Crossing the Finish Line Toward a Bright Future

For Michael (Mike) Desch, the finish line sometimes felt far away.  Throughout his college career, which began in 2013, Desch struggled with his mental health, which didn’t make the college experience easy. At times he failed classes and once took a...

Determined to Make Every Moment Count

As a high school senior, the idea of college seemed farfetched to first generation student Diana Tapia Alvarado.   Tapia Alvarado’s mom was a hard-working single parent working low-income jobs who dedicated every waking moment to paying bills and being a good mother....

Impacting Local Water Quality with GIS Research

Only a semester into college, Megan Otten’s talent in geoscience became strikingly obvious.   “She was nearly perfect in all of her exams and quizzes,” Geoscience Associate Professor Dylan Blumentritt said. “A student doesn’t typically earn the scores she was earning...

Using Experience to Inspire

Jose “Junior” Valtierra-Rangel’s parents immigrated from Mexico to St. Charles, Minnesota in hopes of one day giving their children the opportunity to live a better life.  They succeeded.  Valtierra-Rangel, who was born and raised in St. Charles, had a childhood of...

Professor Pop-Up: Criminal Justice

If you like understanding how the law intersects with real life, you could foster that interest into a career as a law enforcement or corrections officer or any of the many personnel in the Criminal Justice system.  After being a prosecuting attorney for 11 years, I...

Professor Pop-Up: Biochemistry

If you enjoy studying how everything around us is connected and how living things run, you could harness those passions into a career as a chemist.  I think the most meaningful connections a student can make during their college career come from watching their...