Taylor Walkky-Byington was thrown to the wolves as the new adviser for the Future Teachers Association (FTA) in fall 2018. However, that year she won the award for Advisor of the Year. Then, Walkky-Byington finished strong in spring 2019 as she accepted her second Adviser of the Year award as the advisor of two student organizations: FTA and Student Government Association (SGA).
A Virginia, Minn. native, Walkky-Byington attended its local high school, while simultaneously earning an Associate’s Degree from Mesabi Range College through the Post-Secondary Enrollment Options program. After her graduation from high school, Walkky-Byington attended the University of North Dakota to pursue her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology, then her Master’s Degree in experimental psychology. Her next move was to pursue a PhD, but discovered that wasn’t the path she wanted to take. Instead, Walkky-Byington was told of an open position at the University of Wisconsin-Superior (UWS) by a friend.
In Jan. of 2015, Walkky-Byington became an adviser in the Education Department.
During her first semester working at UWS, Walkky-Bynington became the faculty supervisor of FTA. The former president of FTA, Allison Paske, said, “[Taylor] is knowledgeable, kind, and willing to help at a moment’s notice.”
The former president of SGA, Scott Homes, also noticed those qualities in Walkky-Bynington and approached her about advising for SGA. After sitting down with Holmes to discuss responsibilities, Walkky-Byington accepted Holmes’s offer.
“The patience she had in that regard was amazing. She immediately set up weekly meetings to make sure that I had all the information I needed to be successful in my first year as president. She was a calming force in a new position for both of us,” said Holmes.
The dedication that Walkky-Byington put forth led Holmes to nominate her for the Adviser of the Year Award, an award which she previously had won during her first full year as the FTA advisor. It followed that Walkky-Byington won through her nomination for her second year working at UWS.
Walkky-Byington said that one of her favorite parts of working with her advisees is “seeing how [they] change throughout the year. It happens every single semester. Students start out as untalkative, just feeling each other out, then by the end of the year, everyone is voicing their opinions and are all friends.” Walkky-Byington looks forward to the future of not only the two student organizations that she advises on campus, but for the future of the campus as well.