UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
This page is dedicated to those who have earned an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
The intent of this page is to give students some insight into the life beyond UWRF (i.e., what do people do after graduating with an undergraduate degree in psychology).
* Jacqueline (Hance) Ahlers
Graduated 1992 with a Psychology major and a minor in Spanish.
Following her UW-RF undergraduate degree, Jacqueline began working on a MSE in Community Counseling at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. In 1996, she completed her degree work. Jacqueline is currently working at Sibley County Human Services doing child protection and children's mental health case management. She is married to former UW-RF student, Scott Ahlers and they have one child.
* Ilisa (Sykora) Ailts
Graduated with a Psychology major in 2002.
Ilisa notes, "The smartest thing I did for myself as a college student was intern. I interned with the MN Department of Corrections as a caseworker. I had a job as a resident counselor in a juvenile female group home lined up when I graduated." She has since left that position to become a family resource provider (family services) with Head Start.
Advice for current or prospective psychology majors: Do an internship (gain experience and find out if you even like it) and emphasize your major with the area you want to apply your degree. For example, I had Sociology and Criminal Justice and both have helped me in my jobs because of working with court orders and social workers. Also, look into such areas and what you should expect in the workforce, I have had to work some strange hours and quite frankly have not been paid what I think I'm worth. I just keep thinking the $$ will come!
* Jill Alzen
Graduated with a BS in Psychology in 2002.
Jill finished her MA in Gerontology at Bethel University (St. Paul) in 2004. Since graduation she has been working for the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging in North St. Paul. She is currently working on the Encompass Project, which is supported by a grant from the State of Minnesota. Jill also works as a gerontologist in a geriatric healthcare clinic in Maplewood, MN.
Advice for current or prospective psychology majors: If your lifestyle allows it and your motivations are there, continue on to graduate school.
* Lisa Ariola
Graduated 1997 with a Psychology major and an English minor.
After her undergraduate years at UW-RF, Lisa has returned and is pursuing her Master's of Science in Education within the realm of Elementary School Counseling. She states that she is very much in love with the path that she has chosen and that "Graduate School is excellent."
* Cheryl Asmus
Graduated 1994 with a Psychology major.
Since graduating from UW-RF, Cheryl has continued her education in Environmental/Social Psychology at Colorado State University where she earned her M.S. in 1996. She is presently planning on completing her Ph.D. work during the summer of 1998. After graduation, Cheryl will be working as a Research Scientist at the Tri Ethnic Center for Prevention Research. Cheryl's varied research interests include the effects of community characteristics on drug and alcohol use, homelessness, AIDS and domestic violence. She has done consulting work for both NASA and the Hog Breeders Association.
* Tashia (Scales) Atkins
Graduated with a Psychology major in 2000.
After leaving UW-RF, Tashia completed her masters work at UW-Stout (Masters of Science Degree in Vocational Rehabilitation 2002). During that time, she worked as a customer service representative for APAC. She is currently, employed as an unemployment benefit specialist for the state.
* Andrea (Dilley) Barker
Graduated with majors in Psychology and Communicative Disorders in 2000.
Andrea is currently working for a licensing board for the State of Minnesota.
Advice for current or prospective psychology majors: Learn all that you can - you will use it someday!
* Nate Biggar
Graduated 1998 with majors in Psychology and Business Administration.
After graduation, Nate took a position working as a regional sales representative for a company called BCL Capital (a subsidiary of Schwan's Sales Enterprises) based in Bloomington. He now works in sales for U.S. Bank.
Advice for current or prospective psychology majors: There are no shortcuts. Just do the work and don't make excuses!
* Tim Bodeen
Graduated 1989 with double major in Psychology and Biology.
After graduation, Tim went to Tanzania with the Peace Corps where he worked in aquaculture. After returning to the U.S. he took a position with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Bozeman, Montana. He was recently named the refuge manager for Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (yes, the Midway island in the middle of the Pacific). He is excited about his work and hopes for forge contacts between UW-RF and his work in the Pacific. Tim is married to Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen (another UW-RF alumni).
