Alumni Today Fall 2023

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Alumni Today

FALL 2023
Dr. Tammy Evetovich OUR 15TH CHANCELLOR
To go far, we need to go together.
FEATURES DEPARTMENTS 02 | Alumni Awards 04 | Orange & Blue Updates 06 | Distance Learning 16 | Landscape 18 | Unearthed: From the Archives 20 | Alumni Profile 22 | Platteville Portrait 24 | Class Notes 27 | In Memoriam 28 | Events 14 ‘When Claude Got Shot’ Filmmaker explores impacts of gun violence in Emmyaward winning documentary 08 Stepping into a bright future
Dr. Tammy Evetovich named 15th chancellor of UW-Platteville

SANTANA

Alumni Today

FALL 2023

UW-Platteville’s Mission

We promote excellence by using a personal, hands-on approach to empower each student to become broader in perspective, intellectually more astute, ethically more responsible, and to contribute wisely as an accomplished professional and knowledgeable citizen in a diverse global community.

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Engagement

Joshua Boots bootsj@uwplatt.edu

Alumni Relations Manager

Shelby Lang ’96 langs@uwplatt.edu

Contributing Writers

James Hibbard, Southwest Wisconsin Room

Eric Herbst, Division of Professional Studies

Director of Marketing and Communications

Benjamin Jedd jeddb@uwplatt.edu

Marketing and Communications Contributors

Johanna Belken ’04

Diana Blindert

Andy McNeill ’02

Art Direction

Alison Parkins

Katie Weigel

The ESC Plan | theescplan.com

Alumni Today is produced as a service of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Letters to the editor are welcome, as are suggestions for articles and Class Notes. Call or write Development and Alumni Engagement, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, 1 University Plaza Stop 1, Platteville WI 53818-3099, 800.897.2586, alumni@uwplatt.edu.

© 2023 University of Wisconsin-Platteville

COLEMAN ’15 (at right) served as Co-Producer on the documentary When Claude Got Shot, which won an Emmy in 2022 for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking. She attended the Creative Arts Emmys with (from left) Executive Producer Lois Vossen, Director Brad Lichtenstein, and Claude Motley. Photo courtesy of Santana Coleman

HONORS Alumni Award Winners

Outstanding Alumni

Congratulations to the Distinguished and Outstanding Alumni Award winners, who will be celebrated during Homecoming!

“All the experiences I had and the invaluable network I built during my time at UW-Platteville are indescribable, a steppingstone towards personal growth and self-discovery. The relationships I built were not just friendships, but pillars of support that have lasted beyond graduation. The knowledge I gained within those halls extended far beyond textbooks; it was an education in life itself. To put it simply, my time spent at UW-Platteville was some of the best years of my life and well worth the investment!”

“My experience with the faculty and staff at UW-Platteville has been invaluable to my professional and personal development. This institution embodies what it means to invest in human capital, and cultivates an environment virtually and in-person where students are valued and encouraged to exceed beyond their own expectations. I will forever be indebted to this university, and I will continuously find ways to stay involved going forward.”

“Everywhere I went on campus, everyone I interacted with, were all there to support me as a student. They invested in me. They gave me the time, energy, care, and compassion needed to support me on my journey … In my time as a professional at UW-Platteville, and now as an administrator at Purdue University, I work each day to pay it forward. To provide for the students and staff I work with, the care and dedication that was afforded to me in my time at UW-Platteville.”

AUSTIN DUEHR ’16

“UW-Platteville prepared me for where I am today by simply allowing access to some of the best mentors I’ve had. They are so incredibly devoted to your growth that it pushes you to not let them down and pay it forward with future generations to come.”

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TAMMY WIEDENBECK ’12 JONATHAN YANCY ’18 and ’21 ADAM ISERMAN ’13

Distinguished Alumni

BARB DAUS ’71 and ’88

“When I left UW-Platteville in the early 1970s, I had a dream of returning as the alumni director. And, after a 14-year absence from the university, that happened. I was honored to work on behalf of the university with so many alumni, faculty and staff, and community members. As a first-generation college graduate, I wanted to give back and help others realize their dreams. It has been a pleasure to continue philanthropic work in my retirement.”

SCOTT S. BAUMGARTNER, M.A. ’72

“I am humbled and honored to be able to represent UW-Platteville as a Distinguished Alumnus. The educational experiences that I enjoyed both in and outside the classroom were most rewarding. Looking back, I realize how well-prepared I was to be successful in both my professional life as well as my personal life. I have UW-Platteville to thank for that!”

JOANNE UTHE-GIBSON ’73

“There are so many things I will miss about teaching … the students most of all. They have taught me as much as I hope they have learned from me. UW-Platteville made my life’s career possible and it has been a wonderful journey.”

GREGORY BOYS, M.D. ’94

“UW-Platteville gave me the skills to approach any challenge with logic and the confidence that I can break down complex tasks into fundamental components. Whether it be applying engineering principles to MRI physics sequence design, evaluating tumors in neuroradiology scans, performing imageguided surgery, or flying airplanes in the flight levels, having an engineering thought process is the foundation of my success.”

KATHY BRESNAHAN ’80

“My experience at UW-Platteville as an athlete and student completely prepared me for my role as an educator and coach. My years at Platteville were some of my greatest memories and were directly responsible for my successes.”

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A race like no other

UW-Platteville welcomed around 400 students and guests from across the country in June as host of the 36th annual American Society of Civil Engineers Concrete Canoe National Competition. The competition tasks student teams with designing and building a canoe entirely from concrete. Teams are scored on their design paper, final product, presentation, and races—which took place in nearby Blackhawk Lake.

PROFESSOR JOINS TURKEY EARTHQUAKE RECONNAISSANCE TEAM

UW-Platteville faculty are regularly contributing their expertise to solve problems—close to home and globally. Dr. Gulen Ozkula, Assistant Professor of civil engineering, joined a reconnaissance team in Turkey last February to assess and gather data on the damage caused by the pair of 7.8- and 7.5-magnitude earthquakes that devastated southeastern regions of the country. Ozkula is originally from Izmir, Turkey, and has a Ph.D. in structural engineering, with a research focus in the evaluation of steel structures and seismic design—the structural analysis of buildings, bridges, and roads with the goal of making them resistant to earthquakes. She traveled to six cities impacted by the earthquakes and assessed damage on the partially collapsed buildings to gather data, which she’ll use to do further research on the soil-structure interaction and its effect on seismic performance.

