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  April 2015

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Power of AND

In this issue

Eau Claire Jazz Festival kicks off April 16

Eau Claire Marathon activities planned on campus

Alumni return to campus to share advice with current students

New Kent State Memorial to be dedicated May 4

Biology student to strive for 'Excellence' at Johns Hopkins

Growing job market offers more opportunities for college grads

Public donations provide new instrumentation for air quality research

Three Blugolds receive Fulbright U.S. Student awards for 2015-16

Students to showcase research at state Capitol during 'Posters in the Rotunda'

Area fifth-graders to explore campus as part of Blugold Beginnings

A walk to honor water; a gathering to honor land

Artists Series concludes season with 'To Kill a Mockingbird' April 21

International Poetry Reading showcases languages from around the world

Mary and Fred Bliss give back to nursing program; anniversary events planned

Spend your summer in beautiful Eau Claire!

Alumni Association planning several spring 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





Eau Claire Jazz Festival kicks off April 16

Eau Claire Jazz Fest

The Chippewa Valley will welcome hundreds of jazz artists and fans to the region this month as it hosts the 48th annual Eau Claire Jazz Festival.

The festival, one of the largest and oldest jazz festivals in the nation, will feature concerts, events, competitions and other activities April 16-18 at various locations around Eau Claire and on the UW-Eau Claire campus.

The music festival — presented by the Eau Claire Jazz Inc. and its partner, UW-Eau Claire — features student competitions for middle school, high school and college ensembles, as well as jazz events for the entire community to enjoy.

The annual event builds on a rich educational tradition that was started by UW-Eau Claire when it began the festival in 1967, says Robert Baca, the festival's artistic director and the head of UW-Eau Claire's jazz program.

A Jazz Festival gathering for alumni is scheduled for April 17. See details below under the 'Alumni Association' heading. Full story. back to top

Eau Claire Marathon activities planned on campus

Eau Claire Marathon

UW-Eau Claire students, faculty and staff, and alumni as well as community members, are invited to head to campus May 2-3 for big Blugold happenings during the Eau Claire Marathon.

This year, runners — an expected 3,500 of them — will follow a course that takes them through the UW-Eau Claire campus. The following are ways to be a part of the "Blugold Mile."

Join Team Blugold. UW-Eau Claire students, faculty and staff, and alumni are encouraged to run in the race (the full marathon, full relay marathon and half marathon all will go through campus) as a part of Team Blugold on Sunday, May 3. They will join more than 80 current UW-Eau Claire students who are running the race as part of their kinesiology class. Special shirts are available for runners to show off their Blugold pride. (More info.)

Join the crowds on campus for a scenic vantage point from which to watch the race and cheer on the competitors as they pass the 24-mile mark. Water and cheering stations, appearances by Blu, UW-Eau Claire's student mascot, and fun spectator activities are being planned.

Carbo-load. Students, faculty and staff, and alumni are invited to attend Blu's Pasta Feed from 6-8 p.m. Saturday, May 2, in Davies Center. Tickets are available online; read full story for details. back to top

Alumni return to share advice with current students

Experience U

UW-Eau Claire alumni are passionate about the experiences they had on campus and how their time as students helped prepare them for success after graduation. They’re also eager to share what they’ve learned with the next generation of Blugolds.

That passion is what sparked UW-Eau Claire’s ExperienceU, an evening that will bring alumni together with current students so they can share their experiences and best advice.

The advice will be helpful because the alumni coming to campus for the April 16 event already have experienced exactly what she and other soon-to-be college graduates will go through after graduation, said Rebecca Lubecki, a recent public relations graduate and an intern in the Career Services office. Full story. back to top

New Kent State Memorial to be dedicated May 4

President Leonard Haas addressing students
Wisconsin State University-Eau Claire President Leonard Haas addresses 3,500 students on campus May 6, 1970. (Photo by Bill Edgar)

UW-Eau Claire alumni are invited to return to campus for the dedication of the new Kent State Memorial Monday, May 4. The date marks the 45th anniversary of the Kent State University shootings and the resulting peaceful student strike at then Wisconsin State University-Eau Claire to protest the U.S. invasion of Cambodia and the Kent State deaths.

