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UW-Eau Claire news release

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Seven to receive Alumni Association awards

May 11, 2012

EAU CLAIRE — Seven accomplished alumni will return to campus to receive awards from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Alumni Association May 19 at a luncheon and ceremony in conjunction with spring commencement.

 Elizabeth Stabenow
Elizabeth Stabenow
Elizabeth Stabenow, who graduated from UW-Eau Claire (then Eau Claire State Teachers College) in 1943 with a degree in English-teaching, will receive the Lifetime Excellence Award, which is presented to alumni who have demonstrated longtime and successful commitment to their careers and communities. Recipients have made positive and dramatic impacts through dedication to service and have lived their lives as a testimony to UW-Eau Claire's motto, "Excellence."

During her 30 years of teaching English at Altoona High School, Stabenow had a positive impact on the three generations of students who were in her classes. Her contributions also included directing high school plays, supervising the yearbook and newspaper staffs, and playing the piano for the choir. Stabenow was the teacher representative on the school's student council, senior class adviser and president of the Altoona Teachers Association. She twice received her school's outstanding teacher award as well as "recognition of service as an outstanding educator" awards. She retired from Altoona High School in 1986.

Since her retirement, Stabenow has served the Eau Claire community in numerous volunteer positions. She has been a member of Sacred Heart Hospital's volunteer services program since 1992, staffing the information desk, helping with such special projects as the Love-Light event and Pediatric Health Fair, and serving on the hospital's Volunteer Partners board of directors. She participates in two bridge groups — one in Altoona and one for Eau Claire's Regis High School — that raise money for student scholarships. She has held every position in her P.E.O. chapter and chaired several of the organization's committees. Through P.E.O., she has participated in the Meals on Wheels program, driving and delivering meals for more than 20 years. She served on her district's election board for 15 years and, until very recently, was a member of the Immaculate Conception Church Sunday choir and funeral choir.

 Roger King  Mark White
Roger King Mark White
Roger King and Mark White will each receive the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award, which recognizes distinguished service to the community, state or nation in a manner that brings credit upon the recipient and the university.

King graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1975 with a degree in business and economics. While enrolled at the university he was founder and president of the economics honor society Omicron Delta Epsilon.

King has been employed by EO Johnson Office Technologies in Wausau since 1975, working his way up the ranks to his current position of president/chief operating officer. Under his leadership, the company enjoyed the most profitable year in its 55-year history in 2008, despite the economic challenges experienced throughout the country and the copier/printer industry specifically at the time.

King holds the designation of certified document imaging architect (CDIA) and has served as president of and board member for the Business Products Council Association. He has received numerous national sales excellence awards from the industry's major vendors. Most notably, he twice received Lanier's No. 1 National Sales Manager Award and Canon's Premier Golden Achievement Award in 2010. His community involvement has included leadership positions with the Marathon County United Way and the Samoset Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

White received a bachelor's degree in elementary education from UW-Eau Claire in 1982 and went on to earn a master's degree in educational administration from Winona State University in 1987. He has served as principal of Hintgen Elementary School in La Crosse for the past 22 years and for the past three years has also been the director of the pre-k program for the School District of La Crosse. He began his teaching career at Ripon Middle School in 1982 and subsequently taught at Longfellow Middle School in La Crosse, attaining his first principal post in the Alma Center-Humbird-Merrillan school district in 1988.

White was a founding member of the committee that created the La Crosse Preschool, which led to the development of pre-k programming that has been adopted by more than 100 communities in Wisconsin, allowing thousands of students across the state to attend local adaptations of the program.

He was elected to the 15-member board of directors of the National Association of Elementary School Principals and is currently serving in the second year of his three-year term representing elementary and middle school principals in Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan. He has been active in leadership positions with NAESP since 2006 and with the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators since 1999, serving as AWSA president during the 2003-04 school year. White also served for nine years on the La Crescent-Hokah, Minn., school board.

 Michael Perry
Michael Perry
Michael Perry and Dr. Nancy Kerkvliet will each receive the President's Award, which recognizes outstanding professional and personal achievements and service to UW-Eau Claire.

