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Volume 36 Number 1 Summer 2010

university of wisconsin-la crosse alumni magazine

G-O L-A-C-R-O-S-S-E! Alumnae group reunites. Page 19.


Summer 2010 | Vol. 36, No. 1

UW-LA crosse Alumni Magazine



Line up for a Pompon reunion! The UW-L Pompon Squad has performed with the university’s marching band for decades. In this photo from 1973, the Poms were entertaining the crowd during halftime of a Green Bay Packers-Detroit Lions game at Lambeau Field. In September members will return to La Crosse to kick their heels once more with the band in Oktoberfest’s Maple Leaf Parade. See more information about the big reunion being planned on page 19. Photo courtesy of Jenny Hansen McHugh, ’74.


Editor Brad Quarberg, ’85 | Associate Director University Communications Art Director Sanja Dojcinovic | Print Manager University Communications



F E AT U R E S 8

A second right hand. A second brain.

The UW-La Crosse Physician Assistant program is one of the best in the nation. Partnering with local and regional healthcare centers is the key in giving UW-L students a leg up in the ever-growing profession.



Think before you drink

Alcohol-related deaths plague campuses nationwide. Find out what’s being done to curb the problem at UW-L.


Art for the ages

A new mural in Cartwright Center offers a glimpse of history. Discover how students created a painting depicting the campus’ past — and future — in honor of the centennial.


Caring for the campus’ youngest students

Campus Child Center Director Sue Wrobel, ’79 & ’96, has heard some great stories from the children of students and staff over the years. She’s made an impact too. Colleagues gave her the 2009 Academic Staff Excellence Award.


A lasting tribute

National championships are common for UW-L gymnasts. Alums and friends of Coach Barb Gibson, ’78, surprised her by creating an endowment through the UW-L Foundation to honor her first 25 years of coaching — and 14 national titles.

Writers Dave Johnson, ’92 Sue (Sullivan) Lee, ’82 & ’87 Brad Quarberg, ’85 Sara Swiggum, ’10 Photography Sue (Sullivan) Lee, ’82 & ’87 Brad Quarberg ’85 Editorial Assistance Janie Spencer, ’85 & ’86 Keli Highland Al Trapp Jeff Kerkman,’86 Kelly Nowicki, ’98 & ’02 The Alumnus is published in July and December for UW-L Alumni Association members and donors to the UW-L Foundation. Deadline for copy is April 1 and Oct. 1. Submit news items to the editor in the University Communications Office | UW-La Crosse | 115 Graff Main Hall | 1725 State St. | La Crosse, WI 54601 USA 608.785.8572 | View past issues at: digital/uwl/Alumnus/index.html Production of the Alumnus is funded by the UW-La Crosse Alumni Association.

D E PA RT M E N T S Campus news Alumni News Foundation News Sports News Class Notes

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UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010

campus news

Crème de la nation

from the editor

The party may be over … … but, many more good times are yet to come. I couldn’t help but get nostalgic last fall at the Centennial Gala Celebration. The personal stories were heartfelt. The videos took me back in time. And, the surprise visit by the marching band and a jazzed-up version of the Alma Mater made me even more proud to be a UW-La Crosse alum than ever before. No wonder there were tissues on the table. (If you missed it, catch a glimpse on YouTube: jjorstad13). UW-L’s history has been great, but the future looks even better. A new academic building, aptly named Centennial Hall, will allow innovative faculty and staff to teach in more effective ways never thought of even a few decades ago. A new residence hall opening in fall 2011 will serve as the backdrop for countless lasting friendships. Curriculum will evolve and grow. A new journey is beginning … A bank executive new to the area who attended the gala said, “I wish I could have been an alum of this great institution.” We don’t have to wish. We are alums! Take pride in that.

UW-L recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce as a national leader in international student programming

Brad Quarberg, ’85


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he U.S. Department of Commerce has recognized UW-L’s impressive international student recruiting and programs with the 2009 U.S. Department of Commerce Export Award. It cites the university for being a leader in developing international education program“To be comming and student petitive in recruitment, along today’s global with study abroad environment, a and international exuniversity must changes. It’s one of be internation- three awards given nationally. ally focused.” In the past Jay Lokken decade, UW-L has increased international student number to create a more global community. In 2002, international student enrollment was 129. By fall 2009,

UW-L enrolled 437 international students from 45 countries. A target of 667 by 2012 is set. “To be competitive in today’s global environment, a university must be internationally focused,” says Jay Lokken, director of UW-L International Education. “For graduates to be successful in the current economy and world scene, students must have global competencies. This prestigious award recognizes UW-L’s ever-growing commitment to global education.” UW-L has the largest international student program among the UW’s 11 comprehensive campuses and the fourth largest program in the state, behind UW doctoral campuses at Madison and Milwaukee, and Marquette. Get more on UW-L’s international programs at: UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010


Chemistry department acquires state-of-the-art spectrometer through grant


tudents can work on cutting-edge scientific research thanks to equipment installed in Cowley Hall through an NSF grant. The Chemistry Department welcomed a new $400,000 Bruker 400 MHz Avance III Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer in May. Chemistry Associate Professor Adrienne Loh is demonstrating how to

insert a chemical sample into the new instrument. Also pictured, from left, are Provost Kathleen EnzFinken, Chemistry Department Chair Professor Aaron Monte and Lecturer Sandra Koste. NMR spectroscopy takes advantage of atomic nuclei acting like tiny magnets that interact and reveal atomic level information on molecular structure, motion

and chemical behavior. “This new NMR instrument will allow our students to work on cutting-edge scientific research questions and gain experience that is valuable in today’s job and post-graduate education markets,” says Loh. “This funding brings us a state-of-the-art NMR instrument that has some capabilities that even UWMadison can’t provide.”

Medical dosimetry: unique program expanding UW-L has expanded its unique online medical dosimetry program to a master’s degree. The program was designed in 2003 as a post-professional certificate with an intention to transition into a master’s degree, says Nishele Lenards, Medical Dosimetry Program Director. “At the time of program development, there were many certificate programs in the nation,” explains Lenards. “The university wanted to see how successful the program was before developing the graduate degree program.” Dosimetrists use their expertise in physics, anatomy and radiobiology to develop an optimal arrangement of radiation 4

UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010

portals to spare normal and radiosensitive tissues while applying a prescribed dose to a targeted disease. UW-L’s first class was accepted in fall 2004. Since, annual class size has averaged between 10 and 30. By summer 2009, the program had 77 graduates. Lenards expects the new online offering to attract even more medical dosimetrists from around the country. See more at

One of 40 Student selected to attend prestigious international conference


unior Dan Jodarski is one of only 40 Americans selected for this summer’s prestigious Japan America Student Conference. The economics major from Neillsville will discuss hot topics facing the two nations at the four-week conference in four American cities. “I’m extremely excited and proud that a student from UW-La Crosse was invited to participate,” says Jay Lokken, director of UW-L’s growing International Education program. “I think his selection speaks volumes not only about the high caliber of our students, but how the university is continued to be seen as a premiere institution nationwide with international programming.” Jodarski became interested in Japan while living in Baird Hall where he met many international students. One convinced him to take part in an intensive program in Japan last summer. There, a teacher who had attended the conference encouraged Jodarski to apply for the program started more than 60 years ago to foster Japanese-American relations. The program alternates countries each year with 40 students from each spending a month living, traveling and studying. The conference has attracted noteworthy participants such as former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

No. 3 in the Midwest UW-L is once again the state’s top ranked public — and private — university in U.S.News and World Report’s master’s category. UW-L ranked No. 3 in the Midwest among public universities offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the magazine’s “2010 America’s Best Colleges.” Among all public and privates, UW-L tied with St. Catherine University of Minnesota for No. 17. UW-L has appeared prominently on the U.S.News list for more than a decade — and among the top three Midwest institutions since 2002.

Nanometer level $500+K microscope grant will expand research

Still a best value A leading national business magazine says UW-L is still one of the best values among public colleges nationwide. UW-L is No. 34 for out-of-state students and No. 43 for in-state undergraduates in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s “100 Best Values in Public Colleges for 2010.” It’s where UW-L has landed consistently for the past decade. See complete rankings at: magazine/archives/best-values-inpublic-colleges-200910.html

by the numbers … UW-L international students contributed just over $7.7 million to the local economy in 2008-09 according to NAFSA: The Association of International Educators. That’s the largest impact of any college in western Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District.


tudents will soon work on more hightech microscopes thanks to a $524,145 National Science Foundation grant. The grant will allow purchase of a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). Both produce “The microscopes signifi- images at nanoscale resolution and open the cantly broaden door to unique research research on and off campus. capabilities for “Many questions students and can be answered from faculty, and are imaging at the nanometer level,” explains expected to Associate Professor lead to more collaboration.” of Chemistry Aric Opdahl, principal Aric Opdahl co-investigator of the grant. The microscopes significantly broaden research capabilities for students and faculty, and are expected to lead to more collaboration. “We expect these instruments will increase collaboration among departments at UW-L and expand collaborative research with Gundersen Lutheran and the Upper Mississippi Environmental Science Center,” says Opdahl. Researchers in biology, chemistry, microbiology and physics plan to put the microscopes to good use researching everything form health issues to the Mississippi River. The microscopes are expected in Cowley Hall by fall.

Above: Rep. Ron Kind, third from the left, meets with UW-L faculty and staff to announce the National Science Foundation grant.

TECH TALK The SEM and AFM are two distinctly different instruments. Both produce images at nanometer resolution. The SEM scans a beam of electrons across a surface; the AFM scans an atomically sharp tip across a surface. The instruments are complementary in the types of samples that can be studied and the information they provide.

UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010


Time to move off campus by Sara Swiggum, ’10

Ruth Kurinsky ending 33 years in Res Life


With her newly-found free time, Kurinsky plans a river cruise on the Danube and traveling with friends.


UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010

uth Kurinsky has seen and done it all. She’s dressed up like Glenda the Good Witch from “The Wizard of Oz” for R.A. training. She’s patrolled campus looking for rowdy Oktoberfesters. And she’s witnessed crowds of students enjoying “airband” performances. After 33 years as an area coordinator for Residence Life, Kurinsky stepped off campus in June with something her schedule hasn’t allowed — free time. Originally from Chicago, Kurinsky completed undergraduate and graduate work at Western Illinois University. After working as a hall director at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., for five years, Kurinsky came to UW-L in 1977. After Ball State, Kurinsky was looking to head off campus. “I was ready for a career move,” she recalls. She had heard positive comments about UW-L, so she jumped at the opportunity to move north. She began working with the core area of halls — Baird, Trowbridge, Wentz and Drake. As an area coordinator, Kurinsky’s job was to “oversee conduct and various issues in the hall,” as well as supervise hall directors. She also worked in programming and leadership development, where she oversaw programs and activities. Later, Kurinsky switched to training and development, working closely with hall directors and R.A. training. Most recently she was area coordinator for the east residence halls — Laux, White, Sanford and Rueter. Her job description has changed over the years, but the students haven’t. “I don’t know

if I see that the students have changed all that much,” she says. Kurinsky has helped students learn lessons outside of the classroom—lessons that don’t change with time, like living away from home. One other aspect of her job has remained — demand for housing. “I’ve worked for 33 years; we’ve had waiting lists for housing the entire time,” she notes. “There’s always been a waiting list.” That’s good, notes Kurinsky, because it means the halls are desirable. “We have good students and good staff,” she says. “I think we’re lucky to have smaller halls because people can develop community.” Kurinsky retired in June. “I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of things that I’ll miss, but there will be other opportunities that will present themselves,” she said in her last month on the job. She won’t be around to experience the new residence hall in fall 2011, but her wisdom will. “I’ve had the opportunity to give some input as to how some things might happen,” she explains. With her newly-found free time, Kurinsky plans a river cruise on the Danube and traveling with friends. She likes crafts and reading, but has been unable to do them with work. “Maybe I’ll be doing some of that more now,” she says.

Reichert leading Advancement Greg Reichert has been named Assistant Chancellor for University Advancement. Reichert, former vice president for Advancement at Avila University in Kansas City, brings a wealth of advancement experience, most recently heading Avila’s four-year, $16.5 million “Embracing the Future” campaign. Prior to Avila, Reichert was senior director of development at Northwest Missouri State University where he helped raise almost $19 million for scholarships. Reichert, who was raised in Kansas City, earned a bachelor’s in business management and economics from Northwest Missouri State University. He is working toward a master’s in management with an emphasis in fundraising.

Other 2009-10 Retirements Mary Borland; Robert Boszhardt; M. Donald Campbell; Barbara Chaney; Paul Currier; Lamont Eide; Gayleen Eilers; Pamela Erickson; David Follendorf; Jan Gallagher; John Gardner; Jon Hageseth; Randall Hoelzen; Wayne Jacobson; Marcia JohnsonSage; Joseph Lucas; Mark Malachowski; Steve Mc Cabe; Marcia Naber; Jeanette Olson; Ronald Parker; Paul Prochnow; Phillip Quackenbush; Curtis Reithel; Beth Satory; Shirley Shufelt; James Theler; and David Waters.


volcano ash couldn’t stop professor Wilkie

Last spring’s disruption of air travel in Europe due to ash from the volcano eruption in Iceland kept English assistant professor Rob Wilkie in Estonia, but didn’t stop him from having class back on campus. Wilkie taught via Skype despite being thousands of miles away in an Estonian hotel. He was attending a conference on, appropriately, transforming culture in a digital age.

Alums remembered Slawomir Skrzypek and Alexander Szczyglo die in European plane crash


his spring’s tragic plane crash that killed 97 Polish officials heading to a commemoration service in Russia had ties to UW-L. Two members of the delegation attended classes on campus in 1996 and 1997 as part of the East Central European Scholarship Program. Slawomir Skrzypek, an MBA graduate and president of the National Bank of Poland, and Alexander Szczyglo, chief of the National Security Bureau and former Minister of Defense, died in the crash. “They were wonderful human beings, fathers and professionals,” says Bill Colclough, Dean of the College of Business Administration. “We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. We are proud of their accomplishments and hope comfort can be found in knowing that they touched the lives of many people around the world and contributed so much to their beloved Poland.”

Connect with your old college The university’s three colleges have websites and alumni newsletters. Keep your address info updated at www.uwlalumni. org/whatsnew.htm

College Websites College of Business Adminstration: College of Liberal Studies: College of Science and Health:

UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010



second right hand. second brain. Physician assistants are key healthcare providers by Brad Quarberg, ’85


f you haven’t been seen by one, you will soon. As healthcare delivery changes, you’ll eventually be seen by a physician assistant. That PA could be trained at UWL. If that’s the case, you would be in good hands.

