1990s Class notes

New class notes are posted as time allows.

Bethine (Hagen) Ellie (BA), director of institutional effectiveness at Northcentral Technical College, earned a doctor of education in higher education leadership in May 2017 from Edgewood College in Madison. In March 2017 she successfully defended her dissertation on followership styles at a two-year higher education institution.

Jerome PolingJerome Poling (MA) has written a history of UW-Stout, titled "An Idea Comes of Age: UW-Stout, 1891-2016," which was published by the university to mark its 125th anniversary. The 497-page book includes 14 chapters and approximately 140 photos. Poling, assistant director of University Communications at UW-Stout, has written three other books, including "A Summer Up North: Henry Aaron and the Legend of Eau Claire Baseball," published in 2002 by the University of Wisconsin Press.

Ron Martin (BS), an Eau Claire middle school teacher, was elected president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the largest organization for educators in the state, in April 2016. As president he will represent members of the state association — including pre-K-12 teachers, education support professionals, technical college instructors, aspiring educators in university programs and retired teachers.

Mark Miazga (BA) was elected to a four-year term on the Falcon Heights (Minnesota) City Council. His term begins in January 2018. After graduating from UW-Eau Claire he earned his juris doctorate from Hamline University School of Law.

Rita (Johnson) Rahoi-GilchrestRita (Johnson) Rahoi-Gilchrest (BA) has been appointed interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota. She is a tenured professor in communication studies and previously served as the director of WSU's general education program.

Andy Schlafer (BBA) was named senior vice president and financial advisor for Robert W. Baird & Co. in its Eau Claire wealth management office.

David Comp (BA)
received his Ph.D. in comparative and international education from Loyola University Chicago in 2013. After working for 17 years in international education at the University of Chicago, he began a position in October 2017 as assistant provost for global education at Columbia College Chicago.

Curt Krizan (BBA) has been honored by the Phoenix Business Journal as an Outstanding CFO and recipient of the 2016 Turnaround Achievement Award. He's been the CFO of the Fiesta Bowl and Cactus Bowl in Arizona for nearly five years and was the CFO for AZ2016, the local organizing committee that hosted the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship game this past January.

Mark Stecklein (BS) and his wife, Kristen, announce the birth of their first child, Evelyn Ruth Stecklein, on July 31, 2017.

Jen (Fulkerson) Braico (BA) joined Middleton window treatment manufacturer Springs Window Fashions as a copywriter in its integrated marketing department in January 2016. She previously worked as a freelance copywriter for several clients, including Sonic Foundry, Healthgrades, Dean Clinic, Jazz at Five and others, for 13 years. Jen also volunteers for the Association for Frontotemporal Dementia. She and her husband, Sal, who live in Madison, have two children, Nic and Mia.

Rick Podliska (BA) earned a master of professional studies degree in political management from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. If you would like to get in touch, his email address is ricpod@msn.com.

Tammie (Behr) Walker (BM) was named director of the School of Music at Western Illinois University in July 2016. Tammie holds master of music and doctor of musical arts degrees in piano performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She lives in Macomb, Illinois, with her, husband Chad Walker '94 (BA), a band instrument repair technician at WIU, and their four children.

Heather MacLaughlin Garbes (BME) has been appointed an affiliate assistant professor in the Baltic Studies Program at the University of Washington. Garbes is the curator of the Baltic Choral Library, the first collection of its kind in the United States, and also continues her research about the use of music in political movements and national identity. She also is the founder and artistic director of the Mägi Ensemble, a 12-voice professional women's vocal ensemble that performs and records music from the Baltic region. The Mägi Ensemble released its first CD, "Baltic Sounds," in 2015 and will release its next CD, "Musica Baltica," in fall 2017. Garbes was honored to come back to UWEC this spring to talk about the Baltic Singing Revolution and lead the Concert Choir and Women's Concert Chorale in a reading session of Baltic repertoire.

Jason Voiovich (BS) is the chief customer officer for Logic PD. He is responsible for spearheading global marketing, business development and customer-facing initiatives, with an emphasis on creating strategic plans to support customers' growth initiatives. Prior to this appointment, Jason served as Logic PD's vice president of marketing, research and analytics services.

Laura Finley Opicka (BBA) and Chad Opicka '99 (BS) welcomed a daughter, Katelynn Claire, on March 14, 2017. She was welcomed at home by brothers Hudson and Grayson. The family lives in De Pere.

Matt Wanner (BME) has been awarded the Civic Music Association’s 2016 Certificate of Excellence in Choral Music Instruction. Matt is director of choirs at Muskego High School and music department chair and district music coordinator for the Muskego-Norway School District.

Erica BarretteErica Barrette (BS) has been named Sacred Heart Hospital's Physician of the Year for 2017. She joined HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in September 2011, and she transitioned to OakLeaf Clinics on June 1, 2017. Barrette will continue to care for patients and deliver babies at Sacred Heart Hospital. She completed medical school at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and an obstetrics/gynecology residency at Tri-Health Medical Center in Cincinnati. Barrette is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology. She currently serves as a member of the HSHS Western Wisconsin Division Ethics Committee, the HSHS Physician Informatics Committee and the OB Multidisciplinary Safety Committee.

Carlos VillarrealCarlos Villarreal (BA) has been promoted to general manager of concrete pipe and precast at County Materials Corporation in Roberts. Carlos joined County Materials, a family-owned company based in Marathon, in August 2015. Carlos and his wife, Erin (Gjertson) Villarreal '00 (BBA), have three children and live in Woodbury, Minnesota.

Kurt Whitman (BA-E) has joined the Los Angeles law firm of Cox, Castle & Nicholson as an attorney in the firm's Land Use & Natural Resources group.