Alumni Stories

Juleen Zierath '84

It's okay to take yourself seriously. To some extent, you have put in a lot of sweat over the years and made a big investment in yourself. You have stored a lot of experience and learned a lot and it will prepare you for all the interesting things coming your way.
- Juleen Zierath, 1984, Health and Human Performance & Business Administration 

Why did you choose UW-River Falls?

I'm from the Milwaukee area and started college when I was 17. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do at first. I worked on a dairy farm in the summers teaching horseback riding. My parents didn't go to college, so no one could really help me. I loved animals and thought I wanted to do something with animals or be a veterinarian at first. UW-Madison was too overwhelming and River Falls was affordable and had a great program. I was an average student and realized I didn't really have the grades for pre-vet or animal science jobs. I liked literature, writing and English, but I was also an athlete and participated in many sports. I also enjoyed physical education and teaching and the business part of it. My dad always told me that I could always use business, so I started taking those courses at the same time.

How did UWRF prepare you for your current job?

Being in the teacher education program at River Falls taught me to be a professional. I learned that the decisions I made impacted many different things in life, including how I could make a difference in the world.

What were you involved in as a student?

I was involved in field hockey for four years, all-state one year and captain my final year. I was on the swimming team all four years and captain one year. I was also on the track team from 1979-84, right after Title Nine. I didn't have time for clubs. I was always moving and training and competing while carrying 21 credits a semester with two diverse majors.

UWRF Alumna Julie ZierathChair of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine; Professor of Clinical Integrative Physiology in the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery Section for Integrative Physiology at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, one of the largest and most prestigious medical universities

Named 2011 Distinguished Alumna

Education after UWRF:

- M.A. Exercise Science at Ball State University

- Research Fellowship at Harvard Medical School

- Ph.D. in Stockholm Sweden at Karolinska Institutet



Favorite News Sites:

New York Times


Milwaukee Journal

Guilty Pleasure:

NBC Nightly News and Meet the Press and Face the Nation's daily podcasts

Favorite Thing About Sweden:

Living in the beautiful nature, just 30 minutes from a large cultural city

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