Outlook Magazine - Fall 2020

Magazine for Alumni and Friends of UW-Stout

Magazine for Alumni & Friends • F all 2020


Two-year Bowman Hall restoration wraps up

How we’ve adapted to COVID-19

Chancellor Frank drawn to UW-Stout’s applied learning approach







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Chris Cooper University Photographer

Emma Favill Student Designer, Marketing Communications Abbey Goers Communications Specialist, Marketing Communications

Fall 2020 • University of Wisconsin-Stout

Willie Johnson Vice Chancellor for Advancement and Alumni Relations Cheryl Keyes ‘92 Production Manager, Marketing Communications

AJ Liedl Creative and Brand Manager, Marketing Communications


Amy Luethmers Chief Marketing Officer

Doug Mell Executive Director of Communications and External Relations

M E S S A G E F R O M T H E C H A N C E L L O R 2 Hello from Chancellor Frank

A L U M N I N E W S 21 22 23 24 26 27 28 30 C L A S S N O T E S 32 36

Message from Vice Chancellor Willie Johnson New scholarships created by Styers, plastics advisory board

Jerry Poling Communications Manager, Marketing Communications Pam Powers Communications Specialist, Marketing Communications Jennie Smith ‘11 Donor Relations and Special Projects Coordinator

O N C A M P U S 3 4 7 8

Snapshots of the 2019-2020 academic year

Pathways Forward final numbers

Hogan-Braker tailors to the stars and the rest of us

Adapting to the new normal

Cade Walters ‘14 Graphic Designer, Marketing Communications

Alumni-owned companies make face shields to help pandemic efforts University receives national award for helping students New funds borne from the pandemic will have long-term positive impacts Extra efforts by students, faculty, staff made it possible to finish semester Chancellor Frank drawn to UW-Stout’s applied learning approach Two-year Bowman Hall restoration wraps up, including resetting of quill Every bachelor’s, master’s program has an experiential learning component

Great Northern Corp. investing in class- room initiative to advance innovation Artist’s drawing of Elton John appears during his live performance at Oscars Love of outdoors leads four alumni to open fishing apparel company Two alumni with same name specialize in helping people have some fun


We’d love to hear from you, and your fellow alumni would too! Drop us a line about your promotion, a reunion, or just to reminisce. S T O U T T R A D I T I O N S Your Alumni Association is interested in learning what traditions were part of your days on campus. Were there bon- fires after the hockey games; did you have weekly dances; what event(s) did your fraternity or sorority hold each year? As you think back to those events, please share them with us.

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Class notes

Minnesota restaurateur honored; Stout Proud family in Texas

Stout Proud numbers

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E M A I L alumni@uwstout.edu

Nelson Field, oldest on campus, gets a facelift and artificial turf

Campus news in brief

P H O N E (715) 232-1151

Steinhilbers support Laboratory Modernization Fund

O N L I N E Share your news or ideas at www.uwstout.edu/alumni


O N T H E C OV E R Bowman Hall’s refurbished quill sits 135 feet above ground, overlooking Lake Menomin and downtown Menomonie.

facebook.com/stoutalumni @uwstoutalumni_official


It is with great pride that I present my first welcome for the Outlook alumni magazine. While I have had the chance to meet a few of you in person, speak with several of you on the phone and interact with some of you virtually, I am looking forward to the time when we can gather together and share stories about UW- Stout. Such conversations provide great insight into our institution and important context to better understand our present moment and plan for the future. Mine has been an unusual introduction to the university and local community. I had been in my role for exactly seven days when it became necessary to mobilize our Emergency Operations Committee and make some difficult decisions. Within a matter of days, we shifted to alternative methods of instructional delivery, moved more than 2,500 students out of residence halls and became a mostly locked campus. This was a stressful time for our entire university community; however, instead of bringing out the worst in people, it brought out the best. The journey through the last month and a half of the spring semester confirmed that it is the people who make UW-Stout great. Faculty worked diligently to convert courses to virtual delivery and continue to put student learning first. Faculty and staff reached out to students to check in, connect them with resources and respond to their questions. Students persevered and worked hard despite the unexpected circumstances. Front-line staff continued to sustain university operations and accelerate health and safety efforts while employee density was low on campus. In short, our UW-Stout community came together to confront challenges, support our students and protect our institution. They showed me what it means to be Stout Proud! We are welcoming back students Sept. 9 for classes, about half of which will be in person and half online. The health and safety of our employees and students are our top priority, and planning is extensive and complex. With HELLO FROM CHANCELLOR KATHERINE FRANK