* Heather Bowden
Graduated 1996 with a Psychology major and a minor in Criminal Justice.
Heather is currently working at a Rule 36 facility in downtown St. Paul at Community Foundation, as a Mental Health Counselor. Her job consists of working with SPMI adults both in the facility and out in the community. Heather participates in one-to-one and after-care client interventions. She also assists the therapists with assessments, initial program plans and quarterly meetings. She enjoys this job, but adds, "Some days get very interesting!"
* Ali (Witt) Brown
Graduated in 1997 with a Psychology major.
After leaving UW-RF, Ali has had numerous work experiences in the field of Human Services. She loves her current work at Scott County New Options (a DT&H for mentally ill and developmentally disabled adults) as a program coordinator. This program is the only county run DAC/DT&H in the state of Minnesota! Ali is married to James Brown (not the singer) and has one son named Ethan.
Advice for current or prospective psychology majors: I am not too big of an advice giver, but I enjoyed my time at UWRF. I do use the information I learned in my psychology courses and thank the professors who teach them! Take the time to enjoy the college life - the ups and downs - and use all resources available through UW-RF!! HAVE FUN!
* Anna Chandonnet
Graduated 2000 with a double major in Psychology and Chemistry and a minor in Biology.
Anna has recently been accepted into a Master's Degree program at Minnesota State University - Mankato. She is very excited about the program and tells everyone to please, "keep in touch."
* Molly Fenske
Graduated in 1997 with a Psychology major.
After leaving UW-RF, Molly earned a MA in Counseling and Psychological Services from Saint Mary's University. She is currently Dean of Students and Counselor at Rockford Middle School.
Advice for current or prospective psychology majors: Enjoy college while you can!
* Rebecca Harrison
Graduated in 1998 with a Psychology major.
After graduating from UWRF, Rebecca worked as a coordinator for NETworks Youth Ministries in Hudson, WI. She then enrolled in the Medical College of Wisconsin MD Program and graduated in May 2006. Rebecca is currently in the Psychiatry residency program at MCW.
Advice for current or prospective psychology majors: I had a great experience at UWRF and would be happy to talk with any students who might be interested in medicine/psychiatry.
* Tammy (Stander) Hulsebosch
Graduated 1997 with a major in Psychology.
Tammy has spent most of her post-UW-RF years as a case manager in the insurance industry.
Advice for current or prospective psychology majors: If you plan on working in a related field you must get a graduate degree.
* Stephanie Iams
Graduated 1997 with a Psychology major and a Women's Studies minor.
A recent UW-RF graduate, Stephanie is currently working at the University of Minnesota in the Facilities Management Department as a senior accounts assistant. In addition to this work, Stephanie is taking night classes at the University of Minnesota in order to fulfill pre-requisites for the M.B.A. Program offered at that university. Stephanie hopes to get accepted into the MBA Program and concentrate on Entrepreneurial Studies.
* Brooke (Peterson) John
Graduated 1997 with majors in Psychology and Communication Disorders.
After leaving UW-RF, Brooke completed a Master's Degree at Minnesota State University. She is now with the New Richmond School District working with child with speech and language disorders.
* John LaVelle
Graduated with majors in Psychology and Modern Languages-Spanish.
After graduation, John enrolled in the Applied Psychology Program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Some of his graduate duties include: serving as a teacher's assistant, designing/redesigning/analyzing surveys, and other fun jobs.
Advice for current or prospective psychology majors: Get to know your professors and the staff that keeps the department running smoothly. Get involved in the department. Psyc Club, Psi Chi, department events and conferences are great opportunities to meet your professors outside of the classroom. Use the psyc lounge... it's a great place to study, to wait for your next class, to see others and to be seen. In class, ask questions often... it shows that you are paying attention and are interested in the material. Take every class that is offered in the major, even if it's not required... it'll expose you to new ideas and theories, and will hopefully introduce you to an area of study that you will eventually focus upon. Lastly, you are paying for the college experience... you owe it to yourself to take the most difficult classes and professors... often they have the most to teach you. Approach every class with an open mind and the attitude that "it's okay for me to make mistakes... I am here to learn."
