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Cassie Randolph

A UW-Eau Claire student has drawn international media attention this week over her selection in the finale of ABC’s “The Bachelor.”

The latest season of the dating and relationship reality television show ended with bachelor Colton Underwood selecting Cassie Randolph over the other women vying for his affections. According to UW-Eau Claire, Randolph is enrolled in the university’s online communication sciences and disorders program. She is on track to be awarded her master’s degree in speech pathology from the university in 2020.

“The Bachelor” website includes the following information about Randolph: The 23-year-old is a California native who now lives in Huntington Beach. She says she grew up at the beach and is an avid surfer. With her degree in speech pathology Randolph hopes to one day open a private practice to work with kids.

The show’s ending was unusual in the sense that the season conclusion typically includes the man at the center proposing to the woman he chooses. But in this case Underwood and Randolph have announced they are in a serious relationship but are not engaged.

Some commentators have cheered that departure from the show’s usual conclusion. For example, Lisa Bonos, relationships columnist for the Washington Post, called it “one of the most normal endings we’ve ever seen on this show.”

As Bonos concluded, “Two people dating for a few months and then deciding to be exclusive more closely mirrors the slow, real-life crawl toward a relationship than getting engaged after just a few sky diving dates, bungee-jumps and awkward talks with Dad.”