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Madalyn McCabe to draw on leadership, travel experiences as a future educator

| Jesse Yang (story + video)

Photo caption: Madalyn McCabe, of New Berlin, is set to graduate from UW-Eau Claire in May with a bachelor’s degree in social studies education.

Global and cultural travel and learning opportunities were high priorities for Madalyn McCabe when she was seeking a college campus to call home for four years.

A first-generation college student at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, McCabe struggled, at first, to know how to navigate college and find her sense of belonging and community until she enrolled in the Women of the Civil Rights Movement course offered through the University Honors Program. This course, along with a domestic immersion experience to learn about the Civil Rights Movement, changed the trajectory of her college career, she says.

For 11 days, McCabe participated in the immersion program, the Civil Rights Pilgrimage, traveling through the Deep South to learn about U.S. history and hear from social justice leaders and advocates with firsthand accounts of racial injustice and discrimination during the Civil Rights era. The New Berlin native’s experience over Winterim of her freshman year proved to be so transformative that she returned to serve as a student lead for two consecutive programming experiences thereafter.

Additionally, her experiences as a student lead helped her land a similar role in an immersion program to Hawaii to look at cultural preservation through tourism. Taking her national travel experiences abroad, McCabe participated in an international immersion program to five countries in central Europe, allowing her to live and see the study abroad experience in a month’s time.

McCabe, who is set to graduate in May, hopes to use her travel and student leadership experiences in her classroom as a future educator in social studies.

“It will inform how I teach my students in the future, particularly using a culturally responsive lens when teaching my students and making sure they’re represented in the content,” she says.

Watch the video above to learn more about McCabe’s travel experiences and her success as a Blugold at UW-Eau Claire.