Rothbauers add third generation to UW-Stout family tree
New grad Jasmine Rothbauer follows in father’s, grandfather’s footsteps
January 3, 2018
For the Rothbauer family, University of Wisconsin-Stout is a
Jasmine Rothbauer, 24, became the third generation of her
family to graduate from UW-Stout when she earned her bachelor’s degree Dec. 16 in
Her father, Wayne Rothbauer, graduated from UW-Stout in 2010
with a master’s degree in technology management. Her grandfather, Don Rothbauer,
graduated with a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology in 1979.
Jasmine never expected to follow in her grandfather’s
footsteps, but they shared similar interests and she found UW-Stout fit her
educational needs. “My grandpa has been my role model since I was a little
kid,” Jasmine said. “He has always been the sharpest guy in the room.”
At Hudson High School, Jasmine was involved in Project Lead
the Way. The Milwaukee School of Engineering program allows high school
students to take engineering courses and get college credit. Jasmine discovered
she wanted to go into manufacturing engineering.
“I like problem-solving, and this major is one where you get
the chance to do so,” she said.
With her UW-Stout degree in hand, Jasmine starts work in
January at Phillips-Medisize in Menomonie as a manufacturing engineer. The first
18 months she will rotate to various positions to help her learn more about the
company and learn a variety of responsibilities and new skills.
“It definitely prepares you for a unique set of
opportunities and is even tailored to my needs as a growing engineer,” she
While at UW-Stout, Jasmine had two internships and a co-op. One
internship was at Fremarq Innovations in Wausau and the other at SMC Ltd. in
Somerset. The co-op was at Midwest Manufacturing in Eau Claire.
“My internships have all been quite different but have built
on each other for my own professional growth,” Jasmine said. “I have experience
managing projects, designing and prototyping, managing a quality team and
taking lean initiatives.”
Wayne Rothbauer encouraged her to pursue internships. “My dad
talked about how he and my uncle Lorne did internships because of the real-life
exposure it gets you as an engineer,” Jasmine said. “My dad stressed to do as
many as you can. I used them as an opportunity to get a wide spectrum of
“I really enjoyed all of my experiences,” she added. “Lean
manufacturing and improving efficiency are really important to me. I like the
sustainability of existing processes to make them better.”
Proud father, grandfather
Wayne, 49, who lives north of St. Paul, said it was amazing
to see his daughter graduate from UW-Stout. “It was quite a milestone and accomplishment
for her,” he said.
He is a quality engineer for Pace Industries in St. Paul. He
pursued his master’s from UW-Stout because of the school’s location and programs.
Many people working in his field in the Twin Cities are
graduates of UW-Stout, and the university has a great reputation of turning out
quality graduates, Wayne said.
Jasmine credits her mother, Jackie, with being emotionally supportive
while she attended UW-Stout. Jasmine has two siblings, Matthew, a certified
nursing assistant, and Erica, who is majoring in psychology at UW-River Falls.
Don Rothbauer, 68, of Elk Mound, grew up on a dairy farm in
the Colfax area and was the only one of 10 children to go to college. He retired
from Andersen Windows in Menomonie about six years ago as the site lean
manager. Prior to that he worked at Rockwell Automation in Eau Claire as an
engineer and at John Deere, where he helped modernize facilities in Waterloo,
Iowa, and in Horicon.
Don was thrilled when his granddaughter chose UW-Stout’s manufacturing
engineering program. “I was as proud as you can be,” he said. “It was
fantastic. I’ve been proud to say I graduated from Stout. You learned practical
things at Stout because Stout is a university about getting things done.”
On graduation day, a picture was taken of Jasmine, her
father and grandfather. “That is one of my favorite pictures,” she said. “It is
very symbolic of my journey following in their footsteps. I didn’t mean to, but
it all kind of happened because we had similar interests.
Three other immediate family members also are UW-Stout
graduates. Jasmine’s uncles Lorne Rothbauer and Scott Rothbauer have bachelor’s
degrees in industrial technology in 1993 and 1992, respectively. Scott earned
his master’s from UW-Stout in August 2002 in technology management. Lorne earned
his master’s from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Scott’s wife,
Nicole, whose maiden name was Bass, earned her bachelor’s in early childhood
education from UW-Stout in 1999.
Rothbauer with her grandfather Don Rothbauer, left, and father, Wayne Rothbauer.
All three have degrees from UW-Stout.
Rothbauer receives congratulations from Chancellor Bob Meyer at UW-Stout’s