From a small town to big experiences at UW-Superior

From a small town to big experiences at UW-Superior

Growing up in the rural town of Laona, located in Northeastern Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin-Superior provided a sense of comfort and familiarity for Ethan Westimayer while also offering the academics and extracurricular activities he wanted.

“I came from a small town and the school and class sizes were more comfortable and easier to adjust to here at UW-Superior,” he said. “I also liked the area and athletics also helped bring me here as well.”

For Westimayer, who is set to graduate Saturday, May 18, with more than 650 fellow classmates, starting his college career during a global pandemic provided an unusual challenge.

“I really wasn’t sure what to expect,” he said. “I started college during Covid, but I was expecting smaller class sizes and the ability to reach out to professors.”

Westimayer, a double-major in transportation and logistics management and supply chain management with a minor in business analytics who will graduate Magna Cum Laude, says UW-Superior has opened the door to future career options and provided a variety of experiences.

“I would say going on our annual Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) Expo trip out to Long Beach, California, this last fall and getting to compete in the Intermodal Case Study Competition and see a lot of cool equipment have been highlights,” he said. 

The Intermodal Case Study Competition allows students to put classroom learning into a real-world environment. The UW-Superior student team competed against teams from other IANA scholarship schools such as California State Maritime Academy, College of Charleston, Georgia Southern University and the universities of Arkansas, Maryland, North Florida and North Texas.

“I found this competition to be a fun kind of stress,” said Westimayer. “After the competition, we got to kick back a little bit and go to the expo. Seeing and talking to the companies at the expo was a great experience for me, and seeing some of the new technology on display was neat, too.”

In the classroom, Westimayer credits the support of UW-Superior faculty and staff for enabling him to succeed with a heavy academic load.

“My interactions with faculty and staff have been really positive,” he said. “They have supported me all the way through, and I would not be in as good of a position as I am without their help. They always appreciated when I would email them ahead of time as normally, I would get an early start on most assignments.” 

A member of the Yellowjackets track and field team, Westimayer has had a stellar career with multiple UMAC Track Athlete of the Week and Academic All-Conference awards. He ranks breaking two school records for the track and field team – as part of the relay team that broke the 4-x-200-meter relay record and then the 4-x-100-meter relay record – within 20 hours of each other in Virginia as a favorite athletic accomplishment. Westimayer currently holds the UW-Superior men’s indoor track and field record in the 200-meter dash.

Yet Westimayer wasn’t just busy with athletics. He was a part of the Transportation and Logistics Club for three years and served as an officer of the club for two years including as vice president this year. Westimayer also was a part of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for two years. 

“I will always be grateful for my time at UWS and will appreciate the wonderful people that I have met along the way,” he said.