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  August 2014

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Power of AND

In this issue

Blugold alumni land gift to be site of major events center

Regents reaffirm Confluence project support, request Towers renovation funding

Music alumnus returns to Midwest for performance tour with jazz trio

Grants support faculty-student research of polymeric materials

Geology students benefit from mining initiative summer internships

UW-Eau Claire to open on-campus student food pantry

Student lives out big dreams in the 'Big Apple'

Homecoming 2014 is just around the corner!

Alumni Association planning fall events

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


Blugold alumni land gift to be site of major events center

Alumni John and Carolyn Sonnentag have pledged approximately $10 million in land and money through their philanthropic foundation to help make possible the construction of a major events center in Eau Claire.

When John and Carolyn Sonnentag were UW-Eau Claire students during the 1960s, the university's Zorn Arena was known as the Fieldhouse — and, except for new paint here and there over the years and a periodically refinished basketball floor, it looked largely the same as it does today.

While Zorn Arena has changed in name since the Sonnentags attended commencement ceremonies there nearly 50 years ago, it has remained UW-Eau Claire's largest events venue — with a capacity of 3,400 — since its construction in 1951. (See a 1971 Sports Illustrated story referring to the "tiny, 3,500-seat fieldhouse" in which the top-ranked Blugold men's basketball team competed.) Believing that it's time for their alma mater and the surrounding community to have a facility capable of meeting today's demands for larger-scale events, they have pledged approximately $10 million in land and money through their philanthropic foundation to help make that happen.

The UW-Eau Claire Foundation announced Aug. 5 that the Sonnentag Foundation has committed to transfer ownership of 21 acres along Menomonie Street in Eau Claire to Blugold Real Estate, a subsidiary of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation. The 21 acres currently are owned by County Materials Corp., the Sonnentags' third-generation family-owned concrete manufacturing company. (See an aerial view of the site.)
The Sonnentag Foundation's gift represents the largest outright gift to the UW-Foundation in its nearly 60-year history. Full story.

Read Chancellor James Schmidt's remarks about the opportunities afforded by the Sonnentag gift on his blog. back to top

Regents reaffirm Confluence project support, request Towers renovation funding

The UW System Board of Regents has approved its 2015-17 capital budget request, including support for the Confluence Project in downtown Eau Claire as well as $33 million for the renovation of Towers Hall at UW-Eau Claire.

The regents' capital budget request resolution reaffirmed the board's support for the Confluence Project and directed UW System President Ray Cross to work with the state Department of Administration to implement the project.

The state funding sought for the Confluence Project will be through the nonstate agency grant program, which provides funding for selected building projects through the biennial state budget.

Funding for renovations of both 10-story wings of UW-Eau Claire's Towers residence hall also was included in the regents' biennial budget request. Full story. back to top

Music alumnus returns to Midwest for performance tour with jazz trio
John Raymond
John Raymond

A UW-Eau Claire music graduate and professional jazz trumpeter is returning to his roots in September for a weeklong tour of performances and master classes.

John Raymond is bringing his New York-based Roots Trio to the Midwest for a tour that will open with a BackStage Concert at Eau Claire's State Theatre Sept. 12. The trio also will record its debut album during the tour.

The Roots Trio features Raymond on flugelhorn and two other rising-star New York musicians: guitarist Gilad Hekselman and drummer Colin Stranahan. Raymond said the trio's repertoire includes unique takes on American folk songs, renditions on classic hymns, select indie-rock covers and deconstructed arrangements of jazz standards.

The BackStage concert at the State Theatre begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available online at EauClaireArts.com or by calling 715-832-2787. The trio also will present a master class for UW-Eau Claire music students earlier in the day on the university campus, and Raymond will present a guest forum at 11 a.m. Sept. 13 in Haas Fine Arts Center 160 titled "The Freelance Life: What Every Performing Musician Needs to Know." His talk is free and open to the public. Full story. back to top

Grants support faculty-student research of polymeric materials
Elizabeth Glogowski and student in lab

A pendant drop tensiometer purchased for the Materials Science Center with UW System Applied Research Grant funds allows assistant professor Elizabeth Glogowski and junior materials science major Michael Schneider to examine how the interaction between oil and water changes when a surfactant is added by measuring the change in interfacial tension.

