Alumni News and Stories

Career news, life events and alumni success stories
In this Section

Your fellow alumni readers want to know want what you're up to these days. Share your news about job changes, promotions, awards/recognition, retirement, and family milestones with us. Class notes are featured in our Outlook email newsletter and annual magazine. 

Here are some common reasons to send us a class note:

  • A new job or promotion 
  • A baby or adopted a child
  • You got married or entered into an official union 
  • Published a book
  • A fellow alumni has passed away

Submit a Class Note

Career News:

Terri Burmeister `89 is chief executive officer of Catapult Systems.

Jacob Ritchie `02 was named Hayward Foundation for Educational Enrichment (HFEE) 2020 Teacher of the Year.

Tammy Zarecki Gorski `98 received her PhD from Marian University in fall 2019. Her published dissertation is “The Intersection of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Mindset: Predictors of College Success in a Community College.”

Thomas Schmitt `83 is president of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) – Milwaukee Chapter.

Rodney Hanson `50 is a volunteer at a medical equipment bank and a local food bank.

Rachel Plehal `16 is a registered nurse on a COVID-19 unit in the Twin Cities.

Career News: new jobs, promotions, awards and retirements
  • Herbert Watanabe `50 retired from the Hawaii State Board of Education after 4 terms.
  • Rodney Hanson `50 is a volunteer at the food bank and medical equipment bank.
  • Ken Dickie `59 was inducted into the Western Michigan University Bronco Hockey Ring of Honor in the Builder category.
  • Jan Lueck Jenson `65 completed writing her second book on Old World chip carving.
  • Douglas Janzen `68 was a candidate with the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight #51. He served in the Army in Vietnam.
  • Penny Dunbar `69 is a 50-year member of The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and will be honored at the FNCE in Indianapolis in October 2020.
  • Ray Wagner `69 retired in 2014 after 34 years in the thermal spray industry, the last 23 years as director of sales for Asia Pacific for Praxair Surface Technologies.
  • Paulette Steuernagel Braatz `71 retired as the director of personnel from the School District of Amery.
  • Stephen Henseler `71 has been enjoying his 11th year of retirement. He has now visited 48 of the 50 states.
  • Alan Rozanski `77 (Phi Omega Beta) is a free lance cartoonist with sales to the Wall Street Journal, Saturday Evening Post, Woman’s World, Alta, and more. He retired from Master Lock as a packaging engineering manager in 2015 and resides in Milwaukee with his wife Sheryl Cummins Rozanski `77.
  • Diane Olson `75 will be retiring in August after 39 years as a food inspector at the City of St. Paul and the State of Minnesota.
  • Paul Cunningham `75 celebrated his 50-year anniversary at Schreiners Restaurant in Fond du Lac. He has owned the restaurant since 1992.
  • Ron Mundt `76 retired as the director of service support operations at Harley-Davidson Motor Company in 2008.
  • Jon Jensen `76 retired from Marquette University as a Professor Emeritus after 40 years as a professor and associate dean of engineering.
  • Michael Holzen `76 retired from Johnson Controls, Inc after over 35 years of service in the power solutions business group as a field sales team manager.
  • Alan Rozanski `77 (Phi Omega Beta) is a free lance cartoonist with sales to the Wall Street Journal, Saturday Evening Post, Woman’s World, Alta and more. He retired from Master Lock as a packaging engineering manager in 2015, and resides in Milwaukee with his wife Sheryl Cummins Rozanski `77.
  • Gary Boyles `77 retired from Intel Corporation, Folsom, Cali., in 2014 after 22 years in networking, engineering, systems engineering and project management. He recently received his 7th degree blackbelt in Taekwondo and lives in Northern California.
  • Mark A. Johnson `77 is the regional director of operations for Beechwood Hotel Group.
  • Craig Kalley `78 retired as an engineer after over 40 years of working at several different manufacturing companies, mostly in New England.
  • Scott Cabot `78 is celebrating 45 years as a member of the BP (former AMOCO) Motor Club.
  • Carl Hader `79 will be retiring in June 2020 after 41 years as an Automotive Technology Instructor at Grafton High School, in Grafton.
  • Patty Gilbert Hoppe `80 retired after 36 years as a school psychologist.
  • Deb Lancello `80 is celebrating the 100th episode of “Chicago Med,” airing on NBC, as the Production Accountant.
  • Deborah Handy `81 received the 2019 ACTE Region V Teacher Educator of the Year.
  • Dr. Katie Schuld Wilson `81 is the executive director for the Urban School Food Allowance.
  • Fred Valfer `81 is a district manager for Chartwells.
  • Katie Valfer `81 retired from Scholastic Book Fairs in January.
  • Joan Heberlein `83 retired as a project leader for the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation after 34 years.
  • Thomas Schmitt `83 is president of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) – Milwaukee Chapter.
  • Jim Marovec `84 is the director of business development at the National Association of College and University Foodservices.
  • Juliana Lucchesi `84 is the mayor of the City of Dunsmuir in northern California and the vice-chair of the Siskiyou County Air Pollution Control District.
  • Juliet Finnegan `84 retired as a registered dietitian in hospital and long-term settings in Illinois and California after 34 years.
