Berger triumphs over more than academic obstacles, named UWP super senior
PLATTEVILLE-When University of Wisconsin-Platteville student Keith Berger of Luxemberg took a semester off in spring 1999, it wasn't to backpack across Europe, although during the semester off the industrial engineering student did "find himself." In fall 1998, Berger successfully overcame a brain tumor and corrective surgery.
"Keith dropped out of college for the spring 1999 semester due to brain surgery," said Jaime Hernandez, assistant professor and industrial engineering coordinator. "When he came back to school, Keith said he felt like a whole new person and was motivated to reach his educational goal - to become an industrial engineer."
Hernandez was so impressed with Berger's newfound educational commitment and ability to overcome adversity that he nominated him for the UW-Platteville Alumni Association Super Senior/Honorary Life Membership Award. Berger, along with three other UWP seniors, recently received the award.
In addition to Berger's personal and academic success, he has a wide range of interests varying from rock climbing and camping to mountain biking and taking care of exotic animals.
"I volunteer at a local exotic animal farm as a trainer, helping to take care and train a Siberian tiger, an African lion, several wolves and some exotic birds," Berger said. "I also started building mountain bike and hiking trails in the woods behind campus in fall 1999, which I have maintained and expanded ever since."
In addition to his volunteer work and personal interests, Berger is also actively involved in a number of campus organizations.
"I'm a member of the social fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon, of which I was the secretary, house manager and house improvement chair," Berger said. "In fall 2000, I joined the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and served as treasurer and president. I'm also a member of the Institute of Industrial Engineering, Alpha Pi Mu, a national industrial engineering honor society, and Tau Beta Pi, a national engineering honor society."
Berger anticipates graduating this December with a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering. Following graduation, he plans to remain in Platteville and work full-time for John Deere in Dubuque, Iowa. Berger has worked on various engineering projects for John Deere as a co-op student in 2000 and as an intern student in the 2001 and 2002 summers.
Berger is a 1997 graduate of Luxemberg-Casco High School and the son of Mike and Doris Berger of Luxemberg. Berger's brother, Lee, is also attending UWP, studying electrical engineering.