4 UW-PLATTEVILLE ORANGE & BLUE updates
Dr. Gulen Ozkula, pictured on far right, and her team members assess the damage caused by the February 2023 earthquakes in Turkey.

ORANGE, BLUE, AND NOW GREEN Thank you!

The U.S. Department of Education named UW-Platteville a 2023 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Postsecondary Sustainability Awardee. Among the achievements that earned the recognition are the 2.4-megawatt solar array, waste minimization efforts, the more than 200 acres of natural recreation area and use of locally grown foods in dining halls, and academic programs and degrees offered in environmental and sustainability-related fields. Across the country, only 26 schools, 11 districts, and four postsecondary institutions were honored.

Students take part in prescribed burns in Memorial Park, which are an important part of the university’s land management plan and commitment to sustainability.

Two-time world champions

Last April, the Robotics Club’s VEX U team, WiscoBots, became the first team in VEX U history to win the world championships in backto-back years. Held in Dallas, Texas, last spring, the VEX Robotics World Championship tasks college teams with constructing two different robots, using custom parts and components. Teams compete in head-to-head matches on a 12-by-12-foot field. Matches start with an autonomous routine, where robots run off of pre-programmed instruction, followed by a driver-controlled period. UW-Platteville’s team went undefeated in qualifications and eliminations at 16-0 to win the world championship. Go Pioneers!

Because of your generosity, the UW-Platteville Foundation raised over $2,500,000 during its annual Pioneers Day of Giving, held April 27–28. A total of 1,046 donors contributed, far exceeding the goal of 700 donors. The gifts will help provide scholarships for students, help faculty and staff, support athletic teams, and restore funds created to support students with everyday necessities.

Top five funds supported:

1. Pioneer Scholarship Fund

2. Pioneers Annual Fund

3. Pioneers Helping Pioneers

4. Pioneer Marching Band

5. Women in STEM

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WiscoBots team members take home first place at the world competition. Photo courtesy of VEX and WiscoBots

Going the distance on and off the field

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH CREDITS ONLINE PROJECT MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

When one hears the words “project management,” some may envision a profession embedded in the construction, business, or supply chain fields. These assumptions wouldn’t be wrong, as project management professionals play pivotal roles in each of these industries, but they wouldn’t form the full picture either. Today, project managers are part of every profession—though they don’t always go by that exact title.

Ryan Munz is not your typical project manager. As UW-Platteville’s newest Head Football Coach, Munz spends his days recruiting student-athletes, fundraising, working with campus relations for various initiatives, and—of course—coaching. It’s this last responsibility that Munz especially enjoys.

“As a coach, you get to influence more people in a year than most people do in a lifetime,” Munz said. “It’s an awesome feeling in getting to see a kid come in as a 17-year-old and leave as a 21-year-old, knowing that you directly impacted their well-being.”

While his job has many highlights, it also requires a lot of work. To be successful at what he does, Munz says it’s all about managing timelines, deadlines, and budget restraints—the core duties of any project management professional. Fortunately, Munz prepared for these very responsibilities during his time at UW-Platteville as a two-time graduate, first earning his bachelor’s degree in business finance in 2006 and then a master’s in project management in 2008.

Yet Munz didn’t always know he wanted to go

into project management. Following a successful football career as an undergraduate, Munz wished to continue his passion for sports, joining his alma mater’s football program as a graduate assistant in 2006. However, with this position came the requirement that Munz earn a master’s degree through UW-Platteville. It was a condition that suited Munz just fine.

“I thought, if I was going to be in coaching, I needed to have a plan B, just in case it didn’t last very long,” Munz said. “I stumbled onto UW-Platteville’s online offerings and decided to go the PM route, as it seemed like a good fit for my first major. Plus, this format was beneficial to me because, as a first-year coach, it allowed me to go on the road recruiting, so I could complete my coursework from anywhere.”

Outside of developing his coaching skills, the skills Munz learned in class proved just as helpful in aiding his career. Of the many lessons he learned, the concept that people are the most important aspect of any organization, hit home with him. Managing timelines, deadlines, and fiscal resources have their place in maintaining and improving an organization’s health, but it’s the people who hold the most impact. It’s a principle Munz regularly applies to his current duties, from recruiting student-athletes to developing their individual talents. After all, producing a successful football organization is a team effort, and it’s Munz’s job to know who is pulling their weight and who isn’t.

Said another way, Munz wears both the hat of a head football coach and a project manager.

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RYAN MUNZ WAS named the 16th head football coach in UW-Platteville history in 2022.

“Project management isn’t just building buildings,” Munz said. “There’s a need for project managers in every industry now, because in every industry there’s always some type of project needing to be managed. New project managers should understand that in today’s world everything is a project.”

With a wealth of fields to choose from, however, picking the right fit for prospective project managers may seem like a daunting task. Thankfully, going back to school to explore and develop personal interests is always an option, and Munz agrees.

“Education is important,” he said. “These days, a master’s degree is becoming the new bachelor’s. For example, I wouldn’t be a head football coach if I didn’t have a graduate degree. But more than that, I believe in our programs here at Platteville. We do a really great job of tailoring curriculum that fits our students’ individual goals.”

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Eric Herbst
Learn more about the university’s MSPM program: go.uwplatt.edu/ projectmanagement 800.362.5460 disted@uwplatt.edu
Project management isn’t just building buildings. There’s a need for project managers in every industry.”

