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  December 2014

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Power of AND

In this issue

Commencement exercises set for Dec. 20

Alumni, friends to receive Alumni Association awards

Psychology professor receives grant for suicide prevention program

Student mentor recognized for exceptional skills as tutor, leader

Alumna premieres music composition in New York City

Fraternity volunteer efforts help abuse victims heal

Brother-sister duo launch housing website for Blugolds

Local P.E.O. chapters contribute to Foundation scholarship, emergency funds

Alumna named UW-Eau Claire Foundation major gifts officer

Enjoy an alumni getaway weekend at the Kalahari!

Donor to match young alumni donations to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation

Happy Holidays from the UW-Eau Claire Foundation!

Champions of The Power of AND

New alumni success stories

Blugold Trivia

Alumni links

Alumni events

Alumni success stories

Blugold Babies

eView archive

eView survey

Photo album

The View online








Commencement exercises set for Dec. 20


Commencement exercises for 761 students at UW-Eau Claire will be held Dec. 20 in Zorn Arena.

Candidates from the College of Business and the College of Education and Human Sciences will receive degrees during a 9 a.m. ceremony. Candidates from the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences will receive degrees during a 2 p.m. ceremony. Those unable to attend can view the ceremony online.

A total of 731 students are candidates for bachelor's degrees, including 311 from the College of Arts and Sciences, 127 from the College of Business, 207 from the College of Education and Human Sciences, and 86 from the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

A total of 30 students are master's degree candidates. Of those, five are from the College of Arts and Sciences, 23 are from the College of Business and two are from the College of Education and Human Sciences. Full story. back to top

Alumni, friends to receive Alumni Association awards

Dan Clumpner Stuart Schaefer
Kerry Kincaid Gary Berg
Robyn Conrad Hansen Lynne Kohlhepp
James Vyvyan Alumni Association award winners, clockwise from upper left, are Dan Clumpner, Stuart Schaefer, Gary Berg, Lynne Kohlhepp, James Vyvyan, Robyn Conrad Hansen and Kerry Kincaid.

Seven alumni and friends of UW-Eau Claire will receive awards from the university's Alumni Association Dec. 20 at a luncheon and ceremony in conjunction with winter commencement.

Dan Clumpner and Stuart Schaefer, principals with Commonweal Development in Eau Claire, are both receiving the Honorary Alumnus Award, which is presented to non-alumni who have demonstrated great love of and service to UW-Eau Claire.

Commonweal Development, along with Blugold Real Estate and Market & Johnson, are partners in Haymarket Concepts LLC. The company is developing the Haymarket Landing mixed-use complex in downtown Eau Claire. The team also is the driving force behind the development of the Confluence arts center.

Kerry Kincaid '93, '96 and Gary Berg '79 will both 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.

Robyn Conrad Hansen '82, Lynne Kohlhepp '80, '82 and James Vyvyan '91 are each receiving the President's Award, which recognizes outstanding professional and personal achievements and service to UW-Eau Claire. Full story. back to top

Psychology professor receives grant for suicide prevention program

Jennifer Muehlenkamp
Jennifer Muehlenkamp

The day started off with a typical student advising appointment for UW-Eau Claire associate professor of psychology Jennifer Muehlenkamp — registration dates, course selection and class schedules — until her expert eye began to pick up on some all-too-familiar signs.

"I have personally identified signs of suicide risk in regular academic advising appointments," Muehlenkamp said. "At least two or three students in the past year have admitted to suicidal thoughts during office-hour appointments with me. I also have had conversations with at least four students during the semester who are worried about a friend or family member who is thinking about suicide. That worry adds additional stress, and they want to know what they can do to help."