  • Patti Cruse `84 is the vice president of strategic accounts/workplace for the western division at Tarkett.
  • Scott Skorik `84 is the vice president of national health care system sales at Sodexo.
  • Elizabeth Bettenhausen `85 established Native Inspirations, a jewelry/lapidary business in 2002, expanded to lapidary in 2017 and is employed as a beer tender at O'so Brewing, Plover. She is also on the Board of Directors and is serving as the programming chair at The Amherst Opera House Company Guild, Amherst.
  • Elizabeth Peterson-Bettenhausen `85 is employed at O’so Brewing in Plover.
  • Kaylene Kickhafer `85 is celebrating 20 years as Kickhafer Consulting Services Inc.
  • Diane Shafer `86 retired from Kraft (Heinz) after 33 years of service.
  • Elihu (Hugh) Wear `87 as assumed full ownership and the position of president of Popco.
  • Adekunle Oyeyemi `89 was enthroned and crowned as a king and traditional ruler of Oba-ile Kingdom in Osun State, Nigeria on January 1, 2017.
  • Jeffery Brown `89 is the president of the Illinois Design Educators Association (IDEA).
  • Jeffrey Brown `89 received the 2019 William & Mildred Jackson Teacher Recognition Award, sponsored by The Give Something Back Foundation. The award recognizes teachers for impacting students, their peers and the community in a positive way whether in the classroom and/or outside of normal curricular and co-curricular activities.
  • Terri Burmeister `89 is chief executive officer of Catapult Systems.
  • Paul Nesja `90 won the cartoon caption contest in the March 16, 2020 issue of The New Yorker magazine.
  • Carolyn Porter `91 was a 2019 featured speaker at TEDxMahtomedi, an annual event held under the aegis of the world-famous TED talks. Her talk is titled “The Unexpected Journey of a Passion Project.”
  • Steve Kleist `93 is a lean value stream (technical) manager supporting 3M’s Latin America operations.
  • Jay Henry `94 is the owner of Hooligan’s Pub in Boise, Idaho.
  • Dietrich Thompson `97 launched his latest book, Joshua and the Amazing Christmas Village.
  • Alyssa Farrar `98 was promoted to vice president, human resource business partner at HSA Bank in Milwaukee.
  • Craig Sandbulte `98 was appointed VP of quality and regulatory affairs at IntriCon Corporation in Arden Hills, Minn.
  • Tammy Zarecki Gorski `98 received her PhD from Marian University in fall 2019. Her published dissertation is “The Intersection of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Mindset: Predictors of College Success in a Community College.”
  • Alexis Arnold `99 is running the Artless Bastard Gallery in downtown DePere. The gallery hosts monthly art exhibits and a fine art gift shop.
  • Arthur “Bill” Miller `02 received tenure and promotion to associate professor of Art and Design at UW-Whitewater.
  • Jacob Ritchie `02 was named Hayward Foundation for Educational Enrichment (HFEE) 2020 Teacher of the Year.
  • Kim Oppelt `03 received her EdD. In leadership from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota in January.
  • Pam Entorf `03 is the program director of Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting at Chippewa Valley Technical College which has a fully operational dental clinic for low income patients.
  • Katherine “Paige” Klein `04 is the regional operations manager at Midwest for Employers Overload, a staffing agency since January. She also still operates her small business, practice:hospitality513 in the Cincinnati area.
  • Matt Schmick `04 opened a kombucha brewery and tap room in Wabasha.
  • Clifford Hentz `05, Carrie Hentz `06, Brett Jackson `07 and Joy Jackson `07 co-opened One Last Cast, a performance fishing apparel company.
  • Abigail Malcolm `07 and her husband, David, opened Zambaldi Beer in Green Bay.
  • Jena Carlin `08 co-authored “Herbs for Flavor, Health and Natural Beauty.”
  • Bill Pfalzgraf `10 is the senior learning consultant at Connexus Credit Union in Wausau.
  • Kristen Egger `10 is an account executive with Access Systems.
  • Ashley DeMuth `11 is the CEO of the Menomonie Area Chamber of Commerce.
  • Mathiew Rae Fox `11 is the general manager of HuHot Mongolian Grill in Kenosha. He is celebrating 5 years of marriage to his wife, Sarah, and they have a daughter and are expecting a son.
  • Devon Block `13 is working for the original series, Small Business Revolution which airs on Hulu and PrimeVideo.
  • Matthew Bills `14 is the owner of PGW Small Engine Repair/Sales, LLC and has been selected as one of only 20 delegates for the 2020 Veterans Entrepreneurship Program at Oklahoma State University, Riata Center for Entrepreneurship in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
  • Matthew Bills `14 is a supplier quality engineer at ENERPAC – a division of Actuant Corp. in Menomonee Falls. He also recertified as an American Society for Quality (ASQ) – Certified Quality Engineer and Certified Quality Auditor in June.
  • Zachary Herman `15 graduated from Mitchell-Hamline School of Law and is pursuing work in patent law.
  • De’Andre Jones `16 is the assistant director for events and traditions in the Center for Student Involvement in Seattle.
  • Rachel Plehal `16 is a registered nurse on a COVID-19 unit in the Twin Cities.
  • Andrea Hulshult `18 was awarded the Meritorious Paper Award from the EDSIGCON Conference 2019 for her paper, "Applying Agile across the IT curriculum," that was published in the Information Systems Education Journal.
  • Haley Wentz `18 was awarded the White Lodging 2018 Rookie Manager of the Year in April.
Life events: births, marriages, anniversaries and deaths


