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Student athlete: Andrew Wietmarschen

Andrew Wietmarschen

A&S & Ed '05, MEd '06 What have you been doing since graduation?
I teach English to sophomores and seniors at St. Xavier High School, where I also serve as the assistant track and field coach. It's important to me to serve as a role model to the kids I teach and to be the same type of mentor that a lot of people were to me at that age.

Why did you decide to become an educator?

I was motivated by several fantastic teachers I had in high school, including several English teachers with whom I had a strong connection. My track and cross-country coaches were both English teachers, and they motivated me to take the next step to be the same sort of teachers/mentors they had been to me.

How did you choose the UC College of Education?

Growing up, my family and I were always huge Bearcat fans. We came to campus for football and basketball games, so I had the idea from an early age that this is where I wanted to go. UC track and field head coach Bill Schnier also recruited me to be on the cross-country team, but I would have wanted to go here anyway based on the fond memories from childhood.

The college faculty impressed me, and I especially liked the practical experience offered through the program. As a student, I was able to observe another teacher for eight weeks — four at Glen Este and four at Walnut Hills — and was able to teach a semester before entering the profession full time.

How did your scholarships enhance your UC experience?

Since I was recruited to run cross-country, I had a scholarship that covered basic college costs. I was fortunate to receive scholarships through both athletics and the college, which covered a lot of the extras, like fees, books and board — things that may not have been covered through the initial scholarship.

The scholarship I received as a graduate student was extremely helpful because I had already used up my eligibility in cross-country, so I would have had to cover tuition, fees and books. The scholarship gave me time to focus on earning my degree and gaining experience through observing other teachers and studying. It allowed me to graduate without a lot of debt, unlike some of my classmates, which is especially important in this economy.

What were some highlights of your time at UC?

I met a lot of great people and had a number of great teachers along the way who helped prepare me for my career. Chet Laine in the secondary education program was extremely instrumental in making me more confident in the way I approach teaching.

I would also say that winning a conference championship as a member of the cross-country team was a big highlight because it was the end result of a lot of hard work and practice. I also met my wife in the education program.

Did receiving a scholarship make you more likely to support UC as an alumnus?

Absolutely. I give to UC to support the track team because I know what my scholarship made possible for me and what an impact scholarships have on the lives of other men and women who take part in the program. I would not have gotten the opportunities I was given without the support I received, so I give back.

What would you tell those considering a gift to fund scholarships?

I think it's really important to take care of what you care most about. The track program and the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, as it's now called, were essential components of who I am today and the success I've enjoyed, so it's really important to me to keep them strong for the next generation of students.