2000s Class notes

New class notes are posted as time allows.

Mike Wagner (BBA) was named Forkforce, Inc.'s new CEO to raise additional Angel Financing and lead Go-To-Market strategy for www.theforkforce.com product platform launch in early 2014.

Melissa (Market) Berling (BS) and her husband, David, have published a book, "Just Living the Dream." The book is an intimate look into their lives during the days and months after David lost his legs in a harrowing plane crash. Their inspiring true story begins with the phone call no one wants to receive, a voice on the line stating, “There’s been an accident.” What follows is a testament to the hope, perseverance, loyalty, and love required to recover. The book is available for purchase on Amazon.com and www.theberlingdream.com.

Kris Sonsin (BA) left China after five wonderful years and is now living in Bangkok, Thailand. She has signed a one-year work contract to teach children all aspects of English literacy.

Sena (LaPean) Spofford (BA) and her husband Seth have been married for six years now. The couples was married in Atlanta in 2007 but have lived in Dallas since Christmas of 2008. Sena is a stay-at-home mom to her two sweet boys, Austin and Graham, which is the hardest and most rewarding job she's ever had. Sena also recently began representing Rodan + Fields as a consultant. I'm a Stay At Home Mom to my two sweet boys, Austin and Graham, which is the hardest and most rewarding job I've ever had. For more information, visit www.senaspofford.myrandf.com

Laura Carter (BA) is working on a Ph.D. in counseling psychology at UW-Milwaukee. In September 2013, Laura completed her pre-doctoral internship in professional psychology at Shorehaven Behavioral Health, Inc., in Brown Deer. Laura is currently writing her dissertation on the role of disordered eating and spirituality in college women. Laura is also an active member of the Milwaukee Jewish Sacred Society. Laura completed the Bank of American Chicago Marathon in October 2013.

Andrei Strizek (BME) performed in the pit orchestra for the North American tour of "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical." He toured the U.S. in December 2013, helping spread holiday spirit to young and old audience members alike.

Mary (Burke) Facchino (BA) and Shane Facchino (BS) were married in September 2013 in Eau Claire. Both graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 2006.

Kayla (Verschay) Furton (BS), married to Dean Furton (2008), and Amy (Buehner) Kazda (BME) co-wrote an e-guide: "A Busy Mom's Guide to a Green, Clean, and Balanced Life." It is a compilation of the best tips, tricks and resources to eat well, live consciously, love passionately, parent thoughtfully, and live each day with intention. Furton and Kazda graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 2006 and 2005, respectively. Connect with them via the book's Facebook page or email: greencleanmamas@gmail.com.

Mai (Lee) Lor (BA) majored in creative writing at UW-Eau Claire. Lor chose creative writing because writing has always been her passion. Now, Lor's first novel, a young adult fantasy, was published this summer. "Gates of Thread and Stone" releases in all formats on Aug. 5, 2014. She published under the pseudonym Lori M. Lee. The book is available for preorder at http://www.amazon.com/Gates-Thread-Stone/dp/1477847200. Mai's website is: http://www.lorimlee.com.

Jeff Baldovin (BA) and Kelsi (Boldon) Baldovin (BA) welcome their first child, Adelyn Rose Baldovin, on Oct. 5, 2013. Jeff works for the Wisconsin National Guard in Madison, and Kelsi works at a marketing/public relations agency in Brookfield.

Paul Johnson (BE)has accepted a new position as a special education teacher at Lake Middle School and Woodbury High School in the South Washington County School District of Cottage Grove and Woodbury, Minn. His wife, Allison (Bulger) Johnson, (BME), also teaches middle school orchestra. Allison received a Masters of Education from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in 2010 and completed her K-12 Administrative License in May 2012. Paul is currently working on his Masters of Special Education and plans on graduating in spring of 2014 from Saint Mary’s. The couple also welcomed a baby girl, Julia Carol Johnson, on Sept. 11, 2013. They currently reside in St. Paul.

Charles Maring II (BA) has joined the law firm of Karp & Ellis in Chicago, representing injured people in personal-injury, worker's compensation and social security claims. Charles provides legal representation in both Illinois and Wisconsin.

