University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Magazine of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls
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Fall 2007

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About People

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Alma Matters

Class Notes

Distinguished Alumni

Joanne Belfiori Banks, 65, died May 5, 2007.
She graduated from UWRF with a bachelor’s degree in 1962 and earned her master’s at Purdue. She was recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1981. Her interest in interdisciplinary inquiry, especially between medicine and literature, resulted in donating money to establish the Banks Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry at UWRF.  Planning for the Center is ongoing and initial programming includes a public lecture series and support for faculty development in research and teaching. Banks also will be long remembered as co-editor of the six volumes of the “Letters of Virginia Woolf” which a London reviewer called “a monument to scholarship and an ornament to literature.” Read More

John E. Butler 1961
professor of microbiology at the University of Iowa, has been selected by the International Union of Immunological Sciences (IUIS) to receive the international 2007 Distinguished Veterinary Immunology Award. The award is sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health. Butler will also receive the national 2007 Distinguished Veterinary Immunology Award from the American Association of Veterinary Immunologists (AAVI). This award is given to an individual whose contribution to veterinary immunology is widely acknowledged as significant and important to the understanding of the immunology of domestic and/or wild animals. The IUIS presents its award to honor a leader in the field of immunology who has provided contributions to the field through publications in peer-reviewed journals, education and training of students, and the promotion of the importance of the immunology field. Butler is director of graduate studies in the UI Department of Microbiology and a member of the UI Interdisciplinary Immunology Program.

Timothy A. Musty  1968
received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the School Social Work Association of Arizona in March, 2007.

Peg Olson  1968
is retiring from UW-Oshkosh in June after 20 years of teaching in the counselor education program.

Robert J. Struve  1968
has been elected as Vice President of American Engineering Testing, Inc. of Saint Paul, Minnesota. American Engineering Testing, Inc. is an employee owned engineering firm of 300 with offices throughout the Midwest and Florida.

John C. Torgerson 1968
recently graduated from Bethel Seminary on June 2, 2007, earning a Masters of Divinity degree.

Richard E. Carlson  1971
was recently elected as President of the Alaska Association of School Administrators. AASA is a professional organization that represents superintendents, district office personnel, and education agencies across the State of Alaska. He is currently the Superintendent of Schools in Klawock, Alaska.

Bruce Prause  1972
has changed from Director of Project Development to Director of Development within the organization of St. Francis Health Services of Morris.  SFHS is a health care organization operating 10 nursing homes and 75 group homes for the developmentally disabled and those with traumatic brain injuries.

Steve Blomgren  1973
has been hired as the head coach for men’s and women’s cross country at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, IL.

Daniel J. Duden  1973
will be retiring at the end of the 2006-2007 school year after 34 years of teaching.  He taught at Blue Earth (Minn.) Elementary School for 23 years and was part of the Apple Classroom of Tomorrow program team, teaching with his wife, Sara.  For the past 11 years, Dan has been teaching history classes at Blue Earth Area High School, his favorite being AP European History.  Dan and Sara have two children, Blake, a college senior, and Rebecca, a high school sophomore.

Michael C. Reed  1973
was recently promoted to Senior Vice President of Information Systems at Ag Processing, Inc., in Omaha, Neb.  He previously served as the Manager of Information Systems, as Director of Information Systems, and as Vice President of Information Systems before his current post.

Tom Mont Marquette  1974
is retiring after 33 years in education.  For the past 18 he has served as the principal at Jefferson Elementary School and for the last two years he has also been principal of the Fox River Academy, an environmental charter school.

AJ (Alice Jo Younggren) Cargo  1974
is teaching and loves it. She has a master’s degree from Michigan State in curriculum and teaching and teaches 4th grade. AJ’s husband is a United Methodist pastor. They’ve been married for 31 years as of January 2, 2007 and have 2 sons: John Abram, a computer tech man and master mechanic, and James Oliver, jack-of-all-trades and master of them all.  AJ was a vocal music major who has enjoyed alumni choir tours with Elliott and Jeanne Wold. She is a former employee of UWRF as an admissions counselor, having been hired by George Hansen.

Charles Pollard  1975
has been living in Suzhou, China, not far from Shanghai, for the past 3 years.  He is teaching 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grade at the Suzhou-Singapore International School. The students are from 33 countries and the teachers are also from a variety of countries. Charles lived and taught in Taiwan for five years before moving to Mainland China.  Life in Asia has been fascinating and he states it started back with his East Asian History classes with Dr. Casey.

