Make the most of Your First Year

Annalise MarkAnnalise Mark is junior in business administration and a third-year newscaster for Take2 at UW-Stout Weekly News Update. She also loves pugs.

Hi freshmen!
I remember being bombarded with information coming in as a first year student. Even though there was a lot of new information and I felt like a deer in the headlights, every piece served as great reassurance that I could handle the next big step into the realm of post-secondary education.

Based on my first year experience, I’ve compiled my top suggestions to help you make the most of your first year.

Residence Hall Living

Freshman move in day parents campus outside dorms residence halls students

Make your living space your own.

I’ve seen some really cool set-ups and decorations throughout my time here, so don’t be afraid to bring your cool posters and lights. Most of the dorms allow you to move some or even all of the furniture, so make your dorm however you feel most comfortable – just be sure to follow any guidelines.

You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate, but still get along or at least try to.

Some people get lucky and become best friends with their roommate and, on the extreme end, others make little contact with them because of their different interests. Either way, right off the bat, try to find common ground and try to get to know them.

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Befriend your RA – they are there to help you.

Your Resident Advisor is there to provide you with any support you need! Having trouble with a class? Chat with them. Not sure how to contact a professor? Chat with them. They want to help you succeed! On the other hand, your RA will set rules that are meant to be followed for your safety and the safety of others. If you break rules, that’s one way to get on the bad side of your RA and that’s not a place you want to be.

Take advantage of the study groups in your hall by getting to know your ARC (Academic Resource Counselor).

Every residence hall has a student staff member who is there to help you with your academic needs including study techniques, ways to help you stay on top of class work, etc. Don’t know who they are? Ask your RA!


There are over 150 groups on campus, so try something out and figure out what you enjoy.

From Greek life to graphic design to religious interests to ultimate Frisbee, you have a lot to choose from. Browse the categories and then go find them at Backyard Bash, Sept. 6 from 5-7 pm.

Students representing dozens of student organizations gather in the Great Hall of the Memorial Student Center for the Involvement Fair Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015 to show the campus what they stand for and recruit new members. (UW-Stout photo by Brett T. Roseman)

If your specific hobby isn’t an organization yet, you have the freedom to make one!

Does this sound like something you might do? Check out the Involvement Center’s website to find out how to start an organization and feel free to email with any questions- the staff in the Involvement Center are great!

My advice is this: pick one organization (or two) to join.

Leadership Awards

Your first year is going to be filled with meeting new people. Chances are, a good chunk of the friends you’ll make will be from within an organization, so don’t miss out on those friendships and put yourself out there.


There are tons of great jobs on campus.

You can find job postings through the Career Services website or Campus Life Today (an email that goes out to all students daily). I’ve found that being employed helps me manage my time better and helps me stay on top of class work.11951542_10154254195674741_1384118843109869246_o

Find a job if you have time and don’t overwhelm yourself.

There are opportunities out there that allow you to pick how many hours per week you want to work, so even if you can only have five to 10 hours, there are still plenty of places that can adjust to your limits. However, if you just want to take the first year to get classes under your belt, that’s completely fine too.


First Day of ClassesYour professors are there to help you and want you to succeed.

The professors at UW-Stout do an excellent job to ensure you’re getting what you need, whether that be by making themselves available during office hours, providing study groups for the class, answering emails and phone calls, or sharing advice on how get the most from your education.

Printing Lab

I was worried about the rigor of college classes and the advice I received from other UW-Stout students was this: go to class and you’ll be fine.

The first step is going to class. Without mom and dad waking you up to ensure you’ve made it to school, you have the freedom to sleep in, but do not be tempted by this freedom. Going to class helps you understand the material more and some, if not most professors, only give certain information in class and don’t post it online. They expect you to be there to get the information, so chances are they won’t be too pleased if you skip and ask for the assignments.

Talk to and get to know some classmates around you.


Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Start things up with some small talk with people you end up sitting next to in class. These people might become your support system throughout the semester. You can form study groups, ask for help or clarification on assignments, or if you have to miss class for a valid reason, they can give you the information you missed.

Pay attention to the syllabus.

