Honors graduate Evan Rognholt has had a creative 5 years here at UW-Eau Claire. Since previous medical professionals projected that he would never graduate from high school, let alone college, he has accomplished a lot in his Music Composition and Creative Writing studies. Evan shared that it was difficult settling on one path, especially because “I am many different types of artists, with not enough time to indulge in all of them.” Even with limited time, he made the most of it through his extracurricular involvement.
Evan has dedicated himself to many organizations including Singing Statesmen and the Sigma Tau Delta English honors society. Most notably in our program, he has participated in the Honors Student Steering Committee for all five years of its existence since 2017. Besides collaborating with his peers, Evan enjoyed working with many Honors professors such as Bob Bell and Heather Fielding while studying “intriguing and eye-opening” subjects. One of his Honors courses—”Race, Racism, and Anti-Racism” with Dr. Ari Anand— even allowed him to work on becoming a better person.
Evan’s favorite Honors course was Music and the Brain with, as he put it, “everyone’s favorite viola professor-turned neuroscientist.” Molly Gebrian. Evan described this course as the “epitome of interdisciplinary education,” which is really what made it an Honors course. Evan has viewed the Honors Program as a “great resource for busy students” due to the engaging classes and credit flexibility.
Being a busy student himself, Evan has had many interesting opportunities in his music program to play instruments and learn about classical music. However, Evan also hopes to dive deeper into more modern genres such as video game music.
Music and poetry flows constantly in his head, so it can be difficult to feel confined to a specific creative form in many classes. Evan has expressed how being on the Autism spectrum (formerly labeled as Aspergers) has probably contributed to his high creativity levels. “It’s a part of who I am and a part that I am proud of,” he states. Since 7th grade, Evan has strived to prove everyone who didn’t believe he could achieve a post-secondary education wrong. He is excited to make his mark on the music world and to explore diverse creative projects.
At UW-Eau Claire, his classes have served as a huge motivation to continue creating: his homework is his art. Evan just recently performed his Senior Composition recital and is beginning to wrap up many other projects.
After graduating, Evan plans to continue working to pay the bills while pursuing his ultimate goals. He states that “as long as I am doing what I love it doesn’t matter if it is in the foreground or background.” He understands that making it big as an artist is challenging, so he instead is focusing on what he can control as he refines his portfolio. Evan will be sticking around Eau Claire and is excited to continue submitting poetry/prose to the Flipside as well as attending concerts and building up his professional network. You can find him on Facebook at this link. In the meantime, this artist is thinking of becoming a church music director after having many positive experiences with his local religious music group.
With all of his experiences and ambitions, Evan understandably has some advice for new students. He suggests that “if you sense change coming, don’t ignore it. Take a step back to acknowledge the possibility of change.”