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This Spotlight series recognizes a UW-Fox Valley student’s academic achievements and personal story. Students are nominated for this spotlight by faculty and staff.Annaliese W

Name: Annaliese Wilmsen

Age: 21

Hometown: Appleton, WI

Career program/major: Elementary Education

UW-Fox Valley campus clubs:

  • Phi Theta Kappa (co-president)
  • Education Club (co-president)

What is your career or life goal?

My career goal is to become a kindergarten teacher. I would love to teach in a bilingual classroom. In addition to enjoying my career, I hope to meet a lot of incredible people and seize many great opportunities and experiences, especially through travel. I hope to contribute positivity and give back to the world. I hope to challenge myself, celebrating successes and growing from mistakes along the way. But, most of all, I hope to be content and joyful about wherever life decides to take me.

What led you to choose your program or major?

I have always had an enthusiasm for learning, a passion for teaching, and a love for children. At an early age, I came to the realization that becoming a kindergarten teacher would not only combine these passions but also compliment my abilities and strengths. Becoming a teacher has been my aspiration ever since.

Why did you decide to become a University of Wisconsin student at UW-Fox Valley?

I chose to attend UW-Fox Valley mainly because it is close to home. I had heard good things about the professors, atmosphere, and education and it is comparatively inexpensive. UW-Fox Valley was a realistic and prudent way to start my college career and I have been very pleased with my choice.

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

I have truly enjoyed each of my professors for unique reasons. They have nurtured my love for learning and have helped me to grow as a student, teacher, and person. I am grateful to my professors for sharing their abundant wisdom and knowledge, for having such enthusiasm and passion for teaching, and for their continued guidance and help that is not only present within the classroom, but continues outside of the classroom as well. I am especially grateful to Dr. Tammy Ladwig for her unconditional support, invaluable advice, and expertise within the education field.

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

Always make the effort to attend class. I strongly believe that you will find this to be extremely beneficial, and professors get the opportunity to know you. Outside of class, join clubs. At first, I was hesitant to join clubs, however, I have found they are worthwhile. Being a part of a UW-Fox Valley club connects like-minded individuals whose similar interests, passions and goals are used to create good, which I think, is a wonderful thing.

Describe something unexpected that happened here at UW-Fox Valley.

One thing I found to be a pleasant surprise is how beneficial small class sizes are for me. I am a pretty independent and motivated student, so I did not think it would make a difference if a college lecture was 30 or 300 students. However, small class sizes have allowed me to learn a great deal and grow tremendously; I feel comfortable asking questions when I am confused, I stay involved by contributing to class discussions, and I am able to meet and connect with other students. I also have been able to build relationships with my professors which has been extremely helpful as I am able to receive individualized attention. They have provided me with copious opportunities, and they have helped me realize my full potential and have pushed me to be the best version of myself. As I consider where to transfer, small class sizes are now an important component for me.

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

When I am not in class or studying, I nanny for a few families in the area. I really enjoy staying active; soccer and dance have been my favorite sports since the age of four.  I love to be outdoors, whether it is running, ice skating, skiing, biking, swimming or playing sports; I usually seem to enjoy it all. I have a passion for travel and I love to spend time with my family and friends. I also really love to volunteer. I find helping others to be extremely rewarding.  

What are your plans after UW-Fox Valley?

After UW-Fox Valley I plan to complete my Elementary Education degree at a four-year university within the state.


Laurie Krasin