2000s Class notes


New class notes are posted as time allows.

2000
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.

2001
Melissa and David BerlingMelissa (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.

2002
Erin (Hanna) Kosmalski (BBA) and Michael Kosmalski '03 (BS-E) are happy to announce the birth of their daughter, Caitlin Hanna Kosmalski, on Feb. 13, 2013. Caitlin joins big brother Collin and big sister Claire.

2003
Brian and Heather CookHeather (Pratt) Cook (BA) and Brian Cook were married in October 2013 at St. Bernadette Parish in Appleton, with their reception held at Butte des Morts Country Club. Heather works as an associate managing director of Human Resources at The PrivateBank's headquarters in Chicago. The couple traveled to St. Lucia in December 2013 for their honeymoon and now live in Chicago.

Sena (LaPean) Spofford (BA) and her husband, Seth, have been married for six years. They were married in Atlanta in 2007 but have lived in Dallas since 2008. Sena is a stay-at-home mom to her two boys, Austin and Graham, which Sena says is the hardest and most rewarding job she's ever had. She also represents Rodan + Fields as a consultant. She can be reached through her website, www.senaspofford.myrandf.com.

2004
Kristina (Ladd) AschenbrennerKristina (Ladd) Aschenbrenner (BBA) '07 (MBA) accepted the 10th District Court administrator position for the Wisconsin Supreme Court in June 2014. She will use the experience from her previous position as the elected Eau Claire County clerk of circuit court to assist courts in 13 counties in northwestern Wisconsin.


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.

2005
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.

2006
Mary and Shane FacchinoMary (Burke) Facchino (BA) and Shane Facchino (BS) were married in September 2013 in Eau Claire.

Kayla (Verschay) Furton (BS-E) and Amy (Buehner) Kazda '05 (BME) co-wrote an e-guide titled "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. Kayla is married to Dean Furton '08 (A&S). Kayla and Amy can be reached through the book's Facebook page or by email at greencleanmamas@gmail.com.

Mai (Lor) Lee (BA) had her first novel, "Gates of Thread and Stone," a young-adult fantasy, published in August 2014. Published under the pseudonym Lori M. Lee, the book is available on Amazon.com. More information is available on Mai's website, www.lorimlee.com.

Brian WirthBrian Wirth (BS), founder of Wirth Chiropractic & Active Living Center in Greenville, N.C., announces a new brand campaign for his practice. The practice, founded in 2010, will now be called Wirth Chiropractic & Sports Therapy. The rebranding will include a new vanity number, 1-800-BackDoc, supported by a revitalized website, signage and logo. Wirth holds a doctor of chiropractic degree from the Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, lowa. Specializing in sports medicine and rehabilitation, Wirth was formerly with Oas Family Chiropractic in Eau Claire. An avid hunter, fisherman and golfer, he also enjoys coaching lacrosse for the Pitt County Youth Lacrosse Club. Wirth lives in Greenville, N.C.

2007
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.

Megan DeWerffMegan DeWerff (BA) has been hired by dunnhumbyUSA, a customer science company, as a senior associate for manufacture practice client leadership in the Cincinnati office. She is responsible for helping consumer packaged goods clients build and execute customer-driven business strategies. Prior to joining dunnhumbyUSA, DeWerff worked at Kao USA as a senior category analyst and at Hormel Foods as a territory manager for the Kroger team.

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.

Sebastian Wisniewski (BA) has been selected to be the honorary military co-chair of the 2014 Travelers Championship, a PGA Tour event in Cromwell, Conn. Since the tournament began in 1952, the Travelers Championship has raised more than $30 million for charity. All of the net proceeds from this popular stop on the PGA Tour go to more than 130 charities throughout the region, including the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a camp dedicated to providing "a different kind of healing" to seriously ill children and their families throughout the Northeast, free of charge.

2008
Thomas BurtonThomas Burton (BBA), who received a law degree from the UW Law School in 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 found 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.

