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Rachel decided to attend UW-Fond du Lac based on family legacy, reputation and location. With a background in graphic design, she is now pursuing an art degree. She hopes to build a career in the field of scientific and/or technical illustration.Rachel standing outside

This Spotlight series recognizes a UW-Fond du Lac student’s academic achievements and personal story. Students are nominated for this spotlight by faculty and staff.

Name: Rachel Abou-Zeid

Age: 34

Hometown: Waupun

Career program/major: Art

What is your career or life goal?

Although there are many different avenues within the world of art and design, I primarily would like to utilize the skill set I am gaining within the niche career field of scientific and/or technical illustration. 

What led you to choose your program or major?

I have a background in graphic design and degree from MPTC in Graphic Communications. My intention has always been to return and explore the formal studio training that a University Degree offers. I also happen to be following in my mother’s footsteps, who earned her BFA from UW-Milwaukee.   

Why did you decide to become a University of Wisconsin student at UW-Fond du Lac?

There is a long line of UW alumni within my family, so the choice to come to UW-Fond du lac was based on that legacy, reputation, as well as location. In my first semester here, I learned from a professor that students who start at a two-year university statistically perform better after transferring to a four-year University. 

Is there a UW-FDL professor or staff member who made a difference in your life or inspired you?

I have had, and continue to have, wonderful professors here at UW-Fond du Lac. Every single one has been personally dedicated to helping students individually and they have all inspired me!  I am very fortunate to have studied under: Wendy Turchan, Kristina Arellano, Alayne Peterson, Joseph Fenrick, Heather Pagel, Dr. Michael Thorn and Dr. Patricia Roby.

What is one piece of advice you would give to an incoming UW-Fond du Lac student?

Do not take your time and opportunity to learn for granted. Investing in education is not a chore, but a privilege.  Absorb what you can and do not be afraid to ask questions; there is no end to what you can learn.

Describe something unexpected that happened here at UW-Fond du Lac.

I was stunned, humbled and honored to receive scholarships as a non-traditional student. Returning as an older student, I had presumptions that those opportunities were in the past.

When not in class or studying, what keeps you busy?

I have a lot of food centric hobbies. In the summer, I grow a vegetable garden and enjoy the challenge of attempting to grow as much as we need. It is always rewarding. The garden hobby logically leads into cooking and baking. I also keep honeybees.    

What are your plans after UW-Fond du Lac?

Currently my intention is to transfer to UW Oshkosh.

To learn more about returning to school to earn a college degree, call (920) 929-1122 and schedule an appointment with an advisor. Approximately 25% of our students are over the age of 22.

UW-Fond du Lac is part of the University of Wisconsin System and one of the 14 freshman/sophomore campuses of the UW Colleges. UW-Fond du Lac offers an Associate of Arts and Science Degree, the foundation to a bachelor’s degree and specialized professional and occupational degrees.


Laurie Krasin