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Western Connect newsletter is sent twice a year and provides updates on what is happening at the college and features stories about our alumni. See the the most recent issues below, and add your name to the mailing list by completing the "Update Your Information" section above.
Originally from Rice Lake, Wis., Jacob Stodola attended Western and graduated with a Nursing degree in 2018 and completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2020—an exciting time to be a healthcare worker! Immediately after school, he secured an impressive job at Gundersen Healthcare System. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the furloughing of staff at Gundersen, Stodola decided to join the frontlines in New York—a city in desperate need of registered nurses with his background.
Hard work is physical labor—dirt and grease, fatigued muscles, sunburns, and calloused hands. Hard work is also sitting uncomfortably for long periods of time, reading until eyes are bleary and bloodshot, joints are atrophied in place—all of it punctuated with sleep deprivation. Hard work by any other name, be it drudgery, toil, struggle; as well as labors of the mind, like thinking, studying, formulating, patience, and comprehension—is still hard work. However, when there is purpose, the fortune of opportunity united with the promise of something more, the laborious grind becomes an honor…a lucky pursuit to be honed and cherished every step of the way.
In spite of societal assumptions and stereotypes, there is no such thing as a man’s career or a woman’s career. Education doesn’t have a gender, and neither do skill requirements. Nurses use many of the same skills that civil engineers do; construction managers share the same abilities with event planners. Jobs don’t have a gender, and every day, we get closer to the universal acceptance of that truth. Every day, independent thinkers and doers go against the majority of their gender to bring incomparable value to a job or career outside the norm of gender-based stereotypes.
What makes us distinctly and unmistakably us? Perhaps we are the sum of our memories, relationships, and experiences. The accumulation of each moment, our interpretation of interactions, how we respond to challenges, and how we plan for our futures…we are the summation of all these things—these are what make each person uniquely them. Our past doesn’t define who we are, but knowledge of the past is the foundation for the future—yet undefined and indeterminate.