Michelle Laucke is a professional of many talents and interests.
As a continuous improvement analyst at Ortho Molecular Inc., a nutraceutical company, Laucke works as a project manager in company teams, trying to reduce waste in core processes. It’s a job Laucke loves, as it not only makes use of her Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification, but also her master’s degree of engineering management and project management certification, both earned from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
Laucke’s journey to UW-Platteville started when she was working at a power plant in 2008, whereupon discovering her enjoyment of the work, she decided to pursue an advanced degree.
“One friend said why don’t I get a degree in engineering,” said Laucke. “I thought that was a great idea. I looked into numerous colleges and found the program at UW-Platteville most suited for my long-term goals. The online option was extremely beneficial since I could fit it around my schedule, which is what I needed most.”
For Laucke, the program was a fun way to meet people from around the world and to come together on different projects. This model served as a great introduction to the diverse teamwork she’s involved with today, and taught her how to effectively manage her time.
“In today’s busy world, online classes are just as good as in-person and provide more leeway to work around busy schedules with jobs, families and more,” Laucke said. “I’d highly recommend this online program, especially if one cannot afford to live on campus or travel to a campus location because of other life challenges.”
Yet there’s more to Laucke besides an impressive STEM career. In addition to being an accomplished project manager and engineer, she’s also a self-published author of the children’s book, “Arabian Horses at Play, I Could Watch Them Every Day.” The book started as a rhyme Laucke thought up one afternoon as she was watching her Straight Egyptian Arabian horses playing in a pasture–-horses she herself owns, breeds and sells. Laucke’s interest in horses started when she was a child, and only grew stronger over the years.
“When I was a teenager, I road my first horse to the local rodeo,” Laucke said. “I entered him in barrels and pole bending competitions, as well as western pleasure riding. It was a blast. In later years, after college, I bought my first Straight Egyptian Arabian and never looked back. I fell in love with the mystique and history of the breed.”
Laucke’s book demonstrates her passion for these animals on every page. In addition to writing it, Laucke used her photography skills for the book’s many pictures as well. Then, when it came time to publish, she taught herself Adobe InDesign in order to finalize the book’s format.
All of her hard work paid off. Currently, “Arabian Horses at Play, I Could Watch Them Every Day” is available in 11 countries and 17 states. Even better, Laucke donates some of the proceeds to the Wisconsin Children’s Hospital with each purchase. Looking ahead, she hopes to educate and entertain more children with future works.
“I have many more poems I hope to turn into more children’s books,” said Laucke. “My current book is kid-tested, and I’ve been told by many 7 to 9-year-olds that they love my book. Kids are honest at this age. It’s heart-warming hearing a child read your book out loud and ask questions.”
For those curious to read Laucke’s book, interested individuals can order online by clicking here.