Commencement speaker Tracey Walterbusch plans career in higher ed
It took only a campus visit for Tracey Walterbusch to know she wanted to attend the University of Louisville for her master’s education.
The Dayton, Ohio, native had earned her undergraduate degree in economics at Ohio State.
Walterbusch excelled as a master’s student at the College of Education and Human Development.
She served as the president of College of Education and Human Development Graduate Student Association, as first-year representative for the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, staff representative of the Division of Student Affairs’ Professional Development Committee and as the graduate representative for the College Personnel Association of Kentucky.
Walterbusch presented or co-presented at local, state, regional and national association meetings; reviewed programs or awards for three national associations, and initiated a peer-mentoring program for new College Student Personnel students. She also worked as a graduate assistant and graduate intern in several campus offices.
As one of two outstanding graduates this year, Walterbusch will speak at the afternoon commencement ceremony on May 14 at the KFC YUM! Center.
UofL Today caught up with her recently to talk about her time at UofL and her future plans.
Why did you choose UofL?
I came down to visit the campus for the college student personnel program’s campus preview day. I was able to meet with the faculty members and a few of the current students. The faculty all seemed like they really wanted to help all of the students succeed. That made me really excited about the program because I wanted someone to be there behind me, forcing me to do better, encouraging me to be the best at everything I did, academically and professionally.
I was really excited to come here for the College of Education, the program and the faculty. But I was more excited once I came down here to see the city and see how unique it was. All of the different restaurants and different cultures really excited me. I think Louisville is one of those best kept secrets in the state of Kentucky.
Tell us a little about the activities you were involved with while on campus.
I’ve been a student of course, but also a graduate assistant in the Career Development Center, a graduate assistant at the SAC, as well, and I’ve done internships in the offices of Admissions, Housing, Civic Engagement — and even a little with student conduct. I think doing all of those internships have helped me get a better feel of the entire campus. I enjoy feeling the community of the campus and the city of Louisville.
What did you gain from all of those experiences?
I’ve been able to meet a lot of really neat people. I love meeting those people like George Howe that have been here forever, and hearing stories about what Louisville used to be and what it is now.
How did you balance everything?
It comes really easily to me. One of my greatest strengths is the ability to stay organized and manage a variety of different projects at once. It was one of my goals to get everything out of my graduate degree, whether it was outside of the classroom or inside the classroom. I wanted to make sure I tried everything.
What’s been your favorite experience at UofL?
I would have to say the Crawfish Boil, which we had recently. I advised the Homecoming Committee this year. So I helped George and the Homecoming Committee put it on. I watched all of it happen, from seeing the crawfish cooked to actually seeing people come and enjoy the food. It was really exciting.
What’s next for you?
I am not sure. I am currently job searching. I’m looking for a job a little closer to home in Ohio … working at a university in student activities, residence life or in civic engagement.
What will you tell your peers during your commencement speech?
I’ve just started writing my speech. I think I’ll tell them a little about my experience here, a little about how I might view it differently from them. Especially since a lot of people graduating are from the area. I’ll talk about the Louisville community, and how hopefully after we graduate, we will be ready and able to give back to the city and the university.