Outstanding Alumni

History

This award is given annually to an alumna/us. The first award was given in 1983.

Nominations

We are currently accepting nominations for the 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award. Submit a nomination online or download the nomination form.

Nominations are due no later than April 5, 2018.

Criteria

  1.  Outstanding academic, civic or professional, accomplishments.
  2.  Contributions to UW-Waukesha as a student or alum.
  3.  Having completed work at UW-Waukesha at least ten years ago.

2017

David J. Gunkel, PhD

David J. Gunkel is an award-winning educator and scholar, specializing in ethics with a focus on emerging technology. Formally educated in philosophy and media studies, his teaching and research synthesize the hype of high-technology with the rigor and insight of contemporary critical analysis. He is the author of over 40 scholarly articles published in journals of communication, philosophy, cultural studies, interdisciplinary humanities, and computer science. He has published seven influential and widely cited books, has lectured and delivered award-winning papers throughout North and South America and Europe, and is the founding co-editor of the International Journal of Žižek Studies and the Indiana University Press book series Digital Game Studies. He currently holds the position of Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Communication at Northern Illinois University, and his teaching and research has been recognized with numerous awards, including NIU's Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the Presidential Teaching Professorship.

2016

John M. Huber

John M. Huber, served as the first Student Government President at UW-Waukesha from 1966-68.  As SGA President, Huber spoke on behalf of the student body at the official campus dedication back in 1967, with former leaders that included UW President Fred Harvey Harrington and Governor Warren Knowles.  Huber earned a B.A. from Mount St. Paul College, Waukesha; a M.S. from UW-Milwaukee and also completed Doctorial Studies at the University of Maryland. With over 45 years of service in national and international nonprofit organizations, including chief executive and senior level positions, he has commanded the respect of his profession through his leadership and outstanding accomplishments. A mission-focused leader, Huber’s work experience includes Goodwill Industries, Lupus Foundation of America, March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, American Urological Association Foundation and the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation in Maryland, where he currently resides with his family.

Brad Schimel

Attorney General Brad Schimel has prioritized the fight against heroin and prescription opiate abuse, human traffickers, child abuse, and campus sexual assault. Schimel’s distinguished career includes recognition from the Wisconsin Association of Victim and Witness Professionals, as "Wisconsin Professional of the Year"for his work on behalf of survivors of sexual assault.

Some of his past civic efforts include serving on the Board of the UW-Waukesha Foundation, Interfaith and the Addiction Resource Council Victim Impact Panel for repeat intoxicated drivers. Schimel is a founding member of that panel as well as the Waukesha County Child Advocacy Center Task Force.

2015

Matthew Roling, CPA

Matthew Roling, CPA, is the Director of Business Development with Rock Ventures&Rock Gaming, LLC, in Detroit Michigan.  After completing he Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Accounting he went to work for General Motors for two years on their finance staff.  He spent four years as a mergers and acquisitions consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers.  At the time of the recession in 2008/2009, he joined AlixPartners, a boutique turnaround and bankruptcy consultancy.  There he was a key member of the team that worked with the U.S, Treasury to restructure and liquidate the GM bankruptcy case.  At Rock Ventures & Rock Gaming (part of the Quicken Loans Family of Companies) he played a large role in the effort to revitalize the city of Detroit. He serves on several organizations working to support youth-education programs as well as economic development.  In 2014 Matt was honored as one of Detroit’s 40 Under 40. 

2014

Heidi Bacon, Ph.D.

Heidi Bacon is an Assistant Professor in Language, Literacies, and Culture at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She currently teaches courses in literacy leadership and teacher action research.  Her research interests include adolescent and adult literacy, applied linguistics in education, youth culture, and culturally responsive teaching. A teacher and teacher educator, Heidi earned her MA and PhD in Language, Reading and Culture at the University of Arizona where she maintained a 4.0 GPA. She received the 2011-2012 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Associate award and was named a 2012 Erasmus Circle Scholar for exemplary scholarship and service. Heidi was instrumental in developing Tucson’s Literacy Zones and the Women’s Literacy Network (WLN), a women’s literacy and empowerment program, and writing grant proposals to fund the WLN and other Literacy Zone initiatives.

At Pima Partnership High School in Tucson, AZ, Heidi served as the lead teacher and local director for Career and Technical Education (CTE). She taught reading and business education classes and developed a state approved CTE program that included a school-based business. She also coordinated a service learning program that received local, state, and federal recognition. Heidi further contributed to the writing of  school-based grants to include federal title programs, school improvement, Learn and Serve Arizona, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, charter school development, and Walton Family Foundation.

Heidi works extensively with struggling readers of all ages. She specializes in Miscue Analysis, Retrospective Miscue Analysis, and Content Area Literacy. She has presented her work with under-represented youth, adults, and community both locally and nationally. An advocate for educational equity, Heidi has a strong passion for literacy and community.