Featured events will include the dedication of a memorial plaque and comments by Chancellor Jim Schmidt, former state Sen. Robert Jauch (Student Senate president in 1970) and current Student Senate vice president Jake Wrasse. The program begins at 11:24 a.m. on the lawn at the northwest corner of Phillips Science Hall. Four crab apple trees will be planted at the site to represent the four students killed during the Kent State University protests against the Vietnam War in 1970.

Beginning at noon in Woodland Theater of Davies Center, the Chancellor's Centennial History Lecture Series will present "Voices of Protest; Voices of Reason: The Response to the Kent State Shootings at Wisconsin State University-Eau Claire." The presentation will be led by Robert Gough, professor emeritus of history, and Alice Ridge, professor emerita of communication and journalism.

The Kent State Memorial event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Greg Kocken, head of Special Collections & Archives at UW-Eau Claire, at 715-836-3873 or kockeng@uwec.edu. back to top

Biology student to strive for 'Excellence' at Johns Hopkins

Kelsey Stuttgen
Julie Anderson, left, with Kelsey Stuttgen

When Kelsey Stuttgen broke her leg in seventh grade, it set her on a course to not only graduate from college in three years but also to earn acceptance into one of the top biomedical research schools in the country.

The senior biology major from Eau Claire will start her graduate career working toward a Ph.D. in the department of human genetics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. She will begin the first of three research rotations on June 1 in a breast cancer research lab.

Seeing how doctors help patients and families inspired Stuttgen to go into medical research, she said. She began taking classes at UW-Eau Claire during her senior year at Altoona High School, enrolling in biology and pre-medicine after graduation. Full story. back to top

Growing job market offers more opportunities for college grads

Job outlook improving

There is good news for Blugolds looking forward to graduation in May. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, job outlook hiring projections of college graduates are rising.

Employers are reporting that they plan to hire 8.3 percent more new college graduates this spring for their U.S. operations than they did from the class of 2014, according to the 2015 NACE Job Outlook report.

"The outlook is very good for students who will be entering the job market this spring," said Staci Heidtke, associate director of Career Services at UW-Eau Claire. "There will be a lot of competition for the entry-level positions but given UW-Eau Claire's strong reputation for providing students with high-quality education and real-world experiences, our newest graduates should find many opportunities in a variety of fields." Full story. back to top

Public donations provide new instrumentation for air quality research

Student researchers

UW-Eau Claire students Rachel Bates, St. Maries, Idaho, and Ruijian Liang, Foshan China, work with air-monitoring equipment near a sand mine site outside of Bloomer while conducting research with Crispin Pierce, associate professor of environmental public health.

Environmental public health students will have access to federally sanctioned air monitors to continue research on air quality around industrial sand mining sites due to citizen-based funding conducted by Crispin Pierce, an associate professor and director of environmental public health at UW-Eau Claire.

The Partisol Dichotomous PM2.5/PM10 particulate air samplers, certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will be used to accurately measure the concentrations of particles, including silica, around frac sand facilities. Results will be shared with the public, the Department of Natural Resources, industry professionals and the scientific community.

"I know of no other regional comprehensive universities employing these or similar instruments," Pierce said. "Along with the use of meteorological stations to assess wind speed and direction, humidity, temperature and precipitation, students will gain acumen in air-quality monitoring, preparing them for jobs with the DNR, EPA and other governmental organizations that protect human health, and private industry where particulate emissions must be controlled." Full story. back to top

Three Blugolds receive Fulbright U.S. Student awards for 2015-16

Angela Koch Claire Lind
Angela Koch
Claire Lind

One UW-Eau Claire student and two recent Blugold graduates have been offered 2015-16 Fulbright U.S. Student awards for English teaching assistantships abroad. The award recipients who accept their awards will teach in their host countries from fall 2015 through spring 2016.