Muehlenkamp, who specializes in understanding and preventing suicidal and non-suicidal self-injury in youth, including college students, recently received a three-year $304,029 Campus Suicide Prevention grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to help educate the campus community on how to recognize the signs of suicide, depression and anxiety in students. UW-Eau Claire was one of only 15 universities and colleges in the nation to receive the award. Full story. back to top

Student mentor recognized for exceptional skills as tutor, leader

Rachel Daily with student
UW-Eau Claire student tutor Rachel Daily, right, who recently received a national award for college tutoring, works on solving math problems with fellow student Sarah Beck in the Academic Skills Center.

With a holistic approach to teaching and learning, UW-Eau Claire senior Rachel Daily embodies the qualities of a true educator — patient, engaging and dedicated.

Reminiscent of Benjamin Franklin's words on education, "Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn," are Daily's teaching principles. The UW-Eau Claire elementary and special education major recently was chosen to receive a prestigious tutoring award — both for her ability to teach and explain material and for the qualities that make her an effective mentor to other tutors.
Daily, from Brookfield, works in the university's Academic Skills Center, and her knack for fostering impactful student relationships along with her leadership abilities earned her the 2014 College Reading and Learning Association's Outstanding Tutor Award. She received the honor in November at the National College Reading and Learning Association Conference in St. Paul, Minn. Full story. back to top

Alumna premieres music composition in New York City

Heidi Joosten
Heidi Joosten

Heidi Joosten, a UW-Eau Claire music composition alumna, had always dreamed of her music being performed on the big stage. Little did she know her dream would become a reality just months after graduating from UW-Eau Claire.

Joosten, originally from Cameron, was among the female composers selected to have their original musical theater compositions featured at "The Music Box: An Evening of Lady Composers," an event of the summer 2014 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF).

The NYMF is the largest annual musical theater festival in the United States, presenting productions, concerts, readings and special events each summer. The festival provides or subsidizes all the key components needed to put on a show, from theaters, performers and technical equipment to marketing, industry and audience outreach. For new musical theater writers, NYMF offers an all-too-rare chance to fully realize their shows in three dimensions and with top-flight collaborators — an experience that is essential for the development of exciting new work. More than 90 NYMF shows have gone on to productions on and off Broadway, and festival alumni have received a wide array of awards including the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Full story. back to top

Fraternity volunteer efforts help abuse victims heal

Fraternity students at Bolton Refuge House

Students, from left, Tucker Goesch, Caleb Thielemann and Brandon Aguirre are part of a fraternity whose members volunteer with the Bolton Refuge House, an agency that offers shelter and support services for victims of domestic violence, abuse and sexual assault.

When Caleb Thielemann agreed for the first time to pull a few of his fraternity brothers together to help a family in crisis move to a safe place, he had no idea how much the experience would change the family's life or his own.

"It was a domestic abuse situation, and we got them to a safer place," said Thielemann, a sophomore at UW-Eau Claire. "It was incredibly eye-opening to realize the difference we made for this mom and her kids. It was just a few guys, and we had them moved in an hour and half, but it made such a difference for them. When you volunteer, you expect to be helpful but seeing how much we could directly help in that little amount of time was when I really realized what community service is all about."

Thielemann is a member of the UW-Eau Claire chapter of Delta Tau Delta-Iota Phi, a fraternity whose members regularly volunteer with the Bolton Refuge House in Eau Claire. Bolton is a community organization that offers shelter and support services for victims of domestic violence, abuse and sexual assault.

The DTD fraternity, now in its third year at UW-Eau Claire, was established around the idea of using community service to help male students develop their understanding of the core values of truth, courage, faith and power, said Brandon Aguirre, a junior business administration major from Burlington who serves as DTD president. Full story. back to top

Brother-sister duo launch housing website for Blugolds
Holly and Josh Solomon
Holly and Josh Solomon

When Josh Solomon and his friends began searching for off-campus housing after their freshman year at UW-Eau Claire, they quickly realized that they had no idea how to navigate Eau Claire's student rental housing market.