This will be your saving grace. The syllabus has everything you need to know about the class, including contact information for your professor and their office hours, attendance policy, homework and test schedule, and grading scale. Most of the time, when students email their professors with questions about an assignment, the reply will be “It’s in the syllabus,” so check there first!

Stay Healthy

Make an initiative to stay healthy.

So this means basic things like trying to get enough sleep, wearing proper clothing for the weather and eating a healthy meal.


Staying healthy will get tricky once someone on your floor or in your room gets a bug.

If you do end up getting sick, they have health services located right on campus. You can find their website here.

Make time for fun to reduce stress.

There are plenty of free on-campus activities to go to when you need a break from class and stress. For example, Blue Devil Productions hosts a concert every Thursday with a different genre; films every other Friday that are right out of theaters; comedy shows from talent featured on America’s Got Talent or Saturday Night Live, and open mic nights that you can sign up to perform in!


Also, be sure to follow UW-Stout’s social media pages and watch our Take2 at UW-Stout Weekly News Video series. It’s a great way to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Good luck, Stouties! You’ll do great. #StoutProud


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“How am I supposed to comprehend something like this?”

Annalise MarkI asked two members of the UW-Stout LGBTQA+ community who spoke at the vigil on Wednesday night, student Hailee Nelson and Dr. Markie Twist, to share their thoughts on how the tragic events in Orlando impact the UW-Stout LGBTQA+ community; along with their advice and words of hope for moving forward.

Hailee, a senior in the human development and family studies program, admitted this was a tough question to answer.

_MG_3966“A lot of it is so personal,” Hailee shared. After holding a small, personal vigil with friends on Sunday night, Hailee said that many of the attendees simply “don’t know how to feel” and they “don’t know if [they’ll] ever know how to feel.” Hailee bravely spoke about how angry people are and how much of an earthquake it was and still is to the members of the LGBTQA+ community.

Hailee explained,“All of these articles [are] saying 50 people dead at this night club in Orlando where all of these queer people of color go to hangout… nothing as big as this has happened before in our time… this is something on a bigger scale.” Hailee reflected on the tragedy with Matthew Shepard in the preceding generation and compares it to the recent events. “It’s something so big we’ve never had to deal with before. How am I supposed to comprehend something like this?”

Hailee then talked of the immense helpfulness and support of the community here at UW-Stout during difficult times. “The community we have here is amazing and I’ve heard it’s one of the best we have in the area; given the programs we have; having the Qube and how big our GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance) is.”


I asked Hailee how UW-Stout and our society as a whole can move forward.

“People think that now that we have marriage equality, the fight is over- but that’s not it at all,” said Hailee. “A big part of the battle is keeping the conversation going. I’ve talked to some of my peers and we’re afraid the conversation’s going to stop. Then it’s going to be back to just us fighting this fight again. We can’t let that happen.”


Hailee continued about the importance of talking and taking student safety seriously; also, how education plays a huge role in moving forward with the critical element of “doing it all with love.” Hailee commented, “That’s our biggest thing- right now we need to spread love; being hateful and attacking other people isn’t going to get us anywhere. You can’t fight hate with hate.”


As final words of hope and encouragement, Hailee stated, “For people in the community, my biggest advice is to take time to take care of yourself. Activism can get really heavy, but you can’t be a good activist unless you’re healthy and taking care of yourself.”

Hailee also added, “To people outside of it, really, honestly, the best thing you can do is be there. If you have a friend or a family member who’s queer, ask them ‘Are you okay? Are you doing okay?’ That’s all that we’re asking right now because it is still so fresh. We’re still having such a hard time comprehending all of it.”


The conversation didn’t stop there. Dr. Markie Twist, part human development and family studies program, specifically the family therapy program at UW-Stout, stated that it’s hard to know how “the biggest mass shooting ever recorded in this country” will impact the development of the identities of the LGBTQA+ community on campus.


“I can say, however, at least our students here at Stout are in a community of people that continue to be highly supportive, highly accepting and don’t tolerate the phobias and anti-queer sentiments.”

