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 Tri-Alpha vice president Anise Madeline Shipley, left, and Yanet Fernandez, the Tri-Alpha president induct new members into the honor society for first-generation college students.

For Amber Lusvardi, a new faculty member in the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s political science department, being a first-generation college student is a gift.

“It gave me so many skills that I cherish,” she told a room full of UW Oshkosh students during the spring Tri-Alpha First-Generation College National Honors Society induction ceremony last week. “All the mistakes that I made in college, all the times I felt a little out of place, they taught me that I didn’t have to be perfect to move forward.”

Amber Lusvardi

Lusvardi, an assistant professor and honorary Tri-Alpha inductee, has research interests in public policy, American politics and gender in politics. She served as the guest speaker at the event at which 49 undergraduate and graduate students were welcomed into the society.

“One lesson I got from this experience is realizing I don’t have to walk into every situation having all of the answers. In fact, in life, I probably rarely will. Not every space I enter is going to be designed for me, and I am ready for that,” she said.

“Feeling like a bit of an outsider gave me the confidence to be bold. I allow myself to do things that I am bad at just because I enjoy them.”

Undergrad inductees:

  • Rachel Bautz of Madison, junior social work major
  • Jose Bayona of Beloit, junior physical education major
  • Dana Chervenka of Luxemburg, sophomore elementary and middle school education major
  • Daniel Cummings of Appleton, senior sociology major
  • Isabella Doege of Waupun, senior elementary and middle school education
  • Melissa Doersch of Seymour, junior rehabilitation science major
  • Brittany Dupree of Fond du Lac, senior biology major
  • Austin Estes of Reedsburg, senior Spanish language education major
  • Eric Giese of West Bend, senior anthropology and geography major
  • Konner Matthew Goetsch of Union Grove, junior geography major
  • Rachel Haisler of Milwaukee, senior rehabilitation science major
  • Seania Hampton of Milwaukee, senior criminal justice major
  • Katie Hanson of Plymouth, senior biology major
  • Emma Hurst of Menasha, senior English education
  • Amber Huser of Prairie du Chien, senior nursing major
  • Alexandria Hutkowski of Stevens Point, senior social science education
  • Nicholas Ryan Johnston of Fond du Lac, sophomore environmental engineering technology major
  • Naomi Juarez Cruz of Elkhorn, senior nursing major
  • Sheena Arndt of Hortonville, senior leadership and organizational studies major
  • Sarah Kleinschmidt of Neenah, senior environmental studies and geology major
  • Shaylee Klenke of Neenah, sophomore English education major
  • Megan Emily Klinger of Helenville, junior nursing major
  • Dominic Laracuente of Menasha, senior biology major
  • Nuechi Lee of Green Bay, senior elementary and middle school education major
  • Danie Lodin of Beaver Dam, sophomore biomedical science major
  • Jennifer Martinez of Appleton, senior social work major
  • Cassidy Miller of Appleton, junior pre-nursing major
  • Fatima Muniz of Neenah, junior mathematics major
  • Audrey Hazel Naeyaert of Shawano, senior social work major
  • Piper Novy of Palatine, Illinois, sophomore geology major
  • Carli Ourada of Appleton, sophomore psychology major
  • Ann Christine Powell of Spokane, Washington, senior nursing major
  • Alex Ramirez of Fond du Lac, sophomore psychology major
  • Lizbeth Rodriguez of Oshkosh, junior nursing major
  • Rachel Seidl of Kaukauna, senior rehabilitation science major
  • Jocelyn Tapia of Oshkosh, junior English education major
  • Jalyssa Thao of Appleton, sophomore pre-business major
  • Yo Yo Vue of Milwaukee, senior social work major
  • Brittnie Westphal of Hartford, senior human services leadership major
  • Isabella Wishnie of Milwaukee, sophomore political science major
  • Darlene Wulf of Westfield, a senior leadership and organizational development major
  • Jacky Yang of Manitowoc, sophomore
  • Nicole Yoss of Waterford, sophomore psychology major

Graduate inductees:

  • Jarrius Mcdevin James of Appleton, educational leadership and policy
  • Adam Hernandez ’12, of Menasha, business administration
  • Tatiana Monterrosa of Neenah, professional counseling
  • Sait Ceesay of Madison, cybersecurity
  • Jaime Antonio Castillo ’14, of Whitefish Bay, BSN to DNP, nurse anesthesia
  • Brandi Tennessen of Appleton, psychology

To qualify for the honor society, the students needed a minimum of 30 credits, a 3.2 GPA and a recommendation of a faculty or staff member.