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

Betsy Van Zeeland

Betsy Van Zeeland `10 is director of commercial
lines underwriting at SECURA Insurance.

Career News: new jobs, promotions, awards and retirements
  • Ronald E. Bergmann `60 published his autobiography ‘A Fork in the Road’.
  • Louise Reseld Wakem `63 received the Herald Museum Guild’s 2017 Lifetime Service award. This award recognizes Guild members who have extensively served the Guild and the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Ariz for 15 years or more.
  • Daniel Stewart `70 was appointed by Indiana governer Eric Holcomb to the Indiana Rehabilitation Commission in January 2018. Dan is the President/CEO of Achieva Resources and plans to retire in June 2018 after 48 years in the rehabilitation industry.
  • Sharon Johnson `71, retired from Corporate Four Insurance Agency on April 26, 2017.
  • Warren Nilsson `73 retired after spending most of his 45 years in industrial distribution.
  • Katherine "Katie" Gardner `75 retired December 1st after working as a registered dietitian for 39 years.
  • Christine Welsh `76 retired as the supervisor of food services at D. C. Everest Area School District after 27 years. 
  • Jim “PJ” Noll `78 was sworn in as a district governor for Lions Clubs International District 27B2 of NE WI in Chicago last summer. The district has over 2,250 members in 70 Lions clubs.
  • Linda Armas `78 wrote and published The Freedom of Routing.
  • Donna Fain Brown `81 has been named senior manager, security, the Americas region for Western Digital Corporation in San Jose, Calif.
  • Joan Willshire `81 received 2018 Commitment to Service Award at the 32nd Annual State of Minnesota Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration in St. Paul.
  • Shawn Peter `83 was awarded the Presidents Award of Excellence in Safety in 2017 by his employer CN Railway.
  • Kent D. Savre `84 is a commanding general of The United States Army.
  • Elizabeth Bettenhausen `85 is the program manager at River City Estates in Hewitt.
  • Jeanne Wilkinson `86 was awarded the 43rd New Millennium Award for Nonfiction for her story “Hidden in a Suitcase” in 2017. 
  • Leslie Joslin `86 is a child care licensor for the Department of Human Services in Minnesota and she resides with her husband, John, in Woodbury, Minn.
  • Jeffrey Brown `89, was named Citgo STEM Teacher of the Year.
  • Tom Voegele `92 retired December 20th, 2017 after selling Bayside Home Medical in Sturgeon Bay.
  • Gary Wiedmeyer `92, is a sales engineer with Jorgensen Conveyors in Mequon.
  • Karen Lee Hayes `95, is helping at-risk, traumatized youth at Dakota Memorial School, Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch in Minot, North Dakota.
  • Stacy Jacobs `96 is the middle school administrative assistant at Elkhorn Area Middle School in Elkhorn. She retired as an elementary school teacher after 17 years.
  • Lisa Hoffman Wojcik `97 was appointed executive director of Leisure Education for Exceptional People (LEEP). 
  • Kelly La Venture `99 received the U.S. Fulbright Scholar award to Mauritius.
  • Kevin Stensberg `01 accomplished his goal of visiting 100 countries with a trip to Iceland in June.
  • Adam Bredesen `08 is a sr. consultant at Aon.
  • Dyana Doherty `08, named Business Person of the Year by the Savage Chamber of Commerce in Savage, Minn. 
  • Logan Irons `09 was awarded the Certified Club Manager designation by the Club Managers Association of America.
  • Betsy Van Zeeland `10 is director of commercial lines underwriting at SECURA Insurance.
  • Latacia Greeley `11 is the membership and tourism director of the Menomonie Area Chamber of Commerce.
  • Melissa Wilson `11 began Melnaturel in 2017. Melnaturel is a natural skincare line that is sold online and at stores in Eau Claire, Hudson and Milwaukee.
  • Brian Rose `15 is employed as a safety manager at Aldridge Electric, a family-owned national utility construction contractor headquartered in Libertyville, Ill.
  • Zane Glumske `15 began new role as a product development verification lead for Advanced Energy Generator in January 2018.
  • De’Andre Jones `16 is a program associate at Summer Search in Seattle. 
  • Derek Woellner `16 was elected mayor of his hometown of Merrill.
  • Lucas Feldkamp `16 was promoted to admissions system analyst at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn.
  • Mark Lorenz `16 was hired as the manager of learning and development at Loram Maintenance of Way, Inc.
Life events: births, marriages, anniversaries and deaths


  • Laura Bauman `15 is engaged to Zack Knight `15. They plan to wed in 2019.


  • Thomas V. Hable `77 and Jennifer K. Beyer Huber `78 were married in Federal Way, Wash.
  • Nicole Crowell `08 and Jack Hajewski were married on July 14, 2017
  • Jenna Huseboe `12, September 16, 2017, Milwaukee, WI
  • Amanda Kessler Steffes `13, September 30, 2017, Milwaukee, WI
  • Sarah Thomas Strang `14, August 12, 2017, Eden Prairie, MN
  • Abigail Filcher `15 and Blake Meyer `16 were married September 16, 2017 in Burnsville, Minn.


  • Mr. Melcha and Dr. Gale D. Story Satchel `95 celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary, June 21.
  • Denise Becker Retzlaff `02 and Andrew Retzlaff `02 will celebrate their 15th anniversary in October. They met at UW-Stout in 1998.


