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Forty-three freshmen receive Blugold Promise scholarships

RELEASED: Oct. 6, 2011

EAU CLAIRE — Forty-three new freshmen at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire this fall were awarded Blugold Promise Scholarships through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.

The Blugold Promise Scholarship Program provides awards during the freshman and sophomore years for students with great potential but limited financial means. It provides at least $500 to incoming freshmen with demonstrated academic potential, and if the students are successful in their first year, they are eligible for a minimum $1,000 award their sophomore year, with total awards dependent on individual donors. Typically there are not as many scholarships available to sophomore students, so this program helps outstanding students bridge the gap until they become eligible for scholarships in their major in their junior and senior years.

Donors can support one or more students through each gift of $1,500 or more over a two-year period, or ensure ongoing scholarship support in their name by endowing the fund with a commitment of $25,000.

The following students received Blugold Promise Scholarships for the first time for the 2011-12 academic year.

  • Kelly Reidt, Alma, received the Ted and Valeria Lipinski Memorial Blugold Promise Scholarship. The scholarship was established by Neil Lipinski and his wife, Joanne Pappas, in memory of Lipinski's parents, who ran a family farm in Thorp. It is designated for a student with financial need from a family farm in Wisconsin, with preference given to students who are among the first generation in their families to attend college. Lipinski graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1980 with a bachelor's degree in political science and English, and earned a master's degree in business administration from Northeastern University in Boston. He is a principal and senior managing director with Cassidy Turley, a commercial real estate services firm in New York City.

  • Datonn Ammel, Almond, received the Mary Jo Quinn Blugold Promise Scholarship. Quinn, a former special education teacher, is an investment attorney. Coming from a large family and having paid her own tuition, Quinn supports the scholarship to give a student a chance to spend more time studying.

  • Elliott Wellnitz, Appleton, received the Tom and Susan Touchett Blugold Promise Scholarship. The Touchetts own and operate Business Marketers Group Inc. in Sussex. Tom Touchett graduated with degrees in business administration and office administration.

  • Kayla Servais, Bangor, received the Stanley and Delores Kaczmarczyk/Karen Kaahui Blugold Promise Scholarship. John Kaczmarczyk, a 1972 graduate, supports the fund to help children from farm families. It is in memory of his parents, Stanley and Delores, and his sister, Karen Kaahui, who graduated cum laude from UW-Eau Claire in 1984 with a degree in nursing and died in 2004.

  • Ben Nelson, Baraboo, received the Robert Havlik Blugold Promise Scholarship. The fund was established by Deborah Giesen, a 1982 English graduate, in memory of her husband, Robert Havlik. A 1982 graduate, Havlik wanted to establish a scholarship because he valued his UW-Eau Claire education.

  • Taylor Bombinski, Brown Deer, received the Palmer Blugold Promise Scholarship. Glenn Palmer earned a mathematics degree in 1961, and Sue Palmer graduated with an education degree in 1959.

  • Jessica Baran, Brown Deer, was awarded a Blugold Promise Scholarship from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

  • Kathryn Zahler, Centuria, was awarded the Kathy and C.B. "Jerry" Pilcher Blugold Promise Scholarship. The scholarship was established by Kenneth Pilcher, a 1972 accounting graduate, in memory of his father, Jerry, and sister Kathy, another UW-Eau Claire business graduate who died several years ago.

  • Kari Carothers, Durand, received the Gerald and Karen Sundstrom Blugold Promise Scholarship. Karen Sundstrom is a 1963 elementary education graduate. Gerald, who passed away unexpectedly shortly after establishing the scholarship, graduated in 1964 with a degree in business.

  • Rebecca Rausch, East Troy, received the Rebecca L. Johnson Blugold Promise Scholarship. Johnson, who graduated in 1968 with a degree in mathematics, is a senior financial adviser at Ameriprise Financial in Tucson, Ariz.

  • Lisa Cripe, Eau Claire, received the Charles and Debi Graupner Blugold Promise Scholarship. Charles Graupner, who graduated with a degree in economics, is a partner with the Michael Best & Friedrich law firm in Milwaukee. Debi Graupner attended UW-Eau Claire for two years before transferring to UW-Madison, where she earned a business degree. She works as an interior decorator.

  • Gregory Carter, Eau Claire, received the Caroline Welch Blugold Promise Scholarship. A 1974 psychology graduate, Welch lives in Santa Monica, Calif., where she is an entrepreneur. She was an attorney before starting her business.

  • Andrew Fisher, Edgerton, received the John Kell Memorial Blugold Promise Scholarship. The scholarship was established in memory of 1973 graduate John Kell, who died in 2005 as a result of a motorcycle accident. Kell led a successful business, was active in the Chippewa Valley community and was a major contributor to several UW-Eau Claire projects. The fund was established by John's wife, Betsy Kell, and their daughters, Sadie and Angela.