Dr. Twist added, “The good news like at Stout is, it isn’t just the minoritized population [pushing for activism]; it’s the whole community.”


She mentioned the key steps moving forward. “I think education and activism, and of course as a clinician, making sure that students have access to the Qube as a resource for support; to the clinical services center for relation support, family support; and then our counseling center for individual support is absolutely imperative. Those are the three ways we will continue to do what we’ve been doing—just do even more.”

Dr. Twist spoke on the importance of starting today and how attending events like vigils plays a big role in healing and honoring those who lost their lives. She also mentioned how vigils show strength and bravery of the LGBTQA+ community that essentially makes the statement of, “we’re here and we will not be silenced.”


She added that there are opportunities at UW-Stout for students who wish to educate themselves. “If you’re looking for a gen. ed., we have a lifespan and sexuality class that talks about all of this. That helps people get in touch with their own ‘–isms’ and ideas and helps people process through that.” Dr. Twist reflected on the recent events and shared, “Who knows what could have happened had this particular individual had more awareness and support and diversity training… who knows?

On a final note, Dr. Twist shares some words of hope.


“One of my favorite quotes about hope is actually by a woman, Barbara Kingsolver…‘The very least we can do is figure out what we hope for and the most we can do is live inside that hope.’

Once we figure out what that hope is; which I think, really clearly is: we need to help our dominant majority of society learn that the ‘–isms’ will no longer be tolerated in our country.”

Thank you to Hailee and Dr. Twist for sharing their thoughts and words of hope.

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Here for Science, Stay for More

Authored by Blake Gerrits, Sarah Johnson and Jackie Barba; students in Assistant Professor Kate Edenborg’s class in the professional communications and emerging media program.

Menomonie is not Miami and with the University of Wisconsin-Stout hosting the Science Olympiad National Tournament, those traveling to Menomonie are wondering, what is there to do?

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Although Menomonie is a small town, there are ample opportunities to enjoy the spring season and Wisconsin culture. For students, teachers and families participating in and attending the Science Olympiad National Tournament, there are a variety of attractions in the Menomonie area.

For cost-effective activities, Menomonie has many options. It’s highly advised that you take advantage of the scenic beauty that surrounds Menomonie and makes it unique.

Christopher Freeman, UW-Stout professor, family man, and Menomonie resident; says exploring the natural sights in the area is a must, and if you can bike it- even better.

“Biking and walking on the Red Cedar with my family is one of my great joys. Biking in the hills of Dunn County is a close second. It is so beautiful here, it is like cycling in rural France except folks speak English,” exclaimed Freeman.


The Red Cedar Trail is a fun time for those who enjoy walking, running or biking in nature.

“Within a few blocks of campus, is the Red Cedar trail,” explained Grady Richartz, UW-Stout director of the Campus Card Office and long-time Menomonie resident.

For those wanting something even more scenic and adventurous, try Hoffman Hills. Hoffman Hills offers paths that weave throughout the woods, with varying levels of difficulty. You can make your way to the lookout and see for miles.

“Hoffman Hills is a great thing to do, although it is a little farther out,” said Grady Richartz.

Megan Klatt, UW-Stout student and resident of Menomonie recommends visiting Wakanda Park for a little adventure. There you can visit the animal park, where they have buffalo, deer and elk, for your viewing and possibly petting pleasure.


Devil’s Punch Bowl is a must see. This large hole eroded from water flow over many, many years has exposed the layers of earth beneath the surface, creating natural formations within the rock. You can go down into the base of the “bowl” and explore.

If the great outdoors isn’t your thing, some other activities that take you indoors are tours of the Louis Smith Tainter House and the Mabel Tainter Theater.

The Louis Smith Tainter House was built in 1891 and is now home to the UW-Stout Alumni Association and Foundation. The Mabel Tainter Theater was built by the same architect as the Louis Smith Tainter house and is a site to see. The theater was featured by CNN and you can see the article here. Both tours are free.

Some attractions that may cost a little are the Russell J. Rassbach Heritage Museum and Wilson Place Museum.

Klatt recommends the Russell J. Rassbach Heritage Museum to students and families as it is close to Wakanda Park and the animal park.