Stepping into a bright future

In March 2020, Dr. Tammy Evetovich accepted the role of provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at UW-Platteville, eagerly ready to collaborate with faculty, staff, and students and be an active member of the greater campus and Platteville com-

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UW-Platteville’s 15th chancellor

munities. By the time of her arrival in Platteville that May, the pandemic had charted a new course for her first year on the job. She helped navigate the university through this once-in-a-lifetime crisis, ensuring that the well-being and educational needs of students and faculty were prioritized. She quickly became known for her authentic leadership and commitment to student success and collaboration. On June 1, 2022 she assumed the role of interim chancellor, and on April 25, 2023 she was named the 15th—and first woman—chancellor of UW-Platteville.

What are the values that guide you as a leader?

First, I value authentic leadership. I have had the privilege of working with many such leaders in the course of my career, and they all have clear visions and strong sets of values. After all, what good would it do to gain a high degree of self-knowledge and then hide behind a mask to satisfy inauthentic self-generated or external expectations? Bringing your true self to everyday leadership opportunities involves the vulnerability necessary to show your emotions and who you truly are in the moment. In other words, it requires being present. In today’s culture, it takes a brave soul to show up authentically. But the rewards of doing so are less stressful. If you are trying to be someone else, meeting the expectations thrust upon you and maintaining a persona that is manufactured for the role, is exhausting.

Second, I believe you need to be humble enough to know your limitations. I said recently that you must be humble enough to surround yourself with people who are more talented than you are. Let me be clear, just because I recognize others are talented does not mean I do not think I am talented. I am. I am smart. I know who I am. I am visionary. I am hard working. I did not get where I am because of luck or on a whim. But I know my limits. Great leaders are not the best at everything. They find people who are good at different things and get them all working together. When confidence and humility are successfully combined, a leader develops; one with great credibility who can influence and impact effectively. Striking the proper balance is a very nuanced process that requires a great deal of practice. But leaders who choose to accept the challenge will undoubtedly stand out.

Having grown up on a small family farm in Nebraska, you have an understanding of the important contributions of rural communities to our nation. What do you see as UW-Platteville’s role in strengthening our rural communities?

I grew up on a small family farm 11 miles from Ord, Nebraska, as the youngest of five kids. My parents were hard-working, family-oriented, and trusted me to make decisions that were right for me. I am a first-generation college student, but they did not push me to go to college. However, they certainly let me know it was possible. I know first-hand the value of education and know that it has impacted my life and will impact the life of my family for generations to come. And for rural communities, UW-Platteville is “that place.” That place you can go to further yourself. That place for learning. That place where you can belong. But what is also very important for rural areas is the university’s outreach efforts. This can involve using our expertise to organize workshops or seminars, enhance health education, provide community service, shape policy for rural infrastructure, and promote environmental/sustainability practices. By sharing best practices and bridging the technology divide, universities can enhance productivity and overall quality of life by transferring knowledge to rural communities. And as evident with our IDEA Hub and the Huff Family

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CHANCELLOR TAMMY EVETOVICH with her husband, Mark Evetovich Jr.

Objects of affection

We asked Chancellor Evetovich to share the stories behind five objects displayed in her office. Here’s what she said:

Wellness is important to me and with that comes meditation and yoga that I try to participate in on a daily basis. I am very close with my daughter so I bought the exact same set for her, and she has them in her bedroom at home. It creates a con nection between us even though we are far apart.

My future daughter-in-law is a wonderful artist who painted these pieces just for my office. I gave her an idea of the colors I preferred and very specifically told her I did not want pink hues. She then proceeded to put a bit of pink in one of them just to be ornery. That is now my favorite part of the painting.

This duck was made by my son when he was young and it has survived numerous moves and been displayed in my office for many years. I send him a picture of it on occasion and we laugh.

I have propagated this plant numerous times and given out small plants to other plant lovers on campus, including someone I gave it to on the Baraboo Sauk County campus. So, you may see them in various offices across campus if their owners have kept them alive!

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The Mapula embroidery project was started in 1991 in Pretoria, South Africa. The embroideries are produced by approximately 130 women and the income helps them feed and educate their children.
UW-Platteville’s 15th chancellor

Innovation Center, we can foster entrepreneurship and rural startups through business incubation support and programs. We are constantly opening the university’s doors to resources, mentors, and networks to help rural communities grow their businesses. By listening closely and authentically partnering, we are instrumental in preserving culture and heritage by recognizing the uniqueness of rural identities.

You began your position as provost of UW-Platteville in spring 2020, amid the start of the pandemic. What did joining the university at such an unprecedentedly difficult time teach you right away about the Pioneer community and influence how you moved forward?

I began May 15, 2020 because I knew I needed to help start planning for fall 2020 as soon as possible. I have said on many occasions, UW-Platteville’s greatest resource is not our buildings or the physical campus. It is our people. Navigating the pandemic was unbelievably hard, and I saw how much effort everyone on campus put towards helping our students learn and exist in uncertain times while each of them had to navigate those times in their own contexts with their own families and communities.

What was really made obvious to me in my first year is that this university has a far-reaching impact, and we are committed to helping our community. So too, our community supports us and makes our work possible. And I think one of the reasons I became loyal to UW-Platteville so quickly is because of the people and that sense of community. As a campus, we recognize that only together will we thrive. Because if you want to go fast, you go alone but if we want to go far, we need to go together.

What are your top priorities as chancellor this year?

We are still developing our priorities in a participatory and inclusive manner, but I can provide just a few thoughts. We will continue to focus on fiscal sustainability. Fiscal sustainability sets the foundation for our future and allows for strategic and innovative thinking based on a firm foundation of prioritization. We will also continue to focus on enrollment and will certainly want to consider innovative enrollment and transfer initiatives.

Chancellor Evetovich at a glance

Earned a bachelor’s in biology and master’s and Ph.D. in exercise physiology, all from University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Professor in Wayne State College’s Department of Health, Human Performance, and Sport for 13 years, serving as chair for seven years

Served as senior associate editor for NSCA’s Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

Dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences at Wayne State College for seven years

Appointed UW-Platteville provost and vice chancellor of Academic Affairs in 2020

Named UW-Platteville’s 15th chancellor

on April 25, 2023

This involves many strategies and tactics, but one important component is scholarship investments to remove financial barriers for students. We have been working with the foundation to align our priorities around scholarships and I am so grateful for the partnership we have forged with them. I am excited about what we can do together. Additionally, our campus strategic plan ends in June 2024 so we will be spending some time this year developing a comprehensive strategic plan and have a 2030 plan in place by June 30, 2024. Those are just a few items to give a sense of what we will be working on, but I am sure we will hone our plans more in the next couple of months.