"We just drove around looking for 'for rent' signs and had no idea what to do," said Josh, a native of Wausau.
Recognizing that thousands of other students are in the same situation every year as they try to find off-campus housing that meets their needs, the information systems major began building a website that would help simplify the housing search process for Blugolds.

When Josh's sister, Holly Solomon, enrolled at UW-Eau Claire to study marketing, the siblings began working together on the project.

In October, the brother-sister duo launched their website, College House Eau Claire. Full story. back to top
Local P.E.O. chapters contribute to Foundation scholarship, emergency funds
Centennial Hall

Faced with financial difficulties and family obligations, UW-Eau Claire graduate student Heather Schmidt realized it was possible she wouldn't be able to graduate in May 2015 as she had planned. Schmidt, who is working on a master's degree in communication sciences and disorders, needed to take some classes that are offered only during the summer session, but she had exhausted her funding options. To stay on schedule, she had to find a way to pay for those summer session classes in 2014.

Schmidt was able to come up with the tuition money and stay on her graduation timetable thanks to funding provided by two local chapters of P.E.O. International, an organization that assists women students through scholarships, grants, awards, loans and stewardship.

P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) chapters CH and AF have been supporting the educational needs of women studying at UW-Eau Claire for the past 25 years. Collectively, the two chapters have provided nearly $15,000 in funding for scholarships and emergency assistance through donations to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation. Chapter CH now supports the Blugold Emergency Fund, and Chapter AF supports a newly created scholarship fund. Full story. back to top

Alumna named UW-Eau Claire Foundation major gifts officer
Julia Diggins

Julia Diggins

With ties deeply rooted in UW-Eau Claire, third-generation Blugold alumna Julia Diggins has been named a major gifts officer in the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.

“It’s a true honor to have the opportunity to take on this important role,” Diggins said. “As a UW-Eau Claire student, I had no idea how my path would lead me back here or to this position in particular. Not only am I an alumna, but both of my parents and my grandmother are alumni as well. It’s not a stretch to say I wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for UW-Eau Claire, since this is where my parents met. I owe a lot to this university and I’m excited to give back in a new way.”

Diggins, a 2003 UW-Eau Claire English graduate who also earned a master’s degree in college student development and administration from UW-La Crosse, will begin her duties Jan. 5. She will be primarily responsible for working with the university's alumni and friends in the Chippewa Valley. Full story. back to top

Enjoy an alumni getaway weekend at the Kalahari!
Kalahari logo

Join UW-Eau Claire alumni, along with alums from seven other UW System campuses, for relaxation, fun and friendly competitions during a weekend getaway Jan. 9-11 at the Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells.

The rate of $149 per night includes a guest room for up to four people, Friday evening pizza social, all-weekend access to the Indoor Waterpark and all-day Saturday access to the UW-Eau Claire indoor cabana.

To register, call Kalahari at 877-525-2427 and ask for block UW-Eau Claire Alumni to book room. Room rate guaranteed until Dec. 19, 2014. Questions: phone 715-836-3266, email Alumni. View invitation. back to top

Donor to match young alumni donations to UW-Eau Claire Foundation
Foundation donors

Donations made to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation by alumni from the last decade will be matched dollar for dollar through Dec. 31.

All gifts made online by graduates will be matched by an anonymous donor through the Dollars for Blugold Scholars fund. Gifts of any amount to the Dollars for Blugold Scholars fund go directly toward supporting well-deserving students who wish to become Blugolds but may require additional financial assistance to attend UW-Eau Claire.

See how donations touch the lives of current students in a thank-you video. back to top

Happy Holidays from the UW-Eau Claire Foundation!

The UW-Eau Claire Foundation office will be closed for the holidays on Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1, and open regular business hours on Dec. 26, 29, 30 and Jan. 2 from 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Donations to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation can be made online by clicking here. Online donations processed before midnight CST on Wednesday, Dec. 31, will be receipted as a 2014 gift. Please consult your tax adviser to determine the tax considerations of your donations.