Despite being only 15 years old, the UW-L Physician Assistant (PA) Program has quickly become one of the country’s best. The program’s 2009 graduates earned some of the highest scores in the nation on the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE). It’s the second time in three years UW-L graduates placed in the top of all 149 accredited programs in the U.S. The certification agency doesn’t give specific rankings, but UW-L’s graduates have a stellar record. Since the program’s


UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010

inception in 1995, all graduates except one have passed the PANCE on the first sitting. The person who didn’t pass it the first time did on the second. Graduates from 2007-09 scored in the 93rd percentile, and above the 98th percentile in 2007. “It’s fair to conclude our students consistently score in the top 10 nationally,” says Dr. Edward Malone, PA program director since 2007.

PAs grew out of Korean, Vietnam wars


he physician assistant profession is one of the healthcare field’s youngest. Its roots date to the Korean War when surgery was taken to the battle field.

The profession began in the mid-’60s due to a shortage of primary care physicians in the U.S. Duke University Medical Center’s Dr. Eugene Stead, Jr., put together the first PA class, mainly of Navy corpsmen with hands-on experience from the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. The original PA curriculum was based on fast-track training of medical doctors during WWII. UW-L’s program is based on the “condensed medical school model,” says Malone. Following a bachelor’s degree — usually in the sciences — PA students have two years of extensive training. The first is mainly in the classroom. The second includes 11 four-week clinical rotations. “We fit more than 50 percent of medical school into the program,” Malone

Laura Augustine, ’08 & ’10, left, and Abbey Cummings, ’10.

UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010


Appleton native Michael Probst, ’10, was attracted to the PA program after job shadowing as an undergraduate at Gundersen Lutheran. He liked the La Crosse area and UW-L’s stellar reputation. “It has all the benefits of a larger program, yet offers the intimacy that only a small program can,” he explains. “I was on a first-name basis with my instructors after the first week.” His class of 15 went through the two-year program together. “It’s easier going through the tough times — long nights of studying and keeping on track — in a program like this together,” he notes. At commencement time in May, he had yet to decide among several job offers.


UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010

PA cian handles. “We want a physician assistant to be a second right hand of a physician,” says Malone.

UW-L program has ties with GundersenLutheran, Mayo


here are 149 accredited physician assistant programs in the country. Not one has the characteristic of UW-L’s structure: it’s affiliated with two wellrespected healthcare facilities, GundersenLutheran and Mayo Health System. “We’re the only program of its kind,” notes Malone. The tri-partnership began when the La Crosse Medical Health Science Consortium was founded in the mid’90s. The consortium brought together the city’s two healthcare facilities (Gundersen and Skemp-Mayo) and its three higher education institutions (UW-L, Viterbo University and Western Technical College) to advance the region’s healthcare services.

explains. “They’re taught to think like physicians.” PAs cannot practice medicine independently. They must be under the direct supervision of a physician available for consultation in person or within 15 minutes by telecommunication. Once trained and certified, a PA can independently handle a large percentage of what a supervising physi-

With an ever-growing demand for PAs, Mayo and Gundersen wanted to establish a PA education. “They decided to put education above business to better the communities they serve,” Malone explains. “They both benefit from graduates of the program.” Fifteen years later, the program has become a master’s and remains the only PA program for the two medical organizations. Mayo currently has extensive incentives for employees

accepted into the program and plans to add several more PAs to its Rochester campus in the next five years. Demand remains high for graduates. From each graduating class of 14 students, Gundersen and Mayo typically hire several graduates each year. Almost all of the others relocate in the Upper Midwest. “The employment restrictions on our graduates are basically where they want to live,” says Malone. To help ease that demand, the UW-L-based program accepted 19 students beginning with June’s new class that graduates in 2012.

Alums have respect for program, discuss challenges, offer advice


t wasn’t until her junior year in college that Rachel Sunstrom, ’08 & ’10, decided to become a physician assistant. She wanted to work in healthcare. She contemplated physical therapy and medical school, along with PA careers. “I liked the wide variety of opportunities and being taught in the medical model that the PA profession offered,” Sunstrom explains. Sunstrom likes being able to see patients in all areas. “I can work with a team and still have enough autonomy,” she notes. “I like that the PA profession is very patient-care oriented.” Sunstrom sees the unique tripartnership as advantageous. “We were able to experience and be incorporated into two completely different systems and it broadens our experience level,” she says. “Also, being affiliated with two well-known institutions provides us the opportunity to make more contacts and connections which will be beneficial in the future.” Those connections helped Amber Conrad, ’05 & ’07, land a position in radiation oncology with Gundersen Lutheran in La Crosse. She was able to learn from the three different models and take all into her career. “It allowed me to see providers in the profession function similarly and differently based on organizational structure,” she

UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010


Far left: Laura Augustine, ’08 & ’10, who graduated from the PA program in May, began “moonlighting” in the ER at the Shawano Hospital. “PAs help give patients the best health care by working as a team,” notes Augustine. She was attracted to UW-L’s unique program because of small class size, excellent faculty, and a reputation for ensuring good rotation placements.

Left: Abbey Cummings, ’10, graduated from UW-L’s physician assistant program in May. The Monticello, Minn., native job shadowed a physician assistant (PA) and liked the roles: examining, diagnosing and treating patients, and ordering tests while working closely with doctors. In June, she began working for a family practice in Juneau, Alaska.


says. “However, the underlying theme of education, experience and striving for quality was present throughout. The program was exceptional and prepared me very well for my career. The faculty make your success a priority in both academia and clinicals.” Conrad, who currently works in hematology at Gundersen-Lutheran, says the most challenging part of being a PA is developing a relationship will doctors. “Developing the rhythm of that relationship can take some time and diligence,” she notes. “It is so important to ensure that patients get what they need. With many patients seen by both providers, communication between providers and the team nurses and MA’s is very key.”

Health in Shawano in June. She’s excited about starting in a new organization, but believes she’ll adjust quickly with experience from the UW-L-Gundersen-Mayo program. She expects developing a strong relationship with her supervising physician will be the most challenging part of the job. “It’s important to know that the doctor you are working with trusts in your abilities, but at the same time is there to lend a hand and answer questions when you need him or her,” she says.

Laura Augustine, ’08 & ’10, began working in Urgent Care and ER at Bellin

Davey encourages those thinking about becoming a PA to job shadow. “Shadow as

UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010

Thomas Davey, ’07, a hospitalist PA at Gundersen-Lutheran, agrees that working with multiple supervising physicians is challenging. Yet, he likes a PA’s flexibility and team atmosphere.

many PAs as you can to really get a feel for the career,” he advises. “It is a challenging, but very rewarding field that I feel privileged to be a part of.” Fellow alum Conrad says a person’s interest in medicine, science, teamwork and patient-oriented care leads people to become PAs. “Choose being a PA because you want to be an integral part of a team of patient care providers,” Conrad explains. “Healthcare will always be very dynamic, particularly in today’s U.S. economy. This requires that we in health care be dynamic.”

PAs …


… are healthcare professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. PAs cannot practice independently. … can practice in any speciality area that a physician can. … can only be supervised by an MD or DO; podiatrists, chiropractors, dentists and optometricts cannot supervise PAs. … must be able to consult with physicians in person or within 15 minutes by phone, radio or televideo communication. … focus on routine problems and provide patient education and more time on prevention. … can do about 80 percent of what family practice physicians can do, but cost about half the price. … are trained as generalists; they learn their specialty on the job. … are taught to think like a doctor.

… must pass the PANCE (Physician Assistant National Certification Examination) after completing an accredited PA program. Once certified, they can put the initials PA-C after their name. … earn an average full-time salary of $81,500; more for increased experience and specialties. Health Science Consortium

Learn More health-professions

Medical dosimetry Nuclear medical technology Occupational Therapy Physical Therapy Radiation therapy The Physician Assistant program is only one of the six fully-accredited programs offered in the Health Professions Department. The others: Medical Dosimetry, Nuclear Medical Technology, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Radiation Therapy. All have regional and national recognition in professional healthcare education. The department’s placement rate is nearly 100 percent. The department is housed in the Health Science Center, a five-story facility built in 2000 and equipped with state-of-the-art classroom and lab equipment. The department is one of the university’s newest. It was formed in 2003 when the Physical Therapy and Clinical Sciences departments joined.

UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010


Think before you drink

A frank conversation with Matt Vogel, UW-L’s top alcohol educator


t’s in the news too often: A drunk college student dies falling off a balcony. A highly intoxicated college student is killed in a car crash. Another college student has drowned. When the body is recovered, blood alcohol levels are extremely high. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s stats for college students (18 to 24-year olds) are alarming: •D  eath: 1,700 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including auto crashes. • I njury: 599,000 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol. •A  ssault: More than 696,000 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking. These numbers lead many to ask, “Isn’t the university doing something about this?” UW-L is. Community Health Specialist Matt Vogel details what’s happening on campus …

What’s being done at UW-L to Q:address binge-drinking, under-

age drinking and other alcohol issues that put today’s students at risk?


: We do a lot to address the issue. We fundamentally approach it with honesty, pragmatism and a focus 14

UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010

on reducing risk. Within all programming I try to meet students where they are, providing accurate resources to drinkers and non-drinkers alike. Before first-year students move on campus I present at all freshman registration sessions in June. Additionally they are e-mailed — and required to complete — an online alcohol education program in early August. Once students arrive, we coordinate programs during opening weekend, in all UW-L 100 (first-year experience classes), all SAH 105 classes, every athletic team, and various residence hall programs. What about our culture’s arguQ:ment that excessive drinking is just a passage into adulthood? Is drinking more of an issue than a decade or two ago?


: I don’t think we’ve done a great job in society when it comes to healthy rites of passage into adulthood. Through various media sources we’ve also created a social script, or blueprint, communicating to young people what it means to “be in college.” This script is sometimes thoughtlessly followed with little education or understanding about what they’re getting into with alcohol. That said, I don’t demonize alcohol, I am not a prohibitionist, and

Matt Vogel, in his third year as UW-L’s community health specialist, is no stranger to downtown bars and effects of too much to drink. He coordinates campus health and wellness programs, with a strong focus on alcohol and drug education. During the past academic year he’s facilitated approximately 70 campus presentations. He serves as the UW System Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Coordinator chair.

I don’t feel alcohol is inherently evil. Like most things, it is how we use it. It seems like more of an issue now for a few reasons. We have always had high-risk drinkers, but it seems that subset is getting more intense in their behavior nationally, not just Wisconsin. I see these factors playing a major role: •H  igh levels of stress. •M  arketing, movies, social constructs about drinking and college life. • I ncreased consumption of energy drinks mixed with alcohol. •P  oor education that has been primarily fear-based, overly moralistic, and unrealistic in the eyes of most young people. •H  yper-masculinity…young men basing part of their manhood on the quantity of alcohol they can consume. • I ncrease in drinking games and extreme, competitive forms of drinking. In many ways young people now drink against each other rather than with each other. •A  culture that values appearance, status, money, overuse of technology, more than living a meaningful life. This will inherently lead young people to engage in higherrisk behavior.

Following drownings in La Crosse’s Riverside Park, students in 2006 formed “Operation Riverwatch.” Weekend evenings and early mornings students patrol the park along with Mississippi River levee. When they see people getting dangerously close, they radio police for backup. Police estimate Riverwatch volunteers have kept around 100

kind of impact Q:areWhat alcohol education programs having?


: Overall, positive. Feedback I get is that young people are craving realistic alcohol and drug education. Because UW System survey questions changed, it’s hard to compare statistics from year to year. That said, from the data I am cautiously optimistic. Anecdotally, I hear more students talking about moderate consumption as a viable option if they choose to drink, and overall I feel many students are thinking more critically about the issue. Personally a goal of mine is to get students to examine alcohol with depth and critical thinking. Why do they use? Why use it in the way you do, what dictates it? Are we all just trained to act a certain way with alcohol? If so, who is pulling our strings? Is getting highly intoxicated actually fun? Would we use illegal drugs in the same cavalier way even though alcohol can cause just as much physical harm?

the beginning phases of a peer education class. The long-term goal is to have peer educators facilitate campus programs around a variety of topics, not just alcohol. What’s the easiest, most Q:effective advice you give to new students?


: I try to confirm the positive decision that non-drinkers make, but I don’t pretend that everybody is a non-drinker. Wisconsin data shows approximately 78 percent of students drink before graduating from high school. It would be naïve of me to pretend that it isn’t happening. For those who choose to drink I encourage moderation and I try to quantify what this means for them. Additionally, I encourage students to walk their own path and trust their intuition when it comes to making choices for themselves. In addition to facts about alcohol I feel this type of discussion is important. Alcohol consumption isn’t a stand-alone issue. It needs to be approached from a holistic perspective.

How are our students other health issues Q:helping Q:areWhat to educate fellow being addressed along students about alcohol issues?

with alcohol?



: Many resident assistants (RAs) facilitate evening programs in residence halls. I do trainings with all RAs in August, and I feel they have a good handle on alcohol education. Additionally, we are in

heavily intoxicated individuals from getting dangerously close to the river. “We hear from volunteers that often when they encounter an intoxicated person down at the park and ask them where they are going and rarely are they heading in the right direction,” says Casey McHugh, who’s on the Riverwatch board and volunteers

:The primary issues that are associated with it include injury prevention, sleep, stress, sexual assault prevention and relationships.

through Sigma Tau Gamma. “We’ve heard people say ‘16th Street,’ ‘campus,’ ‘the bluffs’ and even that the river is ‘a parking lot I’m trying to get across.’ Many people wind up completely turned around and disoriented when they get drunk, which can lead to some very, very dangerous results.”

UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010



Art students created this mural for the State Room in Cartwright Center.

by Sara Swiggum, ’10

Students create centennial work for Car twright Center

“It was about people coming together. The energy was really amazing.” JENNIFER WILLIAMS TERPSTRA


UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010


sually new faculty only have time to worry about developing course schedules, selecting textbooks, and taking roll without butchering students’ names. For Binod Shrestha, there was more. His first few weeks as the art department’s assistant professor were dedicated to a project that would leave its mark on the university. At a faculty meeting, Shrestha heard the Chancellor’s Office had requested art for its waiting area. Shrestha suggested the work be related to the Centennial celebration. But Shrestha wasn’t about to tackle this job on his own. He enlisted help of his design foundations and drawing classes, as well as Art Department Chair Jennifer Williams Terpstra. “She was very supportive,” Shrestha said. Terpstra’s painting class became involved. Since their classes met at the same time, Terpstra and Shrestha began using class periods to design a piece that would eventually capture the history of the university.

The students surveyed campus for the best sites to create a mural. They decided on the State Room in Cartwright Center, despite the initial request in the Chancellor’s Office. Terpstra felt Cartwright was excellent because it is an area that is “truly a student space.” Before painting could begin, students and faculty brainstormed ideas and designed several sketches, then voted for their favorite. Their goal: portray a timeline of the school’s history. The chosen design depicts various buildings on campus, including the oldest, Graff Main Hall, on the left, and the newest, Centennial Hall, on the right. In the center is Hoeschler Tower, whose functioning clock symbolizes the passing of time. Although the subject of the painting is architecture, Terpstra said it means more than bricks. “The university is not just about buildings,” she explained. “It’s more of a collage of the past, present and future.”

