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Seven UW-Eau Claire Graduates to Receive Alumni Awards

RELEASED: July 21, 2008

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Alumni Association will present awards to seven alumni and friends of the university Aug. 2 at a luncheon and ceremony in conjunction with summer commencement.

"These intelligent, creative people are dedicated to responding to societal needs as well as developing their own talents," said John Bachmeier, UW-Eau Claire director of alumni relations. "The university is proud to recognize them for their personal success and for their important contributions to the community."

Judith Carlson
Judith Carlson

Judith B. Carlson will receive the Lifetime Excellence Award, presented to alumni who have demonstrated a long and successful commitment to their careers and communities. Recipients have made a positive and dramatic impact through dedication to service and living their lives as a testimony to UW-Eau Claire's motto, "Excellence."

Carlson graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1963 with a bachelor of science degree in elementary education. Carlson's teaching career has spanned 33 years. She began her career at UW-Stout, where she taught physical education and coached swimming. She then spent 12 years teaching K-8 physical education at Richards Elementary School in Whitefish Bay. In her 15-year tenure as a professor at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in teacher education, curriculum and supervision. She spent one year on scholarly leave in Costa Rica observing and evaluating public school physical education programs and lecturing at Universidad Nacionale. In 1973 she was initiated into The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, an organization that promotes professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education.

Carlson actively serves on the Carolinas Regional Blood Services board of directors and is a pheresis donor, having given more than 66 gallons of blood platelets for cancer and leukemia patients. She holds North Carolina licenses in both life and health insurance, as well as long-term care and Medicare supplemental insurance. She is employed part time by Rock Galleries of Fine Art as an art consultant.

Randy Newton
Randy Newton

Randall Newton and Roberta Poirier will receive the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award, which recognizes distinguished service to the community, state or nation in a manner that brings credit to the recipient and UW-Eau Claire.

Newton was president of the Student Senate at UW-Eau Claire while completing a bachelor of business administration degree in 1986. He completed a master's degree in business administration at UW-Eau Claire in 1987 and is a certified management accountant. Currently he is the EMEA Region controller for the Heritage Group of the Automation and Control Solutions of Honeywell International, which includes 26 locations in Europe, Russia and other Eastern European countries, the Middle East and Africa. His group accounts for one-third of Honeywell's $36 billion business. He is currently living in Switzerland on a two-year assignment. Before going to work for Honeywell in 2004, Newton worked for a division of Johnson Controls and Snap-On Tools.

Roberta Poirier
Roberta Poirier

Poirier received a bachelor of science degree in nursing from UW-Eau Claire in 1974. She finished her degree despite the death of her husband in 1973, which left her as the single parent of six children ages 4 to 15. She was a staff nurse at Bloomer Hospital from 1974-76. In 1977, she received a master's degree in nursing from the University of Minnesota. She was director of nurses in Shawano Medical Center from 1977-79 and in Port Sulfur, La., in 1980. She returned as an instructor to UW-Eau Claire in 1980-81. In 1982-83, she taught nursing at District One Vocational School. She received certification as a nurse midwife from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1984 and did a fellowship at Holy Family Birth Center in Weslaco, Texas, in 1985. She served as a staff nurse-midwife at Ramsey Clinic in St. Paul, Minn., from 1985-86 and for the Blue Diamond Medical Clinic in Bloomer from 1986-88. She returned to Ramsey Clinic as director of midwifery service from 1988-99 and grew the program from a staff of four to a staff of 13. The midwifery service served immigrants from South East Asia, South Africa, Eastern Europe and Central America living in St. Paul, Minn. Under Poirier's direction the service started 15 small outreach clinics in different neighborhoods. After a merger with Group Health, Poirier served as a staff nurse-midwife with HealthPartners/Ramsey Clinic from 1999-2006. She was a nurse-midwife with Eau Claire Women's Care from 2002-04 and an instructor at UW-Eau Claire in 2006. Poirier then retired. She continues to serve as director of the Bloomer Area Food Pantry, which she has overseen since 1999. She also continues to serve as an active member of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

Ruth Gullerud, David Joles and Thomas Joles will receive the President's Award, which recognizes outstanding professional and personal achievements and service to UW-Eau Claire.

