Hear what others have to say

Click on a video clip to find out what some of our faculty and graduates have to say about working in what may have been considered a “man’s job” or a woman’s job.”

Student Testimonials

Nate - Graduate, Surgical Technologist

When I was a sophomore in high school, I decided to take the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) class at Western. I started working part-time at a local nursing home shortly thereafter. It soon became apparent that I enjoyed taking care of people and making a difference in their lives. However, I knew I probably did not want to continue as a CNA permanently, so I started looking into health programs offered at Western. After studying the choices, I selected Surgical Technologist – a great fit for me! Read full interview

Bryan - Student, Instructional Assistant

Bryan said it took him a while to make his career decision, but one constant message he kept hearing from others was “how good he was with kids.” That was really the reason he finally started to look into coming to Western for his associate’s degree in the Instructional Assistant program. Read full interview

Betsy Riley - IT-Programmer/Analyst

I have the chance to prove to other women that they can do any job they put their minds to!” Read full interview

Video Testimonials

Administrative Professional

Michael Bakkestuen - Student, Administrative Professional

Don't be embarrased if you're a guy out there wanting to do this--just do it."

Agri-Business/Science Technology

Tracy Harper - Instructor, Agri-Business/Science Technology

Today, in this environment, there’s all kinds of opportunities for women and I would encourage any young woman to follow whatever her best interests are. If you can make a living doing what you love, you’ll love what you’re doing.”

Emily Wurzel - Graduate, Agri-Business/Science Technology

My boss in high school was a farmer and he was a really good role model. He was never afraid to teach me things or had any sort of stigma because I was a city kid.”

Bio–Medical Electronics

Lilly Kosir - Instructor, Bio–Medical Electronics

One of the most rewarding parts of my career is taking a piece of equipment that’s not working and spend a little time with it, and when I’m done, it’s working and it’s working well. And I know that the patient will be safe.”

Yvonne Stanek - Graduate, Bio–Medical Electronics

When I first sat down in class, and I’m in a room with 22 males and most of them are 18 years old, it was a little scary. But actually it turned out that they have been really supportive, very mature, and really in no circumstance have I felt uncomfortable in any way.”

Graphic Design

Barbara Fisher - Instructor, Graphic Design

What benefits women now is that they can do freelance, work their own hours, and can oftentimes work from home.

IT–Computer Support Specialist/Technician

Dawn Fread - Instructor, IT–Computer Support Specialist/Technician

I don't feel like I get treated any differently than a male in the same field. It's a lot about what you know, what you have done, and what you can do for an organization..."


Becky Paroubek - Instructor, IT–Programmer/Analyst

My advice would be to not be afraid of being in a computer-related field. Give it a shot. If you are an analytical type of person, if you can be persistent, if you have good people skills, if you have a desire to help other people, if you are creative, you might just be a perfect fit.

Landscape Horticulture

Kelly Tauscher - Graduate - Landscape Horticulture

I'm surprised how much I fell in love with it...this is what I want to do forever."

Joyce Cielecki - Instructor - Landscape Horticulture

There are a few women out there, but it is mainly male-dominated....but you work together as a team, so you don't let gender come between you."

Machine Tool Operation/Technics

Patricia Brice - Instructor, Machine Tool Operation/Technics

My mom worked in a machine shop where she ran a centerless grinder, so I knew that there were no barriers.

Kara Baldwin - Student, Machine Tool Operation/Technics

I love being able to take metal and turn it into art. It’s a different form of art, but it’s still an art form.

Mechanical Design Technology

Linda Griggs - Instructor, Mechanical Design Technology

Anyone, male or female, is going to face challenges as they work through the program, just to stick with it and not to get discouraged. It can lead to a very rewarding career.

Myra Withey - Instructor, Mechanical Design Technology

I’m not an artist, but I like to draw. So I thought it was something that might be interesting to try.


Jeremy Hundt - Student - Nursing

Sometimes I think that with the non-traditional gender occupations people worry about going into those fields...But it has been a really great experience for me."

Physical Therapist Assistant

Jeff Komay - Instructor, Physical Therapist Assistant

You have to go into therapy to want to help people get better, to improve their quality of life.

Respiratory Therapist

Bob Milisch - Instructor, Respiratory Therapist

I actually started out by working in the operating rooms as a janitor, cleaning up, and then as an orderly, and liked medicine. I got to watch some of the surgeries and was in awe of all the things they could do with the human body and that’s what got me into looking at something medical.

Keith Torgerud - Graduate, Respiratory Therapist

If you’ve thought about going into patient care, respiratory is a great place to start. I think it’s a very good career choice.

Surgical Technologist

Steve Thompson - Instructor, Surgical Technologist

There were a few males in my program, but there has always been more involvement by females in this profession...that never bothered me--in the healthcare field you work as a team."