Alumni and Hall of Fame Awardees

At Homecoming, we honor alumni and friends of the college who have distinguished themselves in education, artistic endeavors, and/or their chosen profession. The successes of these individuals, and their support of our programs, significantly contribute to the vitality of the college. Please take a moment to meet this year's awardees and consider nominating someone for one or more of the awards below.


Objectives and Purposes

  • Identify, research, elect, promote and honor faculty, staff, retirees, alumni, and friends as inductees into the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Arts and Letters Hall of Fame.
  • Advance the interests and standards of the arts and letters at UW-Platteville.
  • Promote a mutually beneficial relationship between UW-Platteville and the greater community.

2020 Alumni and Hall of Fame Awardees

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Distinguished Educator

Erin Edgington is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at UW-Platteville. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Middle Level Education from Illinois State University and her Master of Science in Education from UW-Platteville. She is a current Ph.D. candidate in the Urban Education program, with an emphasis in Mathematics Education, at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Edgington worked for the Dodgeville School District in elementary, middle, and high school for 17 years prior to joining the UW-Platteville School of Education in 2014. Since then, she has been involved in a number of initiatives that advance the School of Education and enhance the student experience. She was instrumental in working collaboratively across campus to develop and gain approval for the middle childhood through early adolescence teaching major in STEM. Edgington has also contributed to projects that build relationships in the Platteville community and beyond. She has organized Family Math Nights in Dodgeville and Mineral Point, as well as leading a collaboration between the School of Education, Animal Share students, faculty from the biology department and Family Connections of Southwest Wisconsin, bringing School of Education students and local families together.

Platteville Chorale

Friend of the College

The Platteville Chorale is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1975 by emeritus music faculty member Dr. Gerald Darrow and Allen Schaver, a Platteville community member. It is currently directed by Gregory Dennis, an emeritus instructor of music, and accompanied by Rob Shepherd.  The ensemble includes members from the Platteville community, as well as many surrounding communities, and is open to UW-Platteville students.

The Platteville Chorale administratively supports three children’s choirs, which have provided internship experiences for dozens of UW-Platteville music education students over the years. Through these internships, students have had the opportunity to assist with rehearsals, performances, and area tours, working side by side with the choir directors. These experiences provide UW-Platteville students with important skills they will need as elementary and secondary music educators.

Members of the Platteville Chorale have been enthusiastic supporters of UW-Platteville’s Department of Performing and Visual Arts for many years, taking part in productions, such as the annual Holiday Gala, and supporting the department with financial donations.

Jack Melvin III

Professional Achievement

Jack Melvin III is a 1997 graduate of UW-Platteville, having earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and History. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from Marquette University School of Law in 1999.

Melvin is currently a Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge. Prior to this, he served as staff attorney at the Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission and as the division administrator for the Division of Gaming.

Melvin has been a member of the Wisconsin National Guard since 2004, and is currently a Major, serving in the Judge Advocate’s General Corps. He has been deployed in missions overseas to Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq. Melvin has earned a number of awards, including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (two awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal.

Mittie Nimocks Den Herder

Hall of Fame

Born and raised in Mississippi, Mittie Nimocks Den Herder received her Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication from the University of Southern Mississippi, A.M. from the University of Illinois, and Ph.D. from the University of Florida. She served on the UW-Platteville faculty from 1986–2017. Her research included studies in family communication, health communication, and communication and aging. She was appointed assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Education in 1999, dean of the college in 2002, and university provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs in 2010. Under her leadership, the college instituted the Faculty Forum series and inaugurated college awards including those for service, research, and outstanding performance by academic and classified staff. A proponent of rigorous public education with liberal arts and sciences at its core, Den Herder served in numerous faculty governance positions, performed in university theatre productions, participated in Geography Western Field Trips, and enjoyed feeding campus birds and squirrels outside her office.

Selection Procedures

  • Distinguished Educator Award:  Nominee must be an alumnus who is a classroom teacher, university/college professor, education administrator, or education specialist.
  • Arts and Letters Award:  Nominee must be an alumnus who is an accomplished artist, author, or poet in the fields of fine arts or humanities.
  • Professional Achievement Award:  Nominee must be an alumnus who is a “non-education” professional with noteworthy career success, outstanding scholarship, and/or demonstrated humanitarian commitment.
  • Friend of the College Award:  Nominee must be a person who or an organization that promotes the college, provides opportunities for the students, assists the faculty, or aids in the implementation of technology.  Nominee does not need to be an alumnus.