Ann Marie (Nelson) Siegel  1975
was named the president of the Minnesota Kindergarten Association in May of 2006.  Her term will expire in May of 2008.

David F. Swensen  1975
Chief Investment Officer for Yale University, has been named winner of the prestigious Mory’s Cup for 2007. Mory’s is a private eating, drinking and gathering place that first catered to Yale students as a local alehouse in the mid-1800s. The Mory’s Cup is awarded “for conspicuous service to Yale.” Swensen lectures at the Yale School of Management and to undergraduate students at Yale College. He also serves as a Fellow of Berkeley College, as an Incorporator of the Elizabethan Club, and as a Fellow of the International Center for Finance.

Keith D. Kurland  1979
is still playing ice hockey and flying for UPS. He has 2 kids (15 and 20 years old) and is living east of Louisville, Ky. Keith is retired from the USMC.

Cathryn (Cudd) O’Connell  1980
is retired and writing curriculum and mentoring new teachers. She is a Reiki Master and teaches Reiki as well as related classes. Cathryn resides in Chino Valley, AZ.

Dena Bohn  1980
Dena completed her Psy.D. in clinical psychology. She is continuing work in her private practice as a licensed psychologist in the Twin Cities area. She specializes in psychological assessment, evaluation, and treatment.

Alessandra (Belter) Palank  1981
graduated from UW-Madison with a doctor of pharmacy in 2004 and is presently a staff pharmacist with Walmart in Stillwater, Okla.

Daryl Doehr  1984
has been promoted from Sales Supervisor to Regional Sales Manager for Marvin Windows and Doors. He resides in Wyoming, Minn.

Charlie Snyder  1986
has made a career move after 16 years in the U.S. Olympic Movement, visiting 30 countries, working six Olympic Games and meeting three U.S. Presidents. He is now the Director of Public Relations at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. They are renovating the art school and repertory theatre while doubling the art museum’s gallery space as part of a $28.4 million expansion. As they work towards their August Grand Opening, Charlie has been promoting the musical, “Little Shop of Horrors,” and their exhibit, “Katrina: Catastrophe and Catharsis,” which will travel the country after debuting at the FAC.

Sarah (MacKaernan) Capuzzi   1987
has been employed with 3M for 10 years, and also works as a freelance jewelry artist. She is married and spends her time training and racing Alaskan Huskies in mid distance sled dog races in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Gloria J. Halverson  1988
is retiring after 19 years of teaching at OakLand Junior High.  Her students included, at times, her own three children.  Prior to teaching, she was in business management and sold real estate.  She and her husband plan to spend their winters in Tucson, Ariz., where they have built a home on a golf course.

Colleen C. (Norton) Loppnow  1990
left her previous employment a year ago to become an independent crops consultant.  At the same time, she and her husband also built a half-acre greenhouse and are raising bedding plants which they wholesale. Colleen resides in Reedsville, Wis.

Christine M. Carollo-Zeuner     1991
began a new career on September 18, 2006, at the UW-Madison Medical School’s McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research.  She is the payroll and benefits specialist in the 10th floor administrative offices of this lab, and she loves supporting the important cancer research being done there.

Pamela (Briggs) Grieve  1992
will be working in eight schools in the bush area of Alaska as the District Director of Technology and Powerschool Administrator. The district is the size of the state of Ohio. She will fly from school to school as there are no roads. Her husband, Bernie ’78, will be principal of Innoko River School in Shageluk for the Iditarod Area School District.

Dixie Carroll  1993
is currently employed by Ameriprise Financial in Minneapolis, as compliance director supporting life insurance and annuity operations.  She recently passed the exam to become registered as a Series 24 General Securities Principal with the NASD.

Mark Sundgren  1993
was promoted to detective for the City of Farmington (Minn.) Police Department.  He has been with the Farmington PD since 1999.

Paul K. Oman  1993
taught 7-12 science in Hopkins, Minn. and Amery, Wis. for seven years. He married Jana in 1998 and attended Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. Paul is now a Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Birchwood, Wis. and a landscape watercolor artist. Paul and Jana have 3 children: Tommy, 7; Kelsey, 3; and Emily, 2.

Susan J. Odegard  1994
has been the Youth and Family Pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hancock, MI, for three years.  She recently has become a pastor at Sabylund Lutheran Church in Stockholm, Wis.

