Get to know Shawn Larson

By UW-Barron County

Student Shawn Larson

Age: 21

Hometown: Hillsdale

High school: Barron High School

Current program or major: Physical Education

Why did you choose UW-Barron County? When I graduated high school in 2014 I was all set to go to WITC and study Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement, but I soon realized that wasn’t the right path for me. A series of very challenging jobs showed me what I didn’t want to do for the rest of my life, and I soon knew I needed to go back to school and find a degree that interested me. I started classes at UW-Barron County in the fall of 2015, where I immediately got involved in Student Government, Phi Theta Kappa, other clubs, and was named captain of the basketball team. Once I arrived at UW-BC I knew I had ended up where I truly belonged.

What surprised you the most about UW-Barron County when you arrived on campus? The thing that has surprised me the most about UW-Barron County is that it’s a small campus but allows students to achieve large things. I experienced this first-hand by being selected to attend the Presidential Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., last June, where I met campus leaders from around the country. Part of the summit involved going to The White House, where we met the head advisors to Barack and Michelle Obama; it was a surreal experience that I will remember forever.

Why did you choose your program/major? I’ve always felt a strong pull towards teaching and coaching people. I’ve done everything from academic tutoring in a variety of subjects to coaching basketball, volleyball and water skiing. I’ve always been drawn to physical fitness. I’m very excited for where I’ll be able to go and do with my degree.

What are you learning about your career field that you find interesting or rewarding? The biggest thing that I’ve learned about my career field is that physical fitness is a language that is spoken all over the world. It’s something that I can take anywhere and find people who share my common interest and passion.

In addition to being a college student, what takes up your free time? On campus, I work part-time at the front desk in the Solutions Center. I also am Student Government Association president and vice president of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK). This past fall, I also served as an as assistant coach for UW-Barron County’s volleyball team. I live on my own, and I love spending time with my family, friends, traveling and taking time to do outdoor activities.

Who has been your favorite professor or staff member? Our former Dean, Dean Yohnk, is somebody I look up to. He taught me the value of being a student and making the most of the opportunity to better myself through education beyond high school. Barney Slowey, the men’s basketball coach, is another favorite of mine. He taught me the value of everything about my sport is connected to life and that everything I do impacts those around me.

What do you plan to do after UW-Barron County? After I earn my associates degree this spring, I will be transferring to UW-Stevens Point to get my bachelor’s degree in physical education with a minor in coaching. From there, I plan to find a teaching job in K-12 education and a coach a high school basketball, cross country or volleyball team. Someday, I’d like to move up to post-secondary education, working in administration or as an athletic director.

What is one piece of advice you have for incoming UW-Barron County students? Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new things; that’s what college is all about. Stay organized, be on time and be spontaneous. When you leave UW-Barron County, you want to be able to look back and say that you have no regrets.



Brian Becker