Also, Freeman recommends the Wilson Place Museum with tickets costing very little at five dollars a person, with prices varying for students and children.

“Wilson House is a must see for everyone in and around the city and a visit can really connect you to the stories of our community,” said Freeman.

After seeing the sites of Menomonie, go in search of refreshing drinks and delicious dining and you can be sure to find a wide variety of foods in the town of Menomonie.

“Go to Acoustic Café – it is, in my opinion, one of the best restaurants we have downtown. It has a relaxed atmosphere and the food is delicious,” exclaimed Klatt.

Unique bites for every taste can be found; whether you want a sandwich and soup from Acoustic, Pho from Chia’s Market, or a burger from Waterfront or LogJam.Take2 lower banner

3M, Mayo Clinic and Xcel Energy Amongst Companies Making Science Tournament Possible

Authored by Hammers and Lafky; students of Assistant Professor Kate Edenborg’s ENGL 407: Seminar in Applied Journalism class in the professional communications and emerging media program.

In 2012, University of Wisconsin-Stout received approval to host the 2016 Science Olympiad National Tournament. Since then, Forrest Schultz, a professor and chair in the chemistry and physics department at UW-Stout, has been working with companies like 3M, Excel Energy, Mayo Clinic Health System and Harley Davidson; to create experiences for roughly 2,500 students from around the country that will engage them in different realms of science.


The 3M Stem Cube Challenge is one exhibit that will be showcased during the National Science Olympiad.

“[3M] is going to bring in a 20 foot by 40 foot tent and creating a big video wall that will  create a game show experience, asking questions about a lot of 3M products.” Schultz said.

The students will be in their teams, gaining points for the questions they get right and those points could translate into money, which they get to donate to whatever charity they select.

Mayo Clinic Health System will be talking about technological advances in the medical industry and Harley Davidson will bring in a stationary motorcycle, which will allow students to virtually ride a motorcycle.

Xcel Energy will teach students about alternative energy; specifically wind energy since the tournament will be run solely off wind energy all weekend.

Science Olympiad faculty members will take students into the community to show students life in Wisconsin.

“As I was talking to teens I was noticing they were saying ‘we want to see the cows, we want to eat deep fried cheese curds, etc.’ ” says Schultz.

They plan on taking them to local farms, Devil’s Punch Bowl, Cedar Falls Dam and other local environmental sites.

The variety of activities are aimed at creating a welcoming, yet educational atmosphere for students to participate in.

Schultz said the campaign they’ve created called, “I Am, We Will”, is a way to let students express themselves with short video clips and then have them all come together to say “Look at all of our talent, now what can we do?”

The Science Olympiad National Tournament will consist of 120 teams, 60 high schools and 60 middle schools each with teams of 15 plus alternates; all of which will be at UW-Stout May 18 through 21.Take2 lower banner

What Does a Scientist Look Like?

Authored by Alex Pasquale and Audrey Wood; students in Assistant Professor Kate Endenborg’s ENGL 407: Seminar in Applied Journalism class in the professional communications and emerging media program.

Through two very distinct and powerful wardrobe pieces, Dr. Jo Hopp, University of Wisconsin–Stout’s professor of physics and chemistry; hopes to inspire the Science Olympiad participants by sending the message that anyone can be a scientist.

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Professor Jo Hopp working with students in the Oculomotor physics lab

Students work in various CSTEM labs in Jarvis Hall Science Wing Tuesday, December 9, 2014. Pictured are students working with Jo Hopp in the Oculomotor physics lab. (UW-Stout photo by Brett T. Roseman)

Breaking away from the “stereotypical” white lab coat and over-sized spectacles, Dr. Jo Hopp is showcasing the person behind the scientist. Her exuberant personality and powerful femininity will be displayed as she emcees the 2016 Science Olympiad National Tournament held at UW–Stout May 18-21.

Dr. Jo Hopp will be showcasing a powerful message that connects the Aurora Borealis theme to the participants attending the competition.

“We want to show all these kids that you can be anybody and be a powerful scientist,” said Hopp.