safety protocols in place, UW-Stout will not look or feel as it has in the past. However, at our core, we will remain the same: a community of learners dedicated to the success of our students. I thought I would conclude with a portion of a campus communication I wrote about a month into my tenure as chancellor: One day recently I wrapped up a call in the chancellor’s conference room. I was alone, of course, and the room was quiet. I looked up from the conference table and across the room at the portrait of James Huff Stout hanging on the opposite wall. I heard myself saying out loud, “I bet you never saw this coming.” It was an oddly comforting moment, as it reminded me of the other challenges that James Huff Stout did not see coming and navigated his way through, including the fire that destroyed Stout Manual Training School (as well as the adjoining high school and elementary school) on Feb. 2, 1897. School was suspended and did not resume for a month until temporary space was located. The new buildings were completed almost a year later at considerable expense to both James Huff Stout and the Menomonie community. This was a critical moment in our institution’s trajectory. Instead of an ending, it signaled a new beginning; Stout emerged stronger and better equipped, both literally and figuratively, to face the future. As is evident in the many stories in this edition of Outlook, UW-Stout faculty, staff, students, alumni and partners continue to do amazing work. You are innovators, change-agents, problem-solvers, benefactors, supporters and leaders. You represent the past, present and future of our institution. You are what make our institution truly special.

Thank you all for your dedication to UW-Stout.

Stay safe and well,


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HOW WE COPED: COVID-19 For the latest information regarding UW-Stout and COVID-19, go to www.uwstout.edu/covid-19


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atherine P. Frank came to UW- Stout as its eighth chancellor on March 1, intent on leading Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University into the next decade and building on what she said was “the high-quality work and creative thinking exhibited by faculty, staff and students, as well as the strong, reciprocal relationships among the university, community and regional partners.”  Everyone at UW-Stout, she said after being named chancellor, has “demonstrated dedication to the university and exhibited true focus on ensuring student success.”  But within two weeks after arriving at UW- Stout, the university’s world was turned upside down. Frank sent out a COVID-19 memo to the campus community, stating that beginning the next day, March 17, only essential employees should report to work on campus and telecommuting would be the norm for all employees able to do so.  If that wasn’t enough of a challenging way to start a new position, the following day Frank had to announce that most students in the residence halls were going home and that “we will continue delivering our course content through alternative instructional delivery methods for the rest of the semester. This applies to all 2020 summer courses offerings as well.”  The complicated process to move students out of the residence halls would begin immediately, she said, and campus events with 50 or more planned attendees were canceled. For employees whose work was affected by the pandemic, UW System put in place an emergency policy allowing 80 hours of paid COVID-19 leave.  ADAPTING TO THE NEW NORMAL When the pandemic hit, UW- Stout and new Chancellor Frank hit the ground running K

Many more memos from the chancellor and senior administrators followed as the pieces of the “new normal” fell into place and the campus adjusted to a virtual world of instruction and work. Faculty and instructional academic staff focused on converting all course content to alternative delivery methods, while employees grappled with how to do their jobs away from campus. Microsoft Teams meetings became the new conference rooms.  Pandemic Planning Team created Even before the extent of the crisis became fully evident, Frank responded quickly. She immediately established a Pandemic Planning Team comprised of the Emergency Operations Team and faculty and staff governance leaders that met daily.   One of the key decisions involved whether to extend the length of spring break scheduled for March 14-22 because of the need to convert 57% of the current course content to alternative delivery methods. A consensus was reached that because of UW-Stout’s polytechnic mission, its long history of tackling serious problems through technology, and its e-Stout student laptop program, instruction would resume as planned.  “amazing,” adding, “It was not easy at all. Our faculty and staff worked hard and remained focused on student success. It confirmed for me that UW-Stout is all about responding to challenges and keeping students at the center of our efforts.”  Another obstacle that had to be overcome was internet connectivity, given the lack of sufficient broadband availability in some parts of Wisconsin. The forward-thinking  Learning and Information Technology Department anticipated the challenge and secured 130 cellular hotspots to help students and employees connect to campus.  More than 2,500 students had to be moved out of the residence halls safely and orderly.  A decision was made to Frank called the campus’s effort to transition to alternative delivery


