Public Relations

Daily Pioneer News

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Criteria show need for Platteville bypass

PLATTEVILLE - Anyone driving through the city of Platteville knows the terror of having a large semi truck round a tight city street corner only to cringe in fear of being struck. This scenario and many others like it have led University of Wisconsin-Platteville senior design students, Zac Abrams, Andrew Schultz and Nick Willick to complete a study regarding the need for a Platteville bypass.

The students developed a set of criteria that would help assess the need for a bypass north of Platteville for State Highways 80 and 81 which currently traverse through the city of Platteville. If constructed, the bypass would reduce traffic through the city, create less wear and tear on city streets, provide residents quicker travel times due to less traffic and hopefully provide safer streets for both drivers and pedestrians. "We began by looking at the 151 bypass project and other city projects in Whitewater and Fort Atkinson to see what construction challenges they were experiencing. This information was used to establish a set of seven criteria we could relate to Platteville," said Willick. These criteria include potential population growth and city expansion over the next 25 years; unsafe intersections; traffic volumes; level of service of the roadway; a volume versus capacity of roadway analysis; heavy vehicle traffic counts and the overall economic impact.

The growth factors included looking at Platteville residential growth over the next 25 years and using this data to establish a relationship for consideration of a need for a bypass. Accident data and the difficult 90-degree turns semi trucks have trouble negotiating would be limited with a smooth bypass design, alleviating unsafe intersections. Average daily traffic data from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation was collected to study traffic volumes and an engineering rating system was used to analyze the traffic flow on the roads at certain intersections. Four additional intersections were analyzed for the volume of traffic versus capacity the roadway can handle analysis. Another study looked at the origin and destination of heavy vehicle traffic in the area which showed between 800 to 1,000 heavy vehicles travel along the 80/81 routes on a daily basis. A final consideration was the economic impact the bypass may have on local businesses. "Businesses were willing to adapt to the 151 bypass, so they would probably do the same for another bypass system," said Schultz. He added, "All of the criteria met future projections and some of them even warranted the need for a bypass now." Commented Abrams, "Once we'd established the necessity of the bypass due to growth influenced by the UWP Tri-State Initiative and the seven criteria, we located possible corridors for development."

In order to look at bypass placement, the students gathered information about existing roadways, wetlands and proposed city land use plans. They looked for the best locations that would have the least impact on the area around the town. They also used a special software program visually showing the layout of features within Platteville such as layered maps displaying aerial, zoning and special features. "The proposed bypass placement would be along the east of Platteville since the west has streams and steep slopes that could cause problems during construction," said Willick. Some of the classes that helped the students during their culmination-engineering project included traffic engineering, highway engineering and geographic information systems taught by UWP civil engineering professor Sam Owusu-Ababio. "Owusu-Ababio was incredibly helpful pointing us in the right direction, giving us names of references, helping with the software program and even providing materials from previous projects to help gather information," said Willick. Added Abrams, "Having supportive professors is something that sets UWP above other universities. They truly want their students to succeed in school and beyond and are all about promoting their students and their accomplishments." All the students working on this project anticipate graduating in May 2006. Abrams is a civil engineering major with an emphasis in transportation. He is the son of Jerry and Alaine Abrams of Westby. Schultz is a civil engineering major with an emphasis in transportation. He is the son of Kenneth and Lousette Schultz of Rochester, Minn. Willick is a civil engineering major with emphases in transportation and construction. He is the son of Karl and Anne Willick of Waterford.

Contact: Samuel Owusu-Ababio, civil engineering, (608) 342-1554,; Philip Parker, civil engineering, (608) 342-1235,

Prepared by: Rachael Lehr, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Living history reenactments invade Wisconsin

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Office of Continuing Education invites all interested individuals seeking a unique experience to consider attending the summer 2006 living history classes. Each class is equivalent to one undergraduate or graduate credit and covers the Civil War, Wisconsin's role in the War of 1812 and Wisconsin life in the 1840s. Each event is held at historical sites or as a large reenactment.

The Battle for Prairie du Chien, a reenactment of the War of 1812, will be held in Prairie du Chien from 4 p.m. on July 14 through 4 p.m. on July 16. Taught by Michael Parks, this two-day class teaches students about the history of the War of 1812 battle for Prairie du Chien through participation and hands-on experience including information on military tactics and the civilian population of the time period. This is a unique opportunity as participants will be able to participate in the reenactment of an actual historic battle on the actual battlefield where it occurred in Wisconsin. "Haversacks and Hoopskirts: A Civil War Living History," will be held at the Lincoln-Tallman House in Beloit/Janesville on July 15 from 6-10 p.m. and July 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Designed for elementary and high school teachers looking to evolve a more thorough understanding of the Civil War, this reenactment explores how people lived in the 1860s. Meet President Lincoln, General Grant, common soldiers and civilians. Discover the lifestyle of the period by seeing a fashion show, playing Civil War era games, making old-fashioned crafts, washing clothes with a regimental laundress, seeing an infantry camp and being part of a cannon crew.

A third reenactment, "A Soldier's Life During the Civil War," will be held July 21-23 in Belle Plaine, Iowa; Aug. 4-6 in Boscobel; Aug. 11-13 in Galena Territories, Galena, Ill.; and Aug. 18-20 in Galesburg, Ill. Taught by Carolyn Richard, this course is an immersion into a soldier's life during the Civil War. Participants will enlist, be issued a uniform and are encouraged to participate in as much of camp life, entertainment and battle experience as possible. Camping will take place in period tents, meals will be prepared over a campfire and march and drill exercises will be completed with other re-enactors. There are additional opportunities to dance at the Military Ball and attend demonstrations and talks on period crafts. To encourage participation of Wisconsin residents, out of state tuition for reenactments held in Iowa and Illinois will be waived. For more information and to register for these sessions, visit or contact Rick Morgan at (608) 342-1347.

Contact: Rick Morgan, continuing education, (608) 342-1347,

Prepared by: Rachael Lehr, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,mailto:

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Heavenly comedy to open Heartland Festival in June

PLATTEVILLE - The writing team that brought "Packer Fans from Outer Space" to theater fans last summer is back this year to open the 2006 University of Wisconsin-Platteville Heartland Festival. "Belgians in Heaven" will open on Friday, June 16 at 8 p.m. Leo and Roger are Belgian bachelor farmers in Door County of Northern Wisconsin. These two brothers couldn't be more different - Roger is hard working and Leo would rather spend his days drinking beer, eating cheese curds and talking to his pet chicken, Mildred. The brothers face their own mortality when they each spend time at the pearly gates talking with Saint Peter and his angels. With heavenly jokes, catchy songs and an underlying search for true love and purpose, "Belgians in Heaven," is a hilarious journey for the whole family.

The show was written by Wisconsin natives Frederick Heide and Lee Becker, with music by Heide and James Kaplan. Michael Duncan, a distinguished alumnus of UWP and member of the UWP Arts and Letters Hall of Fame, will direct the play. He has directed over 65 shows and has performed professionally in over 100 productions. Duncan also spent 10 years as managing artistic director of the Sunset Playhouse in Elm Grove and 14 seasons in Platteville with the Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival. Duncan and the cast will be on hand for the opening night post show reception and will meet and mingle with the audience.

The following performance dates all begin at 8 p.m.: June 16, 17, July 14, 22 and 27. Matinees, all beginning at 2 p.m., will be held on June 18, 25, July 1, 8 and 29. Ticket prices are $16 for adults and $8 for UWP students with I.D. and children under 18. A dinner theater will be held on July 14, beginning at 6:30 p.m., in the CFA theater. Tickets for the dinner and show are priced at $24 for adults and $16 for UWP students with I.D. and children under 18. Show-only tickets are available for the July 14 performance at the regular price. Anyone interested in obtaining tickets may call the UW-Platteville Center for the Arts Box Office at (608) 342-1298. Anyone interested in learning more about other Heartland Festival events may go to the website at

Contact: John Hassig, director, Performing and Visual Arts, (608) 342-1267,"

Prepared By: Evelyn Martens, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

UWP alumna earns Dr. James C. Stoltenberg Award

PLATTEVILLE - On April 28, University of Wisconsin-Platteville alumna Shelley Joan Weiss, Waunakee, was presented with the Stoltenberg award at the Wisconsin Association of Middle Level Education (WAMLE) organization's annual conference in Stevens Point. WAMLE's most prestigious honor, the Stoltenberg award is presented to an educator who demonstrates a long-lasting commitment to improving early adolescent education in innovative ways.

Most recipients of the award are notified prior to the conference, but this year was a little different. The award came as a complete surprise to Weiss, who, being responsible for part of the program for the conference, had to attend anyway. "It was a shock like I cannot describe," she confesses. To provide even more of a shock, members of WAMLE had also secretly invited her family and close friends to Stevens Point for the occasion. "I am not the crying type - but I started crying and couldn't stop. Pretty soon everyone at my table (including the guest speaker and food servers) was also crying," she says.

The Stoltenberg award is named for Dr. James C. Stoltenberg, who is considered to be the "father" of middle level education in Wisconsin. He was also an integral part of WAMLE's formation, and his ideas prompted the Transescent Seminar, a gathering of middle level teachers that is celebrated annually on the UWP campus. Before retirement, Dr. Stoltenberg devoted his time to issues of certification and licensure for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Adds Weiss, "I was very close to Dr. Stoltenberg and his wife Dorothy and respected his work tremendously." Prior to attending UWP, Weiss earned an undergraduate degree in education at UW-Madison. She graduated from UWP with a graduate degree in education and an emphasis in middle level education. "I think that the staff and students from UWP demonstrate the values that are important to me - honesty, integrity and a powerful work ethic," says Weiss, adding that she appreciated the creative freedom the staff allowed the students to take. "The staff treated me more like a colleague than a student."

Weiss isn't one to stop learning after graduation, though. "I love learning and continue to pursue every aspect of education I can," she says. Weiss went on to earn a graduate degree in strategy and policy studies from Naval War College in Newport, R.I. Currently, she is close to completing a Ph.D. at UW-Madison in educational leadership and policy analysis; all she has left to finish is her dissertation. "Of course, one of the most important parts of my life was my time running the Center of the Young Adolescent, teaching graduate courses, and supervising student teachers for UWP," adds Weiss. "I learned and grew more during my time at UWP than I could have ever imagined. I made lifelong friends with students and staff." The experience at UWP helped her to successfully combine two of the things she loves most about life: middle level education and traveling. After working at UWP, Weiss held positions as the associate principal of Sun Prairie Middle School and a teacher at De Forest Middle School. She is currently the principal of Waunakee Community Middle School. As well as these jobs, she is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, and has gone on active duty several times. She has served in numerous other positions within the Wisconsin Air National Guard (including chief of military equal opportunity, wing executive officer and inspector general).

Weiss is an extremely active participant in numerous education organizations throughout the state. She's held several positions at WAMLE, including that of president and conference chair. She has recently returned from presenting at the National Association of Elementary School Principals national conference in San Antonio, Texas, and has likewise presented at the national conferences of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Weiss is also a contributing member of the National Middle School Association, where she will be presenting at their annual conference in Nashville, Tenn., this autumn. Currently, she is on the board of directors for the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators (AWSA), where she serves as the lead administrator for the AWSA mentoring program. As if that weren't enough to keep her occupied, Weiss works diligently on projects with the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association. Her latest project with the DPI is in collaboration with several other people to develop the Wisconsin Master Educator Assessment Project for administrators. This project provides special licenses to "master educators," those who have demonstrated an advanced level of proficiency and have made numerous contributions to the profession and the students they teach.

As busy as she may be, Weiss hasn't forgotten her UWP roots: she continues to work on a regular basis with Wally Iselin, David Chellevold and David Allen of the educational administration classes at UWP, often coming in as a guest lecturer. In addition, many of the UWP staff members, former students, and local citizens still keep in touch with Weiss, and she feels strong ties to the area. "Everyone is extremely welcoming whenever I return," she says. When she's not dedicating her time to improving middle level education in Wisconsin, Weiss loves to read, grow plants, cook and clean house. But her favorite hobby, she explains, is traveling. Weiss grew up in an Army family and had the opportunity to travel quite a bit when she was young, and says that the wanderlust has never really left her. Weiss is also very close to her family: her parents, Willard Weiss and Jean Weiss of Columbus; her sister Rhonda Warren of Cambridge; her sister Jillann Kelp of Madison; her brother Bradley Weiss of East Moline, Ill.; and her lifelong partner, Brownie Ehlers.

Contact: Shelley Joan Weiss, Waunakee Community Middle School Principal,

Prepared by: Kym Bliven, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Friday, May 26, 2006

Cuba City school receives new playground

Front Row (Left to Right) Kevin Buechel, Dan Borchardt, Andy Kraus, Seth Johnson, Bielka Liriano, Bob Schmitt, Sister Georgianna Dorsey - Principal

PLATTEVILLE - Cheers of joy and bubbling laughter filled the air as St. Rose parochial school children in Cuba City flooded their new playground equipment. In dire need of repairs, the dilapidated playground was demolished and re-designed by University of Wisconsin-Platteville students in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Associated General Contractors (AGC).

Led by UWP student and current AGC president, Andy Kraus, AGC was contacted in spring 2005 to design and build a playground for the school of over 150 students. In fact, the previous facility was so run-down that student workers pushed it over as the easiest demolition tactic. Volunteering for hundreds of hours, eventually the old structure was removed and a new one built in its place out of treated lumber and plastic composite decking. "AGC looks for a similar project each year as an opportunity to work in the community. The design was completed by myself and TJ Burmesch, a UWP spring 2005 civil engineering graduate," said Kraus.

The design could not exceed existing 80 by 20 feet dimensions and needed to be appropriate for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. The new playground features traditional swings, a tire swing, fireperson pole, loft, parallel bars and tunnel. The ground surface is covered in woodchips to prevent injuries since safety concerns were a top priority for design team members. Working with a budget of $5,000 the team excelled in efficiency and provided a cost effective design leaving monies available for a slide to be added in the next few months. "We were able to use one of the children's favorite aspects of the equipment, a big yellow tube, to connect the two towered loft areas. Reusing popular items from the old equipment helped us minimize cost," said Kraus. UWP students diligently worked to complete the playground, volunteering time every Saturday from the beginning of the fall 2005 semester through Thanksgiving. One of the biggest aspects of the project wasn't the construction itself, but the organization of volunteers and getting supplies during the week. "It builds your confidence to organize such a huge in-depth project. AGC is a smaller group and we couldn't have done it without the help of ASCE, a larger group of students covering all branches of civil engineering," said Kraus. Commented freshman civil engineering major, Seth Johnson, "We had a lot of fun building the structure together as a team. Seeing all ages of students, freshmen to seniors, working together until the very end was motivating." "Everyone has their own talents. The greatest strength was working together at the same time to get the project done as quickly as possible. It was well worth the long hours to see the younger students at St. Rose enjoying it when it was completed. Their enthusiasm, reaction and the school's gratefulness made the project worthwhile," added Kevin Buechel, a sophomore civil engineering major. "The children love it. They did an excellent job with the project and a parishioner who's been in construction his entire life even commented on how well it's built. Hats off to all the workers and students involved for doing a fine job," said Sister Georgianna Dorsey, principal of St. Rose School. UWP students who contributed to this project include Dan Borchardt, Scott Borkovetz, Buechel, Dean Hefter, Johnson, Samantha Klapatauskas, Kraus, Bielka Liriano, Adam Mentink, Erik Oleson, Shawn Reimes, Matthew Rynish, Travis Sperberg and Robert Vater.

Contact: Robert Schmitt, AGC advisor, (608) 342-1239,

Prepared by: Rachael Lehr, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Criminal justice students practice forensics at UWP Farm

PLATTEVILLE - Dozens of students from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Crime Scene Processing Techniques class had their hands full as they attempted to process two crime scenes at the UWP farm in early April and May. Not only did they go through the meticulous tasks of measuring, marking, photographing, sketching, logging, sifting and sorting - they also had to deal with unruly media types making inquiries into the rumored crimes.

Well, not real media, nor real crime scenes, for that matter. The mock set up was part of the final training that Aric Dutelle, a lecturer in the UWP Department of Criminal Justice, arranged so that his students could practice the skills they've been learning in class and UWP's indoor forensics lab. The students spent the duration at a remote site on the Pioneer Farm, excavating the bodies of a cow and a pig which had been buried there last winter (the animals died of natural causes and the Grant County Health Department approved the project).

The students arrived on the scene ("tipped off" by an anonymous phone call), searched the area, sealed it off with police tape, then spent the day in the laborious process of finding evidence which might be later used to solve and prosecute the crime. "It's important that students get this kind of experience because otherwise, their first experience will probably be an actual crime scene, possibly a homicide. This way, they can experience the real sights and sounds of crime scene processing, which they can't get in our cadaver lab. They find out what it's like to take a shower in dirt and wear the biohazard suits, not to mention dealing with body fluids, chemicals, disease and so forth. I didn't get my first experience like this until I was on the job," Dutelle explained. Dutelle is a former police officer and crime scene technician with the Loveland Police Department in Loveland, Colorado.

To add to the pressure, Dutelle arranged for media representatives from the UWP Television Services and Public Relations offices to arrive on the scene and perform the roles of inquiring reporters. The public information officer had to set boundaries and deal with some persistent questioners as the other crime scene professionals went about their work under the sometimes uncomfortable scrutiny of the restless press.

Greg Urquhart, a junior majoring in criminal justice, said the experience was very valuable. He played the role of sketch artist, whose drawings will be used in conjunction with photographs and a measurement/data log kept by other technicians, to preserve the crime scene as close to the original condition as possible. "It is great to get out and actually apply all the things we've been learning in class. From finding the body to the actual excavation, there's been a lot to observe and record all day. I mean, we started from scratch and had to process everything from candy wrappers to a bullet casing. Everyone has learned a lot," Urquhart said.

Contact: Aric Dutelle, lecturer, UWP Department of Criminal Justice, (608) 342-1596,

Prepared By: Evelyn Martens, UWP Office of Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Students Planning for Success announce faculty, staff awards

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Students Planning for Success (SPS) held an award ceremony on Thursday, May 11 to recognize faculty and staff who demonstrate exemplary service to students with disabilities. This is the first year that the organization has officially awarded the honors.

