Ngonidzashe Mpofu, Rehabilitation Counselor Education

Where are you from, and what brought you to UW–Madison? Ngonidzashe-Mpofu

I am originally from Zimbabwe. My father attended UW–Madison in the late ’90s, and I have followed in his footsteps!

Why did you decide to pursue graduate study?

I have always been interested in pursuing my education and seeing how far my abilities could go. Pursuing graduate studies means that I can also chase after my career dreams to the maximum extent.

What are your research interests?

I enjoy research around workplace wellbeing and employer- or demand-side research. I enjoy gathering both qualitative and quantitative data leading to providing actionable 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. In the future, I hope to complete research around more specific populations, such as indigenous populations, people with disabilities, and women.

What was your most meaningful experience at UW–Madison?

My most meaningful experience at UW–Madison had to be when I was awarded two grants to start pursuing my research interests. It showed that UW–Madison cares about the professional development of its students beyond the limits of the classroom.

"I enjoy research around workplace wellbeing and employer- or demand-side research. I enjoy gathering both qualitative and quantitative data leading to providing actionable 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."

Ngonidzashe Mpofu

What class or professor had the greatest impact on you, and why?

Dr. Smedema’s Psychosocial Aspects of Disability course had the most significant impact on me. It was the course that brought all of my interests together, from medical aspects and mental health issues, to the role of social supports and comprehensive models, and human growth and development.

What advice would you give to incoming students?

Give your best while at UW–Madison by trying everything you can find. UW–Madison is the sort of school that says, “Hey! We have all these resources available; what would you like to try?” It is the place that best helped me to define myself. As I am about to graduate, I can now confidently transition from a student to a working professional. Coming to UW–Madison was easily one of the best and most crucial decisions I have ever made in life, and future generations will benefit from it.

How will you celebrate your graduation?

There are two days of celebrations: a surprise party on one and a nice dinner out, both planned with loved ones. So, figuring out my wardrobe is the biggest crisis I have right now! 🙂

"Don't waste orientation, you guys! Go on the tours, run or walk the 5k. Try everything! I made it a goal to try and step on every side of campus at least once just to see what was out there."

Ngonidzashe Mpofu

What are your plans for the future?

I have a wonderful job waiting for me as a tenure track assistant professor at Idaho State University, thanks to my education and training at UW–Madison and its great faculty!

You’re a UW–Madison expert now, so we must ask: Where’s the best place to eat on campus OR What is one thing every UW student should experience?

Don’t waste orientation, you guys! Because it is optional, many people miss the power of having all these organizations coming together in one place to tell you a little bit about themselves. They eventually figure that stuff out after two or three years, with all that time lost. Go on the tours, run or walk the 5k. Try everything! I made it a goal to try and step on every side of campus at least once just to see what was out there.

When you embrace your orientation experience, you set yourself up for the maximum best UW–Madison experience because you are starting out with some great information in hand about all that is available to you.

But since you’ve also asked about restaurants, Taiwan Little Eats and Glass Nickel Pizza are my two favorite food spots! The best selection of fruit near campus is at Fresh Madison Market, on the corner of N. Lake Street and University Avenue. Enjoy! 🙂

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