Ruth Gullerud
Ruth Gullerud

Gullerud graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1971 with a bachelor's degree in English. She earned a master's degree in guidance and counseling in 1975. For 23 years she has served as director of United Cerebral Palsy of West Central Wisconsin. Prior to that, she was program director and counselor for UCP from 1977-84. She also served as an advocate/guidance counselor at the Women's' Community Center in Eau Claire, a research assistant at the Eau Claire Academy and a child advocate in the Milwaukee Office of Health, Education and Welfare.

Some of Gullerud's accomplishments include the development of the West Central Wisconsin Neurodevelopmental Evaluation Clinic in 1976 and the creation of the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation in 1994 and UCP adult follow-up clinic in 1999. She also organized a UCP satellite office in La Crosse. Gullerud received the Irwin Siegel UCP Award for quality in management in 2002. Also in 2002, subsidized living apartments for the disabled in Eau Claire were named the Ruth Gullerud Villa in her honor. In 2003 she received the Children's Legacy Outstanding Achievement Award.

David Joles
David Joles

David Joles is a photographer for the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Minn. From 1998-2005 he was a staff photographer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Joles also has worked for the Hobbs News-Sun in New Mexico and the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.

Among the many awards he has received was a second-place honor in the Pictures of the Year International competition in 2005. He also was named Wisconsin News Photographer of the Year in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004 and was Minnesota Photographer of the Year in 2006.

David Joles graduated from UW-Eau Claire with a bachelor of journalism degree in 1987. While a student at UW-Eau Claire, he worked at The Spectator.

"David Joles is committed to and passionate about community photojournalism, people's stories behind their pictures," Karen Kremer, professor emerita of communication and journalism, wrote in a letter to the nominating committee of the Alumni Association.

Tom Joles
Tom Joles

Thomas Joles, David Joles' brother, graduated from UW-Eau Claire with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism in 1980. In his senior year, he spent a semester as an intern reporter at WFRV-TV in Green Bay. He eventually was hired full time at WFRV-TV. In 1984, Thomas Joles toured Europe, lived on a Kibbutz in the Golan Heights and eventually settled down in Tel Aviv, Israel, to work on a journalism project for three months. Upon his return to the United States he was hired as the weekend anchor for WLUK-TV in Green Bay. A year later, he moved to KOB-TV in Albuquerque, N.M., where he anchors the 5, 6, 6:30 and 10 p.m. newscasts.

Thomas Joles has received numerous first-place New Mexico Associated Press Awards, a first-place documentary award from the Albuquerque Press Club and four first-place awards from the New Mexico Broadcasting Association. He received an Emmy Award for reporting in 1999. In 1997 he was honored with two Emmy Awards, one for writing and another for reporting. In 1996 he was elected into the People's Choice Hall of Fame. In 1995 and 1994, he was chosen Albuquerque's Favorite TV Personality in the People's Choice Awards.

Jacob Hookom 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.

Jacob Hookom
Jacob Hookom

Hookom is a development lead with McKesson Medical-Surgical, designing supply management solutions on the Web, desktop and handheld for a multitude of markets and services. He started consulting at 16 and has held positions from solution consultant to product manager. In 2005 he published an article with O'Reilly Networks at ONjava.com on utilizing new programming language features in Java, which helped define a new Java specification on data validation. At the same time he developed new technologies for creating Web pages in Java. His work and code are now used by companies like Sun, IBM, Oracle and JBoss. Sun announced Hookom as their first open source contributor at the Java One conference in 2006. He also contributed to Sun's Glassfish project and Apache's Tomcat project and was an active member of the JavaServer Faces and Web Tier Expert Groups.

Hookom received a bachelor of science degree in comprehensive computer science from UW-Eau Claire in 2003.

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KH

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