 Perry, who graduated with a nursing degree from UW-Eau Claire in 1987, is a Wisconsin-based humorist and writer who is the author of the best-selling books "Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time," "Truck: A Love Story" and "Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs and Parenting," as well as the essay collection "Off Main Street." He has written for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Backpacker, Orion and He also is a contributing editor to Men's Health.

Perry's essays have been heard on the National Public Radio program "All Things Considered," and he recently performed and produced the live-audience humor recording "The Clodhopper Monologues." He also performs regularly with his band, the Long Beds, and does reading tours. Two years ago he was named host of "Tent Show Radio," a weekly variety series that showcases live performances from Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua near Bayfield. The program is heard on listener-supported radio stations across the country.

 Dr. Nancy Kerkvliet
Dr. Nancy Kerkvliet
Kerkvliet received a bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from UW-Eau Claire in 1970 and continued her studies at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore., where she received master's and doctoral degrees in toxicology. She currently is a professor of toxicology in the department of environmental and molecular toxicology and deputy director of the Environmental Health Sciences Center at OSU.

One of the country's top immunotoxicologists, Kerkvliet has extensive experience in the conduct and evaluation of studies related to the effects of environmental contaminants on the immune system. With long-term funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, her laboratory has characterized the immunosuppressive effects of dioxin and dioxin-like compounds and the molecular mechanisms responsible for their immunotoxicity. Her research has earned her several recognitions, including the Vos Career Achievement Award from the Society of Toxicology.

Kerkvliet has served on numerous national committees and review panels in the United States, including the National Toxicology Program Board of Scientific Counselors. She also serves on committees under the umbrella of The National Academies: the National Research Council's Committee on Toxicology and the Institute of Medicine's committee to review the health effects in Vietnam veterans of exposure to dioxin-contaminated herbicides.

 Sara Finger
Sara Finger-Warmuth
Sara Finger-Warmuth and Benjamin Frederick will each receive the Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award, which acknowledges special achievements and great promise of alumni who are within 15 years of their graduation from UW-Eau Claire.

A 1999 UW-Eau Claire political science graduate, Finger-Warmuth is founder and director of the Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health, a Madison-based policy coalition that works to advance comprehensive women's health in Wisconsin by engaging, educating, empowering and mobilizing individuals and organizations. She serves as WAWH's spokesperson, coordinates its grassroots advocacy activities and is responsible for recruitment and communication. As the Wisconsin regional coordinator for Raising Women's Voices and the National Women's Law Center's State of Women initiative grantee, WAWH has been recognized as Wisconsin's health care reform leader for women.

Earlier this year Finger-Warmuth was honored at the White House as a Champion of Change for her work to increase women's access to health care. She has raised awareness of and appreciation for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by developing resources, coordinating state partners, driving media coverage and participating in policy development to ensure that Wisconsin implements the ACA in a way that achieves the best possible outcomes for women and their families.

Finger-Warmuth received a Champion in Women's Health award from the Wisconsin Women's Health Foundation in 2010. She is one of three finalists for Merz Aesthetics' first-ever STAND AND DELIVER award, which recognizes inspirational women in nonprofit organizations who are changing their communities for the better. Last year she was named one of the top 25 emerging leaders competing for the CLASSY Young Nonprofit Leader of the Year Award.

 Ben Frederick
Benjamin Frederick
Frederick, a 2002 UW-Eau Claire political science graduate, is a detective with the Eau Claire Police Department. A member of the department since 2004, he served for three years on patrol before being assigned to the detective division. He works as a police school liaison officer for the Eau Claire Area School District, developing programs to enhance safety procedures at the schools.

Frederick maintains a full-time role at Eau Claire's North High School, mentoring students and making class presentations. In 2011 Frederick worked with North High staff to create a student awareness program targeting bullying and cyberbullying, for which he received the 2012 National Exemplary Bullying Prevention Program Award from the School Safety Advocacy Council, Students Against Violence Everywhere and the Florida Association of School Resource Officers. He also received SSAC's 2009 National Exemplary School Safety Program Award and the 2010 Respect for Law Award from Optimist International.

Frederick also is a member of the ECPD's tactical response team and is a police training officer, use-of-force trainer and gang intelligence officer.


Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.