The instructional staff honors were given to Rea Kirk, Platteville, professor of education and Michael Mee, Platteville, professor of animal science. Ed Deneen, UWP registrar also from Platteville, was awarded the non-instructional staff honor. In their letters of support, students and staff pointed out that flexibility in note-taking, testing accommodations, hands-on learning and general accessibility outside of class were important factors in their choices. Some pointed out that even relatively common things, like snow build up, could be major obstacles for students and that faculty and staff willingness to allow more time to get to class, or make extra efforts to get sidewalks cleared, enhanced the quality of their academic lives greatly. "We felt it was important to let the staff and faculty know that they're efforts aren't going unnoticed. I feel great about doing this and I enjoyed being part of putting it all together," said Brent Waller, vice president of SPS and a UWP senior majoring in elementary education.

One student pointed to Mee's help with transportation to the Pioneer Farm and efforts to get a wheelchair accessible bus to the research center. Another letter summarized Kirk's efforts in promoting disability awareness and empowerment for people struggling to manage academics and their disabilities at the same time. Deneen was recognized for his assistance in helping students work out scheduling conflicts, transcript glitches and generally being sensitive to the needs of students. Priscilla Hahn, advisor to Students Planning for Success and a learning specialist at UWP, said the students felt it was important to formally acknowledge faculty and staff who have been particularly instrumental in helping students achieve academic success. "In the world of disability learning, we talk about a concept called 'universal design,' which means that when something - a process, an item, a service, or just about anything - is designed so that it can be used by everyone, then that benefits all students. So, when faculty and staff make efforts to help students with disabilities achieve success, those efforts actually help all students," Hahn explained.

Anyone interested in learning more about Students Planning for Success or the concept of universal design may contact Hahn at (608) 342-1814. The Office of Services for Students also has a comprehensive website including information on laws and policies, accommodation information, definitions and terminology, the adaptive technology room, frequently asked questions and other links and resources. Anyone interested in reviewing that information may go to.

Contact: Priscilla Hahn, learning specialist, UWP Student Support Services, (608) 342-1814,

Prepared By: Evelyn Martens, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

UWP alumna, Bradley, is still inspired by her UWP education

PLATTEVILLE - The 1960s and 1970s was a time when people started questioning the norm in many areas. In Platteville, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville education students like Nancy Bradley, class of 1971, were fired up to change the look of the American education system. Working in education for the past 35 years, Bradley has not only witnessed the need for change, she has also helped with that movement of change.

Bradley has held multiple educational roles, including elementary school teacher, reading clinician and elementary principal. For the past 12 years, she has been director of staff development and school improvement in the Dubuque Community School District, and she has no plans of retiring yet. Bradley said, "What an exciting time to be working in education. I wouldn't miss it for the world." She explained that schools mirror society, and because society is changing, the schools have to change, too. She said, "Today's students need meaningful, real world application. They need to see how they will use what they are learning. It needs to be engaging, more 'hands-on'; we sometimes call it 'minds-on' - something that stretches the students' knowing, thinking and doing. What was done historically is not necessarily going to work for today's kids. Today, we're keeping the best of the old model but are reinventing the American education system." She added, "Education, today, is less about learning 'stuff' and more about learning to be a continuous learner, how to solve problems and how to work well together."

In staff development, Bradley figures out what the adults in the district need in order to provide more effective learning opportunities for students. She also works collaboratively with schools and their parents, teachers, community members and businesses to create a comprehensive improvement plan for each school. She constantly explores the questions, "Where are we going, and how are we going to get there?" and works to find the answers. Bradley furthered her education at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., where she earned a master's degree in education administration and curriculum and instruction. However, it is UWP that she credits for giving her the grounding to work from. "My roots are back at UWP," she said. "When I went to UW-Platteville, the professors worked to create graduates that were not locked into one way of doing things; they facilitated a love of learning, helped students believe in their own resources and encouraged them to go off to create the new look of American education. That frame of reference as an educator is still with me 35 years later. Now, I'm in a role whose work is centered on that. I will always be grateful for the education I received at UWP." Based on her experience at UWP, Bradley often tells high school students in her district about UWP. Now, the Tri-State Initiative (TSI) makes it even easier for those students to attend. The initiative enables Iowa and Illinois residents to attend UWP for select academic programs at a competitive price.

Referring to the TSI, Bradley remarked, "How exciting is that! I not only think the Tri-State Initiative is wonderful, but I think it should grow to include the master's program for teachers. I promote it to everyone I can in Dubuque. ... I think it's a compliment to the university. It's a sign that the university has the 'how can we be better than we are?' mindset." Bradley is a former member of the UWP Alumni Board of Directors. When she gets the chance to come back to campus, she enjoys seeing the new developments. Bradley is a current resident of Dubuque, Iowa.

Contact: Nancy Bradley, director of Staff Development and School Improvement, Dubuque Community School District, (563) 552-3077,"

Prepared by: Kate McKinney, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

UWP engineers hit home run with field design

UWP civil engineering senior design students, (from left to right) Ryan Arndt and Ben Becker, designed a girls fast pitch softball complex for Mineral Point High School.

PLATTEVILLE - When the Mineral Point High School was built in 1996, a proposed location for a softball complex was included in the plans but since this time, nothing has been done to implement the construction of a girls' fast pitch softball field. Recently, Jennifer Baker, a parent of one of the softball players, contacted University of Wisconsin-Platteville civil engineering students Ryan Arndt and Ben Becker, to help create a design that could be used as a proposal for construction of a softball facility.

Currently, there is no playing field located on Mineral Point High School grounds, so all games are played at a local park. Having a softball field would be beneficial to the school and may even allow them to host WIAA playoffs and tournaments. Working under the pseudonym, Recreational Sports Engineering, the UWP students considered a variety of aspects for the design including WIAA rules and regulations, the addition of amenities to the softball complex, handicap accessibility, spectator seating, parking and the influence of weather on the field. Their biggest challenge was working around the steep slope situated in the middle of the proposed field location. "It was essential to look at every aspect of what makes a good playing field including lighting, dugouts, parking, field drainage, bleachers, the scoreboard, etc. It may not be possible to put everything together at once, but the simplest version could initially include the field, a fence and player benches," commented Becker. "From our cost estimate, we know putting the complex together in stages will be the best solution and most feasible. For the simplest version it would cost about $150,000 but if they wanted to put everything together at once, the project could cost well over $170,000," said Arndt.

To limit the expense of construction, Becker and Arndt also considered various fill options to level the playing field. The entire location covers slightly less than two acres, but includes a 30-foot drop extending through the entire location. Using only fill to alleviate this problem would require over 29,000 cubic yards, a majority of the proposed cost, whereas shaving off part of the slope and then using fill would require only 8,200 cubic yards. "Bringing in fill and concentrating on site work was a huge portion of our project. It's amazing the costs that go into a project before construction can even begin," said Arndt. Added Becker, "There is an insane amount of time, money, labor and equipment necessary to level and compact the area; and this is just completing the basic preparation work." During their final presentation, Becker and Arndt met with Mineral Point High School principal, Ted Evans, as well as the softball coach, police school liaison officer, ground crew and maintenance employees and various school board members. During this presentation, they recommended that the school consider outside fill sources and volunteers to help complete the initial preparation work for the location to limit expenses and encouraged them to add additional features as funds were raised in the future. Both students anticipate graduating in May 2006 and are civil engineering majors with an emphasis in construction. Arndt is the son of Craig and Val Arndt of Waupun. Upon graduation, he will work as a civil engineer for Gremmer and Associates in Fond du Lac. Becker is the son of Bruce and Linda Becker of Jackson. Upon graduation, he will work as a field engineer for Kiewit Western Construction in Phoenix, Ariz.

Contact: Samuel Owusu-Ababio, civil engineering, (608) 342-1554,; Philip Parker, civil engineering, (608) 342-1235,

Prepared by: Rachael Lehr, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

'Day of Renewal' on June 7 is for UWP classified, non-student LTE staff and Platteville Area Chamber members

PLATTEVILLE - Many faculty members at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville participate in professional development conferences that help them hone their educational talents. Organizers of this year's "Day of Renewal" hope that this day will be used to further enhance the performance and abilities of the support staff in areas that will enable UWP and the Chamber Community to be more successful in initiatives that move the region forward. The "Day of Renewal" conference is open and free to all UWP classified and non-student LTE staff due to grant funding and monetary support from the academic deans, Duane Ford, Mittie Nimocks and Rich Shultz; assistant chancellor, Mick Viney; and vice chancellor, Steve Zielke. Cost of attendance for the chamber community will be $20 each.

Growing out of an idea that Jean Olson, administrative support staff in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science, had after attending a Wisconsin Women in Higher Education Leadership conference in Eau Claire two years ago, the first "Day of Rebuilding" took place last spring for administrative staff. "This is something that I felt administrative support staff could use to benefit their skills in working with people and give them an opportunity to grow professionally," says Olson. "After receiving support from colleagues in the UWP system, we worked together to get our first grant."

This is the first year that non-administrative support, like physical plant and food service staff, have had the opportunity to attend. Invitations were sent out to almost 400 people after the extremely positive response from last year's initiative. "There was such a great response from last year's conference," relays Carolyn Van De Wiel, program assistant in the admission office. "We received suggestions for improvements which we have used in creating this year's program." Deb Lundell, administrative support staff in the registrar's office, indicates that one of the suggestions was to create a greater community connection, which is why the organizers of the conference decided to include the opportunity of attending the conference to chamber member staff as well. Featuring a number of presentations throughout the day, attendees will be able to choose from the following options: Sue Curtis' and Paul Ohlrogge's "Are Your Colors Working Together?" or Corliss Olson's "Bullying in the Workplace" at 8:30 a.m.; Joan Bahr's "Nutrition for Health in 2006" or Carlos Wiley's "Cultural Competency" at 10:40 a.m.; and Tom Thibodeau's "The Power of Our Words and Presence" or Cheryl Kirking's "Passion, Purpose and...Popcorn!" at 2 p.m.

The speakers and topics were chosen to be not only helpful for all participants, but also fun. Organizers hope the conference will re-energize staff as summer school begins. "It is our hope that participants will be able to grow in their social skills by attending this conference," says Becky Troy, administrative support staff in the UWP Department of Communication Technologies. "In the academic and professional workplace, it is extremely important for people to not only be able to work closely together with others, but also to understand them." The invitation has been extended to Platteville Area Chamber member staff as well as UWP classified and non-student staff. Registration for this year's "Day of Renewal" should be completed by May 24. For more information, contact Troy at (608) 342-1627.

Contact: Deb Lundell, administrative assistant, Registrar's Office, (608) 342-1321,

Prepared by: Marsha Pauly, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

UWP's Tau Kappa Epsilon - Mu Nu Chapter receives state and national awards

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville fraternity, Mu Nu chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE), has been awarded the Most Improved Chapter in the nation in 2005 and the best TKE fraternity in Wisconsin in 2006. TKE was founded in 1899 at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. Currently, the fraternity has initiated over 200,000 men in over 271 active chapters throughout the United States and Canada. Phi Delta Chi, the forerunner to the Mu Nu chapter of TKE at UWP, was formed in 1965 by Tom Wurtz in Wilgus Hall on campus and has grown from a small fraternity of 12, when it began, to a current membership of several hundred.

In 1969, Phi Delta Chi was installed as the Mu Nu chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon, becoming the "lucky 13" chapter in the "lucky horseshoe" region of Wisconsin. Striving to remain a valuable chapter in the TKE organization, the UWP Mu Nu chapter has gone through several rough patches, including being placed on probation for low membership in 1974 through the early 1980s. Fortunately, the organization was able to get back on its feet and was even awarded the "Lucky 13, Horse Shoe Rush Award" in 2000 for the highest rush members in 1999. While the Mu Nu chapter at UWP has had difficult times in the past ensuring the success of the organization, its current membership numbers and activity on campus proves that they are deserving of the awards.

The Top Wisconsin TKE Chapter Award is chosen by a volunteer staff member of the Horse Shoe Province in Wisconsin. The Grand Province Advisor is responsible for presenting the award to the most well-rounded chapter at the annual conference. The award is given to the TKE chapter in Wisconsin with the highest score on the standards profile, which is designed to evaluate all chapters throughout the country. In addition to the regional accomplishment, the UWP Mu Nu chapter also made its mark on the national landscape. The Most Improved TKE Chapter is an award given by the International Headquarters at a semiannual National Conclave. The award recognizes TKE chapters with the greatest improvements in academics, recruitment, philanthropy, community service, athletics and well-rounded membership in the last year. Against over 250 chapters internationally, UW-Platteville's TKE was among the best of the best in receiving this award, tying with the University of Florida and the University of Missouri-Rolla. "We are a social fraternity with the principles of love, charity and esteem," says Matt Hunt, the UWP TKE public relations contact. "We pride ourselves in being involved heavily with philanthropy and being a diverse fraternity that can co-exist even with the many different views and backgrounds of our members." "It was an absolute honor to receive and accept the awards that we have been presented during the past school year," relays Scott Anderson, TKE Mu Nu Chapter president in the 2005 school year. "The award was made possible by the selfless, hard work of many past officer groups and the never ending dedication of the UWP fraters. Both the Mu Nu alumni and actives are extremely proud of our accomplishments, mostly because we didn't ask for them ... we won those awards by simply being us, by being brothers."

With several lofty accomplishments already achieved, the next step for the Mu Nu Chapter is to compete for the nation's top TKE Chapter. While this will involve a lot of hard work, since winning the awards the fraternity has been more involved in university activities and the leadership of the organization has also grown exponentially. "We are very close to accomplishing this goal too," declares Anderson, "but it's not about winning awards; it's about having fun and helping others. The chapter is confident that we can obtain this honor as well, but it will come when it is ready."

Contact: Matthew Hunt, Tau Kappa Epsilon public relations coordinator,

Prepared by: Marsha Pauly, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

UWP engineers plan Dodgeville road reconstruction

UWP senior civil engineering students (from left to right) Brad Reents, Andrew Zwieg and Rick Guenther are working with city of Dodgeville officials on a proposal to reconstruct Ellwood Street.

PLATTEVILLE - Working in a collaborative effort with Gregory J. Lee, director of public works for Dodgeville, three University of Wisconsin-Platteville students are hoping to make a difference in this southwestern Wisconsin community. Rick Guenther, Andrew Zwieg and Brad Reents have been working on a senior design project for a proposal to reconstruct Ellwood Street from Orchard Ridge Road to Valley Street, southeast of downtown Dodgeville.

Reconstruction is necessary due to poor utility and roadway quality including deteriorated pavement and curbs, a failing water main and vehicle parking problems. According to the project proposal, this section of road is 20 years old, 750 feet long and 36 feet wide. A city park is located on the west side of the street. The engineering students have been researching replacement of the existing water main, designing a storm sewer system and diagonal parking lot, and replacing pavement along the roadway. A new on-street parking area may include up to 30 regular parking stalls and two handicapped stalls. "We want enough room for vehicles to safely maneuver in and out of the on-street parking stalls but hope to re-lay the road to match existing elevations. We used standard dimensions and recommendations from reference materials provided by professor Samuel Owusu-Ababio," said Reents.

The water main design will eventually replace existing facilities with current specifications whereas the storm sewer portion of the project required analysis of peak flow from run-off and help from UWP professor Philip Parker. "We found that the addition of the parking lot would add less than one percent to the storm water system and we'll continue to look at runoff produced to see what could happen after construction," commented Guenther, Added Zwieg, "Every time a water main breaks, the road deteriorates further and cracks. Everything is tied together in that we need to know the parking lot design to determine the storm water run-off and need to know the grading to fill in the ditch to determine the road elevation." The group claims the most important and time-consuming part of their project was the intense design work and topographic surveying which determined existing elevations and utility locations, as well as curb, gutter, pavement, driveways, houses and existing feature placement. Over an estimated 300 hours of logged time has gone into the surveying and design. "The surveying was huge but quickly taught us to work with each other as a team. Some of us had prior surveying experience we used to teach those with less experience. It took longer than expected and was definitely the biggest challenge we had to overcome," said Zwieg. "It's important to get to the point where the topographic survey is complete and the coordinate locations are entered in a computer so we can begin design work. We actually worked a lot with Eagle Point out of Dubuque, on their design software compatible with our client's," added Reents.

This particular team of students has a unique situation in that they are one of the first groups to have their plans certified and given to a contractor to build. Most senior design projects are verified a second time by another engineering firm. Commented Zwieg, "We have a huge level of responsibility and must be technically correct. The surveying was the basis for everything and took over a week's worth of field time to complete but must be as accurate as possible." Upon speaking about working with Lee and other Dodgeville officials, the students commented on the flexibility, extensive support and willingness of everyone involved to help throughout the project. All the students anticipate graduating in May 2006. Guenther is an environmental engineering major and the son of Rick and Deb Guenther of Altoona. Zwieg is a civil engineering major with an emphasis in transportation. He is the son of Jeff and Patti Zwieg of Hartland. Reents is a civil engineering major with emphases in environmental and construction. He is the son of Scott and Vicky Reents of Janesville. Following graduation, Guenther will be working for Natural Resource Technology in Pewaukee; Zwieg will be working for R.A. Smith and Associates in Brookfield; and Reents will be working for MSA Professional Services in Madison.

Contact: Samuel Owusu-Ababio, civil engineering, (608) 342-1554,; Philip Parker, civil engineering, (608) 342-1235,

Prepared by: Rachael Lehr, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,"

Monday, May 22, 2006

UWP explores fuel cell technology

Mechanical engineers Steffen Schudt and Gerhard Sauer pose at the February 2006 graduation ceremony at Dublin Institute of Technology with university president and chemist Brian Norton and the Fuel Cell Team. From left to right are Dr. David Kennedy, head of mechanical engineering (DIT); Dr. Eugene Coyle, Head of Electrical and Controls Engineering; masters student Steffen Schudt; DIT president Brian Norton; master's student Gerhard Sauer; professor Jim Hamilton (UWP); and Elmar Jung (DIT); Absent from Photo, Professor Heinz Schmidt-Walter (Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences, Germany).