Thomas B. Burton (BBA), University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D. 2010, has formed The Law Office of Thomas B. Burton, a virtual law office serving clients in Wisconsin and Minnesota. The firm focuses on estate planning and business law and can be visited online at www.theburtonlawoffice.com.

Jake Eklund (BBA) was promoted to manager of Legacy Professionals, LLP Minneapolis Audit Department. Jake, who currently resides in Bloomington, Minnesota, provides audit services to employee benefit plans and labor organizations. Jake graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 2008 with a BBA in accounting and finance.

Daniel Gawronski (BA) joined Michael Best & Friedrich, LLP in Sept. 2013. Gawronski will focus his efforts on the Corporate and Mergers & Acquisitions practice areas. Gawronski graduated from UW-Eau Claire, cum laude, in 2009 and earned his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin Law School is 2013. Prior to joining Michael Best, Daniel was an undergraduate legal intern for a Wisconsin Public Defender, a law clerk for Gatzke & Ruppelt, S.C. and a research assistant for professor Christopher T. Hines at Northern Illinois University College of Law where he conducted legal research of the Securities Exchange Act, the Dodd- Frank Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and pertinent cases. As a student at the University of Wisconsin Law School, Daniel joined Jockey International, Inc. as a legal intern and most recently was a legal intern for ABC for Health, Inc.

Renee MalloRenee Mallo (BA) was hired in October 2013 as the FACT field coordinator for the American Lung Association in Wisconsin. FACT is a statewide youth advocacy movement that engages and empowers teens ages 13-18 to resist the lure of tobacco use and take responsibility for making healthy lifestyle decisions. Her position includes managing the FACT youth board of directors in providing leadership to the movement; representing FACT on local, regional and statewide committees; providing training, technical assistance and guidance on legislative affairs to FACT members, adult advisers and other tobacco prevention partners; and developing activism activities. Mallo previously was employed by the Iowa departments of Human Services and Human Rights and had received the Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award for service with AmeriCorps VISTA. She holds a master's degree in school counseling from UW-Stout.
Erin (Fickau) (BA) and Jason Hasenfang (BBA) were married in Appleton on July 21, 2012. They met as neighbors on State Street in Eau Claire. Erin graduated in 2010 with a degree in French and Jason graduated in 2011 with a degree in accounting. Thanks for bringing them together, Eau Claire!

Sara Nogle (BS) recently returned home from a 16 day charity trek to Tanzania. The trek was a fundraiser for the Tanzanian Organization Facilitating Community Development Projects (TAFCOM), a non-profit that was founded in response to a decrease in the standard of living, health care and education in Tanzania. While there, she visited with children who attend the pre-school at TAFCOM, went on safari and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. The summit of Kilimanjaro is 19,340 ft., making it the highest peak on the African continent, as well as the tallest free-standing mountain in the world.

Heather Sommer (BA) graduated May 2013 with master of fine arts in poetry from the Iowa Writers' Workshop.
Tamika (Marchbanks) Taylor (BS) and James Taylor (BS) graduated in 2011 and 2009, respectively. The couple was married Aug. 10, 2013 in La Crosse, joined by fellow Blugolds, family and friends.

Sarah BumgarnerSarah (Wagner) Bumgarner (BA) and Adam Bumgarner were married on May 26, 2012 near their hometown in Minnesota. They currently reside in Rogers, Minn. with their two sons.

Michael Thies (BA) graduated from UW-Eau Claire in December 2012. For the past six years he has been writing a novel called, "The Trials of the Core." The book went on sale Dec. 10, 2013. To order a copy, visit www.guardianofthecore.com. Michael wants to thank the undergraduate and alumni support from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Check out the book, even if you don't end up buying it, support Michael by spreading the word about it!


Mark Aurit (BS) recently had his research paper titled "A GIS Analysis of the Relationship Between Sinkholes, Dry-Well Complaints and Groundwater Pumping for Frost-Freeze Protection of Winter Strawberry Production in Florida" published in the PLOS ONE journal.

Paul Danko and Melissa GrabowMelissa Grabow (BA) and Paul Danko were married Sept. 3, 2010, in the Milwaukee area. Several fellow Blugolds celebrated with the couple. Melissa and Paul met at his sister's wedding in 2005. They now live in Arlington Heights, Ill.