After fine-tuning, the faculty and their students worked diligently to create the mural. With the help of a projector and Photoshop, students transferred their idea to the wall. After four to five weeks of work, the project was complete. Students dedicated many hours to making the painting come to life. Junior Timothy Znidarsich recalls late Friday and Saturday nights. For him it was worth the effort. “The grand scale and the detail paid to the intricacies of the work reflects the long hours we all put forth in creating this mural,” he said. Both professors were also pleased with the outcome. “It has a funny flatness to it, almost pop art in how heightened everything is,” Terpstra said, referencing color choices and lack of depth the students decided to pursue. Terpstra was impressed with the group effort. “It was about people coming together,” she said, “The energy was really amazing.”

alu m n i n e w s

class of ’10 grads honored • Molly Day, Wittenberg and Arika Wussow, La Valle Murphy Awards for Academic Excellence, recognize the university’s top two graduating scholars as chosen by a committee.

“As an alumni couple, we belong because UW-L gave us so much. We’ve always been supportive of the university and still want to be connected to our alma mater. It’s exciting to come to campus and see all the growth, but it’s comforting to know it’s still the same university we loved 30 years ago.”

• Raymond Leach, Bemidji, Minn. Jake and Janet Hoeschler Award for Excellence, recognizes a College of Business Administration graduate for academic accomplishment and leadership on and off campus. • Sara Schreiner, Stetsonville Strzelczyk Award in Science and Allied Health, recognizes an outstanding senior in the College of Science and Health. • Patte Michalek, Yuba The John E. Magerus Award for the Outstanding Graduating Senior from the College of Liberal Studies, recognizes an outstanding senior in the college for academic accomplishments, leadership, and involvement in the campus and community. • Christine Belland Maslonkowski, Chippewa Falls Graduate Thesis Award, recognizes a graduate student who has written the best graduate thesis, based on originality, impact and written quality.

Shelley, ’75, & Art, ’76, Fahey, La Crosse.

We all belong to the UW-La Crosse family. And, we need you to belong to the Alumni Association! When you belong, we can support today’s students — future alums — through Legacy scholarships, networking events, Etiquette Dinner, Welcome Weekend events, Alumni Awards, and much more. And, you’ll support and receive the Alumnus — along with many other benefits.

Continue to keep “The La Crosse Experience” alive for generations to come. Visit for all the latest alumni information. To belong: • Join or renew at • Call toll-free at 877.895.2586

Become a life member and receive a special edition UW-L lapel pin! Make two payments, if you prefer.

for you.

for la crosse.

for a lifetime. UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010


p l a y. grow. learn. Caring for the campus’ youngest students is much more than babysitting by Brad Quarberg, ’85


UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010


ue Wrobel, ’79 & ’96, continuously teach social doesn’t have to watch Art skills, and meet with parents Linkletter’s “Kids Say the to discuss progress. Darndest Things” on You While parents thank Tube. She sees it every day the staff for their strong at the university’s Campus mentoring, staff members Child Center. relish the opportunity to be The center’s with children. “I see so much “Working with director hears a lot growth and of stories from the young children is 1-to 5-year-olds development so very rewardexploring their newly in the kids. It’s ing because of found language skills. fun to watch the many op“Once they can talk, I portunities to be that.” hear some really good creative, to thorSUE WROBEL stories, stories that oughly explore parents necessarily one’s environdon’t want to hear about,” ment and to learn through she says. play,” explains Wrobel. “I Wrobel has scribbled have tried to highlight the down many funny tales, but uniqueness of creative play don’t expect her to publish and exploration.” a book like Linkletter who It’s the staff ’s team efmade childrens’ stories his fort that makes the center trademark. Rather, Wrobel successful. “They’re very simply cherishes the time creative, dedicated and with kids whose language is enthused,” explains Wrobel. exploding. “I see so much “They want the best for kids growth and development in and they pull it off.” the kids,” she notes. “It’s fun It’s not just the profesto watch that.” sional staff. Wrobel and five Wrobel and her staff do teachers mentor student much more than babysit workers, as well as early children of students, faculty childhood and elementary and staff at the center ateducation majors. Center tached to the Recreational staff typically provides 3,600 Eagle Center. They have hours of field study each structured lesson plans, year. The future educators

are mentored by a teaching team that has more than a century of experience. The staff ’s longevity — all have remained under Wrobel’s watch — is a tribute to Wrobel’s leadership. It’s just one of the reasons academic staff colleagues selected Wrobel for the 2009 Academic Staff Excellence Award. Wrobel is humbled by comments she hears. “When I hear about the Campus Child Center on campus and in the community, it’s always positive,” she notes. “It’s a big success to maintain that energy and enthusiasm.”

SUE’S FILE • Educator at UW-L  Campus Child Center since 1986; director since 1991. • Student teaching supervisor since 1995; ad-hoc lecturer in UW-L School of Education since 1998. • Church pianist, St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Stoddard, since 1998. • YWCA Outstanding Woman Award in Education/Administrator, 2000.


Stepping off with the alumni band in the maple leaf parade Pompon performers will return to La Crosse to share memories and strut their stuff. Former Marching Chiefs and Screaming Eagles poms will return Sept. 24-25, 2010, to march with the UW-L Alumni Band in the 50th Annual Maple Leaf Oktoberfest Parade. More than 50 have already signed up. Reserve your spot — and a set of pompons — with Heidi Ludkey,, by Aug. 1.

On the road, again! The Alumni Association has been on the road bringing UW-L to cities throughout the Midwest. Here, alums got together to reminisce about college days in Rochester, Minn. Other recent stops have included Madison, Winona, Green Bay, Potosi, Milwaukee and Chicago. Watch your e-mail for an event coming to your area. Make sure you update your e-mail address to be included in all the upcoming activities. See the complete calendar at

Have fun, reconnect and support UW-L while swinging a golf club! Take part in a unique fiveperson scramble Wednesday, Aug. 11, at Cedar Creek in Onalaska. The event includes: lunch, 18 holes of golf with cart, special edition UW-L polo shirt, team photo, beverages on the course, special hole events, dinner and a raffle with great prizes. The field is limited to 145; register early. Early bird discount is $125 before Aug. 1. Get details at http:// Proceeds support the Alumni Association’s legacy scholarships, the Alumnus, the Etiquette Dinner, Countdown to Commencement, alumni reunions and more. wisconsin of -la y t i cr s r



Event set for Aug. 11 in Onalaska

wisconsin of -la y t i cr s r

e ss o

Alumni & Friends golf outing

un iv e

PGA championship, anyone? A lucky winner of a raffle during the golf outing will win a special $690+ golf package! The winner will get two tickets for the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits Aug. 14 and 15, and overnight accommodations for two in Sheboygan. Raffle tickets are $20 each and can be purchased in advance through the Alumni Association at 608.785.8489 or during the outing. The drawing is at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 11. Need not be present to win.

White sox game. Gatherings. more … Find out what the UW-L Alumni Association has planned:

UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010


g r a f f awa r d

More than Ford tough

A.J. Wagner: ‘A world-class leader of people’


e’s known as a hands-on inspirational leader who thrives on direct customer and employee contact. A.J. Wagner, ’73, has success with the bottom line too. In his last three-and-a-half years as president of Ford Credit North America, Wagner oversaw a $10 billion profit for the automaker’s auto lending subsidiary. It’s a fitting tribute to a man who worked for Ford Motor Co. for more than 33 years. Wagner began working with the American automaker as an auditor after graduating summa cum laude from the College of Business Administration. He worked his way through the company, serving as president of Ford Credit North America, as well as vice president and corporate officer for Ford his final three years before retiring in 2006. Those who worked with Wagner say he brought a downto-earth, yet professional business approach. “He blends the critical thinking skills of a great finance person with the business acumen of a great operating person,” explains David P. Cosper, a former Ford Credit colleague who is currently vice chair and CFO of Sonic Automotive. “This combination, plus his easy-going manner, makes him a • Accomplished businessworld-class leader of people.” man, inspirational leader, Wagner currently is presihumanitarian. dent and CEO of A.J. Wagner • President of business con& Associates which provides sulting organization. consulting and brokering for • Retired president of Ford businesses specializing in autoMotor Credit Co. North motive and financial services. America and vice president of Ford Motor Co. • Recipient of the 2006 The Maurice O. Graff Distinguished Philip E. Benton Award, Alumnus Award recognizes alumni given from minority North who have brought honor and distincAmerican dealers to the tion to the university. Nominate a Ford executive displaying deserving alum at: www.uwlalumni. the greatest commitment to org/nominate.php diversity. • Coach of community-based recreational leagues for children. • Earned a bachelor’s in finance from UW-L in 1973 and an MBA from the University of Detroit in 1978.



UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010

r a d a awa r d

Adept in aquatics

BRenda Moraska Lafrancois: Ecologist making Midwestern lakes, rivers better


n less than 10 years with the National Park Service, Brenda Moraska Lafrancois, ’97, has already accomplished more — and received numerous regional awards — than many could hope for in their entire careers. The Great Lakes Area aquatic ecologist with the National Park Service in St. Croix, Minn., works with park scientists and researchers to determine aquatic research needs for national parks. Lafrancois also develops research proposals with other agencies and universities, along with overseeing projects and analyzing long-term water quality issues. “Her work has helped the National Parks of the Upper Midwest make great strides in protecting water quality and aquatic ecosystems,” explains Randy Ferrin, a former National Park Service colleague who has retired. “She is continually thinking of new ways to approach natural resource issues, is consistently willing to help on a problem or project, and repeatedly produces sound products that are extremely helpful to the management of national park units.” Lafrancois is known for innovative research of invasive zebra and quagga mussels in Lake Michigan and the St. Croix River. And, she has conducted long-term water quality trends • Great Lakes Area Aquatic on the river, setting nutrient Ecologist with the National reduction goals adopted by Park Service since 2002. Minnesota and Wisconsin. She • Member of the Ecological shares her aquatic research and Society of America, North knowledge with many — from American Benthological Soscientists to eager elementary ciety and Mississippi River school children. Research Consortium. • Midwest Region recipient of these National Park The Rada Distinguished Alumnus Service Director’s Awards: Award recognizes alumni from the Natural Resource Research, last 20 years with professional distinc2008 and 2005; Profestion and humanitarian activities. sional Excellence in Natural Nominate a deserving alum at: www. Resources, 2007. • Biology Senior of the Year, UW-L Biology Department, 1997. • Earned a bachelor’s in biology and Spanish from UW-L in 1997. Doctorate in ecology from Colorado State University, 2002.

Brenda’s FILE

m ul t i c ul t u r al awa r d s

A student advocate

Jeff taylor: passion for success of children


eff Taylor, ’85, is viewed as an advocate for underrepresented constituents in his school. He’s known for addressing issues of equity and justice. And, Taylor has helped create a healthy inclusive and equitable educational community. “He has the passion for the success of all children and the ability to create and sustain effective learning communities,” notes Kristen Gurtner, director of human resources for the School District of West Allis-West Milwaukee. Taylor has been principal of the district’s Frank Lloyd Wright Intermediate School since 2007. Gurtner says Taylor has successfully built a community of inclusion and acceptance at the school while helping to celebrate differences among students. First, Gurtner says, Taylor has trained others that diversity increases the value of community and skills to reach goals. Second, Taylor has empowered marginalized groups of parents and students by giving them skills to navigate the educational systems. Finally, he has been a leading voice to in• Principal of Frank Lloyd crease and improve the district’s Wright Intermediate School, best practices for diversity. School District of West Kurt Wachholz, superinAllis-West Milwaukee, since tendent of the school district, 2007. attributes much of the district’s • Assistant Principal, Vincent growth in diversity to Taylor. High School, Milwaukee, “He should be recognized as a 2002-07; Special Education leader for diversity and equity Diagnostic Teacher, Custer in education, and as an advocate High School, Milwaukee, for such practices,” he notes. 2000-02; Middle School Teacher at various Milwaukee Public Schools, The Multicultural Alumni Award 1985-2000. recognizes multicultural alumni for • Lead vocalist for Altered outstanding contributions to their Five, a southern Wisconsin profession and society. Nominate a rockin’ rhythm ’n’ blues deserving alum at: www.uwlagroup. • Board of Directors, Artworks-Milwaukee. • Earned a bachelor’s in music education from UW-L in 1985. Master’s in educational leadership from UW-Milwaukee, 1998.

Jeff’s FILE

A helping hand

Sentwali Bakari: consistently there for students


entwali Bakari, ’82 & ’90, is there for students. He’s there to lend a hand. He’s there to offer needed advice. And he does it without forcing that advice on students. Bakari is a mentor for both students and colleagues at Drake University, where he has served as Dean of Students since 2003. “His ability to listen to students’ needs, stay late hours, be a friend and be a mentor is inspiring and comforting,” explains Tisleen Singh, vice president of Student Activities at Drake. “One of the most admirable qualities of Sentwali is his ability to listen to the students’ needs and wants.” Bakari also advocates for diversity on campus and into Des Moines. He had played an instrumental role in reviving the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. He is involved in Brother to Brother, a large mentoring program for AfricanAmerican high school-aged men in the Des Moines Public Schools. With his leadership, students were able to attend a noteworthy national conference with funding received through a grant. Bakari was know as Ron Miller while a student at UW-L. He worked in UW-L’s Multicultural Student Services Office • Dean of Students at Drake from 1990-96. University since 2003.

Sentwali’s FILE

• UW-L Multicultural Student Services Office: director, 1994-96; Assistant Director/Student Services Coordinator, 1990-93. • More than 20 years of higher education experience at UW-L, Winona State University, Texas Christian University, Front Range Community College, University of Northern Colorado, Hartwick College, State University of New York at Oswego, and Drake University. • Earned a bachelor’s in political science (1982) and master’s in college student personnel (1990) from UWL. Doctorate of philosophy in college student personnel from University of Northern Colorado, 2000.

The Multicultural Alumni Award recognizes multicultural alumni for outstanding contributions to their profession and society. Nominate a deserving alum at: www.uwlalumni. org/nominate.php

UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010


Five decade span

the 2010-11 alumni association board of directors

The Alumni Association board of directors is representing five decades. Amy DuPont, ’01 is heading the board.



wenty-six alumni representing five decades and various affinity groups make up this year’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. “This diverse group of alums cares passionately about their alma mater,” says Janie Spencer, executive director. “Board members are involved in everything from strategic planning to distributing ice cream to incoming freshmen and their families.” Amy Du Pont, ’01, is president of the board. Founded in 1969, the Alumni Association serves as the primary liaison to the largest constituency of the univerAmy Du Pont, ’01 sity: alumni. The association builds and maintains relationships among alums, students, friends and the university to create a lifetime connection. During the past 40+ years, the association has hosted hundreds of events worldwide. Alums hail from 50 states and 57 countries. UW-L graduates total more than 68,000. The association and its activities are funded primarily through membership dues. In addition to working with the academic departments, athletics, alumni networks, and other affinity groups, the association sponsors programs for current students. “The Alumni Association is dedicated to keeping alumni connected to each other and to the university,” explains Spencer. “We encourage all alums to become members!”


UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010

Officers: President: Amy DuPont, ’01 Vice President: Corey Sjoquist, ’96 & ’03 Treasurer: Jeff Bryant, ’80 Past President: Marlin Helgeson, ’78 Executive Director: Janie Spencer, ’85 & ’86

Jill Blokhuis, ’88 Andre’ Deer, ’95 Dave Fink, ’85 Anne Grayson, ’86 Trish Harman, ’95 Maheruh Khandker, ’00* Kevin Mahoney, ’75 Adam Mueller, ’03 Ken Schmocker, ’75 Ron Stadler, ’86 Jackie Strutt, ’76 & ’80 Lore Vang, ’04 & ’08

Alumni Network representatives: Beta Sigma Chi: Fred Monk, ’64 Delta Sigma Phi: Jamie Durocher, ’98 Madison: Emily Bradley, ’05* Marching Band: Lisa Butterfield, ’83 Milwaukee: Alicia Stratman, ’97 Residence Life Staff Network: John Palmer, ’96* Rochester: Chris Bowron, ’99 ROTC: Paul Hoiland, ’96 Silver Eagles: Kelly Nowicki, ’98 & ’02 Twin Cities: Greg Natyshak, ’00

Ex-Officio • Program Coordinator, UW-L Alumni Association: Keli Highland • President, UW-L Foundation: Al Trapp • President, Student Alumni Ambassador: Hailey Eichhorn *new member

F amil y , friends & Alumni W eekend Oct. 15-17! FRIDAY, OCT. 15:

10 a.m. Silver Eagles annual meeting 11 a.m. Silver Eagles: Take an Eagle to Lunch 4 p.m.-midnight Open Recreation, Recreational Eagle Center 5-7 p.m. Family informal meet and greet with administration and faculty 7:30-10 p.m. Alumni social 7:30 p.m. Theatre: “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot,” Center for the Arts; Music, Center for the Arts 8-9:30 p.m. Concert by the FurLow Riders, Valhalla, Cartwright CenterGunning Addition




Return to campus for a weekend of activities.

Reminisce about your days at UW-L while exploring the new developments on campus — the Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex, and construction of Centennial Hall and the new residence hall. Friday night will feature the FurLow Riders, Chancellor Joe Gow’s band. Events in the Cleary Alumni & Friends Center unless noted.

SaturDAY, OCT. 16:

8 a.m. Beta Sigma Chi Breakfast, Ward Room, Cartwright Center 8:30 a.m. Run with the Chancellor, campus 8:30 a.m. Football Captains breakfast 10 a.m. Campus tour 10 a.m.-midnight Open Recreation, Recreational Eagle Center 11 a.m. Live eagle demonstration, Veterans Memorial Stadium lot 11:30 a.m. L Club pre-game festivities, Veterans Memorial Stadium lot 1 p.m. Football vs. UW-Platteville, Veterans Memorial Stadium 2-5 p.m. Climbing Wall, Recreational Eagle Center 7 p.m. Class of ’60 reunion 7 p.m. CAB Entertainment, Graff Main Hall Auditorium 9-11 p.m. Bingo, Valhalla, Cartwright Center-Gunning Addition 7: 30 p.m. Theatre: “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot,” Center for the Arts; Music, Center for the Arts Daily Self-guided tour of Hixon Forest TBD 1985 and ’95 Football Team Reunions

SunDAY, OCT. 17:

10 a.m. Wall of Fame Brunch Noon-11 p.m. Open REC, Recreational Eagle Center 10:30 a.m. Residence Life staff brunch, Valhalla, Cartwright Center-Gunning Addition 2 p.m. Theatre: “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot,” Center for the Arts Daily Self-guided tour of Hixon Forest


www . uwlalumni . org

F o r a c o m p l e t e s c h e d u l e o f s p o r t i n g e v e n t s g o t o h t t p : / / w w w. u w l a t h l e t i c s . c o m / c a l e n d a r. a s p x

UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010


construct New Residence Hall Construction began in February. The 500-bed hall will open in fall 2011. It will be the university’s largest building with over 214,000 square feet. Like Centennial Hall, it will be LEED Silver Certified. For details visit

Centennial Hall Construction was ahead of schedule by July. The new academic building will open for classes in fall 2011. For more info visit


UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010

tion zone Parking Ramp and Police Station A new parking ramp and police station could be built on gravel parking lots west of the Cleary Alumni & Friends Center. A feasibility study was completed in spring. The project will help alleviate an anticipated parking crunch due to loss of lots to the new science building and a new student union east of Wimberly Hall. More at

Cowley Science Building Construction of a new state-of-the-art science building is the university’s next capital project priority. The pre-design process began in spring and a report and open forum are set for fall 2010. Cowley Hall was built in 1965, with upgrades in 1969 and 1970.

UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010


f o u n d at i o n n e w s

A lasting Gymnasts create endowment to honor Coach Gibson


he past quarter century, Barb Gibson, ’78, has developed one of the most successful collegiate gymnastics programs in the country at UW-L. Thanks to an endowment created by friends, the program’s success will have continued financial backing. After the Eagles’ dual victory over UW-Eau Claire Jan. 29, in Mitchell Hall, a surprise ceremony took place for Head Coach Gibson. To celebrate her dedication to UW-L gymnastics, friends established the Barbara Gib-


UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010

son Endowment Fund for UW-L Gymnastics. Friends began developing the endowment in September 2009. “A few of us (alumni, coaches, team members) realized it was Barbara’s 25th year of coaching,” explains assistant gymnastics coach Kasey Crawford. “We didn’t know what we wanted to do, but we wanted it be something extra special.” Crawford, a former UW-L gymnast, recalls the group asking: What would Barb really want? “We real-

ized Barbara would want something that will ultimately benefit the gymnastics program that she has worked so hard with,” says Crawford. Assistant coaches met with Gibson’s family to discuss what they could do to honor her. They concluded that something Gibson wanted her entire career was an endowment fund for gymnastics. “So that’s what we created,” says Crawford. “We went to the UW-L Foundation in October, established the

endowment fund, created a letter to supporters, made a brochure, and began contacting gymnastics alumni and parents.” The response was overwhelming from Gibson’s family, assistant coaches, alumni and current team members. By May, the fund had $22,470. Crawford credits Gibson for doing “everything” for UW-L gymnastics. “She has built a championship program, produced wellrounded student-athletes who care about their sport,


PICTURED: Gymnastics Coach Barb Gibson was surprised this winter when former students and friends announced they had established an endowment through the UW-L Foundation in her name. Here, she poses with her 14 national championship trophies.

25 Seasons, 14 national championships Gibson completed her 25th season as UW-L gymnastics coach in 2010. She has led the Eagles to 14 National Collegiate Gymnastics Association championships —1986, 1988, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010 — and 17 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles: 1988, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

university and service to their community,” she notes. “She has touched hundreds of young women, empowering them, teaching them and building their confidence to a level where they can make an impact on the lives of others.” The Eagles have been successful in the classroom and on the floor. Gibson’s success continues in the La Crosse community with the highly regarded Junior Eagles Gymnastics Program serving children in the area. “She is a true profes-

sional in her field, taking Division III gymnastics to its highest level,” adds Crawford. “Other programs strive to be like UW-L. She is always looking for improvement and growth. She is a true visionary, which is why I admire her so much.” Gibson was the 1975 Wisconsin Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WWIAC) champion on the balance beam and in the floor exercise in 1978. She has been named WIAC Coach of the Year six times (1988, 1990, 1993, 1995,

1997, 2005) and NCGA Coach of the Year five times (1989, 2001, 2005, 2008, 2010). Gibson was recognized with the 1989 YMCA’s Outstanding Achievement Award in Sports. Among team accomplishments, Gibson has had 14 WIAC Scholar-Athletes, six CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, 47 NCGA Academic All-America selections, 56 WIAC champs and 162 athletic All-Americans. An active member in the governance of gymnastics at

the conference and national levels, Gibson has served as the WIAC chair, NCGA vice president and an NCAA III representative. Gibson earned a master’s from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 1981. She was inducted into the UW-L Wall of Fame in 2007 and the La Crosse Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.

UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010


gilles scholarship

wartinbee scholarship

MORE funds

Funds recently established through the UW-L Foundation

nutter scholarship

west scholarship

wartinbee scholarship

• Campus Climate Development Fund • Computer Science Department Development Fund • Darrell S. Larson Endowment • Kathy Andrews Madrigrano and John and Dorothy Andrews Scholarship Fund • Erin Lindsay Melin Scholarship in Physical Therapy • Drs. Suzanne & Joseph Toce Biochemistry Scholarship Endowment Fund • University Centers Fund • UW-L Violence Prevention Education Fund • The Shelmina Babai/Mina Technologies Scholarship Fund for International Students • Col. Edwin L. Overholt, M.D., Family Scholarship for Wisconsin Veterans Fund Find out how to establish a fund at

UW-L Foundation awards $500K in scholarships


ore than 500 students will have less of a financial burden next school year thanks to generous donors to the UW-L Foundation. The foundation awarded more than $500,000 to students for 2010-11. Awards ranged from $150 to full tuition. Many receiving awards attended an April 26 ceremony, along with those who donated funds. Michele Thorman, a Health Profession Department faculty member who chairs the UW-L Foundation Scholarship Committee, told those attending that money handed out in this time of economic recovery is precious. “You will never, ever be able to pay back your donor,” noted Thorman. “But, some day you will have the opportunity to pay it forward.”


UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010

Students and donors shared stories about the receiving awards and donating to the Foundation in short videos: •E  sther Risberg West Scholarship: UWLMediaSite50/Viewer/?peid=8 b8fde1c77494075b271e5903f38d63c •W  illiam & Jean Gilles Scholarship: UWLMediaSite50/Viewer/?peid=ec 920b490b584236840193257549253c •W  artinbee Scholarship: http:// 184983aef36a597b2e9351 •N  utter Scholarship: 49b692551f9edca0b65a

The UW-La Crosse Foundation, Inc., was created in 1967. The Foundation helps the university raise funds and administers and disburses dollars to support programs and activities that further the mission of the university. To learn how you can be instrumental to this mission go to


www . foundation . uwla x . edu


Learn more about the Uw-L Foundation!

Welcome back, vets Flights take veterans to DC


lumni and students are helping thank La Crosse area WWII veterans with visits to Washington, D.C., veteran memorials. La Crosse is one of four state hubs for the Freedom Honor Flight that takes vets from western Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota and northern Iowa to vet monuments. So far, more than 4,000 have gone on four flights. “Of all the activities I’ve been involved with, none have been more personally rewarding than having a leadership position with the Freedom Honor Flight,” says Pat Stephens, ’71, an area organizer. Each flight takes 100 vets,

on board:

50 guardians, six medical professionals and two doctors. Another 400 vets are on the waiting list. Once WW II vets are complete, the service begins for Korean and Vietnam vets. The UW-L Foundation helped the La Crosse chapter get started. The UW-L Screaming Eagles and Alumni Band have welcomed vets home. UW-L ROTC members also volunteer. Two trips are planned in 2010 and three are set in 2011. See more at:

Ring! Ring! Alumni and friends answer the call to suppor t students and programs As of May 1, the UW-L Foundation’s Annual Fund had collected more than $310,000 through phonathon and leadership club gifts, as well as numerous raffles for 2009-10. “We’re making a comeback following a very challenging time because of the nation’s economy,” says Aaron Bonnett, director of annual giving. Annual fund donations for 2008-09 dropped significantly when the nation went into a deep recession, says Bonnett. A peak of $388,000 was pledged in 2007-08 and will be within reach again, but only with the continued support and giving from committed donors. “Alumni and friends are excited to have the opportunity to give generously again,” Bonnett notes. Money raised through the annual fund supports student scholarships, grants for program development, research and equipment.

U W - L F oundation welcomes new board members Barb (Mundt) Skogen, ’68, Onalaska. Vice President, Board of Directors, Festival Foods Other community service: UW-L College of Business Administration Advisory Board; Bethany Lutheran Homes; Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation; La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce; M & I  Advisory Board, Viterbo University Board of Trustees.

Joe Heim, La Crosse. Professor, UW-L Political Science and Administration Department Other Community Service: Co-founder of Coulee Region Collaboration; Chileda Institution Foundation Board; Chamber of Commerce Cracker Barrel legislative breakfast moderator; Riverfront Advisory Committee; United Way; Scenic Bluffs Chapter of the Red Cross

UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010


Battle in Iowa

sports news

14 and counting?

Football game features eight UW-L alums

ABOVE: Five of eight UW-L alums posed for a picture on the sidelines of the University of Dubuque-Luther College football game last Nov. 7. From left, Dubuque assistant coaches Dane Cordes, ’09, Mike Schmidt, ’01, and Andrew McGlenn; ’05, former UW-L player Matt Buelow, and Luther head coach Mike Durnin, ’81. Eight alums were coaching during the game.


f you watched the football game between the University of Dubuque Spartans and Luther College Norse Nov. 7, you may have thought you were at Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex. The teams had eight UW-L alums on their coaching staffs, making it a fun rivalry. With each team staffed by four coaches with UW-L ties, the reunion was interesting for alums to coach — and watch. Spartans coaches included Mick Miyamoto, ’79 & ’85, Mike Schmidt, ’01, Andrew McGlenn, ’05, and Dane Cordes, ’09. Representing the Eagles for the Norse were Mike Durnin, ’81, Roger Jaeger, ’76 & ’83, Luke Knauf, a student coach in ’08, and Brian Eayrs, currently completing a master’s at UW-L. The battle took place downriver in Dubuque. The Norse took control of the game early, 3-0. But, Dubuque rallied for a 14-3 lead at


UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010

half. The Spartans kept the momentum, earning a 21-10 victory. Miyamoto had mixed feelings on his win over former teammate Durnin. “It was bittersweet at best,” admitted Miyamoto. “I have the highest regard and respect for Mike and the job he is doing at Luther.” While disappointed with a loss, Durnin enjoyed having the chance to match his team up against one coached with La Crosse ties. “The opportunity to be on the field with a team I love and coaching against a former teammate and coaching associate, former players at UW-L, a long-time coaching friend and associate, and having the man who gave me my first coaching opportunity on the sidelines was very special,” noted Durnin. “All of these individuals are dear friends I truly respect not only as individuals in the profession, but more importantly as great men.”

When the gymnastics team captured its third consecutive National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) Championship in March, it was the 14th trophy Head Coach Barb Gibson, ’78, helped the Eagles bring home. The Eagles finished with a season-high team score of 186.775 to edge out SUNY-Brockport, who placed second (186.200)). It was UW-L’s ninth national title in 10 years and 11th in the last 14 seasons. The Eagles’ 14 overall national crowns are the most in NCGA history. Gibson, in her 25th year at the helm of the gymnastics program, was named NCGA Coach of the Year.


