Nicole RuhlandNicole Ruhland, native of Cold Spring, MN, stands amazed and grateful for the multiple opportunities she had to immerse herself in every facet of being a Winona State Warrior.

With a double major of Cellular and Molecular Biology and Spanish, along with a minor in Biochemistry, Ruhland, a first-generation student, won multiple scholarships, participated in several clubs, dove into critical research, studied in Spain, and is heading to Physician Assistant graduate school in Iowa after graduating from WSU.

When she first toured WSU, Ruhland loved the campus and was especially taken with the beautiful scenery of the bluffs. She also met many people throughout the tour who seemed truly excited about her opportunity to attend Winona State. She remembers upon making her choice of WSU, “I felt like I was entering a family that would be there to support me throughout all four years.” Her feeling proved to be true.

Loving all her diverse experiences at WSU, Ruhland holds fond memories of participation in homecoming activities such as the Warrior Waddle 5K and playing in the WSU band. She also enjoyed playing in the pep band, attending football games, and engaging in social events at her sorority.

Although she cannot pinpoint a favorite part of her time at WSU, she is especially grateful for opportunities to participate in academic research in Cellular and Molecular Biology, “which allowed me to answer specific questions about the environment and world around me.” She extends heartfelt thanks to her “many amazing professors.”

Proud to be a WSU graduate, Ruhland knows she received a quality education due to excellent faculty and staff who take extraordinary measures in supporting all students. She adds that “It is not just classes, (although the classes are above and beyond what I expected) but the extracurricular activities, the many office visits, the amount of advocacy done on behalf of students, and how much I felt that all my professors and advisers cared for me and wanted me to succeed.”

Ruhland also sends a shout out to her academic colleagues, “I was so lucky to meet so many amazing individuals during my time at Winona State as well. My classmates are extraordinary and challenged me to be a better person and student throughout my time here. I am proud to stand as an alumna with this group of people.”

Looking towards quickly entering her Physician’s Assistant master’s program at Des Moines University, Ruhland feels prepared to achieve her next goals, “I am looking to continuing my education and working in healthcare in the future!”

She knows the full support of faculty, staff, classmates, and friends will go with her into the next step on her journey, for which she is ready.