University of Wisconsin Oshkosh students and siblings Felicia and Caryssa Retrum, of Verona, live together, exercise together and work together.
This December, they also will celebrate a milestone together as they cross the stage to become graduates of UW Oshkosh. The Retrum sisters will graduate as part of the 54th midyear commencement ceremony, which will be held at UW Oshkosh at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15.
Choosing UW Oshkosh
Felicia originally chose UW Oshkosh for the highly accredited College of Business, the beautiful campus and the opportunity to play soccer. Felicia played on the UW Oshkosh women’s soccer team for four years culminating the experience as captain of the team her senior year. Felicia said Caryssa chose UW Oshkosh because she was here.
“She followed me to school,” Felica joked.
“Not true… I came to UW Oshkosh because they have one of the best professional counseling programs in the state, the side benefit is that I was able to hang out with my sister,” Caryssa said.
Despite Felicia’s teasing, Caryssa said she was excited to explore her interest in psychology and passion for helping others by earning her master’s degree in professional counseling.
“I ultimately would love to work with adolescents to help them develop a plan and make an impact on their future. After my interview with the faculty and staff, UWO felt like the right fit for me,” Caryssa said.
Solidifying their bond
It wasn’t until the sisters began living, exercising and working together in the College Education and Human Services administration office did they started seeing the change in their relationship.
“My first year I didn’t see Felicia much. Only at an occasional soccer game. Living and working together has given us a built-in support system and we have begun gotten to know each other on a much deeper level,” Caryssa said.
In addition to the benefits of having a sibling on campus Felicia and Caryssa have developed a passion for UW Oshkosh.
“I have valued small professor to student ratio at UW Oshkosh. It has given me the opportunity to really get to know my professors and develop deep bonds with friends and classmates,” Felicia said.
“As a graduate student, UWO afforded me the opportunities to conduct research, present at a conference and travel to Malaysia where we worked with undocumented children. I will treasure that experience and the friendships I made during the trip for the rest of life,” Caryssa said.
Once a Titan, always a Titan
Felicia and Caryssa credit their parents for encouraging them to go to college and follow educational pathways that will lead them to find careers they love. Armed with her degree in marketing, Felicia will being work as a recruiter with AWI Engineering while Caryssa will be pursuing opportunities to work in higher education as an admissions counselor or academic adviser.
“College is all about learning who you are as you become an adult. My advice is to take this time to invest in yourself. You will never regret it,” Caryssa said.