Our student spotlight for October is on MaryJo Kanelos of Muskego, a sophomore at UW-Waukesha, who is majoring in nursing. In addition to her studies, Nikki keeps very busy - both on campus and off - serving as President of the Student Government Association, and active in the Pre-Health Sciences Club and Players Theatre of Waukesha. Sue Kalinka, Student Life Coordinator, recommended MaryJo for this distinction. Sue noted that MaryJo spent “the first half of her summer working at the Wisconsin Lions Camp in Rothschild as a nursing assistant. She then returned home and attended a national student government conference.” MaryJo who has a 4.0 GPA, was recognized with an Emerging Leaders Award and received a scholarship at the Leadership Banquet in May.
Name: MaryJo Kanelos
Hometown: Muskego, WI
High School: Muskego High School, 2016 Graduate
Career Goal: My career goal is to work as a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist in pediatrics. I would love the opportunity to work at Children’s Hospital Surgicenter in providing assistance whether it would relate to anesthesia or surgery.
Transition Plans after UW-Waukesha: I plan to transfer to UW-Madison to complete my nursing degree. After working and gaining experience in Nursing I hope to continue my education in order to obtain my master’s degree.
Outside of being a college student, what takes up your free time? Besides being a college student, I am the president of Student Government on campus. I am also involved in a number of clubs at UW-Waukesha. I was Vice President of ACT (activities coordination team), which plans most of the events on campus. I was also the secretary of our Players Theatre of Waukesha and Vice President of Pre-Health Sciences club. Pre Health Sciences is a great organization that raises money for different charities and provides opportunities of different volunteer work relating to the medical field. I am also the Anatomy and Physiology tutor for this semester at UW-Waukesha. I love staying busy, and UW-Waukesha has definitely opened many opportunities for me to stay involved and occupied.
Why did you choose UW‐Waukesha? I choose UW-Waukesha for multiple reasons. First, I liked that it was a smaller campus compared to the other universities. I did not want to be overwhelmed coming straight out of high school, and the small campus atmosphere allowed me to thrive at UW-Waukesha. I also was interested in the Guaranteed Transfer program at the time, and I liked knowing that after 2 years I would be able to transfer to UW-Madison no problem.
Who is your favorite professor or staff member? This is definitely a difficult question, since I have met a lot of great and inspiring faculty members on campus, but Sue Kalinka is definitely one of my favorites. The effort she puts into student life on campus is inspiring, and the advice she gives to students is so appreciative. Academically, I would have to say Professor Lem. She is a professor that truly cares about her students not only succeeding, but also taking away something from her class. English is one my weakest subjects, but from taking Professor Lem’s class she has made me a much better writer and critical thinker.
What is your favorite class? My favorite class would have to be Anatomy and Physiology. I love learning about how our human body works, as well as knowing all the names to the bones and muscles. Professor Brock was also a great professor who made the class fun and engaging. While the class was tedious and difficult, it truly teaches you “how to study”. I learned so much from that class, including where someone’s sternocleidomastoid is!
Advice for incoming UW‐Waukesha students? Join clubs and get involved! UW-Waukesha is a commuter campus, but students should still get involved in campus life. Joining clubs is a great way to meet some new people, and gain some great friendships. It will make your experience here much more memorable and enjoyable. Also, take advantage of all of the resources and opportunities here. UW-Waukesha actually has a lot of opportunities for students - such as our research symposium, the academic success center and career and internship office.
Role as Student Government President: I wanted to become student government president because I truly wanted to become more involved on campus. Many people fought to get a student chair and vote on these committee meetings, and I think it is important that we use that to our advantage. I want to listen to the student body, and change UW-Waukesha for the students’ best interest.
One of my goals is to fill some of the extra space on campus and use it to our advantage. I want to see what the students want to see, or what they may need in order to succeed here. We have a limited budget, but I plan to spread it out in a way that everyone can benefit from it. I plan to have an open office each month in order for the students to give some feedback, and get them to know their student representatives. During the end of semester, I also hope to host a de-stress fest. I think that event was a huge hit last year, and something that the students will benefit from.
This past summer, I was fortunate enough to attend a student government conference and met students in student government from across the nation. At this conference I attended several educational sessions, which were very helpful, but most importantly I was able to talk to other student government presidents. From these discussions, I was able to take what works for them, and I plan to use that for this upcoming year.
The University of Wisconsin -Waukesha offers freshman and sophomore level classes in over 250 majors, as well as bachelor degree options. A campus of the University of Wisconsin System, it provides access close to home, small class sizes, personalized attention from highly qualified faculty and credits that transfer. The campus is located at 1500 N. University Drive in Waukesha. For more information or directions to the campus, visit the website, waukesha.uwc.edu or email: firstname.lastname@example.org