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  January 2015

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Power of AND

In this issue

UW-Eau Claire introduces newly redesigned website

Cabaret XXXVII features 'Community' theme

Students retrace steps of civil rights movement during pilgrimage to the South

Student entrepreneurs build businesses while earning their degrees

Eau Claire Marathon course to pass through UW-Eau Claire campus

Bush Brothers gift supports Blugold Beginnings in Augusta schools

Cyberbullying expert helps make popular teen app safer

Alumni Association planning several winter 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








UW-Eau Claire introduces newly redesigned website

campus winter scene

UW-Eau Claire has recently unveiled a newly redesigned website, featuring a mobile-friendly, easy-to-navigate platform. We hope you'll enjoy the new and improved Blugold Web experience!

Among reasons for the Web redesign:

  • To make the site friendly for viewing on tablets and mobile phones. A "responsive" design means visitors can have a good experience whether they are using cellphones or desktop computers.
  • To help prospective students more easily learn about UW-Eau Claire, request information, schedule a visit or apply.

  • To provide a better way to share our stories. Now we can automatically feed stories and videos across the entire website so visitors can learn more about UW-Eau Claire throughout their browsing experience.

A special note for alumni: While the university home page has a prospective student focus, we have created home pages specific to our various audiences that include the infomation they look for. We encourage you to bookmark the alumni audience page as your UW-Eau Claire home page. There you'll find news and stories of particular interest to alumni as well as links to the Alumni Association, Career Services opportunities for alumni, the UW-Eau Claire Foundation and more.

We hope you'll take a few moments to explore our new website, and we welcome your feedback. back to top

Cabaret XXXVII features 'Community' theme


UW-Eau Claire's department of music and theatre arts will present Cabaret XXXVII, "Community," this month in the Ojibwe Ballroom of Davies Center.

Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22-24 and Jan. 29-31, with matinee performances at 2 p.m. Jan. 24 and 31.

The show will feature UW-Eau Claire's Concert Choir, The Singing Statesmen, Women's Concert Chorale and jazz ensembles, as well as various small acts and solo performers. Ensembles will perform a variety of songs associated with places in our community, such as home, hospital, river and church.

Cabaret, an annual show presented since 1978, supports ongoing scholarships for music students at UW-Eau Claire. The show also provides students in the music and theatre arts department with an opportunity to practice arranging and staging a variety show similar to what they might encounter in a professional career.

A dinner buffet and cash bar will be offered before the Friday and Saturday evening performances in the Dulany Inn of Davies Center. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets for the dinner and show must be purchased in advance. Show-only ticket holders can take advantage of the a la carte deli and dessert bar, which will be available one hour prior to all shows and at intermission. A cash bar will be available before the show and at intermission on Friday and Saturday only. Tickets can be purchased through the Service Center. back to top

Students retrace steps of civil rights movement during pilgrimage to the South

Student on Civil Rights Pilgrimage

More than 70 UW-Eau Claire students recently returned to campus after learning about the civil rights movement by visiting historic sites, participating in slavery and Selma march reenactments, and talking with people who were part of the civil rights era's most influential and memorable events.

Given the racial unrest and protests happening around the country in recent months and the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery, Alabama, voting rights march, students on the 2015 Winterim Civil Rights Pilgrimage found the experience to be especially meaningful as they learned about the history of race in the United States as well as current events tied to issues of race.

The Civil Rights Pilgrimage is a student-planned immersive experience that is offered every Winterim and spring break. What started in 2008 as an alternate spring break trip has grown into an experience that attracts students from all majors, all ethnicities and all socioeconomic backgrounds. Students regularly report that the trip has a lasting impact on their thinking and understanding around civil rights and racial issues in our country. Other universities now are replicating the program on their campuses.

A team from UW-Eau Claire joined the pilgrimage and documented the students' experiences and stories on the 10-day journey through history, providing daily updates and highlighting historic sites and people who fought for equality during the civil rights movement.

All stories from the winter 2015 Civil Rights Pilgrimage can be read on the UW-Eau Claire news website. back to top

Student entrepreneurs build businesses while earning their degrees

Tomas Benzo
Senior Tomas Benzo turned his passion for soccer into a successful business when he and a friend launched Next Level Soccer, a summer youth soccer program in Rochester, Minn.

While thousands of Blugolds juggle part-time work and school, and many new grads have jobs lined up long before graduation day, a growing number of entrepreneurial students at UW-Eau Claire are taking things a step further —they're starting their own businesses while still working toward their bachelor's degrees.

