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Media Memo: Commencement grad feature ideas

TO: News Editors and Directors

FROM: Judy Berthiaume

DATE: Dec. 9, 2011

SUBJECT: Commencement grad feature ideas

Commencement ceremonies for more than 700 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students will be held Saturday, Dec. 17. Ceremonies will begin at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Zorn Arena.

The following are several graduates who are willing to share highlights of their college experiences and plans for the future with the media.

  • Ashley Hofer, a communication major and marketing minor from Osseo, has been a longtime member of faculty-student team that has done extensive research relating to Super Bowl advertising. In the spring, the researchers had two articles relating to their Super Bowl research published in prestigious journals. Hofer worked on data analysis and manuscript development, and she wrote a significant amount of the articles. Hofer said younger students often are assigned to necessary but mundane tasks in their first year of research. It was a different situation for her. She started out coding Super Bowl ads, hunting for relevant articles and writing portions of a literature review. She was part of the entire research process, from the hypotheses to the finished articles. Hofer became involved in the project as a freshman when she was named a Blugold Fellow, a program that brings freshman with an interest in research together with a faculty mentor. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs provided additional funding, which allowed Hofer to participate in the research throughout her college career, including during some summers. A sports fan, Hofer's dream is work in the communications or marketing department of a professional sports team or league. After graduation, she will do a six-month internship with the U.S. Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, Colo. Interns live and eat at the Olympic Training Center with other interns, athletes and coaches. You can reach Ashley Hofer at hoferan@uwec.edu.
  • Shelley Mather will graduate with a degree in organizational communication. A native of Michigan, Mather has lived in Eau Claire since 2008. "My mother always told her seven children that a college education was the best investment a person could make," Mather said. "I didn't always listen to Mom but that message stuck with me. I graduated from high school in 1976 and started taking college classes a couple of years after graduation, as I could afford it. It took me a while to reach my destination; 35 years to be exact. During this time, I had several detours in the form of negotiating transfers from five different universities and colleges; work constraints; changing majors; marriage; children; the loss of loved ones, including my mom; financial difficulties; divorce; another marriage; course scheduling and sequencing; and just day-to-day living. But I kept going, my mom's advice always pushing me along. Finally, my road led to this moment. I am extremely proud to be graduating two years after my oldest child graduated from college and three years before my youngest begins. I want my children to know they should listen to their mother. I did, and look where I am today!" You can reach Shelley Mather at howdersm@uwec.edu.
  • Steven Friday, a Wisconsin Rapids native, will graduate with a degree in chemistry with a business emphasis. "I have been in college for seven (six at UW-Eau Claire) years," Sgt. Friday said. "I was deployed with the Army twice in my college career (Kuwait and Iraq), but because they enroll you in a zero credit class while deployed, I have been enrolled the whole seven years (a good system). Needless to say, it was not easy to get my degree due to the difficulty of its content, and more so to the difficulties that arose from two deployments. But I was able pull it off; I was even able to spend a semester in Australia. My success at UW-Eau Claire owes thanks to the UW-Eau Claire administration. The administration was always helpful and understanding to my particular needs. The chemistry department took this to an even higher level. There is not a professor in the chemistry department who failed to assist me in my pursuit of a degree." You can reach Steven Friday at 715-514-8106 or fridaysr@uwec.edu.
  • Constance Thomson Best-Ashby will graduate at age 73 with a bachelor of fine arts degree and a minor in American Indian Studies. A native of Montana, Best-Ashby is a longtime Eau Claire resident. She started her studies at UW-Eau Claire in 1972, nearly 40 years before she will actually earn her degree. She suffered multiple health issues over the years, including being paralyzed (though she can walk now), a series of strokes and heart issues. While she will earn her degree, she will not be able to participate in the ceremony. You can reach Constance Thomson Best-Ashby at bestascl@uwec.edu or 715-832-7396.
  • Remi Roumezin, a native of Marseille in the south of France, will graduate with a degree in environmental and public health. "I was originally supposed to come to UW-Eau Claire for only one semester to improve my English while taking science classes," Roumezin said. "I loved the university and the Eau Claire community. I got involved on campus and made great friends. I had the best experience (although I had to face the coldest winter of my life!) I loved it so much that I decided to transfer some courses from France in order to have a degree from UW-Eau Claire. That one semester turned into two and a half years and I am proud to graduate with a bachelor of science in environmental and public health from UW-Eau Claire. I have to go back to France to start a master's degree in public health and occupational safety, but I'll never forget my time here." You can reach Remi Roumezin at roumezrc@uwec.edu or 715-797-2144.

 

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