  • Charles Kransberger, Edgerton, received the Chida Blugold Promise Scholarship. Born in Pakistan, Junaid Chida was determined to find a college in the United States that would offer him a scholarship. He is grateful to UW-Eau Claire for providing him one. He earned an accounting degree in 1978 and later a law degree from UW-Madison. Chida appreciates the opportunities UW-Eau Claire gave him and gives back by supporting international and need-based scholarships.

  • Katelin Oster, Eleva, received the Joel W. Symons Blugold Promise Scholarship. Symons has Down syndrome, lives on his own in Alaska and travels the world extensively. He supports this scholarship in honor of Mary Jo Quinn, a 1977 UW-Eau Claire graduate who was his special education teacher in 1983.

  • Olivia McCarthy, Evansville, was awarded the MacDougal Blugold Promise Scholarship, established by Scott MacDougal and his wife, Jody Schuhart. A 1980 journalism and business administration graduate, MacDougal is president of Cornerstone Billing, a niche billing and software company in Lincolnshire, Ill.

  • Carlee Schneider, Fond du Lac, received the John Kell Memorial Blugold Promise Scholarship. The scholarship was established in memory of 1973 graduate John Kell, who died in 2005 as a result of a motorcycle accident. Kell led a successful business, was active in the Chippewa Valley community and was a major contributor to several UW-Eau Claire projects. The fund was established by John's wife, Betsy Kell, and their daughters, Sadie and Angela.

  • Alyssa Arndt, Green Bay, received the Peter J. Giese Blugold Promise Scholarship. This fund honors Gerald and Patricia Giese, longtime UW-Eau Claire supporters. Though not graduates, they encouraged their children to pursue higher education. Several of their children and grandchildren are alumni.

  • Dylan Martell, Green Bay, received the Davis and Stacie Gollata Blugold Promise Scholarship. Stacie Gollata graduated in 1994 with degrees in English and economics. Davis Gollata attended during the 1980s. They came from families with limited means so they support first-generation college students.

  • Ricky Moua, Green Bay, received the Hium Blugold Promise Scholarship, also known as the Hium Promise for the Future scholarship. Darla Hium supports the fund to honor her parents, who expected their children to earn college degrees. Hium graduated in 1978 with a degree in political science. Her sisters, JoAnn and Peggy, earned degrees in psychology in 1970 and social work in 1974, respectively. She thinks her time in college solidified her lifelong commitment to social justice and equality.

  • Nicole Vandenplas, Green Bay, received the Jay Luttrell Blugold Promise Scholarship. Luttrell, a 1972 management graduate, lives in New Hope, Penn., where he manages Jay Luttrell Associates as a market research consultant.

  • Sydney Vassal, Green Bay, received Helmke Blugold Promise Scholarship. Mark Helmke graduated in 1986 with a degree in psychology. Sherri (Betthauser) Helmke graduated in 1986 with a degree in early childhood special education. They want to help so students worry less about money as they start college.

  • Anna Redovich, Greendale, received the Julie Smithback Haeger Blugold Promise Scholarship. Mathew Haeger established the scholarship in memory of his wife, Julie Smithback Haeger, a 1979 nursing graduate who died in 2009.

  • Nicole Goodman, Hortonville, received the John Kell Memorial Blugold Promise Scholarship. The scholarship was established in memory of 1973 graduate John Kell, who died in 2005 as a result of a motorcycle accident. Kell led a successful business, was active in the Chippewa Valley community and was a major contributor to several UW-Eau Claire projects. The fund was established by John's wife, Betsy Kell, and their daughters, Sadie and Angela.

  • Rebekah Palmer, Menomonie, received the Cheryl De Maio Blugold Promise Scholarship. De Maio graduated from UW-Eau Claire with a degree in medical technology and a master's from St. John's University. A researcher at TIAA-CREF in Charlotte, N.C., she credits her professional success to the quality of the education she received at UW-Eau Claire.

  • Abbie Jensen, Menomonie, was awarded the Mary Dipboye Blugold Promise Scholarship. Dipboye graduated in 1970 with a degree in psychology.

  • Brooke North, New Auburn, received the Vyvyan Blugold Promise Scholarship, established by Dr. James and Catherine Vyvyan, of Bellingham, Wash. James Vyvyan, a 1991 chemistry graduate, is a professor at Western Washington University. He received several scholarships that helped him graduate from UW-Eau Claire debt-free, so the Vyvyans want to help the next generation of students.

  • Timothy Gouker, New Lisbon received the Rebecca L. Johnson Blugold Promise Scholarship. Johnson graduated in 1968 with a degree in mathematics. She is a senior financial adviser at Ameriprise Financial in Tucson, Ariz.

