On May 14, UW–Madison will celebrate its Spring 2022 Commencement. We reached out to a few of our students who are graduating from programs in the School of Education to learn about their favorite UW–Madison memories and future plans. Following is a Q&A with Donny (Aoyu) Xu, who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in education studies.
Where are you from, and what brought you to UW–Madison?
I was born in China, and then moved to Canada for my junior and senior year in high school. I decided to go to UW–Madison, because I wanted to go to a state where I still got to use those expensive winter boots and jackets that I bought in Canada.
What is your major, and how did you choose it?
I am majoring in educational policy studies. I chose this major because my mum was a principal at a local school. She was an inspiring character, and I wish to follow her footsteps and become an educator myself.
What was your most meaningful experience at UW–Madison?
My undergraduate independent research study. I was supported by so many staff and peers. It was exciting to walk into different classrooms and invite people to participate in my research to explore international students’ educational experiences.
"College life is meant to be fun and challenging. Do not lose your confidence, and try new things! Remember, today we are proud of UW–Madison, and tomorrow UW–Madison shall be proud of us!"
What class or professor had the greatest impact on you, and why?
Education Policy and Practice was a really intriguing class. I realized that educational research could contribute to the development of educational policies by addressing issues faced by students in detailed and impactful ways. The experience of students is always at the heart of any educational policy.
What advice would you give to incoming students?
College life is meant to be fun and challenging. Do not lose your confidence, and try new things! Remember, today we are proud of UW–Madison, and tomorrow UW–Madison shall be proud of us!
What is your favorite “hidden gem” on campus or in Madison?
Memorial library’s “jail room”! Your UW–Madison experience is not complete if you never tried one of those rooms. Lock yourself away during midterms and finals to enjoy some quality study time!