Elizabeth Glogowski, an assistant professor of materials science at UW-Eau Claire, has received $105,000 in grant money to continue faculty-student collaborative research related to new polymeric materials.

With a $50,000 Applied Research Grant from UW System and WiSys Technology Foundation, Glogowski will continue work on a research project titled "Tuning of New Smart Polymer Surfactants for Enhanced Oil Recovery Applications" to investigate properties of new polymer surfactants, which may have applications for enhanced oil recovery.

A $55,000 grant from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund Undergraduate New Investigator program will go toward Glogowski’s project titled "Designing 'Smart' Polymer Self-assembling Systems by Tuning Polymer Functionality and Architecture." The overall goal of the project is to produce "smart" polymers, which provide a means of controlling polymer interactions based on an external stimulus, such as temperature, pH or ionic strength. Full story. back to top

Geology students benefit from mining initiative summer internships
Justin Poirier
Justin Poirier

A North American mining company with operations in Wisconsin is investing more than $50,000 annually in a new Responsible Mining Initiative being established at the UW-Eau Claire.

Unimin announced this spring that it will invest the monies in summer internships, scholarships and grants specifically designated for UW-Eau Claire geology students.

Two such geology majors have spent the summer working in internship positions with Unimin. Senior Justin Poirier was hired as a geology intern working in the company's Tunnel City mining operation in Monroe County. Senior Ryan Conway has been working as an environmental intern at the company's offices in Mankato, Minn.

Read about Poirier's experience in the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram. Conway's story appears in the Hudson Star-Observer.

Information about the Responsible Mining Initiative is available from an earlier story appearing on UW-Eau Claire's website. back to top

UW-Eau Claire to open on-campus student food pantry
Campus Harvest logo

In an effort to diminish food insecurity among students, UW-Eau Claire will open the Campus Harvest food pantry on campus Sept. 2.

Introduced by the UW-Eau Claire Foundation and Office of Student Affairs in partnership with Feed My People Food Bank in Eau Claire, Campus Harvest is located in Room 38 on the lower level of Schofield Hall.

According to Feeding America's 2014 Hunger in America Report, 10 percent of the 46.5 million individuals who currently use the Feeding America network of food banks are students. Of those, nearly one-third said that they had to choose between spending their money on food and spending their money on their education. Full story. back to top

Student lives out big dreams in the 'Big Apple'
Aaron White
Aaron White

Aaron White, a UW-Eau Claire senior majoring in public relations, is taking his passion for theater to the streets of New York City, including world-famous Broadway. Instead of performing on stage, however, White is using his public relations skills to make a difference in the music and theater industry from behind the scenes.

White, from La Crescent, Minn., is spending the summer working as a media intern at O&M Co., a public relations and press agency whose clients range from mainstream Broadway productions to off-Broadway and downtown shows, to world-class nonprofit institutions and legendary New York City night spots.

"For someone who grew up with Broadway.com as his Internet home page, this internship is literally a dream come true for me," White said. "I've seen a new side of theater I never thought about, and it's opened up my perspective on creative, eye-catching press in a variety of sectors." Full story. back to top

Homecoming 2014 is just around the corner!

The UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association invites all Blugolds to Homecoming 2014, scheduled for Oct. 3-4. Join friends and former classmates for the university's biggest celebration of the year. Enjoy the traditional parade, pregame celebration and football game.

Other events include the Golden Blugold Celebration and reunions for the groups Alpha Kappa Lambda, political science and criminal justice alumni, alumni of color, Latin American studies alumni, nursing alumni and the class of '74. The annual Soccer Club alumni game is set for Oct. 5.

Check the Alumni Association website for additional Homecoming details as they are finalized. Plan now to join your friends for Homecoming 2014! back to top

Alumni Association planning fall events

The UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association is hosting several events in the next few weeks.

Madison area alumni gathering. Thursday, Sept. 18, 6 p.m., home of Andy and Anna Burish, 4273 Blackstone Court, Middleton. Join alumni and friends for cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and conversation. Chancellor James Schmidt will provide an update on what's happening back on campus. RSVP by Sept. 11 to Michele Olson. View invitation.

