Outstanding Alumni


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


We are currently accepting nominations for the 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award. Download the nomination form.

Nominations are due no later than March 15, 2017.


  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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Barbara Bache-Wiig

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 has been very active in “The Poetry People” doing readings and working on poetry.


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.


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.


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.


David Weber

1986-1988 Associate Degree; Computing Services Director at UW-Waukesha since 1988.


Mary Winze

Adult student 1979-83; UW-Milwaukee 83-86 BBA in Marketing. Works at Grimstads. Worked on F&A Board since 1994 Secretary; President 1997-2000; and 2001 2003. Also Vice President


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.


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.


Ellen (Bartel) McDonald

1978-1980; owner of Hartland Music Center and Waukesha County Conservatory of Music, Hartland. Professional pianist. On campus active in Madrigals and won Music Dept. award. Married to Larry McDonald.


David & Ann (Hanson) Rodrigues

1981-1983; owners of David and Goliath Builders of Pewaukee founded months before they were married; both active in MBA (Metropolitan Builders) Association; Parade of Homes. David serves on the MBA arbitration committee and Board of Directors; Ann serves on the MBA's sales and marketing council. Ann served on F&A Foundation Board.


David Elmer

1971-74 and 1978-80; own accounting firm; married Louise Goergen (Alum) F& A Board President in 1988-89 and Foundation President 1990-91.


Lynn Knight

1970-74 B.A.; M.A., Marquette;  former Director of University Relations at UW-Waukesha.


Ellen Morris-Gutierrez

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.


Joan Finley

1975-78; Coordinator of Adult Programming for the Pallottine Priests and Brothers in Milwaukee; many volunteer activities in Waukesha.


Mary Boehnlein

1978-81; President of Student Government; founding member of New Horizons, adult student organization; Private law practice; F&A Board member & President in 1990-91; also served on the UW Colleges Board of Visitors.


Larry McDonald

1976-79; Student Government President; married Ellen Bartel (alum) and has worked as an ad hoc instructor in music on campus; he and Ellen own a music store in Hartland and the Waukesha County Conservatory of Music.


Dan Vrakas

1976; Ran Paul's Restaurant in Waukesha; helped to build the greenhouse at Field Station; elected to 31st district assembly in 1990; Former Waukesha County Executive.


Richard Land

1967-69; Price Waterhouse accountant in Curacao, Saudi Arabia and currently in Nigeria.


Sue Wilcox

1966-68; Financial Aid Advisor on Campus 1984-89


Dorothy Green

1971-74; Social Worker for Waukesha Department of Social Services; F&A Board member & President 1985-87


Aline Lopez

Deceased April 26, 2008

1974-77; Active Waukesha Volunteer; La Casa de Esperanza; St. Joseph's Church


Gail Dustin

1971; Sociology Department Honor Student; Medical Social Worker for Waukesha Memorial; F&A Board member since 1996


Tom Mihal

1967-69; Student Government President, Senior partner in law firm; on F&A Board and served as president 1984-85


Kathleen Falk

1969-71; Wisconsin Public Intervenor; Dane County Executive from 1997 until 2011


Sally Sheedy

1967-68; worked for Miller Brewing Recruiter; served on F&A Board. First alum to serve


Dale Guldan

Deceased May, 2005

1973-75; Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel Photographer; named Wisconsin photographer of the year for 4 consecutive years in the 1980’s