PLATTEVILLE - As the world increasingly seeks new non fossil fuel energy sources, especially those using hydrogen and solar power, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville is collaborating with three global partners to explore the potential of fuel cell technology. Building on relationships he has developed in Germany and Ireland, Jim Hamilton, professor of chemistry, will head up UWP's role in researching and developing this potentially significant fuel source. "Fuel cell technology is one of the hot 'new' technologies of the turn of the century. Students, environmentalists and large corporations are drawn to the allure of abundant electricity from fuel where the exhaust is only water." Hamilton said. However, so far, the technology has been too expensive and unreliable for practical application or even research, except in the most well funded programs, Hamilton explained. That is changing now. Gaskatel GmbH in Kassel, Germany has developed new technology that has reduced the cost by a factor of 10 and has asked UWP to work on improving it and demonstrating long term feasibility. The relationship with Gaskatel evolved after Hamilton was a thesis supervisor on the master's degree theses of two of Gaskatel's engineers working in the Department of Electrical and Controls Engineering at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) in Dublin, Ireland. Dr. Eugene Coyle, Head of School at DIT, received a grant from the Irish government to bring the team together in Ireland and Germany more than a half a dozen times in the last two years.

While all the experimental work has been done at Gaskatel, the team working on this novel configuration of hydrogen fuel cells includes several engineers, scientists and students from the DIT, The University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt, Germany; and UWP. Equipment and resources have been provided to UWP by Gaskatel to start up a fuel cell station and the faculty and students will assemble their own fuel cell and test stations using funds from a 2005-06 UWP Chancellor's Opportunity Grant. Hamilton has already assembled a research team of UWP students and faculty from a variety of majors, reaching beyond the field of chemistry alone. Nader Safari-Shad, UWP professor of electrical engineering, will perform mathematical modeling for the control unit to simulate its behavior. Hamilton presented some results of the work for the team last week in Dublin at the Second International Conference of Renewable Energy (REMIC) in Maritime Climates. The REMIC Conferences occur every five years and bring together people from more than a dozen countries where leading researchers will give lectures on diverse but relevant topics ranging from wind, solar, hydro and tidal power, biomass, heating and cooling and fuel cells, to energy conscious building design and materials, economics, as well as policy and integration.

The partnership may evolve beyond this project as well. In a letter to Hamilton, the managing director of Gaskatel, Joachim Helmke, suggested that he envisions a long-term relationship with UWP. "Your assistance of our master students writing their theses convinced me that cooperation between you and our company will be interesting, fruitful and valuable. Wisconsin and Hesse (the German state where Gaskatel is based) are partner states. This is another aspect, which might be of advantage in the future. Our company has relationships with the Universities of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt and Wiesbaden and also to the University of Kassel, which might be interesting for your students," Helmke wrote. Hamilton said the project is exciting on a number of levels. "The potential benefits to our global society are astounding and continued research on longevity and electrical and chemical characterization of these new cells is necessary to eventually bring the product to the consumer. UWP will have one of the few non-federal fuel cell programs in the country with the potential to have its business neighbors and students involved in the commercialization of the product in North America," he explained. Anyone interested in learning more about this research may contact Hamilton at (608) 342-1670 or

Contact: Jim Hamilton, professor, Department of Chemistry,, (608) 342-1670 Prepared by: Evelyn Martens, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Jamaican school principal attends UWP commencement

PLATTEVILLE - Stephanie Carter, the first Jamaican graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, recently completed a master's degree in counselor education. One of her guests at commencement was her previous employer, Garth Smith, the principal of Nazareth All Age School in Maidstone Community, Jamaica. Attending Carter's graduation gave Smith the chance to witness Carter's accomplishments at UWP as well as visit the United States for the first time.

Carter was a guidance counselor at Nazareth All Age School before she came to UWP. Smith remembers back to when he first hired her. He said, "I knew she would be an asset to our program. She immediately began to make an impact by collaborating with teachers, parents, students and the communities. She sets high goals and standards, and she always channels her energies into achieving these goals and maintaining these high standards." Already accepted into a Ph.D. program in counselor education for the fall at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich., Carter appreciates Smith's continued support. She said, "He is a wonderful person. He is very supportive and has always been that way. Even though I am not returning to Jamaica right away, he is still encouraging me. That means a lot to me." Smith said, "I have always encouraged her toward her goal of a Ph.D. I am so elated to see her getting there. Although she is much younger than me, she always inspires me. She's like a daughter." Carter also mentioned that Smith felt more like a father than a boss.

Completing her master's degree and having friends and family at the commencement was very meaningful for Carter. She said, "It was a glorious feeling." Her motivation to come to UWP for her master's degree was sparked when she met UWP education students and Wally Iselin, director of UWP Clinical Experiences and director of International Programs, in January 2004. Each year during the Winterim session, Iselin takes UWP students to Jamaica for practical learning experiences that allow UWP education students to work with Jamaican students. Nazareth All Age School is one of the schools they visit. Carter was so impressed by the strategies the UWP students were using she decided to pursue her master's degree at UWP. Smith sees these exchange opportunities as valuable for all parties involved. He said, "I think it's a great experience. It opens a window of opportunity for rich intellectual and cultural exchanges between students, professors and teachers in Jamaica and back in Platteville. It's a win-win situation." Smith explained how the UWP students help Jamaican students. "The UWP students know strategies for working with students that have special needs. The educational materials they bring, such as books, crayons, pencils and artwork, enrich their teaching. They create in the students an intrinsic interest in learning. In addition, the novelty of being taught by someone from the United States helps to broaden the students' motivation and interest in learning," he said. Smith added that in return, the UWP students experience the richness of Jamaican culture, heritage, communities and the island itself. Iselin said, "The great majority of the UW-Platteville students who have engaged in the Jamaican service learning project over the past four years have indicated that it was a 'life changing' experience for them. They have been able to experience the lives of impoverished students and adults. Through this experience, they have developed an appreciation of the thirst for knowledge that the Jamaican students and adults possess."

Based on the positive response on both sides, the relationship between UWP and Jamaican schools has potential for future growth. Smith said, "I think this will open the opportunity to more students from Jamaica to come to Platteville and more students and faculty from Platteville to come to Jamaica." Iselin and his wife, Kathleen, hosted Smith while he stayed in Platteville. Iselin said, "Mr. Garth Smith is a totally dedicated principal. Kathleen and I wanted to provide him an international experience and an opportunity to experience our campus. Mr. Smith had never visited the United States, and we offered this to him as our personal way of saying thanks for assisting us with the UWP partnership." After his stay in Platteville, Smith traveled to New York City to visit his sisters. He said, "I'm getting to see places I've only read about; it broadens my experience. It is really rewarding."

Contact: Wally Iselin, director of Clinical Experiences and director of International Programs, (608) 342-1271,

Prepared by: Kate McKinney, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Friday, May 19, 2006

UWP crops, soils and dairy teams win at NACTA

PLATTEVILLE - University of Wisconsin-Platteville College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture crops, soils and dairy judging teams brought home awards from the annual National Judging Competition of the National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) at Western Illinois University in April. The UWP crops judging team took first place as a team overall, placing higher than the University of Illinois by 85 points and Iowa State University by 93 points. The competition consisted of three phases, including identification, seed analysis and commercial grain grading. Kevin Wagner of Cuba City, Kevin Boehm of Mauston, Adam Roth of Boscobel, and Patrick Solverson of Viroqua, not only did well as a team, but individually too. Wagner placed third individually for the entire contest, as well as first in the math practical exam. Boehm placed second for the plant identification quiz and Roth placed second in the laboratory practical exam.

Coached by Professor Roger Higgs, the crops judging team has continued to grow in abilities over the years. Professor David Kopsell assisted Higgs in preparing the students for events this semester. "The results really say a lot about our students and the preparation time and effort they put into it," says Kopsell. "Dr. Higgs does a fantastic job at setting up practices and presenting the materials to learn in manageable blocks and groups." For the third year in a row, the UWP soils team has taken the first place award in the NACTA competition. Competing against seven other schools, UWP's team with Katie Trifone of Dubuque, Iowa; Jeremy Flikkema of Lanark, Ill.; Bryan Schoeny of Shannon, Ill.; Alyson Leahy of Shullsburg; and Ben Ritchie of Darlington; once again successfully competed in order to take home the title. Individual high scorers were Trifone in first, Flikkema in second, and Schoeny in third. "I'm very proud of the NACTA soils team's results this year," relays Professor Chris Baxter, coach of UWP's soils team. "This is only the second competition for most of the team members and the first contest for our newest team member. I am fortunate to have a bright and eager-to-learn group of students that seem to catch onto the concepts of soils very easily."

The dairy judging team also did well at the competition that consisted of judging 10 classes of dairy cows and heifers. Team members included Scott Jeanquart of Forestville; Gary McCarthy of Wauzeka; David Vanderstappen of Hebron, Ill.; and Carl Weier of Dodgeville. Dominating many of the aspects of the competition, the UWP Dairy Team placed first in judging the Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Holstein, and Jersey breeds, as well as placing first in the reasons section and the overall competition in general. In addition, UWP placed second in judging the Milking Shorthorn breed of dairy cows and heifers as well. Individual placements in the competitions include: Vanderstappen placing third overall in the Ayrshire breed, second with Brown Swiss, second with Holsteins, third with the Jerseys, third in the reasons section and he also was the second high scoring individual in the entire competition. Jeanquart placed first with the Brown Swiss, third with the Holsteins, second with the Jersey breed, third in the Milking Shorthorn breed, first under the reasons section, and he was named the top individual in the entire contest. Weier placed third in the Brown Swiss breed and McCarthy placed as the third high individual in the contest as well. "These types of activities help open doors for future job opportunities," indicated Professor Michael Mee, UWP Dairy Team coach. "My students who compete in contests usually end up working for dairy cattle associations or companies after graduation. Competitions are a great experience for them."

Contact: Jodi McDermott, agricultural student coordinator, (608) 342-1366,

Prepared by: Marsha Pauly, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

UWP communication technologies students and alumni receive regional and national awards

PLATTEVILLE - Students and alumni from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville were recognized for their hard work and excellence in video production, receiving several regional and national awards during the 2005-06 academic year. At the local end, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association (WBA) Student Awards for Excellence acknowledged Mike Jacyna, a 2005 UWP graduate now employed by WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee, for his directing of the "Pioneer Women's Basketball" TV sports play-by-play. Jacyna received first place in the competition. Also recognized for excellent work in production was Amy Bonjean, a 2005 UWP graduate currently employed at a travel agency in Milwaukee. Producing a TV newscast for TV-5 News, Bonjean received third place overall for her contribution to the competition. All entries for the WBA competition were judged by a panel of professional broadcasters and judged on merit. Awards were given to Jacyna and Bonjean in early April at the WBA student seminar luncheon during a news reporters workshop at the Crowne Plaza in Madison.

On the regional and national front, UWP students and alumni also did well in the National Broadcasting Society's (NBS) student electronic media competitions. Jacyna, Bonjean, Andrea Pityer of Jefferson and Lindsay Webster of Whitehall are national finalists for their work on the program segment of "30-CC Presents eLi." The studio or live performance segment featured both an interview and a live musical performance from the musician eLi at a coffee shop in Green Bay. Pityer is a senior majoring in communication technologies with an emphasis in broadcast production and a minor in business administration and Webster is currently employed by FOX Sports in Minneapolis, Minn. She transferred to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls to be closer to work. This category is for long (two minutes plus) hard news or spot news segments that would air during a newscast. This same group of people won the grand prize (first place)for this program segment in the regional competition and national competition for NBS. "It was so exciting to win this award," says Pityer. "It feels really good to be from such a small school and win a national award when you are competing against some of the top schools from around the country." Scott Abing, who had been a student at UWP but is now employed as a news photographer with KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Aaron Athas, a junior majoring in communication technologies with a vocal music minor from Fort Atkinson, received honorable mention for their TV news story titled "Beer Keg Registration" at the regional student production competition for NBS.

Additional students who worked on the award-winning newscasts include Phil Moldenhauer of Racine, alumnus Eugene Nemetz of Algoma, Mitch Pritchard of La Crosse, Jennifer Scarpaci of Arlington, Amy Specht of Manitowoc, and Ruth Wendlandt of Manawa. Advisor and instructor of communication technologies courses at UWP, Robert Snyder believes that one of the reasons UWP broadcasting students have done so well is because they use original stories for their broadcasts rather than filling the show with stories from outside sources. "The awards are a reflection of the overall quality of our department and the hard working, dedicated students who are our majors," indicates Snyder. "We are one of the smallest communication programs in these competitions, but we more than hold our own."

Contact: Robert Snyder, communication technologies faculty, (608) 342-1630,"

Prepared by: Marsha Pauly, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Thursday, May 18, 2006

UWP International Business Resource Center receives Governor's Export Award

Pictured from left to right: Mary P. Burke, secretary, Wisconsin Department of Commerce; Steve Kleisath, chair, UWP Department of Business and Accounting; Louis I. Nzegwu, executive director, International Business Resource Center; Judy K. Ziewacz, deputy secretary, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville International Business Resource Center (IBRC) has been awarded the 2006 Governor's Export Achievement Award. The award is given annually to businesses and organizations that make extraordinary contributions to Wisconsin's ability to compete in the global marketplace. "Wisconsin exports have shown four straight years of incredibly strong growth, and our growth continues to surpass that of the nation," Governor Doyle said. "As governor, I'm determined to build on this success and help our businesses continue to reach new markets. I'm proud to recognize these Wisconsin companies and institutions that have demonstrated leadership and innovation in responding successfully to international market challenges and are building a great name for Wisconsin around the globe."

The IBRC, under the directorship of Louis Nzegwu, professor of business, has provided leadership in Southwest Wisconsin through two major emerging markets initiatives. Since 2003, Nzegwu has been teaching courses on China's business practices and cultures, traveling with UWP students to China to provide them with a first-hand look at how international business and governments operate in that country. With every trip, he has increased UWP's contacts in China and broadened the opportunities available to UWP students. Most recently, the IBRC has been at the forefront of efforts to explore emerging markets of North Africa for Wisconsin and U.S. companies. With grant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Nzegwu is developing relationships in Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria, which will lead to Wisconsin dairy and other products finding consumers in the region. Several business and government leaders from the Maghreb region attended workshops at UWP last fall; Nzegwu recently returned from the Maghreb region where he accompanied Wisconsin and U.S. business representatives to meet with leaders in the public and private dairy sector.

Nzegwu said that the award reflects the strong support the university has provided to the IBRC. "The chancellor has made international initiatives a top priority because he knows that they directly benefit our students by giving them exposure to the 'global village.' The work of the IBRC would not be possible without the support of our administration and the hard working IBRC staff, who work hard year round to bring innovative programs and projects to the community it serves. We can only do these things if we have the whole campus in partnership," Nzegwu said. In commenting on the IBRC and UW-Platteville, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, Carol Sue Butts, noted, "Our university is working very diligently to increase international opportunities for students and for our regional communities and businesses. Louis Nzegwu has been a leader in securing extramural funds to assist in that process. All of these initiatives bring greater global awareness and participation to our university and our region."

Contact: Louis Nzegwu, director, International Business Resource Center, (608) 342-1597,

Prepared By: Evelyn Martens, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Teaching Excellence Center offers Faculty Development Workshop

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville is offering a Faculty Development Workshop on May 22 and 23, from 8:30 a.m to 3:45 p.m. in the University South Room of the Pioneer Student Center. Free to faculty and academic staff, this workshop offers a variety of professional development topics and advancement opportunities.

The workshop, sponsored by the Teaching Excellence Center (TEC), showcases topics pertaining mostly to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), and the Scholarship of Engagement. The Snapshot planning sessions are intended to walk scholars through the process of designing and carrying out an SoTL case study; thus interested scholars will find four progressive sessions over the two days. The workshop offers three repeat sessions on Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs). Lesson Study is intended for advanced SoTL scholars, as an extension of a past case study or new project, and repeat sessions are offered. Breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack will be provided. Registration is required; anyone interested in registering may call the TEC to request a registration form at (608) 342-1798.

Contact: April Schmidt, graduate assistant, UWP Teaching Excellence Center, (608) 342-1798.

Formatted By: Evelyn Martens, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

UWP professor, Mike Compton, receives NACADA Advising Award

PLATTEVILLE - University of Wisconsin-Platteville professor Mike Compton has been chosen to receive the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Outstanding Advising Certificate of Merit in the faculty advising category. A Certificate of Merit will be presented to Compton at the special awards ceremony and reception being held at the annual NACADA Conference in Indianapolis, Ind., in October.

According to the NACADA National Awards Program, the goal of NACADA is to encourage wider support and recognition for academic advising in colleges and universities by providing an opportunity for recognition of outstanding advising. An ultimate goal of this program is to improve advising services for students. Since 1983, NACADA has honored individuals and institutions making significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising.

Nominating Compton for this award was Tammy Salmon-Stephens, the senior director of the Women in Engineering Program and engineering advising office at UWP. Due to the fact that each university can only nominate one individual for this award each year, both an Advisor Award Selection Committee and the UWP Advising Team review candidates and select the one whom they believe exemplifies what they want UWP to stand for. This year both committees selected Compton to move forward to the national nomination process making Salmon-Stephens' job an easy one. "One of the things that really impressed me about Mike's balance between teaching and advising is that there really is no distinction between Mike's method of teaching and his methods of advising," relays Salmon-Stephens. "He believes and demonstrates that advising and teaching are synonymous. Evidence of this is found in every aspect of Mike's philosophies on teaching and advising." "I believe that advising is not just limited to helping students devise course schedules prior to the registration period," says Compton, "but also occurs every day in the classroom, when we work with students on independent study projects or student work positions, and when we advise student organizations."

Compton wears many hats at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. In addition to teaching ornamental horticulture and plant biotechnology classes, he is also the program director of ornamental horticulture and soil and crop science, faculty supervisor of the Pioneer Greenhouse and Gardens Complex, faculty advisor for the horticulture club and Pi Alpha Xi, coach of the UWP floral crop quality evaluation and design team, and active in working with students on grant-funded research projects. "Advising student organizations gives me an opportunity to know students on a more personal level," Compton asserts. "My advising role in this situation is to provide 'gentle advise' to support and foster the development of leadership characteristics among the student officers and organization members, as well as help the students work together to achieve their goals."