One of the ways this message will be portrayed will be through Hopp’s wardrobe.  Hopp has been working closely with UW–Stout apparel design sophomore, Leslie Berlin; freshman, Ali Schachtner; and sophomore, Megan Bartylla; to combine her scientific interests with the celebratory nature of the event.


Alex Schachtner, apparel department lab assistant

“We are going to try and simulate a brain synapse- like the light moving from one point to another,” explained Berlin. “Dr. Hopp is a neuroscientist, so we are incorporating her background into the garment.”

The apparel design team wanted to also encapsulate Hopp’s overall message through the garments.  Hopp said, “I wanted to show both the feminine side of science and the strength of a woman scientist.”

In order to do this, the apparel design team has to take comfort, mobility, breath-ability and the way the clothing interacts with the audience into consideration.  “We’ve done a lot of research on different kinds of fabrics,” explained Bartylla. “A lot of hunting for fabrics that would work and be comfortable for her.” 

The apparel design team has done countless iterations of the garments to try and balance style and comfort. “What they have to think of is the same scientific process I do when I do an experiment,” said Hopp.

Hopp will be the perfect emcee in the event, as she plans to create an exciting introduction for the Science Olympiad National Tournament; diminishing the tension or nerves that some contestants may have going into the challenge.

She will commence the event by emphasizing the fun nature of the competition.“This opening ceremony celebrates [the competitors] and how exciting this is for them to have succeeded in their passion,” explained Hopp.

She emphasized how much of an impact clothing can have on an event, especially one such as the Science Olympiad; of which is extremely audience driven.


While Hopp’s opening ceremony outfit will be interacting with the audience in a celebratory manner, Hopp hopes to convey a different message in her closing ceremony outfit.  The closing ceremony will have a red carpet feel, acknowledging the hard work that the students put into the competition.  “You deserve to be honored in this very formal way because it is a very prestigious achievement,” she said.

Hopp and the apparel design team’s talents, coupled with the Aurora Borealis theme, will clearly show the message that anyone can be a scientist.Take2 lower banner

Dining Services and University Housing Seek New Strategy for Science Olympiad

Authored by Jake Guyer and Malachi David; students of Assistant Professor Kate Edenborg’s ENGL 407: Seminar in Applied Journalism class in the professional communications and emerging media program.

The University of Wisconsin-Stout prides itself on being one of the top polytechnic universities in the Midwest, so it makes sense that they were awarded the opportunity to host the Science Olympiad National Tournament starting May 18.


However, preparing to host the estimated 7,000-plus people is no small task. Dining Services actually began plans to prepare food for all the participants over a year and a half ago.

“Meeting the dining service needs of a group this large on our campus is challenging,” said Dining Services Director Ann Thies. “The team has been planning for over 18 months and included a trip to last year’s conference to observe the needs, customer flow, and special issues we may need to address.”


Thies added that while Dining Services is used to serving 2,500-plus students three meals each day, the Science Olympiad meals will be different since time periods are shorter and no one will be taking their food out in food containers like many students at UW-Stout do.

“This will call upon all areas to be the most efficient they can be,” said Thies. “The menu has been simplified to assure quick choices and movement and ease of service to keep speed of service at its fastest pace possible. We will have a separate station that will be designated for special diet requirements.”

University Housing has its own preparations before they are ready to house that many people. Scott Harvey, a custodian on campus, said he is anticipating a lot of help to be coming from Housing staff.



“Luckily for us, the resident advisors and other housing student staff do a lot at the end of each school year anyway,” Harvey said. “They clean everything out and reset the rooms, and they’ll probably be giving us a hand with some of the heavy moving as well.”

While both departments are hoping for the best, they’ll also have to plan for the worst.

“Speed of service and the pace of service to assure adequate seating for each time frame of the meal period and getting everyone through in time to be at their next assigned event,” said Thies, when asked what her biggest concern was. “The learning curve is big and the time frame to learn small as far as how to navigate the cafeteria.”DSC00001

Harvey added that with all the people expected to come through the dorms, there’s bound to be some messes to clean up.

