May 14, 2020

Class of 2020: Bringing perseverance and unity into the future

UW-Superior 2020 graduates will forever be remembered as a group that overcame tremendous obstacles to finish what they had started

Class of 2020: Bringing perseverance and unity into the future

UW-Superior 2020 graduates will forever be remembered as a group that overcame tremendous obstacles to finish what they had started, venturing out into a world dramatically changed. We’ve caught-up with a few soon-to-be graduates to discover what their time at UWS has meant and what the future holds for them. These students will undoubtedly lead the way to a brighter future and we are tremendously proud to call them Yellowjackets.

Cameron Lee

Cameron Lee

Hometown: Durban, South Africa

Major: business administration with a concentration in finance, minor in economics

Future Plans: Cameron plans to pursue a M.S. in finance at Grenoble Ecole de Management in France.  

At UW-Superior, Cameron, a member of the Yellowjacket baseball team, found the perfect confluence of education and athletics. When former Yellowjacket baseball coach – and current director of athletics – Nicholas Bursik expressed interest in adding Cameron to the team, the native of South Africa knew he had found an environment in which he would be comfortable, grow as a baseball player and receive a top education. “The finance program was a good balance of theory and applicable real-world skills, which was important to me,” Cameron said. “When I visited the campus in February 2016, I was particularly attracted to the friendliness of the people and the opportunities that the Twin Ports promised for varied experiences. I was excited at the prospect of experiences very different from what I was used to in South Africa.”

Although thousands of miles away from home, Cameron found a supportive network that not only included his teammates, but faculty and staff as well. “There's too many to name them all, but Dr. Rubana Mahjabeen really pushed me to pick up a second major in economics and supported me a lot once I did,” said Cameron. “As a finance major, I also got to learn a lot about how finance is applied in the real-world from David Koslowsky. As a student-athlete, I must say that a lot of my teachers were very understanding and supportive, considering the amount of time I've had to spend out of class.”

Cameron’s outstanding academic accomplishments were recognized by some of the top graduate schools in the world. After receiving merit scholarship offers from several top-ranked schools, he  has decided to attend Grenoble Ecole de Management in France where he will pursue a master’s degree in finance.

Chris Morrone

Chris Morrone

Hometown: Philips, Wisconsin

Major: elementary education; minor in social studies education

Future Plans: Chris is ready to step into his own classroom teaching grades 1 to 4 in northern Wisconsin, knowing he’s received the right tools to succeed. “I believe that UWS helped me better understand how to create a classroom that recognizes diversity, such as cognitive and cultural, and then accommodates the different needs of students through planned differentiation and compassion.”

As a distance learning student in UW-Superior’s online education program Chris was able to follow his passion without interruption to his responsibilities. “I have always had a passion for helping others and becoming an elementary teacher is a meaningful way that I can do so,” said Chris, an Army veteran with two tours of duty in the Middle East. “I expected to learn teaching techniques and concepts that would prepare me for facilitating learning in my own classroom.”

Although an online student, his effort and dedication to his studies did not go unnoticed by his professors. “As a teacher, Chris has a keen sense of awareness of the learners in his classroom and their needs to be successful,” said Nicholle Schuelke, assistant professor of teacher education. “Further, he is a model teacher candidate as a reflective practitioner.”  Chris also felt supported by others on campus. “Dr. Mary Lee-Nichols was an outstanding academic advisor who offered excellent advice, worked hard to help coordinate my academic planning, and was also someone who I could speak to about how to best coordinate education and personal-life,” he said.

Angelica Remache

Angelica Remache

Hometown: El Tambo, Cañar, Ecuador

Majors: economics and political science

Future Plans: Angelica hopes to stay in the area until finding a job.

Angelica literally made headlines during her time at UW-Superior, serving as a Youth Ambassador for the United Nation’s Youth Assembly and being selected from hundreds of applicants for an internship at the United Nations last year. While there, she provided administrative assistance the president of the United Nations General Assembly.

Angelica has also written and published a book in Spanish called, “Te voy a contar un secreto.” (I will tell you a secret.) But her biggest dream remains to be fulfilled and that is to work with an organization that helps people from developing countries – possibly through a paid position with the United Nations or elsewhere.

But, just as for most 2020 graduates, COVID-19 has placed some hurdles in Angelica’s path. She had planned to go back to New York to work, but with the city being the epicenter of the virus and most workplaces postponing hiring, she has decided to stay in Superior and seek employment locally until things settle down.

With many memorable accomplishments from her time at UW-Superior to choose from, Angelica said the achievement that makes her most proud is taking her last final online.

“It meant a lot to me because this has been a challenging situation for us all, but we will be remembered for the unity we demonstrated in these rough times. I’d also like to thank my professors for their commitment, passion and dedication. Even when a pandemic hit our lives, UW-Superior has shown how much they care about us and how important our lives are to them. Thank you for these years! We are Superior!”