Joe baker leaving after successful 12-year run

Athletic Director Joe Baker is leaving to become AD at Carroll University in Waukesha. Since Baker came to campus in 1998, student-athletes have won 26 national championships and 93 WIAC titles. And, for more than 10 years the average student-athletes’ GPA has exceeded the general student population.

2009-10 Baseball, tennis survive Both programs receive funding for five years Baseball and men’s tennis will continue to play. Both programs were in line to be cut because of decreased funding, but were saved when supporters raised funding for five years. For baseball, fans raised more than $175,000. “It is heartwarming to see friends of the program step up to the plate when called upon,” says UW-L head coach Chris Schwarz, ’02. “Obviously, a large guarantee was needed to put us over the top, but there were many friends, alumni, and community members that gave what they are capable of. It truly shows that what we do on and off the field in our program is important.”

Tennis supporters raised more than $65,000. “I am thrilled that our players will continue to have the opportunity to compete,” says Head Coach Bill Hehli, ’95. “Being a part of the tennis team in college was the highlight of my college experience, and I think the players on the team now feel the same way. The relationships that are forged and the development of each individual as part of the team are just as important to them as the hard work they are also doing in the classroom.” Fundraising efforts continue for both programs. Find out more at: or

Baseball group forms Baseball supporters have formed Friends of Baseball at UW-L to secure the sport financially. Committee members include: • Jerry Augustine, ’74, former Milwaukee Brewers and UW-L pitcher. • Bill Terry, ’61, retired UW-L baseball coach. • Patty Loew, ’74, UW-Madison professor, co-host of “In Wisconsin” on Wisconsin Public Television.

• Dr. Jay Ellingson, board member of the Harmon Killibrew Foundation. •G  ary Gonczy, director of marketing for Kwik Trip Inc. •D  on Vingers, former UW-L player. •D  an Kunz, ’82, former baseball coach at Onalaska Luther High School. The baseball coach and a UW-L Foundation staff member will serve as advisers.

Sports re-cap UW-L won seven Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) titles in 2009-10: men’s cross country, wrestling, women’s indoor and outdoor track & field, men’s indoor and outdoor track & field and softball …. UW-L had 11 teams in the national playoffs or tournaments … Women’s gymnastics won its third straight National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) title (UW-L’s 14th national title overall) … Ten teams took part in NCAA III championships, including a second-place finish for wrestling, a third-place finish for men’s indoor and outdoor track & field, sixth place for women’s indoor track & field, seventh place for women’s swimming and diving and women’s outdoor track & field, 10th place for men’s cross country, 17th place for women’s cross country, 22nd for men’s swimming & diving, and women’s softball went 2-2 at regionals …. Five coaches earned WIAC Coach of the Year honors: Rich Pein (men’s swimming & diving); Josh Buchholtz (men’s outdoor track & field); Dave Malecek (wrestling), Pat Healy (women’s indoor and outdoor track & field) and Chris Helixon (softball) …. Five individuals won national titles: Bebeto Yewah (wrestling), Mike Schmitz (wrestling), Dan Laurent (wrestling), Kellen McCrary (men’s indoor track & field) and Gabi Hooper (gymnastics) …. 46 student-athletes earned All-America recognition …. Six student-athletes were WIAC Scholar-Athletes: Andrew Haass (men’s basketball); Dan Laurent (wrestling); Gabi Hooper (gymnastics); Chelsea Hoff (women’s swimming & diving); Ashton May (women’s indoor track & field) and Brianne Stankus (volleyball) …. 175 All-WIAC student-athlete honors were earned, including 103 first team selections …. 10 student-athletes were named winners of athlete of the meet or athlete of the year. UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010


Yooper Bowl Four alums assist with UP game for high schoolers

ABOVE: High school football players from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan work on fundamentals with children during the annual “Yooper Bowl” in Marquette. A group of alums has teamed up to create a special football game and other events for outstanding high school athletes from the UP.


group of alums has teamed up to create a special football game for outstanding high school athletes from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Todd Goldbeck, ’98; Dave Carl, ’89; Jon Jungwirth, ’97; and Mike Maslowski have been involved with the “Yooper Bowl.” The Upper Peninsula Football All-Star Game is a week-long celebration for 90 U.P. high school football seniors at Northern Michigan University in Marquette. Goldbeck is owner and founder of Xcel Sports Training, a company that performs high school recruiting throughout the Midwest. He started the U.P. bowl in 2008. “Some parents were heard discussing the short-comings of the current Michigan all-star game held in Lansing each year,” says Goldbeck. Michigan has over 700 high schools. The U.P. has only 40 and typically got only one player selected. Goldbeck encouraged the parents to start their own all-star game just for the U.P. He was approached by parents in 2007 to do just that. Along with practicing twice a day, players participate in media day, skills challenge, youth camp and a banquet. Goldbeck turned to fellow ’95 national championship teammate Maslowski, ’85 national champ squad 32

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member Carl and friend Jungwirth to help. They did and remain involved. Following a stint with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, Maslowski started his own company, MB2 Sports, which supplies apparel and uniforms to athletic teams in Kansas City. It also supplies gear for the U.P players in the All-Star Game. Carl works with the National Collegiate Scouting Association, a group responsible for matching high school student-athletes with prospective colleges. Jungwirth, a sports medicine program coordinator for Dickinson County Healthcare System, provides athletic training services for the all-star game. Proceeds from the game go to numerous U.P. non-profits. “Giving back to the communities and schools who have supported these players throughout their lives is the main emphasis of the Yooper Bowl,” says Goldbeck. “Although it is a celebration of their accomplishments, which are very well-deserved, these players need to understand how important is to take their success and use it to help others. They need to keep paving the way for future generations of studentathletes to be successful.” See more about the game at:


Two earn top honors

Swimmer Chelsea Hoff and wrestler Dan Laurent were selected to the 2010 CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America® of the Year for the College Division Women’s and Men’s At-Large Teams, respectively. They are the first studentathletes in school history to earn the honors. The college division includes NCAA divisions II and III, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, Canadian Interuniversity Sport and two-year institutions. The two who graduated in May earned Academic All-America® First Team honors for the second straight year. Hoff maintained a 4.00 GPA majoring in exercise sport science-fitness pre-physical therapy. Laurent had a 3.94 GPA majoring in biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology.

For the love of basketball There are gym rats and basketball junkies. Then, there’s Dick Luther. Luther, ’68, will take to the court for his 45th season this fall. The current UW-Whitewater assistant men’s basketball coach has accomplished much since coaching a La Crosse elementary school during college. He coached at Spence and Waukesha North high schools before joining the UW-Waukesha staff where he helped the Cougers earn six conference titles and two junior college state titles in the nine years he was there. In 2007 he was inducted into the UW-Waukesha Hall of Fame and was named the state’s Assistant Coach of the Year by the WBCA. Luther continues to run his popular Actions basketball Camps that have attracted more than 24,000. He retired from teaching physical education after 32 1/2 years in Waukesha in 2000.



Edith Godleski, Hudson, Fla., was inducted into the Indiana State University Athletics Hall of Fame in February 2009. Godleski coached the Indiana State women’s basketball team for 11 seasons. As an assistant professor and director of women’s intramurals she was instrumental in helping form state and regional league competition for womens’ athletics in the early ’70s.

Norman Flynn (see photo), Madison, has been inducted into the Hall of Leaders by the Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers. The honor is given to those who have shaped and influenced real estate locally and nationally. Flynn is president and CEO of the International Real Property Foundation, and is president of Norman D.

Flynn Associates Inc. in Madison. He has 39 years experience as a practicing real estate professional specializing in development, commercial and residential real estate. William Heineke, Gillette, Wyo., has been on Campbell County Child Protection Team for 32 years. Heineke is a psychologist treating abused and neglected children, their families and, when appropriate, those who abuse them. He recently returned to school to complete a second doctorate in interdisciplinary studies in child abuse and neglect. Robert Plahuta, Lake Wales , Fla., retired from working in media for 31 years at Brooklyn Junior High (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) in 2001. He and his wife, Susan (Mayer), ’65, have four children. They winter in Florida, and spend summers traveling between Minneapolis and their campground in Holcombe.


back on campus

Seven women from the ’70s returned to campus to re-live college life. They included, front, from left, Christine (Boardman) Moen, ’74; Beth (Hiltz) Schmitz, ’74; and Diane (Anker) Tranberg, ’74; and back, from left, Lynn (Facteau) Bohlmann, ’74; Nancy (Wittenberg) Bushek, ’73; Mary (Pederson) Stendahl, ’74; Lyanne (Parsons) Bellin, ’74. Bushek said the summer 2009 weekend was highlighted by a campus tour. “The student who was our guide was so much fun and got us into Angel Hall where many of the girls lived during their first two years on campus,” she says. “They were so excited to stand in their original rooms again. What fun!”

Ray Byerly, Sheboygan, earned a master’s degree in counseling in 1971. He worked 30 years at two local high schools. Byerly is now working part time at Lakeshore Technical College. He designed a new home which can be viewed at It is the home in the right hand upper side.

’69 Theo Lynn Flickinger, La Crosse, taught English in Cashton, Prairie

du Chien for three years, then 14 years in a Catholic middle school in Genoa, and has been teaching speech and English classes for 20 years at Western Technical College in La Crosse. Flickniger, who has three dogs and two cats, plans to retire in 2012. Michael Manegold and his wife Sandy (Dahl) Manegold, ’71, moved to Simpsonville, S.C., in January, 2010.

meet me in nairobi

John B.K. Mwaura, ’65, left, and Norman D. Flynn, ’64 & ’66, met recently in Kenya. The two former early ’60s students are recipients of the Graff Distinguished Alumnus Award — Mwaura in 1981 and Flynn in 1990. Mwaura, the former ambassador from Kenya to Germany, is a five-year member of the Kenyan Parliament. Flynn was in the country developing real estate markets in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda through the International Real Property Foundation of which he is president and CEO. UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010


’77 Nancy Lowe Banach, Naperville, Ill., started her fifth year this fall working as an adapted physical education teacher in the Naperville (Ill.) District 203 schools. The district started a goalball team last spring and she volunteered as assistant coach.

Still meeting The women who lived in “Best House” in the late ’60s continue to hold reunions. Sonja (Pfaff) Haske’s home in New Lisbon was the 2009 setting. Those attending included, front, from left, Haske, ’66 & ’90; Shirley (Walsvik) Merrill, ’67; and Darryle (Damon) Clott, ’66 & ’71; and back, from left, Sue Hickey, ’67, and Gayl (Gutknecht) Christensen, ’66. Unable to attend was Andi (Elstad) Sosalla, ’67.

’72 Carl Matthusen, Tempe, Ariz., has retired after 35 years at radio stations KJZZ and KBAQ in Arizona. During his career, he has won numerous professional awards and served six years on National Public Radio’s board of direc-

outstanding woman

tors, including four years as chair. He received NPR’s Edward E. Elson Award in 1996.

’73 Renee (Bernhardt) Bronecki, Omro, has retired after teaching 33 years physical education and Health for the Brown Deer and Cudahy School System. She and her husband, Randy, live on the Fox River in Omro and enjoying a relaxing life of fishing and boating. Renee is involved in the WREA and meeting new people in the Oshkosh area.

’75 Amanda Goodenough, ’06, communications and program coordinator in UW-L’s Research & Resource Center for Campus Climate, earned the UW System 2010 Outstanding Woman of Color in Education Award. She has worked on campus since August 2006. For more on UW-L’s Research & Resource Center for Campus Climate, see campusclimate/index.htm. 34

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Frederick G. Lautz, Brookfield, with Quarles & Brady Attorneys, Milwaukee, has been named in The Best Lawyers in America 2010.

’76 Jon Erickson, Iowa City, Iowa, has been promoted to senior vice president of educational services in ACT’s Education Division.

Linda (Basche) and Jeffrey A. Larson live in Green Bay. They met at UW-L on Spring Break in 1975. They were married Oct. 22, 1977. They have four daughters, three are grads of UW-Madison and the fourth started her freshman year at UW Milwaukee in 2009. The Larsons stay in contact with many UW-L friends. Three couples who they’ve known from college have also been married 32 years. Linda is a senior cardiovascular specialist with Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Jeff works with The Landmark Resort.

’78 Beth Murray Black, St Charles, Ill., began a new career at Vanguard Community Management in October managing a property of 544 homes in Wheeling. Black, SID at UW-L in 1989, has also worked in recreation for eight years and financial services for more than 16. Her son, Nathan Black, ’00, is married and an Airborne, Ranger certified captain in the Army, living in Alexandria, Va. James W. McNeilly, Jr., Pleasant Prairie, has started his own law firm, Law Offices of James W. McNeilly, Jr. LLC, with offices in Kenosha and La Crosse. He focuses on business law, bankruptcy, estate planning and real estate.

’79 Mary L. Lund and Mike Stanek were married Dec. 12, 2009. They live in La Crosse. Mary is the vice president of Human Resources at Dairyland Power Cooperative in La Crosse. Carol (Orput) Monsour, South St. Paul, Minn., and her husband, David, celebrated their 30th wed-

friendship afloat

Retired educators JoAnne Becker Peterson, ’69, left, and Margaret Ewert, ’70, went on a Coral Princess 2009 cruise to the Panama Canal. Peterson, a librarian from Wauwatosa Middle School, lives in Brookfield; Ewert was an art teacher at La Crosse Logan Middle before retiring to Hudson, Fla. The trip allowed the two to reconnect and see locks similar to those on the Mississippi — only bigger with two lanes. They planned another trip in 2010. ding anniversary in July 2009. They have three wonderful adult children, a lovely daughter-in-law and two beautiful granddaughters. Carol works part-time as a substitute teacher in grades K-8.

’80 Scott D. Hendrickson, La Crosse, recently began work at the VA Clinic in Health Administration Services. Patricia “Patsy” A. Kuentz and her husband, Alan, recently moved to her hometown, San Antonio, Texas. After 38 years away from Texas, they were happy to return home. Patsy continues her personal history business, Recollections — A Portrait of a Life (www., in San Antonio. She encourages former classmates in the area to look them up. David Martinsen, Greenfield, has been recognized by Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle for 25 years of dedicated state service with the Department of Corrections.

a third grammy

Alumnus Bill Miller won his third Grammy at the Jan. 31 Grammy Awards for Best Native American Music Album for “Spirit Wind North.” Miller attended UW-L in the 1970s and won his first Grammy in 2005 for “Cedar Dream Songs.” He is married to Renee (Distin) Miller, ’78. See his Grammy acceptance speech at: watch?v=aDu7U3qB3fI. Miller’s Website is

’81 Carol Miller, Fargo, N.D., has been installed as president of the Board of Trustees for the National Association of College Stores, the professional trade association that represents the nation’s $10 billion higher education retailing industry. Miller is director of the North Dakota State University Bookstore, Fargo. Oscar Suman, Galveston, Texas, was named one of the top 100 researchers in the country to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. He is a prominent researcher in helping children recover from burns at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

’83 Kathleen Ann Bull, Muncie, Ind., has been the women’s tennis coach at Ball State University for 22 years.

