Ripon’s varied opportunities impacted career path for Mara Evans ’07

The variety of opportunities was what drew Mara Evans ’07 of Madison, Wisconsin, to Ripon College. “The small and picturesque campus felt welcoming when I visited in person,” she says. “Ripon offered small classes, opportunities for direct contact with professors, and the opportunity to continue playing sports at the collegiate level.”

At Ripon, Evans majored in biology, a necessary foundation for her current work as a certified nurse midwife (CNM). She ensures healthcare for women through yearly checkups, empowers women to make family planning decisions and cares for women during pregnancy and birth.

“At SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, I have had the opportunity to help establish the hospital’s first midwifery service,” Evans says. “Building a practice from scratch has been an enjoyable challenge that draws on my professional, clinical and leadership skills.”

The Ripon College Department of Biology was a starting point for Evans. She spent a semester in West Africa, which ultimately lead to her pursuing work with Doctors Without Boards. She also job-shadowed a labor and delivery nurse at an Appleton hospital, which further cemented her desire to work in women’s health, pregnancy and birth.

Through her involvement in Student Senate and Red Hawks athletics, she says she developed leadership. She also learned the importance of public speaking and the art of delivering a corny joke as a Ripon College prospective student tour guide. “This has been integral to my career as I find myself presented with more public speaking invitations and academic presentations,” she says.

Small class sizes and direct professor interaction at Ripon were rewarding for Evans. “Perhaps most importantly, it is the caliber of students that Ripon attracts that has most affected me,” she says. From classmates to teammates, friends to roommates, Evans believes she learned how to be a part of a diverse community with differing viewpoints at the College.

“Ripon taught me the most valuable lessons in college. … These aren’t included on any of my official transcripts but are attributes that have significantly shaped my career and me.”

Dakota Marlega ’21
Waupaca, Wisconsin

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