Inspiring Graduate Jordan Kunze, B.S. Applied Science

‘My experience at Stout helped me to discover the specific areas in which I have the most interest in.’
May 24, 2023

Inspiring Graduate: Jordan Kunze (’23)

  • Hometown: Merrill
  • Degree: Applied Science, with a concentration in Industrial Chemistry
  • Minor: Environmental Health

On May 6, as one of 1,173 graduates, Jordan Kunze became the first person in her family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree, earning her degree in applied science from UW-Stout.

“Coming from a low-income family, attending college wasn’t always something I was sure I would get the opportunity to do,” she said.

Now, looking to the future, Kunze will attend graduate school for a chemistry Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

Jordan Kunze, 1
Inspiring Graduate Jordan Kunze with Chancellor Katherine Frank at commencement / UW-Stout

“My experience at Stout helped me to discover the specific areas in which I have the most interest in and would like to pursue a career,” said Kunze, a McNair Scholar.

"Having the ability to work with professors on research in their labs, and also being able to carry out my own research on campus has solidified my interest in a research-based career."

How well has UW-Stout prepared you to work in your field and why?

Stout has prepared me very well. Being able to be a lab assistant gave me valuable experience working in a lab and learning safety skills. The opportunities that I have had within my campus employment has also given me experience with things such as grading, tutoring and working in a research group, all of which will be very valuable experiences for my teaching assistantship and research assistantship in graduate school.

The variety of courses available with a laboratory component helped to build my skills on various laboratory techniques that will likely be very valuable in both graduate school and my career.

Jordan Kunze, 2
Jordan Kunze at commencement / UW-Stout

I have also been able to complete an independent research project and present it at the STEMM Expo, Research in the Rotunda, NCUR, and Research Day, as well as being published in UW-Stout’s Journal of Student Research.

What stands out about your UW-Stout experience?

There are many things about my experience at Stout that stand out to me. The biggest aspect is the amount of hands-on laboratory experience that I gained on campus, through both coursework and campus employment.

The number of opportunities to work one on one with professors on their research or coursework was also a very valuable component of my experience at Stout.

How did your involvement impact your experience?

Multiple times throughout my education I dealt with financial challenges that made it difficult to focus on my education. Receiving scholarships allowed me to better focus on my education.

I received various scholarships, including the Martin & Eldora Ondrus Excellence in Chemistry scholarship; Herman Arneson scholarship; Mueller Orfield scholarship; and the Nitz scholarship.

I am also in the McNair Scholars Program, which helped through the entire process of applying to graduate school and helped to make the process feel less daunting. It also helped to fund my independent research project, which was very valuable not only for the experience and skills I gained but in helping me stand out as an applicant for graduate school.

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