David M. Else, Waukesha, a civilian team leader for the Army’s Human Terrain System, is currently assigned in southern Afghanistan. He is a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. He and his wife Kim have adopted four children from the Philippines: Julie, Christopher, Waren and Nica. Teri Tomaszkiewicz, Aurora, Ill., has been named vice president for development of Aurora (Ill.) University. She had been associate vice president for development at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. She continues to travel the globe, ride bike, read and spend time with family and friends. She’s happy to be back in her native state.

’85 Renee A. (Evans) Hanson, Dodgeville, received a master’s in media design and technology from Full Sail University in Florida in 2009. She works for the Barneveld School District. Ann R (Bartels) Quiring received an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Hamline University in January, 2009. She and her husband, Kevin Quiring, ’85, live in Minneapolis. Teresa (Daniel) Taylor, Golden, Colo., has been named chief

like grandfather, like grandson

Tyler Heck, who plans to graduate in ’13, followed footsteps of his grandfather, Jerry Barr, ’62, when he started classes last fall. Heck, is a math education major from Burlington, where Barr also lives.

operating officer for Qwest. She has worked for the telecommunications company since 2000 and with one of its predecessor companies, US West, since 1988. Susie Jans-Thomas, Elm Grove, an associate professor of education at Mount Mary College, was appointed editor for the Journal of Intercultural Disciplines. She was also named to the Board of Directors for the National Association of African American Studies and Affiliates.

’86 Jeff Taxdahl (see photo), Jordan, Minn., has been named a 2010 Minnesotan on the Move by Finance and Commerce. Taxdahl is founder and president of Thread Logic, an embroidery and logowear company known for its strategic Web-based marketing model, high quality work, and outstanding customer service.

’87 Jean (Pelegrin) Van Den Brandt, Appleton, has been promoted to vice president-marketing at SECURA Insurance and has also been made a member of the executive team. She has 22 years of marketing and branding experience. She joined SECURA in July 2005 after seven years with Airadigm Communications. Randy Dummer, Appleton, a partner with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP (Baker Tilly), has been awarded the Outstanding Discussion Leader Award by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) for 2009. Recipients are selected on the highest overall instructor knowledge and presentation scores from leading AICPA seminars nationwide. This is Dummer’s second consecutive year receiving this award.

stay in touch …

What’s going on at UW-L? Want to re-connect with former classmates? Make sure all your contact info is updated with the Alumni Association. Make updates at: whatsnew.htm Douglas Geiger, Chicago, is finishing his seventh year as Dean of Students at Illinois Institute of Technology. He is completing a dissertation research for a doctorate at Loyola and plans to graduate in May 2010. Geiger has been appointed to the Board of Directors for Youth Outreach Services, a social service agency which provides programs and services for Chicago high schoolers. David Hey, ’87 & ’93, San Luis Obispo, Calif., has been employed at Cal Poly for two years. He teaches personal health, health behavior change models, multicultural health, health promotion and behavior, teaching health K-12. Hey has been conducting environmental policy research in the new Obesity Research Center in the Kinesiology Department called STRIDE (Science Through Research in Diet and Exercise). He says he remains single mostly due to the workload. He still keeps in contact with the cross country runners of past.

UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010



alums since the ’50s Three generations of Van Veghels have walked the campus during the past six decades. Among them, from left, John “Snipe” Van Veghel, ’51; Barb (Van Veghel) Kleine, ’82; Robb Van Veghel, attended ’72-’76; Eric Kleine, ’10; John Van Veghel, ’88; and Mike Van Veghel, ’91. Wife, mother and grandmother Catherine (Moors) Van Veghel, ’50, is deceased. Martin Welles, Washington, D.C., graduated from Georgetown University Law Center with an LL.M. in Taxation with certification in employee benefits in May. He has been a labor and employment attorney with the U.S. Postal Service in D.C. for more than seven

years and is currently conducting a nation-wide search for an ERISA litigation position.

Kory Brockman, Manitowoc, has been elected to the Board of Directors of Financial Executives International Northeast Wisconsin Chapter. Rodney J. Gabriel, Fredonia, is an IT infrastructure engineer at UFS where he has worked since 2003. In 2007 he became Wisconsin VMware User Group (WI-VMUG) Leader. Gabriel received VMware vExpert recognition in February 2009 and became a VMware VMUG Advisory Board member in May 2009. Suzan (Sobkowiak) Harkness, Gaithersburg, M.D., has been promoted to an assistant dean at the Center for Academic Technology at the University of the District of Columbia. Kari (King) Pascoe and her husband, Philip, have moved to the Atlanta suburb of Acworth. Timothy W. Powers, recently moved to Plano, Texas, to become CEO of Allegiant Wealth Management, a large financial planning firm in Dallas.


A uw-l connection A special gathering helped a Wisconsin family realize its close connection to UW-L. A 90th birthday party for Garnet Stout, ’68, seated, in June 2009 brought UW-L alums in the family together for a picture. Others included, from left, Sherri (Stout) Olson, ’90; Brandon Tewalt, ’09; Carmen Stout, ’68; and Debra (Stout) Tewalt, ’78. The photo became extra special when Garnet Stout died in September. “She had originally received her teaching certificate from the Vernon County Normal School, but decided that she wanted to complete her degree when my dad (Carmen Stout) enrolled (at UW-L),” explains Debra (Stout) Tewalt. “So together they obtained their bachelor’s degrees in elementary education. Grandma loved UW-La Crosse and was very proud of her accomplishment.” 36

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Marilyn (Badran) Brant, Grayslake, Ill., is celebrating the release of her first novel, a contemporary women’s fiction project published by Kensington Books released Oct. 1, 2009. Titled “According to Jane,” a story of a modern woman who has the ghost of Jane Austen in her head giving her dating advice. (Some of it good, some of it not so good!) Her next novel, also from Kensington, is planned for fall 2010. See more at: www. Matt Nowakowski, Minneapolis, received a doctor of education in leadership in March 2010 from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. He is director of MBA programs at Saint Mary’s.

center named for alums

A 1962 graduate with a 35year career at the University of North Dakota and his wife who attended UW-L in the ’60s have been recognized by the campus. The George and Arline Schubert UND Athletic Academic Success Center was dedicated Sept. 26, 2009. George joined UND in fall 1965. He served as professor of communication disorders, dean of University College and Summer Sessions and was the Faculty Athletic Representative before retiring in 2000. Arline taught English, communications, and business law at UND, and served as university attorney.

’91 Thomas Pleger, Reedsburg, has been elected to the Wisconsin Academy Council, the governing body of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. Pleger is campus executive officer and dean at the UW–Baraboo/Sauk County, a position he has held since 2006.

’92 Jennifer (Miller) Burks, Gilbert, Ariz., is assistant principal and athletic director at Higley High School in Gilbert.



siblings vanguards alums FROM LEFT: Monica (Sjoquist) Dinauer, ’00, Maggie Sjoquist, ’10, Molly Sjoquist, ’07, Corey Sjoquist, ’96 & ’03

The four children of a Cannon Falls, Minn., family knows the campus forward and backward — literally and figuratively. That’s because for nearly the past two decades, the siblings have given campus tours as members of the Admissions Office’s Vanguard team. At least one Sjoquist has been walking campus since the early ’90s. Oldest brother Corey, ’96 & ’03, earned his degree following a three-year stint as a Vanguard. He ended up staying in admissions and is currently operations manager in the Admissions Office. His sisters joined him on campus — and continued the family tradition of giving campus tours. They included: Monica (Sjoquist) Dinauer, ’00; Molly Sjoquist, ’07, and Maggie Sjoquist, ’10. When Molly graduated, she stayed in the college admissions field and currently recruits at the University of Minnesota in Rochester. “We likely all have different reasons for coming to UW-L,” says Corey. “I know that each of my sisters considered other campuses, but certainly they had become familiar with UW-L by visiting siblings.”

’93 David, ’93, and Catherine (Pierce) Christie, ’94, live in Maple Grove, Minn. David was named senior manager of Facility & Event Sales for the Minnesota Twins Baseball Team. Catherine is a stay-at-home mom. Sara M. Keuler married Brad Werner in April 2009. They live in Kaukauna. They share four children, Zachary (16), Annalise (14), Haley (9), Maya (6). Sara works at the Wisconsin Resource Center.

Katy (Bellile) Sommer (see photo), Milwaukee, a partner with Milwaukeebased accounting firm RitzHolman CPAs, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network – Greater Milwaukee Chapter. Dawn (Weber) Thaves, ’93, Sheboygan, is the eastern Wisconsin regional director of the NMSS-WI Chapter. She and her husband, Mark Thaves, have four daughters: Jordyn (12), Lindsay (9), and twins Ashley and Abby (6.)

Stan Davis, Sun Prairie, was elected president of the Wisconsin Technical College System Board in June. He will preside over the board that runs Wisconsin’s 16 state technical college districts and sets statewide policy for the system. In July, he also began serving as a member of the UW System Board of Regents. And, Davis recently began to serve on the board of the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation. He continues to serve on the UW-L Foundation Board, the Wisconsin Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund Board of Governors, and the Governor’s Commission on Judicial Selection. Davis practices law as a partner in the Madison law firm of Axley Brynelson, LLP and serve as COO of iMpact HR Consulting.

’95 Matthew Rubey, New Braunfels, Texas, was promoted regional account manager specialist in the Southwest region by sanofiaventis US. Matt, his wife Lisa (daughter of retired professor emeritus and coach Al Freeman), and their two daughters, Sydney and Haley, have relocated to New Braunfels. Joanne Slawson, Madison, is a regional healthcare recruiter for Medical Staffing Network/ InteliStaf.

’96 Kristen (Emer) Glomski, West Allis, earned a master’s in educational psychology from the UWMilwaukee in 2002. She and her husband, Dan, have three children — Ryan, Jack and Brady. Kevin Svoboda, attended ’93-’96, has taken on an expanded role with Rehab Management Solutions, a national physical therapistowned company who partners with physical therapists to enter into private practice. He is clinical growth and development director.

friendship. character. conduct.

Kaye Schendel, ’04, lives by the mantra: “To receive much, you must give much.” UW-L’s assistant director of University Centers has made a lifetime commitment to the mission of the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority: friendship, character and conduct. Schendel joined the sorority in 1975 as a UW-River Falls undergraduate. Now she’s heading the national organization. In July, Schendel began a three-year term as the 13th national president, one of 26 National Panhellenic Conference Sororities with more than 120 undergraduate chapters and 100+ alumnae chapters. “Being in the sorority is all about lasting friendships, being a woman of character and thinking about how you conduct yourself,” Schendel explains. Schendel has held numerous volunteer positions with the national organization and received the Mabel Lee Walton Award, the organization’s highest national honor. Along with her sorority service, Schendel is president of the La Crosse Friends of St. Patrick organization. And, she serves on the La Crosse Irishfest board of directors. Find out more about Sigma Sigma Sigma at UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010


Quad Cities travel guide Since moving from Minnesota’s flat prairies to college at UW-L in the early ’80s, Dean Klinkenberg has been just a short bike ride from the Mississippi River. It was about five minutes in college. Today, living in St. Louis, it’s about 15. Despite that closeness, the 1987 graduate is still discovering the Mississippi. Now, he’s sharing those findings in travel guides extending upriver from Iowa. Read about his Mississippi musings at:

run at destruction She was part of a Green Bay fun run group that created a love triangle and death that stunned northeastern Wisconsin. Now, she’s written a book about it. Lynda Drews, ’74, documents her memories surrounding the death of one of her best friends who with her husband, the man arrested for her murder, were both members of the group. “It was hard to believe that one of our members could be arrested for planning the murder of another,” says Drews. Readers are left to decide for themselves if it was murder, suicide, or manslaughter by neglect. See more about the book at:

beer man’s wisconsin Wisconsin native Todd Haefer, ’87, has been sampling fine beers since 1976 — and home brewing since ’88. And he’s been writing the “Beer Man” column for Gannett Newsppers since 2005. It’s only natural with all that info brewing he’s published a book tracing the state’s brewery history. Haefer credits La Crosse’s Casio Tavern Owner Don Padesky for putting on the “correct path to enjoying beer.” Buy the book at: Haefer’s Beer Man columns are at:

forest of glass Someone is killing off camp counselors. As eight counselors prepare for young campers coming in the morning, two of them disappear at night. The camp’s director sends out two others to look for those missing, but they soon meet the fate of their predecessors and one barely escapes with his life. Left for dead, he tries desperately to warn the others. Michael Blesi, ’05, who uses the pen name of David Parker, wrote the violent drama set in 1980. See more at: ForestOfGlass.html

according to jane It’s the story of a modern woman who has the ghost of Jane Austen in her head providing dating advice. “Some of it good, some of it not so good,” explains author Marilyn (Badran) Brant, ’90. Her first novel, “According to Jane” is Brant’s first of a number of contemporary women’s fiction books this elementary education major has penned. She plans to release to more in upcoming months of October 2010 and 2011. See more at: 38

UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010

’97 Thomas Boylan, Minneapolis, has been appointed veteran’s counselor/retention specialist with the TRiO program at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul. Heather (Kuehn) Hafeman, Middleton, was named a partner at Strohm Ballweg LLP in Madison. She started with McGladrey Pullen in Madison, but has been with Strohm since its inception early in her career when it was spun off from McGladrey during the McGladrey merger with H&R Block. Abraham Leis (see photo), Holmen, has been elected to serve on the Hawkins, Ash, Baptie & Co.’s Executive Committee. He is the partner in charge of the housing division located in the firm’s La Crosse office. Leis has been with the firm since 1998 and a partner since 2007. Ryan P. Morrison (see photo), Hales Corners, a securities and corporate finance attorney with Quarles & Brady in Milwaukee, has been named to the Wisconsin Super Lawyers – Rising Stars Edition 2009. Only five percent of the lawyers in the state are named by Super Lawyers.

’98 Matthew P. Eckelberg (see photo) Spencer, has been promoted to manager-in-charge of the Marshfield Hawkins, Ash, Baptie & Co. office. Amanda L. Haldiman-Jacobson, Monticello, began her teaching career as an EB disabilities teacher. After a year, she began

working at her current school as the middle school social studies teacher for grades 6-9. In 2003, she graduated with a master’s in education from UW-Platteville and is currently working on an Ed.D degree. Along the way, she married a wonderful man and had two adorable children. Joshua Korth, Mukwonago, has been working in the Mukwonago Area School District since February 1999. He has been teaching at Park View Middle School since the 2001-’02 school year and has more than 10 years of coaching middle school basketball, eight years middle school track and field, and four years high school football. He and his wife, Shannon, have three boys: Jaylen (5), Mason (3), and Braden (1). Brad Pittman, ’98 & ’99, has been promoted to associate athletic director for facilities and operations at Wichita State University.

training with the stars

by Terry Rindfleisch of the La Crosse Tribune

98’ alum helps donny osmond win ‘dancing with the stars’

Adam Gentz, ’98, right, helped former teen pop star Donny Osmond win “Dancing with the Stars.”