What role do alumni play in the advancement of the university, and how do you hope to engage with alumni?

Alumni are vital partners in advancing the university. Whether it be financial support, networking, mentoring, or advocacy, our alumni create that bridge from the campus to the external environment that creates a strong university community for both current and future students. Alumni who have established themselves in their careers have collaborated with UW-Platteville on community projects, research, guest speaking engagements, members of panels, advisory boards, or industry partnerships. Our alumni have been particularly important in helping students make connections within their fields of interest, which has ultimately increased employment prospects for our students. I always encourage our students to get to know our wonderful alumni because once they graduate, I can almost guarantee they will find a fellow UW-Platteville alum nearby!

What else do you want alumni to know about how you see the future of UW-Platteville?

UW-Platteville will continue to lean into its strength as an access institution. We will hone our identity, understand our centers of excellence, and build our brand as an institution that prepares students for jobs of the future, provides leaders that facilitate change, creates culturally competent members of society, meaningfully supports first-generation and low-income students, responds to workforce needs, and understands our role within our region. Our future is bright and we are excited about the future!

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A year as chancellor

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 2022–23 ACADEMIC YEAR

12 UW-PLATTEVILLE UW-Platteville’s 15th chancellor
1. First day of classes 2. Move-in day 3. Ribbon-cutting for Sesquicentennial Hall 4. Homecoming parade 5. Refereeing the Homecoming week tug-of-war contest 6. Annual industrial studies iron pour 7. Dedication of Vietnam Veterans Memorial 8. Test-riding students’ modified bicycle Senior Design project 9. Donated telehandler from Findorff 10. 40th annual Pioneer Dairy Classic 11. Raising awareness for Be the Match organization 12. Campus Programming and Relations’ petting farm 13. Fundraising for music scholarships
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14. 210th Commencement
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Filmmaker explores impacts of gun violence in Emmy-award winning documentary

Santana Coleman ’15 was a storyteller from a young age, whether she was writing poetry, books, or plays. A media studies major at UW-Platteville, her first entry into filmmaking was as a sophomore, when she made a documentary, Race for Diversity, for an independent studies course. It was an ambitious project that she dove into without much of a plan, which makes her admit now, “I don’t know how I wasn’t shaking in my boots. I still can’t believe I did that.”

Less than a decade later, Coleman found herself as Co-Producer on the documentary When Claude Got Shot, which won an Emmy in 2022 for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking.

Produced by 371 Productions, When Claude Got Shot follows the story of Claude Motley, a father of three, who is shot in the face in an attempted carjacking while visiting his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by 15-year-old Nathan. Two days later, Nathan attempts to rob Victoria, who shoots him in self-defense, leaving him partially paralyzed. The film explores the impact of the events on all three of them over a five-year period as they grapple with recovery and forgiveness. It premiered at South by Southwest film festival in 2021 and on PBS in 2022.

As a Co-Producer on a production that had a

SANTANA COLEMAN ’15 was Co-Producer for the Emmy-winning documentary, When Claude Got Shot.

A When Claude Got Shot mural on 11th and North Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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small crew, Coleman filled a lot of roles.

“If you think of the film like a train, the director is the conductor,” she explained. “They have the creative vision of what they want for the film. They are driving the train. The producer is getting everything out of the way and cleaning off the tracks so that the train can drive smoothly.”

For Coleman, this included everything from securing locations and scheduling shoots, researching archival footage, and all of the logistics of hiring crews and interns, arranging transportation, and more. Coleman said she is grateful to Director Brad Lichtenstein for also involving her in the creative process—including her in decisions on who to interview and what to ask. Working alongside the subjects of the documentary for more than four years and sharing in their tragedy brought its own set of challenges and opportunity for growth.

“This was my first film out of college, and I only started because I needed an internship to graduate. When I started, I just looked at it as a job. I just thought, ‘I’m working on my first film, this is so amazing.’ I was very starry-eyed about it,” said Coleman. “As I started to meet all the people involved and really dive into it, the

excitement for the film had to be balanced with the fact that this is real life. These are real people and stories. It was a journey. I became a filmmaker and I became more of a human through the process. I learned how to balance those things. I learned how to turn things off and on. There were a lot of tears throughout this process. It was tough, but it was amazing, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

After the film’s release, Coleman took on an additional role as Impact Campaign Advisor. Working with the nonprofit organization, The League, they executed an impact campaign for the film, holding educational and community screenings nationwide and engaging in conversations about gun violence.

“Impact is a world that I didn’t really know existed until two years ago, even though it’s been around longer than we think,” she said. “It was so amazing to take the film nationally and see all of the different reactions to it. I feel like it helped us turn this tragic situation into something beautiful. I struggle with asking myself now, ‘was the film the best part of this process or was impact the best part?’ Maybe film was a stepping stone for me to go into impact.”

Next up for Coleman is a return to her first interest in scripted film. She is working on a short film, The Last Week, about a woman spending the last week with her boyfriend before he turns himself in to prison. This is the first project that she is doing entirely on her own, including the writing, directing, and producing.

“I’m driving this train and clearing the tracks myself,” she said. “I accidentally fell into documentary, and I feel like I was always supposed to be a scripted filmmaker. I’m excited to finally join this process and see what it’s like. But, I think I’ll always be in both fields.”

Despite what projects her future holds, she’ll have the memories of attending, and winning, at the Creative Arts Emmys for When Claude Got Shot—a nomination she said she initially didn’t even believe was real.

“It was my first time in L.A., and the whole process was amazing,” she said. “Stepping foot at the Emmys is when everything clicked for me that this is real. This is the real Emmys. This is a real red carpet. The day of the Emmys was filled with beautiful memories, laughter, and smiles. It was amazing and easily one of the best moments of my life.”

