Winter 2021 graduates reflect on their time at UW–Madison

On Sunday, Dec. 19, UW–Madison will celebrate its Winter 2021 Commencement. We are so proud of all of the students who are graduating from programs in the School of Education — with over 120 of our students receiving their bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees. 

We reached out to a few of our graduating students to learn what brought them to UW–Madison, their most meaningful experiences, and favorite places on campus. Scroll down to learn more about these amazing graduates, and click on their names to read their stories.

Photo of Anusha MehtaAnusha Mehta
BS, Health Promotion and Health Equity

How she chose her major — “With HPHE (the Health Promotion and Health Equity program), I have not only developed the necessary knowledge to prepare for PA school, but I have learned about the importance of empathy, cultural humility, and intersectionality in the clinical field.”

Byron Sharer Robertson
PhD, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis

Most meaningful experience — “It has been just an amazing experience being on the campus and being around other people who are using knowledge to fuel purpose-backed inquiry in the community and the world.”

Photo of Caty AbitzCaty Abitz
BS, Elementary Education

Advice for incoming students — “Take courses that broaden your perspectives on people, the world, and your place in it. Be kind to yourself, embrace your failures, and take advantage of the opportunities higher education offers.”

Photo of Chelsea OlsonChelsea Olson
PhD, Educational Psychology

Reasons for pursuing graduate study — “Pursuing a PhD in educational psychology allowed me to grow as a scholar, find my niche, and contribute to important work that could benefit others.”

Photo of Connor WiedenbeckConnor Wiedenbeck
BS, Theatre and Drama

Favorite class — “Probably Lighting Design 2 … our class got to work on a production together. As we worked on ‘Sonnets for an Old Century,’ we not only had our professor Megan Reilly (to support us), but each other as well.”

Photo of Dian MaweneDian Mawene
PhD, Special Education

Research interests — “I am interested in studying inequities in education, particularly the issues of racial disproportionality in special education and in school discipline impacting historically minoritized students and families.”

Kathy Yin
BS, Education Studies

Advice for incoming students — “Try to take courses in different areas and find ones that truly interest you. Be active, whether it is through a club, part-time job, or volunteer work. Last but not least, be smart about how many layers you wear in the winter.”

Photo of Paulina EguinoPaulina Eguino
BFA, Art

How she chose her major — “I am a fine arts major with concentrations in neon glass working, screen printing, and comics. I chose my concentrations because they challenged me. … I found that being challenged in the process made me more appreciative of and grateful for my work.”