  • Jack Kleisner `73 welcomed his first granddaughter, Indigo “Indie” Layla on May 15, 2019.
  • Andrew Busch `01 and Billy Lowe `05 welcomed their son, Evan Drake, in Jan. 2019.
  • Alicia `09 and Chris Thalacker `09 welcomed twins Olivia and Owen on May 9, 2019.
  • Isaac `11 and Brianna Twaddle Wipperfurth `13 welcomed their third child on November 15th.
  • Jessica Roethle '11 and Adam Kidd `11 welcomed their second child, Brock Anthony, on Aug. 30, 2019.


  • Michelle Jensen `06 got engaged in October.  
  • Lee Weis `09 and Michael Smith `11 got engaged in San Diego, Cali in early 2019.
  • Meghan Lueck `17 and Nathan Olinger `15 were engaged on Sept. 7, 2019. They met as freshmen and became friends in 2011, and went on their first date at the Acoustic Café in 2014. They are planning to be wed in Oct. 2020.
  • De’Andre Jones `16 is engaged to his partner, Collin.
  • Megan Faustini `18 is engaged to Gregory Cops `18.


  • David Semrau `93 married Dr. Sophie Thibault on August 11, 2018 in the Bahamas. 
  • Sara Garay `93 and Scott Reindl `92 were married in June.
  • Ann Jennerman Shuda `97 married Dr. Bryant Julstrom on June 29, 2019.
  • Heather Jeske `09 got married to Taran Burke on March 30, 2019 in Minneapolis.
  • Kevin Neuman `12 married Brooke Gasteyer on June 15, 2019 in Elmwood.
  • Hailey Melander `15 and Kevin Crimmins were married on October 26, 2019.
  • Emily Knapp `15 and Garrett Williams were married on February 9, 2019.
  • Kari Kolle `16 and Travis Swirth married on June 1st. 2019.


