Photo by Brian Waldbillig ’18

The most valuable lesson Andrea Boe learned at Winona State University was to get involved.

“Getting out of your comfort zone can manifest some pleasantly surprising qualities about your character,” Boe said. “I think we are all just one decision away from a completely different life, and as cliché as that sounds, I think coming to WSU was the best decision I could have made when I was 18.”

Boe, a native of Amery, Wis., will graduate with degrees in Mass Communication: Public Relations and a minor in Film Studies. She was also selected by the WSU Student Senate to be one of two student speakers during the Fall 2017 Commencement proceedings.

Boe knew from the start that she wanted to pursue a career in public relations, but her academic path shifted when she discovered an appetite for film. Her junior year at WSU, she decided to pursue a minor in Film instead of Business Administration.

“I learned that if you don’t enjoy something you can make the decision to pursue something else, and you should,” Boe stated. “If I hadn’t switched my minor I would have been stuck, frustrated not pursuing another field that I’m very passionate and knowledgeable about.”

Boe also emphasized the importance of the resources and opportunities that WSU provided for her, from campus events and services, to student clubs, to hosting her own show on the campus radio station, KQAL. She also emphasized the hands-on, real world experience she gained through a semester-long capstone course in which she and her peers competed to create an innovative PR campaign for Mayo Clinic.

“WSU helped me achieve my goals by giving me an environment full of opportunities to explore the extent of my capabilities,” said Boe. “No one did the work for me, but I was set up to succeed as long as I utilized my resources.”

She continued, “Through WSU I’ve learned that I love being a part of the art community and that’s something I’ve really enjoyed exploring.”

After graduation, Boe plans to make her way to a larger city.

“I’m looking forward to utilizing the skills I’ve learned here at college to further passions of mine like helping people connect and enjoying local/live music,” Boe said. “I think art is such an essential part of a community, and I want to find a way to encourage more people to engage with all types of artistic mediums.”

WSU Fall Commencement Ceremonies will take place Friday, Dec. 8, in McCown Gymnasium on the Winona campus. The 10 a.m. ceremony will feature the College of Business, the College of Education, and the College of Science and Engineering. The 2 p.m. ceremony will feature the College of Liberal Arts, and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

For more information, visit or call University Communications at 507-457-5024.

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Rachel Williams Belter

Rachel is a native of New Berlin, Wisconsin. She will graduate in May 2018 with a double major in English Literature/Language and Writing.

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