2013

George A. Arndt, MD

Dr. George Arndt, who earned his associate’s degree from UW-Waukesha in 1978, has been on the UW-Madison faculty for more than 20 years. He received his bachelor of science degree in biology from UW-Eau Claire and his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine. Arndt did his residency and fellowship at Emory University  Hospital and Clinics in Atlanta. The Milwaukee native is a veteran of both the United States Air Force and Army serving as an enlisted man as a jet engine mechanic and as a surgical house officer.

Dr. Arndt has dedicated much of his career to the development of procedures and devices for elective and urgent airway management. He is the inventor of the Arndt Wire-Guided Endobronchial Blocker, Arndt Multiport Adaptor, Arndt Cricothyrotomy System, Arndt Wire Guided Exchange Set and the FOCUS ultrasound needle. Recognized as a world expert in airway management and clinical innovation, he has been a featured lecturer at regional, national and international meetings and has authored numerous articles and abstracts.

2012

Claire Davis

A UW-Waukesha student from 1984 to 1987, Davis earned 53 credits in 17 courses of study, including seven honors courses, with a nearly perfect accumulative GPA of 3.937. She went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in English from the Evergreen State College and an MFA from the University of Montana.

Davis is the author of two novels, Seasons of the Snake and Winter Range, and a collection of short stories, Labors of the Heart. She has received a Pushcart Prize for her short fiction, and Winter Range won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and the Plains Booksellers Award for Fiction in 2001.

2011

James W. Rector III

James Rector attended UW-Waukesha from 1975-1978. He went on to earn a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1981, M.S. in Exploration Geophysics from Standford in 1984, and Ph.D. in Geophysics from Standford in 1990. He is Professor of Applied Seismology in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California at Berkeley (2001-Present.) His bio describes his interests and activities: "My principal areas of research are in oil and gas reservoir geophysics and multichannel signal processing. Most of my early work was in borehole geophysics. Over the course of my career at Berkeley, I have broadened my research interests substantially. I have supervised students and published in a wide variety of subjects including near-surface geophysics, anisotrophic imaging of borehole and surface seismic data, and wave propagation simulation. One of my current research activities is "amplitude-friendly" processing and imaging. I am particularly interested in how to unravel the amplitude-unfriendly effects of the utilization of wave propagation simulation in heterogeneous, anisotropic, viscoelastic media, and seismic processing from "cradle" to "grave." I am also very active in Machine Learning as applied to oil and gas problems. All my students need a fundamental understanding of signal processing, wave propagation, crustal geology, and all the basic math and science that goes with this. At Berkeley, I have taught graduate courses in Digital Signal Processing and Applied Seismology to geophysicists, geologists, civil engineers and mechanical engineers.

2010

Rich Mundell

Class of 1980. Vice President & Branch Manager of Waukesha M&I Bank. President of UW-Waukesha Foundation. Mundell transferred to UW-Milwaukee, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1982 and then entered the management training program at M&I Bank. Mundell and his wife, Sandy, live in Waukesha and have three daughters, twins Erin and Dana and Alexis, who finished her first two years of college at UW-Waukesha, and a grandson, Cade.

2009

Scott Zieher

Attended UW-Waukesha 1984-86. Received a BA in English from UW-Milwaukee in 1992 and an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University in 1996. Zieher's poetry has appeared recently in Western Humanities Review, Tin HouseKnock Magazine,LAB MagazineThe Siennese ShreddeThe Iowa Review and The Believer. In addition, he has written a book-length poem, the 96-page Virga, published in 2005, and a second, Impatience, released in September 2009. He completed a certificate course in American Arts from Sotherby's in 2000 and opened a contemporary arts gallery, ZieherSmith in the Chelsea district of Manhattan in 2003.

2008

Barbara Bache-Wiig (deceased) 

Began in 1973 and continued for 30 years. Most classes have been in English, art, music, psychology, and women’s studies as well as continuing education. She earned BS and MS degrees from the University of Minnesota in speech language pathology with a minor in reading. She founded a program, Adoption Insights, through the YWCA and the Mental Health Association. She also started another program, Infertility Insights, in conjunction with WCTC and the Women’s Health Center at Waukesha Memorial Hospital. Most recently she had been very active in “The Poetry People” doing readings and working on poetry. In 2006 she published her poetry in her book Yoga Woman Poems. 

