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UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association
To Present Awards Dec. 22
MAILED: Dec. 10, 2001
EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Alumni Association will present awards to seven alumni and friends of the university on Saturday, Dec. 22, at a special luncheon and ceremony in conjunction with winter commencement.
Ryan Fryer, a 1997 UW-Eau Claire biology graduate, will be one of two recipients of the Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award, which acknowledges special achievements and great promise of alumni who are recent graduates of the university. Earlier this year, Fryer received his doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and he received the Outstanding Dissertation Award from Friends of the Medical College of Wisconsin. He now is a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Institutes of Medicine in the Center for Neurological Diseases, where he is pursuing a research project titled "The Role of Alpha-Synuclein Mutations in the Pathogenesis of Parkinson's Disease."
In July, Fryer was one of three scientists nationwide to receive a two-year, $69,000 award from the American Physiological Society to pursue his Parkinson's disease research. From July 1999 through June 2001, he received a $36,400 award from the American Heart Association to fund his project, "Signaling Mechanisms Involved in Opioid-Induced Cardioprotection." Fryer also has co-authored more than 30 original publications and abstracts in scientific journals since 1998.
"As a young scientist, Ryan already has made great achievements through his biomedical research," said John Bachmeier, alumni relations director. "It is with great pride that we honor him with this award."
Jennifer Peterson, a 1997 UW-Eau Claire public communications graduate, also will receive the Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award. Peterson graduated with honors in May 2001 from the University of Wisconsin Law School. She ranked 13th in her class of 219. She is a law clerk to Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice N. Patrick Crooks for the 2001-02 court term. Following her clerkship, she will work for the Madison law firm of LaFollette, Godfrey & Kahn.
While in law school, Peterson also met a personal goal of completing her first marathon while satisfying a desire to help a friend diagnosed with cancer. She trained and raised $5,000 for a cancer research charity marathon, which she completed in Oct. 2000 in Dublin, Ireland. Also while in law school, Peterson served as director of youth ministry at Bethany United Methodist Church in Madison, where she still is a volunteer youth counselor.
"We at UW-Eau Claire are proud to honor Jennifer with this award," Bachmeier said. "In all facets of her life, she holds herself to the high standards of excellence that this university strives to instill in all of its graduates."
Reed Mackenzie will receive the Lifetime Excellence Award, presented to UW-Eau Claire alumni who have demonstrated longtime and successful commitment to their career and community, who have made a positive impact through dedication to service and whose lives are a testimony to UW-Eau Claire's motto, "Excellence." Mackenzie, of Chaska, Minn., graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1965 with bachelor's degrees in history and political science. He went on to receive a law degree from the University of Minnesota. He maintains an active law practice in Minneapolis, and his areas of emphasis are medical negligence and product liability. He is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, which limits its membership to the top 1 percent of trial lawyers in each state.
In early November, Mackenzie was nominated to serve as president of the U.S. Golf Association. His history of volunteerism with the USGA began in 1978 with his membership on the Junior Amateur Championship Committee. He has been on the organization's Executive Committee since 1992, has served as chairman of the USGA Rules of Golf Committee and is an expert rules official who has worked every U.S. Open since 1978. Mackenzie was general chairman for the 1991 U.S. Open, held at his home course of Hazeltine in Chaska. He also has worked with USGA programs supporting turfgrass and environmental research, as well as outreach, community-based programs to introduce golf to disadvantaged youth, minorities and people with physical and mental disabilities.
"Reed Mackenzie's work with the USGA has been about so much more than golf," Bachmeier said. "He has been able to promote across this country the valuable life lessons to be learned from the sport by professionals and amateurs of all ages."
Nancy McKinley will be one of two recipients of the President's Award, which recognizes outstanding professional or personal achievements or service to UW-Eau Claire. McKinley, a nationally recognized authority on adolescent language disorders, received her master's degree in communication disorders from UW-Eau Claire in 1974. She is the founder, owner and editor in chief of Thinking Publications, an Eau Claire publishing company that provides speech-language pathologists and related professionals with materials that address the needs of individuals with communication disorders.