  • Jim (aka Schnibbles) `63 Schorer and his wife, Kriss, celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary in August.
  • Tim `68 and Jane Banks celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary in Sebring, Flor.
  • Brad Johnson`69 and Linda Adam Johnson celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on June 7, 2019 in Mukwonago.
  • Laura Slater-Hatzenbeller `79 surprised her husband, Mark Hatzenbeller `79 with an 11-day trip to Nassau, Bahamas to renew their wedding vows for their 40th anniversary.
  • Patti Cook Brodie `88 and Dan Brodie celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in August.
  • Andrew Farrar '97 and Alyssa Sederholm Farrar '98 Celebrated their 20th Wedding Anniversary in April of 2020.


  • John (Jack) Goodrich `48, September 22, 2018, Boise, Idaho
  • Ardis J. Swensen `53, May 19, 2019, Dunwoody, Georgia
  • Grace L. Laudon Ostenso `54, April 5, 2020, Bethesda, MD.
  • Leo Janis `56, March 5, 2020, Buffalo Grove, Ill.
  • Lillian Smith Halverson `56, December 26, 2017, Carol Stream, Ill.
  • Louis M. Kort `56, July 25, 2019, Menasha
  • William “Bill” LaBine `56, March 17, 2020, Ontonagon
  • Edith Shaw Hoffman `57, October 21, 2019, Woodridge, Ill.
  • Rita Casey Maves `59, October 30, 2019, Arlington Heights, Ill.
  • Yvonne Swenson Jajner `59, October 2018, Oshkosh
  • William K. Neumann `59, October 5, 2019, Petersburg, Alaska
  • Kathryn L. Steckel `60, September 2, 2019, Wausau
  • Lloyd C. Hoeffner `60, January 31, 2020, Appleton
  • Thomas A. Singletary `60, April 19, 2018, Statesboro, Georgia
  • Donald Lee Clark `61, July 17, 2019, Tomall, Texas
  • Thomas O. Bispala `61, August 29, 2018, Germantown
  • Jay P. Johnson `62, August 29, 2019, Bemidji, Minn.
  • Mary F. Zurawski `62, April 16, 2020, Stevens Point
  • Harry Cain `63, August 23, 2019, Fredrick, Colorado
  • Peter Josef Betts `63, June 28, 2019, Racine
  • Emily Minnichsoffer Behm `67, January 9, 2020, Lindstrom, Minn.
  • Philip “Phil” Louis Cassata `67, March 12, 2020, Madison
  • Bonita Rolf Priebe `70, January 11, 2019, Belleville, Mich
  • Judith Kundert Irwin `71, April 8, 2019, Brooklyn, Mich.
  • William “Bill” James Bestler `72, August 7, 2019, Deerwood, Minn.
  • Jeffrey John McNeely `74, September 11, 2019, Neillsville
  • Jerry La See `74, March 19, 2017, New Berlin 
  • Daniel “Bear” Alft `75, January 19, 2020, Miramar Beach, Flor.
  • Susan Ann O’Leary `75, May 4, 2019, Manitowoc
  • Kathy Monson Ranallo `76, November 29, 2019, Marietta, Geor.
  • Russel “Russ” Walter Symes `77, August 1, 2019, Green Valley, Ariz.
  • Thomas “Tom” Furdek `77, March 11, 2020, Clintonville
  • Timothy B. Eaton `79, February 14, 2020, Indian Wells, Cali.
  • Denise Sommer `81, February 18, 2020, Saint Charles, Ill.
  • Janet Lynn Born `82, October 18, 2019, River Falls
  • Nancy A. Nelson Jensen `83, March 20,2020, Winona, Minn.
  • Deacon Robert “Bob” John Hansen `87, August 12, 2019, Mondovi
  • Kristine Werner Hunt `88, December `9, 2019, Naples, Flor.
  • Scott S. Bucholtz `89, November 16, 2019, Palatine, Ill.
  • Joel “Joe” B. Wavrunek `90, February 19, 2020, Eagen, Minn.
  • Terry Klier Svihlik `91, October 13, 2019, Black Creek
  • Lynn Olander Seehafer `94, October 7, 2019, Winter Park, Flor.
  • Scott Swanson `99, January 2, 2019, Saint Paul, Minn.
  • Shawn Berg `03, March 21, 2020, Chippewa Falls
  • Kimberly Jean Audetat `15, June 12, 2019, Racine

