A Q&A with one of the 1,319 students who received a diploma May 4 at UW-Stout:
Name: Mary Daye
Hometown: Youngstown, Ohio
Major: Vocational rehabilitation, concentration in social work
Awards, honors: Cum Laude, Chancellor’s Award all four years, McNair Scholar, Stout Foundation Scholarship
Why did you choose UW-Stout? I chose UW-Stout for its awesome retail merchandising major but found my passion in the human services field after exploration. I was so glad to know that I had other options here at Stout that ended up being the perfect fit for me and allowing me to find a career path that I truly love and am so excited to be a part of.
What are the biggest obstacles you faced in earning your degree? I had to overcome the challenge of being a minority student on a predominantly white campus. Not feeling like I fit in at times put a lot of pressure on me. I am grateful to have joined Multicultural Student Services and student organizations that have made me feel so supported at Stout. I truly would not be here without their support.
What stands out among your college experiences? I have been able to be secretary, vice president and president of Black Student Union, helping to plan events and develop my leadership skills. I have held almost every position within the BSU executive board or performed duties related to each position. I feel that this organization has been a passion and challenge for me to be a part of. I hope everyone can be in a leadership position in an organization and learn the challenges and rewards that come with it. I also learned so much from a study abroad experience to Guatemala, where we volunteered in clinics to help doctors spot signs of illness and helped people with prescription medications.
What’s next? I will be attending the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities to work on my master’s in clinical social work. I will be moving to the St. Paul area with my husband, Michel. I am so excited to be in the city with more food and culture. I received the provost’s diversity fellowship through the U of M. This fellowship was only earned by 10 professional students campuswide. It will be funding my schooling fully, including insurance and stipends. I hope to excel just as much at the U as I have here at Stout. The foundation is laid, and I’m ready to join the career force!