Photo by Amy Nelson ’20

For Kelsy Kelly of Lancaster, Wis., attending WSU became a balancing act, as she was encouraged to take part in multiple campus-related activities.

“The most important thing WSU taught me was to be true to myself and follow my own path,” Kelly said. “I found myself at WSU through my trials and tribulations, but also through rewarding successes.”

Through the support of faculty members, Kelly joined several organizations that promote academic success in current and future students. Kelly became a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) her sophomore year and later took on a leadership position in the organization as Vice President of Planning to Achieve College Excellence. She was also heavily involved in coordinating youth programs through the University, including March to College, and worked in WSU’s Children’s Center as a student aid.

“I love being connected to the children and the families that attend or work at WSU. It was such a great experience for me academically and personally, as I was able to grow so much in my teaching,” Kelly said.

Kelly will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education. According to Kelly, WSU’s education program is particularly strong because of its emphasis on incorporating technology into the classroom. The many digitally-focused assignments and presentations encouraged discovery of innovative technology applications, and helped inform her approaches in the classroom as an aspiring teacher.

“I felt that WSU recognized the changes that were occurring with technology all around us, and instead of ignoring that, they embraced it in order to better prepare us for our future.”

Kelly is one of two students selected by the WSU Student Senate to speak during the Fall 2017 Commencement proceedings. She says that her time at WSU prepared her not only to be the very best teacher she can be, but also for the realities of life beyond graduation—balancing personal and professional responsibilities, facing challenges, and learning to adapt and try new things.

“I am so proud to graduate from WSU because, I feel that at WSU, high standards are placed on the students who attend, and faculty expect nothing but the best,” she said. “This was challenging at times but ultimately super rewarding, as I knew that I had accomplished great things and worked hard to earn them.”

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.