University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

News Bureau

TIP SHEET   December 2004
Winter commencement story and photo opportunities

Story/Photo Idea
Commencement ceremonies for 661 students will begin at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, in Zorn Arena. For program details, call Beverly Soll at (715) 836-4419.

Story Idea
UW System President Kevin Reilly will meet with the media at 8:30 a.m. Saturday in the Alumni Room, Davies Center. He will give the "Charge to the Class" during both ceremonies.

Graduating Student Story Ideas
Manish Joshi will be among the graduates Saturday. Joshi came to the United States from Katmandu, Nepal, nine years ago with a dream of attending college. He had $600 and no place to call home. It took five years to save money for college. He's graduating with a degree in management. You can reach him at (715) 835-7106 or

Emily Gilles, a biochemistry/molecular biology major, worked at the Eau Galle Aquatic Ecology Laboratory and conducted research on campus. She had a research internship at the University of Minnesota, investigating underlying causes of multiple sclerosis. She was accepted into a research program at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. You can reach her at

Laura Tamm is a scholar-athlete, graduating with majors in mathematics and biology. She worked on research with faculty in both departments and tutored high school algebra in the Math for Young Achievers program. She also worked as an Upward Bound counselor and mathematics teacher. She was a four-year letter winner on the Blugold women's basketball team (captain 03-04) and a standout on the Blugold women's track team. You can reach her at

Chemistry major Ben Schmiege is conducting research in collaboration with Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. The research was so successful that a patent application is in progress. The project was originally slated as a three-month research contract but Schmiege's progress convinced Chevron Phillips to continue funding, including providing for his stipend to work full-time in spring 2005. He's a student-athlete (track and cross-country). You can reach him at

Alumni Story Ideas
Among the alumni being honored this weekend is a Chippewa Falls native involved in the rescue of Jessica Lynch in Iraq. Retired Col. Stuart L. Knoll, a 1975 graduate who retired from the Marine Corps after 28 years, will receive the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award. The award recognizes service to the community, state or nation. Knoll served in four combat zones and was a presidential helicopter pilot. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, he flew 47 combat sorties. You can reach him at (858) 967-3785 or

Dr. Jorge Won, a 1976 graduate, will receive the President's Award, recognizing outstanding professional or personal achievements. An optometrist from Queens, N.Y., Won is of Chinese ancestry but was born/raised in Peru. In 1971 he received an Institute of International Education scholarship to study biology at UW-Eau Claire. Since 1999 he's been involved with Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity, a nonprofit that provides eye care to people who can't afford it. He founded a New York chapter that has made multiple trips to Latin America. Won is available to talk about his experiences. You can contact him at (718) 651-2020 or

Photo Idea
A reception for graduates/guests will follow both ceremonies in the Spruce-Tamarack Room, Davies Center.

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 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
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(715) 836-4741

Updated: December 13, 2004