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would be provided in September. Many scenarios were discussed, and in the end the decision was made to offer a mix of in-person, hybrid and online course delivery options. It also was decided that no changes would be made in the academic calendar, which calls for classes to begin on Sept. 9.    In an unprecedented feat of collaboration, the chancellors of UW-Stout, UW-Eau Claire and UW-River Falls announced their fall plans in a joint news release.  In a June 8 memo to students and their families, Frank joined with Dean of Students Sandi Scott and announced: “While there will be many changes when you return to campus this fall, there are essential things that will remain the same: UW-Stout faculty and staff remain committed to providing an exceptional academic experience for our students, ensuring students receive the educational and personal support they need and fostering community and creative thinking that inspire us to tackle challenges and support one another.”  Even though the most immediate concern was preparing for the fall semester, Frank made it clear that the university had to begin work on its next 10-year strategic plan. A virtual Visioning Session with external stakeholders was held on July 21 that encapsulated her goal of planning for “recovery, rebuilding and reimaging.” Issues that were explored included lessons learned from the pandemic crisis, what processes or policies should be maintained and what should be improved. “This crisis has shown us that we need to be more nimble, flexible and forward- thinking,” Frank said. “I hope we fully leverage this moment in order to continue to improve.”  While the campus may never look the same once the pandemic has passed, one thing will remain: UW-Stout’s adherence to its three polytechnic tenets of career focus, applied learning and collaboration with external partners. Not even a pandemic can shake the university off that solid foundation. 

hold Advisement Day virtually. One of the most painful decisions, however, involved commencement, scheduled for May 9.  “Today I must announce the most difficult decision made to date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the postponement of the traditional spring commencement ceremony,” Frank wrote to students and employees. “We are doing everything in our power to hold a virtual celebration on May 9, 2020.”  Due to the creative thinking and dedication of a large group of employees across many university areas, the virtual commencement came off with aplomb and signaled an important transition: recovery.  Learning from the situation Almost from day one in dealing with the pandemic, Frank stressed the importance of keeping an eye on what important lessons could be learned from this experience and where gaps in policies, processes and planning existed. Attention was directed to how to prepare for a successful fall semester and how to plan for UW-Stout’s next 10 years as Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University.  “We will never look the same,” Frank has said repeatedly of the effects of the pandemic on the university, “and we shouldn’t.”  By early May, a Recovery Planning Team was established to serve as the steering committee for the university’s recovery efforts. It meets weekly and has  spawned more than 15 subcommittees. Spreadsheets were used to track all the issues that have to be addressed and monitored: how many students can safely be accommodated in each classroom and laboratory, how to safely house students in residence halls, how to handle testing and contact tracing in the event of a positive virus case, etc.  Fall semester plans The biggest decision, of course, during early summer centered on the fall semester and what kind of instruction


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Extra efforts by students, faculty, staff made it possible to finish an unusual semester

L ife at a university is a finely choreographed daily dance among students, faculty and staff. So, imagine adding a pandemic midsemester, requiring the need to largely vacate campus and yet continue the semester.   That’s what UW-Stout faced almost overnight this past spring.  Fall semester academic plans, as of mid-August, included hybrid learning, a mix of online and at least 50% face-to- face instruction with social distancing in the classrooms. Fall athletic seasons, including homecoming, have been canceled. Commencement, other events go online Spring commencement on May 9 was held virtually for 1,183 graduates to engage through video presentations, curated social media streams and submitted photos. Katherine P. Frank, in her first commencement as chancellor, told graduates that while “the last couple of months have taught us all many things, one of the most significant lessons I believe we have learned has been that relationships and community matter.”  Other events that went online included: School of Art and Design Senior Show; Stout Game Expo; WEAR Fashion Show; and Research Day.

Students, faculty, staff adapt

Katie Jo Walker, human development and family studies major, like many seniors wrapped up her college career studying from her family home. “The professors have made it as smooth as they can,” she said.   Three students faced a double dose of upheaval: Along with their education going online, they were called to active duty in the Wisconsin National Guard for pandemic support.  Longtime hospitality professor Phil McGuirk taught a virtual cooking class for the first time. His students made food in their own kitchens instead of Cedar Café in Heritage Hall.   Professor Kevin W. Tharp developed an alternative teaching methods crash course for colleagues using Microsoft Sway.  Faculty in art metals created and mailed kits to students so they could work on studio projects at home.   Staff efforts included: Dining and Student Health Services delivered meals and health care kits to about 70 students who remained on campus in Red Cedar Hall. The Counseling Center offered online appointments. Admissions pivoted to online sessions and a virtual campus tour.