Friends of Stout: 

  • Patricia Gove, wife of Jeffrey Gove `74, August 10, 2019, Mason, Ohio
  • James Robert Johnson, October 18, 2019, Stillwater.
  • Alison Laurent, wife of Daniel Laurent `96, November 16, 2019, Fort Myers, Flor.
Faculty/Staff News: awards, retirements and deaths


  • Stephen Collie:  Communication Studies, Global Languages, and Performing Arts
  • Mary Dodge:  Materials Management
  • Jody Engeldinger:  Memorial Student Center
  • Donald Gjestson: Security & Police Services
  • Stanley Goetz:  Operations and Management
  • Jan Jordan:  Discovery Center
  • James Keyes:  Operations and Management
  • Cathy Lacombe:  Memorial Student Center
  • Diane Longsdorf:  College of STEMM
  • Kathrine Navarre:  Psychology
  • Carolyn Robertson:  Housing Custodial
  • Sue Scholfield:  Multicultural Student Services
  • Kathy Sveum:  Registration and Records


  • Carol S. Gunderson, 74, formerly of Osseo and Eau Claire, Passed away June 4, 2019. Carol worked at UW-Stout as a senior lecturer in the department of social sciences teaching sociology and race and ethnicity courses. She worked full time from 1988 until she retired in 2000.
  • Wayne A. Nero, 73, of Menomonie, passed away in June 3, 2019. Wayne was a professor in the business department from 1974 until he retired in 1996.
  • Lee H. Smalley, 92, of Menomonie, passed away on June 28, 2019. Lee was a professor in the School of Industry and Technology from 1964 until he retired in 1992. 
  • Verna M. Gesche, 97, of Menomonie, passed away Sept. 4, 2019. Verna worked in the custodial department, retiring in 1984.
  • Simon A. Olson, 95, of Menomonie, passed away July 31, 2019. Simon was an electrician for 39 years at UW-Stout, retiring in 1986.
  • John C. Deutscher, 84, of Menomonie, passed away Sept. 13, 2019. John was a counselor educator for 31 years at UW-Stout, retiring in 1996.
  • J. Ervin Strehlau, 94, of Menomonie, passed away Oct. 11, 2019. Ervin retired from UW-Stout in 1988.
  • Patrick M. Leibergen, 70, of Naples, Fla., formerly of Menomonie, passed away Feb. 6, 2020. Patrick retired in May 2012 as the director of choral activities at UW-Stout.
  • George H. Nelson, 84, of Menomonie, passed away Jan. 24, 2020. George retired in 1997 as chair of the biology department after working at UW-Stout for about 30 years.
  • Arlene Cooper, 85, of Red Wing, Minn., passed away Jan. 26, 2020. Arlene retired in 1997 from the rehabilitation and counseling department.
  • Charles L. Buelow, 86, of Menomonie, passed away Dec. 16, 2019. Chuck was the director of University Relations, retiring in 1992 after working at UW-Stout for 24 years.
  • Jerene C. Clements, 90, of Menomonie, passed away April 12, 2020. Jerene worked as a secretary for the chancellor’s office for over 20 years. She retired around 1992. 
  • William “Will” D. Etzbach, 53, of Menomonie, passed away March 29, 2020. Will worked at the Stout Vocational Reahbiliator Institute as a case facilitator.
  • Evelyn C. Norrgard, 84, of Boyceville, passed away April 4. Evelyn retired from UW-Stout in 2000 after working in dining services and as a custodian for about 23 years.
  • Geraldine H. Laine, 80, of Menomonie, passed away March 16, 2020. Geraldine retired in 1999 after 31 years teaching in the English department.
  • Allen J. Noll, 68, of Menomonie, passed away on May 12, 2020. Allen retired from UW-Stout in 2007 as the director of the Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute.

  • Lynn J. Harris, 77, of St. Paul, Minn., passed away April 18, 2020. Lynn, a professor, retired from UW-Stout in 2008 after 20 years of service in the department of psychology.

Our Outlook Magazine is an annual printed publication highlighting alumni success stories from across the country.

If you would like to submit an Outlook magazine story, please email


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