Friday Features - May 1, 2015

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Friday Features
May 1, 2015

Graduate students and Fulbright Scholars offer insight about home countries
Three University of Wisconsin-Platteville School of Education graduate students from Saudi Arabia and a Fulbright Visiting Scholar from Ukraine recently gave presentations about their home countries’ customs, religions and education.

Ashraf and Eshraq Alshehri, brother and sister, and Salha Alharthi, from Saudi Arabia, conducted the presentation as part of their coursework for Transitions for Children with Disabilities. In addition to the presentation, they prepared a traditional Saudi Arabian meal for the class. Thabet Almazyad, a graduate assistant in the School of Education, also from Saudi Arabia, contributed to the discussion.

The following week, Inna Stepaniuk, Fulbright Visiting Scholar from Ukraine, conducted a presentation about her home country in the Transitions for Children with Disabilities class. In addition to the presentation, she prepared a traditional Ukrainian meal for the students.

“Both presentations and the discussions that followed were fascinating,” said Dr. Rea Kirk, professor in the School of Education at UW-Platteville. “All of us learned so much from them.”

Pictured from left to right are Salha Alharthi, Eshraq Alshehri and Ashraf Alshehri.

Agribusiness Club competes at national event
Six members of the Agribusiness Club at UW-Platteville attended the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Judging Conference in Moline, Ill. Blackhawk College hosted this national conference, which included 12 contests, local tours and a networking fair. The agribusiness members who participated included Megan Carey, Alex Beaver, Michael Ihland, Jacob Petrie, Jacob Perino and Austin Underdahl. Dr. Charles Steiner, director of Pioneer Farm and associate professor in the School of Agriculture, served as their coach. 

These students competed in Agriculture Knowledge, Agribusiness Management and Agricultural Communications contests. In the Agriculture Knowledge contest four students competed against other teams to answer toss-up and bonus questions from a variety of agricultural areas including agri-business/farm management, agricultural mechanics, animal sciences, crops/soils, current agricultural events, and horticulture. 

The Agribusiness Management contest included four students completing a written and problem solving exam that focused on key areas of agribusiness including: micro and macro economics, agricultural finance, entrepreneurship, agribusiness management, sales, agricultural marketing and ag business law.  

The Agricultural Communications contest included four students developing a media plan centered on the following topic: How can young farmers and ranchers work to encourage membership growth and member engagement for the county, state and national farm bureau organizations? The students prepared a media plan that addressed the objectives, target audience, strategic plan, timeline, evaluation and budget. They also presented their media plan in order to persuasively convince the judges that their plan is the best.

The students were competing against other four-year agricultural programs from across the country. Carey placed fifth overall as an individual in the Written Exam portion of the Agribusiness Management contest. The Agribusiness Management team consisting of Carey, Underdahl, Petrie and Perino placed third overall. The Agricultural Communications team consisting of Carey, Underdahl, Beaver and Ihland also placed third overall. The Agricultural Knowledge team placed fifth overall. 

Students also had the opportunity to tour the John Deere Harvester Works Plant, Pavilion and World Headquarters.

The club would like to acknowledge the Glenn Webb Education Fund/The GROWMARK Foundation for its financial support.

Students to attend regional chemistry conference
The biennial Great Lakes central/regional chemistry meeting will be held May 27-29 in Grand Rapids, Mich. Three students from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville will be attending the conference, including Jessica Bruggen, a chemistry major from Lake Villa, Ill.; Keyton Feller, a chemistry major from Preston, Iowa; and Sara Rubeck, a chemistry major from Rockford, Ill. The students are attending in order to see posters and watch presentations that will help them gain insight for research ideas. The conference will also help them pave a path after graduation by showing them the opportunities that are present in graduate school. The Alchemist Club paid for the registration and the chemistry department will pay lodging and travel expenses. As a group they are going to pick their favorite things or experiences from the trip and come back to present it to the Alchemist Club.

Dr. Raja Annamalai is an assistant professor in the department of chemistry and engineering physics and is working with the students. “One of the things that is important for us to do as educators is to give our students opportunities to see what life after a degree will be like,” said Annamalai. “The students can go to graduate school and get either their master’s or a Ph.D. in chemistry. Going to a conference like this allows students to see the significant difference in what you can get done in an undergraduate institution versus what can happen at an institution with students who are striving for their master’s or Ph.Ds.”

Pioneer Investment Club reaches new landmark
The Pioneer Investment Club at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville has reached a new landmark with the investment the UW-Platteville Foundation gave it in 2001.

The PIC began its investment in 2001 with $150,000. In October 2014, the club tripled this amount to approximately $450,000. On April 23, the club celebrated reaching a portfolio total of $500,000.

Students earn engineering scholarships
Five University of Wisconsin-Platteville students were awarded the 2015 Wisconsin Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers Scholarship. In all, only nine scholarships were awarded across the state. 

The UW-Platteville recipients are Alex Arndorfer, Jacob Semann, Nicholas Martin, Ryan Hettinger and Tyler Potter.

 According to the WAEE website, the organization has over 250 members representing more than 195 Wisconsin businesses, manufacturers, schools and government agencies. Selection criteria for the scholarship included interest in energy careers, academic performance, service organization involvement and leadership, among others.

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