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New funds borne from the pandemic will have long-term positive impacts


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A total of 19 proposals were submitted by faculty and staff, and five have been approved. They are: Develop an online advising and peer mentoring program for students in the biology concentration of the applied science program. Improve biology and chemistry students’ conceptual understanding and lab experiences while providing animation projects for entertainment design students. Expand library research support with a 24/7 librarian chat service using Springshare LibChat and LibAnswers. Build university identity and community through collecting and archiving student, faculty and staff stories about our response to the COVID-19 crisis. Develop a best practices guide for teaching in a digital or hybrid environment.

hen the pandemic took hold in mid-March, UW-Stout adjusted and kept moving

forward. One of the ways the university did that was, to paraphrase the cliché, create some lemonade out of the bitterness of COVID-19. Three special funds have been created to address impacts of the pandemic and make the university a better institution long after the immediate health threat of the virus has faded. Student Emergency Fund The new Student Emergency Fund will help students who face temporary financial hardship. At midsemester, when the residence halls closed, some students struggled to make ends meet as they moved out unexpectedly and had to give up on- and off-campus jobs, which in many cases was their only source of income. Hearing of the need through the Dean of Students Office, Chancellor Katherine P. Frank and husband, Joe Dvorsky, donated $15,000 to establish the fund, with a total commitment of $50,000 over three years. Stout University Foundation will continue to build the fund for students in the years and decades to come. To be eligible for help, a student must be enrolled, have a temporary financial hardship and have exhausted other financial resources. The maximum amount a student can receive is $500 for such things as school-related expenses, food, transportation, housing, health care and child care. One student, a single mother, used the money to feed her children for a month. Another who received help said, “I could cry, I am so thankful for what Stout has done for me.” Innovation Fund Another effort spearheaded by the chancellor is the Innovation Fund. It supports innovative ideas that could address an issue caused by the pandemic while at the same time improve the overall educational experience at UW-Stout.

Recovery Fund

The Recovery Fund, also through Stout University Foundation, addresses new health and safety needs in learning environments because of the pandemic.

Examples of the needs include:

Personal protective equipment, thermometers, sanitation stations, virus shields, testing and quarantine spaces for students, faculty and staff. As supplies become limited, demand increases the cost for these items. Safe learning spaces and expanded virtual course delivery, which provide continued hands-on and expanded online learning experiences for students. Access to laboratory materials, consumables and other items necessary for students to complete their applied learning outside of a classroom environment.

Learn more about the three funds and donate at: uwstout.edu/stout-forward-funds.


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Rising to the Challenge Alumni-owned companies make face shields, isolation gowns, help veterans to support pandemic efforts


“At capacity, we anticipate we can produce about 10,000 a day, as long as the supply chain can deliver,” said company founder Nick Franzen, a 2006 UW-Stout graduate in business administration. In Eau Claire , alumna Sara Bowe began an outreach effort to help veterans at her Uplift Counseling Center. The Minnesota Air National Guard veteran and 2019 UW-Stout master’s graduate in clinical mental health counseling offered to counsel veterans during the pandemic in person or via telehealth options around the state, with a pay-as- you-are-able arrangement.

