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This Spotlight series recognizes a UWFox student’s academic achievements and personal story. Students are nominated for this spotlight by faculty and staff.AJ Rahm

Name: AJ Rahm

Age: 22

Hometown: Hortonville

Currently Residing: Appleton

Career program/major: Music Education

High School Attended: Hortonville High School

UWFox student clubs/organizations: Concert Band, UW-Fox Valley Theatre
What led you to choose your program or major?

I have always had a very diverse background with music thanks to my family and the great music educators I’ve had the privilege of working with. After earning a degree in Recording Arts, I found myself wanting to get back into the teaching and performing side of music that had previously interested me. Becoming a music student also adds another dimension to my recording and audio background that makes me more versatile in many different musical situations either on stage, in the classroom, or in the studio.

Why did you decide to become a University of Wisconsin student at UWFox?

A number of factors made the decision to attend fairly easy. First of all, I had previously attended UWFox a few years ago and enjoyed my experience. Since I live in Appleton, the commute to and from school is around ten minutes. UWFox is lucky enough to have such a beautiful theatre that I was looking to get involved with. And lastly, there is the music department where I was able to get a start on required music classes without an entrance audition and, as a instrumentalist, I had the opportunity to perform in a great concert band. 

Is there someone at UW Fox who made a difference in your life or inspired you?

It is really amazing how an instructor can teach you how to not just be good at your craft, but how to become a more successful individual in the process. I have the absolute privilege to be studying under Mrs. Marisol Kuborn for my percussion studies at UWFox. I came into this program with a basic understanding of music and percussion but she has completely taken it to the next level which has prepared me for auditions, concerts, and any other musical situations I will encounter. Having amazing instructors like Mrs. Kuborn brings out the best in students and pushes them to a level they didn’t know they could reach. 

I also need to give credit to Dr. Sackman, Dr. Martin, and Mrs. Zimmerman for their valuable instruction I have been able to absorb during my time at UWFox.

What is one piece of advice you would give to an incoming UW Fox student?

Going to college is the best time to put all of your effort towards what it is you want to do. To be successful in college and modern society, you can’t only do the minimum to get by. You’ll thank yourself later.

Describe something unexpected that happened here at UWFox.

I was very surprised with how talented the concert band is. This group is made up of music students, other UWFox students, and members of the community. Under the direction of Dr. Marc Sackman, we play repertoire that is not just fun, but will challenge every member to become a better musician. 

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

If I am not to be found in class and I’m on campus, you can find me either in the practice room or in the theater area.  When I’m not on campus, I can be many different places! I balance my time officiating hockey in rinks throughout the state, recording at home or Thompson Hill Company, playing ukulele with my group “Fortè and the Pianissimos,” or with my fiancé Shannon.

What are your plans after UWFox?

I have recently been accepted into the Music Department and Percussion Studio at UW Oshkosh to begin in fall 2018. I look forward to completing the program there and then enjoying life wherever it leads me – if it’s through teaching, performing, recording, or my time on the ice.

To learn more about returning to school to earn a college degree, call (920) 832-2620 to schedule an appointment with an advisor. More than 25% of our students are over the age of 22.

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


Laurie Krasin