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Commencement Set for May 16

MAY 8, 2009 | The University of Wisconsin-River Falls will hold spring commencement in two ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on May 16 in the Robert P. Knowles Physical Education and Recreation Center.

The 9:30 a.m. commencement will include students from the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, College of Business and Economics and the Graduate Studies.

The 2 p.m. commencement will include students from the College of Arts and Sciences and College of Education and Professional Studies. The Class of 1959 will lead the afternoon processional march.

Chemistry Associate Professor Daniel Marchand, of Hudson , will receive the 2009 University of Wisconsin-River Falls Distinguished Teacher Award at the commencement ceremony. Graduating seniors and recent graduates nominate the Distinguished Teacher; it is the highest award that can be presented to UWRF faculty.

"Dan is a dynamic faculty member that is connected to nearly every role this university plays," said Interim Chancellor Connie Foster.  "Whether you are a first-year student at UW-River Falls, an industry partner in the St. Croix Valley, or a chemistry educator anywhere in the country, there is a good chance that Dr. Marchand's tireless efforts as an educator and a researcher have had increased your chances for success."

A member of the UWRF chemistry department since 2001, Marchand serves as coordinator of the university's Science Day and chair of the Faculty Senate external relations committee. He also is a member of SciTAC, a regional high-tech economic development group and is active as a private consultant to biotechnology companies.

In being selected for the award, Marchand said: "I was both pleased and surprised. While I was in industry for 10 years prior to coming to UW-River Falls, I had taught for brief stints. I love teaching, come from a family of teachers and was very excited to come back to UWRF, the Midwest and the sensibility of the Midwestern spirit. To put it simply, I truly love teaching at UWRF."

He holds a B.S. from St. John's University and a Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from the University of Minnesota. He also completed post-doctoral studies at Oregon State University.

The 2009 Distinguished Alumnus award will be presented to Mark Lacek at the ceremonies. Lacek is a 1979 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.   After earning his Bachelor's Degree in Economics from UW-River Falls, Lacek launched a career in both the transportation and loyalty marketing industries.

Lacek began his career in strategic planning at Republic Airlines. After the merger of Republic and Northwest Airlines, Lacek became director of marketing for Northwest Airlines and was chosen by Advertising Age magazine as "one of Americas best and brightest in advertising and marketing." In this capacity, Lacek was responsible for WorldPerks, Northwest Airlines frequent flyer group. In 1993 Lacek co-founded the Lacek Group Worldwide. Under his leadership, the Lacek Group was responsible for the re-launch and management of Delta Sky Miles program and managed loyalty programs for such global brands as National Car Rental, Starwood Hotels and Singapore Airlines. In 1998, Lacek was honored as Ernst and Young's Entrepreneur of the Year-Midwest Region.

More recently, Lacek has served as CEO and president of Milepoint, an internet loyalty application and technology company and is co-founder of BidPal Technologies, which focuses on creating wireless devices for charitable and silent auctions, and Bonfire Partners, a full service loyalty and brand marketing agency. Lacek is also a managing partner of Denali Marketing.

Lacek is the founder and chairman of Faith's Lodge, and 80-acre retreat for parents who have suffered the loss of a child and parents who have chronically ill children. He is a board member for Growth and Justice and a member of the UWRF College of Business and Economics advisory board.

In addition to his degree from UWRF, Lacek holds an M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas.

Candidates for degrees will be presented by Terry Brown, interim provost and vice chancellor; Dale Gallenberg, dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences; Brian Schultz, interim dean, College of Business and Economics; Douglas Johnson, director, graduate studies; Bradley Caskey, interim dean, College of Arts and Sciences; Faye Perkins, interim dean, College of Education and Professional Studies. Foster and Brown will confer degrees.

The River Falls Brass will accompany seniors Kristen English, who is a psychology major from Zimmerman, Minn . (9:30 a.m. ceremony) and Sara Quarberg, a music major from Minneapolis (2 p.m. ceremony) as they sing "The Star Spangled Banner" and the UWRF Pledge Song. The River Falls Brass will also play a variety of music during the prelude to the ceremony as well as "Pomp and Circumstance" by Edward Elgar during the Processional and "Quintet No. 1" by Victor Eward and during the recessional. Faculty marshals for the ceremony include William Cordua, professor of plant and earth science, and Nicholas Karolides, professor of English. Congratulatory messages will be shared by David Rainville, Faculty Senate chair, and Cindy Bendix, Student Senate president. Charles Palmer, chair of the UWRF Foundation Board of Directors will welcome the graduates into the UWRF Alumni Association.

Commencement will be streamed online, and the Internet link will be available one week prior to the event. Streaming begins 15 minutes before each ceremony and my be found at http://www.uwerf.edu/commencement/ by clicking "view this event live online." Viewing either event is free but Windows Media Player, a free download, may be required for viewing. In addition, both ceremonies will be shown live on the campus public access station channel 19.


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