Photo of student cast members of UWSP’s episode of The College Tour who joined with Chancellor Gibson at a premiere held recently at the Dreyfus University Center Theater.

Student cast members of UWSP’s episode of The College Tour joined with Chancellor Gibson at a premiere held recently at the Dreyfus University Center Theater.

Last September, a film crew came to spend a week at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with the goal of highlighting current students, programs and locations to create a comprehensive guide to the university to share with prospective students across the globe.

The College Tour, an award-winning TV series that offers an insider view of college life and culture, will feature UW-Stevens Point as part of its eleventh season. The show has profiled 150 colleges and universities in 38 states since its creation in 2020, helping future students find the best fit for their college experience.

A sneak peek of UW-Stevens Point’s episode is available on the university website as well as The College Tour website. This May it will premiere on Amazon Prime and will also be viewable through Roku, Apple TV, AndroidTV and Amazon FireTV. It will also be distributed to more than 60,000 high school college counselors and on educational platforms like Niche.

Additional segments, including “Coffee with Chancellor Gibson,” “Ask Admissions” and “Navigating Financial Aid,” were also filmed with Chancellor Thomas Gibson and Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Justin Willis.

The planning, scheduling and student selection was a team effort by the Division of Marketing and Enrollment.

“This episode of The College Tour reminds us all how remarkable our university is while sharing it with our prospective students,” said Chancellor Thomas Gibson. “It also demonstrates the hard work our UWSP staff is doing to enhance recruitment and increase awareness of our brand nationally and globally in a very competitive market.”

Ten students are profiled in the episode, each featuring a different aspect of the educational experience at UWSP:

  • Ashley Authement, biochemistry – sustainability
  • Mike Ayensu-Mensah, philosophy and psychology – finding purpose and passion
  • Elliot Becker, biochemistry – first-generation student
  • Kearyn Brennan, health science and physical therapy – student athlete, pre-professional
  • Logan Dvorak, forest management and fire science – learning outside of the classroom
  • Kaia Fitzgerald, musical theatre – career readiness
  • Maria Hartley, business administration – connections and networking
  • Matteo Mescino, arts management and media studies – transfer student
  • Emmy Pinzon, media studies – campus involvement and belonging
  • Sam Zapata, environmental science and management – international student

The experience of filming for a television program was brand new for most of the featured students, who were selected through a video audition process.

“It was so exciting, I felt like a celebrity,” said Pinzon, who will graduate this May. “I think it was a great confidence builder and helped me increase my marketing skills for a future freelance career.”

Authement auditioned so she “could share how UWSP helped me discover my purpose and how it can help others discover theirs,” she said. Her career plan is to continue her research into PFAS in wastewater or the breakdown of materials in compost and their environmental impact.

“My mom wanted me to apply,” said Mescino, who was able to give her a shout out during the filming. “I haven’t done anything like this before, but it was a really cool experience.” He encourages future UWSP students to take advantage of any opportunities that come their way. Mescino will graduate in May 2025 and hopes to work in sports management.

Becker was recommended by Carrie Hutton, who works in the College of Letters and Science. “This was a new and really exciting experience,” she said. “It was so fun. The crew made us feel comfortable and the director was incredible.” Becker, who is pre-med, plans a career in family medicine, focusing on the elderly population.

Ayensu-Mensah, who graduated last December, said he was flattered and honored to be selected. “The crew made it easy, I just followed instructions,” he said. He is currently applying for clinical psychology programs, in hopes of earning a Ph.D. for teaching and research and possibly a future college professorship.

Dvorak was thankful to be able to show off the work of UWSP’s Fire Crew, an organization he joined as a first-year student. “I’m hoping to work in wildland firefighting for a few years, then see what comes my way,” said the future May 2025 graduate.

While Fitzgerald has been an actor in several theater productions, she thought being in The College Tour was great practice for acting for the camera. “This opportunity was valuable for a young artist like me,” she said. “A large part of my job incorporates those technical elements.” A May 2024 graduate, she will be taking a role in a new musical in Edinburgh, Scotland, after graduation.

“This experience helped me be more aware of all I’ve done, and to be grateful for it,” said Zapata. He said he is usually fairly shy, so being in front of the camera helped him build confidence. He will graduate this December and plans a career in sustainable energy or waste management.

Hartley is grateful for the skills she built for her future as a business leader. “This experience has helped confirm that pushing myself outside my comfort zone is where growth and opportunities truly lie,” she said. “I gained confidence in my abilities and in the energy I can bring to the table, which I can show my future employers.”


Written by UW-Stevens Point

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