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Directed by award-winning filmmaker Brad Lichtenstein, When Claude Got Shot follows three strangers tragically bound together by a weekend of gun violence, and a five-year journey to navigate recovery and forgiveness.

LANDSCAPE

Dr. Mark Levenstein, Associate Professor of biology, teaches students outside of Ullsvik Hall.
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Instructing one-room schoolteachers

Teacher Retta Shepherd (Platteville class of 1935) had her students at Darlington Township’s Center School ready for the photographer. All of them had their books opened, hair combed, and were sitting up attentively looking at the photographer. It was Jan. 12, 1954, a cold winter’s day that did not get above 9 degrees Fahrenheit. The photograph was probably taken during the annual visit of the Lafayette County Superintendent of Schools, who usually had photographs taken during school visits. Shepherd was just one of thousands of schoolteachers who benefited from UW-Platteville’s program that trained teachers for one-room rural schools, a program that is all but forgotten today.

Since the establishment of the Territory of Wisconsin in 1836, there had been several educational laws passed, from the establishment of academies to the selling of swamp lands, that supported “the education of teachers.” The sweeping educational reforms of the 1860s, however, impacted the education of one-room schoolteachers the most. In 1861, the state legislature established the Office of County Superintendent of Schools, whose responsibility it was to license teachers, inspect schools, and interpret school laws. This was followed up in 1862 by an act that

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from the archives
TEACHER RETTA SHEPHERD with her Center School class in 1954

established the process of how a person could be certified to teach. Finally, in 1865, the legislature passed the act that created state normal schools, whose specific purpose was the “instruction and training” of teachers. Platteville’s Normal School was the first in the state to open in 1866.

This educational reform created a two-track process for certifying one-room schoolteachers: the county superintendent track and the normal school track. To illustrate how it worked, let us look at two individuals, Sarah Greene and Jane Doser.

Sarah Greene took the county superintendent track to teacher certification. Born in 1870, Greene attended the Pleasant Ridge oneroom school in Beetown Township, five miles west of Lancaster. From there, she attended Lancaster High School. An “A” student in high school, Greene could have taken the superintendent’s teachers’ exam right away, but to better prepare herself, she attended the Normal Review School in Lancaster in the summer of 1889.

Established in the mid-1880s, the Normal Review School prepared students to take the county superintendent’s teachers’ exam. Even though this review school was a private school (not affiliated with Platteville’s Normal School), a survey of the school’s coursework indicates that the school’s founder, Lancaster High School principal Clyde Showalter (Platteville class of 1879), incorporated courses that he had studied at Platteville’s Normal School into its curriculum: history, government, mathematics, science, grammar, reading, and a foreign language, German.

After completing the review school’s 11-week semester, Greene passed the county superintendent’s exam and became a certified teacher. She taught for one semester at the Pleasant Ridge School in 1890. Subsequently, she moved to Missouri where she taught school and earned a teaching degree in 1899 at Western College, an African American college.

Greene’s short tenure at the

Pleasant Ridge School was quite common at one-room schools. Teachers rarely stayed at a school more than one academic year. This was due to low salaries and multiple responsibilities. According to a 1910 Grant County annual school report, in addition to teaching, schoolteachers needed to “be able to build fires, adjust fallen stove pipes, sweep, dust, split kindling, drive a horse,” and, of all things, “keep out of the neighborhood quarrels.”

Not surprisingly, after teaching for several years, some of the teachers who had earned certification through the county superintendent track, enrolled at Platteville’s Normal School to complete their three-year degree, enabling them to teach at high schools.

The second person, Jane Doser, followed the normal school track by attending Platteville’s State Teachers College, the successor to the Normal School. A 1951 graduate of Potosi High School, when Doser arrived at Platteville in fall 1951, she had two avenues to becoming a one-room schoolteacher, a four-year bachelor’s degree (the Teachers College granted bachelor’s degrees since 1927), or she could take a two-year or three-year rural school course, teach for a couple years, and earn her teaching certification through experience. Doser chose the two-year course. Graduating in 1953, she taught at the Wunderlin School, four miles west of Platteville, during the 1953–54 academic year. Notably, her one audio-visual device in the room was an AM radio. Doser only taught at Wunderlin School for one year before moving on to other schools. Eventually, she worked in the regional office of the Social Security Administration.

School consolidation of the 1950s and early 1960s ended the era of the one-room school. For a century, however, through the efforts of Platteville’s Normal School teacher program, in conjunction with high schools and preparatory schools like the Normal Review School, the one-room schools were provided with competent teachers. These teachers, in turn, provided a necessary education to the rural youth that prepared them for the challenges of life.

19 ALUMNI TODAY | FALL 2023
JANE DOSER taught at Wunderlin School (left, c. 1950) for only one year. SARAH GREENE

Alumnus applies mechanical engineering to the art of pinball

When Nick Jensen ’20 enrolled at UW-Platteville, he knew he wanted to pursue engineering, but he didn’t know where it was going to lead. Where it led, it turns out, is designing one of the most iconic, timeless forms of entertainment.

“I knew I either wanted to advance technology in some way or entertain people,” said Jensen. “Pinball definitely fulfills the entertaining side of that. It’s strange to think that I went to school for mechanical engineering, but what I do is design toys. It’s kind of fun that way.”

Jensen grew up with a pinball machine in his home for almost as long as he can remember—a Star Wars Episode I machine. His interest grew after he landed an internship at Stern Pinball, in the Chicago area, while he was a student at UW-Platteville. In 2022, he joined Jersey Jack Pinball as a Design Engineer.

Jensen explained that making a pinball machine starts with the game designer—who he likens to the director of a movie. The game designer develops the creative vision for the machine and the engineers, like Jensen, execute the vision. Jensen’s

The first pinball games appeared in the early 1930s and did not have flippers; after launching, the ball simply proceeded down the playfield, directed by static nails (or “pins”) to one of several scoring areas. These pins gave the game its name.