According to Mark Zidon, professor in UWP's School of Agriculture, "Compton balances teaching, research, service and managing a greenhouse. While doing this, the students always come first to him. He has great respect and rapport with his students and continually receives outstanding scores from students on course evaluations. His devotion to his work goes beyond expectations." "I am very honored to be recognized for my advising efforts and to join a prestigious group of individuals from our campus that I have admired since coming to UWP," declares Compton. "There are many individuals on our campus that deserve recognition for their dedication to undergraduate students. I wish to thank Ms. Kathryn DePauw, Ms. Holly Ziobro, Ms. Lisa Laschinger, Dr. Sue Price and Dr. Mark Zidon for their letters of support, and my wife Peggy for her support and assistance in helping me put into words my passion for working with students."

Contact: Tammy Salmon-Stephens, senior director, Women in Engineering Program and engineering advising office, (608) 342-1563,

Prepared by: Marsha Pauly, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Proposals for business improvement grants being accepted

PLATTEVILLE - Proposals are now being accepted from existing businesses in Southwest Wisconsin for Business Enhancement grants. Businesses that could benefit (through increased sales, expansion, job growth, etc.) from services provided by consultants (web development, market research, marketing plan, operations management plan, process changes, scientific research, etc.) may submit project proposals in consideration of a Rural Business Enhancement grant. This grant is funded through the USDA/CSREES agency of the federal government and administered through the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and the Small Business Development Center of Southwest Wisconsin. This grant is a reimbursement type. Consultant costs are reimbursed up to 75 percent, payable at project completion. A progress payment may be considered for large, costly projects.

Proposals should be submitted to the Small Business Development Center for review and consideration. Proposals are due by July 7. Proposal reviews will be completed by July 31, with grant award notification to businesses shortly thereafter. Projects are expected to be completed by May 31, 2007. Project proposals should include at minimum: description and location of current business; project title, description and purpose of the project; description of project significance to Southwest Wisconsin; description of project scope and deliverables to the business; description of the project design; description of project method; description of project schedule (timeline); description of the project cost structure, and budget; consultant pay rate documentation; and resume of consultant personnel involved with project. For more information on the Rural Business Enhancement grant, call the Small Business Development Center office at UW-Platteville at (608) 342-1038.

Contact: Small Business Development Center, (608) 342-1038

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

UWP students, community partners join to build wheelchair accessible ramp

Left to Right Mark Albers, Tiffany Nier, Matt Clark, Darcy Emler, Donald Emler, Diane Emler, Dustin Bonack and Kyle Mainwaring

PLATTEVILLE - After six heart bypass surgeries, two strokes and a leg amputation due to complications from diabetes, Donald Emler had hoped he would face no new challenges in the coming months as he begins the process of healing and recovery. The medical problems, along with accompanying financial difficulties associated with loss of employment and unexpected medical bills, might be about as much as one family could reasonably manage at any given time. Yet, as is the case of many people facing temporary or long-term loss of mobility, Emler and his wife, Diane, found themselves facing a new challenge: how to get from here to there?

Their home, like most, was not equipped for wheelchair transportation and that presented a big problem, especially in terms of getting in and out of the house as he pursues physical therapy and other medical treatments. The Emlers could not afford to have a ramp built and began inquiring into possible community assistance programs. Many local agencies and businesses came together to provide some of the funding for materials, but the Emlers still needed expertise and labor to build it.

That's where the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Construction Management Association (CMA) students stepped in. Under the supervision of Mark Albers, assistant professor of industrial studies, students in CMA designed and built the ramp. The project planning and design took about a month to complete, and the students finished the majority of the project over a weekend in April. "The ramp project was a good experience for our students because even though it was quite small in scope, it is representative of any construction project where design and construction are the contractor's responsibility. The building construction management classes and the CMA are geared towards construction management and understanding construction materials and methods, so the design portion of this was challenging. It also gives our students hands on experience which tends to tie theoretical and practical aspects together better than a lecture can. I think it was good for our students to see that construction is not always about the need for very large structures or projects, but about providing for local and community needs as well," said Albers

Kyle Mainwaring, a senior from Mukwonago majoring in building construction management, was the project manager for the ramp building. "There were many opportunities to learn from the start to finish of this project. I think that the biggest learning experience for us was that even though a project design is complete there may have to be design changes in the field in order to complete the project," said Mainwaring. The Emlers said they were pleased with the ramp and grateful to the students and contributors. Donald was back in the hospital to treat an infection in his leg during the weekend when the students were building, but he was able to take a ride up the ramp when he returned Sunday afternoon. He was also able to visit with the students throughout the remainder of the week as they finished off the project. "I really like it. I can go up and down and turn corners without hitting anything - and I can do it alone. I know I'm just getting started on my recovery, so this will really help me," he said. Diane said she was also very pleased. "I'm so excited about this and so impressed with this group of kids. They have worked so hard and been so courteous and helpful. They have been very dedicated and professional in getting this project done. We're very grateful to them and to everyone in the community who's been so supportive," she said. Tiffany Nier of Green Bay, a freshman in building construction management and secretary of CMA, said it is a great field for women. "I love the curriculum, and we have great teachers. I would encourage anyone with the inclination for this type of work to follow up and look into our program. It's very rewarding because you get to see your progress as you go and the final product, usually within a relatively short period of time," she said. In addition to Mainwaring and Nier, the UWP students participating in the project were Chris Badke of Rosendale; James Snyder of Spring Green; Brian Wetzel of Mayville; Dana Vincent of Oakfield; Trenton Smith of Monroe; Jay Barrientes of Watertown; Jason Krug of Fon du Lac; Dustin Bonack of Mayville; Anthony Schroder of Germantown; Lucas Clark of Chatfield, Minn; Matt Clark of Durand, Ill.; Grant Varo of Eastman; and Kyle Olson of Lodi.

Other community partners contributing to the project were Southwestern Community Action Program, Salvation Army, Platteville Thrift Shop, ITW Shakeproof, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Human Resources Club, Westview Methodist Church, United Building Centers, Heiser Hardware, Lowe's, Kraemer Brothers and Piper Electric. Anyone who would like to offer assistance to the Emlers during their time of recovery may contact Diane at (608) 348-8466. Anyone interested in learning more about the UWP Industrial Studies program may contact Dick Klawiter at (608) 342-1246

Contact: Dick Klawiter, chair, Industrial Studies Program, (608) 342-1246,

Prepared By: Evelyn Martens, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

UWP Residence Hall Association receives state awards

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Residence Hall Association (RHA) was recently given the Residence Hall Organization (RHO) Building Block of the Year Award, as well as winning Best Banner Award, Student of the Year Award, Advisor of the Year Award, and National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) Member of the Year Award by the Wisconsin United Residence Hall Association (WURHA).

The purpose of the RHA on campus is to promote an interest and understanding among residents pertaining to their campus environment and serve as a general forum for improving residence hall life. Meeting on a weekly basis, RHA deals with a variety of inter-hall concerns and activities including: recommending housing policy revisions; appropriating funding for residence hall activities; planning and sponsoring community programs such as the Thanksgiving Charity Drive, Residence Hall Daze, Blood Drives, etc.; approving hall improvement projects; fundraising for projects through fruit baskets, Fast Aid kits and linen sales; and representing UWP at state, regional and national residence hall leadership conferences. A detailed "bid" for the RHO Building Block of the Year Award was written by UW-Platteville RHA communications coordinator Kenny Brotheridge, a sophomore political science major with a minor in business administration. The "bid" contained information on the structure of UW-Platteville's RHA, goals and objectives, various programs from the past year, state involvement and several letters of reference.

In support of the UW-Platteville RHA, Rhonda Viney, director of student housing, indicates that this year's executive board has not only been active, but they have also shown strong leadership skills building a foundation for the other members to learn about the organization and be positive contributors. "They have devoted time to ensure that processes, procedures, activities and programs are better documented and files are maintained more effectively. They have challenged each other to work together with projects and also assume more responsibility for the tasks within their individual roles." Executive board members for 2005-06 include Frank Moullet, president; Kellie Reed, vice president; Katylynn Gher, secretary; Bryce Schleicher, treasurer; and Brotheridge, national communications coordinator. RHA Hall representatives change each semester and include two students from each of the nine residence halls on campus. Student of the Year went to UWP's Marcus Anderson, a junior majoring in criminal justice and Spanish, who has attended every residence hall conference since February 2005. Anderson will be serving on the WURHA directorship for the 2006-2007 academic school year as the NRHH chair. This will mark the first time in over five years that a student from UWP will serve on a directorship in the state and region.

Making significant contributions to NRHH over the past few years, the NRHH Member of the Year award went to Kyle Brueckner, a senior majoring in industrial technology management from Sun Prairie. Brueckner is serving as the UW-Platteville NRHH president for the 2005-06 school year. Rachel Wussow, resident director in UWP's Brockert Hall, received the Advisor of the Year award at the conference. After receiving her bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and her master's from Texas Tech University, Wussow is now serving UWP in her second year as a resident director. Wussow has served UWP as the NRHH advisor and attended numerous leadership conferences over the past year. Additional awards were given to Jennifer Jacob, a senior elementary education major with an early childhood minor from Menasha, for presenting a top 10 program at WURHA; Anderson and Jacob for serving for two years on a RHO; and Anderson and Brotheridge, receiving the STAR Pin for their service, tenacity, attitude and reliability in the organization. "I am extremely proud to be a part of two organizations that have gone above and beyond in numerous ways to improve the on campus community over the past year," indicates Brotheridge. "Both NRHH and RHA have come a long way over the past year to improve residence life here at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. All of the awards that UWP received at WURHA were very deserved. This was the first time that UWP has ever won awards at WURHA." "It's been very rewarding to be recognized as one of the best Residence Hall Organizations in the entire state," says RHA president Moullett, a sophomore student at UWP. "At the beginning of the year we set really high goals for ourselves and work together as a team to reach them. We were able to do that and as a result not only did we reach our goals and receive great recognition for it, but each and every one of us grew as an individual and as a leader."

Contact: Kenny Brotheridge, Residence Hall Association, (608) 342-1844,"

Prepared by: Marsha Pauly, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,"

Monday, May 15, 2006

Freshmen engineers win GE design contest

UWP freshmen engineering students (from left to right) Eric Doro, Troy Becker, Curran Bishop-Wright, Aymie Oliver and Andrew Melby won first place in the General Electric Healthcare engineering design contest with their portable IV pump.

PLATTEVILLE - Five freshmen engineering students from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville recently traveled to General Electric (GE) Healthcare's US headquarters located in Waukesha, to compete in the final round of the GE engineering design contest. Eric Doro, Andrew Melby, Troy Becker, Aymie Oliver and Curran Bishop-Wright were the first place winners of the contest and the recipients of plaques acknowledging their accomplishments. Each team member also received a new laptop.

The contest required each team to give a 30-minute presentation on the product they developed spanning from the initial proposal and design plans to goals for product implementation in a new generation of healthcare services. A collaborative effort between UWP and GE, entries were ranked by UWP alumni and GE employees according to the degree of innovation and originality, the amount of impact the project would have on patient care, professionalism and quality of the presentation and the clarity of the plan to implement proposed designs.

The winning project, a portable IV pump, is designed to make life easier for patients in hospitals and healthcare facilities. The current method for administering an IV is through a gravity fed drip bag held on a large metal stand which is cumbersome and difficult to maneuver. The students' proposal eliminates these hassles by adding a small pump to the existing IV bag and utilizing the basic principles of fluid mechanics. The pump is able to pull the IV fluid from the bag, down the tubing and into the patient at the required rate while eliminating the need for an IV stand. "This idea is absolutely feasible and would make a great impact on the world," said Melby. The design applications are endless since portable IV bags could be placed in a purse or backpack and allow patients more mobility and comfort. Some proposed uses include military hospitals overseas, EMT and emergency situations, home hospice care and helping athletes remain hydrated while staying on the sidelines during sporting events.

In preparation for the presentation, the students completed 3-D modeling using the Inventor software program to produce sketches of their product. A prototype was built out of RC car parts, PVC pipe and lithium batteries with the help of John Abing from the UWP machine shop. The biggest challenge the group overcame was during last minute finishing touches when the product they worked so diligently to develop fell apart before their very eyes. "Yes, our product broke, but we were still able to impress the judges with the originality of our idea and the potential applications," said Becker. Added Bishop-Wright, "It was definitely stressful and required good time management skills in order to deal with the adversity of our project breaking hours before we left for GE." "It just goes to show that no matter how well you plan you must always be prepared to deal with any possible scenario," said Doro. Following their presentation, the students met with judges to discuss their project, and suggestions for possible adjustments that could be made for the future. "The major recommendation was that we focus more on mathematical engineering than creative engineering and prepare calculations of flow rate for the pump," said Melby. Commented Oliver, "It was great being able to go through the entire design and engineering process. As freshmen, we have minimal experiences with project management and design so this contest was a great learning experience in product modeling and testing." Added Melby, "It's not important exactly how the product was built because there are so many options. The more important thing is focusing on the idea and concept of what we're trying to accomplish." Overall the students are pleased to have been chosen as design contest winners but feel it was a difficult decision for the judges to make since all the projects were so different. "I'm honored to win, knowing how great some of the other projects were," said Doro. Added Oliver, "This was an exceptional moment to help create a partnership between UWP and industry and is a great way to build connections for hiring future UWP graduates at GE."

Bishop-Wright is a freshman mechanical engineering major. He is the son of Susan Bishop of Minneapolis, Minn., and Michael Wright of Edina, Minn. Melby and Oliver are freshman electrical engineering majors. Melby is the son of Paul and Patricia Melby of Phillips. Oliver is the daughter of Todd and Alyce Oliver of Hillsboro. Becker is a freshman engineering physics major and the son of Timothy and Nancy Becker of Manitowoc. Doro is a freshman environmental engineering major and the son of Robert and Karan Doro of Princeton.

Contact: Eric Doro, UWP student, (608) 342-2116,

Prepared by: Rachael Lehr, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

GE Healthcare recruiting at UWP on May 17

PLATTEVILLE - University of Wisconsin-Platteville mechanical engineering, electrical engineering or engineering physics May 2006 graduates still seeking employment after graduation are invited to meet with David Hoffman on May 17 at the Platteville East Room in the Pioneer Student Center. Hoffman will be recruiting for entry level positions at GE Healthcare between 3 and 5 p.m. that day.

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies that are shaping a new age of patient care. Expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies allows GE Healthcare to help clinicians around the world re-imagine new ways to predict, diagnose, inform and treat disease, so their patients can live their lives to the fullest. Students interested in this opportunity should bring a copy of their resume and an unofficial transcript to the meeting with Hoffman. For any additional questions, contact Diane Anderson at (608) 342-1183 or by e-mail

Contact: Diane Anderson, UW-Platteville Career Center, (608) 342-1183,

Prepared by: Marsha Pauly, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

UWP School of Agriculture banquet celebrates students and philanthropic support

PLATTEVILLE - In late April, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville School of Agriculture Banquet celebrated students, faculty, staff and friends of the school. In the past 10 years, due to the increased costs to students and families for higher education, financial support for student scholarships and other school related funds has increased substantially. The number of scholarships given out has doubled, and the dollars given out for student scholarships has more than tripled. This year, more than $60,000 in scholarships was awarded.

Mark Zidon, director of the UWP School of Agriculture, said, "The banquet is an opportunity to recognize student academic success. These are top academic students, and it's fitting to recognize that both in a public and financial way." The Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation was recognized during the banquet for being one of the major supporters for student scholarships within the School of Agriculture. At the podium, Derek Dachelet, director of major gifts for the College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture, said, "We are honored to recognize this extremely generous organization for 35 years of philanthropic support totaling over $185,000 for agricultural students at UW-Platteville. To date, this organization has provided more than 450 UWP students with scholarship assistance." Dachelet also shared the news about the UW-Platteville Cooperatives Educational Opportunities Fund, which is a newly endowed fund within the UWP Foundation that enhances the School of Agriculture's ability to educate students about the Cooperative Business Model (BCM).

Over the last year, the fund has experienced tremendous support from cooperatives throughout Wisconsin and the tri-state region. Contributors include United Cooperative, Beaver Dam; Landmark Services Cooperative, Cottage Grove; Foremost Farms, Baraboo; Co-op Country Partners, Baraboo; Badgerland Farm Credit, Baraboo; Frontier F/S Cooperative, Jefferson; Kettle Lakes Cooperative, Random Lake; Premier Cooperative, Mount Horeb; Accelerated Genetics, Baraboo; Consumer Cooperative Oil Company, Sauk City; Consumer Cooperative of Richland County, Richland Center; Federated Youth Foundation, Madison; Stephenson County F/S Cooperative, Freeport, Ill.; and the Land O' Lakes Foundation. Karl Beth, UWP alumnus and general manager of Co-op Country Partners, explained why the cooperative decided to support the fund. "We believe that cooperatives are an important part of agriculture, and we wanted to help insure that students receive a thorough understanding of why they are important and what makes them a great way to do business. UWP had a strong history of doing this, so we felt comfortable supporting this program," he said. Zidon said, "The willingness of the cooperatives to support education has met and surpassed our expectations. They were very generous in response to our call for education related to cooperatives."

To date, pledges totaling $52,000 have been collected. The main benefit of endowing this fund is that the principle will never decrease. The dividend from this fund will continue to provide cooperative-based programming support for years to come, including cooperative related university course work, UWP School of Agriculture student clubs and organizations, and cooperative-related outreach events at UWP. In fact, this year, students Katy Schultz and Janet Weichert, had the opportunity to attend the 2006 College Conference on Cooperatives. At the conference, they attended cooperative related educational seminars and learned about available scholarships, cooperative internships, career opportunities and international cooperative programs. When they returned to UWP, Schultz and Weichert gave three presentations to an additional 90 students about what they learned at the conference. Rick Bockhop, a School of Agriculture faculty member who also attended the conference, has incorporated what he learned into his course curriculum. Bockhop's goal for next year is to bring more students to the conference. During the banquet, Friends of the School of Agriculture were also recognized, including Rob Bailey, Sun Prairie; Richard Stevens, College of Natural Resources at UW-Stevens Point; Peter Drone, Bloomington; and Majestic View Dairy (Ron and Terri Abing), Lancaster.

Contact: Derek Dachelet, director of major gifts, (608) 342-1969,

Prepared by: Kate McKinney, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Jadaan impacts globe with MEMS presentation

PLATTEVILLE - Better known for castles, churches, historical references and political figures, Germany is a country that has been through death, mass destruction and still rose above it all as a confident nation taking pride in academic achievement and research development. The Fraunhofer Foundation in Germany encompasses over 50 institutions each with different academic goals. They share a common mission to complete applied research to benefit industries helping them reach advanced technological goals.

