Being the first student to major in a new program is rare at any college campus, but for Kayla Knipfer it’s just another chapter in her unique undergraduate story.
The Stoughton native is the College’s first-ever Medical Sciences major; she’s pursuing a degree with a concentration in Sonography, a program of the Biological Sciences Department. Currently she’s wrapping up an internship with the UW Hospital and Clinics School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
After high school, Kayla enrolled in a university in her home state, with the intention of majoring in Nursing with a focus on Physical Therapy. However, it wasn’t the right ‘fit,’ and she decided to transfer.
“I really liked the small classes and one-on-one interaction, so I came here, did a tour and decided that I wanted to further my education here. When my mom emailed (transfer admissions counselor) Tami Koepsel, she’s great, she answered all our questions and was completely honest with us. And the nice thing was she wasn’t pushy about it.”
After being accepted to Edgewood College as a transfer student, she sat down with her advisor, Biological Sciences Associate Professor Brenda del Moral, to talk about her next steps. (That's Professor del Moral above, with Kayla.)
“I had no idea what the program was. She said ‘what do you think about sonography?’ And I said I don’t even know what that is!”
After learning more about the new Medical Sciences major and the possibility of a career in ultrasound, Kayla jumped at the opportunity.
“It’s awesome being the first student and being able to represent Edgewood College 100 percent. I have a reputation to hold up being the first student. Granted we’ve had a couple hiccups but…I’m so glad that Brenda (Professor del Moral) told me about this, without her help I would not be doing this, I never would’ve even known about it. I wouldn’t have had my foot in the door by taking extra classes that she recommended.”
Kayla is scheduled to graduate in 2017.