Linda O’Malley, of Slinger is the winner of UW-Washington County’s (UW-WC) first Extreme Educational Makeover Contest. Dr. David Nixon, Dean and CEO of the campus made the announcement at 5pm at a reception celebrating the completion of the third floor of the Collins Science Hall.
The contest which ran from January 1 to January 31 was open to anyone ages 22 years of age or older with a high school diploma or GED, who had not attended UW-WC in the last two years and desired a college degree. Contestants had to write a 250 word essay explaining how the makeover would positively impact their lives. The contest attracted over 60 entries, ranging in age from 22 to 69, from as far away as Pulaski and New Berlin.
O’Malley currently works as a certified nursing assistant as well as a hairdresser and spa aide for three different facilities. In addition, she is the single mother of three teenage children. She noted in her essay that “she loves people and that “making them look and feel better is what I was created to do.” O’Malley would like to pursue a degree in nursing and stated that she is ready to serve with “dignity and compassion as a nurse.” Her dream is to focus on one career and one employer. She asked the campus to “help her with an educational makeover” noting that she” is ready and the patients are waiting.” The judges included Dean Nixon, Sue Bausch, Director of University Relations; Chris Beloin, Student Services Senior Coordinator of Services for Adults; Dennis Degenhardt, member of UW-Campus Foundation and President of Glacier Hills Credit Union; and Chris Hays, Associate Professor of Anthropology. The judges were very impressed with the winner’s focus to complete a degree in nursing as well as her drive and determination to make it happen.
O’Malley will receive a free semester of college tuition and fees along with $200 in books (value over $2700). Contest sponsors included WBKV, WBWI Radio, Conley Media, Glacier Hills Credit Union and Westbury Bank.