* Donna (Man Sun) Lee
Graduated 1993 with a Psychology major and Business Administration minor.
After receiving her undergraduate degree, Donna continued her education earning a MS in Counseling Education in 1994. Donna then returned to Hong Kong, where she began working as a guidance counselor in September 1995. Since September 1997, Donna has worked in three elementary schools, which have approximately 2000 school kids.
* Julianne Lindau
Graduated 1995 with a Psychology major.
After graduating from UW-RF, Julianne finished a Master's Degree program in Vocational Rehabilitation at UW-Stout. She is currently enrolled in the law degree program at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul. Julianne also is the proud mother of three-year old Naomi, who her mom describes as a "dolly!"
* Gretchen (Petersen) Minikel
Graduated 1996 with majors in Psychology and Sociology.
After graduating from UW-RF, Gretchen earned a certificate from Hamline University in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). She is currently the Program Director/QMRP of In-Home Family Services for an agency that serves people with autism and is interested in possibly shedding some light on the topic of autism and disabilities. She also sets up internships for her program. Gretchen is married and resides in New Richmond, WI. Some of her hobbies include fishing, camping, traveling, reading, movies and spending time with family.
* Karen M. (Haddow) Moore
Graduated in 1964 with majors in Psychology and Elementary Education.
After leaving UW-RF, Karen entered the teaching profession and is currently teaching in the Appleton Area School District.
Advice for current or prospective psychology majors: My psychology degree and the knowledge gained to attain it has been immensely helpful in my teaching career. My knowledge of human behavior has made me a much better teacher than I would have been without it. I understand my students much more easily and also their parents. With that deeper understanding of what makes my students tick, I feel that I can touch the soul of almost all of them. I am currently teaching in what might be called an inner city school with over half at the poverty level. I could not have dealt with the problems these children come to school with had I not had my psychology background. I intended to just stay at this school a year or two but found my niche and have completed my eighteenth year there. As far as I am concerned, these two majors are made to go together!
* Martha Moore
Graduated 1990 with a Biology major and minors in Psychology and Secondary Education.
After graduating from UW-RF, Martha was accepted into the Counseling Psychology Program at Texas Tech University where she earned her Ph.D. in 1997. Her graduate internship was at Iowa State University. Martha is currently a "one and only" post-doc clinical psychology resident at Illinois State University. Her duties include teaching graduate and undergraduate courses, supervising therapists in training, working with clients, and administrative duties.
* Janice Pavik
Graduated 2002 with majors in Psychology and Theater.
After graduation, Janice entered the Master's of Arts in Counseling Program at Valparaiso University and expects to graduate in May of 2005. She has also worked as a client assistant at The Caring Place (a domestic abuse shelter) and as a behavioral specialist at a residential facility for chronically mentally ill males.
Advice for current or prospective psychology majors: Try to get as much practical experience in as many different settings as possible. It will prepare you for the opportunities ahead and give you a true understanding of what you want to do.
* Michael Rainer
Graduated 1995 with a Psychology major and a Sociology minor.
After leaving UW-RF, Michael worked as a computer/statistics assistant for the Minneapolis VA Medical Center. In September 1996, he began work in the Ph.D. Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Experimental Psychology. Michael is now focusing on quantitative analysis and business market research and plans to start M.B.A. work in marketing two years from now.
* Matt Robinson
Graduated 1996 with a Psychology major and a Philosophy minor.
After graduation, Matt worked at U.S. Bank as a business analyst. After some time in the "real world" he realized that business was not where he wanted to be, so Matt applied and was accepted into the School Psychology Program at UW-RF. He began his studies in the fall of 1998 and was excited to return to UW-RF.
* Gail Ruckle
Graduated December 2002 with a Psychology major and Computer and Business minor.
