Elise Tipcke: An Accomplished Grad
Elise Tipcke has been able to explore multiple avenues of her different passions at UW-Eau Claire. She’s a double major in nursing and Spanish and has a certificate in Latin American studies. Elise has also studied abroad and gone on a faculty immersion experience, all while completing her time in the Honors Program. Elise couldn’t be happier that she chose UW-Eau Claire as the school to live out her college career.
Elise thought Eau Claire’s campus was beautiful, jokingly stating “I’m a little vain so I have to go somewhere that’s really pretty.” The beautiful campus wasn’t the only thing that drew her to this school. The lower cost of attending UW-Eau Claire with its study abroad opportunities and great nursing program made this the perfect place for her.
Coming into school as just a Spanish major, Elise decided to follow in her sister's footsteps by joining the nursing program. She’s never looked back, saying, “Nursing is a great career with a lot of opportunities.”
Travels and Involvements
Elise has studied abroad in Valladolid, Spain, and has been on a faculty-led immersion experience in Guatemala. No matter your major at UWEC, Elise says studying abroad was “so worth it, I would suggest it for everyone.” The immersion trip in Guatemala led Elise to add Latin American Studies as a certificate. She loves Latin American history and its culture. While in Guatemala, she realized she wanted to incorporate that into her education officially. She recalls wanting to add Latin American studies as a third major, she says “I had terrible wifi, looking at my degree audit in a hotel in Guatemala trying to figure out if I could do a triple major.” Unfortunately, this was not an option but luckily she already had the credits to make it a certificate.
In addition to traveling abroad through UWEC, Elise has been involved in other areas of the school. She is in the UWEC Ski and Snowboard Club and was in the UWEC Student Nurses Association for a year. Additionally, she is in the National Collegiate Hispanic Honors Society Sigma Delta Pi. This is something she is in for life and can earn scholarships through. Elise has also helped other students on campus by tutoring for pre-nursing courses such as statistics.
Her Unique Honors Experience
Being in the Honors Program has shaped Elise’s educational experience. Her freshman year she was on the Honors floor in Bridgeman and felt that it was nice being around different students. She also loved taking the “strangest” classes that nobody else gets to take. For example, she took a Fermentation class and still applies things she learned in her everyday life from sourdough to kombucha. She also took a podcasting class where, although she doesn’t think she’ll ever have a career in that, felt it “opened a whole new world to that stuff.”
Along with the unique classes, Elise enjoys getting to know the professors well because of the smaller class sizes. She says she “got close to Dr. Fielding, and… she’s just awesome, she just wants the best for her students.” Elise got to live out her version of being a “professor” while teaching the Honors 100 freshmen class. She explained the students were “so bright and excited for school and that brought me back. I really enjoyed that a lot.”
Her fondest memory reflecting on Honors is bittersweet. In her nursing classes, Elise met Isabel Davis. They would attend Honors events together and as Honors 100 mentors for different classes, would meet for weekly meetings. Elise got to spend time with Isabel and got to know her. Sadly, last semester Isabel passed away from cancer. Elise was emotional when she explained, “When I think of Honors I think of her.” Her fondest memories in Honors remind her of a dear friend she lost too soon.
The Next Chapter
Looking to the future, Elise may be joining the North American Language and Cultural Assistants Program in Spain with the Hispanic Honors Society. Ideally, if Elise joins this program she would live in Madrid, Spain. Until then, she’ll continue working as a nurse at the free clinic called C.A.R.E. Clinic. Elise is very passionate about working at the free clinic where they provide health care for people who cannot afford or apply for health insurance. She says 90% of the patient population is Spanish-speaking from Latin America. She loves the people and exposure to the culture.
Elise feels the Honors program and courses have “prepared me for pursuing other interests in life,” which is evident in her variety of majors and her certificate.
She encourages others to join the program, saying “A lot of people feel like they can’t do Honors with their coursework but then here I am: Nursing, Spanish, Latin American Studies, and Honors. You can do it. It’s so possible and it’s just so fun.”
After four and a half years at UWEC, Elise is “excited to graduate and appreciates the opportunities Honors and Eau Claire have given to me, and I’m excited to head on out, it’s time.”