The Foundation would like to thank the alumni and friends who have played a special role in the success of UW-Eau Claire! back to top

Champions of The Power of AND
Power of AND

In this issue of eView, we continue our series spotlighting alumni and other Blugolds who exemplify The Power of AND.

Nick Anderson

Entrepreneur AND entertainer
As a full-time business management/entrepreneur major who also tours Wisconsin performing with a rock band, Nick Anderson already had a lot going on in his life. But when a professor showed his class a video about research around happiness and the specific things people can do each day to rewire their brains to be more optimistic, Nick's life got even busier. Inspired by the happiness research, he created a program to guide people through the journey toward becoming more optimistic and happy. The result of his efforts is "Sunshine 29," a book that he published this past spring after forming his own company, A Happier Mind. The book is a 29-day program to change the way people see their days and make them more optimistic and happier. Nick credits a network of people with helping him transform his vision for his project into reality. He's especially appreciative of his professors who have supported his creativity and encouraged him to reach for his goals. As a college student, musician, published author and business owner, Nick Anderson is an entrepreneur AND an entertainer, and that's pretty powerful.

Read more AND stories on The Power of AND website. And please submit your AND story as well! back to top

Alumni success stories

In addition to the alumni below, you can read about the accomplishments of other UW-Eau Claire alumni on the Alumni Success Stories Web pages:
Tracy White Tracy White '92, a UW-Eau Claire communication arts graduate, has been named program director of organizational alignment for Royal Credit Union of Eau Claire. Full story.
Jon Gedde Jon Gedde '05, a UW-Eau Claire management graduate, has been named as one of Mortgage Professional America Magazine's Hot 100 for 2015. Full story.
Brenda Thompson Brenda Thompson '90, a UW-Eau Claire marketing graduate, has been named senior development officer for the Stout University Foundation at UW-Stout. Full story.
Kim Budde Kim Budde '95, a UW-Eau Claire music graduate, has been named Assistant Principal of the Year by the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals. Full story.
Eric Killen Eric Killen '88, a UW-Eau Claire political science graduate, has had his book, "Wisconsin Army National Guard," published as part of Arcadia Publishing's "Images of America" series. Full story.
Dan Nelson Dan Nelson '05, a UW-Eau Claire accounting and business finance graduate, has been named finance director/treasurer for the city of Milton. (Photo courtesy of The Milton Courier) Full story.
Seal Matt Nelson '99, a UW-Eau Claire management information systems graduate, has been named chief information officer for Alta Resources in Neenah. Full story.
Seal Bruce Hagen '77, a UW-Eau Claire economics graduate, has been named president of OhioHealth Marion General Hospital in Marion, Ohio. Full story.
Seal Debra Hagen-Foley '86, a UW-Eau Claire psychology graduate, has been hired as director of institutional effectiveness for Mid-State Technical College. Full story. back to top

Blugold Trivia headline
Show how much you know about UW-Eau Claire — AND win great Blugold prizes! Email your answer to this month's question to the Blugold Trivia mailbox (trivia@uwec.edu). Those sending correct responses to this month's question will be entered in a drawing for a Blugold hat and scarf set. The name of this month's Blugold Trivia winner will be published in the January 2015 issue of eView.

December Blugold Trivia question:

Eau Claire City Council President Kerry Kincaid is one of the individuals receiving an award from the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association Dec. 20. Where did she earn her master's degree?

Know the answer? Email it, along with your name and class year, to trivia@uwec.edu. You'll be notified by email if you are this month's winner!

November's winner:

Congratulations to Katie Geddes, a 1986 UW-Eau Claire special education graduate ('90 MSE) and winner of the November Blugold Trivia prize! Katie's name was drawn from among those who correctly answered that Chauncy S. Harris Jr. was the first UW-Eau Claire student ever to be named a Rhodes scholar. back to top

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Last Updated: December 18, 2014 Questions/Comments: alumni@uwec.edu