192nd commencement set for May 10

April 30, 2014
UW-Platteville Commencement

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville will host its 192nd commencement on Saturday, May 10. The day will begin with the commencement ceremony for the College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture at 9 a.m. The commencement ceremony for the College of Liberal Arts and Education will take place at 12:30 p.m., followed by the ceremony for the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science at 4 p.m. Candidates from the School of Graduate Studies participate in the college ceremony representing their degree program.

This May, 901 candidates will walk across the stage during the spring 2014 commencement to receive their diplomas. There will be 415 candidates for commencement in the College of BILSA, 236 candidates in the College of LAE, 258 candidates in the College of EMS and 74 graduate studies candidates.

The ceremonies will be streamed live online through the UW-Platteville Media Technology Services website.

"While every day is a great day to be a Pioneer, commencement is a day that stands out a little more than the rest," said Chancellor Dennis J. Shields. "I am privileged to be part of UW-Platteville's 192nd commencement exercises, as it marks the close of one chapter and the beginning of another for our graduates. Through their studies here, these students have controlled their own destiny by developing their own unique set of skills and understanding of what it means to innovate, empower and cultivate their talents. I look forward to shaking their hands and congratulating them on their jobs well done."

The principal speaker for the BILSA ceremony will be Christine (Durski) Rehfeldt, while DuWayne Stuelke will serve as commencement marshal. Patrick Gellings has been selected as the senior speaker for the BILSA ceremony.

Charles Brokopp, Douglas Buhler and Francis Friar have been selected for the Distinguished Alumni Award in the College of BILSA, along with Philip Anderson in the College of LAE.

Philip Anderson has been selected as the principal speaker for the College of LAE, while Dr. Paula Nelson will serve as the commencement marshal. Kyle Harding will be the senior speaker for the College of LAE ceremony.

The College of EMS will feature Rayelle Miller as the principal speaker and Clyde Holverson serving as commencement marshal. Emily Hierlmeier will serve as the senior speaker for the College of EMS ceremony. 

Christine (Durski) Rehfeldt earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in finance at UW-Platteville in 1982.

She has moved on to work as the director of information technology for IMS Health in Milwaukee, Wis. Rehfeldt has held a number of positions at various companies including AQS, based in Hartland, Wis., and Manpower International and SPR, both based in Milwaukee. She began her professional career with AT&T/Ameritech in 1971.

Rehfeldt had a short story entitled “A Life of One’s Own” published in the anthology “A Cup of Comfort for Single Mothers” in 2008. In 2011, she was one of the presenters at the UW-Platteville Project Management Conference where her topic was Leadership – The Key to Successful Projects.

In her address to graduates, her focus will be on directing them to use their gift of education for the betterment of themselves, their family, their community, their nation and the world. She will also encourage graduates to stay connected with UW-Platteville and will talk about her experience in distance learning that occurred prior to the Internet.

Stuelke graduated from UW-Platteville in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science in industrial education. He had taught continuously at UW-Platteville since 1965 until his retirement in 2000.

Stuelke began his career with UW-Platteville as an instructor of industrial arts education. He became a full professor in 1993. He started his teaching by instructing in the areas of drafting and design, and he also taught courses in metals. Beginning in 1970, he participated in the development of the light building construction major, which included the development of several new courses. The light building construction major has evolved into what is known today as the industrial technology management and building construction management major.

He is a life member of both the American Council on Technology Teacher Education and the UW-Platteville Alumni Association. He has served on the University Campus Planning Committee, Academic Standards and Admission Committee and Institutional Research Committee.

Gellings is a biology and pre-chiropractic major from Monroe, Wis. He has worked as a resident assistant for UW-Platteville in Morrow Hall since 2011 and is now the senior assistant. He has also worked as a tour guide on campus for three years and a Career Center office assistant during the summer of 2013.

He is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Academic Honors Fraternity and Phi Eta Sigma Academic Honors Fraternity. In 2013, he was a Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society member as well as serving on the Dean-Student Advisory Committee for the College of BILSA. He has also been a two-time recipient of the Elizabeth A. Duewer Scholarship.

Gellings plans to pursue graduate studies upon graduation.  

Anderson earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education with an emphasis in English in 1972.

Anderson is a professor in the department of secondary education at Queens College in New York City, N.Y. He has held professor positions in the Ph.D. program in the Urban Education and Graduate Center at City University in New York. Anderson has also published numerous books, textbooks and journal articles.