James M. Stockinger  1995
has become an emergency response specialist for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Timmy Droel  1996
has moved to Shakopee Minn., where he resides with his wife, Heather (Olson) and three sons, Houston, Boston and Raleigh.  He is a partner at the law firm of Hellmuth & Johnson, PLLC in Eden Prairie, Minn.

Bridget (Siebenaler) Edgar  1997
accepted a job with Medtronic working as a software engineer and is now a senior security administrator.  She resides with her husband, Olaf, on their hobby farm in Columbus, Minn.

Nikki Fennern  1998
resigned from coaching softball at Saint Mary’s to become the athletic director.

Mike and Erin (Ellis) Amundson            1998; 1999
live in Northeast Minneapolis.  Erin currently works as a 6th and 7th grade science teacher at a charter school in Saint Paul called Twin Cities Academy.

Brian Gabriel  1999
became a security officer in 2006. He was elected to the Menomonie, WI City Council in 2007. Brian lives in Menomonie with his wife Norma.

Dawn (Kuepper) Burgard and Mark Burgard  2000
were married June 2, 2001.  They relocated to Manitowoc, Wis. in May of 2002.  Their son, Charles, was born April, 2005.  Mark is a US Postal Worker and Dawn is a stay-at-home Mom.

Bridget Finke  2000
has joined the law firm of Bakke Norman, S.C., as an associate.  Her practice focuses on estate planning, real estate and business law.  Bridget resides in Menomonie, Wisconsin.

Jen (Ullery) Fearing  2000
is a Ramsey County probation officer, working in Probation Intake, and dealing with interstate and intrastate transfer cases. Jen and husband Brian welcomed baby girl Sydney Patricia on January 6, 2007. They are currently residing in St. Paul, Minn.

Jacob Hackl  2000
received an MS in software engineering from the University of Minnesota  He works as a software consultant in Minneapolis where he currently resides.

Christina (Groshens) Tideswell  2000
is living on the East Coast and teaching middle school. She has completed her master’s degree in English as a Second Language and is working on a second master’s degree in literacy.

Matthew Perenchio  2001
was hired as the assistant editor of three weekly newspapers owned by Lee Enterprises Inc.: the Coulee News, the Holmen Courier, and the Onalaska Community Life. He is engaged to Kelsey Haakenson, who attended UWRF from 2003-05. They are planning for a September 20, 2008, wedding and currently reside in Norwalk, Wis.

Keegan and Kacey Olson  2002
married in July of 2005. Kacey was an RA in Crabtree and a hall manager in May and Parker Halls. They both started at UWRF in 1998 and graduated in 2002. Keegan has been working for Apex IT since he graduated in 2002. Kacey teaches 2nd grade at E.P. Rock Elementary School in Hudson.

Kristen Marie Tetzner  2002
recently opened her own home-based photography studio and is photographing weddings, senior portraits, children, families, pets, engagements and any other special event such as family reunions and baptisms. She resides in Edgar, Wis.

Helen Stoltz-Wood  2003
earned a master of arts degree/history and public history certificate at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire on December 16, 2006.  She resides in Hudson, Wis.

Paul Dean  2003
relocated with his wife Tanya Dean, and two children Connor and Emma to Kankakee, IL to take a promotion as an operations manager for wiseway transportation. He has been working for them since 1999, and worked for them throughout college. Their corporate headquarters are in Hudson, Wis.

Jessica Wakker  2003
received her master’s degree in animal science from the University of Minnesota in December 2006. She is a dairy nutritionist for Crystal Creek, Inc. She resides in Spooner, Wis.

Luke Miska  2003
is the owner of a health club called Fitness 19 and is married to Kristine (Patnode).

Melanie (Neal) Wimmer  2004
is currently in her first year of law school at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis.  She is excited to have two other fantastic UWRF alums in her section, Casey Smedstad and Nate Dahl.

Jake A. Duesenberg  2005
is currently working as a financial advisor with Edward Jones Investments in the Twin Cities.  He is also an officer in the Army National Guard and will be deploying to Kosovo this year.

Meghan Ekholm  2005
is now a study technician for Covance, Inc., a drug development company in Madison.  She currently resides in Sun Prairie, Wis.

Dain Joseph Zimmer  2005
is living in Madison County in central New York State.  He works in the site-civil department under the Total Water Solutions business unit of O’Brien & Gere Engineers in Syracuse, NY. Some noteworthy projects are brown field cleanups of former Honeywell Landfills and construction of state of the art ethanol facilities.



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