EAU CLAIRE – Many of the graduates came to CVTC seeking a career change, like Amanda Montgomery, a Nursing- Associate Degree graduate from Boyceville. She previously graduated from CVTC in Accounting and worked eight years in the field.
“I’m too much of a people person to sit at a desk 40 hours a week,” Montgomery said. “And after we had our daughter, we had an awesome nurse. I said if I ever become a nurse, that’s the kind of nurse I want to be. So this journey began.”
Montgomery, who is already working at Red Cedar Medical Center in Menomonie, is hoping to work as an RN in acute care after passing her RN board exams.
CVTC graduates are succeeding in many different fields. The guest speaker at the commencement ceremony was Jeff Urlaub, founder and president of MEP Associates, an Eau Claire-based engineering firm. Urlaub won both the CVTC Alumni Association and the Wisconsin Technical College System’s distinguished alumnus awards this year.
“If you find what you love to do as a career in life, going to work each day feels more like a hobby than work,” Urlaub said. “You will know when this happens because you cannot believe how fast each day goes by. Keep setting goals and continue learning each day so you can be the best you can be in your profession.”
Faculty speaker Julie Pepper, a Medical Assistant program instructor and winner of the Fuerstenberg Teaching Excellence Award, praised the graduates as heroes, reflecting a staff development theme for the year.
“Every one of you sitting in these chairs is a hero, and you have been on your own hero’s journey. Every one of you has faced adversity, and every one of you has had help along the way. . . Now it is time for you to help others on their journey,” Pepper said.
The student speaker was Suzanne Schrader, a Marketing Management graduate originally from the Durand area who has overcome many challenges along her path. “All of the bumps in the road are just there to test your strength, so no matter how many times you hear the word ‘no,’ never give up,” she told the graduates.
Chippewa Valley Technical College delivers superior, progressive technical education which improves the lives of students, meets the workforce needs of the region, and strengthens the larger community. Campuses are located in Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Menomonie, Neillsville and River Falls. CVTC serves an 11-county area in west central Wisconsin. CVTC is part of the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) and is one of 16 WTCS colleges located throughout the state.