A perfect fit

A perfect fit

Adalia Ortiz found a supportive community at UW-Superior

For some students starting college, one of the biggest concerns can be wondering if they will fit in. For Adalia Ortiz, who is set to graduate Summa Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin-Superior on Saturday, May 18, with more than 650 fellow classmates, those thoughts were top of her mind.

“I think the biggest thing I was worried about [my] freshman year was honestly living in the residence halls and the unknown of what kind of neighbors I would have,” she said. “I wake up early and go to bed early-ish like 8:30 – 9 p.m., and I was terrified I was going to get loud neighbors that would stay up late.”

Yet due to the Covid pandemic, the residence halls at UW-Superior were relatively empty and especially quiet, which allowed Ortiz to focus on her studies and connecting with campus.

Learning and Growing

With a desire to pursue a career in education, Ortiz knew UW-Superior’s extensive history of providing teacher education would make it a great fit.

“I wanted to attend a small college campus and I knew UWS has a strong education program,” she said. “I have always wanted to be a teacher. I love learning and helping others learn and grow.” 

As an elementary education major, Ortiz had a full load of academic responsibilities. But assignments and classes weren’t the only things on her to-do list. Ortiz is also a member of the Wisconsin National Guard as a 12N – Horizontal Construction Engineer operating heavy machinery and construction equipment. While serving, Ortiz has been appreciative of her instructors’ flexibility with her schedule.

“All my teachers and professors have been pretty wonderful,” she said. “They are super understanding when I have military obligations and all my class sizes have been small, which is something I really like.” 

Getting Involved

The small college environment that attracted Ortiz to UW-Superior proved to be everything she had hoped for. She has been an active member of UW-Superior’s Native Nations Student Organization (NNSO) and served as the secretary last year and attended Powwow trips with the organization, which she found “super fun.” 

The size of UW-Superior has also enabled Ortiz to make the most out of campus resources.

“Having small class sizes helps the instructors be able to meet and interact with all of us and being able to chill in the ESC [Educational Success Center], ICRC [Indigenous Cultures Resource Center], GERC [Gender Equity Resource Center] in Swenson Hall has allowed me to meet and interact with other students, faculty and staff.” 

Currently student-teaching 5th grade at Bryant Elementary, after graduation Ortiz hopes to find a full-time teaching opportunity.

“I am currently applying and interviewing at various elementary and middle schools in Wisconsin,” she said. “Since I am originally from Neenah, Wisconsin, and I have family there, I am hoping to move toward central Wisconsin so I can be a little bit closer to home; but I have greatly enjoyed living up here the past three-and-a-half years.”