’00 Amy (Vollmer) Andrews, ’00 & ’01, got married twice in three months (to the same man) — a legal marriage Dec. 12, 2008, and a ceremony and reception March 21, 2009. They live in Sussex. Amy also has a 10-year-old stepson, Patrick, who will be in 5th grade this coming year. Leigh Bruno married Jeff Redington May 23, 2009. They live in Round Lake Beach, Ill. Leigh works for Lightspeed Research The Foresight Group. Jessica J. Horn and Matt Walter, ’02, were married Oct. 28, 2009. They live in Menomonee Falls and both work in metro Milwaukee.

’01 Jessica Bowe, Reykjavik, Iceland, is a grad student in business school discipline at the University of Iceland. She moonlights as a freelance writer and editor. She mostly works for a Scandinavian travel agency and occasionally proofreads Icelandic students’


dam Gentz knew Donny Osmond would win the “Dancing With The Stars” competition Nov. 24 after he trained the former teen pop star for the show. Gentz, a UW-La Crosse graduate from Remsen, Iowa, said he trained Osmond like a professional athlete, and the 51-year-old singer was in great shape for the TV show. “I would have been shocked if anyone else had won the competition,” Gentz said. “I told everybody Donny was going to win before the show started, but people looked at me funny. “He has a great work ethic, and I knew with his training and natural showmanship he would get the most votes,” he said. Gentz said he used the knowledge from his UW-L education to work with Osmond on core strength, speed, agility and explosive foot work for the show. “I trained him like a big-time athlete using high-performance functional training like we used on football players at UW-L,”

Gentz said. “I was a motivational tool, and he was 100 percent on board with it.” Gentz received his master’s degree in human performance from UW-L in 1998. “I thought La Crosse was one of the best experiences of my life,” he said. After graduation, Gentz became head trainer at Green Valley High School in Las Vegas. He worked as a personal trainer on the side and starting training Gamal Aziz, now president of MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Gentz started his own fitness business after gaining other hotel executives as clients, including Don Marrandino who runs the Flamingo Hotel, where Osmond and his sister, Marie, opened their Vegas show a year ago. “Don liked how he looked and felt after working with me, so he wanted me to hook up with Donny Osmond to keep him in shape for all the Flamingo shows,” Gentz said. Gentz became Osmond’s regular trainer and stepped up his training for Dancing With

the Stars. He said Osmond, who is 5-foot, 9 inches tall, lost about 10 pounds and his body fat decreased from 17 percent to 12 percent during training. Gentz now runs a stateof-the-art sports performance center, Strength Center Las Vegas. He said he will continue to be Osmond’s trainer because Donny and Marie recently extended their Vegas show for another two years. “I didn’t expect to be a personal trainer for gaming executives and Vegas celebrities, but it’s been a lot of fun,” Gentz said.

UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010


more than friends

by Sue (Sullivan) Lee, ’82 & ’87

family of slain alum finds hope among relatives, community


he last three and a half years have been a roller coaster for Kerri (Klang) Johnson, ’06. There’s been tragedy, loss and generosity of friends and her hometown Cazenovia community. On Sept. 29, 2006, Johnson’s father, John Klang, ’79, was shot and killed by a Weston High School student in Cazenovia where Klang taught. Klang was awarded the Carnegie Medal posthumously in spring 2008. The medal is awarded to those in the U.S. and Canada who risk their lives trying to save others. The Klang family received $6,000. Family friend and Weston teacher Julie Lewis spearheaded efforts to have a twobedroom house built for Johnson’s mother, Sue, to replace the 120-year-old crumbling farmhouse Sue Klang’s family owned for five generations. In July 2009, Klang moved into the new house built for her where she and her husband grew up and raised Johnson and siblings Derek and Kristi. Johnson was a senior at UW-L when her father was killed. Since then, she has graduated with a degree in business administration and worked for three years as an accountant/bookkeeper at the La Crosse Center. She started a new job in May as an office manager for The Boldt Co. in Rochester, Minn. Here’s an update provided by Johnson:

Q: How would you describe your family and the Cazenovia community? A: My father was a very compassionate

and calm person who was also very fun — and could always make us laugh! He had an infectious laugh and smile which is one of the things I miss the most about him. My mom is the most supportive and loving mom anyone could hope for. She has been the glue that has held us all together since this tragedy hit our family, and I honestly don’t know how I would have made it through this without her. She is amazing and no matter what has always put us kids first. I come from a very close family — we regularly see our grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins from both sides of the family. I love them! My mom continues

Kerri (Klang) Johnson, 06’, and her father, John Klang, ’79. After John was shot and killed, friends and family helped to rebuild the family home.

to be involved in activities at Weston and throughout the community.

Q: How did the shooting impact your last months at UW-L, completing your degree and looking for a job? A: I thought about taking some time off

from school and going back to finish my degree later. But I had already started the semester and I knew how proud my dad was that I was graduating from his almamater. I decided to go back and do my best. It was VERY hard, I had a lot of trouble concentrating but in the end it was all worth it. My graduation day was so bittersweet, because even though my friends and family were there to support me and I had accomplished all my goals — my dad wasn’t there with us and that hurt in a way I will never, ever forget.

Q: What has your emotional transition been of your father’s shooting to him receiving the Carnegie Medal to the new house?  A: I’ve been through a lot in the past 3 1/2

years personally … I don’t know if I can put into words the love I felt (and still feel) for

my dad, and the pain we all went through when he was taken away from us. I am very proud of my dad for the courage he showed the day he died, but I would truly give anything to have him back. I often wonder what life would be like if he were still here, and I wonder what he would be doing. I still get teary-eyed when I think of him and about everything he has missed in our lives ... I still cry when I talk about him and I don’t know if those feelings will ever go away. Sometimes I even get angry when I see other people with their dads because I will never get to be with my dad ever again. But, at the same time, I try to live my life how he would have wanted me to, and even though I miss him I know he is still here with me. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for him, and I love him with all my heart.

Q: What have you learned from everything that’s happened? A: I’ve learned that anything can happen

at any moment, and sometimes you don’t have control over your life. I tell my friends and family that I love them a lot more often, because you never know if it might be the last time you’ll get the chance.

Read more about Klang at:, page 10, and, page 31.


UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010

thesis papers. She maintains a personal blog, “Icelandish,” to document her experiences as an expat in Reykjavik. Mark Anliker and Cynthia Page, ’04, were married Oct. 24, 2009. They live in Watertown. Both nuclear medicine technology grads, they work for Shared Medical Services in Cottage Grove. Jeffrey J. Bindl has accepted a position as director of Special Education and Pupil Services for the school district of Reedsburg. Jeff, his wife, Sandee, and their two children, Jacob and Brett, live in nearby Loganville. Shannon M. Radel, Knoxville, Tenn., received my master’s in social work at the University of Tennessee, and currently works in healthcare administration as a behavioral health manager at a nursing home outside of Knoxville. She enjoys spending time volunteering with the Humane Society, training for half marathons and reading. She recently produced and coordinated Eve Ensles’ “The vagina Monologues” as a community production.

’02 Matthew Makaryk, commander of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood, Texas, took on the mission of turning what was once a shotgun and pistol range into a 25-meter flat range. It’s available to any unit in the brigade, similar to the flat ranges on combat outposts and forward operating bases in Afghanistan and Iraq, and eases training. Nicole (Statz) Peterson, and her husband, Eric, Sauk Rapids, Minn., celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary. They have two children, Abbey (4) and Isaac (2). She says hello to PT classmates and instructors! Amanda Wong, Alexandria, Va., is working at the Voter Registration Office in Alexandria following two years in the Peace Corps in Peru.


by Sue (Sullivan) Lee, ’82 & ’87

alum is iditarod racer


e doesn’t compete in the Iditarod to win. Rather, Trent Herbst, ’93, enjoys the dogs and the sport of the world-famous dog sled race across Alaska. Herbst reached the Iditarod finish line in Nome March 20. He and his dogs finished the 1,150-mile race from Anchorage to Nome in 12 days, 13 hours and 53 minutes. They placed 49th of the 71 mushers and dog teams who started the trek — described as the most extreme and beautiful terrain known to man. It was his fourth Iditarod since he began competing in 2006. “Every race has a golden moment that brings me back year after year,” Herbst says. “This year I was running from Nikolai to McGrath at 40 below in the morning and the dogs were just flying down the river trail. The northern lights were overhead and you could just see the dogs were ‘at home.’ What a night.” They come for the dogs.

“The act of taking care of them during the race gives us an excuse to camp with our dogs in some of the greatest wilderness in North America,” he explains. “The race is more about northern culture than competitive racing.” Teaching is a huge part of Herbst’s life. He incorporates the unique sport into his classroom. The Kiel, Wis., native, who majored in elementary education, has traveled the globe teaching. He’s taught in Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Switzerland and Alaska. In Europe, Herbst’s students introduced him to the Iditarod as a class project. Four years later, he and his family moved to Michigan and then Alaska to learn how to run sled dogs. The fourth grade teacher now lives in Triumph, Idaho, with his wife, Candida, and daughter, Kali, and teaches in Ketchum, Idaho. “I’ve always been in the classroom to

change ‘school,’” he says. “I try to instill ‘self education’ into my students and encourage them to make sure it happens in any way, shape or form.” His students research threatened cultures from around the world starting with cultures from the north. During the unit, students build snowshoes and dogsleds, pack Herbst’s checkpoint bags, sew dog booties, make dog jackets and make meals to be frozen and sent out ahead of the race. Students construct their own sleds, testing them with Herbst’s dog team. Then they build Herbst’s sled for the race. “Last year, the class built my sled and we were awarded ‘Most Inspirational Musher,’” he notes. “That was quite an honor … being a ‘gumby’ in the back of the pack. The trophy sits in my classroom. It’s neat having a group of 10-year-olds being a big part of that.”

For more on Herbst, his teaching and the race see See also:

UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010


’03 James Barke married Kathy Stauffacher in August 2008. They reside in Woodridge, Ill. James works for the Dolton School District #149. Russ Braby, Cedarburg, is the Study Abroad and Exchange Programs Coordinator at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia. Weston Glasbrenner, Boscobel, was named a Wisconsin finalist for the 2009 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. He is a teacher at Fennimore High School.

’04 Matt Buelow, left, and Andrew Lehman graduated from the Medical College of Wisconsin in June 2009. Both played football at UW-L before heading to med school. Lehman, who graduated first in the class, lives in Danville, Pa.; Buelow, in Menomonee Falls. Tara (Jentz) Johnson, Holmen, has been promoted to a supervisor at McGladrey Pullen in La Crosse. Greta C. Kjome, Elcho, a senior accountant and member of RitzHolman CPAs tax team in Milwaukee, has been awarded the 2009 Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants Outstanding Young Professional Award. The honor recognizes those who have shown enthusiasm for the profession, been involved in WICPA and has helped to motivate others to be a part of the profession and organization. Evan Kozlowski, McHenry, Ill., accepted a position teaching health and physical education in a new district (McHenry #156) three years ago. He had taught at a middle school for two years. Kozlowski also coaches football and serves in the mentoring program. He is working on a master’s in educational administration. 42

UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010

Nicole (Tadisch) Moore, Lafayette, Ind., completed a doctorate in neuropharmacology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., in August 2009. She is a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Purdue University. Jason Spangler married Katie Stephens Oct. 24, 2009. They live in St. Paul, Minn. The wedding party included UW-L grads Ed Anderson, ‘02, Kevin Ellis, ‘03, Justin Kampinen, ‘01 and Ross Vande Vegte, ‘03. Jason is a member of Delta Sigma Phi. Katie is the daughter of UW-L grads, Terry Stephens, ’73, and Kathy (Prioletta), ’74, Stephens. Jason is the president of SDV Tech. Autumn Tellier, La Crosse, has been promoted to a manager at McGladrey Pullen in La Crosse.

’05 Stacy Gramentz married Kyle Collins Aug. 7, 2009. They live in Waseca, Minn. Stacy teaches 6th grade in Waseca and coaches girls varsity hockey and girls C-squad softball. Lisa Jicinsky, Cedar Falls, Iowa, is a graduate student at the University of Northern Iowa. She is a Graduate Residence Life Coordinator in the university’s ROTH Complex as she works toward a master’s in postsecondary education: student affairs. She plans to graduate in May 2010. Natalie K. Raemisch, Sun Prairie, is a recreational therapist in a day center for Care WI in Madison. She attends graduate school at UW-Madison for social work. Jason Seitz, ’05, and Sarah Wittrock, ’05 & ’07, were married Sept. 6, 2009. They live in New Berlin. Wedding participants who are UW-L alums included: Carissa Hoffmann, Nicole (Jensen) Briggs, Sarah Nohr, Julie (Duccini) Krull, Brian Tracy, and Mike Riska. Jason is employed by M&I Equipment Finance Co.; Sarah works at UWWhitewater.

’06 Becky Brey, Milwaukee, received a $3,000 Mead Witter Foundation Scholarship for the 2009-2010 academic year at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Brey who earned a master’s in clinical microbiology at UW-L, is in her fourth year of medical school pursuing a career in pediatrics with a subspecialty in either cardiology or infectious diseases and hopes to practice in Wisconsin. Andrew T. Monfre (see photo), New Berlin, has joined the national law firm of Quarles & Brady’s Corporate Services group in the Milwaukee firm. He received a law degree from Marquette University in 2009. Roshan Searcy, Fort Myers, started White Crossroads Web Designs in Fort Myers, Fla., and has been successfully self-employed since. White Crossroads provides Web site design, graphics and marketing solutions for local small businesses. She and her partner Leah celebrated their 9th anniversary this year and bought their first home in 2009. “We’ll be back to La Crosse to visit,” she says.

’07 David Driscoll, Milwaukee, has been a personal banker with Marshall and Ilsley Corp., M&I Bank, in Whitefish Bay. He also has a second job as a server/bartender with a family restaurant in Shorewood. He is enrolled in a Kaplan Test Prep course aimed at improving his GMAT score. He hopes to take the GMAT in September and then enroll in grad school. He welcomes recent grads to contact him about working at M&I. Abby Ryan, La Crosse, received a $10,000 scholarship from UCB Pharmaceuticals and was featured in a company promotional video. Ryan, who has lived with Crohn’s since she was 14 months old, placed first among more than

400 applicants. She is a teacher at Emerson Elementary School in La Crosse. Megan E. Stroinski, Hales Corners, has been promoted to senior accountant at RitzHolman CPAs, a Milwaukee-based accounting firm.

