Kate Johnson, of Boyceville, who earned a master’s in clinical mental health counseling, has struggled to overcome multiple learning disabilities but was inspired by Professor John Klem. “He truly instilled a new and renewed sense of who I can be when I live with my truth and not against it. I am changed because he believed in me enough to challenge old narratives and support me in making way for a capable human who leaves this institution knowing she can share this hope to inspire others.”
Jade Krol, of Marshall, an online graduate in special education, thanked her professors for helping her become a critical thinker. She earned a degree while holding a full-time job. “Not only did my professors teach me vital things that will take me far into my career, but they have taught me how to think. I have learned discipline, especially being a (distance education) student, but also deepened other qualities such as empathy, compassion and awareness” and the importance of self-care.
Highlights of speeches by the alum and students included:
Charles Wachsmuth, alum and vice president of Chippewa Valley Bean of Menomonie, the world’s largest processor and exporter of kidney beans, cited important life skills he learned while at UW-Stout, including communication, relationship management, research and critical thinking. “They’ve allowed me to grow and prosper. They will serve you well in all aspects of your life, in your career, in your personal relationships,” he told graduates.