University of Wisconsin-Platteville general engineering professor, Osama Jadaan, was invited to teach at the Fraunhofer Institut Werkstoffmechanik in Halle (Saale), Germany. An acquaintance of Jörg Bagdahn, an engineering manager at the mechanics and materials facility, Jadaan went to Germany as a visiting faculty member and consultant. Jadaan and Bagdahn have known each other since Bagdahn was a post doc at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland where they published three papers together. The prospect of Jadaan visiting Bagdahn began 18 months ago when he learned he would be granted a semester long sabbatical from UWP.

While in Germany, Jadaan taught a course for institute researchers and industry engineers including Bosch, the largest Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and Microsystems company in the world. Entitled "Probabilistic Design of MEMS" Jadaan's course lasted from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for three days. He taught participants how to probabilistically design MEMS devices using the NASA CARES/Life codes he helped develop. CARES stands for Ceramic Analysis and Reliability Evaluation of Structures whereas Life refers to the ability to predict the useful life of a component. Commented Jadaan, "Fraunhofer is known for developing technology for reliability and safety of engineering products. MEMS utilizes brittle materials such as silicon. Basic MEMS design uses a deterministic approach where exact knowledge of a material's behavior is known." With the scale of technology shrinking in size, a different design approach is necessary. Probabilistic design focuses on statistical probabilities associated with a product surviving under different conditions such as tolerance and stress.

John Geykenyesi and Noel Nemeth, both of NASA, were project leaders for development of the CARES/Life codes software at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Jadaan was one of the code developers for this system and coincidentally, this software was used during research Jadaan and Bagdahn completed at Johns Hopkins and NASA. Another aspect of Jadaan's trip to Germany was to present a workshop on how to use the software properly. Near the end of his trip, Jadaan was asked to present at an invitation only conference held at Fraunhofer. The Symposium of Mechanical Reliability of Silicon MEMS gave speakers from industry and prestigious universities the opportunity to address topics such as the silicon MEMS market, strength testing and prediction, fatigue wear, accelerated testing and lifetime analysis. Representatives from Bosch; Wicht Technologies located in Munich, Germany; the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom; the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Polytec located in Waldbronn, Germany; DelfMEMS located in Villeneuve d'Asac, France; IMEC located in Leuven, Belgium; Pennsylvania State University; Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland; and Sandia National Labs located in Albuquerque; along with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville through Jadaan were present. "These are the top brains in the world in this area and it was an honor to be with them at this conference," said Jadaan. He continued, "We live in a global village where communication with other researchers can refresh our thoughts, generate new ideas and help us move forward so we can come back and do more research."

Jadaan stressed that faculty members are hired not only to teach, but to complete research as well. He added, "We continually encourage students to participate in international studies and faculty members should be role models and take the initiative to use these opportunities to their advantage too." Asked how his experience will impact his teaching style at UWP, Jadaan said he has been thinking about teaching a similar probabilistic design course at UWP for mechanical engineering students. "As technology advances, MEMS continues to lean more towards probabilistic design and there is more uncertainty in the design of these small scale systems. A course of this magnitude includes the theory behind the state of the art software and would even give students a hands on experience to develop their own probabilistic design. It fits right in with the recent addition of a MEMS/Nanotechnology class at UWP and has already been taught directly to the MEMS community. An addition of this course to the UWP curriculum would be ideal as it feeds into the future of the UWP MEMS/Nanotechnology program," commented Jadaan.

Contact: Osama, Jadaan, UWP professor, (608) 342-1728,

Prepared by: Rachael Lehr, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Symbolic groundbreaking for Ullsvik Center was held May 9

PLATTEVILLE - On May 9, more than 100 people gathered for a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony for the renovation of the Ullsvik Center. Due to rain, the ceremony was held inside. However, the rain did not damper the excitement. Guests had the chance to view displays of the architectural designs and the color and texture schemes that will be used for the interior decoration. UWP Provost Carol Sue Butts and Chancellor David Markee each welcomed the crowd and shared a bit of history of the building and what the renovations will include.

The Ullsvik Center, which it has been known as since 1997, was a student center for 43 years, until the Pioneer Student Center opened in 2002. Since then, the Ullsvik Center has been the home to UWP's Prospective Student Services, University Relations and Career Center. It has also served as an entertainment facility through the Harry and Laura Nohr Gallery, dedicated in 2000, and the Robert I. Velzy Commons (formerly known as the Beaux Arts), dedicated in 2003. Very soon, the building will go through another important transformation. The oldest portion will be razed to make way for a nearly 100,000 square foot, three-story addition and will become known as Ullsvik Hall. A significant amount of the new building will be used for classrooms, including space for criminal justice, business and accounting, as well as UWP's online master's and bachelor's degree programs. The entire Admission and Prospective Student Services Team will have a prominent location on the main floor of the renovated structure. Additionally, the University Relations Office (UWP Foundation and Alumni Services) and Career Center will retain their space in this "new front door" to UWP. Finally, the university's administrative team will be relocated to Ullsvik Hall.

The Velzy Commons will continue to serve as the university's primary banquet/ballroom space and the Nohr Gallery will be retained. Kate Sullivan, director of facilities planning, UW System, said, "The rejuvenation of a facility like this adds tremendously to the lifecycle value of the building. It demonstrates that sustainability is alive and well on the UWP campus. ... This building serves as a good liaison with the community. It is the embodiment of that precious 'town and gown' relationship between the community and university." This nearly $25 million renovation project is supported by the state of Wisconsin. The UWP Foundation has been successful in obtaining additional funding to support the creation of a museum and the relocation of the University Archives, the Wisconsin Room and Regional Research Center. These, as well as the Harry and Laura Nohr Gallery, will make up the complex within Ullsvik Hall called the Luce Center.

Charles Luce, of Bronxville, N.Y., is a 1939 UWP alumnus, who wished to help support Chancellor David Markee's vision for changes on the UWP campus. He gave a substantial gift to help this vision become a reality. Luce's son and grandson represented him at the ceremony, since he was unable to attend. Son James Luce III, of Vancouver, Wash., attended UWP in the 1960s. He explained, "Chancellor Markee had a vision of how to change the campus and to put an emphasis on culture, history and the arts. My father and family wanted to be a part of that vision." He continued, "Four generations of Luces have attended the school. First, when it was the Academy, then the Normal School, then the Wisconsin State College and finally when it was UWP." Thus, being a part of making history available to visitors is very meaningful to the Luces. Markee said, "The group who envisioned the Luce Center is very interested in the history of Southwest Wisconsin. We, as the university, can play an important role in providing youth and adults with the resources to enable them to learn more about their heritage, history and the region. After the renovation, students, faculty and the community will energize this whole end of campus." Design of the addition has been completed by Eppstein Uhen Architects in Milwaukee. Actual ground will be broken in June. Occupancy is projected for the fall semester in 2008.

Contact: Barb Daus, special assistant to the chancellor, UW-Platteville, (608) 342-1282,

Prepared by: Kate McKinney, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194, and Barb Daus, special assistant to the chancellor, UWP, (608) 342-1282,

Detloff-Friebel to give valedictorian address

PLATTEVILLE - The spring 2006 commencement ceremonies will be held Saturday, May 13 in Williams Fieldhouse on the University of Wisconsin-Platteville campus. The College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science (EMS) and College of Liberal Arts and Education (LAE) ceremony begins at 2 p.m. Dominique Detloff-Friebel, a UWP senior majoring in industrial engineering with a minor in business administration, will give the valedictorian address at this ceremony.

The Detloff family has a long history at UWP. The most recent generation of Pioneers includes her sister's Devin and Danen Detloff. Devin is a 1999 UWP graduate with a degree in communications technology and management. Danen is a current Pioneer majoring in industrial engineering with an emphasis in management and a minor in business administration. During the latter part of her sophomore year in high school, Devin encouraged Detloff-Friebel to attend the Women in Engineering Exploratory Career Camp. Following this experience, Detloff-Friebel knew she wanted to be an engineer and after attending the same camp the following summer knew UWP was where she wanted to go to school. She began her education in the University of Wisconsin-Platteville industrial engineering program in the fall of 2001.

When asked to comment about what drew her to UWP, Detloff-Friebel commented, "I feel that a strength of the university is its faculty and staff. They are here because they enjoy teaching and you can truly see the strong bond they make with the students. They sincerely care about how students do in their classes too." Described as an energetic and enthusiastic leader by her peers and professors, Detloff-Friebel was selected to serve on the UWP housing staff as a resident assistant (RA). While serving in this capacity, she also held positions such as desk director and programming director. Noted Detloff-Friebel, "Working within housing was a great experience and much more than a job. I learned how to interact with not only student but also faculty and staff and had the opportunity to meet tons of new people. I'm actually graduating with some of the first students I had on my wing the first year I was a RA."

Aside from residence hall activities, Detloff-Friebel has been an active member of numerous other campus organizations including the Institute of Industrial Engineers and the Women in Engineering Mentor Program. She currently serves as the president of Theta Tau, the UWP professional co-ed fraternity that maintains the "M." Prior to her first year of college, Detloff-Friebel worked for the United States Department of Defense and has continued working with them every year since; including an eight-month co-op experience. Following her spring 2006 graduation from UWP with a major in industrial engineering and a minor in business administration, Detloff-Friebel will be working with the Chemical Biological Product Support Integrated Directorate at the Rock Island Arsenal. Detloff-Friebel is the wife of UWP mechanical engineering alumnus, Jeff Friebel. Detloff-Friebel is the daughter of Deve and Renee Detloff of Geneseo, Ill.

Contact and prepared by: Barb Daus, special assistant to the chancellor, (608) 342-1282,

Formatted by: Rachael Lehr, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Meier to give valedictorian address

PLATTEVILLE - The spring 2006 commencement ceremonies will be held Saturday, May 13 in Williams Fieldhouse on the University of Wisconsin-Platteville campus. The School of Graduate Studies and College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture (BILSA) ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. Michelle Meier, a UWP senior majoring in agriculture education, will serve as the senior valedictorian speaker at this ceremony.

A graduate of Lodi High School, Meier came to UWP in the fall of 2002 to pursue her passions in education and agriculture. UWP professors and students describe her as a high-energy person who leads by example and is known throughout Russell Hall as the person who is always smiling. Meier has been very active on campus, participating in Collegiate FFA where she served as president, secretary and vice president. She earned an American FFA Degree in 2003 and participated as an FFA Ag-Ambassador in Louisville, K.Y., in 2002. She served for three years as a UWP Agri-Ambassador, promoting the UWP School of Agriculture and careers in agriculture. During the past year, she worked as the student coordinator for the organization, scheduling visits to schools. "I have witnessed Michelle's capacity to work with students in achieving success during student teacher visits. She does an excellent job, is very organized and has an ability to include real life experiences that allow students to grasp learning outcomes," said her academic advisor and assistant professor of agricultural education, Rick Bockhop.

Meier has also been a UW-Platteville ESTEEM peer health educator, promoting healthy lifestyles and providing education on various health issues to her fellow students. Aside from campus activities, Meier is incredibly active within the surrounding community. She is an American Red Cross blood drive volunteer, assists with the Dobson Hall Jail 'n Bail fundraiser, and has twice chaired the "Coats for Kids" drive. She has even been active with the St. Augustine Parish in Platteville as a religious education teacher for seventh and eighth graders. Commented Meier, "The opportunities that clubs and organizations give to members are priceless. My suggestion is to get involved because it will make your college experience better, help you learn more, and help you get a job when you graduate." She also noted that the small town atmosphere and personable, engaging faculty were important in her decision to become a Pioneer. "I really enjoy the small class sizes and the professors that care about your education. The UWP agriculture department's faculty and staff are always willing to help students with anything that may arise. The professors are always willing to go the extra mile to keep class interesting by having hands-on activities and real life situations to help the students learn," said Meier.

Meier's personal goal is to make a positive difference in the lives of others and she has chosen teaching as the career for achieving that goal. She is currently completing her student teaching at Sun Prairie High School and will graduate from UWP with a bachelor's degree in agricultural education. Meier is the daughter of Roman and Sandra Meier who reside on a beef and swine farm in rural Dane. She has three sisters: Rhonda, Christine and Lisa, and is actively recruiting the youngest to attend UWP.

Contact and prepared by: Barb Daus, special assistant to the chancellor, (608) 342-1282,

Formatted by: Rachael Lehr, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

UWP honors Foundation Distinguished Service award recipients

PLATTEVILLE - Established in 1986, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Foundation Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals, families, businesses and/or corporations who have significantly served UWP and its mission by enhancing the university's reputation and influence or by substantially contributing time and/or gifts for its benefit or by influencing others to develop a similar relationship with the university. During the 2 p.m., May 13 commencement ceremony held on the UWP campus, the UWP Foundation Distinguished Service Award will be presented to William Huff and the late Verna Hall Huff. This couple has been active Pioneers, proving that distance doesn't necessarily diminish one's capacity for continuing and meaningful involvement. The Huff's moved from Southwest Wisconsin to Southern California in 1959.

William was born in Bloomington and is a 1951 graduate of Lancaster High School. He spent several years in military service before matriculating at the Wisconsin Institute of Technology in 1955. He earned his degree in mining engineering in 1959 and was in the final WIT graduating class (the "mining school" merged with the "teacher's college" in 1959 to form our present university). William accepted employment with Kaiser Steel and moved his family to Upland, Calif. - then a community of 20,000 people. He left engineering in 1971 to pursue real estate investments on a full-time basis founding Huff Properties. Verna Hull was born in Minong and her family moved to Lancaster when she was 6 years old. She graduated from Lancaster High School, with honors, in 1954, the same year she married William. Together they have two sons: Bill Jr., born in Wisconsin; and Steve, born in California. Verna was primarily a stay-at-home-mom, taking an active role in youth activities. She embarked on a career in real estate in 1978, after sending her sons to college. She was co-founder, in 1980, of Huff and Muscarello Realty, which operated through 1994. After 1994, Verna was active with Huff Properties. She passed away in January of 2005, after a yearlong battle with cancer.

William and Verna have been consummate community servants involved in helping their community of Upland mature from a bedroom community of 20,000 to a vibrant city of over 70,000. They have supported numerous non-profit organizations including youth baseball, Assistance League and the Upland Foothill Kiwanis as well as the local hospital and the Upland YMCA. Throughout this time, they have also been proud supporters of UWP, organizing and promoting alumni gatherings in southern California. They often return to campus for Homecoming, reunions and special events. Since 1983, the Huff's have been assisting UWP students pursuing studies in engineering. Over the past two decades, approximately 50 students have been named Huff Scholars. UWP proudly recognizes them for their service to UWP.

Contact and prepared by: Barb Daus, special assistant to the chancellor, (608) 342-1282,

Formatted by: Rachael Lehr, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Gundlach to be recognized as UWP Distinguished Alumnus

PLATTEVILLE - During the May 13 morning commencement ceremony, at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Keith A. Gundlach will be honored with a UWP Distinguished Alumnus award. Gundlach grew up in Southwestern Wisconsin, earning his high school diploma from Highland High School. He earned his UWP bachelor's degree in agricultural education in 1977. Gundlach is a front-line educator who is helping address one of the most critical problems facing Wisconsin: the diminishing number of young people who are inspired to select careers in agriculture, an industry that generates $51.5 billion and 420,000 jobs in Wisconsin. Gundlach currently teaches vocational-agriculture at Randolph High School and has done so since 1977. In over 29 years of service, he has taught and advised more than 2,500 agriculture students.

His teaching techniques include high levels of student interaction with attention to the different learning styles of his students. He includes hands-on learning with lecture and lab exercises. Gundlach also believes in experiential learning and encourages all agricultural education students to complete supervised agriculture experiences through the School-to-Work program. He keeps the interests of students at the forefront and works hard to see that each one is ready to be a productive member of society. Gundlach is also the FFA advisor to the Randolph/Cambria-Friesland FFA, the largest chapter in Wisconsin with over 300 members. Over the last 10 years, this FFA group has produced an unprecedented 171 State FFA Degree recipients, 77 American Degree recipients, 55 state proficiency winners, four national proficiency winners and nine national agri-entrepreneur winners.

Gundlach holds Honorary State FFA and American FFA Degrees. In 2000, he was the recipient of a Kohl Teaching Fellowship and in 2001 was honored as Wisconsin's Outstanding Agriculture Teacher and as the Region III National Association of Agriculture Educators Outstanding Agriculture Teacher. He is also a 2002 recipient of the George F. Hambrecht Award, given by the Wisconsin Association for Career and Technical Education. Continuously active in his profession, Gundlach serves as president of the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators. In 2004, the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, selected him for membership on the panel for agriculture education. Gundlach currently resides in Randolph. He is an active community servant, participating in the Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club, Booster Club, Randolph Village Board and local school board. Gundlach is also an active Pioneer and has helped over 50 students from Randolph enroll at UWP by visiting the campus with them and then returning with them for registration.

Contact and prepared by: Barb Daus, special assistant to the chancellor, (608) 342-1282,

Formatted by: Rachael Lehr, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Davis to be recognized as UWP Distinguished Alumnus

PLATTEVILLE - During the May 13 afternoon commencement ceremony, at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Terrence D. Davis will be honored with a UWP Distinguished Alumnus award. Davis grew up in central Wisconsin, graduating from Wild Rose High School in 1963. He enrolled at UWP that fall and graduated in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. Considered a campus leader, Davis served as president of the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers, editor-in-chief of the Geode, vice-president of Student Senate and president of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity.

Since departing UWP in 1969, Davis has pursued a career with the natural gas industry. Initially, he served in various operating and marketing positions at Wisconsin Natural Gas/Wisconsin Electric. In 1980, he relocated to Delaware, joining Chesapeake Utilities as corporate vice-president of operations and engineering with responsibilities for operations, engineering, construction, industrial rates, supply, planning, marketing and environmental issues. Since 1991, Davis has worked in the natural gas industry in North Carolina. He currently serves as vice-president of North Carolina, East Operations with Piedmont Natural Gas Company. Piedmont is the second largest natural gas utility in the Southeast United States, serving nearly one million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Davis is responsible for all operations, customer service, regulatory and community activities in a 45-county area of North Carolina. Davis served Eastern North Carolina Natural Gas Company as president and vice chairman and also served on the company's board of directors from 1999 until this past November when the company was merged into Piedmont Natural Gas. He has been honored for his leadership during times of transition and for his service to the industry and community.