Gail decided to give up her Internet business and focus on helping people, which is why she left her IT career in the first place. For a few years she worked as a housing director in an upscale senior living community. The most exciting and rewarding part of her job was helping seniors and families work through the challenges that can come with aging. The highlight of her day would be when someone came to her office with a problem. It was not reaching a 'quota' of any sort. It was meant to be that she eventually ended up being a case manager for elders (and other populations) that end up on Medicaid. She says it's the most rewarding time of her life, thus far.
Advice for current or prospective psychology majors: A psychology background can be applied in any job and almost any life situation. I think being a psyc major helped me to understand people better. I know I'll use what I've learned in whatever aspect of Gerontology I end up in. Don't let grad school scare you. Anyone can do it, it's just one step at a time!
* Johnathan Ruger
Graduated with a Psychology major.
After leaving UW-RF, Johnathan began graduate work at UW-Stout, graduating with an Educational Specialist Degree in School Psychology. In fall of 2004, Jon will be completing an internship at the Carver-Scott Educational Cooperative in in Chaska MN with the Carver-Scott Education Cooperative. He will be providing special education services for anyone ages birth to 21. As such, he will perform educational and social/emotional/behavioral evaluations on the students who attend programs offered by the cooperative.
Advice for current or prospective psychology majors: Tell all of your students that UW-RF graduates do indeed get jobs!
* Paul Rukavina
Graduated 1996 with a Psychology major and minors in Physics and Coaching.
After graduation from UW-RF, Paul attended Arizona State where he earned a Master's Degree in Motor Development and Learning. In 1998, Paul continued his education by being accepted into the Ph.D. Program in Pedagogy/Motor Learning with a Cognitive Psychology minor at Louisiana State University. As a graduate student, he continues to be interested in the study of sport and exercise (behavioral emphasis), sport pedagogy, performance enhancement (part sport psychology and part biomechanics) and the application of motor learning to teaching and learning.
* Anthony Samec
Graduated 1997 with a Psychology major and a Political Science minor.
Tony completed work on his M.S. in Investigative Psychology at the University of Liverpool where he specialized in profiling violent crimes. After returning to the United States, Tony served as the Director of Administration for the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office in St. Paul, MN. On September 25, 2000, he officially joined the US Secret Service as a Special Agent and is assigned to the Minneapolis Field Office. His duties include the investigation of all financial crimes and the protection of the President and Vice-President and their families. Tony notes that, "I believe my psychology background helps me with is the investigation and assessment of threats against the President and our protectees. A major part of the inquiry involves spending time in psychiatric wards in hospitals, speaking with the subject's psychiatrist, interviewing family and friends of the subject and making a final determination of whether or not the subject is capable of carrying out their threat."
Advice for current or prospective psychology majors: Take the initiative in your education and your career ambitions. Nobody is going to do it for you. Find a niche. Separate yourself from your peers. Give employers a reason to notice you, especially when they look at hundreds of similar resumes. Don't be afraid to volunteer for opportunities. Sometimes opportunities appear when you least expect it. People like it when they see you have "paid your dues" and "gotten your hands dirty!" NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK!
* Nicole Schramm
Graduated 1996 with a Psychology major and an Anthropology minor.
After graduating from UW-RF, Nicole worked part time at Bush Memorial Children's Center in St. Paul for 3 years. In 1999, she entered the Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at George Mason in Fairfax, VA. Her main area of interest currently involves issues in child psychopathology. In 2000, Nicole changed her graduate major to school psychology. She anticipates to graduate by 2002.
* Brenda Schwebach
Graduated 1995 with majors in Psychology and Business Communications.
After graduation, Brenda began her business career working for Copier Concepts. She then started her climb up the corporate ladder by landing a job as an accounts manager for Xerox, "The Document Company." Her current duties in this position include developing new accounts for Government agencies, State agencies, and law offices. In her spare time, Brenda teaches figure skating classes in Spooner, Wisconsin.
* Jason Sirovy
Graduated in 2001 with a major in Psychology and minor in Speech/Communication.