20 UW-PLATTEVILLE
ALUMNI PROFILE

job is equal parts designing on the computer and working in the shop, where he builds prototypes for new mechanisms or tweaks existing mechanisms. The first stage of building the playfield is referred to as “whitewood,” when the designers lay out all of the mechanics on a wooden playing field —essentially everything except the artwork—so it can be tested.

“Although it’s frustrating to see your design get broken from doing cycles to failure testing, it’s also kind of fun. It humbles you and your design,” said Jensen. “You do all of this design work on the computer, then you physically build it, and then you find one thing you overlooked and it fails. So, you go back and re-design and put it back on the test, and eventually there is something that works. I’d say that’s the most exciting part— putting in all of the work and then seeing that it works and it’s fun to play.”

Pinball has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, with younger crowds gaining interest too. The release of machines like Jersey Jack Pinball’s recent Toy Story 4—the first game Jensen is credited on—is helping the game appeal to younger generations.

“There is something so nostalgic about pinball,” said Jensen. “Any generation can have fun with it. I have an Xbox and a Nintendo Switch, I love playing classic arcade games, but with pinball, it’s more tangible. It’s a physics game. It’s interesting because you’re not going to play the same game twice. With video games, they are programmed the same way and exactly the same thing will always happen.

With Pinball, there are so many factors that will change your game, even from table to table. I don’t think you’ll ever get that from other arcade games.”

Some of the best parts of his time at Jersey Jack Pinball, Jensen said, has been the people he has met through the pinball community—from YouTube stars and internet personalities to famed Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, who visited the Jersey Jack Pinball shop to play their recently-released The Godfather game, for which he recorded music.

“He is super cool and ridiculously good at pinball,” said Jensen. “Watching him play The Godfather pinball machine for his first time was really cool and humbling. His score on the machine for the first game matched me play-testing the machine for three months.”

Besides celebrities, Jensen has found himself working side-by-side with some of his own idols at Jersey Jack Pinball—people who have been in the industry for decades and designed machines that he grew up playing in the arcades, and even—as he recently discovered—the machine in his own home.

“I was looking at the credits on the playfield of the Star Wars Episode I machine that we have always had, and as I’m looking at the names, I realize I work with some of these people now,” said Jensen. “This person’s name has been in my home for 20 years, and now I work with them, and they are as cool as I ever hoped they would be. It all comes full circle.”

21 ALUMNI TODAY | FALL 2023

HUFF FAMILY EXPANDS ITS LEGACY ON CAMPUS

Bill married his wife, Verna, in 1954 while he was on leave from military service, and enrolled at the Wisconsin Institute of Technology—now UW-Platteville— in 1955, after he was discharged.

“I would never have gone to school if it hadn’t been for the GI Bill,” said Bill. “I was married at the time, and I was getting $125 a month to go to school. My wife was making $150 a month working. So, we had less than $300 a month to live on, but it didn’t matter. We enjoyed it.”

Bill graduated with a degree in mining engineering, but later became registered as an industrial engineer.

“The idea behind industrial engineering is that we are always looking for a better way to do something,” said Bill. Over time, this same idea would inspire much of the Huff family’s professional and philanthropic endeavors.

Bill worked as an engineer for Kaiser Steel Corporation and North American Rockwell, before eventually launching a real estate investment company, Huff Properties, in 1962.

“It started as a hobby, something to do on the weekends,”

22 UW-PLATTEVILLE
ill Huff knows the struggle of making ends meet to receive an education, and this became the motivation throughout his life for helping others achieve the same.
B PLATTEVILLE PORTRAIT

said Bill. “My wife and I would buy fixer-uppers and that’s how we got the business going. Eventually, we finally said that we’re having more fun doing this than working.”

Huff Properties has always been a family business in the most literal sense—Bill and Verna’s two sons, Bill and Steve, were assigned projects to do and on the payroll by the time they were 10 years old. Working together, Bill said, is why the business is so successful.

“It takes a team to be successful, and if you don’t have the right team, you’re not going to make it. Sport teams will not win without the right team,” he said.

In 2003, the Huffs created the Huff Family Foundation, allowing them to support a wide range of causes—including UW-Platteville. Over the years, the family has supported numerous scholarships.

Their most recent gift is providing an entirely new type of support to students by giving them access to cutting-edge facilities and equipment. The Huff Family Innovation Center, located in the new

Sesquicentennial Hall, opened in fall 2022 and is one of the largest makerspaces in the Midwest. Nearly 20,000 square feet, the center offers tools and space for woodworking, metalworking, 3D printing, fabrication, robotics, textiles and vinyl, and more.

Bill visited the center during Homecoming 2022 and said he enjoyed meeting students who were using the facility.

“With the equipment there, students can do things that if they had to go out and buy the tools to do, they just wouldn’t be able to,” he said.

Josh Wood, who graduated last spring, can attest to this. Wood spent his last semester at UW-Platteville working on prototypes for a line of custom outdoor backpacks. A software engineering major, Wood said he never expected to be pursuing this business, but it was his passion for the outdoors and hiking that sparked his interest.

“I took a semester off my sophomore year and hiked the Appalachian Trail, and I fell in love with the hiking community,” he said. “So, I wanted to give this a try and make it a career.”

He initially experimented making the backpacks with his own sewing machine, but had difficulty sewing through thicker materials. Then, he

learned about the resources in the newly opened Huff Family Innovation Center, including the high-end sewing equipment and the laser cutters, which he used to cut the fabric. Without access to that equipment, Wood said he likely wouldn’t have had the opportunity to launch his product—which he was able to successfully do before graduation.

“If people have any interest in using the equipment in the Huff Family Innovation Center, they really should take advantage of it,” said Wood. “It’s all extremely expensive to access on your own. It’s a great resource to have and a lot of it doesn’t have a high barrier to entry.”

Wood is only one of the hundreds of students—across various majors—who used the Huff Family Innovation Center during its inaugural year. Some worked on engineering prototypes for industry partners; others created pieces of artwork; and some simply tinkered as a hobby. But, thanks to this space that the Huff family helped create, all of the students’ work can be tied back to Bill’s personal motto.

“Hopefully they’ll come up with something better,” he said. “There’s always a better way to do things.”