McKinley, an adjunct faculty member and former full-time faculty member at UW-Eau Claire, also worked as a special education and speech-language consultant and public school speech-language pathologist. She is the immediate past president of the Wisconsin Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Association, president-elect of the Council of State Association Presidents, and a member of the board of directors of the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce. Her past awards include the Presidential Service Award from the National Speakers Association and the Small Businessperson of the Year award from the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce.
"Nancy McKinley is to be commended for her success in providing educational materials for an important market, those who help individuals with communication disorders," Bachmeier said. "She has made important contributions in her field, as well as to the area business community."
Vicki Lobermeier also will receive the President's Award. Lobermeier, who received her bachelor's degree in marketing from UW-Eau Claire in 1978 and later earned a master's degree in communications from UW-Stevens Point, is director of entrepreneurship activities for UW-Stevens Point Extension, which includes directing the university's Small Business Development Center. She has been with the center since 1992. As director of entrepreneurship activities, she provides one-to-one counseling with business owners in a nine-county territory on such topics as marketing, management, personnel and financing. Lobermeier has served two terms as interim director of UW-Stevens Point Extension Outreach Education. She also develops and teaches workshops for small businesses, does public speaking and has participated in committees to initiate changes in SBDCs statewide.
Lobermeier started two successful businesses before joining UW-Stevens Point Extension. In 1994, she started the central chapter of Wisconsin Women Entrepreneurs and served as its president in 1994, 1999 and 2000. She also has served as a state board member of Wisconsin Women Entrepreneurs. Her awards have included the Friend of Small Business Award from the Portage County Business Council and the State Star Award from the national Association of Small Business Development Centers.
"Vicki Lobermeier has made great achievements and contributions both as an entrepreneur and as a counselor to central Wisconsin's small business owners," Bachmeier said. "She already has been honored by her peers for her outstanding service, and we, as her alma mater, wish to honor her as well."
Jim Mueller will receive the Honorary Alumnus Award, presented to non-alumni who have demonstrated great love of and service to UW-Eau Claire. Mueller retired in 1996 after 19 years of employment as a locksmith at UW-Eau Claire. As he was during his years of employment, Mueller remains an active volunteer at UW-Eau Claire athletic events in almost all sports. Initially a volunteer host for visiting game officials, Mueller now assists with all aspects of athletic event management. In addition to his volunteer activities, Mueller sponsored most valuable player awards for all Blugold teams for many years.
Mueller also is a member of the Eau Claire Zoning and Appeals Board and a board member and treasurer of the Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild. He has been a cast member and worked on set construction for various CVTG productions. He is a charter member of University Lutheran Church and a past member of its constitution committee; former treasurer of Lutheran Campus Ministry Wisconsin/Upper Michigan; past president, board member and coach for the Young American Bowling Alliance; and past assistant secretary and board member of the Eau Claire Men's Bowling Association.
"Through his many years of service to the university as both an employee and a volunteer, Jim has demonstrated great loyalty to UW-Eau Claire," Bachmeier said. "Our athletics programs in particular are fortunate that Jim so generously gives of his time and talents."
John Frank will 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. Frank, an Eau Claire attorney and full-time instructor at Chippewa Valley Technical College, was a 1974 economics and political science graduate of UW-Eau Claire. He received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1977.
Frank spent 13 years working for the U.S. House of Representatives, first as legislative director for Congressman Steve Gunderson from 1981 to 1985, next as Gunderson's chief of staff from 1985 to 1989 and finally as deputy chief counsel for the House Committee on Agriculture from 1993 to 1997. He is president-elect of the Wisconsin Association for Career and Technical Education; a member of the West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce Good Government Council and the Chippewa Valley Technical College Foundation Development Committee; and a political analyst for WEAU-TV. Frank also assisted with the recent change of presidential administrations as a member of the Bush-Cheney Transition Advisory Committee.
"We are pleased to honor John Frank for his outstanding service as an educator, congressional staffer, attorney and important contributor to many area foundations, councils and commissions," Bachmeier said. "His behind-the-scenes work has had an important impact on our region."
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Dec. 10, 2001