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Unleash Your Superior Side | UW-Superior Admissions

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  • Kelly Bergstrom, Superior, WI
  • Ern Charoenboon, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Nate Engel, Maple Grove, MN

Superior Students

Each UW-Superior student is unique. What unites them is a desire to explore, discover and learn -- about the world and themselves.

See what they have to say here, in their own words.

Notice how certain words keep cropping up: challenge, discover, passionate, amazing, fantastic, comfortable, friendly -- and awesome.

Kelly Bergstrom: "I'm a different person than I was"

Name: Kelly Bergstrom

Age: 22

Year in school: senior

Majors: Biology and Psychology

Minor: Spanish

Activities: President, campus chapter of Psi Chi, Honorary Psychology Society; Secretary of Sojourners, international travel student interest group; Alternate Spring Break, Study Abroad, Intermural Sports

How did you discover your Superior Side?

I'm a different person than I was at age 18, definitely! I chose UW-Superior because it was close to home. I wound up taking trips to Scotland and Costa Rica and I did an internship in Nepal. I also went on two Alternate Spring Break trips. I discovered a love for other places and other cultures.

How has the Academic You grown?

I started out wanting to become a physician's assistant, so I majored in biology with a minor in chemistry. But I found out I was really interested in the biological aspects of psychology. So now I have a biology and psychology double-major, with a minor in Spanish. I'd like to go on and get a Ph.D and do clinical neuropsychology or university research, or maybe both.

Why did you change your majors?

I really wanted to focus on what I'm passionate about. Also I took Spanish all four years in high school and found out that with three semesters of Spanish and a Costa Rica study trip, I could earn a minor.

How was Costa Rica?

That was probably one of the biggest challenges I've ever faced. My host family didn't speak any English. But I found out that I could get through the day speaking entirely Spanish. I got used to it pretty quickly though. By the sixth day, I was dreaming in Spanish!

What about the Social You?

Well, besides living in the dorm my freshman year, I did two Alternate Spring Breaks with Habitat for Humanity, in Portland, Maine, and one in Denver. That's one of the best ways to get to know someone. You're riding in a van with them for 16 hours, then you work on houses for a week.

What else is special about UW-Superior?

In a smaller school like this, I'm developing relationships with all of my professors. So I feel comfortable approaching them to be an adviser on my undergrad research.

At a liberal arts school like UW-Superior, to me it means getting a broad education and looking at things from multiple disciplines, like biology and psychology. You're experiencing a little bit of everything, and you're able to pursue your interests.

What are you looking forward to?

The Psi Chi members from UW-Superior are going to this year's Midwestern Psychological Association conference in Chicago. We get to hear Al Bandura, the social psychologist.


Ern Charoenboon: "This is it, this is what I want to do"

Name: "Ern" (Nutcha) Charoenboon

Hometown: Bankok, Thailand

Class: Sophomore

Major: Biology and broad field science, with a chemistry minor

Activities: Senator of the Natural Sciences, Math and HHP Departments in the Student Government Association; executive board member of Students of Science and World Student Association; A Capella Choir; Yellowjacket Activities Crew; Pre-Med Club; Resident Assistant in residence halls.

How did you unleash your Superior Side?

Before I came to UW-Superior, I didn't know what I wanted to do for sure. I was an accounting major -- my parents thought that would get me a good job. But I took science classes to fill my gen eds and I said, 'This is it, this is what I want to do.' Maybe it's the way the classes were taught -- the science department is fantastic and I've gotten to know a lot of the faculty. I love that they give me time and they challenge me to be a better student.

What drew you to UW-Superior initially? 

The first thing was its amazing International Program. Then followed many things -- class size, close relationship between students and faculty, cultural diversity, amazing people, and the unique opportunities to do things around here. I also LOVE the Natural Sciences Department.

What did you learn about yourself at UW-Superior? 

As an international student coming in, especially not being a native English speaker, I never thought I would be able to be in a leadership role on campus, to be involved in organizations and to be an RA. The RAs from last year nominated me to be one this year.

What are your career goals? 

After graduating from UW-Superior, I want to attend school to become a dentist. My dream job is to volunteer or work for a non-profit organization.

What have you liked most about this school year? 

All the classes that I'm taking this semester are really interesting and I can't wait to learn more! I love all of my wonderful friends so I'm glad to get to be with them and also make new friends. I am also excited to see the change in myself at the end of the semester and I'm going to try my hardest to do good things to create positive impact on people and things around me.

What are you looking forward to next year? 

I'm going to be attending fall semester at the University of Rhode Island through the National Student Exchange.

In one sentence, what is your advice to your peers about succeeding in college?

Never ever ever give up! Always be patient and keep a positive attitude. Take all the opportunities that come into your life because you can learn so much from them. And just ENJOY! Whoa... that was more than one sentence!

Nate Engel: "It was everything I dreamed about"

Name: Nate Engel

Year in school: Junior

Major: Business management

Hometown: Maple Grove, MN

Activities: Men's Yellowjacket soccer (Division 3): team co-captain, 2012 all-conference first team, 2012 all-state second team; Wisconsin in Scotland study abroad program

How did you find out about UW-Superior?

I was recruited to play soccer. At the time, I said thanks, but I'm going somewhere else. It sounds kind of silly now, but I went to college where my best friend was going. Before Ben [Yellowjackets soccer coach Ben Mooney] contacted me, I didn't even know there was a university in Superior. But I wound up transferring here after my sophomore year.

What tipped the balance for you?

Being able to play soccer was huge for me. Soccer was my number one priority; I've been playing since I was 4 or 5. My main reason for coming here was to play sports. But I found out there's a lot more that's great here. When I got here, it was everything I dreamed about.

That's a bold statement. What do you mean?

I transferred from a bigger school, where some of the class sizes were enormous, maybe 250 people. Here, having teachers know you by name, they spend time individually with you, rather than just coming to a class and preaching to 250 kids. Here you can get your individual questions answered. I think it's easier to learn when you have a more friendly classroom, when the professors know you on a personal level. Not a lot of universities can say most of their class sizes are 25 or fewer.

How is it juggling varsity sports and your classes?

Fall semester is really busy with soccer. With classes, practice, travel, games, it's time-consuming. Any time we have on the bus coming home, we spend studying. But the business faculty, all the faculty really, are good about working with you. They're good about getting back to you quickly, answering your email and questions.

How did you discover your Superior Side?

My first few years of college, I was probably more introverted and kept to myself. Since coming to Superior, I feel like I have become a more outgoing person, not the person to hang back and be shy but the person who speaks up. Before I came here, public speaking was my number one fear. I absolutely hated it. Coming here, I conquered it.

How did that happen?

Being in smaller classes and presenting in front of them, I knew everybody and knew they weren't going to be critical. After presenting in a lot of classes, now I'm pretty comfortable speaking in front of groups.

Why did you choose to do a Wisconsin in Scotland semester?

I heard a bunch of good things about the Scotland program. It wound up being the 3 1/2 best months of my life.

What made it so great?

We went to classes in a castle near Edinburgh and at least 20 kids from this university, and five close friends, came along. It made that experience so much better. Getting to have dinner with a Scottish family was pretty cool. I made more friends and got to know some of the faculty a lot better.

Classes were Monday through Thursday. That left the weekends open to do what we wanted -- travel, see sights in Europe. We actually went to some soccer matches. It's amazing to be playing soccer all your life, following the European teams, and then be able to see them in person.

Any advice to incoming students?

Don't second-guess yourself. Just go with it.

How's your friend doing at that other school?

You know what? He's here now too.

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