UW-Platteville to celebrate distinguished and outstanding alumni

September 18, 2018

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville will honor alumni who excel in their careers and give back to their communities and alma mater during the 2018 Homecoming weekend. The annual Alumni Association Distinguished and Outstanding Alumni awards will be presented at a ceremony on Friday, Oct. 5 at 4:30 p.m. in the Center for the Arts.

Recipients of the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award are Tom Koser, Brent Brown, Brian Swenson and Charles Misky. Recipients of the 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award are Dr. Michael O’Connor and Tom Stetzer.


Tom Koser

Tom Koser

A 1981 graduate of UW-Platteville, Tom Koser earned his Bachelor of Science in radio and television broadcasting. He is president/CEO of Koser Radio Group, a six-station radio group in Rice Lake and Hayward, Wisconsin.

Koser is past chair of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, current member of the WBA Foundation Board of Directors, and was recently inducted into the WBA Hall of Fame. He is active in his community of Rice Lake, where he previously served as president of the Chamber of Commerce and engages in a variety of volunteer and fundraising work.

Koser is a strong supporter of UW-Platteville’s WSUP Radio – the oldest radio station in the UW System – and the students who run it. He was the lead donor in establishing the George Smith Scholarship program for students active in WSUP. He also volunteers as a guest speaker in UW-Platteville classes and has served on UW-Platteville advisory councils and the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Brent Brown

Brent Brown

Brent Brown earned his Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from UW-Platteville in 1999. He is a water resources engineer, project manager and technologist at CH2M-Jacobs Engineering Group and works on projects involving hydraulic analyses and design for water and wastewater clients, ecosystem protection and restoration, habitat and geomorphic assessment and watershed and storm water management and design.

Outside of work, Brown volunteers his time to support environmental protection, conservation, and water resource awareness and education. For the past 16 years, he organized the Honey Creek Cleanup, in partnership with Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful and the Milwaukee RiverKeeper, which draws up to 200 volunteers on Earth Day. In coordination with these organizations, he also sponsors the Annual Spring Cleanup, which includes more than 50 locations and 3,500 volunteers across southeastern Wisconsin. He also volunteers at local elementary and high schools to educate students on the environmental engineering profession and water resource protection.

Brown serves on the UW-Platteville Engineering Program Advisory Board, returns to campus to participate as a guest speaker in classes and professional seminars, and supports UW-Platteville’s Foundation. He is also a board member for the Central States Water Environment Association Government Affairs and the Wisconsin Section of the American Water Resources Association.

Brian Swenson

Brian Swenson

Brian Swenson earned his Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from UW-Platteville in 1985. He has worked for more than three decades at HNTB Corporation, where he is currently the senior vice president, chief business process officer. In 2011, he was selected as HNTB’s Outstanding Project Manager of the Year. Throughout his career, he has served in a number of professional and community organizations, including as vice chairman/executive committee member of Public Policy Forum-Milwaukee and chairman of the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association Consultant Council.

Swenson is an active volunteer in his community of Hartford, Wisconsin and through First United Methodist Church, serving as leadership board chair, overseeing the building of a youth facility, and leading mission trips, among other activities. He helps recruit for UW-Platteville through conducting outreach for UW-Platteville’s summer engineering camps and hosting an open house at HNTB for prospective students. Swenson is also a supporter of the UW-Platteville Foundation.

Chuck Misky

Chuck Misky

Chuck Misky has dedicated his career to education after receiving his Bachelor of Science in English from UW-Platteville in 1962. Misky spent much of his career as a high school principal, spending time at West Grant High School (Wisconsin) and Mount Horeb High School (Wisconsin), before working for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction until his retirement. In 2015, he came out of retirement to again lead Mount Horeb High School as interim principal for the 2015–16 school year. He served as past president of the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators from 1985-86.

Misky received a number of accolades throughout his career. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators in 2010 and the Dedicated Service Award as Field representative in 2009. He was also honored with the Mt. Horeb High School's Friend of Education Award in 2005. He serves on both the Mt. Horeb Community Foundation Board and the Landmarks Foundation Board in Mt. Horeb.

Misky is a supporter of the UW-Platteville Foundation and formerly served as a member of UW-Platteville’s Teacher Education Advisory Council.

Tom Stetzer

Tom Stetzer

Tom Stetzer earned his Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from UW-Platteville in 2005. Since graduation he has worked at Strand Associates Inc. as a project manager/civil engineer, where he contributes to recruiting efforts, business development, and design and surveying projects. In 2015, he was recognized with the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Engineering Achievement Award for his team’s work on the City of Middleton Terrace Avenue Reconstruction Project.

Stetzer holds the designation of Professional Engineer and Envision Sustainability Professional for the Institute of Sustainable Infrastructure. He volunteers his time helping others – both in his local community and his alma mater. He serves as a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County’s School Buddies Program. Stetzer also serves as director on UW-Platteville’s College of EMS alumni board, participates in mentorship and recruiting opportunities on campus and supports the UW-Platteville Foundation. The former Pioneer quarterback also still holds numerous school and Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football records.

Michael O'Connor

Dr. Michael O'Connor

Dr. Michael O’Connor is a 2006 graduate of UW-Platteville’s Master of Science in Project Management program. He is the director strategy and project management at Medtronic, where he has been recognized with a number of professional accolades. In 2018, the Minnesota Federation of Engineering, Science, and Technology Societies awarded him the Richard S. Alberg Distinguished Science and Technology Professional Award for his outstanding leadership in the development of medical device products. In 2017, he was selected as the recipient of the Project Management Institute’s Educational Foundation Kerzner Award for Excellence in Project Management.

O’Connor holds five issued patents and has participated on many improvement project teams and in professional organizations that support biomedical engineering, quality, project management and product development. 

He is an active volunteer in his community and serves in a number of professional organizations. O’Connor is an executive board member on the UW-Platteville Distance Learning Alumni Board and a supporter of the UW-Platteville Foundation.


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