This post was written by Campus Librarian Dana Wallace.
Graduation night brings so many emotions—happiness, anxiety, sadness, joy—and being a first-hand witness to this special night is always such a treat for this librarian.
When Melissa Hundt, graduating with an Associate Degree in Business Administration, strode to the stage, beaming ear to ear, it brought tears to many eyes. Melissa is the epitome of what a successful Globe student encompasses: she works hard, not only at school, but at home and in the workplace.
Though she has had her moments of fear and anxiety, she has grown in many ways and has had many accomplishments on her way to her degree. She truly earned her place on the platform to be the Globe La Crosse student graduation speaker.
“I decided to enter for the graduation speaker because I love to talk,” Melissa said.“I feel that being the class speaker is a great honor and that it should mean something to not just the speaker but to the class.”
As campus librarian, I am witness to the daily struggles, joys and accomplishments of our students. This graduation was especially poignant to me because I was again a witness to enjoying the final walk of our students—their daily struggles turned into the accomplishment of graduation.
Melissa’s joyful speech talked about her own personal journey to her degree, a journey that also involved her family members, whom she recognized in her speech.
Additionally, Melissa was able to keep her role as student speaker a secret from her family up until the night of graduation when she walked on stage. “They were so surprised,” Melissa said. “I felt so blessed to have won.”
Melissa also remembered those special faculty members who went out of their way to help her, like DeAnn Perzel, business program chair, and Lisa Paulson of career services.
She also humorously remembered her fellow students and their support of each other to get where they were today. “I hope that my fellow classmates enjoyed my speech and take a moment to enjoy their life,” Melissa said.
It is so rewarding to see the scared and tentative new students like Melissa come for orientation, help them through their time here at Globe, and then to watch them enjoy the day of graduation—I couldn’t ask for a better job!
To watch Melissa go from the student who wore flip flops and jeans, even in the winter (!), to a beautiful, young woman in high heels, cap and gown, confidently speak about her tenure at Globe, was such a wonderful moment for all in attendance.
In talking with Melissa, she shared some of her successes. “My greatest accomplishment as a student at Globe would be making it through my online classes,” she said. “I am not very good at online classes and have had to retake them because of my struggles.”
Despite, her challenges with online courses, Melissa was able to triumph. “Globe offers great support that is really there for you when you need it,” she noted. “I overcame my fear of online classes and look forward to taking more online classes in the future.”
She also thought working as a bookkeeper at the Cashton IGA while taking business classes was very helpful. “I feel working as a bookkeeper was an advantage for me. It allowed me to put my studies into action,” she stated.
She went on to say, “I was able to understand more of the classroom information with having the hands-on experiences in my job.”
There were also challenges for Melissa along the way, which all students face at some point in their lives. “Some of the challenging moments that I have overcome were my family’s concern about the cost of school,” she said. “We were able to work it out, and they could see the joy I had going to class.”
Melissa’s motto and message to her graduating class is to enjoy every moment. “There are so many good memories and experiences I have had at Globe it would take up some many pages,” she said.
“A few of my favorites were helping at the Clara Fields Reading Program, letting four-year-olds read to me, Supervisory Management Class with my classmates who made sure there was never a boring moment, House of Shadows, and just studying in the library.”
As a successful alumni employed in her field, Melissa had a few bits of advice for her fellow students. “My advice I would like to offer other students now that I have graduated is take a moment to breathe—it is all worth the hard times,” she said.
“Enjoy everything you can. You are the only one who can allow yourself to be happy.” Great advice, Melissa, and congratulations on your much deserved degree!
Dana Wallace is the campus librarian for Globe La Crosse, and a native Iowan who returned to school to pursue her Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science after a long career as a paralegal/legal assistant. She obtained her graduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee completely online while working full time, so she can relate to the busy schedules of the Globe students who balance homework and careers. She loves the library and is passionate about helping the students become great investigators and researchers. Dana was currently honored with taking over the reigns as the Creative Quill campus lead.