2007

Bonnie Birk

1973-1976; Carroll College, B.S. in Psychology and UW-Whitewater M.S. in guidance and counseling. Ph.D. Marquette in religious studies. F&A Board: committees Outstand Alum selection, Sweet Rewards, Scholarship and Festival of Trees. Serves as liaison with Foundation. Won the 2007 Celebration of Giving Award from the Waukesha Co. Community Foundation (with husband); co-chaired the 2003 campaign for a new Women’s Center of Waukesha facility. Published Christine de Pizan and Biblical Wisdom: A Feminist-Theological Point of View2005.

2006

Elizabeth Jozwiak

1983- 85; UW-Milwaukee B.A. in History and Political Science 1987; M.A. from UW-Madison in 1989 and Ph.D. in 1997. Assistant Professor of History at UW-Rock. Her research interest include the United States Progressive Era, Labor History and Socialism.

2005

Kris Radish

1971- then UW-Milwaukee 1975 majoring in Journalism. Author: Run, Bambi, Run; The Birth Order Effect; The Elegant Gatherin of White Snows; Dancing Naked at the Edge of Dawn; Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral. Also inducted in the Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005 for fencing.

2004

David Weber

1986-1988;  While still a campus student, David managed the computer center with a few TRS 80 machines. During his time on campus, while completing his Associate Degree, he oversaw the growth from that small beginning into a fully wired campus.  He assisted faculty, staff, and students in the use of computers and connection to the internet, translating complex procedures to users with clarity and patience.  Many of the students he trained as assistants went on to IT careers.  

2005

Mary Winze

1979-1983; As a returning adult student, Mary was active in the adult student organization and assisted in making the campus aware of the needs of those students.  She earned a BBA in Marketing from UW Milwaukee.  After graduation she began in 1994 as a member of the Friends and Alumni Board serving as secretary, vice president and president from 1997 to 2000. 

2002

Robb & Suzanne Schuelke

Suzanne (Flickinger) Schuelke and Robb 1985-87; B.A. UW-Milwaukee Robb in Business; Suzanne in Communications. She went on for a M.A. Owners of Children’s Learning Center Pewaukee. Robb served on F&A Board.

2001

Joan Berg (Crnkovich)

1973-75; earned degree in nursing from UW-Milwaukee in 1978. Worked at Elmbrook Hospital; Served on F&A Board 1983-1995; secretary in 85-86 and vice president in 88-89, 92-93 and 93-94.

2000

Ellen (Bartel) McDonald

1978-1980;   With her husband and fellow alumnus, Larry, Ellen is the Co-Creator and Administrator of Hartland Music and The Waukesha County Conservatory of Music. Ellen was active in the Madrigals and won the Music Department Award. She is a professional pianist and her mission is to provide the “highest quality music educational services”. 

1999

David & Ann (Hanson) Rodrigues

1981-1983;   Founders and owners of David and Goliath Builders of Pewaukee providing home building and remodeling. David and Ann met at U.W.- Waukesha and founded the company months before they were married.  Both are active in the Metropolitan Builders Association and Parade of Homes.  Ann served on the Friends and Alumni Foundation Board. 

1998

David Elmer

1971-74, and 1978-1980;   David completed a degree in accounting after leaving U.W, Waukesha and is the owner and manager of an accounting firm.  He served as an evening lecture at Carroll University for several years. Since being named as the Outstanding Alumnus in 1998, David’s career has included staff management, audit procedures and services, and management functions.  David served as Friends and Alumni Board President and as the first president of the U.W. Waukesha Foundation.  He is married to fellow alum Louise Goergen.  

1997

Lynn Knight

1970-1974;  Lynn Knight served the campus as the Director of University Relations.  She was responsible for bringing the campus to the public through publications and during the time of the media revolution, creating on-line links to campus academics, activities, and services.  In addition to providing publications, she maintained historical campus documents, provided assistance to campus organizations, and acted as liaison to the Friends and Alumni, and the U.W. Waukesha Foundation. 

1996

Ellen Morris-Gutierrez (deceased) 

1972-1975; Director of Community Affairs and Publication at Carroll College; previous director of RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) and on the Waukesha School Board. Deceased 2010. Ellen fashioned a career around public service and community involvement. Employment included being the first executive director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, district staff representative for former state senator Lynn Adelman, director for community relations and publications at Carroll University, substitute teacher at the Waukesha and New Berlin school districts and field researcher for the University of Chicago for the National Children's Study and she was elected to the Waukesha School Board.. She had an abiding commitment to her community and served on the boards of Family Service of Waukesha County and Presbyterian Homes Foundation and was involved with the Girl Scouts and other nonprofit organizations. She helped found The Caring Place and the Literacy Council of Greater Waukesha.  

1995

Joan Finley

1975-1978;   Joan was the Coordinator of Adult Programming for the Pallottine Priests and Brothers in Milwaukee.  She participated in many volunteer activities in Waukesha including the Civic Theatre and Church Women United. 

