Life After Ripon – Madeline Poullette ’15

Chapter 1: Shifting Focus

[Editor’s Note: Raymond Allen ’15, Karena Schroeder ’15, and Madeline Poullette ’15 are writing rotating monthly entries for the Ripon College Newsletter chronicling their post-graduation experiences. We hope you enjoy their perspectives on Life After Ripon!]

I still can’t believe that graduation was over three months ago. I should be back on campus for my “official” senior year, but I decided to graduate a year early. Life after Ripon has been a bittersweet adjustment. While it was extremely hard to think about my good friends and sorority sisters moving back into the dorms, I am ready to see where life takes me in Milwaukee (and obviously make a visit or two back home very soon).

I will start by telling you all a bit more about myself and my time at Ripon. I am originally from Plymouth, WI, and I graduated with an anthropology major and a Spanish minor. Outside of class and homework, I spent the majority of my extracurricular time working on-campus jobs and keeping busy with Greek Life. After joining Alpha Delta Pi as a first-year student, I kept busy as Membership Education Vice President as well as Public Relations Chair. Additionally, I valued my time spent working on-campus jobs in the Collaborative Learning Center and the Office of Advancement. As a mentor in the CLC, I found that helping peers find ways to improve their essays and presentations was also beneficial to my own development as a student. Working as a student assistant in the Office of Advancement was a great opportunity to network with Ripon College graduates of all ages and opened my eyes to our incredibly engaged and generous alumni base.

This summer was primarily spent bartending at the Barefoot Tiki Bar on Elkhart Lake to make some cash before starting graduate school in Milwaukee. Although working in the service industry is not the most glamorous job, I met a lot of fun people and made decent money before moving to the city. When I was not mixing up mai-tais and strawberry margaritas, I was able to enjoy the beautiful beach and spend time with family and friends.

At the end of August, I moved to an apartment located on the East Side of Milwaukee to start graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I will be getting my Master’s Degree in Sociocultural Anthropology and a certificate in Museum Studies. Working towards this degree will hopefully prepare me for a career in research and teaching in university and museum settings. I am excited about the anthropology program at UW-Milwaukee because it provides a broad background of the discipline while still encouraging specialization. There are also many great opportunities offered with the university’s partnership with the Milwaukee Public Museum through the certificate program. I will be taking classes and volunteering at the museum throughout the year, and in the future, there will be internship opportunities as well. Because the semester has just started, I do not have too much to report as of now. Come December, I am sure there will be plenty of adventures to share.

Overall, I think the easiest way to face the realities of “Life After Ripon” is understanding that it is not a “goodbye.” The lifelong friendships that are made here are truly special. Ripon is always going to be a shared experience for every one of us, and it is important to realize our part in ensuring that shared experience for future Red Hawks to come. For now, I am going to focus on adjusting to life in Milwaukee and studying hard.

Until next time,

Madeline Poullette ’15

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