Their reasons for being both entrepreneurs and students vary as much as their business models. But all agree that combining real-world experiences and in-the-classroom learning is enhancing their college experience and better preparing them for a lifetime of success.

By balancing the demands of school and a business, these students are expanding their options, said Ann Rupnow, coordinator of the entrepreneur program.

"If you know how to start your own business, you're building confidence in multiple ways and giving yourself options for when you graduate," Rupnow said. Full story. back to top

Eau Claire Marathon course to pass through UW-Eau Claire campus

Eau Claire Marathon

Fire up, Blugolds, and save the date! On May 3, the 2015 Eau Claire Marathon will follow a course that takes runners through the UW-Eau Claire campus.

Has running a full or half marathon been on your bucket list? Check that box when you join the 100 UW-Eau Claire students who'll be participating in the race as part of their distance running class. They're encouraging fellow students, alumni, and faculty and staff to join them, and all Blugolds will be able to purchase a special Blugold-themed shirt to wear on race day. (Note: Training groups for runners of all ability levels will be meeting at Haas Fine Arts Center at 8 a.m. each Saturday from Jan. 31-May 2. Email Tracy Yengo or Matt Evans for more information.)

Or are marathons more of a spectator sport for you? Plan now to come to campus for one of the most scenic vantage points for watching the race and cheering on the competitors as they pass the 24-mile mark. Water and cheering stations and lots of fun activities are being planned.

For more information and to register for the Eau Claire Marathon, visit the race website at www.eauclairemarathon.com. See you May 3 on Wisconsin's Most Beautiful Campus for the Eau Claire Marathon! back to top

Bush Brothers gift supports Blugold Beginnings in Augusta schools

Bush Brothers gift presentation
Bush Brothers & Co. of Augusta recently presented $5,000 through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation to support Blugold Beginnings programming in the Augusta schools. Attending the presentation were, from left, Betsy Kell, Blugold Beginnings Advisory Board chair; Jodi Thesing-Ritter, UW-Eau Claire associate dean of students and Blugold Beginnings founder; Jason Kestner, Augusta High School and Middle School principal; Nate Kuenkel, Bush Brothers & Co. quality manager; Joe Breid, Bush Brothers & Co. director of operations; Brian Strauch, Bush Brothers & Co. distribution manager; and John Bachmeier, UW-Eau Claire alumni relations director.

Students in the Augusta Area School District will have new opportunities to explore possibilities for post-high school education through a gift from Bush Brothers & Co. of Augusta.

The local employer's $5,000 gift to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation will support mentoring of Augusta middle and high school students through UW-Eau Claire's Blugold Beginnings program beginning in January.

"This contribution is part of Bush Brothers' continuing support of Augusta students and will help them be successful by preparing and exposing them to the possibilities that are available to them in further education," said Joe Breid, director of operations for Bush Brothers & Co. in Augusta.

Blugold Beginnings pairs UW-Eau Claire student mentors with youth in area schools. The program aims to inform and inspire underrepresented students about higher education and how it is attainable for them. Full story. back to top

Cyberbullying expert helps make popular teen app safer

Justin Patchin
Justin Patchin, right, UW-Eau Claire professor of criminal justice, serves on the safety advisory board for the Ask.fm app.

Justin Patchin, an internationally known cyberbullying expert and professor of criminal justice at UW-Eau Claire, is working with a team of other experts to help improve the safety of a popular but controversial app that's popular with teens.

In recent months, Ask.com has taken over the app Ask.fm, and the new owner has tried to clean up practices around the app, which has more than 150 million monthly users. The app is used heavily by teens around the world, who can anonymously ask people questions. In the past, the app gained attention from the media and law enforcement after teen suicides were said to be linked to bullying from users of the app.

In an effort to make the app safer, the new owners increased oversight of the questions that are posted, hired a chief trust and safety officer, and formed a safety advisory board. The board includes five anti-bullying experts, including Patchin, who is co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center. Full story. back to top

Alumni Association planning several winter events

The UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association is planning a number of events this winter. Here are a few scheduled in the near future:

Brady Foust
Brady Foust

Let's Do Lunch lecture series. Jan. 28, noon, Fanny Hill Restaurant, Eau Claire. Brady Foust, professor emeritus of geography, will discuss the potential economic impacts of downtown Eau Claire's Confluence Project. More info.

Blugold athletic events. Men's ice hockey games and alumni weekend, Jan. 30-31, Hobbs Ice Center. Men's basketball game and alumni day, Jan. 31, Zorn Arena. Women's basketball game and alumni day, Feb. 7, Zorn Arena. More info.

