Pioneer Spotlight: Valerie Wetzel
Valerie Wetzel had a long journey, moving around a lot as a child and teen, before finding her home in Platteville in 2001 when she became the Markee assistant director-involvement at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Now she helps students find their own paths to success and leadership roles.
What is your official job title? What do your job duties consist of?
My official title is Markee assistant director-involvement. My main duty is to manage the Pioneer Involvement Center. Through that I am responsible for the leadership awards, Leadership Living and Learning Community, the Excellence in Leadership Conference, the Involvement Fair, Stop the Hate campaign, PioneerLink, Pioneers Pay It Forward volunteer project, and Pioneers Embrace Citizenship Day. I also work with and advise Greek life, governance groups, and supervise the student staff of the PIC.
What are your favorite parts of your job?
My favorite parts of my job would be either working with new and different students every year along with the Leadership LLC. I also really enjoy our spring break trips every year with the Leadership LLC.
What is your best memory while working?
My best memory was last year on our spring break trip to Conway, South Carolina. We always have a short meeting at the end of the night to reflect and make sure everyone is on the same page. Usually our meetings are somewhat quick so the students can go swim or do other activities. However, that year we ended up having a two-and-a-half-hour conversation about life, personal experiences and self-confidence that really brought out some personal stories and a lot of emotions. You could just see and feel the relationships and connections deepen between everyone in the room. It was amazing.
Are you a part of any groups or organizations related to your career?
I am a part of the Association of College Unions International. Recently, I presented our Stop the Hate campaign we have here at UW-Platteville, at the regional conference in Lincoln, Nebraska.
What is one thing your career has taught you?
Working with a number of outstanding student leaders gives me extreme hope and pride in our future, whether it’s at UW-Platteville, Wisconsin, the United States or the world.
Interview conducted by Danielle Kobriger, Communications student writer. To nominate someone for the Pioneer Spotlight, contact email@example.com.