Her father and mother, Dirk and Mary Nel, and her sister, Carissa Nel, are also in the process of becoming U.S. citizens. Nel also has citizenship from South Africa and the United Kingdom where her family lived at one time.
Tyler Skorczewski, associate professor of mathematics, statistics and computer science, said Nel always worked hard in his classes.
“It’s awesome she wants to become a citizen,” he said. “Our country is great because of people like Kayleigh. She is a wonderful person, and I’m glad UW Stout is big enough to offer the various technical courses required for the interdisciplinary cybersecurity program, but also have the small college get-to-know-everyone feel.
“Kayleigh will do very well in cybersecurity,” he added. “She has both the mathematical and computational skills needed to stay ahead of the curve in a field where staying ahead of the curve is paramount.”
Nel’s citizenship ceremony was part of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day celebrated between Sept. 17-23. A total of 21,000 new citizens in 335 naturalization ceremonies across the U.S. occurred during that time, according to a news release from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
“It is an honor to welcome so many new Americans this Citizenship Day and Constitution Day,” stated USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou in a news release. “Citizenship Day and Constitution Day are special days at USCIS – an agency where many people come to work every day to help those at home and abroad realize the full meaning of U.S. citizenship. As we take time to reflect on what citizenship means to each of us, let us share in the commitment to invest fully in this country’s promise to be a place of hope and possibilities for all.”