole
MS, Counseling Psychology

Research interests — I want to develop culturally aligned models of evidence-based counseling and therapy practices for Indian and Asian populations. I am also interested in student mental health concerns, especially international and immigrant students.


Molly Frisch
BS, Theatre and Communication Arts

Most meaningful experience at UW–Madison — I really found a community of amazing students and professors while doing what I love, and I got the chance to work alongside fellow students and industry professionals within an academic setting. … I wouldn’t trade spending six nights a week in the basement of Vilas Hall putting together show after show for the world!” 


Deasy Hartenberger
BS, Elementary Education

Classes that made an impact — The classes with the greatest impact on me were: educating young English learners, methods of teaching young English learners, and language use and acquisition in early childhood. The reason is that English is not my primary language, and I relate to all the challenges that emergent bilingual students face daily.


Victoria Hoff headshotVictoria Hoff
BS, Art

Professors that made an impact — (Professors Tomiko Jones, Darcy Padilla, and Laurie Beth Clark) have all been so important to me. These women are incredible, successful, inspirational individuals who have encouraged my success inside and outside the classroom.”


Kaitlyn JacksonKaitlyn Jackson
BS, Kinesiology

How did you choose your major — “The Kinesiology degree ties in perfectly with my history of athletics and interest in the human body. I am also interested in the social and environmental aspects that may impact one’s health and quality of life.”


Amanda KolschAmanda Kolsch
BS, Dance

Most meaningful experience at UW–Madison — Lathrop Hall (in the Dance Department) is full of some of the most welcoming, motivating, and creative people who have deeply defined my personal growth and UW experience.


Ngonidzashe MpofuNgonidzashe Mpofu
MS, Rehabilitation Counselor Education

Research interests — I enjoy gathering both qualitative and quantitative data leading to providing actional solutions for employers regarding the creation of healthy and productive workplaces. I believe that when employers provide the best workplace experience for employees, this can also translate into better business productivity at lower costs to the employer.


Brett NachmanBrett Nachman
PhD, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis

Reasons for pursuing graduate study — “As an endlessly curious individual who feels great pride in relaying individuals’ stories, I felt compelled to pursue graduate school as a means to grow personally, academically, and professionally, particularly in a field like education that supports lifelong learning.


Haley Schultz headshotHaley Schultz
PhD, Educational Psychology

Advice for incoming students — “Graduate school is a marathon, not a sprint. You will receive many opportunities, but you cannot say yes to everything. Establish boundaries and prioritize the experiences that advance your knowledge and training. Connect with your fellow graduate students; they are invaluable resources.


Youmi SukYoumi Suk
PhD, Educational Psychology

Advice for incoming students — “Graduate students including myself will face various situations that make us frustrated and uncertain. Keep physically and mentally healthy by increasing your self-esteem and getting support from your friends and family.


Tiger Wang PortraitTiger Wang
BS, Education Studies and History

Most meaningful experience at UW–Madison — “By interacting with students of different cultural backgrounds, I have gradually discovered the uniqueness and value of myself and my culture. … This experience leads me to be more tolerant and respectful because I know others love their cultures the same as I do with my culture.


Marcus Weathers HeadshotMarcus Weathers Jr.
MS, Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling

Advice for incoming students — “You have earned the privilege of accepting admittance into one of the best universities, so immerse yourself in the culture. Find yourself a great group of people to experience the journey with, and reach out to your professors and advisors in times of need or just because.


Megumi Wolf
BS, Elementary Education

Future plans — “I plan to get a teaching job after I graduate. Whether it’s here in Wisconsin or somewhere around the world, I am ready for new experiences! I am exploring my options to see what would best help me grow as an educator, especially as an ESL teacher.

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