Davis also has numerous professional affiliations. He has served on the board of directors and as president of the Southeastern Gas Association and on the leadership committee of the American Gas Association. He is a member of the American Management Association, the North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry, the North Carolina Forum for Research and Economic Education, and the North Carolina Economic Development Association. Davis is also active in the community having served on the board of directors of the Salvation Army, as a director of the American Cancer Society, and as a volunteer for Junior Achievement, Special Olympics and the United Way. He resides in Cary, N.C., where he and his wife, Jean, have one daughter, Kristina. During his spare time, Davis enjoys golfing, fly-fishing and bird hunting.

Contact and prepared by: Barb Daus, special assistant to the chancellor, (608) 342-1282,

Formatted by: Rachael Lehr, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Dettwiler to be recognized as UWP Distinguished Alumna

PLATTEVILLE - During the spring 2006, 2 p.m. commencement ceremony, at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville on May 13, Dr. Peggy Ochsner Dettwiler will be honored with a UWP Distinguished Alumna award. Dettwiler grew up in Dakota, Ill., graduating from Orangeville Community High School. She was an involved student at UWP participating in Kappa Delta Pi; Kappa Alpha Sigma; MENC, the National Association for Music Education; University Singers; Madrigal Singers and Wind Ensemble. She graduated in 1970 with a degree in music education. Initially, Dettwiler was employed as the choral music teacher at Mt. Horeb High School where she nearly tripled the size of the program during her seven-year tenure. She left Mt. Horeb to pursue further education at UW-Madison where she earned a master of music in music education and a bachelor of music in vocal performance. From 1985-1988, Dettwiler served as director of choral activities at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas, where she also earned a master of music in choral conducting.

In 1988, she was awarded a full-tuition fellowship to study at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. In Rochester, she served as assistant to Donald Neuen and in 1991 completed the requirements for her doctor of musical arts in conducting. Since 1990, Dettwiler has been a faculty member at Mansfield University in Mansfield, Penn., where she is professor of music and director of choral activities. She conducts the Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, Festival Chorus and the Mansfieldians; teaches choral conducting and methods, voice class and voice lessons; and supervises student teachers. During her 16-year career at Mansfield, Dettwiler has been recognized on multiple occasions for outstanding faculty-student mentoring. Under her direction, the Mansfield University Concert Choir has been invited each of the last 13 years to perform at state, regional, national or international choral conventions. In 1996, Dettwiler's Concert Choir was among the finalists in the "Florilège Vocal de Tours" International Choral Festival in Tours, France. In 2002, the group won a gold medal and special prize for artistic interpretation at the Robert Schumann International Choir Competition in Zwickau, Germany; and in 2005, the group placed fourth among mixed choirs in the Grand Prix International Choral Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. The Mansfield University American Choral Directors Association Student Chapter, which she advises, has been recognized as the Outstanding Student Chapter in the nation in 1997 and 2001. Dettwiler has held leadership positions as a volunteer with the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Choral Directors. She is a strong advocate for mentoring student music educators, launching a mentoring program for the chapter and serving as its coordinator. She currently resides in rural Mansfield and enjoys watching wildlife in her backyard.

Contact and prepared by: Barb Daus, special assistant to the chancellor, (608) 342-1282,

Formatted by: Rachael Lehr, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Engelke to speak at UWP commencement

PLATTEVILLE - Preparations for the spring 2006 commencement ceremonies on May 13 are underway at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. During the morning ceremony beginning at 9:30 a.m. for the School of Graduate Studies and College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture (BILSA), Dr. Milton C. Engelke will serve as the principal commencement speaker. Engelke earned his undergraduate degree in technical agriculture from UWP in 1968. A Platteville native, he is one of seven children born to Ruby and Paul Engelke. Not unlike other students attending the university, he worked on campus to offset his tuition. In addition to driving the agriculture bus and working a number of other jobs, he served as laboratory assistant in agricultural sciences.

UWP agriculture professor, Roger Higgs, significantly influenced Engelke's decision to attend graduate school at UW-Madison where Engelke earned his master's degree in agronomy in 1972 and his Ph.D. in plant breeding and genetics in 1974. Shortly thereafter, Engelke left Wisconsin to do post-doctoral research at Oregon State University in Corvallis. He left higher education in 1976 for a brief four-year period during which he worked as a research geneticist with the USDA and then as a forage and turfgrass breeder for North American Plant Breeders. He joined the faculty as associate professor of turfgrass breeding at Texas A & M University in Dallas in 1980. Today Engelke holds the rank of professor at Texas A & M, is a Texas Agricultural Experiment Station Faculty Fellow and is project leader for the turfgrass breeding, genetics and management program at the TAMU Research Center. His primary research emphasis is the breeding and development of turfgrasses for the arid and semi-arid climates of Southern and Southwestern United States. Species under evaluation and development include zoysiagrass, creeping bentgrass, buffalograss, St. Augustine grass and tall fescue.

Engelke has secured major funding support for his work through the United States Golf Association and Bentgrass Research Inc. as well as from private industry. His research has resulted in the development of "new" turfgrass cultivars, for which he holds 19 patents. Engelke received the 1994 Distinguished Service Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association. He has been recognized by Texas A & M University earning a 2002 Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research and a 2003 Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Team Research. He has published 126-refereed articles, 120 technical papers, 31 reports, three book chapters and three training manuals. He has been a mentor and teacher to seven Ph.D. students and eight post-doctoral students and assistant research scientists. In addition, Engelke has directed many national and state education conferences on turfgrass management. He has worked as a consultant at golf courses stretching from coast to coast and is on a first-name basis with many of the famous golfers who play their game on the grasses that he developed. Engelke was honored as a Friend of the College of BILSA in 1990. He has provided his alma mater with educational materials and is a major donor to student activities and scholarships. He resides in Allen, Texas, with his wife, Dr. Virginia Lehman, a fellow accomplished plant breeder, and their daughter.

Contact and prepared by: Barb Daus, special assistant to the chancellor, (608) 342-1282,

Formatted by: Rachael Lehr, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Wienkes to speak at UWP commencement

PLATTEVILLE - Preparations for the spring 2006 commencement ceremonies on May 13 are underway at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. During the afternoon ceremony beginning at 2 p.m. for the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science (EMS) and College of Liberal Arts and Education (LAE), James W. Wienkes will serve as the principal commencement speaker. Wienkes is currently the worldwide John Deere Manager of high horsepower tractor engineering, product planning, tractor standards activity and hydraulic engineering at John Deere Waterloo Works. John Deere is the premier producer of agricultural tractors in the 100 horsepower and higher range. John Deere Tractors represents a significant portion of the John Deere Agricultural Equipment Division, which accounts for over $10 billion in sales out of $20 billion total sales for Deere and Company. John Deere Tractors are considered the "financial flagship" of the company.

Wienkes grew up on a farm in Highland. He is one of seven children born to Wilbert and Mildred Wienkes and developed his strong work ethic by emulating his parents. In 1979, he earned bachelor degrees in mechanical and agricultural engineering. Like so many other UWP students, he sought relevant work experience to augment his academic preparation. He worked as a student at John Deere and accepted full-time, career employment with them. Wienkes has spent his entire career with Deere and Company. He has served in many areas in product engineering and manufacturing including working on assignments relating to reliability engineering, drive-train engineering, new tractor program manager, worldwide tractor product planning, John Deere Waterloo Works operations master plan, 8000 series tractor business unit manager and cotton products business unit manager.

Earlier this year, Wienkes was promoted to his current position where his responsibilities include worldwide responsibility for high horsepower tractors (100 Hp and up), tractor product planning (five-year tractor plans), tractor standards and tractor hydraulic engineering. He is married to Tawana Starnes, also from Highland. Together they have three daughters: Ashlee, an electrical engineer in tractor product engineering at Deere and Company; Lindsey, a recent graduate of the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) with degrees in economics and finance; and Courtney, a student at UNI majoring in speech pathology. They live in Dike, Iowa, where they are active with the Cedar Valley Hospice Organization, the Cedar Valley United Way and their local catholic church.

Contact and prepared by: Barb Daus, special assistant to the chancellor, (608) 342-1282,

Formatted by: Rachael Lehr, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

UWP alumni receive Wisconsin Jaycees Outstanding Young Farmers Award

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Department of Animal Science in the School of Agriculture is pleased to announce that alumni, Angela and Jamie Larse, were recently awarded the Wisconsin Jaycees Outstanding Young Farmer (OYF) award. The award is based on 50 percent progress in an agricultural career, 25 percent soil and water conservation and 25 percent contributions to the community, state or nation. Nominations were sought last summer and fall from agri-business professionals, UW Extension staff, OYF sponsors and Jaycee chapters. The goal of the OYF is to foster better urban-rural relations through the understanding of farmers' challenges, as well as the appreciation of their contributions and achievements; to bring about a greater interest in farmers and ranchers; and to help build an urban awareness of the farmers' importance and impact on America's economy.

Held in collaboration with AgriView, Wisconsin Association of County Agricultural Agents and Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin, nominees of the OYP were to derive two-thirds or more of their income from farming and be 37 years old or younger. Owning and operating a 420-cow dairy farm in Richland Center, the Larses farm 1,500 acres of alfalfa and corn in order to feed their herd. Not only did they build the house they live in, but they also, along with other family members, do 100 percent of the labor only being assisted by a few part-time high school students. "As many of our alumni do," says Sue Price of the School of Agriculture, "the Larses have contributed back to UWP and the School of Ag since graduating by the giving of their time and professional connections in the ag industry. The School of Ag is proud of their accomplishments and they deserve this honor."

The young couple was nominated for the award by UW Extension agent Steve Kohlstadt and their local Jaycees Club. They were surprised to win the award because the competition was not only great, but other applicants also seemed more involved with a variety of activities. "We thought that because we are on the farm so much working, that others would be more involved than Jamie and me," indicates Angela. The Larses believed that their application might have been more prominent due to the fact that they have been able to prosper despite having to intelligently manage debt and all the challenges that farming presents.

Being active in not only their community but with important aspects of protecting the environment, the Larses distinguish themselves from others. Their farm is strong on soil conservation and they utilize their conservation plan that includes taking soil samples every three years and regular crop rotations. Additionally, they work with the local FFA chapter by having them to their farm for events and to help them raise fair animals, as well as host a group of agribusiness class students for a work program study. While they are members of the Jaycees Club, they are also active in the local snowmobile club, Knights of Columbus, and Foremost Cooperative. "UWP helped us develop communication skills, become more well-rounded, and gave us options to use our college degrees in a variety of ways," says Jamie and Angela. "We felt like we were part of a very special group in the School of Agriculture and enjoyed having professors that really cared for us." Angela earned her animal science Bachelor of Science degree from UWP in 1995 and Jamie graduated in 1996 with his Bachelor of Science in animal science.

Contact: Sue Price, School of Agriculture, (608) 342-1613,

Prepared by: Marsha Pauly, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Four generations attend UWP and go on to teach

PLATTEVILLE - When studying history, one realizes that common themes often repeat throughout time. That's not only what Jacob Crase, University of Wisconsin-Platteville student, loves about studying history but also what has happened in his family. Jacob will be the fourth generation in the Crase family to graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a degree in education. He will graduate in May with a bachelor's degree in middle-secondary education in social studies and history. Members of the Crase family have attended UWP through its progression from the first Normal School in the state to being part of the University of Wisconsin System.

Jacob's great-grandmother, Mildred Reddy Crase, graduated from the Normal School in 1921 and went on to teach grammar school in Elroy and Alton, Ill. When she got married, she moved to a farm in rural Belmont. In 1957, Jacob's grandfather, Paul Crase, graduated from the Wisconsin State Teacher's College and taught agriculture at a high school in Wauzeka. He later returned to the farm in Belmont, where Jacob's father, Jeff, grew up. Jeff attended UWP from 1978 to 1982. Jeff taught in Apple River, Ill., for two years but found his way back home to Belmont when a position opened in the Belmont School District. He has taught there for the past 22 years. He teaches seventh to ninth grade math and science and drivers education. But this family tradition of attending UWP and teaching does not stop with these four individuals. Jacob's mother, Dani Eastlick Crase, is also a UWP graduate. Although Dani was born in Platteville, she grew up in Stockton, Ill. She always knew she wanted to be a teacher. Dani remembered, "The librarian at my high school told me that UW-Platteville was one of the top in the nation for education and the best in the tri-state area - within Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. ... Also, UWP ranked the highest as far as placement of their education graduates."

Thus Dani came to UWP to study education where she met Jeff. Dani now teaches seventh and eighth grade reading at the Platteville Middle School. Other members of Jacob's extended family, including an uncle, an aunt and a great-uncle, also received degrees in education from UWP, and Jacob's fiancé, McKenzie Austin, is currently studying elementary education at UWP with an expected graduation date of May 2007. Because of his family, Jacob has always been involved in education. He also tutored in high school, helped with homework club and coached. His love of history, which was sparked on many summer vacations to destinations like national parks, museums, and Gettysburg, gave him the direction to teach history.

Jacob student taught at Iowa Grant Elementary (sixth grade) and Platteville High School. He emphasized that being in the schools is really important in learning to become a teacher. He said, "I'm really thankful for the relationship between UW-Platteville and the area schools. Teachers are actually excited to receive Platteville student teachers. It really benefits the students when they go out to student teach because the teachers are open to sharing their materials and resources. The local school districts have raised their expectations, too, because of the strong program here." From the teacher perspective, Jeff said, "Dani and I have both had pre-student and student teachers from Platteville in our classrooms and they always seem very prepared to start teaching." As to why Jacob chose to come to UWP, he said, "Being close to home was very important. It was very economical. I was also given scholarships each semester here." Jeff and Dani agreed that UWP was a good school for Jacob. "I think it was a great place for Jacob to go to. The scholarships have been top notch. It's a very small and friendly campus," said Jeff. Jacob added, "I like the smaller class sizes at UWP. You can interact with the professors and have a personal relationship with them."

In his local community, Jacob was a volunteer coach for the track and field team in 2003 and the assistant coach for wrestling in 2005 for the Belmont-Platteville team. He is also currently the Youth Group leader for the Community Evangelical Free Church (CEFC) with which he is planning a mission trip to New Orleans involving high school students from Platteville, Belmont and Potosi. These experiences have added to his education. "I think it's definitely important to be involved in the community where you teach, and I think there's a lot of opportunities to be involved with kids in Platteville," said Jacob. In the summer of 2004, Jacob had the chance to travel to Bangladesh with six other UWP students from UW-Platteville's Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. He taught third grade English and tutored college-aged students in English for five weeks. He also helped with flood relief. Jacob hopes to find a teaching position in the area. As to why he wants to stay local, he said, "It's home." He also mentioned UWP. "There are some unique opportunities that come with it - speakers and programs. It's unusual for a town of 10,000 people to have that kind of culture. That's really unique and beneficial to the people who grow up here."

Contact: Dani Crase,

Prepared by: Kate McKinney, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Friday, May 05, 2006

UWP recognizes global partnership

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville is honored to have the presence of president and party secretary, Li Buhai, of Wuhan, China, present during the May 13 morning commencement ceremony. There will be a special presentation during this time highlighting the UWP partnership with South Central University for Nationalities (SCUN) in Wuhan.

SCUN was founded in 1951 and is one of nearly 60 colleges and universities in Wuhan, China. The university is comprised of the colleges of Liberal Arts, Ethnology and Sociology, Economics, Management, Computer Science, Electronic Information Engineering, Chemistry and Materials Science, Life Science, Law, Foreign Languages, Adult Education (Career Program) and International Business. Fifty-two degree programs are offered at the undergraduate level, along with 26 master's degree programs and 10 three-year career programs at the graduate level. With a staff of some 1,400 employees, more than 800 teachers, half of who are ranked faculty, serve SCUN.

SCUN is one of a handful of universities in China with the special mission of providing higher educational opportunities for China's more than 55 ethnic and tribal minorities. The university has a population of 17,000 students, and 44 of China's "nationalities" from 31 provinces or regions are represented in the student body. Some 40,000 students have graduated from SCUN and gone to work in ethnic areas throughout the country; some are leaders in local governments.

The UWP relationship with SCUN dates to 2000 when the universities signed a partnership agreement that has resulted in UWP offering a Master of Education in English education at the SCUN campus in Wuhan. UWP English and education faculty travel to China on a regular basis to deliver the coursework. The Chinese students are given the opportunity to complete their final semester of coursework on the UWP campus. To date, over 100 Chinese students have enrolled in the program and 42 have studied on this campus.

UWP expanded its relationship with SCUN in 2005, developing a semester-long study abroad program in ethnic minority cultures. The program, which introduces students to China's language, art, music, history, economics and politics and emphasizes its 55 ethnic minorities, is taught by SCUN faculty and is open to students from any university throughout the United States. "Be a naturally easy-going person with serious belief and knowledge" is the motto for the university, which encourages students to fulfill their overall development. UWP is particularly pleased to welcome a faculty delegation from SCUN to UWP to participate in the spring commencement ceremony.

Contact and prepared by: Barb Daus, special assistant to the chancellor, (608) 342-1282,

Formatted by: Rachael Lehr, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Ground is broken for new UWP Dairy Center

PLATTEVILLE - On April 20, more than 100 people gathered to watch and celebrate as the ground was broken for the new Dairy Center at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneer Farm. Representatives from local, state and federal governments were there, along with area citizens, UWP students, and UWP faculty, staff and administration. The dean of the College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture, Duane Ford, opened the ceremony. He said, "At UW-Platteville, we serve students and the public. Our faculty and staff do a wonderful job of this and the new Dairy Center will help them do better." Special thanks were given to the numerous parties who have helped get this project underway. Bou-Matic, of Madison, will be installing the milking equipment, including two robotic milkers and a standard double-five herring bone parlor. Jack Hippen, vice president of Bou-Matic, said, "It will provide the students with the utmost modern technology in the dairy industry to get hands-on experiences ... UWP is the first university in the nation to have robotic equipment."

