Friday Features - April 4, 2014

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April 4, 2014

Faculty/Staff News

Office of Research and Sponsored Programs welcomes grants specialists

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Office of Research and Sponsored Programs has recently welcomed two grants specialists to its team. Elizabeth Lucas and Will Hoyer joined the office last month and will be assisting UW-Platteville faculty and staff across campus in the grant seeking process.

“Our main goal is to help support faculty and staff and their research ideas in any way we can – whether it’s finding money, helping them write or edit grants, or helping them to make contacts on or off campus,” said Hoyer. “We are here to support all of their academic endeavors.”

Both Hoyer and Lucas have background experience in grant writing and administration in the nonprofit sector. “I’m most looking forward to being back in the academic setting and being able to use my grant coordination skills to help people in academia; I enjoy that process,” said Lucas.

“I love the vitality that is on campus, so I’m excited to be a part of it,” added Hoyer.

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will be hosting a faculty get-together Wednesday, April 9 from 4:15-6 p.m. in the Pioneer Tower Television Studio. Faculty are encouraged to attend the event to meet the new staff and view a portion of a webinar, “How to Win Government Grants in Tough Times.”

“One of our biggest goals, initially, is to get the word out about what services we can provide, and let people know we’re here,” said Lucas. “We are excited to be here and we want people to be able to use us as a resource in whatever way we can support them.”

Hoyer earned his bachelor’s degree in biology and environmental studies from Luther College, and his master’s degree in water resources management from UW-Madison. Lucas earned her bachelor’s degree in English and communications from Clarke University and her Master of Public Administration degree from Upper Iowa University.

To learn more about the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, visit the website at

Student News

Physics students selected for Marsh White Award

The Society of Physics Students at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville was recently selected as a 2013-14 Marsh White Award winner. The group’s proposal, entitled Physics is Phantastic Phunshop, netted a $300 prize.

The physics students host the Phunshop each October for local fifth and sixth grade students. The event draws between 25 to 50 students who want to learn about physics. “The day consists of some cool physics demonstrations, some hands on exercises and usually a grand finale,” said Taylor Keesler, president of the Society of Physics Students and a junior engineering physics major from Viroqua, Wis.

The Marsh White Award is aimed at assisting chapters “to support projects designed to promote interest in physics among students and the general public.” The funds for the award come from the Sigma Pi Sigma Trust Fund.  

The award was first presented in 1975 and is named after one of the most influential founders of Sigma Pi Sigma, Dr. Marsh W. White.

Kastenson attends National Ag Day

March 25th marked the 41st National Ag Day, an event that celebrates agriculture and its importance. Kallie Jo Kastenson from Waterford, Wis., a freshman agricultural education major at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, was selected to attend the National Ag Day events in Washington, D.C.

Each year, the Agriculture Council of America sponsors 100 students from across the country to participate in National Ag Day activities. The nonprofit organization encourages Americans to understand food and fiber production and value agriculture’s role in maintaining a strong economy.

During her visit, Kastenson met with members of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation including, Sen. Ron Johnson, Rep. Reid Ribble and staffers of Rep. Mark Pocan and Sen. Tammy Baldwin. She also took part in mix-and-mingle events with some of the top leaders in the agriculture industry. “Networking with people from around the country and speaking with congressmen was an amazing opportunity that will help further my career in the agriculture industry,” said Kastenson.

Kastenson plans to become a 4-H youth extension agent after completing her degree at UW-Platteville. 

Katenson is pictured second from left.

School of Business students take first place in competition

Members of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville chapter of the American Marketing Association recently took first place at the second annual marketing competition at St. Ambrose University. The competition was sponsored by Chicago Sky, a Women’s National Basketball Association team in Chicago, Ill., who also acted as the client for the competition.

The students who attended were Molly Christenson, Natalie Braun, Sam Briggs and Ilya Nikulin, all business administration majors.

The guidelines for the competition were to create a new marketing campaign using social and digital media channels for the Chicago Sky. The four teams were given an informational presentation about the Chicago Sky and given criteria for what the new marketing campaign should look like.

The UW-Platteville team was praised for developing an integrated marketing plan with ideas that were well-developed. They were also applauded for recommending the Chicago Sky use more analytical tools to see the results of future marketing efforts.

The UW-Platteville chapter of the American Marketing Association was created less than two years ago and is advised by George Krueger and Les Hollingsworth, both assistant professors in the UW-Platteville School of Business. 

Students earn top prize at state conference

University of Wisconsin-Platteville students Kyra Fitzgerald and Dana Gibson won first place on their presentation at the AWRA Wisconsin 38th annual conference, “Mining and Wisconsin Waters.”

Fitzgerald and Gibson presented their work on an alternative method to monitoring agricultural runoff. Their proposed method of a passive plate sampler, according to Fitzgerald, is less-costly and less energy intensive than the current automated sampler method.

“Our method is more simplified, doesn’t require refrigeration and requires less intensive training,” said Fitzgerald.

Gibson stated that their research is important because of the impact agricultural runoff has, as the largest water polluter in the nation.

Both Gibson and Fitzgerald are excited to have had the opportunity to conduct and present research at the undergraduate level. “It’s awesome, as a graduating senior, to present research that I have done my entire educational career at UW-Platteville,” said Fitzgerald. “Wining the award on top of it was an added bonus.”

Bass Fishing Club hooks national championship

The Bass Fishing Club at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville competed in the BASS Midwest College Qualifier at Lake of the Ozarks, placing fifth out of 80 teams, qualifying them for the BASS Carhartt National Championship.

During the two-day event, 80 teams of two anglers competed to place in the top 14 in order qualify for the national championship. Each university had the option to send as many teams of two as they wanted.

UW-Platteville sent a single team of two, Jake Clisch, from Reedsburg, Wis. and Ryan Gilbert, from Sterling, Ill. Gilbert caught a 7-pound, 1-ounce bass that earned the title of Big Bass of the tournament, helping them to lock in their spot at the national championship.

Clisch is proud of their accomplishment, stating that it was a big win coming from a division three university. “Fishing isn’t split up into divisions, as some other sports are,” said Clisch. “We competed against teams from universities like University of Wisconsin-Madison and Kansas State.”

Clisch also mentioned that their goal for the national competition is to make it into the top five teams. This would give each team member the opportunity to fish individually for the chance to compete in the Bassmaster Classic. The winner of national championship will also receive a new Toyota Tundra and a Nitro Bass Boat to use for the classic and every event they fish within a year. 

Pictured (L-R): Ryan Gilbert and Jake Clisch

Alumni News

Rathke named a finalist for 'Alice in Dairyland' post

Whitney Rathke, a 2011 agribusiness graduate, is one of six finalists for the statewide Alice in Dairyland position.

At UW-Platteville, she held leadership roles in Sigma Alpha and was a School of Agriculture teaching assistant. After graduation, Rathke served two year-long terms as an AmeriCorps/VISTA member with UW-Extension Dodge County.  She served as the 2007 Ozaukee County Fairest of the Fair.

Rathke is a Fredonia, Wis. native and a graduate student at Concordia University. She is employed as an afterschool educator at Jefferson Elementary School in Beaver Dam, Wis.

Alice in Dairyland is the state’s agricultural ambassador and travels Wisconsin promoting the state’s agriculture industry in speeches, media interviews and school presentations. The 67th Alice in Dairyland will be selected at the conclusion of the three-day finals in Clark County, May 15-17. The next Alice will begin her one-year contract position on June 2.

Photo credit: Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection


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