23 ALUMNI TODAY | FALL 2023
JOSH WOOD USES the highend sewing equipment in the Huff Family Innovation Center to create his custom outdoor backpacks. BILL HUFF VISITED the Huff Family Innovation Center, located in the new Sesquicentennial Hall, during Homecoming 2022.

CLASS NOTES

Over this time, he was involved in a multitude of transportation infrastructure projects throughout Wisconsin and was the lead geotechnical engineer for the department for the last 19 years.

James Schuessler ’84 is President/CEO of Yuma Multiversity Campus Corporation.

Sandra (Eschmann) Faulkner ’91 is a High School Teacher and Academy Team Lead at the Racine Unified School District.

Bill Determan ’68 is happily enjoying retirement. Determan writes, “[I’m] staying active by serving as a Village Trustee in Pecatonica, Illinois, and serving as a member of the Executive Board of the Blackhawk Area Council BSA, plus my many hobbies.”

Mike Rafferty ’68 and ’72 retired in 2014 as the principal of Old Saybrook Middle School in Connecticut, after 45 years as an educator. For the past 10 years, he has continued to be an Interim Educational Administrator throughout the state of Connecticut. In April 2023, Rafferty was inducted into the Connecticut Association of Schools/ Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Hall of Honor. He and his wife, Lawrene May Cormier Rafferty, live in Connecticut and have five children and 17 grandchildren. He writes that they “are looking forward to seeing classmates, friends, and Phi Sigma Fraternity brothers at his 55th reunion at the UW-Platteville Homecoming.”

Jan (Dailey) Windsor ’81 is the Museum Store Manager at the Brinton Museum in Big Horn, Wyoming.

Bob Arndorfer ’82 recently retired from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation after a rewarding 39-year career.

Sharon (Korbeck) Verbeten ’87 is the new Youth Services Manager at Manitowoc Public Library. She is also entering her 21st year as Editor of the national publication Children and Libraries, the journal of the Association for Library Service to Children.

Ken Holte ’89 celebrated 30 years at SRF Consulting in summer 2021. He is a Vice President and leads the Civil Engineering Division.

Dr. Jenny (Scheppers) Holte ’90 holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota and teaches mechanics courses in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of St. Thomas. She also serves as the Transfer and Community College Coordinator for the School of Engineering.

Kristy (Voskuil) De Blaey ’95 retired from the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Office after 32-and-ahalf years of service as a sworn law enforcement officer. Post retirement, she accepted a position at Motorola Solutions. She is now a certified Project Manager in the Systems Integration (Land Mobile Radio) Division. She also continues as an Adjunct Faculty Member in Lakeland University’s Criminal Justice program.

Tyrone Larson ’95 is the Assistant State Conservationist for Management and Strategy with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Minnesota. He has been with NRCS for 28 years.

Lori (Mergen) Brokopp ’00 is a School Counselor at Juda School District. Her husband, Allen Brokopp ’99, is the Superintendent of Monticello School District. Their youngest daughter is a freshman at UW-Platteville.

Dave Seiler ’00 is the Technology Education Teacher at Mayville School District.

Elizabeth (Gade) Tremelling ’02 is an Academic Advisor at UW-Platteville. She also started the UW-Women in Criminal Justice Mentoring Program last fall with UW-Madison and the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation.

Tara (Ritter) Tomter ’04 was recently hired as Vrakas CPAs + Advisors’ first Director of Talent. Tomter currently resides in Dane County, Wisconsin, with her husband and two boys and is an active sports mom.

Jonathan De Vries ’04 earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Dundee. He now lives in the United Kingdom, where he works as a Caseworker for the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.

Devin Burgess ’09 is the Percussion Director and High School Assistant Band Director at Collierville High School in Tennessee. The Collierville Wind Ensemble was recently selected to perform at the Tennessee Music Educators Conference at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee.

Emeline (Kau) Walker ’09 is an Associate Attorney in the litigation department of Steptoe & Johnson PLLC. She is also a member of the Strategic Technology and e-Discovery Methods team, staying up-to-date

24 UW-PLATTEVILLE
Terri (Gill) Hafenbreadl ’85 is an Elementary School Teacher with Montello Schools. Kristina (Kaker) Maher ’07 is the Executive Director at Waunakee Neighborhood Connection.

on the use of the latest litigation technology.

Ashley (Sincox) Gellings ’11 is the Preschool/Early Childhood Special Education Teacher at Ankeny (Iowa) Community School District.

Monica Hinkle ’11 is the Deputy Director at Derrick’s House. Hinkle is also working on her Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology at Adler University.

Amanda (Beckwith) Porter ’12 is the Assistant Principal at Minot Public Schools. Prior to her administration role, Porter was a language arts teacher for nine years.

Kayla (King) Heck ’12 is the Treatment Foster Care Worker at Children’s Wisconsin.

William Clift ’13 is a Development Manager for the “I Have a Dream” Foundation of Boulder County, in Boulder, Colorado.

own business, Eternally Yours, in 2022, where she makes wedding floral arrangements with hand painted Sola Wood flowers.

Eric Saeger ’15 is a Divisional Leader at Modular Web Solutions. He was recently named one of the “40 under 40” in the New North Region by Insight Magazine

Samantha (Joynt) Jones ’14 and ’18 is the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst at Beyond Behavior. Jones graduated in December 2022 with a Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis with a certificate in autism. She will be sitting for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst exam this year. She also started her

Austin Duehr ’16 was named the Texas Society of Professional Engineers Outstanding Young Engineer of the Year. Duehr is a Dallas-based project manager for Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam Inc., a planning, engineering, and program management firm.

Emily (La Sage) Rapp ’16 is the Senior Development Manager at American Cancer Society. She married Cooper Rapp, M.D., in 2019.

Jessica Loven ’16 is the middle and high school Physical Education and Health Education Teacher at Ithaca School District.

