WSU graduates in caps and gowns stand during their commencement ceremony.

Winona State University offers nearly 100 degree programs that give students the knowledge and skills they need to enter a variety of professional fields from nursing, teaching, business management, scientific research, communications and so much more.

But don’t just take our word for it. We asked alumni to share how their academic experiences at WSU led to their success and shaped their careers.

I attribute much of my personal growth and professional success to my time at WSU. The community of students is incredibly welcoming, and I made many lifelong friends through participating in campus activities.

The academic prowess of WSU is exemplified through rigorous academic coursework, state-of-the-art facilities, and (most critically) highly passionate faculty and staff. I have experienced the advantage of a WSU education firsthand through matriculating into a Mayo Clinic post-baccalaureate program immediately following graduation, having a highly successful professional 10-year career in genetics and stem cell science, and now being accepted to graduate school at University of Chicago.

I feel very fortunate to have attended WSU and know that the friendships, mentorship, and education I experienced could only have happened at Winona State University.

Erik McIntire '08 - Biology: Cell & Molecular

Deciding to attend WSU-Rochester was the best academic decision that I ever made. Their elementary education program is phenomenal, the staff is collaborative and caring.

If you are looking for an experience that will inspire, motivate, and fully equip you for your future career, I cannot recommend WSU enough!

Katherine Hust '16 - Elementary Education/K-6 Education

I found my WSU education to be very practical and focused on things that I have had to do on a daily basis, both as an accountant, controller and CFO as well as being a consultant for the last 23 years, working with major national and international firms. I know how to research and apply my findings, which are things that others struggle with.

Robert Anderson '85 - Business Administration

I came from a rural Wisconsin town to attend the paralegal program at WSU. I received good education and was encouraged by professors and advisors to push myself to go to law school. I ended up getting a scholarship to Boston University School of Law and graduating cum laude, which in turn led me to being hired for high level position in Boston.

Sarah Waelchli '02 - Paralegal

Winona offers one of the greatest nursing programs in the country. I worked extremely hard my first two years to obtain a 4.0 and get into the nursing program. From there I went to Rochester’s program and had the best clinical experience at Mayo, where I worked hard clinically and educationally. The students around me there also had the same motivation.

I had a job lined up six months before graduation, and my experience and education allowed me to get into a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists program– and now I am currently a CRNA! Winona was my foundation for this career advancement, and I appreciate the guidance Winona offered to lead me to where I am today. You get out what you put into your education.

Tara Herrmann '12 - Nursing

In the grand scheme of things, WSU will give you the tools to become a quick and efficient learner. Don’t have a particular destination in mind– let WSU extract your interests and follow those.

I started off thinking I wanted to be a doctor. I now successfully run a popular brew pub (and working on a second location), one of Minnesota’s first hop farms, and a wine barrel import business influencing many Minnesota breweries in the state. You don’t need to decide your fate. Your fate will change as you age.

Taylor Quill '13 - Biology: Allied Health

Winona State University was the perfect fit for me. From day one, I felt like Winona was very welcoming. It became my home away from home. The educational experience that I received at WSU was irreplaceable.

After graduating with a Movement Science degree, I was accepted into Northwestern University: Feinberg School of Medicine where I received my doctorate in physical therapy. WSU prepared me so well for the vigorous Northwestern PT program. I felt like WSU emphasized all the right concepts needed to continue in my field.

I am so proud to be a WSU alumni. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to compete on the Winona State Gymnastics team. The teammates that I had and the memories that we made were unforgettable. If I had to do it all over again, I’d chose WSU time and time again. Go Warriors!

Stephanie Wojton ’13 - Exercise & Rehabilitative Science

These testimonials from alumni have been lightly edited for grammar, clarity and length. 

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Elizabeth Berres

Elizabeth graduated from WSU in 2015 with a BA in English. She joined the University Marketing and Communications team in 2016 and decided to make Winona her home.