These recent awards bring to 23 the number of UW-Eau Claire Fulbright recipients since 2003.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program of the United States, and recipients represent the U.S. as cultural ambassadors while they are overseas, helping to enhance mutual understanding between Americans and the people in their host country. More than 100,000 Fulbright U.S. Student Program alumni have received grants since the program began in 1948.

The following individuals have applied through UW-Eau Claire and been offered Fulbright U.S. Student awards:

  • Angela Koch, a senior art education major from Manitowoc, has been offered a Fulbright English teaching assistantship in Bulgaria.
  • Karlene Groshek, a 2011 UW-Eau Claire Spanish liberal arts graduate from Stevens Point, has been offered an English teaching assistantship in Turkey.
  • Claire Lind, a December 2014 UW-Eau Claire elementary education graduate from Berlin, also has been offered an English teaching assistantship in Turkey. Full story. back to top

Students to showcase research at state Capitol during 'Posters in the Rotunda'

Posters in the Rotunda

Seven UW-Eau Claire students will be among the more than 100 UW System students to present their faculty-student research projects April 22 to legislators, state leaders and UW System alumni during "Posters in the Rotunda: UW Research Powers Wisconsin" at the state Capitol in Madison.

“At UW-Eau Claire, 37 percent of seniors have had an in-depth faculty-mentored research experience by the time they graduate,” said Karen Havholm, assistant vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs. “This is an opportunity for students to showcase the benefits of those hands-on experiences to our elected officials and the general public.”

Faculty-student research is one of the high-impact learning experiences that is a hallmark of a UW-Eau Claire degree, said Chancellor James Schmidt, noting that 80 percent of graduating seniors reported having participated in at least one such experience, which also include internships, study abroad, and international or domestic cultural immersion experiences. Full story. back to top

Area fifth-graders to explore campus as part of Blugold Beginnings

Blugold Beginnings

Blugold Beginnings will bring nearly 1,600 area fifth-graders to the UW-Eau Claire campus April 23-24 for the annual Fifth-Grade Tour Day.

Students from Alma Center, Arcadia, Augusta, Black River Falls, Bloomer, Cadott, Cornell, Durand, Elcho, Eleva-Strum, Fall Creek and St. Mark schools will tour campus on April 23, while students from Eau Claire, Altoona, Osseo and Wausau GEAR UP will visit on April 24.

Small groups of fifth-graders will be paired with UW-Eau Claire college mentors for the day. Fifth-grade students are encouraged to ask questions about college, discuss future academic plans and explore the areas on campus they find most interesting. Full story. back to top

A walk to honor water; a gathering to honor land

Chippewa River

How many miles would a community of people walk to ensure future generations have access to quality water? Those participating in this year's Aldo Leopold and Earth Week celebrations are prepared to walk 150 miles over six days to honor the land ethic of Aldo Leopold and raise awareness for water quality and environmental issues.

The 10th annual Aldo Leopold Gathering has a new feature this year. Sponsored by the UW-Eau Claire Environmental Adventure Center and American Indian studies department, the event has partnered with Sharon Day, an Ojibwe elder, for the Chippewa River Water Walk beginning on April 20 in New Post, Wisconsin, and ending on April 25 in Wabasha, Minnesota. The gathering and walk are free and open to the public.

"This year's event draws upon Wisconsin's strong Native American heritage," said Dan Langlois, UW-Eau Claire assistant director of recreation and sport facilities. "The walk is intended to honor the life-giving properties of water. The spiritual dimension is very much a part of Native American tradition." Full story. back to top

Artists Series concludes season with 'To Kill a Mockingbird' April 21

National Players

The National Players return to the Artists Series at UW-Eau Claire, presenting "To Kill a Mockingbird" at 7:30 p.m. April 21 in Schofield Auditorium.