’08 Grant Bernard recently graduated from AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (AmeriCorps NCCC) Pacific Region, wrapping up 10 months of community service nationwide. Bernard was one of 296 AmeriCorps NCCC members honored. Alec Leavitt, Blair, is an auditor at Hawkins, Ash, Baptie & Co. in La Crosse. He is currently in pursuing a CPA. Bethany Neumann married Skyler Emler Sept. 27, 2008. They live in Peshtigo. Bethany is a high school special education teacher. Brad Paulsrud, Saint Charles, Mo., is dean of students at Confluence Prep Academy in St. Louis.

’09 Adam Felber, Minneapolis, is working at Cummins Power Generation in the Twin Cities. Felber says UW-L’s dual degree program, coupled with 12 years of power generation experience in the military, helped him land the mechanical engineering job with the company. Erin Weinhold, Stevens Point, is a school systems customer service representative for Skyward Inc. in Stevens Point.

Class of 20?? Amy (Evenson), ’92, and Chris Carrier, Cary, Ill., a son, Evan Robert, March 18, 2009. He joins sister Elise. Paul, ’92, and Kaye (Peterson), ’96, Michael, Madison, a daughter, Ella, Jan. 4, 2010. Paul works for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services; Kaye, the UW Credit Union. Jennifer Jean (Ford), ’93, and David Labadie, Chanhassen, Minn., a daughter, Charlotte Alexis, March 16, 2009. Corey, ’96 & ’03, and Stacey (Ansay), ’97, Sjoquist, West Salem, a son, Graham, March 31, 2009. He joins brothers Liam (8) and Elliott (4). Lisa (Mahan), ’97, and Jason Backus, Tomah, a daughter, Sophie J Backus, Oct. 23, 2008. She joins brother Logan (3). Mindy Kriefski, ’97, and Matt Goudy, Frankfort, Ill., a daughter, Madigan Leigh, Aug. 20, 2009. She joins sisters Riley and Caelen, and brother, Nolan. Gina (Devine) and Jason Caldwell, both ’98, Eau Claire, a son, Cayden, July 2009. Gina works with the Eau Claire County Department of Human Services. Eric, ’98 & ’01, and Jenni, Hofschulte, Milwaukee, a son, Lachlan Gordon Linse-Hofschulte, March 15, 2010. He joins a brother, Reiley. Karl, ’98 and ’02, and Amie (Stocco), ’01, Ness, Rochester, Minn., a son, Kenley Deann, April 4, 2009. Karl is clinical laboratory scientist at Mayo; Amie is a nurse in the emergency department at St. Mary’s Hospital.

Jennifer (Hausmann), ’98, and Lance Roell, West Bend, a son, Cullen Lance, Aug. 28, 2008. He joins brothers Evan (6) and Mason (3). AnnMarie (Brehmer), ’99, and Eric Dahl, Onalaska, a daughter, Madalynn Alice, Oct. 11, 2008. Sara (Saplis) and Jason Edgar, both ’99, St. Michael, Minn., a daughter, Lily Paige Edgar, March 27, 2009. She joins a sister, Sophie. Leigh Bruno, ’00, and Jeff Redington, Round Lake Beach, Ill., a son, Greyson Louis Redington, Sept. 19, 2009. Bruce (’00) and Tricia Dahlman, Minneapolis, a daughter, Paige Sherilyn, Feb. 20, 2010. Bruce is a physical therapist with the Institute for Athletic Medicine in Blaine, Minn. Maria (Stadler), ’02, and Jim McEachran, Cudahy, a son, Robert Francis, March 3, 2010. Angel (Miller), ’02, and Cameron O. Olson, Eau Claire, a son, Benjamin Alan, May 8, 2009. He joins sister Madison (5) and brothers CJ (3) and Micah (2). Adam J. and Jessica (Zarek) Miller, both ’03, Milwaukee, a daughter, Maggie, July 5, 2009. Cathy (Dohms), ’04, and Adam Tegen, Holmen, a son, Evan Lucas, May 13, 2009. He joins brothers Kyle and Jacob.

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classy Trip Arizona heat not drying up by Sara Swiggum, ’10 teaching bond


a Crosse and Phoenix are far apart in distance, size and climate, but they share a unique educational bond. For two years Cindy Duley, Interim Director of Field Experience, and Brenda Leahy, a Career Services adviser, have traveled with education students to participate in the Arizona Cultural Teaching Experience, a week-long excursion in the Fowler Elementary School District. The connection began about five years ago when the district began recruiting teachers at UW-L. “During a recruitment visit a conversation started about how working in the schools before teacher candidates graduated would be beneficial to students,” recalls Leahy. From there, J-Term trips were developed. Alums in the district are hosts and cooperating teachers. Each student lives in a host’s home for three nights. “This allows them to really experience what it is like to live in Arizona,” explains Leahy. Katie McGarry, a student participant in January, says the overnights are enjoyable and educational. “The accommodations were excellent and I loved having a couple of days where we lived with a teacher,” she says. “My host was very friendly and gave me a great idea of what it is like to be a teacher as well as raise a family.”

Fowler has 4,800 students and is highly diverse in culture and language. UW-L students may work in up to two classrooms for the week. The trips have been positive. “The community is wonderful to us,” says Leahy. “We are welcomed into the community by the school board, administrators, teachers, students and parents. Both years students overwhelmingly agreed this should be offered in the future.” Not only are the trips enjoyable, but they’re educational. Students are exposed to a high English Language Learners (ELL) population and outstanding professionals. “It is essential that our students are prepared to work in many different classrooms and situations,” says Leahy. “This experience allows students to work in a high poverty, high ELL and a very diverse atmosphere.” Most of the trip is spent at school, but the group does take one day off to sightsee. “My experience in Arizona was one of the most rewarding things that I have done in college,” says McGarry. “Not only did it show me just how much I want to teach, but it also gave me a type of experience in the classroom that I never would have gotten throughout my schooling.” Future trips are planned and the program could expand to include student teaching. UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010


George Gilkey

Gilkey, whose campus career extended from 1954-83, died Feb. 9, 2010, at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center. He was 91. Gilkey and others built the history department from about eight members to more than 20, engineering a world history program. He was an original architect of the first general education program, an expert on Italian history and a master of Italian language. Gilkey encouraged department colleagues to serve many aspects of the university. History Department members and colleagues in the English Department founded the Office of Minority Student Services and Department of Ethnic and Racial Studies. And they assisted with developing women’s studies as a concentration, and ultimately, a department. Professor Emeritus Jim Parker, hired by the History Department in 1968, recalls Gilkey as “an advocate of democracy in its best sense; pragmatic collaborator of faculty, staff and administrators; and a mentor to younger faculty.” Parker attributes Gilkey’s work with Vice Chancellor Emeritus Carl Wimberly and former Geography Professor Jerry Culver for assisting in the transition from an autocratic to a democratic institution. Memorials may be given to the UW-L Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center or the Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation.


F acult y


Stephen Carpenter

Stephen Carpenter, 59, died Jan. 11, 2010, from complications of ALS. He earned a degree in physical education at UW-L in 1972. On campus, “Carp” was on the tennis team and played No. 1 singles and doubles. He completed a master’s in physical education at Brigham Young University in 1987. “Carp was a Father, friend, teacher, coach, and mentor to many,” says Bill Kirsch ’84 and ‘92. “Personally, he was the single largest motivating influence that encouraged me to pursue a degree in health and physical education at UW-L.” Carpenter influenced thousands of youngsters and adults during his 35 years as a physical education teacher and coach in Waukesha, and also as a USPTA Tennis Professional. Those who knew him admired his enduring sense of humor. One example is how he used the “No Child Left Behind” legislation to his own benefit in promoting physical education by handing out buttons that said, “No Child Left on Their Behind.” Carpenter’s faith, unshakable positive attitude, and commitment to the theme of “A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body” buoyed him during his 16-month battle against ALS after being diagnosed in September 2008. Memorials may be given to the Steve Carpenter Scholarship Fund c/o Waukesha State Bank, the ALS-TDI Foundation or St. Jerome Church.

Other faculty, staff remembered Richard “Dick” Beck, 83, died April 13, 2010, in La Crosse. Beck taught in the Art Department from 1959-92. Students remember him for his “ready wit, pleasant manner and his solid foundation in his subject area.” He made numerous trips to American and European museums, and points of historical and cultural significance. Lorraine J. Flaherty, 85, died Jan. 25, 2010, at her La Crosse home. Flaherty earned a master’s in English UW-L in 1971 and taught English and drama at Viterbo University, as well as English composition at UW-L for 23 years. Along with teaching, Flaherty was an active member of League of Women Voters, the Democratic Party and American Association of University Women. Memorials may be given to the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin or Oxfam to aid Haiti. David H. Mewaldt, 95, died Feb. 4, 2010, in Huntington, W.Va. Mewaldt taught in the Music Department from 1952-83, serving as chair most 44

UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010

of his career. He was a member of La Crosse Symphony and its board, as well as Kiwanis. Memorials may be made to Mewaldt Family Scholarship through the UW-L Foundation, or David H. Mewaldt Arbor Fund, Marshall University Foundation. Doug Sweetland, 70, a professor of economics from 1971-84, died July 21, 2009. Sweetland served four years as department chair before being hired at Winona State University in 1984. He was dean of the university’s College of Business from 1985-88 and vice president of academic affairs from 1990-94. Sweetland was president at Southwest Minnesota State University from 1994-2000 where he oversaw the introduction of master’s degree programs. A new 250-bed residence hall at SMSU that opened in fall 2009 was named in his honor: Sweetland Hall. For complete obituaries on most faculty and staff members, search

other alumni remembered 1928: Anita A. (Marquardt) Moore, La Crosse 1931: Dorothy (Bartl) Hunter, Indianapolis 1936: Mabel F. (Johnson) Tucker, Sparta 1939: Alda Pearl (Evenson) Wehrenberg, Holmen 1940: Margaret J. (Marking) Compton, Glenview, Ill. 1941: Robert Bartel Franke, La Crosse 1941: Adella Hanson, Rockford, Ill. 1945: John Fleis, Onalaska 1947: Mary Ellen (Townsend) Dwyer-Hipenbecker, Waukesha 1947: Charlotte (Vogelpohl) Weaver, Lakeland, Fla. 1949: Elizabeth “Liz” (Andrew) Nelson, Viroqua 1949: Patricia (Mason) Tiller, Prairie du Chien 1950 & ’68: Harold Dyar, La Crosse 1950: Helen (Volden) Ramsett, Viroqua 1951: John F. Goedeke, St. Paul, Minn. 1951: John Knispel, Sister Bay 1952: Vera (Scheid) Evans, Sparta 1954: Merlin C. Nundahl, Beloit 1955: Arlene Larkin Thornton, La Crosse 1955: Mary Ellen (Dyer) Lechnir, Sun City West, Ariz. 1960: Roland “Jack” Hidde, Appleton 1963: Coy Kohn, Richland Center 1963: Marcella (Tremain) Shaw, Tomah 1963: James P. Stalsberg, Viroqua 1963: Richard Lee Stolsmark, Gold Canyon, Ariz. 1964: John “Cagey” Gary Casad, Evansville 1965: Douglas E. Potter, Burlington 1968: Garnet Campbell Stout, La Farge 1969: Gregory “Greg” James Evenson, Edina, Minn. 1969: Carolyn (Johnson) Maybee, Cashton 1969: Dennis C. Miller, Hubertus 1969: Howard A. Wettstein, Madison 1970: Rodney Meister, Delaware, Ohio 1970: Robert A. Pauly, San Diego 1971: Lorraine (Lousier) Flaherty, La Crosse 1972: Richard L. Bergh, Westby 1972: Allen L. Hams, Hayward 1973: John Barnes Coleman, Russellville, Ark. 1973: Roger Green, Waupaca 1973: Jess Ondell, La Crosse 1975 & ’82: James “Jim” H. Glasshoff, West Salem 1975: Greg Hellrung, Porterville, Calif. 1975: Debra (Bethke) Lau, Cassville 1977: Milan Avery Berge, Middleton 1977: Curtis (Curt) Alan Kennedy, La Crosse 1979: Sandra M. (Molzann) Kottwitz, Eau Claire 1979: Steve Yeske, La Crosse 1981: Judith A. (Anderson) Olson, Viroqua 1981: James Seehafer, Wausau 1982: Duane R. Blumer, Madison 1982: Suzanne Meloche, La Crosse 1984: Peter James Brown, Kingman, Ariz. 1984: Derrick John Kroll, Onalaska 1985: Martha C. Boman, Sparta 1987: Joan Curran, La Crosse 1997: Lisa Kay (Haug) Selphs, La Crosse

Editor’s note: The following was penned by Jack Larsen, ’59, who returned to campus last fall for the Class of ’59 reunion.

a banner year

festive centennial banners fly above the campus and the city Festive Centennial banners adorned light poles on campus and downtown La Crosse for nearly a year during the university’s centennial. Just over 100 banners purchased by alumni and friends honoring the university’s 100th hung from August 2009 through June 2010. Nearly 80 percent of those purchasing the banners have asked for them as keepsakes.

Homecoming: the maroon and gray We were Indians then Proud, strong, Searching for trails Unique to our own quest. For a few brief Moments We are Indians Again, Reveling in the joy Of the sight Of a familiar Face. Memories: Lost In the bustle of Our separate Journeys

Video wins honors

Suddenly awaken at The sound of A remembered Voice, Burst into Conscious thought at The sight of a Familiar gait.

The documentary “Stories From the War,” part of UW-L’s multi-media Centennial Celebration, received a 2010 National Telly Award. Director of UW-L Educational Technologies Jim Jorstad, ’78, left, wrote and directed the documentary with assistance from historical researcher Teri Talpe of Murphy Library. “The documentary was an excellent collaboration between Information Technology Services and Murphy Library,” says Jorstad. See the program — and the others — on YouTube at jjorstad13. CD copies are $35. Order at: bunnell.todd@

Alumni by the numbers …

Friendships- become - embers, leap into brilliant flame at the Familiar timbre of Unfettered laughter. For a few brief Moments We are Indians … Again.







alumni on record alumni in Wisconsin

alumni in the 546 ZIP code alumni couples alumni in Minnesota

alumni in Illinois UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010



UW-L Alumnus magazine Summer 2010


HIghlight of a 100-Year celebration Thousands of alumni and friends returned to campus Oct. 24 to celebrate the university’s first 100 years. They took part in reunions, the Chancellor’s Run, the football game, the Gala Celebration and more. “It was a wonderful opportunity to look back and see where the university has been,” says Alumni Association Executive Director Janie Spencer, ’85 & ’86. “The celebration also provided us an opportunity to look forward to see the many exciting things the university is pursuing.”

If the address label lists someone who no longer lives here, please send the correct address to: UW-L Alumni Association, 1725 State St., La Crosse, WI 54601 USA. Production and distribution of the Alumnus is funded by the UW-L Alumni Association.

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse 1725 State St. La Crosse, WI 54601 USA

Family, friends & Alumni Weekend Oct. 15-17! details on page 23.

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID La Crosse, WI Permit No. 545

UW-L Alumnus Summer 2010  
UW-L Alumnus Summer 2010  

UW-La Crosse alumni magazine