Molly Shelton

Molly Shelton

Hometown: Pine Island, Minnesota

Major: biology; minor in psychology

Future Plans: After graduation, Molly will be a part of the 2021 class of the Surgical First Assistant program at the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences with the goal of becoming a certified surgical first assistant, working closely with surgeons in the operating room during surgical procedures.

Molly, who was the Yellowjacket women’s hockey assistant captain her junior year and captain her senior year, was originally drawn to UW-Superior because of the location. “The Twin Ports area offers an abundance of outdoor activities that I knew I would like to take advantage of when I wasn’t studying or playing hockey,” Molly said about the area, which offered her a way to relax between classes and games.

Arriving on campus as an undecided student, Molly took time to explore all her options before making a commitment. “Science was always my favorite subject through my primary schooling and a lot of upperclassmen on my hockey team were biology majors, so I was able to talk with them about their experiences,” she says. A family emergency also helped Molly realize she’d made the right choice for her education. “When I was a sophomore, my dad underwent open heart surgery. Through this experience, I knew I wanted to end up in the medical field.”

Molly also benefitted from UW-Superior’s devoted faculty committed to student success.  “Dr. Shanna Nifoussi was a very impactful faculty member for me. Her teaching style and personality really made me excited about my future in biology.” After this course, Dr. Nifoussi became Molly’s academic advisor and a mentor helping with any concerns or challenges. “She always took the time to talk me through them whether it was in her office or an unexpected Facetime call. Not only was she extremely supportive in my academics, I think she was at just about every home hockey game supporting me and other science student athletes.”

Looking back at her time at UW-Superior, Molly is most proud of being a first-generation student who will be graduating with a degree in biology and with honors. “I think UWS really allowed me to mature from an 18-year-old kid to a young woman with the knowledge and confidence to pursue a career in the medical field. I was challenged academically and developed leadership and communication skills that will ensure my future success,” she said.

Paul Sumption

Paul Sumption

Hometown: Frederick, South Dakota

Majors: transportation and logistics management and business administration with a concentration in supply chain management

Future Plans: Continue current employment at BSNF Railway while seeking career advancement opportunities in the transportation industry.

Paul came to UW-Superior after eight years in the U.S. Air Force and 20 years of being away from school. A nontraditional student, he worked hard to maintain a high GPA while balancing the demands of a full-time job, a family with five sons, and full-time classes.

Paul initially chose UW-Superior because of its proximity to his home and the small class sizes, but said he also quickly discovered the quality of the T&L program and knew it was the perfect fit for him.

“I have had an outstanding experience and have had so many outstanding faculty and staff to support me along the way. UWS has prepared me for the future by providing me an outstanding education in a career field that is full of opportunities.”

Paul found an invaluable support network through the Veteran and Nontraditional Student Center, where he said he met some of his closest friends at UWS. “It was a place I could go to connect with other students like me. At the VNSC I was able to enjoy a lot of great conversations, work through some issues, find advice or support, and catch a badly needed nap.”

Paul plans to continue in his current role at BNSC Railroad while he seeks new opportunities to further his professional career. “My long-term goal is to find a career that will allow me to keep learning, remain agile, and help develop future leaders in the transportation industry.”

Senia Swanson

Senia Swanson

Hometown: Superior, Wisconsin

Majors: writing and music performance - violin

Future Plans: To move to the Twin Cities and start her new job, which she secured before graduating

Before the ink is dry on her diploma, Senia will already have begun her new marketing job in the Twin Cities. For those who know her and are familiar with her outstanding talents and skills, it comes as no surprise. Senia’s position will make full use of her writing major and allow her to grow her skills in writing, social media, and search engine optimization (SEO) – all things she was introduced to at UW-Superior and further developed on her own as a professional and freelance writer.

Senia grew up in Superior and said she continually saw how wonderful UW-Superior was. After taking violin lessons with Dr. Erin Aldridge, music professor, she knew it was the right fit for her. Choosing her major in music was almost a foregone conclusion given her lifelong passion for music, but after taking a writing class, she discovered a love for the written word and decided to add it as her second major.

Senia said she found academics at UW-Superior to be quite rigorous, making it a challenge to balance her two majors and her other aspects of her life, but with the help of a planner and highlighters, she managed to keep track of it all.

Looking back, she said her most proud achievements were winning a concerto competition twice and writing an entire eBook for her senior experience.

“My professors taught me a lot of essential skills in the classroom to prepare me for a great career,” she said. “But what’s even more, they supported me and helped me excel outside of the classroom, too, which gave me valuable experience, allowed me to hone my skills and build a strong portfolio.”

Looking to the future, Senia said she is excited to start her new job in the Twin Cities and for her and her husband to settle into their new community. Down the road, she hopes to work for the Minnesota Orchestra or St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and become a published author.



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