As to why Bou-Matic chose to work with UWP, Hippen said, "The interest that UWP has shown and the work that it has put into improving Pioneer Farm and agriculture education made it an easy decision. They've shown great leadership." Phil Wyse, the director of Pioneer Farm, said, "The Dairy Center gives us the opportunity to be on the cutting edge in the field of agriculture and fulfill the missions of the university, the School of Agriculture and the university farm. It's wonderful to be able to offer students and citizens of the state the chance to see first hand both the robotic milkers and traditional operations. The Dairy Center will help with outreach and research as well."

Because the Dairy Center will include both robotic and standard milking systems, the herd will be split. About one-third of the cows will be milked conventionally with two-thirds being milked by the robots. With this setup, education activities and research may be conducted with either or both milking systems. Cory Weigel, dairy manager at Pioneer Farm, said, "It will impact students to see two different systems, to see how robotic milkers work and, down the road, whether or not they want to use them on their own operations." The farm currently has about 115 cows, but with the center, the herd will be able to grow to about 200 cows. Chancellor David Markee said, "Soon, students will not only have the opportunity to learn, research and work in our state-of-the-art Swine Center and in our other farm projects and facilities, but they will also have this wonderful new dairy facility. It's important for agriculture and non-agriculture students to understand the challenges inherent in farming and the technologies and methods available to address those challenges." Kevin Reilly, president of the University of Wisconsin System said, "Agriculture has always been and will continue to be a staple in Wisconsin. We need to, on the university side, move into the 21st century with techniques and technologies, and add value to agriculture. ... UWP is responding to growing needs. It is seen as a leader in this area." Mayville Construction Co., of Mayville, is the general contractor for this building project, the same company that built the Swine Center.

Contact: Duane Ford, dean, College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture, (608) 342-1547,

Prepared by: Kate McKinney, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Durrant Women in Engineering Banquet celebrates UWP women

PLATTEVILLE - The first Durrant Women in Engineering Banquet was recently held at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, celebrating women who are in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The Durrant Group, with headquarters in Dubuque, Iowa, partnered with UWP to fund this banquet. The evening was a time for networking and enjoyment.

Durrant has over 300 employees in 12 office locations across the country. A leader in the architecture and engineering industry for almost 75 years, they continue to build on the initial vision for growth, service and success. Kevin Eipperle, managing principal for the Dubuque office, has said that one of Durrant's goals is to help diversify the workforce. The company donated approximately $2,000 to fund the banquet. "We feel it is an important event and feel honored to sponsor this opportunity," said Eipperle during his address to the crowd. He later added, "This was a great event. I think it accomplished a lot. I am pleasantly surprised at the turnout; it shows me how strong the program is." He also noted that many of the staff at Durrant are UWP alumni. Kimberly Marinelli was the night's keynote speaker. A graduate of UWP, Marinelli earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering with a structural emphasis. She currently works with TCI Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Inc., as a structural designer for midsized commercial projects. Prior to employment with TCI, Marinelli worked for Durrant in Dubuque, Iowa, as a structural designer.

In her speech, Marinelli addressed the female students who will soon be entering male-dominated fields. She encouraged them to be confident, express themselves and find a supportive network in the workplace. Marinelli said afterward, "Tonight was wonderful. It is so encouraging to see the women attending this. Our support network here at UWP is phenomenal. I kind of fell into the Mentor Program and Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and it was a great opportunity. I hope the advice that I shared will help them when they enter the workforce."

As part of the program, a panel of five graduating female students, including Deborah Cottrill, Rachael Lehr, Adelene Dunleavy, Mali Butteris and Dominique Detloff Friebel, shared their experiences as women in STEM majors at UWP. Friebel said she originally learned about engineering at the Women in Engineering Summer Camp she attended as a junior in high school. She said, "After the first time, I knew I wanted to be an engineer. I returned the next year; once wasn't enough. That's where I decided Platteville was the college for me." She also highlighted the mentor program, saying that it gave her the confidence to succeed, and added, "The Women in Engineering Program encourages women to pursue anything they can possibly think of."

Eipperle then presented each of the 17 graduates with a professional portfolio on behalf of Durrant. May graduates will include Elizabeth Bortz of Portage; Kay Burchell of Onalaska; Nicole Busse of Waseca, Minn.; Butteris of Westby; Dunleavy of Cambridge, Minn.; Tara Fahey of Cottage Grove, Minn.; Friebel of Geneseo, Ill.; Jamie Rott of Spring Green; Emily Schiefelbein of Osseo; and Candace Thelen of La Farge. December graduates will include Anne M. Broessel of Glen Haven; Cottrill of Milwaukee; Petrina Eger of Woodbury, Minn.; Nicole Hansen of Green Bay; Jackie Kohn of Platteville; Lehr of Appleton; and Laura Nowicki of Oshkosh. During her address earlier in the program, Carol Sue Butts, the UWP provost and vice chancellor, said, "Right now, I see our future leaders in engineering. These students have not only survived but also thrived. They can make a tremendous impact on the future." Regarding Tammy Salmon-Stephens, the director of Women in Engineering Program, Butts said, "Tammy works tirelessly to encourage girls and women to dare to dream to make a greater impact in their lives and society by going into STEM fields."

Salmon-Stephens reflected later, "I think the Durrant banquet met several needs. It reiterated how important the Women in Engineering Program is to our students. The speakers provided inspiration and hope, recognizing that everyone has struggled, and encouraged students to hang in there. Since the banquet, students have come up to me and said how important it was to them. It may also have motivated some UWP alumni to get involved or continue to be involved with UWP and help girls realize that careers in the STEM fields are really doable." For more information about the Women in Engineering Program, contact Salmon-Stephens at (608) 342-1563 or For more information about Durrant, contact Eipperle at (563) 583-9131

Contact: Tammy Salmon-Stephens, director, Women in Engineering Program, (608) 342-1563, Prepared by: Kate McKinney, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

As nanotechnology lecture series wraps up, UWP looks to future lectures

PLATTEVILLE - Throughout the spring 2006 semester, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville offered a lecture series on nanotechnology and Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS). This series was sponsored by the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science (EMS) and coincided with the new interdisciplinary course on MEMS and nanotechnology that UWP offered for the first time.

On March 2, Christopher Wilson opened the series as the first speaker. A fall 2003 graduate of UWP, Wilson is now a system testing and manufacturing engineer at Hysitron, Inc., the world leader in nanomechanical test instruments in Minneapolis, Minn. Wilson's presentation, "Nanomechanical Testing: A Practical Approach," addressed how advancements in materials science has pushed structures and related properties into a nanoscale range out of reach for traditional mechanical testing measures. The discussion related to Hysitron's quantifiable nanoscale testing line of instruments and the company's approach to nanomechanical testing as an extension to traditional testing methods. Wilson said later, "I am impressed with UWP and its professors for their ambitions in starting a nanotechnology program. It would be easy to continue teaching the same old science, but UW-Platteville is committed to keeping up with the leading edge of technology."

He continued, "I believe that UWP gave me a good solid engineering background that I could apply to my current work. I had to learn a lot about nanotechnology on the job, but so do most of our new employees. After looking at the syllabus for UWP's nanotechnology course, I can see that it would have been very useful to me before I started at Hysitron." On April 20, the lecture series continued with two world-class speakers, John Patten, from Western Michigan University, and Chang Liu, from the University of Illinois. Professor Patten presented, "Comparison of Numerical and Experimental Results during Scratching of Silicon and Silicon Carbide." His research is directed toward reducing forces during manufacturing processes and reducing tool wear. Patten said, "The lecture series is a great opportunity to come to UWP; I love your campus. You should be very proud." He later emphasized that the faculty at UWP is an important resource for students. Advising students, he said, "You have great faculty - some with international reputations - take full advantage of them and their contacts. Pursue those opportunities."

Professor Liu presented "Biologically Inspired Artificial Haircell Sensors: Designs, Materials and Applications." He pointed out that creatures, such as fish, have sensors that are highly intelligent. By imitating biological intelligence, technology at the MEMS scale could be used in applications, such as micro sensors, bioMEMS devices for medical applications and power MEMS for power generation. Liu later advised undergraduate students to "learn about the world that is changing rapidly and how MEMS and nanotechnology will define the future landscape of society and industry. If students are interested in MEMS technology, they should consider going to graduate school." Presenting on April 27, the fourth and final speaker in the lecture series was Doug Hansmann, from Platypus Technologies in Madison. Platypus Technologies builds upon the abilities of liquid crystals to detect the binding of biomolecules at interfaces, to amplify the resultant change in optical transmission and to transduce the optical signal for reporting clinical results. Hansmann's presentation was called "Liquid Crystal Based Tests for the Detection of Antibodies and Toxic Vapors." He explained some of the company's research and about the medical detection devices they are designing based on that research. In addition, he stressed to students the importance of interdisciplinary training, suggesting they double major or double minor. He noted that Platypus is made up of a team with a variety of skill sets, with backgrounds in chemistry, biology and engineering. He said, "Having a foot in two worlds is useful in understanding some of the issues that you face in the field of nanotechnology."

UWP Professor Hisham Abdel-Aal, the coordinator of this lecture series, said, "This year was a pilot. Given that, it went really very well. The goal was to raise awareness about nanotechnology on the UW-Platteville campus. This year's series will act as feed to grow an even bigger series in the future. Our goal is to provide education about nanotechnology to three groups: our students, who will be a link between the old and future ideas; area K-12 students, who are the next generation; and teachers, who have a direct impact on the career paths students choose." An Opportunity Grant Fund from the chancellor's office funded this year's pilot series. Abdel-Aal said with gratitude, "For any endeavor to materialize, it needs the cooperation of everybody on campus, and this year we had a spirit of cooperation. We hope to continue this teamwork." For more information, contact Abdel-Aal, UWP assistant professor of general engineering, at (608) 342-1515 or via e-mail

Contact: Hisham A. Abdel-Aal, assistant professor, Department of General Engineering, (608) 342-1515,

Prepared by: Kate McKinney, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

UWP students team up with Barnstead International

UWP mechanical engineering students (from left to right) Donald Eichman, Daniel Kroeger, Dace Saule-Pfaff and Kory Weiss, are completing their senior design project with Barnstead International located in Dubuque, Iowa.

PLATTEVILLE - Originally founded in 1878 in Boston, Mass., Barnstead International merged with a company called Thermolyne, located in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1987. Since then, Barnstead International has continued its expansion and development of innovative ideas. Helping them continue with this tradition are University of Wisconsin-Platteville senior mechanical engineering majors Donald Eichman, Daniel Kroeger, Dace Saule-Pfaff and Kory Weiss.

The UWP students are collaborating with Barnstead to develop an improved steam sterilization chamber, used primarily for medical and dental instruments, as part of their senior design project. According to Weiss, the current 10-inch diameter chamber design takes 45 minutes to complete a sterilization cycle. "Barnstead is having a team consider different latching mechanisms that may be easier to operate or more cost efficient to produce," he said. "The main problem developing this product is the ability to hold the door closed so it doesn't open during operation or warp permanently. We're dealing with European Medical Guidelines which require a 300 percent safety factor, so the product must be stronger and more durable than is actually needed," said Eichman.

The students initially developed a few designs, but came up with three ideas they presented to the company. The three main proposals are termed the slider groove, single wedge and window latch models respectively. Each model is similar and involves a different type of locking mechanism to secure the door for the sterilization chamber. "We need to ensure nothing leaks as the sterilization process cycles from positive to negative pressures," said Kroeger. The students must also address tolerance buildup, or the uneven lining up of an o-ring seal every time the door is shut. Added Weiss, "To minimize the leak potential, our designs are simple with few moving parts. This will hopefully minimize the amount of slop, or improper sealing of the door as it moves." "It must be very precise," said Saule-Pfaff. "We want this product to be safe so there are no leaks, potential explosions, bending parts, etc. At the same time we want it to be as cheap as possible for the company to manufacture," she continued. Added Eichman, "We learn something new every day about how cost analysis differs between companies. We have been taught to do the math and calculations, but learning the applications is important too."

Eventually the students will rely on AutoDesk, Inventor, MATLAB and Algor, various computer modeling and computational programs, to assess and evaluate their designs for dimensions and stress analysis. They will also gain assistance from UWP professors Osama Jadaan, John Mirth, Michael Momot and David Kunz. These faculty members specialize in everything from finite elemental analysis and computer-aided design to mechanisms of machines. "As students, we tend to get too detailed and worry about the little things. The other professors, and Kunz especially, push us to develop a simple solution and stress that we need to 'be real' with our designs. If we get off track, they steer us in the right direction," said Eichman. According to Kroeger, the team of students will also receive a "hands-on opportunity to build a working prototype" of their project. "We will learn fabrication techniques and work with John Abing in the shop at UWP. This is really our first chance with fabrication because there are no required fabrication courses in the mechanical engineering major," he said. Helping them throughout the project are Barnstead International employees Ken Hermsen, an electrical engineer and team leader of sterilization products, and James Edwards, chief mechanical engineer. "It has been a pleasure working with the company, especially since they are so helpful and willing to work with us. They gave us a lot of freedom to design and are excited about the project and the prospect of our ideas working," said Saule-Pfaff. Added Eichman, "It was exciting to find such a great company in Dubuque. They are very diverse and have so many different avenues, it would be a great place to work."

All the students are mechanical engineering majors and anticipate graduating in May 2006. Eichman is the son of Gerald and Patricia Eichman of Washburn. Kroeger is the son of Jerry and Sue Kroeger of Grafton. Weiss is the son of Kelly and Theresa Weiss of Mikana. A graduate of Valdemarpils High School, and native of Lubezere, Latvia, Saule-Pfaff is the daughter of Mara and Gunars Saule. She currently resides in Benton with her husband, Ryan Pfaff.

Contact: David Kunz, mechanical engineer, (608) 342-1431,

Prepared by: Rachael Lehr, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

UW-Platteville's Nzegwu leads business delegation to North Africa

PLATTEVILLE - Louis Nzegwu, director of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville International Business Resource Center (IBRC), is leading a delegation of businesses to the Maghreb Region in North Africa, from April 26 to May 7. Along with Terry Smith of Dairy Strategies, LLC, Nzegwu and representatives from local industry will attend the Maghreb Dairy Sector Strategic Planning Summit, "Positioning the Dairy Industry for a Sustainable Future."

In addition to the summit, Nzegwu has arranged for the industry representatives to meet with business and government leaders in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco (the Maghreb Region) to help Wisconsin companies and Maghreb regional-based companies develop contacts, understand the countries' respective markets, and create opportunities for U.S., and especially Wisconsin, products, genetics, technology, and educational and support services. The three companies representing Wisconsin are Bou-Matic, LLC; Continental Plastics; and World Wide Sires, LTD. The continuing trade interest between the Maghreb region and Wisconsin has grown out of a major U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS) grant funded last year. The Wisconsin Department of Commerce and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (WDATCP) are also partners with UWP and Dairy Strategies in this emerging markets initiative.

Following a visit last November by several representatives of the North African region to Southwest Wisconsin, hosted by UW-Platteville, the representatives from the Maghreb and the U.S. partners continued to develop a series of strategic initiatives meant to strengthen trade between the partners and prepare for this next visit. "By developing these relationships now, we are positioning Wisconsin products to be among the first in this emerging market. This is what we call a 'first mover advantage'," explained Nzegwu.

Contact: Louis Nzegwu, director, International Business Resource Center, (068) 342-1597, Prepared By: Evelyn Martens, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

UWP alumni bike cross-country for children's cancer research

PLATTEVILLE - Two recent University of Wisconsin-Platteville graduates will take to the road this summer to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer research. Leaving from San Francisco, Calif., on June 16, Becky Fedak and Chris Olson, both 2004 UWP environmental engineering graduates, will join 15 other cyclists to ride across the United States. They will complete their trip when they roll into Norfolk, Va., on June 25. "Ride to Reach the Day" is the cornerstone event for Team Will, a group of cyclists based in Sacramento, Calif., that is riding in memory of young William Kiefer, who, at only 17 months of age, lost his battle with a rare form of cancer on Aug. 1, 2004.

During the 10-day, relay-style ride, each team member will bike up to 100 miles each day, stopping at children's hospitals along the route to visit with patients and share their hope to find a cure. The ride will take them through cities, such as Salt Lake City, Utah; Grand Junction, Colo.; Kansas City, Mo.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Raleigh, N.C. A detailed list of cities, the specific rout and schedule are available online at the Team Will website. In addition to participating in the ride, each Team Will cyclist has committed to raise at least $2,250, which will be donated to CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation (CureSearch). It is Team Will's goal to give upwards of $100,000 to CureSearch for cancer research by the end of 2006. Fedak and Olson were inspired to join this effort when they heard their co-worker, Ken Kiefer, tell his story about his son, William, and what he planned to do in his memory. Fedak said, "I was touched by his story and what he was planning to do; I couldn't help being involved in this great cause." Since hearing the plan last summer, they not only decided to join the ride but also have helped in organizing this event. Olson said that the small size of the group sets them apart from some of the larger organizations that put on similar events across the country. Including the cyclists and additional behind-the-scenes organizers, there are less than 50 people working together to make this happen. "It's really a grassroots effort; most of the riders have an active role in organizing. ... Everyone is planning a part of it. ... It's pretty ambitious," said Olson.

Fedak and Olson also expressed that this ride allows them to set personal goals and get involved with the community outside of their normal workday. Olson said that his years at UW-Platteville prepared him for a busy lifestyle and taught him that it's important to have outside interests. Olson related, "I learned how to be busy at school. You need to have those extracurricular activities - something besides just work - something that gets your mind on to something else. ... I saw this cause as a great way to get involved and work towards a goal." Fedak and Olson both majored in environmental engineering at UW-Platteville. In addition to schoolwork, Fedak participated in track and field, and Olson played on the baseball team. Both now work as water resource engineers for MWH in Sacramento, Calif. They are currently training for the ride. Team Will welcomes support and participation from citizens across the United States for this event. Cyclists that live along the route may ride with Team Will for a few hours (or a day), provided they can meet the required minimum pace of 15 miles per hour. Olson said, "We would really enjoy meeting some UWP alumni along the way, whether it is for a few hour ride-a-long, or just a greeting as we pass through town!" Persons interested in finding out more about this cause, the route schedule and how to make a donation, may visit the Team Will website at By clicking the "Donate" button, or going straight to the webpage at", donors can help Fedak and Olson meet their pledge goal by entering either of their names in the "Payment For" box on the "Check Out" page. Donations will be given to Team Will and CureSearch. Questions or comments may be forwarded to Fedak at and/or Olson at

Contact: Chris Olson, associate engineer, MWH, (916) 418-8253,

Prepared by: Kate McKinney, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

UW-Platteville recognizes Outstanding Student Employees

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville honored seven students chosen as Outstanding Student Employees for spring 2006 at a luncheon on April 18. Provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, Carol Sue Butts, and Michael Viney, assistant chancellor for Student Affairs, welcomed the students and thanked them for the contribution they make to the operation of the UWP campus.