n March, when it became clear that COVID-19 was a pandemic, the help began arriving. Health care, grocery, transportation and other workers put themselves in harm’s way. People donated their government stimulus checks and brought food to food banks to help feed the unemployed. Neighbors looked out for neighbors while social-distancing. UW-Stout alumni business owners were among those who stepped up to make a difference during a difficult and uncertain time. Here are examples of their efforts: In Unity, N.H. , 2011 engineering technology graduate Dustin Coleman and his wife own and operate Cole- Tac. They started the company in 2015, making tactical accessories for the worldwide shooting industry. With an industrial fabric cutting machine and other key equipment, Coleman knew his company could produce isolation gowns for health care and other workers. Coleman drew the patterns, and his company was making them within a week. When word got out, requests flooded in. Cole-Tac soon was making up to 150 gowns a day. Then, working with two other companies, Cole-Tac joined an effort to make 10,000 face masks. In Janesville , plastic thermoforming company Prent, with its sister company GOEX, quickly designed and produced more than 30,000 face shields in March. Prent donated the shields to health care and other essential workers in Janesville, Flagstaff, Ariz., and Yauco, Puerto Rico, three of the five cities where it has facilities. Prent also donated 3,000 face shields to UW-Stout. The effort at Prent involved about 10% of the company’s employees, according to Joe Pregont II, the son of CEO Joe Pregont, a 1981 industrial technology graduate with a minor in packaging. Joe also dedicated the Prent Packaging Laboratories at UW-Stout in 2018. In Sheboygan , Franzen Graphics/Sun Media also switched part of its production facilities to make thin, plastic face shields, designing a one-piece product in two thicknesses. The company had orders for tens of thousands of the shields, which it sold at cost.

Workers at Prent in Janesville make plastic face shields to help those involved in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

A worker at Franzen Graphics/Sun Media demonstrates a clear plastic face shield to help protect health care and other workers during the pandemic. The Sheboygan company, which was making up to 10,000 shields a day, was founded by a UW-Stout alumnus.


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Creating careers in art and design University receives national award for helping students connect with employers, industry experts


“The purpose of the week is to help art and design students be prepared to enter the workforce and network,” said Career Counselor Liz Julian. UW-Stout will receive a plaque and $1,000, which will be used to fund future Art and Design Week activities. Julian said the award brings national recognition to UW-Stout’s innovative work. Barts agreed. “It means that we have done a great job at identifying a high-need area for our students, showcases the recognition and value of cross-campus collaboration and strengthens our identity as a unique institution in the UW System.” School of Art and Design Director Dave Beck said the event is unique because “we aren’t focused on that immediate result but instead on feedback, education and interaction with professionals, in order to create networks for future opportunities.”

collaborative effort between the School of Art and Design, Career Services and Stout University Foundation has garnered a national award from the National Association of Colleges and Employers. UW-Stout Art and Design Week, an event designed to connect art students with employers and industry experts, was honored with the NACE/Chevron Award for outstanding achievement for an innovative program in the college career services field. “Art and Design Week is unique to UW-Stout because it blends our polytechnic tenets and helps prepare our creative students to be successful in their professional lives after graduation,” said Career Services Director Bryan Barts. The award was for the 2019 week. The event, held virtually in March this year because of the pandemic, is a professional development opportunity for students in the six Bachelor of Fine Arts programs. Each day features a speaker or panel focused on professional and career-related subjects chosen by Career Services and professors. The 2019 event featured a presentation from Career Services on designing a creative resume, alumni and professionals on a panel giving creative interview tips and a panel of professionals who have creative careers as freelancers. It also included student portfolio reviews by professionals.


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K atherine P. Frank, who loves to travel, has seen and experienced much of the U.S. in her life and career. She was born in North Carolina and grew up in Colorado. She went back east to Maine for her undergraduate degree and far west to Washington for her master’s and Ph.D., all in English. Then came teaching and higher education administrative jobs in Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky and most recently at Central Washington University. At age 48 with a wealth of experience and an opportunity to lead, she has landed in northwest Wisconsin. On March 1, she became the eighth and first female leader in UW-Stout’s 129-year history. It isn’t just a new place and role for Frank. It’s a new type of institution for her, a polytechnic, where the liberal arts education on which she grounded her career is the foundation of an applied learning model. The opportunity seemed like a perfect fit, however, to Frank as she moved through the UW System search process. She read and researched everything she could to see what made UW-Stout special. In that mix of liberal arts and applied learning, she “fell in love with Stout. I connected with the institution immediately,” she said. “Ours is a community that focuses on and models innovation and problem-solving. This approach to learning is one of the many things that drew me to the institution.” Frank is committed to moving UW-Stout forward while drawing from its rich past. “Each day I am on campus, I look out of my office window at the Clock Tower, hear the bell chimes and pass by the portrait of James Huff Stout in the Chancellor’s Conference Room. I am reminded of the history of the institution and the unique approach to education introduced by our founder in 1891 when Stout Manual Training School opened,” Frank said. “We are focused, first and foremost, on student success. The journey into, through and beyond our institution matters. These fundamentals remain at the core of my daily decision-making process.”

