A positive experience on student council at Horace Mann High School in North Fond du Lac cemented Megan Wetherbee’s interest in contributing to student life on the University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac campus. She specifically enjoyed participating through the Student Activities Committee, which she now leads.
“I like that you plan activities that are fun, and my creative side gets use,” says Megan, a biology/pre-med major. “You get to see the participation, and make campus more welcoming.”
While she applied to UW-Madison and was accepted there, Megan chose to complete her first two years of college close to home in Fond du Lac. She is part of an elite Wisconsin-resident student group known as Madison Connections, which provides the opportunity to begin bachelor’s degree studies at a partner institution and finish at UW-Madison, while holding distinctive UW-Madison status the entire time.
Campus size and faculty connection also provided Megan with a collaborative research opportunity unusual at this level of education. She worked with biology Professor David Demezas to investigate the invasive properties of garlic mustard.
Their research began with a simple conversation.
“I needed to do research for med school, and went to talk with him,” recalls Megan, who links her long-time desire to become a pediatrician to her childhood relationship with a cousin with cystic fibrosis. She left the professor’s office with an invitation to work on his project. Megan collaborated with her professor her entire time at UW-Fond du Lac and has hopes the duo will be able to finish the research, write about it and submit a paper.
“I was a shy person, so leadership roles helped fix that,” Megan says of her UW-Fond du Lac campus service. “It’s been great. I’ve been able to take the classes I need. The professors help and are there for you. It’s smaller and easier to get around; it’s been beneficial.”