25 ALUMNI TODAY | FALL 2023
SHARE WE WANT FROM YOU NEWS! YOUR TO HEAR Tell us about any updates in your professional or personal life— promotions, accomplishments, awards, moves, marriages, baby announcements, and more.  uwplatt.edu/shareyourstory alumni@uwplatt.edu

CLASS NOTES

John Morrissey ’16 is the Area Director at Carroll University. Morrissey married his husband on Nov. 12, 2022. They met during graduate school in Texas.

Jacob Stukenberg ’19 recently finished a Master of Public Health program at Texas A&M University’s School of Public Health and began working at the Texas State Office of Rural Health in April as a Rural Health Specialist.

THANK YOU!

Because of your generosity, the UW-Platteville Foundation had its best fundraising year ever, raising $8.7 million during the 2022–23 fiscal year.

Tanika Johnson Powell ’20 and Nick Powell ’19 visited campus last spring and saw their sponsored paver outside of Sesquicentennial Hall. Tanika writes, “Nick and I met through the club volleyball teams on campus and were married last June. It was super special to leave a part of us on campus forever.”

Nick is an AP/AR Analyst at Cannella Media and Tanika is a Team Lead at Uline Corporate Headquarters. Tanika recently joined the UW-Platteville

Association Board of Directors.

tion, in Green Bay, Wisconsin, which was recently honored with the 2022 Corporate Safety Award from the Wisconsin Safety Council. In his position, Shirley is responsible for managing Immel Construction’s Risk Department through administering organizational trainings, directing job site safety practices, overseeing general compliance, and cultivating Immel’s number one core value—safety.

26 UW-PLATTEVILLE
Alumni Brittany (Fink) Sweet ’20 is the Commercial and Agriculture Credit Analyst at WCCU Credit Union. Mikayla TeBeest ’20 is the Non-Clinical Data Associate at Labcorp Drug Development. Sara Raemisch ’20 is the Senior Breeding Technician at PepsiCo. Elliott Manuel ’21 is a student at Marquette University Law School. Manuel is invited to participate in the 2023 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition at Marquette University Law School. Kyle Pozorski ’21 is a Journalist/Anchor for WISC-TV in Madison, Wisconsin. Darcy Wichert ’21 is the Lead Veterinary Support Staff at Chicago Equine Medical Center. Sam Shirley ’21 is a Risk Control Manager at Immel Construc-

1940s

Arthur C. Masbruch ’49, Denver, CO

Warren C. Zeigle ’49, Rockford, IL

1950s

Therese M. McCarragher ’50, Hollendale, WI

Harlan Bruha ’52, San Angelo, TX

Mary A. (McGuire) Pringle ’53, Monona, WI

Janice L. (Shulka) Kohls ’56, Fort Atkinson, WI

Gerald W. “Jerry” Norris ’57, Appleton, WI

Donald C. Iverson ’58, Platteville, WI

1960s

Robert L. Schroeder ’60, King, WI

Joseph Guenther ’63, Manitowish Waters, WI

Donald L. Keller ’65, Lancaster, WI

Michael W. Ponyicsanyi ’65, Lake Mills, WI

Carl H. Reuter ’67, Verona, WI

Charles E. “Charlie” Turner ’68, Deforest, WI

James S. Creamer ’69, McCullom Lake, IL

1970s

Tharen “Terri” Robson ’71, Lodi, WI

Gerald R. “Jerry” Leahy ’72, Shullsburg, WI

Norbert M. “Norb” Schleicher ’75, Waupaca, WI

Lynn M. Bell ’78, Platteville, WI

Thomas L. Burlowski ’79, Milwaukee, WI

1980s

John P. Gille ’81, Elk Point, SD

James P. “Jim” Jansen ’89, Beaver Dam, WI

1990s

Debra J. (Schwark) Schoenfeldt ’91, Milwaukee, WI

Mary J. (Sanders) Day ’91, Madison, WI

Clarence D. Fretz ’91, Richland Center, WI

Employees

Orin Dimick, Platteville, WI

Dr. Mervyn Cadwallader, AZ

Margaret “Peg” Haese, Shullsburg, WI

Paula Lyght-Brogley, Big Patch, WI

Dr. Fredric W. Tufte, Platteville, WI

Friends of the University

Neil I. “Gopher” Millard, Livingston, WI

IN MEMORIAM
28 UW-PLATTEVILLE EVENTS ALUMNI AWARD CEREMONY 5 p.m. Oct. 6 • Center for the Arts HOMECOMING PARADE 10 a.m. Oct. 7 • Main Street PIONEERS VS. UW-STEVENS POINT FOOTBALL GAME 1 p.m. Oct. 7 • Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium HOSPITALITY PARADE TENT 9 a.m Oct. 7 • 385 W. Main Street HOMECOMING LUNCHEON 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Oct. 7 • South Patio, Ullsvik Halll Homecoming 2023 Join us Oct. 6–7 // www.uwplatt.edu/homecoming More info online! uwplatt.edu/events

Commencement

Dec. 16, Williams Fieldhouse, UW-Platteville

Celebrate the fall 2023 graduates at UW-Platteville’s 211th commencement. For more details, visit uwplatt.edu/ commencement.

Investiture Ceremony

April 4, 5:30 p.m., Bo Ryan Court, Williams Fieldhouse

UW-Platteville will celebrate the investiture of Dr. Tammy Evetovich as the 15th chancellor of the university.

LIGHTING OF THE M AND FIREWORKS

Oct. 7 – Dusk • Platte Mound

Pioneers Day of Giving 2024

April 25–26

The Day of Giving spans two days, allowing for 1,866 minutes to give in honor of the university’s founding year. Contributions can support scholarships, help faculty and staff in their classrooms, back our athletic teams, restore funds created to support students with everyday necessities, and more.

ALUMNI TODAY | SPRING 2023 29

Do you know a high school or transfer student with Pioneer potential?

Alumni, we need your help to recruit the next generation of Pioneers! Alumni are among our greatest ambassadors. As a graduate of UW-Platteville, you know best what the university has to offer and who would be a great fit for the Pioneer experience.

a
Schedule
visit for future Pioneers www.uwplatt.edu/visit
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1 University Plaza Stop 1 | Platteville WI 53818-3099 Schedule a visit or take a virtual tour.
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