Robert Stephens Jr. and Nicole (Zimmerman) MayNicole (Zimmerman) May (BA) and Robert Stephens Jr. were married Aug. 10, 2012, in Wausau. Nicole is the owner of Euphoria Spalon in Wausau where she works as an esthetician and stylist. The couple live in Wausau with Nicole's daughter, Sidney, and their dog, Gryffin.
Amy (Canfield) Schaefer (BBA)
and husband David welcomed their son, Ethan, in March 2012.

Jay Olstad (BA), an enterprise and investigative reporter for KARE-TV in the Twin Cities, is a recipient of two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for 2013. He received one award for his investigative story on the lack of security when using public Wi-Fi. Jay shared the second award with a team of journalists who compiled a series of stories on the threats to our waterways. The Murrow Awards are the most prestigious awards in journalism.
Adam Benscoter (BA) and wife Katie welcomed their second child, June Elizabeth, on March 15, 2012.

Tabitha Erdey (BA), '07 (MA) is an archivist and curator with the National Park Service at Nez Perce National Historical Park and has been designated as the Pacific west regional representative to the National Park Service Museum Management Program Council. The MMPC is a servicewide advocacy committee representing the needs and issues associated with museum collections management for the Washington Support Office, the Park Museum Management Program, the NPS associate director and the NPS director of cultural resources. The MMPC has varying degrees of influence and provides advocacy where appropriate as a voice to Washington for all park and regional curatorial concerns.

Bethany (Hill) Kelm (BS-E) and husband Rick welcomed their first child, Deklan George, on Feb. 18, 2013. They couldn't be happier to share their great news!

Julie (Christiansen) Mikolich (BBA) and Paul Mikolich were married Sept. 14, 2012, at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul, Minn. Julie is a senior human resources generalist with Polaris Industries in Medina, Minn.

Lisa Nackers (BA) received a doctorate in clinical and health psychology in August 2012 from the University of Florida, Gainesville. While at the University of Florida, she also received her master's degree in public health. Nackers has accepted a position as an advanced fellow with the Department of Preventive Medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Brenna Noland (BS-E) is pleased to announce the publication of her first book, "Video Modeling for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Practical Guide for Parents and Professionals." The book is now available for online purchase through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Dan McNeely (BA) has been promoted to general liability manager within the risk management department at Kohl's corporate headquarters in Menomonee Falls.

Sarah (Chiodo) French (BA), '09 (BA) and husband Raymond French '08 (BS) welcomed their daughter and future Blugold, Phoebe Rae French, on Nov. 12, 2012. Sarah completed her master of arts in educational leadership through St. Mary's University of Minnesota in October 2012. Raymond graduated from Hamline University School of Law in May 2012. He passed the Minnesota State Bar exam and was admitted to the Minnesota Bar in October 2012.

Megan (Schroeder) Meneau (BBA) and Mark Meneau were married Aug. 11, 2012, at Heritage Hill State Park in Green Bay. Megan is an account manager at A.B. Data in Milwaukee. The couple live in Slinger.

Ben Seidman (BA) is excited to announce that he co-starred in a TV special, which aired March 10, 2013, on the Travel Channel. The show is called "Magic Outlaws" and stars Ben and two friends. The trailer can be viewed online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lC70Lf7PDis. Ben can be reached through his website, www.BenSeidman.com, or by email at ben@benseidman.com.

Gwen (Rajski) Auckloo (BA) and Phanindr Auckloo were married Feb. 16, 2013, in Monmouth Junction, N.J.
Gwen (Rajski) Auckloo and Phanindr Auckloo

Jaimie (Hoeschen) Larson (BBA) and Eric Larson '10 (BBA) were married July 21, 2012, in Rogers, Minn. Jaimie is the sales and marketing assistant at Jet Edge Waterjets in St. Michael, Minn., and Eric works in brokerage at Ameriprise Financial Services in Minneapolis.

Vince Mussehl (BA) and Amanda Schultz '07 (BS-E) were married in August 2012. After graduating from UW-Eau Claire, Amanda earned her master's degree in special education from Kansas State University. She is a special education teacher for the Altoona School District. Vince is a circulation supervisor at UW-Eau Claire's McIntyre Library and is pursuing his master's degree through UW-Milwaukee. Their daughter, Zoey Kathleen, was born May 14, 2013. The family lives in Eau Claire.