Singing Statesmen logo

Blugold NIght with the Minnesota Twins. Saturday, Sept. 20, 6:10 p.m., Target Field, Minneapolis. Join alumni, students, employees and their families as the Twins take on the Cleveland Indians. The Singing Statesmen will sing the national anthem just prior to the start of the game. Statesmen alumni are invited to join the group. See invitation for details.

Let's Do Lunch. A new season of the noon-hour lecture series begins Wednesday, Sept. 24, at Fanny Hill Restaurant, Eau Claire. Tickets for the event, which is open to the public, are $13 per person and include the presentation, Fanny Hill buffet, beverage, tax and tip. To reserve your spot, email alumni@uwec.edu or call 715-836-3266. More info.

For details about these events and others in the works, check out the alumni events calendar. 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.

Brent Hensel

Chasing dreams AND celebrating history
Like many kids growing up in Wisconsin, Brent Hensel dreamed of someday being part of the Green Bay Packers. But it wasn't the on-field glory he was after; it was a chance to be part of what he considers to be the greatest sports story ever — a celebrated and legendary community-owned professional sports franchise that has thrived in a small Wisconsin city for nearly a century.

Thanks to UW-Eau Claire's public history program, Brent has made his lifelong dream come true. He's now the first-ever curator for the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. As curator, he's helping the Packers create a new, modern hall of fame inside historic Lambeau Field. With the Packers organization dating back to 1919, the hall of fame will share nearly 100 years of the team's storied history.

Read Brent's full story and 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:
Jennifer McDonough Jennifer McDonough '91, a UW-Eau Claire social studies graduate who also received of master of science in education degree from the university in 1995, has joined the Friends of Sacred Heart Hospital Leadership Council in Eau Claire. Full story.
Lisa Patrow Lisa Patrow '95, a UW-Eau Claire journalism and political science graduate, has joined the Friends of Sacred Heart Hospital (Eau Claire) as a philanthropy specialist. Full story.
Kelley Farber Kelley Farber '09, a UW-Eau Claire nursing graduate who also received a master of science in nursing degree from the university in 2011, has joined the Sacred Heart Hospital (Eau Claire) palliative care team as the adult nurse practitioner. Full story.
Sharon Kaltenberg Sharon Kaltenberg '78, a UW-Eau Claire nursing graduate, received the 2013 Kathryn Etter School Nurse of the Year Award from the Wisconsin Association of School Nurses. Full story.
Andrea Finn Andrea Finn '06, a UW-Eau Claire marketing graduate and digital marketing specialist at RCU in Eau Claire, has advanced to the top 15 in the Next Top Credit Union Exec competition. Full story.
Rachel Minske Rachel Minske '14, a UW-Eau Claire journalism graduate, has received the 2014 Julie Galvan Outstanding Graduate in Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Full story.
Kalista Sawyer Kali Houselog Sawyer '08, a UW-Eau Claire biology graduate and chiropractor in Appleton, has been named head girls varsity basketball coach for the St. Mary Central High School Zephyrs of Neenah. Full story.
Zach Halmstad Zach Halmstad '04, a UW-Eau Claire music graduate, was recently the subject of a story on the business news website Xconomy. Full story.
Seal Jennifer Borski '96, a UW-Eau Claire geology and mathematics graduate, was recently honored with a namesake dedication of a public boardwalk during the grand opening of the RiverHeath development, a former brownfields site in Appleton. 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 UW-Eau Claire T-shirt. The name of this month's Blugold Trivia winner will be published in the September 2014 issue of eView.

August Blugold Trivia question:

UW-Eau Claire music grad John Raymond is returning to the Midwest in September for a jazz tour with the Roots Trio. What legendary trumpeter produced Raymond's debut album, "Strength & Song"?

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!

July's winner:

Congratulations to Lynne Hogan, a 1982 UW-Eau Claire business education graduate and winner of the July Blugold Trivia prize! Lynne's name was drawn from among those who correctly answered that Alan Page, a speaker during the 2014-15 Forum lecture series, was Minnesota's first African-American Supreme Court justice. back to top

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Last Updated: August 28, 2014 Questions/Comments: alumni@uwec.edu