He is an invited member of the National Conference of Research on Language and Literacy. He has been the associate editor of the Reading and Writing Quarterly, volunteered for the Overcoming Learning Difficulties from 1990–97, was a member of the executive board for the New York State English Council from 1992–94, an executive board member for the New England Association of Teachers of English from 1981–87 and an executive board member of the Rhode Island Council of Teacher’s of English from 1980–84.

At UW-Platteville, Anderson has set up the Valerie (Beighley) Anderson Scholarship and the Philip and Valerie (Beighley) Anderson Scholarship. He is a long-time donor to the UW-Platteville Foundation, and he supports his scholarships with the Education Development Fund and the LAE Development Fund. Anderson will also be the commencement speaker for the College of LAE.

Nelson began her career at UW-Platteville in 1988 as an assistant professor and has spent the past 26 years educating Pioneers in the field of history. She has a Bachelor of Arts in history from Southwest State University in Marshal, Minn.; a Master of Arts in history from the University of South Dakota; and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Iowa.

She was the recipient of the College of LAE Teaching Excellence Award in 2007, Abughalous Award for Excellence in Scholarly Research in 2006, UW-Platteville Scholarly Activity Improvement Fund in 2002–03, and Phi Kappa Phi Teaching Excellence Award in 2001, among many others.

Nelson has an extensive background in academic research and publication, including three books, five essays, four articles and one book introduction. She has also given numerous lectures at colleges and universities around the Midwest, the most recent of which was entitled “Illness and Mortality and the Rise of Public Health” in Sleepy Eye, Minn., in 2008.

Harding is a history major with an interest in French and Russian history and gay and lesbian studies from Geneseo, Ill.

Harding has served his academic departments by acting as a search committee member for women’s and gender studies as well as for a Russian and Central Asian history specialist. He has also worked for University Peer Assisted Learning for World Civilization II. In 2011 and 2013, he worked as a general staff member of the WSUP radio station and was the music director of the station in 2012.

Harding has plans to pursue graduate studies in history upon graduation.  

Miller is a 2003 alumna with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering with a math minor and English honors. Miller currently works as a staff quality project engineer for Kohler Company, leading warranty reduction projects at three American manufacturing sites.

She is currently working on her master’s in business administration from the University of Warwick in Coventry, United Kingdom.

Miller started her professional career as an engineering intern in the research and development facility of Broan-Nutone LLC in the summers of 2000 and 2001. She then moved to Huffy Sports Company – Basketball Division in 2003 to complete a product-engineering co-op, and worked in the customer service department during her last summer at UW-Platteville. After graduation, she joined Pella Corporation in Pella, Iowa, as a product design engineer, then later as a quality engineer and finally as an advanced technologies process engineer.

She is Green Belt/DMAIC certified and holds a certificate as an effective problem solver. She led and was a founding member of the Young Professionals of Pella organization, has mentored high school students for more than eight years, and has served on the UW-Platteville EMS Alumni Board as treasurer for three years. She has also visited 17 countries for work, leisure and mission trips, and coaches youth softball in her free time.

Holverson graduated from UW-Platteville in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in industrial technology. He has been associated with UW-Platteville either as a student, an industry supporter or an employee for 33 years.

He served nine years active duty in the United States Navy before entering industry as a quality assurance engineer for 11 years. In 1992, he came to work for UW-Platteville in what was then called the College of Engineering to fill the newly created position of mechanical technology specialist. In that capacity, he provided technical support to seven engineering departments and a few others.

He is involved in his community through various church leadership positions, as well as serving as part of the Big Buddy Program and Master Gardener Program. He enjoys gardening, woodworking and tinkering.

Hierlmeier will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics and pre-veterinary studies. She is originally from New Berlin, Wis. and has a passion for math, animals and theatre.

Hierlmeier has excelled academically with a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.66. She has also been active on campus with several jobs and leadership positions. She works for UW-Platteville as a resident assistant in Rountree Commons as well as a science, technology, engineering and mathematics scholar mentor. Previously, she has worked as a tutor for the UW-Platteville Math Learning Center as well as a counselor for the UW-Platteville Sky’s the Limit program for the previous four springs.

Hierlmeier serves as president of the UW-Platteville Pi Mu Epsilon National Mathematics Honor Society and is a member of the UW-Platteville chapters of Phi Kappa Phi, Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Societies. She is also a member of the Math Club, Swing Dance Club and Ballroom Dance Club. Additionally, she sang in the UW-Platteville Chamber Choir, University Singers and performed on stage with the Pioneer Players.

Written by: Megan Schmidt, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194, schmidtme@uwplatt.edu


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