…helping her seamlessly adapt to a culture outside of her own.
Living in Sweden and Denmark and learning to speak Danish was never in Zeta Sion’s plans. However, at 22, Zeta found herself in that precise situation, having eventually settled in Copenhagen with her husband and son. And Zeta says that without the writing skills and cultural exposure she gained at UWGB, this major life transition wouldn’t have been as smooth.
“Without my writing skills, I never would have started the blog that connected me with others in my position when I felt alone and honestly helped me get by during tough times,” Zeta says. “I still think in poems, finding any opportunity to jot some down on a post-it, in an email to myself, or on the back of a grocery list. These poems have helped me feel connected to myself.”
Zeta credits UWGB’s stellar English and Humanities departments for this insight. After a meeting with Chuck Rybak regarding one of Zeta’s poetry chapbooks, she says, “I left that meeting walking on air, and yet with a hundred things to think about or change. It emphasized, for me, how much fun it was to think about every individual word. It made me believe enough in myself that I’ve continued writing after I didn’t have to anymore.” Zeta also credits Aeron Haynie’s “Culture of Food” courses that “were absolutely eye-opening,” and Stefan Hall’s undying passion for literature and language. “Dr. Hall was also really inspiring. To see someone so passionate about so many things was impressive, as was his ability to get freshmen students engaged in the material,” Zeta explains.
But perhaps the most important aspect of her UWGB transformation is the manner in which Zeta sees the world.
“I’m passionate about more things. The cultural and social knowledge I gained during my time at UWGB helped immensely when adapting to another culture and then another. The transition would have been much more rocky otherwise,” Zeta says.
Name: Zeta Sion
Grad Year: 2011
Major: Creative Writing
Minor: Spanish and Human Development
We’ve asked alumni to either share stories of how their lives were transformed by the UWGB experience or how they are making the world a better place with transformational work in their careers, homes, or volunteer experiences. As UWGB celebrates its 50th Anniversary, meet an alum each week who has experienced a “UW-Green Bay Transformation.” Stories were self-submitted and then edited by Zachary Taylor, a 2010 English Education graduate currently serving as Interim Associate Director of the Phuture Phoenix program.