America's longest-running classical touring company, the National Players will stage an adaptation of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel for the first time in its 65-year history. The story is set in 1935. Scout, a young girl living in the tired old town of Maycomb, Alabama, is about to experience a summer that will affect the rest of her life. She and her brother, Jem, are being raised by their widowed father, Atticus Finch. The black people of the community have a special feeling for Scout's father and she doesn't know why. Atticus, a lawyer, explains that he is defending a young black man wrongfully accused of a grave crime. Atticus fights his legal battle with a result that is part defeat, part triumph.

National Players is a unique theater ensemble that brings innovative productions to communities across the United States. Its company of young professional actors introduces audiences to great works of literature that are rich in stories and characters. Full story. back to top

International Poetry Reading showcases languages from around the world

Poetry book

Since 2007, members of the Eau Claire community have gathered each year to celebrate the beauty of language by reading and listening to poetry from around the world at the UW-Eau Claire International Poetry Reading. This year, the event will be held April 22 from 7-9 p.m. in the Ojibwe Grand Ballroom of Davies Center.

During the event, students, community members, faculty and staff come together to read and listen to poetry written in languages other than modern, standard English. Last year, poems were read in 48 different languages.

Co-organizers of the event Audrey Fessler, associate professor of English and women's studies, and Jeff Vahlbusch, University Honors Program director and associate professor of languages, said the program will delight everyone who enjoys the beauty and emotional power of language and everyone who appreciates cultural diversity. Full story. back to top

Mary and Fred Bliss give back to nursing program; anniversary events planned

Mary and Fred Bliss

In 2014 Mary and Fred Bliss established a UW-Eau Claire nursing faculty grant that facilitates the development of scholarship for pre-tenured faculty building their portfolios for tenure and promotion.

“There is nothing more exciting than partnering with a woman and her family to bring a new life into the world,” said Mary, a UW-Eau Claire nursing graduate who at one time worked in obstetrics and gynecology. “But it is also fabulous to work with nurses to show how nursing has its own knowledge level and a collaborative focus on patient safety and quality.”

Watch a video about the impact Mary and Fred Bliss hope to have with their gift.

Save the dates! The College of Nursing and Health Sciences will observe its 50th anniversary during the 2015-16 academic year. Plan now to attend the following:

Oct. 10, 2015. Nursing Homecoming walk and breakfast; dedication of the Nursing Wall of Deans; Nursing Gala to include dinner, band and silent auction

May 6, 2016. Nursing Research Day in conjunction with the Delta Phi chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing.

If nursing alumni have photos from their time at UW-Eau Claire that they'd be willing to share, send them to Debra Jansen, associate dean in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, at jansenda@uwec.edu. They will be used for various displays during celebratory events.

Watch for details in the coming months. back to top

Spend your summer in beautiful Eau Claire!

Snowbird U

Whether you're missing the beauty and serenity of the place you once called home or you simply want to see for yourself what many call "Wisconsin's most beautiful campus," UW-Eau Claire is the perfect destination to spend your summer exploring.

The UW-Eau Claire campus is located on a scenic site adjacent to the Chippewa River and is within walking distance of two popular shopping districts with coffee shops, art galleries, live music, outdoor trails and parks. Movie theaters, unique and chain restaurants, athletic clubs, golf courses and performing arts venues provide plenty to do and see nearby.

Accommodations are available in the Chancellors Hall on-campus apartments from June 1-Aug. 15. Learn more about the opportunities that await you at Snowbird U. back to top

Alumni Association planning several spring events

The UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association is planning a number of events in the weeks ahead. Here are a few:

Alumni lunch for Phillips-Medisize employees. Friday, April 17, noon-1 p.m., Phillips-Medisize Operations Center, 3449 Sky Park Blvd., Eau Claire. More info.

Alumni Jazz Festival gathering. Friday, April 17, 5-7 p.m., The Venue (back of The Plus), 208 S. Barstow St., Eau Claire. Enjoy a beverage and New Orleans-themed appetizers. More info.

