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Six UW-Eau Claire Alumni Receive Awards from Alumni Association

RELEASED: May 10, 2005

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Alumni Association will present awards to six alumni and friends of the university May 21 at a special luncheon and ceremony in conjunction with spring commencement.

"This is a talented, richly deserving group of creative individuals who recognize the gifts they have received and in turn give back to the community and to UW-Eau Claire," said John Bachmeier, UW-Eau Claire director of alumni relations. "The university is proud to recognize them for their personal success and for their service to others."

Donald J. MashDonald J. Mash and Dean Olson will receive the Honorary Alumnus Award, presented to non-alumni who have demonstrated great love of and service to UW-Eau Claire.

Mash served as chancellor at UW-Eau Claire from 1998-2005. During that time, he led the university's first comprehensive fundraising campaign, with an initial goal of $35 million raised to $50 million because of its early success. He was a statewide advocate for the university with the UW Regents as well as state and federal legislators. He was committed to enhancing students' college experiences, and he promoted UW-Eau Claire as a regional center for music and the arts, for cultural and recreational activities, and as a force for economic development.

A graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Mash has a master's degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a doctorate from The Ohio State University in the higher education program.

Mash began his career as an instructor of geography at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. He later was the dean of student services at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus and a vice president at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. He was president at Wayne State College in Nebraska for 10 years before coming to UW-Eau Claire.

"His outstanding dedication, service and commitment to the students, faculty and staff of this university advocating for growth and development throughout his tenure here at UW-Eau Claire made him a logical choice for this award," said Bachmeier.

Dean OlsonOlson, his wife, Sue, and their daughters, Molly and Michelle, moved to Eau Claire 18 years ago after Dean accepted the position of executive vice president at Charter Bank. Since 1992, he's been president and CEO of Charter Bank, the largest bank in the Chippewa Valley.

A dedicated volunteer, Dean has served on the boards of the Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Corp., Chippewa Valley Museum and Community Bankers of Wisconsin. He currently serves on the UW-Eau Claire Foundation board and the United Way board, and is the 2005 chair of the United Way campaign.

Evidence of Olson's dedication to higher education includes Charter Bank's program to provide tuition assistance to employees earning college degrees, and its scholarships to clients who attend a university or technical college. He made a significant commitment on behalf of Charter Bank to the Foundation to establish the Bill Boyken/Charter Bank Internship Fund, which supports a student intern at an area organization or company offering its first internship.

Olson is a graduate of UW-La Crosse in business administration and the Procknow Graduate School of Banking at UW-Madison.

Michael Cleary and Jerome Laurent will receive the President's Award, which recognizes outstanding professional or personal achievements or service to UW-Eau Claire.

Michael ClearyCleary, a 1985 graduate, founded his own business, Coridian Technologies Inc., in 1996. The 11-person company provides labeling, printing, data collection and support systems for medical technology firms, industrial manufacturers and distribution companies. It was named one of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in America by Inc. magazine in 2001. Cleary said good relationships with employees and customers is the reason for his company's success. (See related article.)

"Mike has wonderful communication skills," Gretchen Hutterli, assistant dean of external affairs and one of Cleary's professors, said in a letter to the committee. "He is a hard worker who is very likeable, very easy to work with."

Cleary is a member of the advisory board for the State of Minnesota, Small Business Development Centers, and the Vision Council for publicly traded Zebra Technologies.

Jerome LaurentLaurent is a professor of economics at UW-Whitewater. He earned a bachelor's degree in economics at UW-Eau Claire in 1961, and a master's degree and doctorate in economics from Indiana University-Bloomington. He began his career at UW-Whitewater in 1965 and was promoted to professor in 1981.

Laurent received the UW-Whitewater W.P. Roseman Excellence in Teaching Award in 1975 and was an invited visiting professor at UW-Madison. He served as a UW System representative on the Undergraduate Teaching Improvement Council, and was a founder of the UW System Faculty College. UW-Whitewater honored him with its Faculty Outstanding Service Award in 1993. He was named in "Who's Who in Business Higher Education, 2003" and "Who's Who in American Education, 6th edition, 2004-05."

Laurent has generated significant research in the field of economic history. His article published in the Journal of Transport History received international recognition and was awarded the Editor's Prize by the Manchester ( England) University Press.

Carl G. WahlCarl G. Wahl will receive the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award, which recognizes distinguished service to the community, state or nation that brings credit upon the recipient and the university.

Wahl was with the Secret Service for more than 27 years before being appointed assistant to the special agent in charge of Federal Air Marshal Service in Minneapolis. In that position, he was responsible for the supervision of Federal Air Marshal teams providing in-flight protection of carriers, passengers and crews worldwide. In March 2005, Wahl was hired as an Intelligence Research Specialist by the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota where he is responsible for analyzing the threat of terrorism posed within the State of Minnesota.

Wahl graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1974 with a bachelor's degree in economics. He was appointed a special agent with the U.S. Secret Service in Milwaukee in 1975. He served the Secret Service in Milwaukee, Chicago, Maine and Minneapolis. From August 1984 through May 1987 he was permanently assigned to Vice President George H.W. Bush in Washington, D.C.

During his career with the Secret Service, Wahl served on protective assignments with all of the presidents from Richard Nixon through George W. Bush.

"I have always felt that I had a very unique position and was a 'witness to history,'" wrote Wahl in a letter to the awards committee.

Wahl will receive his award the same day his son, Aaron Wahl, will graduate from UW-Eau Claire with a degree in kinesiology.

Melissa Spagnolo ShermanMelissa Spagnolo Sherman will receive the Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award, which acknowledges special achievements and great promise of alumni who are within 15 years of their graduation from UW-Eau Claire.

Sherman received her bachelor's degree in chemistry from UW-Eau Claire in 1993. She earned her doctorate in polymer science from the University of Akron in 1998.

In March 1998, Sherman was hired by E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. as a product development manager for DuPont Teflon Fabric Protectants; DuPont Chemical Solutions Enterprise. She invented and commercialized Teflon-branded water and stain repellent products for textile and leather markets.

In June 2000, she was promoted to market development manager, DuPont NEOSTIS Studio; DuPont Textiles and Interiors. As manager, she developed and commercialized an innovative non-woven fashion-fabric product line.

Sherman was promoted in March 2002 to global new business development manager, personal care for Invista, for E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. in Wilmington, Del. She left that position in June 2004 and will start in May 2005 as a product specialist in the medical products division of W.L. Gore & Associates.



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