NEWPLACE, NEWKIND OF CHALLENGE Chancellor Frank was and is drawn to UW-Stout’s applied learning approach, is dedicated to its future


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‘You can’t do this alone’

learn to do that when you are working in groups and you are thinking about how people communicate. That’s a key point about leadership: You can’t do this alone. It’s about the team. It’s about the people who surround you. It’s about the campus community. It’s about the region. That is why Stout is such a successful, regional comprehensive polytechnic institution,” she said. Eldest of three children Frank is the eldest of three children. Her mother has been a special education teacher, stay-at-home mom and worked in real estate. Her father is an ophthalmologist. Her parents still live in Colorado Springs, Colo., where Frank grew up. Frank’s sister is a veterinarian in Philadelphia and her brother a real estate developer in Colorado, and she has four nieces. She credits many mentors throughout her academic career as well as her husband, Joe Dvorsky, a field service engineer who works for Morris Midwest. “Not only is he incredibly supportive, patient and generous, he is masterful at finding and encouraging balance in life. We make a good pair,” she said. Frank loves to stay active. She started running while in high school and has completed more than 10 marathons, including qualifying for and twice completing Boston. Although she has stopped competing, she remains an avid runner and cyclist. In her formative years, she tried field hockey, soccer and drama, had international service-learning experiences and spent time in France. “While I take work and responsibilities seriously, I try not to take myself too seriously. It is critical that we look for the good in life and in people, keep things in perspective, seek out joy and strive to improve. “It’s an honor to be chancellor. It’s an honor to serve as the first woman chancellor. I want to be an inspirational leader. Period. I want to do what’s right by the institution. That’s my focus,” she said.

The COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted normal university operations one week after she took office, coupled with previous budget issues, have only served to redouble Frank’s determination to make sure UW-Stout is on solid ground and prepared for the future. “We have dealt with the challenges of the pandemic through this lens, and it has allowed us to identify areas for potential growth that include new uses of technology to aid with applied learning and ways to reach different audiences of students by rethinking course and program delivery and degree structures,” Frank said. Former UW System President Ray Cross admires how Frank has led during a challenging time. “Katherine took office amid the pandemic, and I’ve been impressed with how she’s confronted the financial, employment, educational and health challenges facing UW-Stout. The university is in good hands at this difficult time,” said Cross, who left office July 1. Frank describes herself as hard-working and dedicated with high standards, but she knows that achieving successful outcomes at a university are a byproduct of collaboration. For her doctoral thesis, she researched the juvenile writings of the Bronte sisters of Victorian England. She saw an aspect of their lives that has helped guide her career in higher education. “The Brontes wrote together as children, and this collaborative practice influenced their novels. I really became immersed in thinking about collaborative models of authorship and collaborative models of leadership.” Her background is not from the polytechnic mold, like most previous UW-Stout leaders. However, she believes that liberal arts developed her skills in interdisciplinary learning and thinking and thus her “ability to communicate with a range of audiences within a variety of contexts,” she said.


CHILDHOOD: Born in Durham, N.C., grew up in Colorado Springs, Colo. AGE: 48 FAMILY: Husband, Joe Dvorsky EDUCATION: B.A. in English from Bates College, Lewiston, Maine; Ph.D. and M.A. in English from University of Washington PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCE: 2019-20, vice president of Academic Innovation and professor of English, Central Washington University; 2016-19, provost and vice president of Academic and Student Life, Central Washington University; 2014-16, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Northern Kentucky University; previous administrative and teaching positions at Indiana University East and at Colorado State University-Pueblo HOBBIES: Running, road cycling, mountain biking, traveling and adventure, and animals (has three rescue cats)

“I rely on the expertise of others. You


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Two-year Bowman Hall restoration wraps up, including resetting of quill 135 feet high


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ne refurbished quill, two years, 30,000 new bricks and $8.95 million later, UW-Stout’s Bowman Hall is

ready for another 100 years.