  • Sara Lynn and Bradley ` 03 Jensen, welcomed Opal Julianne Jensen to their family on November 10, 2017. She has two older brothers, Daniel (3) and Bruce (2).
  • Tiffani Calmes Roltgen `04 and Mike Roltgen welcome Calvey Matthew Roltgen to their family on Feb. 19. Calvey joins siblings Adelline, Stella and MacArthur.
  • Joy Williams `07 and Brett Jackson `07 welcomed their second child, a son in August.


  • Paul Erickson `46, October 29, 2013, Turlock, Cali
  • Arthur Goglin `56, January 31, 2018, Wilsonville, Oregon
  • Robert Olstrom `57, February 16, 2018, Reedsport, Oregon
  • Brian Hepperly `63, June 2, 2017, Beloit
  • Joyce J. Giovani `63, January 9, 2017, Wausau
  • Karen Horky Hirte `64, March 201, 2018, Lancaster.  
  • Chester Jensen `64, September 11th, 2017, Neenah
  • Carol Hope Siewert `66, December 22, 2017, Plano, Texas.
  • Marlene Worzella `68, December 2017, Richfield
  • Sandra “Sandy” Hassemer `68, June 04, 2008, Sun City West, Ariz.
  • Curt Peters `70, July 14, 2018, Montrose, Cali.
  • Duane Hambleton `70, March 8, 2018, Neenah
  • Jon Edward Nelson `71, July 15, 2018, Rochester, Minn.
  • Robert Newton `74, July 18, 2018, Beloit
  • Nancy Zieman `75, November 14, 2017, Beaver Dam
  • Daniel Grosskopf `77, June 15, 2014, Farmington, Minn.
  • David Dawson `86, October 18, 2017, Menomonee Falls
  • Freedom E. Nakpodia `86, July 27, 2016, Nigeria
  • Thomas Jahn, June 20, 2017, Tomahawk
  • Amanda Geissler `07, December 30, 2017, Costa Rica
Faculty/Staff News: awards, retirements and deaths

Faculty Retirements: 

  • Lori Anda: Recreation Athletic Complex Operations
  • Alan Block: School of Education Instruction
  • Ilse Hartung: Communication, Global Languages and Performing Arts
  • Mary Jackelen: Counseling Center
  • Dennis Luedtke: Building Maintenance
  • Elizabeth McRoberts: Chemistry and Physics / ROTC Military Science
  • Gus Myran: Discovery Center
  • David Plum: Operations and Management
  • Joan Pougiales: Office of International Education
  • Paul Stauffacher: Communication Studies, Global Languages, and Performing Arts
  • Andrea Streff: Custodial Services
  • Richard Swanson: English and Philosophy
  • Loretta Thielman: Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science

Faculty Passing:

  • Genevieve R. Lambert, 103, formerly of Menomonie died Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017. She worked as a cook at the UW-Stout student union, retiring in 1977.
  • Terry Ingram, 80, of Menomonie, passed away Nov. 22, 2017. He taught in media technology and photography from 1970 until his retirement in 2001. He was a professor emeritus in the College of Technology, Engineering and Management.
  • Ervin Schlick, 92, of Rochester, Minn. passed away December 30, 2017. Ervin worked as the director of instrumental activities. He retired in May 1989, after working just over 5 years at UW-Stout.
  • Philip Sawin Jr., 84, of Menomonie, passed away Feb. 7, 2018. Phil worked in the UW-Stout Library Learning Center as a collection development librarian and was at the university 21 years. He retired in July 1996.
  • Chancellor Emeritus, Charles William Sorensen of the University of Wisconsin-Stout, passed away on Friday, February 23, 2018, in The Hospice of the Comforter in Altamonte Springs, Florida.Chuck spent his professional life as an historian, scholar and administrator. His first position teaching history was in a junior high school in Denver, Colorado. After graduate school he taught at Tri-State College in Angola, Indiana, and Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. Chuck’s career then took a turn toward higher education administration. He served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Grand Valley State University, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Winona State University, and finally as Chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Stout from 1988- 2014.
  • Zenon T. Smolarek, 77, of Spring Valley, passed away March 8, 2018. Zeke taught at UW-Stout for 34 years in the industrial management department. He retired in 2000.
  • Duane A. Johnson, 83, of Milbank, S.D., passed away March 2, 2018. Duane taught at UW-Stout for 36 years in the department of communications, education and training. He retired in 2002.
  • Victor C. Rhodes Jr., of Menomonie, passed away April 8, 2018. Victor worked at UW-Stout for about 33 years. He retired in 1998 as a senior laboratory preparations technician in the chemistry department.
  • Virginia K. Peter, 80, of Wausau, passed away March 21, 2018. Virginia taught at UW-Stout in the education department for about 20 years. She retired in 1993.
  • Robert E. Moats, 84, of Elk Mound, passed away May 7, 2018. Robert worked at UW-Stout as a maintenance engineer. He retired in 1996.
  • Theodore “Ted” E. Wiehe, 100, of Menomonie, passed away July 1, 2018. Ted taught machine shop and industrial teacher education at UW-Stout for 28 years. He retired in 1981.
  • Bonnie J. Stoll, 86, of Menomonie, passed away July 4, 2018. Bonnie worked as a cook in University Dining Services for many years.
  • Avis N. Scholfield, 90, of Menomonie, passed away June 29, 2018. Avis worked as a custodian. She retired in 1990, after working 24 years at UW-Stout.
  • Richard H. Gebhart, 87, of Menomonie, passed away June 21, 2018. Richard worked at UW-Stout for 28 years where he taught and was department chair in the Technology Education Department. He retired in August 1993.

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

Outlook Magazine 2017

Outlook Magazine 2016

Outlook Magazine 2015


All Alumni News

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Student returns to school 34 years later to finish his degree

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