Paul Johnson (BA-E) is 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 '07 (BME), teaches middle school orchestra. Allison received a master of education degree from St. Mary's University of Minnesota in 2010 and completed her K-12 administrative license in May 2012. Paul currently is working on his master of special education degree at St. Mary's and plans to graduate in spring of 2014. The couple welcomed a baby girl, Julia Carol Johnson, on Sept. 11, 2013. The family lives in St. Paul.

Ellen Waldhart (BA) moved back to Wisconsin from Montana in April 2013 to work as an agronomist/seed production supervisor for Diversified Seed Producers in Sun Prairie. DSP grows hybrid seed corn for customers in the upper Midwest and Canada.

2009
Daniel Gawronski (BA) joined the law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP in September 2013. He is a member of the firm's transactional practice group in the Madison office, focusing his efforts on the corporate and mergers and acquisitions practice areas. Gawronski received his law degree, cum laude, from the UW Law School in 2013.

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.

Amy (Raplinger) Root (BS) reports that after earning her master of science in physics and her master of arts in teaching, she landed her first real job. She now teaches eighth-grade science — a combination of physical, life and earth science — in a large school district near Des Moines, Iowa. Amy says that working with eighth-graders has its challenges, but she finds her job to be incredibly rewarding.
 
2010
Erin (Fickau) Hasenfang (BA) and Jason Hasenfang '11 (BBA) were married July 21, 2013, in Appleton. They met as neighbors on State Street in Eau Claire. The couple thanks UW-Eau Claire for bringing them together.

2011
Alyssa and Aaron HedenstromAlyssa (Severson) Hedenstrom (BM) and Aaron Hedenstrom (BM), who met during their freshman year while waiting in line for their saxophone auditions, were married in July 2011. Aaron is working on his doctorate in jazz composition and arranging, and Alyssa is pursuing a master's degree in English as a second language — both at the University of North Texas in Denton.

Sara NogleSara Nogle (BS) participated in a 16-day charity trek to Tanzania in winter 2014. The trek was a fundraiser for the Tanzanian Organization Facilitating Community Development Projects (TAFCOM), a nonprofit organization 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 preschool at TAFCOM, went on safari and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. The summit of Kilimanjaro is 19,340 feet, making it the highest peak on the African continent, as well as the tallest free-standing mountain in the world.

Heather Sommer (BA) received a master of fine arts degree in poetry from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in May 2013.
 
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.

2012
Sarah and Adam 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 ThiesMichael Thies (BA) has written a novel titled "The Trials of the Core," which took him six years to complete. The book, which went on sale in December 2013, is available through www.guardianofthecore.com. Michael thanks UW-Eau Claire's undergraduate and alumni areas for their support and invites fellow alumni to check out the book and help spread the word about it.

2014
Sara Bukowski (BBA) is the sixth UW-Eau Claire grad in her family, including her mom, Susan (Herm) Bukowski '82 (BBA); her dad, Andy Bukowski '82 (BS); an uncle, Tom Bukowski '81 (BBA); and two aunts, Lori (Smith) Bukowski '81 (BSW) and Pat Herm '79 (BBA). UW-Eau Claire has become quite a Bukowski family tradition!




Back row, from left: Andy Bukowski '82, Sara Bukowski '14, Susan (Herm) Bukowski '82. Front row, from left: Tom Bukowski '81, Lori (Smith) Bukowski '81, Pat Herm '79.


2000
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.

 
2001
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.
 
2003
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!

2004
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.

2005
Dan McNeely (BA) has been promoted to general liability manager within the risk management department at Kohl's corporate headquarters in Menomonee Falls.

2007
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.

2008
Gwen (Rajski) Auckloo and Phanindr AucklooGwen (Rajski) Auckloo (BA) and Phanindr Auckloo were married Feb. 16, 2013, in Monmouth Junction, N.J.