1994

Mary Boehnlein

1978-1981;  Mary was president of the Student Government Association and introduced the notion of the need for childcare on campus which later became a reality.  She was a founding member of New Horizons, the adult student organization.  After graduating from Marquette Law she opened a private practice focusing on family law.  She served as a member of the Friends and Alumni Board and was President in 1990-1991.  She was a representative to the University of Wisconsin Colleges Board of Visitors. 

1993

Larry McDonald

1976-1979; With his wife and fellow alumnae, Ellen, Larry is the Co-Creator and Administrator of Hartland Music and The Waukesha County Conservatory of Music.. He served as President of the Student Government Association.  After completing his doctorate, he served as a music instructor on campus.  He is an award-winning composer with pieces premiered by the Milwaukee Symphony and the Bel Canto Chorus. 

1992

Dan Vrakas

1976;   Waukesha County executive from 2005=2014. Dan graduated from UW Stevens Point in 1979. He managed Paul’s Restaurant in Waukesha and served on the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1996-2005.  He has been active in Rotary, UP Connection, and the Waukesha Hospital Foundation among other community services.  While a student, he helped build the green house at the U.W. Waukesha Field Station. He is a winner of several community awards. 

1991

Richard Land

1967-69; Price Waterhouse international accountant working in Saudi Arabia and Nigeria among other locations.  After starting his career in the Milwaukee office he was transferred to Miami and then to the island of Curacao where in 1984 was in charge of Caribbean Operations.  While there he gained oil refinery experience and because of his history of success he was assigned to manage Middle East Operations stationed in Riyadh.  He has been involved in a number of activities with local business people and municipalities.  

1990

Sue Wilcox

1966-1968;:  Sue was a member of the first class of students who attended the campus when it opened. After earning her B.A. ad M.S she worked at Waukesha North High school and the Waukesha Training Center.  She began working at UW Waukesha as financial aid advisor from 1984. She developed services for students with disabilities.  Always she was noted for her compassion and sense of humor. After retiring she served for several years on the Friends and Alumni Scholarship Committee. 

1989

Dorothy Green

1971-1974; Dorothy was a registered nurse and in the 1970’s decided on a career change.  She earned her BS and then her Master of Science in Social Work and worked as a social worker for the Foster CVare Unit of the Waukesha County Department of Social Services.  She served as the president and also as secretary of the Friends and Alumni of UW Waukesha. 

1988

Aline Lopez (deceased) 

1974-1977; After completing her program at UW-Waukesha she earned degrees in psychology, sociology, Spanish and social work at Carroll College. She was a board member and founder of Guadalupana and was also the founder for the Augustinian Society. Aline was very involved with bilingual education in Waukesha and was the first director of La Casa De Esperanza. She was on the board of United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS) in Milwaukee. Aline had a strong friendship with Cesar Chavez and was always very active in many community affairs, including being a member of the National Organization of Women in Waukesha, a volunteer at St. Vincent De Paul, the food pantry in Texas, a member of the Women’s Democratic Party of Waukesha and a very active member at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Deceased April 26, 2008

1987

Gail Dustin

1971’.  Medical social worker for Waukesha Memorial Hospital Served as a Friends and Alumni Board member.  Earned sociology Department Honors. 

1986

Tom Mihal

1967-1969;  Served as Student Government president.  Earned a Bachelor’s Degree from UW Madison and J.D. in 1974.  He is senior partner in his law firm, practicing in Waukesha County..  Tom served as Friends and Alumni President in 1984-1985. 

1985

Kathleen Falk

1969-1971;  Kathleen is an attorney and politician who served as Dane County Executive from 1997 until 2011.  Prior to entering politics, Falk was a prosecutor and public-interest attorney. From 1983 to 1997, she was an assistant attorney general and public intervenor in the Wisconsin Department of Justice; she previously worked as a co-director and legal counsel of Wisconsin's Environmental Decade, an advocacy organization. Falk is the only woman who has served as Dane County Executive and was the first woman to seek a major party's gubernatorial nomination in Wisconsin history. 

1984

Sally Sheedy

1967-1968; Sally worked as a Corporate Recruiter in Human Resources at Miller Brewing Company. She later became the Employment Manager at the Miller Brewery in Fulton, New York.   She completed her B.A. in Business at Whitewater and was one of the first students to earn her MBA from Whitewater at UW-Waukesha while working full time.  She was the first alumnus to serve on the Friends and Alumni Board.  

1983

Dale Guldan (deceased) 

1973-1975;  Dale Guldan, turned a boyhood fascination with the camera into an award-winning career as a newspaper photographer -Beginning in 1977, he worked for the Milwaukee Journal and then the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.   His photos earned dozens of awards, including four consecutive honors as the Wisconsin News Photographer of the Year in the 1980s. Deceased May, 2005.