The students selected for recognition were nominated by their supervisors and selected by a committee represented by many campus departments. This semester's recipients were Stacy Jenelle Bakkum, a senior student manager in catering; Jamie Dunbar, an office assistant at the Platteville Chamber of Commerce; Jolene Gibbs, a building manager for the Pioneer Student Center; August Hammer, an academic tutor at Student Support Services; Holly Kaiser, a student manager for the Dining Services administration; Michelle Meier, an assistant student coordinator at Agricultural Student Services; and Sebastian Sholl, the lead web developer with Information Technology.

According to the selection criteria, the students were chosen for their efforts to improve the lives of others both on and off campus. The students received a certificate and a check for $100, which was provided by the UWP Foundation. Angela Teasdale-Davis, student employment coordinator, reflects about the student employment awards by saying, "This award is a wonderful opportunity made possible by the Foundation Office. We have a volunteer selection committee, representative of the campus, that works hard to honor the students who have shown exceptional contributions in the workplace as well as the community." Teasdale-Davis continues in stating that, "The selection process can be quite difficult. Our student workers are a very valuable asset to our campus and the surrounding communities. This award allows the employer a chance to recognize the student's dedication and hard work."

Viney, whose division organizes the event every fall and spring semester, noted that student employment serves two very important purposes on campus. "First, it provides financial aid to those students who need assistance funding their education," explains Viney. "Second, it provides students an opportunity to gain valuable experience in many different leadership roles. Whether it is serving as a student building manager, catering service manager, office assistant or webpage developer, these students contribute to the success of UWP." Bakkum is a senior majoring in biology with an emphasis in zoology and minors in biotechnology and Spanish. She is the daughter of Orlan and Denise Bakkum, of Westby, and a 2001 graduate of Westby Area High School. Meier, the daughter of Roman and Sandra Meier, is a senior agricultural education major. She graduated from Lodi High School in 2002 and is from Dane. A senior biology and pre-physical therapy major, Kaiser, is the daughter of Kathy Kaiser and Steve Kaiser of Hazel Green. She graduated from Southwestern High School in 2002. Graduating from Benton High School in 1995, Hammer is a senior electrical engineering student from Cuba City. He is the son of Kay and David Hammer. Gibbs is a senior agricultural education major with a minor in agricultural business. She graduated from Maquoketa Valley High School in Delhi, Iowa, in 2002 and is the daughter of Calvin and Donna Gibbs of Hopkinton, Iowa. Sholl is a 2000 graduate from Verona Area High School and the son of Sally and Gary Sholl. He is a senior electrical engineering major at UWP. A senior communication technologies major with emphasis on public relations, Dunbar is the daughter of Dawn and Randy Dunbar of Platteville. She graduated from Platteville High School in 2001.

Contact: Angela Teasdale-Davis, student employment coordinator/financial aid counselor, (608) 342-1836,

Prepared by: Marsha Pauly, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Staab is first to receive a national Tau Beta Pi scholarship at UWP

PLATTEVILLE - Ryan Staab, of Marshfield, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, was recently awarded a national Tau Beta Pi (TBP) scholarship for 2006-2007. The TBP scholarship program was started in 1995 with only five scholarships awarded. Although the program is growing, as of last year, only 70 were awarded nationwide. More than 600 applicants applied for the scholarships, and Staab was the first student from UW-Platteville to receive this honor.

To qualify for a scholarship, a student must show outstanding scholarship and exemplary character. Joanne Wilson, advisor of the UW-Platteville chapter of TBP, wrote in her recommendation letter, "Words or phrases which describe Ryan include ethical, personable, committed to engineering, a terrific ambassador for UW-Platteville, considerate, excellent time manager, very self-motivated, involved in student organizations (particularly Tau Beta Pi), cycling enthusiast, and just an all-around terrific person. I honestly don't know that I have met a more committed and involved individual than Ryan. He is truly deserving of the honor of Tau Beta Pi Scholarship Recipient."

The nation's second oldest honor society, Tau Beta Pi is the only engineering honor society representing the entire engineering profession. Staab is currently the vice president of the UW-Platteville chapter of TBP. The purpose of the society is to recognize outstanding students in engineering as well as provide a liberal culture in studies outside of engineering, to create a well-balanced engineer. In addition to being involved with Tau Beta Pi, Staab keeps a balance to his life by participating in other clubs on campus. He is the president of Engineering Without Borders, which is a group currently being established on campus. What attracted Staab to Engineering Without Borders was more than just international travel; it was being able to do "more of the humanitarian side of engineering." He said, "It really lets you use your engineering skills to do some good throughout the world."

One thing he appreciates about being involved with TBP and Engineering Without Borders is the diverse group of students he meets. Staab said, "Both organizations allow me to work with students from all disciplines in engineering. Most of the time you only interact with your own major; this allows you to talk with others who have different ideas." He is also part of the cycling club and has participated in road races on weekends for recreation. He also enjoys his hobby of taking photos at his job in the Office of Public Relations as a photographer. "It gives me a chance to get away from the engineering side of things and allows me to use more creativity," Staab said. His cousin, who was a senior at UWP when Staab was a senior in high school, first introduced Staab to the university. Attending some classes with his cousin and seeing what UWP had to offer made a strong impression on Staab. The past four years have built on that first impression. He said, "I like the small class sizes and the hands-on experiences you get in engineering at UWP. I like how well you can know your professors and actually build meaningful relationships with them. They know your name and they're easy to talk to." Every week Staab shares his experiences with prospective students, as a tour guide with the General Engineering Department. He also volunteers during Pioneer Previews as a tour guide for prospective engineering students. An important step in Staab's education, like it is for many engineering students at UWP, was his engineering co-op. From January to August 2005, Staab worked at 3M in Prairie du Chien as a manufacturing engineer. He helped design components for manufacturing processes of abrasives. "It was nice to see where the concepts and theories that we used in the classroom are used in the real world," he said. Now, anticipating graduation in Spring 2007, Staab is preparing for graduate school. He plans to seek a master's degree in mechanical engineering, studying computational fluid dynamics (CFD), which uses computers to simulate flow patterns. In preparation, Staab looks forward to an advanced fluids class he will be taking next year. It will be an independent study with Professor John Iselin, in the mechanical and industrial engineering department, and will be similar to what he would study in graduate school. Staab said, "I feel I've received solid preparation for what I want to do - either working in the industry or performing research. Platteville is one of a kind."

On being chosen as a recipient of the national Tau Beta Pi scholarship, Staab commented, "I was honored to be selected. I know the quality of students involved with Tau Beta Pi - both in our chapter and nationally. I also hope this allows other students from UWP to have a better chance for the scholarship." Staab, the son of Aaron and Donna Staab of Marshfield, is a 2002 graduate of Marshfield Senior High.

Contact: Joanne Wilson, advisor, Tau Beta Pi, (608) 342-1081,

Prepared by: Kate McKinney, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

UWP plans for new engineering building

PLATTEVILLE - Driving past the University of Wisconsin-Platteville campus, visitors may notice a looming structure at the corner of Southwest Road and Longhorn Drive. The new residence hall, currently under construction at this location, is not the only new facility in the works for UWP. Working hand in hand with River Architects, Inc. and their joint venture partner, HDR Architect, Inc., UWP is preparing to expand campus with a new engineering building.

A committee comprised of representatives from each department in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science (EMS) at UWP has been working with the architect firms for over two years to design and develop building plans. With growth from the Tri-State Initiative (TSI) and overflow in current facilities located within Ottensman Hall, a new building is required. According to Doug Stephens, UWP campus planner, Ottensman Hall was initially built for 600 students but is now serving as an academic capacity for approximately 1,600 students. "The increase in students on campus is due to TSI and general growth in the College of EMS since Ottensman Hall occupancy began in 1966," commented Lisa Riedle, assistant dean for the College of EMS.

Added Carol Sue Butts, UWP provost and vice chancellor, "As the university continues to grow by an additional 2,000 students, we anticipate offering new engineering programs such as Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and nanotechnology and will expand existing programs with new labs and classroom space. UWP is known for its excellence in engineering which is one of our hallmark programs. It's obvious the current programs have outgrown Ottensman Hall and a second building is needed to accommodate the current students as well as an influx of TSI students." The architecture itself reflects major goals formulated by planning committee members to relate the philosophy and teaching style of UWP faculty. These objectives include flexible and adaptable spaces, promoting student sharing of ideas, integration of hands-on learning techniques, accessible learning labs and enhanced collaborations between faculty and students. The new building will also provide safe laboratory environments and state of the art high tech teaching facilities. The three to four story building will be comprised of an estimated 14 percent office or program support space, 31 percent classrooms, 53 percent laboratories and two percent building support including restrooms and the furnace room. "The classrooms will hold between 35-45 students in order to keep the class sizes small, which is what UWP faculty members prefer," said Riedle. Sets of stairs and an elevator system will serve as transportation to each floor.

A building of this magnitude is projected to cost approximately $27.5 million. The College of EMS dean's office is prepared to reach its goal of fundraising approximately $7.5 million through private supporters and donations before the project may proceed. Other contributors to this building project include the UWP Foundation Office, the state of Wisconsin and a plethora of alumni. Commented Dennis Cooley, director of the UWP Foundation, "We began our fundraising efforts about eight months ago and have a commitment of around $4.8 million, which shows how much our alumni and friends believe in this project. If we are to grow our campus to 8,000 students, this building is essential to the success of the Tri-State Initiative. We feel confident, if we continue our momentum and continue to grow our support base, that we'll be able to announce adequate funding for the project by this fall." To make a contribution to the new engineering building, contact the UWP Foundation Office at (608) 342-1186.

Within Ottensman Hall, the mechanical, industrial, civil, environmental, electrical and general engineering programs; engineering physics; chemistry and the Women in Engineering Program as well as the College of EMS dean's offices reside. Electrical engineering and engineering physics will move to the new building where there will be specific labs for these academic disciplines, including an electrical engineering renewable energy lab, power and energy lab, and engineering physics labs specifically focusing on optics and lasers. The proposed floor plans also include at least three computer classrooms of varying sizes, a machine shop, a materials lab, testing and computer graphics labs, as well as designated space for the developing MEMS and nanotechnology program. In addition, there will be specific space for senior design project labs, individualized student organization workspace for teams like first robotics and the concrete canoe, student project labs and abundant student study spaces on each floor. Architecture plans for the new engineering building are expected to be completed in February 2007 when the bidding process will begin. The actual groundbreaking is potentially scheduled for May 2007 with anticipated occupancy beginning in the spring 2009 semester after approximately 18 months of construction.

Contact: Lisa Riedle, assistant dean, College of EMS, (608) 342-1686,

Prepared by: Rachael Lehr, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

UWP student research to be showcased at UW symposium

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville will be represented by seven students at the seventh annual UW System Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity on Friday, May 5 in the Memorial Student Center at the University of Wisconsin-Stout from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is open to the public and free of charge. UWP students involved in the symposium this year include Angela Cartwright of Platteville; Ysai Reyes of Appleton; Paula A. Hachtel of Hartland; Kyle Gibson of Reeseville; Matthew S. Giffin of Appleton; Mayia Corcoran of Boscobel; and Eric Leonard Olson of Spring Green. "This is an event for students to network with peers, see gallery exhibits, hear oral presentations, view poster displays and see artistic performances of students from throughout the UW System," indicated Kathy Lomax, Director of Sponsored Programs at UWP. "The research, exhibits, presentations displays and performances cover a wide variety of topics and are quite diverse."

Cartwright, Hachtel, Gibson and Giffin will be presenting their February experience of traveling Roatan, Honduras, to hold forensic investigation training for local and national police officers. The UWP students set up mock crime scenes for the Honduran students to test what they learned in the classroom from UWP students. UWP students trained Honduran law enforcement personnel in securing crime scenes; locating, preserving, collecting and packaging evidence; death investigation; and basic fingerprinting techniques. In addition to giving UWP students a rare opportunity to view how the Honduran government works, the group also donated over $700 worth of crime scene equipment to the Honduran police force to use in their future crime scene investigation efforts.

Reyes will be presenting his research on triboemission, which is the emission of electrons, ions, neutral particles, photons, radiation and acoustic emission under conditions of sliding damage. His research will explain the basis of documented pressure induced semi-conductors to metallic phase transformation that takes place in Si and Ge during the sliding. Olson will be presenting research that he has been conducting with UWP professor Beth Frieders on moss parasite Eocronartium musicola in order to determine how many genetically and morphologically distinct species exist within the current species classification. As a psychology major, Corcoran will be presenting results from a recent study conducted on college students concerning procrastination and anxiety, as well as fear of negative evaluation and failure. She will display information on non-procrastinators versus procrastinators in regards to certain levels of anxiety, academic achievement and overall performance. Cartwright is a criminal justice alumna of UWP having graduated in fall 2005 and is the daughter of Gary and Linda Cartwright of Platteville. Gibson is a senior criminal justice major and the son of Donald and Bonnie Gibson of Reeseville. Giffin is a senior criminal justice major and the son of Michael and Vonnie Giffin of Appleton. Hachtel is a senior criminal justice major and the daughter of Duane and Linda Hachtel of Hartland. Reyes is a senior industrial engineering major and the son of Inginid Reyes and Maria Estela Quitekiu of Appleton. Olson is a senior biology major and the son of Leonard and Catherine Olson of Spring Green. A senior psychology major, Corcoran is the daughter of Heather Schneider of Boscobel. For more information about the UW Symposium, call the UWP Office of Sponsored Programs at (608) 342-1456 or visit

Contact: Beth Vaassen, Sponsored Programs, (608) 342-1456,

Prepared by: Marsha Pauly, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Monday, May 01, 2006

UWP spring commencement nears

PLATTEVILLE - Seniors at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville know the end of the semester is near as they prepare for the spring 2006 commencement ceremonies. After countless hours of hard work, dedication and commitment to academic excellence, they are prepared to enter the world outside of academia. The spring 2006 commencement ceremonies will be held Saturday, May 13 in Williams Fieldhouse on the UWP campus.

The School of Graduate Studies and College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture (BILSA) ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. Dr. Milton C. Engelke, a professor at the Texas A & M Experiment Station and 1968 UWP graduate in agriculture, will serve as the principal commencement speaker. Michelle Meier, a UWP senior majoring in agriculture education, will serve as the senior valedictorian speaker. Banner carriers for this ceremony are Shara O. Bacher, H. Clay Dean, Audrey F. Lange and Andrew D. Strommen. Commencement marshal for the morning ceremony is Dennis Palmer, current UWP director of auxiliary services facilities operations and a UWP graduate in 1971 and 1973. Engelke and Keith A. Gundlach will be honored as Distinguished Alumni during the morning ceremony. Gundlach is a 1977 agriculture education graduate and has been a high school teacher for over 29 years at Randolph High School. The Distinguished Service award will be presented to Louis Brunckhorst and the late Jeannette Dull Brunckhorst.

UWP is honored to have the presence of president and party secretary, Li Buhai, of Wuhan, China, during the morning ceremony. There will be a special presentation during this time highlighting the UWP partnership with South Central University for Nationalities in Wuhan. The College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science (EMS) and College of Liberal Arts and Education (LAE) ceremony begins at 2 p.m. James W. Wienkes, manager of tractor engineering with John Deere Waterloo Works in Waterloo, Iowa, and a 1979 UWP graduate in mechanical and agricultural engineering, will serve as the principal commencement speaker. Dominique Detloff-Friebel, a UWP senior majoring in industrial engineering with a minor in business administration, will give the valedictorian address. Carrying the banners for the College of EMS and LAE are Keegan I. Iverson and Ashley A. Buss respectively.

Commencement marshal for the afternoon ceremony is Dr. Charles Sundin, a UWP chemistry department faculty member since 1967. Terrence D. Davis, a 1969 civil engineering graduate and Dr. Peggy Ochsner Dettwiler, a 1970 music education graduate will be honored as UWP Distinguished Alumni during the afternoon ceremony. The Distinguished Service award will be presented to William Huff and the late Verna Hall Huff. Song leader for both ceremonies will be Brittny A. Kempfer, a senior music major.

Contact: Swaminat Balachandran, Commencement Committee, (608) 342-1718, Barb Daus, special assistant to the chancellor, (608) 342-1282,

Prepared by: Rachael Lehr, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Gallagher, Rischar named to Higher Learning Commission Reaccreditation Committee

PLATTEVILLE - Two students have been selected to join the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Higher Learning Commission Reaccreditation Steering Committee and will assist the committee in soliciting feedback about the current draft of the university's self-study report. Greg Gallagher, a senior majoring in industrial technology, and Christi Rischar, a sophomore majoring in elementary education, were selected from current members of the UWP Student Senate. They are both active in UWP activities and will be returning in the fall and will be available to see the process through to December when the reaccreditation review will occur.

UW-Platteville continues to prepare for the reaccreditation review by engaging in a self-study of its operations throughout the institution. UWP is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Reaccreditation assures that the university remains a nationally recognized provider of high-quality education and services to its constituencies. It also assures that faculty and students of the university are eligible for federal loans, grants and other funds. UWP's last accreditation review was in 1996. "It's so important for students to be a part of this process. It assures that we will still be able to get loans and grants from the federal government for the costs of attending school, and most students here rely on financial aid to some degree. It also assures that a degree from UWP will continue to be held in high regard by employers and other universities," said Rischar.

The Steering Committee is actively seeking feedback from students, staff, faculty and the public. The current self-study report can be viewed online at the UWP Higher Learning Commission Accreditation webpage,, and readers are encouraged to submit feedback to committee members. Members' names and contact information are included at the same web address.

Contact: Machelle Schroeder, associate professor of business and accounting and co-chair of the Reaccreditation Steering Committee, (608) 342-1459,

Prepared By: Evelyn Martens, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

UWP...What College Should Be