Nominate an alum

Candidates for induction into the UW-Platteville Arts and Letters Hall of Fame must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  1. Documented outstanding performance in arts and letters activities while a student at UW-Platteville with a graduation date five or more years previous to the current year; or
  2. Documented outstanding past or current teaching/facilitating learning/coaching in the area of arts and/or letters of 15 or more years; or
  3. Documented outstanding past or current contributions to the UW-Platteville arts and letters programs.

Nominations for the Arts and Letters Hall of Fame may be made by any Selection Committee member, any alumnus of UW-Platteville or any past or current faculty/staff member at UW-Platteville. Any nomination must include written documentation on the candidate outlining his/her qualifications and must be submitted to the College of Liberal Arts and Education Dean's Office by April 15. Copies of the nominations are then forwarded to all members of the Selection Committee at least one week before the annual meeting. Any candidate who is not elected in the current year are automatically reconsidered for the next two consecutive years.

Inductees into the Arts and Letters Hall of Fame are elected at the annual meeting of the Selection Committee.

Upon receipt of all nominations at the annual meeting, each Selection Committee member may then cast their vote for as many as four candidates. Voting is by written ballot and each candidate receiving at least 75% of the votes cast is elected to the Arts and Letters Hall of Fame. If fewer than four candidates are elected on majority vote, the Selection Committee may agree to elect fewer than four candidates. However, no more than four candidates may be elected in any one year.

The Selection Committee is comprised of eight members.

  • Six UW-Platteville staff members who serve by virtue of position
  • UW-Platteville Dean of Liberal Arts and Education
  • UW-Platteville Assistant Dean of Liberal of Fine Arts
  • UW-Platteville Department Chair of Fine Arts
  • UW-Platteville Department Chair of Humanities
  • UW-Platteville Alumni Director
  • UW-Platteville Education and Liberal Studies Alumni Chapter president
  • One appointed Platteville/southwest Wisconsin area citizen member
  • One appointed UW-Platteville retired faculty/staff member

Terms are six years for appointed members and begin Sept. 1. The two appointed members serve rotating terms with one member appointed every third year. The appointment of Selection Committee members takes place at the annual meeting.

The Selection Committee elects its own officers at its annual meeting in even-numbered years by a majority vote. Any officer member may succeed himself/herself. Officers include a chairperson, vice-chairperson, and secretary.

The function and duties of the officers are implied by their respective titles.

  1. The Chairperson presides at all meetings of the Selection Committee and implements policies and programs adopted by the Selection Committee. He/she is authorized to appoint sub-committees and chairpersons, and to take other actions as necessary for administration of adopted policies and programs, and other affairs of the Selection Committee.
  2.  The vice-chairperson helps the chairperson by completing work assigned to them by the chairperson or the Selection Committee. The vice-chairperson will succeed to chairperson when there is vacancy in that office and preside at all meetings of the Selection Committee in the chairperson’s absence.
  3. The secretary will keep record of the proceedings of the Selection Committee and perform other duties specified by the chairperson or the Selection Committee. Any vacancy on the Selection Committee will be filled by appointment by the chairperson, subject to the approval of the Selection Committee, and will be for the unexpired term of such office.

An annual meeting of the Selection Committee is held February at a time and place to be fixed by the chairperson. Notice will be mailed to all members no less than 10 days prior.

Special meetings of the Selection Committee are called by the chairperson or on petition in writing and signed by four or more members. Notice of such meetings, stating the time, place and nature of business to be conducted is mailed to all members at least 10 days prior to the date of the special meeting.

A quorum for any meeting of the Selection Committee must be 51% of the current membership.

All meetings of the Selection Committee are conducted according to Roberts Rules of Order to the extent that such conduct is not otherwise governed by these operating procedures.

Funds in support of the UW-Platteville Arts and Letters Hall of Fame and its activities come from the operational budget of the Liberal Arts and Education Alumni Chapter, the Dean of Liberal Arts UW-Platteville Foundation Development Fund, and/or donations from interested members, alumni or friends.