This Spotlight series recognizes a UW-Manitowoc student's academic achievements and personal story. Students are nominated for this spotlight by faculty and staff.
Bethanie has been active on campus in the Environmental Club, Extreme Outdoors Club, Indoors Club, Student Senate, Phi Theta Kappa and undergraduate stream research team.
Name: Bethanie Ebben
Hometown: Reedsville, WI
Career program/major: Marine Science
What is your career or life goal?
For several years now, I've wanted to become a marine biologist. I love the ocean and I've always been fascinated by it. I hope to do research that will help save and protect coral reefs. Another big goal of mine is to perform research on different species of sharks, track their movement patterns and study their behavior.
What led you to choose your program/major?
I think I was around ten years old when I decided that I wanted to be a marine biologist. It wasn't until the summer before my senior year of high school that I knew it would be a good match for me. I went on a week long class in the Florida Keys offered through UW-Manitowoc continuing education to study the biology of the area and I finally gained some hands-on experience in the field. The class days were very long; I believe they went from 8 AM to 10 PM with a couple hour-long breaks. It was so much fun, though, and was honestly the best week of my life. I loved it.
Why did you decide to become a student at UW-Manitowoc?
I decided to become a University of Wisconsin student at UW-Manitowoc for a few reasons. I'd always heard great things about this campus from people who'd attended here. It was close to home and I knew it would help me save money. Dr. Hein, one of the biology professors here, was also one of the instructors on my Florida Keys biology trip, and he seemed so passionate about teaching, especially when it came to biology. I knew that this was the kind of professor that I wanted to have and I can honestly say that all of the professors I've had here at UW-Manitowoc show the same enthusiasm that Dr. Hein does about teaching.
Is there a UW-Manitowoc professor or staff member who made a difference in your life or inspired you?
It's very hard to just choose one professor that's helped make a difference in my life. I'd definitely have to say that Dr. Hein has been one of the most influential professors, though. He made me love biology even more than I did before college and he, along with Dr. Abler, helped me get involved with the undergraduate stream research as a freshman and I extremely thankful for that. Dr. Murphy is another professor who has made a huge difference in my life. His way of teaching math is so easy to understand and he's helped me to develop a love for the subject. The professors here are so great and I'm so thankful to all of them.
What is one piece of advice you would give to an incoming UW-Manitowoc student?
One piece of advice I would like to give to an incoming UW-Manitowoc student is to get involved. When I first started school here, I was planning to focus solely on my schoolwork. Then I joined the Extreme Outdoors Club. And then, I joined Student Senate. And, I eventually re-started the Environmental Club. I kept getting involved in more and more clubs and events and it helped me get to know so many great people, both students and faculty.
Describe something unexpected that happened here at UW-Manitowoc.
I never expected to get so involved with everything or take on so much responsibility. I'm really glad I did, though, because I've gained so many great experiences and have met some of my best friends through doing so.
When not in class or studying, what keeps you busy?
When I'm not in class or studying, I like to spend time hanging out with my friends, watching movies, especially nature documentaries narrated by David Attenborough, listening to music, and drawing.
What are your plans after UW-Manitowoc?
I'll be graduating from UW-Manitowoc with an associate's degree this spring. I hope to get accepted to Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida to study marine science.
To learn more about undergraduate research opportunities and starting one of more than 200 majors at UW-Manitowoc, call (920) 883-4707 and schedule an appointment with an advisor.