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Living and Learning

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Experiences That Made a Difference

The first goal of UMD's Strategic Plan is to "Promote integrated curricular, co-curricular, and living-learning undergraduate experiences that achieve UMD’s student learning goals and prepare students for lifelong learning, globally engaged citizenship, and success in their academic, personal, and professional lives." What that means is that UMD is concerned about the way students learn in the 21st Century and the university is open to trying new methods or supporting old methods that work.

These UMD students share thoughts on learning experiences at UMD that have made the biggest impression upon them.

Angela Pitan McIsiah Kendema Tiger Brown Bull

Angela Pitan

  • Hometown:
    Pequot Lakes, Minn.
  • Major: Exercise Science, sports emphasis
  • Year: Junior

One of the greatest highlights of my educational career was my research experience.  This opportunity really broadened my horizon to various fields of study, awarded me the chance to work under various major professors, learn about the research process, etc.  I was able to further engage myself in research through the National Conference of
Undergraduate Research.

McIsiah Kendema

  • Hometown:
    Newark, New Jersey
  • Major: Organizational Management, Mgt Information Systems
  • Year: Senior

One experience at UMD that made a huge impact on me was joining the Kirby Leadership Institute. It was through them that I got an internship with Lisa Fitzpatrick of the Viz lab (Visualization and Digital Imaging Lab). Through the experience, I learned a lot and gained the confidence to start my own student run club that does similar work to the Viz lab.

Tiger Brown Bull

  • Hometown:
    Kyle, South Dakota
  • Major: Masters in Tribal Administration & Governance
  • Year: Graduate student

One of the best experiences I had at UMD was receiving a UROP award. It allowed me to utilize many internal resources at UMD, work closely with faculty, and gain valuable research skills. This experience made a significant impact on my personal and professional development, and without it I would not have considered pursing law and masters degrees.

Kyle Berg Jessica Pospeck Aaron Crandall

Kyle Berg

  • Hometown:
    Mound, Minn.
  • Major: Civil Engineering
  • Year: Graduate student

I have learned many lessons at UMD in the form of both lectures and experiences outside of class. During my testing and research as a graduate research assistant, I learned the valuable lesson that persistence and patience will prevail.  Through research, I realized that reevaluation of a problem and a new approach can often lead to the solution.

Jessica Pospeck

  • Hometown:
    Chugiak, Alaska
  • Major: Master of Business Administration
  • Year: Graduate student

One of the best opportunities I've had while attending UMD has been participating in the Student-to-Business-Initiative (SBI). Throughout the course of this project, my team and I developed an integrated marketing communications plan for an actual client within the Duluth community. It was a great experience doing a real-life, hands-on project that was partially implemented by our client.

Aaron Crandall

  • Hometown:
    Lakeville, Minn.
  • Major: Marketing
    and Finance
  • Year: Junior

The best experience I have had here at UMD was winning the 2011 Hockey National Championship.
It was so cool to see how much support and love we got from our teachers, peers and community. It is an experience I will never forget.

Chuhan Zong Henry Helgen Sabrina Agha

Chuhan Zong

  • Hometown: Chongqing, China
  • Major: Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Year: Senior

For me the best experience was how caring the professors were to me. During the four years of my college life, I had great relationships with almost all my professors. Now I still stop their offices for conversation. I really appreciate their advice on my life and career.

Henry Helgen

  • Hometown:
    Duluth, Minn.
  • Major: Computer Science
  • Year: Graduate Student

My best experiences were using the leading edge technology in the courses. I had a chance to write software analyzing the genomes of humans and other species; to develop an interactive virtual reality environment; and to use the same tools that Google, Yahoo and Facebook use on one of the world's top supercomputers. I will be able to to apply these skills in my job as a software engineer and will be better prepared for the next opportunity.

Sabrina Agha

  • Hometown:
    Rochester, Minn.
  • Major: Finance
  • Year: Senior

By far the best experience I had at UMD was the relationships I built with my professors in the Labovitz School of Business and Economics. When I first transferred to UMD, I figured that I would just be another student in the classroom. I was completely wrong. My professors showed great enthusiasm for the success of their students and were always available with a helping hand. It made my experience at UMD one I will never forget.


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UMD home page editor, Cheryl Reitan,


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