The Jig's Up ice fishing contest. Feb. 21, 6 a.m., The Edge Pub & Eatery, Lake Wissota. More info.

Alumni gathering with the Minnesota Wild. Feb. 24, pregame reception at 5:30 p.m., game at 7 p.m., Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minn. More info.

For more information about these events and others in the works, contact the Alumni Association at 715-836-3266 or 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.

Lacy Struensee

Embracing cultures AND cultivating success
A first-generation college student with a passion for the Spanish language, Lacey Struensee embraced the many opportunities available to her at UW-Eau Claire. She spent a semester studying abroad in Costa Rica and participated in a yearlong exchange program in Puerto Rico. As she pursued her degree in Spanish for business professionals, Lacey never forgot that neither her parents nor her older sisters had the opportunities she had to study while immersed in other cultures, learn a second language or receive an exceptional university education that would open many doors. After earning her degree with high honors in 2013, Lacey began a career in the nonprofit world. Through her work with Latino high school students in an after-school program in Madison called Escalera, she uses both her Spanish language skills and her understanding of the challenges facing first-generation college students. She uses her personal experiences to support and guide her students as they navigate the path toward a postsecondary education. While Lacey will never forget her roots or what it took to get where she is in her life, she welcomes opportunities to learn about the new cultures and lifestyles she's encountering in Madison and wherever her life takes her next. Through her studies and by inspiring others, Lacey Struensee is embracing cultures AND cultivating success.

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:
Wayne Blasius Wayne Blasius '76, a UW-Eau Claire economics graduate, has been named executive director of the East Tennessee Community Design Center. (Photo courtesty of the Knoxville News Sentinel) Full story.
Aaron Hedenstrom Aaron Hedenstrom '11, a UW-Eau Claire music graduate, recently celebrated the release of his small ensemble debut, "A Moment of Clarity," with a performance on the Jazz at Studio Z concert series in St. Paul. (Photo by Alyssa Rae Photography) Full story.
Deana Zorko Deana Zorko '89, a UW-Eau Claire Spanish graduate, has been named 2015 Teacher of the Year by the Wisconsin Association for Language Teachers. Full story.
Mandy Sitzman Mandy Sitzman '06, a UW-Eau Claire criminal justice graduate, has been named Lodi/Lake Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce coordinator. (Photo by Joe Ballard of The Lodi Enterprise and The Poynette Press) Full story.
Deanna Schlies Deanna Schlies '12, a UW-Eau Claire music graduate, has been crowned the Wisconsin State Fair's 2015 Fairest of the Fairs. Full story.
Larry Lelli Larry Lelli '90, a UW-Eau Claire music graduate, was recently interviewed on Drummeradio. (Photo by Nick Romanenko) Full story.
Brian Wedl Brian Wedl '98, a UW-Eau Claire English graduate, has been named a partner at Jolley Urga Woodbury & Little Attorneys at Law. Full story.
Susan Rather Susan Rather '83, a UW-Eau Claire medical technology graduate, has opened a Madison BrightStar Care franchise with her husband. (Photo by John Hart of the Wisconsin State Journal) Full story.
Seal Rachel Ronning '03, a UW-Eau Claire English graduate, has had her book "Socery, Schemes and Skelt: The Kinowenn Chronicles, Vol. II" published by Outskirts Press. Full story.
Seal Corey O'Brien '09, a UW-Eau Claire athletic training graduate, is entering his first season as athletic trainer for the Quad Cities River Bandits. Full story.
Seal Andrew Kelton '08, a UW-Eau Claire geography graduate, has been named librarian for the Dyckman Free Library in Sleepy Eye, Minn. Full story.
Seal Julie Fry '84, a UW-Eau Claire economics graduate, has been hired as president and CEO of Cal Humanities. 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 fleece blanket. The name of this month's Blugold Trivia winner will be published in the February 2015 issue of eView.

January Blugold Trivia question:

The 2015 Eau Claire Marathon course will take runners through the UW-Eau Claire campus. Where does the race begin and end?

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!

December's winner:

Congratulations to Sheila (VanDreel) Mroczynski, a 1986 UW-Eau Claire journalism graduate and winner of the December Blugold Trivia prize! Sheila's name was drawn from among those who correctly answered that alumni award winner Kerry Kincaid received her master's degree from UW-Madison. back to top

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Last Updated: January 23, 2015 Questions/Comments: alumni@uwec.edu