Kent Syverson
Kent Syverson

Concert Choir Spring Tour Performance. Thursday, April 23, 7 p.m., St. Norbert Abbey Church, 1016 N. Broadway, De Pere. Alumni, parents and friends of the Concert Choir and members of the university community are invited to enjoy an evening of music and a reception following the choir's performance. More info.

Let's Do Lunch lecture series. Wednesday, April 29, noon, Eau Claire Golf & Country Club, Altoona. Kent Syverson, UW-Eau Claire professor and chair of geology, will provide an overview of Wisconsin's sandstone geology, attributes of "good" frac sand and controversies associated with sand mining and processing in Wisconsin. More info.

For more information about these events and others in the works, check out the Alumni Association's events calendar, call 715-836-3266 or email alumni@uwec.edu. 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.

Tomas Benzo

A head for numbers AND
a heart for sports

A lifelong athlete, Tomas Benzo has always centered his world around sports of all kinds. The Argentina native says soccer — a sport he’s played his whole life — is in his blood. As a Blugold, he played on the tennis team. Last summer he launched his own coaching business. His dream is to someday be commissioner of the NBA. While he’s a self-described sports fanatic, he’s also a numbers kind of guy. Through his studies as a management-entrepreneurship major, he has found a way to combine his love of sports and his talent for understanding data. Sports analytics — an emerging field within the professional sports arena — is a career path that Tomas believes will help him achieve his lofty goals. While still a senior, Tomas already is well on his way to making his way into the professional sports world. The Minnesota Twins hired him as sports analytics intern for the baseball team’s 2015 season. Since the use of analytics is an emerging field within professional sports, the skills Tomas gained through his studies and his experience as an entrepreneur will be especially valuable since he’ll have to be a creative thinker to figure how to fill a niche in the sports world. As professional teams turn to marketing analytics to help guide them in everything from player skill development to in-game decision-making to contract negotiations, they need talented and creative people like Tomas to lead the way. With a head for numbers AND a heart for sports, Tomas Benzo is ready to take the field of sports analytics by storm, 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:
Julie Brussow Julie Brussow '86, a UW-Eau Claire business finance graduate, has been named chief executive officer for Security Health Plan of Wisconsin Inc. Full story.
Seal Christopher B. Hughes '86, a UW-Eau Claire business administration graduate, has been re-elected chair of the board of directors and managing partner of Stafford Rosenbaum LLP. Full story.
Seal Martha Koller Faust '94, a UW-Eau Claire physical education graduate, is the gymnastics head coach at Mount Horeb High School. Full story.
Seal Patricia Kapper '70, a UW-Eau Claire junior high/middle school education graduate, has joined the advisory board of Student Studio LLC. Full story.
Seal Tracy Hurst '94, a UW-Eau Claire psychology graduate, is co-founder and co-owner of Metropolitan Brewing in Chicago. Full story.
Seal John Hecht '80, a UW-Eau Claire comprehensive professional accounting graduate, has been named market president for Starion Financial. Full story.
Seal Jamie Mara '92, a UW-Eau Claire journalism graduate, has been named director of public relations for the Dairy Business Association of Wisconsin. Full story.
Seal Jim Scheidler '68, a UW-Eau Claire economics and history graduate who also received a master of arts in teaching in 1976, serves of the board of the Badger Basketball Boosters. 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 umbrella (just in time for April showers). The name of this month's Blugold Trivia winner will be published in the May 2015 issue of eView.

April Blugold Trivia question:

The 48th annual Eau Claire Jazz Festival is scheduled for April 16-18 at various locations around Eau Claire and on the UW-Eau Claire campus. What Eau Claire street serves as the venue for the festival's 52nd Street celebration?

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!

March's winner:

Congratulations to David K. Boe, a 1984 UW-Eau Claire accounting graduate and winner of the March Blugold Trivia prize! David's name was drawn from among those who correctly answered that Ann Devroy, for whom a campus memorial forum is named, graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1970. back to top

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Last Updated: April 15, 2015 Questions/Comments: alumni@uwec.edu