UWM’s Transformational Impact

June 25, 2015


By Mark A. Mone Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

In this column I’ll share some thoughts about why the University of WisconsinMilwaukee (UWM) is absolutely vital to the future of this region and how it transforms the lives of our students.

UWM is the ONLY public urban research university in the state. The access and engagement we provide is unique and life transforming for our students and community. This is critically important to our region’s current and future economic health, social welfare and ability to drive innovation and new economic activity.

Wisconsin will have 100,000 new jobs to fill by 2023 because of retiring baby boomers and job growth. More than 40 percent of those jobs will require a college degree. Just last month more than 3,300 individuals received a degree from UWM and are now beginning new chapters in their lives, whether in the Milwaukee workforce, in other countries doing research, or starting graduate school. Along the way, these individuals experienced many transformations. Here are just a few of their remarkable stories:

Larry Davis grew up in the inner city of Milwaukee. A former foster child, Larry is now looking to help others in similar circumstances. He will use his new UWM social work degree at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, where he will help children through outreach programs.

Psychology graduate Brittany Benitez had a terrible fear of flying. With the encouragement of Outreach Program Manager Lora Taylor de Oliveira, Brittany took advantage of numerous undergraduate research opportunities and was able to conquer her fear and study abroad in Costa Rica. Brittany will attend graduate school with us in the fall.

Recent Peck School of the Arts graduate Robert-Joquori Brown-Holland is an aspiring music producer. BrownHolland found inspiration in his past struggles, channeling his creative energy into his music. “I started UWM with nothing to believe in, “ he says, “and ended with people believing in me.”

Amber Rivard graduated with a degree in marketing but she says her life changed when she discovered salsa dancing. She’s taking with her not just her path to the business world, but also her new love of dance, something she says she wouldn’t have discovered if it wasn’t for her time at UWM.

These individuals are learning and thinking at greater levels than ever before. They are prepared for life’s opportunities and challenges and are confidently walking through open doors that they may not have known about before. That is the power of higher education. Options. Possibilities. Lifelong learning and personal growth.

I encourage you to visit us, either in person or online at www.uwm.edu, to discover more about what your personal transformation can be.