Graduating with more than a degree

Written by admin   // January 26, 2012   // 0 Comments

More than 2,200 students who earned degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at the end of the summer or fall semester took part in commencement ceremonies Dec. 19 at the U.S. Cellular arena

Those students had wide variety of experiences at UWM that broadened their perspective and helped them move into diverse careers after graduation.

Just a few examples of UWM’s outstanding December graduates: 

- Travon Haase, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration while also pursuing his passion for dance and volunteering for Big Brothers/Big Sisters all through college.

- Rob Bullock, who earned a bachelor’s degree in athletic training and had the chance to do an athletic training internship with the Milwaukee Brewers during the team’s championship summer.

- Akua Asare, a global studies/management major, who speaks three languages and is the first of her siblings to finish college.

- Amelia Mercado, an English major who spent a summer interning with the Hallmark Cards Inc. and ended up with a full-time job at the greeting-card giant.

- Britt Kerr, a social work major from a small high school in Fond du Lac, Wis., who enjoyed learning about different people and cultures both inside and outside the classroom.

-  Macyn Taylor, a gifted guitarist who graduated at age 17 with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and already has a deal with a music company to endorse their guitars.

- Austen Scudder, who earned his master’s degree in engineering and was recently accepted into Rockwell Automation’s highly competitive Leadership Development Program. 

- Brett Lehrer, an information studies and technology major who loves helping others understand computers and technology, and volunteered his information technology services to a community agency.

Focus on Travon Haase

Travon Haase says UWM helped him rediscover his long-lost passion for dance after he enrolled in a hip-hop class. The business major teamed up with five classmates to form a group called Cure Cru, which performed free at fundraising and charity events.

Haase used the skills he developed in the Business Scholars Program at UWM’s Lubar School of Business to become the manager, spokesperson and event planner for the group. “Being a business student and a dancer go side by side, surprisingly,” Haase explains.

While at UWM, he became a volunteer in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, and also worked at the university’s Center for Volunteerism and Student Leadership. After graduation he headed out to Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary through the Lubar School’s winter study-abroad program.

Focus on Akua Asare

As part of her global studies-management program, Akua Asare had the chance to improve her Chinese through a study-abroad program in Beijing and an internship at Peking University. Chinese is the third language for Asare, the daughter of an immigrant from Ghana. In addition to English and Chinese, she also speaks French.

As a research intern, she helped analyze securities fraud in Chinese companies listed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Asare also took part in UWM’s Ronald E. McNair Program, which prepares students from underrepresented backgrounds for graduate study. As a McNair scholar, she developed methods to help evaluate how nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working in various countries teach literacy.

She’s planning to spend next year working for City Year in Chicago, tutoring, mentoring and serving a group of Chicago high school students as a member of the national nonprofit’s corps of recent graduates. Her plans for the future are still forming. She’s interested in education, wants to spend some time developing an online business in specialty teas and might also eventually use her international business experience and languages in the international business world.

“I feel this pressure to change the world,” says Asare, “but personally, I just want to do good.”


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