“We’re just getting ready for anything the kids can pull off,” he said jokingly. “Since they’re younger and probably not used to this kind of setting, we might see a few (messes) or things of that sort. They’re smart kids though, obviously, seeing as they’re competing in such an acclaimed competition, so I’m not anticipating any huge trouble.”Take2 lower banner




Apparel Students Make Garment Contributions for Science Olympiad

Authored by Matthew Gundrum, Jordan Rasmussen, Brittany Gunderson and Jake Smith; students in Assistant Professor Kate Edenborg’s ENGL 407: Seminar in Applied Journalism class in the professional communications and emerging media program.

There seems to be a recurring theme in the Science Olympiad’s mission: to physically manifest the concept of science. The activities at this event are offered by the organization to get young scholars around the country invested in problem solving, analytics, and innovative thinking.

However, the students involved in the competition are not the only ones learning.

Enter the UW-Stout Apparel and Communication Technologies Department. In preparation for the Olympiad, the program is creating three specialized garment types for the emcee, judges, and volunteers. Throughout this entire process there exists a crucial, interwoven thread of prime educational value that connects the students involved.

The project is extensive and many students over the course of multiple semesters have contributed.

“Eighteen students are working on it currently, and approximately sixty people have touched it throughout three semesters,” said Sheri Marnell, an adjunct UW-Stout apparel professor.


“The first [garment] is the vest which is being worn by the volunteers,” said Leslie Berlin, a UW–Stout sophomore in the apparel program. These vests are being created in Berlin’s garment engineering class, which is taught by Marnell. This class focuses merely on the production aspects of the vests as they were designed by previous students.

“We are basically simulating a manufacturing plant. So every person in the class holds a different position in the facility and it takes place in our lab in Fryklund [Hall]. So for example, I’m pressing manager, so whenever the garment gets to a point where it needs to be pressed it’s my job to do that,” said Berlin.


Berlin has also been involved with the creation of the black lab coats for judges in another class titled Specification and Fit Development.

“We had to develop a sizing chart to go off of and then we did all of the grading,” said Berlin, in reference to the lab coats. Grading is a process of systematically increasing or decreasing a particular garment to meet a desired fit. “So we are sewing all of the coats once we find a grade that fits all of our models,” she said.

In addition to the lab coats and vests, a third, more complex set of garments are being made.

Sophomore Megan Bartylla, an apparel design student at UW-Stout, is currently on the research team creating the two, Aurora Borealis-inspired dresses for the emcee. Both Bartylla and the research team, of which Berlin is also a part of, have put forth a great deal of scrutiny towards the science behind the dress.


“We have chosen fabrics for compression [purposes] that have cooling and wicking properties.  We have also taken into consideration the fiber dye-ability needed to create our planned dress,” said Bartylla.  The dresses will also have illumination abilities that add an entirely new element to the design process. “Different electrical components such as LED lights and sensors with coding will be added as well,” she said.

The emcee dresses, which will be worn by associate professor of science Judy Hopp for the opening and closing ceremonies, have undergone an extensive labor process.

“We’ve literally been working on two dresses since September. That’s thousands [of hours]. One of the dresses could go for $7,000 to $8,000,” said apparel design program director Gindy Neidermeyer. She added that the dresses will be made of a mermaid fabric that will allow for changes of color when subjected to touch and light.

The dresses were originally conceptualized in Neidermeyer’s functional design class. However, the class struggled to find approval for the designs. To find a stronger concept, Neidermeyer brought in her personal research team comprising of Berlin, Bartylla, and two other students. Following an intensive research process, the team was finally able to reach what is currently the unique concept for both dresses.


“It’s a big learning curve,” said Neidermeyer. “There’s lots of errors, lots of taking out seams, and lots of reanalyzing where production issues arise.”

But developing these garments for the National Olympiad provides an immensely valuable opportunity for the students.

“The one thing that they don’t often get is real client [experience]. Lot of times in college it’s the dream and vision of the designer but no real necessary reason to change their mind about why they did something,” said Neidermeyer. “But when they work for a client and the client says ‘Hm, not so sure,’ you really got to figure out how to make it right.”

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