UWP provides endless opportunities for Vandervort

May 16, 2003

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2003_05_16.jpgPLATTEVILLE - Making the most of one's college experience is something UW-Platteville student Amanda Vandervort definitely knows how to do. Originally from Albany, Vandervort is a fifth-year senior majoring in industrial engineering and psychology.

Vandervort decided to attend UWP based on the strong engineering program and the smaller size of the school. After graduating from high school with a class of 38 students, she felt UWP would be just the right size for her, and it has been.

In just five years, Vandervort has managed to partake and explore just about every extra-curricular activity available at UWP. She has been a part of the women's rugby team at UWP since she was a sophomore, a student ambassador for four semesters and a member of the women's basketball team for one season.

"Playing basketball was the best decision I have made here," Vandervort said. "It was a great experience, I met great people and it was the perfect activity that took place at the perfect time."

Vandervort is also active amongst UWP's engineering organizations. She is a member of the Institute of Industrial Engineer (IIE) and the general engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi. Vandervort has served one year each as president and secretary for Tau Beta Pi and one year as secretary for IIE.

Being a member of the housing program at UWP is also an activity that Vandervort has taken part in. She has spent three semesters filling the role as resident assistant (RA) in Wilgus Hall and took on the responsibilities as resident assistant desk director (RADD) during one of those three semesters.

Vandervort has also left her mark outside of the UWP campus. She has spent the last two summers working at Bethel Horizons Youth Camps. At the beginning of each week of the summer, Vandervort is introduced to a new group of children referred by social services to attend camp. The children spend five days working with Vandervort until they leave and a new group arrives.

Working with potential at-risk students at Platteville Middle School (PMS) is another role Vandervort has filled. She has spent a year and a half tutoring and mentoring children at PMS. Each of these experiences has proven to be both challenging and fulfilling to Vandervort.

Through her years at UWP, Vandervort has truly grown to enjoy both her engineering major and her psychology major.

"My engineering courses are challenging and keep me motivated," Vandervort said. "I enjoy working with the technical and scientific aspects and look forward to applying it in my career someday. I also find psychology fascinating and interesting. It allows me to learn about people and their actions."

In her spare time, Vandervort likes to exercise and read. She is also honing the skills of crocheting and is attempting to learn how to speak Spanish.

Following graduation in May, Vandervort has recently accepted an industrial engineering position at Land's End in Dodgeville. Someday she hopes to move to Hawaii.

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