Senior Spotlights - Julia Greshik and Tien-Hsin (Tiffany) Wang

Our remarkable senior students will be graduating in a few short months. As their time at Cotter comes to an end, we want to highlight their achievements and ask them “What’s next?”

Our next segment features two remarkable young ladies, Julia Greshik and Tien-Hsin (Tiffany) Wang.  

Julia, who resides in Fountain City, comes from a long line of Wisconsin Badgers. Her grandfather, father, mother, three of her aunts, and two of her siblings, Jacob and Jessica, have all attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison. However, Julia is breaking the mold like her brother, Joey. Joey is attending the Colorado School of Mines for engineering. For Julia, family and her Catholic faith are extremely important and she has decided to attend a school closer to home where she can have a faith based education. Julia said, “There are great schools here, so I don’t need to travel super far to get into a good school.”

So far, Julia has been accepted to St. Mary’s University in Winona, Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI, and the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. She is waiting to receive her acceptance from St. Olaf College in Northfield. The three schools who have sent their acceptance letters have also presented Julia with significant scholarships. Viterbo University, who is also recruiting her as runner, awarded her the Dean’s Scholarship which will cover 1/3 of her tuition. St. Mary’s University has offered her several scholarships which total approximately 60% of her tuition, and the University of St. Thomas has offered her the St. Thomas Merit Scholarship for her outstanding academic record. That scholarship will cover about 50% of her tuition. At first, Julia didn’t think the University of St. Thomas would be an option due to the high cost of tuition, so this scholarship is unbelievably significant to her decision.

Julia, who transferred to Cotter from C-FC for her sophomore year, is thankful for her opportunities here. She received extra scholarship dollars for attending a Catholic high school and she is grateful for the opportunity to take Advanced Placement (AP) classes. She noted that her siblings did not have the same opportunities. AP classes were only available online or they would need to drive to La Crosse, WI each day. Julia has taken AP History, AP Calculus, AP Biology, and two AP English courses. She feels well prepared for college and is happy to be starting college having completed some college credits.

Outside of the classroom, Julia has been very involved at Cotter. She is a National Honor Society officer, participates in the student council blood drive each semester, is part of the Parmies and SPA, and is part of the Cross Cultural Ministry Project group. She has traveled to Jerusalem Farms and has joined in the Urban Plunge trips to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Benton Harbor, Michigan.

Julia is also quite the athlete. She has participated in cross country, Nordic skiing, track and field, gymnastics, and volleyball. She was honored with the Rambler Award in volleyball her junior season, but in 2017 decided to run cross country. She said she really enjoys running and she said training with the team would help her become a better runner. Julia believes that “running is a lifelong sport.” She said the team had a lot of fun and a lot of success. The girls cross country team placed second at the state tournament this year. Julia was an important member of that team and is currently being recruited by colleges to run for their programs.

Julia also volunteers as a senior mentor to incoming freshman. This year she was a mentor to Morgan Arnold, Aubrey Williams and Alexis Dotterwick. As a senior mentor, she helped with the freshmen retreat as well. Our freshmen are very blessed to have such a wonderful role model.

In college, Julia would like to continue running. She is not sure if she will run competitively, but she will most likely join a running or Nordic skiing club. She also enjoys knitting as part the Parmies and she loves math. If there are knitting and math clubs available, she would join those as well. Studying abroad is also something Julia would like to do in college. She doesn’t have a specific place in mind, but she is excited about the opportunity.

Advice from our seniors is always important for our underclassmen. Julia offered, “Apply everywhere you would consider and don’t let finances hinder you. There’s always scholarship and financial aid. Don’t worry about having a perfectly laid out plan. Just have a direction for the future. Live in the moment. That’s where life happens. Don’t worry about the future or the past too much. Don’t let worrying keep you for living in the present and enjoying each day. Don’t get overwhelmed with all of your commitments and deadlines.” She shared a quote from Henry David Thoreau that she feels encapsulates her advice to underclassmen: “The meeting of two eternities, the past and the future… is precisely the present moment.”

Like all of our seniors, Julia has a tough decision ahead of her. She has substantial offers from tremendous schools. Whichever school Julia chooses will gain an outstanding young lady who will be a significant impact on their campus. Good luck, Julia! Stay in touch!

Tien-Hsin (Tiffany) Wang is an international boarding student from Hsinchu, Taiwan. Tiffany is a renowned flutist who performed a solo senior recital on April 15 of this year. Tiffany has been studying under our band director, Andrew Meurer, and Dr. Janet Heukeshoven. Dr. Heukeshoven is the conductor of the St. Mary’s University concert band and wind ensemble, music education program director, and applied flute instructor. Tiffany was the 2018 John Phillip Sousa award winner for the Cotter High School band. That award is presented to a student who shows extreme musical talent, leadership, dependability, and overall love of music. Tiffany was also selected to the Dorian Honor Band Festival at Luther College. She was selected a soloist and received “Best in Sight” at the solo ensemble.

As a next step, Tiffany is planning to attend the University of Minnesota to major in economics. She was also accepted into Fordham University in New York. Tiffany was offered scholarships at both schools because of her 3.98 G.P.A. and international student status, but she chose the U of M because the school offers several different courses in her area of study, she can participate in band without having to major in the subject, and the scholarship monies were substantial.  

Once Tiffany completes her Bachelor of Arts degree in economics, Tiffany plans to pursue a graduate degree in a business related field. When she isn’t studying, Tiffany enjoys playing her flute. It is her favorite thing to do. She has been playing since 1st grade or close to 12 years. During her recital, Tiffany performed “Fantasie on Themes” from “Der Freischutz”, “Sonata for Flute, Movement 1”, “Hypnosis”, “Ambidextrinata”, “Fantasie Italienne”, “Flute Concerto No. 1 in G Major, K313”, and “Fanstasie Brilliante” from “Carmen”. The piece from “Carmen” is her favorite to play.

She also enjoys spending time with her friends watching movies and sports. While studying in the United States, Tiffany has enjoyed watching American sports and learning more about them. She also watched the winter Olympics with her friends in the dorm. She really enjoyed watching the figure skating competitions the most.

Tiffany came to Cotter for her junior year. An agent in Taiwan suggested the school and the more research she did the more she thought Cotter would be a great fit. Besides band, Tiffany’s favorite class was economics. She also participated in Mock Trial and hopes to join the club at the U of M. She had also participated in Model U.N. in Taiwan and really enjoyed it. She may look into that in college as well.

Although she states that she will really miss her friends after graduation she is really looking forward to going home for a while. She is only able to go home once a year and she misses her family and the food. She is very excited about being home for a few months before starting college in the fall.

Tiffany offered some advice to our underclassmen, “Use your time wisely and be efficient. Don’t procrastinate. Studying abroad is a good way to adjust to changes and accept diversity.”

Congratulations on all of your achievements, Tiffany, and best of luck next year at the U!