Jason started graduate work at Hamline in 2002 on a M.Ed. degree and hopes to graduate in 2005. He is also working as a teacher in Minneapolis public schools as a fifth grade teacher. Jason is excited about the birth of his first child this past year.
Advice for current or prospective psychology majors: Give serious thought on what you really want to do with your degree. Participate in an internship to gain experience in that field of study, and finally, attend graduate school once you are finished - to further yourself. Psychology applies to many walks of life so be sure to do something you enjoy and will be happy doing. But most importantly, enjoy college while your there. Allow the professors to take care of you and keep your mind open to learning and having fun.
* Walter Sorenson
Graduated 1994 with a Psychology major and a Philosophy minor.
Walter is employed as a Chemical Dependency Counselor at Fairview Redwing Hospital. He notes that part of his qualifications for this position include being a Certified Chemical Dependency Practitioner (CCDP). In addition to his career work, Walter enjoys building and racing vintage motorcycles. His current personal favorite is a 1977 Yamaha.
* Karen (Wencl) Soroko
Graduated with a Psychology major in 1998.
Karen's interest in health and fitness has led to several interesting career opportunities. For example, she has served as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Arts (www.sustainable.net) and is the Wellness Program Chair for the Service Center in Ladymith, WI.
Advice for current or prospective psychology majors: Learn all that you can - you will use it someday!
* Gregory Stern
Graduated 1994 with a Psychology major and a Business minor.
After graduation, Greg worked in the HealthEast Office of Research and Medical Education doing outcomes research and program evaluation for Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul. He is currently in his second year (of four) in the Psy.D. program at the MN School of Professional Psychology working toward a Clinical Health Psychology degree.
* Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen
Graduated 1989 with a Secondary Education Broad Area Social Studies major (Psychology emphasis) and a Coaching minor.
After graduation, Stephanie joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Tanzania. She has since spent time in Bozeman, Montana, Fergus Falls, Minnesota, and is now headed to Midway Island (in the Pacific). She is as accomplished author (national award winner) of children's books (five and counting). While she has not followed your typical psychology major career track, Stephanie notes that she is having fun and could tell you anything you want to know about publishing a book! Stephanie is married to UW-RF alumni Tim Bodeen.
* Shawn Trusten
Graduated with a Psychology major in 2000.
After graduation, Shawn enrolled in an M.A. in Criminology from Bowling Green State University. He has also worked as a community correction's aide.
* Amelia (Erwin) Versland
Graduated with a Psychology major in 2001.
Since leaving UW-RF, Mia has earned her Master's Degree and is currently completing work on her Ph.D. at Bowling Green State University.
Advice for current or prospective psychology majors: Take advantages of the resources offered in he psychology department. It is immensely helpful if you plan on applying to graduate school.
* David Warner
Graduated 1997 with a Psychology major and a Sociology minor.
After graduation, David enrolled as a graduate student in the Master's Program in Counseling and School Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He "had a blast" and graduated in 2000.
* Student's name withheld for security reasons
Graduated with Psychology major in 1999.
Completed internships at United States Marshals Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). Earned a Masters of Arts in Public Administration from Hamline University in 2002. Is currently a special agent for the Department of Homeland Security (ICE).
Advice for current or prospective psychology majors: Success in any career field begins with a dedication for success in college. Discipline both in the classroom and on campus is essential.
*Anonymous due to security reasons
Graduate with BS in Psychology in 2000.
After graduating, he enlisted in the United States Army and became a Counterintelligence Agent. He served 2 tours of duty in the Middle East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His 5th and final year of active military service took place in Seoul, South Korea. He achieved the rank of Sergeant during his tenure.
After his military service was completed, he expressed an interest in federal law enforcement. He applied for, and eventually accepted, a position with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He has been a Special Agent with DHS for over 3 years. He is responsible for conducting investigations related to violations of various Immigration and Customs laws. He is currently stationed in a major Midwestern city.
Advice for current and prospective Psychology students: How you perform in school is how you will perform in life. Dedication and focus in college will pay dividends later on. You can accomplish anything you put your effort towards. If you get knocked down, get back up.