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A Special Badger Bond Created Through the WHOI Chapter Scholarship Program

Allison Baldwin attended our Student Send-off picnic in 2015 and remembers learning tips from then-current students, including Andrea Collins BA’12. Since UW is a large campus, Allison did not think their paths would cross once she would be on campus. However, fate proved differently. Here’s a description of the friendship which developed, and to think it all started because of our Student Send-Off picnic!

Fall 2015, I attended my first picnic as an incoming freshman. Andrea Collins was one of the sophomores who bestowed her wisdom upon us. I thought she was super cool because she was in the band and the band is cool.

Spring 2016, we had a class together but I was too scared to introduce myself because she probably wouldn’t remember me and she was in band which is cool. I was a little freshman still holding onto high school hierarchal nonsense.

Turns out I was right though, she didn't remember me. May 2017, Andrea started working at Short Stack where I have been working all year up to this point. I recognized her and brought up our initial meeting at the picnic. She said, “Whoa what a coincidence, I totally don't remember you at all (paraphrased).” Regardless, we talked about school and found out we were both Psychology majors. I was attempting to find a lab position and Andrea, who was involved in everything, had positions at the two labs I was most interested in. She put in a good word at Patricia Devine's lab and I got the job! We worked on the same research project for the past year.

Now Andrea has graduated so we currently only have one job together (Short Stack), but we are soon to be roommates and the best of friends. She is pursuing jobs in Madison and I will graduate in December. We both enjoy the fact that we have someone in Wisconsin who shares the same background. Even though I'm the only one who remembers meeting at the Heart of Illinois picnic, I think this story is that much better because of it.

Just thought you would enjoy hearing where two of your students ended up! Moral of the story being that UW-Madison is a surprisingly small world.

Allison Baldwin