  • Nicolette Nauman, Norwalk, received the MacDougal Blugold Promise Scholarship, established by Scott MacDougal and his wife, Jody Schuhart. A 1980 journalism and business administration graduate, MacDougal is president of Cornerstone Billing, a niche billing and software company in Lincolnshire, Ill.

  • Robert Seiberlich, Osceola, received the Helmke Blugold Promise Scholarships. Mark Helmke graduated in 1986 with a degree in psychology. Sherri (Betthauser) Helmke graduated in 1986 with a degree in early childhood special education. They want to help so students less about money as they start college.

  • Lauren Caldie, Oconto, received the Thomas and Mavis A. Gunderson Blugold Promise Scholarship, established by Ann Gunderson Thornburg in honor of her parents. Thornburg, the first woman at PricewaterhouseCoopers to be admitted to a partnership in Boston, graduated in 1970 with a bachelor's degree in accounting.

  • Emma Lofald, Onalaska, received the Gary and Debra Reitz Blugold Promise Scholarship. Gary Reitz, who graduated in 1979 with a business degree, owns Safe Bridge Solutions Inc., a business and technology consulting and staffing company in Madison. He lives in Verona with his wife, Debra, and family.

  • Damion Kelly, Osseo, received the Eric Dimmitt Blugold Promise Scholarship. Dimmitt, a 1991 English education graduate, is the director of curriculum, instruction and assessment for the Mequon-Thiensville School District.

  • Katelyn Quednow, Prentice, received the Thomas and Karen Lansing Blugold Promise Scholarships. It is awarded to students from West Allis Central High School, from which the Lansings graduated, and Prentice High School. Thomas Lansing, a 1978 education graduate, is a retired dentist and former owner of a dental products company. Karen Lansing is a UW-Stout graduate.

  • Samantha Foss, Reedsburg, received the MacDougal Blugold Promise Scholarship, established by Scott MacDougal and his wife, Jody Schuhart. A 1980 journalism and business administration graduate, MacDougal is president of Cornerstone Billing, a niche billing and software company in Lincolnshire, Ill.

  • Jesse Hagen, Shell Lake, received a Greg and Lori Mercer Blugold Promise Scholarship for science students. Greg Mercer graduated in 1985 with a degree in chemistry and Lori (Gee) Mercer graduated in 1985 with a degree in communicative disorders. Greg is a research chemist with the FDA and Lori is an audiologist. The Mercers said their undergraduate education provided a solid foundation for graduate school. They believe a college education, particularly in science, is critical for the U.S. to remain competitive on a global level.

  • Karl Battin, Two Rivers, received the Frances and Thomas McIndoe Blugold Promise Scholarship. Fran McIndoe, who earned a master's degree in elementary education from UW-Eau Claire, was a teacher for 30 years. Thomas earned a master's degree in public health and worked in that field for 30 years.

  • Elizabeth Billington, Waupaca, received the MacDougal Blugold Promise Scholarship. The award was established by Scott MacDougal and his wife, Jody Schuhart. A 1980 journalism and business administration graduate, MacDougal is president of Cornerstone Billing, a niche billing and software company in Lincolnshire, Ill.

  • Olivia LaFevre, Wausau, received the Skwierczynski Blugold Promise Scholarship. Ray and Tamara Skwierczynski are 1984 graduates. Ray was a chemistry and mathematics major, and Tamara earned a degree in business finance. They have donated to their alma mater for 25 years and are members of the Blue and Gold Society in the Circle of Excellence.

  • Jade Goetz, Wausau, received the Hall Blugold Promise Scholarship. Brad Hall graduated in 1998 with a degree in business administration and accounting. His wife Kathy (Heidt) Hall transferred after her sophomore year from UW-Eau Claire to the University of Minnesota to earn a bachelor's degree in nutrition.

  • Shaina Pardun, Webster, received the Denise Derks Blugold Promise Scholarship. Derks earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and accounting from UW-Eau Claire and a master's degree from the University of St. Thomas. She is responsible for supply chain management for Zimmer Spine in Minneapolis.

  • Patrick Thompson, West Allis, received the Thomas and Karen Lansing Blugold Promise Scholarships. The scholarship is awarded to students from West Allis Central High School, from which both Lansings graduated, and Prentice High School. Thomas Lansing, a 1978 education graduate, is a retired dentist and former owner of a dental products company. Karen Lansing graduated from UW-Stout with a degree in design and marketing.

  • Bryan Voeltner, West Bend, received the Michael Schulze Blugold Promise Scholarship. The fund was established by Michael Schulze, a 1984 marketing graduate who is vice president of SAP America Inc. in Pewaukee. A member of The Singing Statesmen, he is helping the group develop an alumni base.

For information about starting a Blugold Promise Scholarship fund, contact the UW-Eau Claire Foundation at 715-836-5630 or fdn@uwec.edu, or visit the Foundation website.

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JT/JB/DW

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