Work on the historic brick building, with its iconic Clock Tower and omnipresent bells, wrapped up in the spring, including the dramatic April 23 resetting of the quill 135 feet high on the roof. The quill has been UW-Stout’s high, shining symbol that education is a way forward ever since founder James Huff Stout’s building opened in 1898. Although the reinstallation was not witnessed by many because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it became a much-needed symbol of perseverance during an otherwise challenging time for campus and was widely shared via social media. The process of reinstalling the quill — it was removed for repairs in August 2019 — included first hoisting a tapered copper cupula that sits atop a new copper roof; followed by reinstalling a two-foot-high decorative torch at the top of a central pole; and then the quill. High over the city with about 10 mph winds, a team of harnessed workers on the rooftop corners used ropes attached to the cupula to help guide the quill over the pole. Two workers in a bucket, hanging from a crane, then reattached the torch and quill. The quill consists of a “feather” about nine feet long and two feet high and a “pen” about 4½ feet long that is weighted to provide balance. The quill’s two copper plates were patched, shored up with a new skeleton and resoldered at the top seam. As when it was first installed, the quill will now spin with the wind again after the replacement of the failed turning mechanism. “The quill is such a visible and memorable part of Bowman Hall. People know it and understand its importance and history in the community,” said Mike Bowman, project manager for Facilities Management at UW-Stout. The project contractor was Building Restoration Corp. of Roseville, Minn. “One of the biggest challenges was fabricating everything at their shop to make it fit perfectly in the field. Great construction workers and technicians worked on this and made it happen,” Bowman said. The overall Bowman Hall restoration project began in spring 2018. Most of the work was on the exterior, including repointing all exterior mortar joints, replacing about 30,000 worn bricks, repairing and replacing many of the brownstone accents and installing new windows and doors. The interior of the one-story extension on the south side of the building, the location for Registration and Records, was also remodeled.

The quill, originally installed in spring 1898, is loaded into a bucket before being lifted by a crane to the top of Bowman Hall.

Workers reinstall the UW-Stout quill April 23 on the Bowman Hall Clock Tower, part of a building restoration project.


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All hands on Every bachelor’s, master’s program has an experiential learning component


ince its inception in 1891, UW-Stout has stressed the value of learning by doing — students incorporating classroom lessons in labs and in the field. That mission was formalized in 2007 when UW-Stout became Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University. UW-Stout has taken another concrete step toward its commitment to applied learning. Already known for its nearly 99% employment and continuing education rate of recent graduates, UW-Stout now is 100% committed to experiential learning. To ensure the 100% commitment, a comprehensive review of the definition and requirements of experiential learning was conducted, and some program adjustments were made. By fall 2019, the assurance all undergraduate programs have at least one required component was achieved. “By the time a student graduates, they will have had these applied learning experiences that integrate program skills, including general education. This well-rounded approach sets them up to succeed,” said interim Provost Glendalí Rodriguez, who oversaw the project as chair of the Experiential Learning Committee. “Our goal remains to engage students in high- impact learning.” The applied experiences include co-ops, internships, field experiences, service learning, student-teaching, study abroad, research, practicums and capstone courses. They must include faculty involvement and supervision, application of theory and evaluation. The 100% experiential initiative started with Charles W. Sorensen, the late former chancellor, and was a Focus 2015 priority. Rodriguez began working on documenting full compliance in 2016. The Provost’s Office uses registration software to track annual program compliance. Most programs already were on board, but the project has completed and formalized the effort. Audrey Roberts, a sophomore in health, wellness and fitness completed her experiential learning through a field experience. She worked at a personal training company, including virtually during the pandemic to meet one of her program requirements of 160-hour and a 320-hour field experiences.

“It doesn’t get more hands-on than getting out in the real world,” Roberts said. “I would much rather learn hands-on rather than just trying to memorize something. Hands-on really embeds with me.” The university’s 23 programs in the Graduate School also have an experiential aspect, as research or practicums are key components. The majority of graduate students are also working professionals and integrate experiential learning throughout their work and degree pursuit. UW-Stout’s push to require an experiential component guarantees students that they will experience polytechnic-style learning. “It’s an expectation. It’s important that we continue to prioritize our mission,” Rodriguez said. Rodriguez briefly discussed spring 2020 efforts to maintain experiential learning during the transition to 100% alternative delivery, as a result of COVID-19, at the June UW System Board of Regents Education Committee meeting. “Our goal remains to engage students in high-impact learning.”

Students work with a skeleton model in a health, wellness and fitness class.


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Up for the fifth straight year. 98.8%

Employment and continuing education rate for recent graduates.

TOP 8 Plastics engineering program cited as one of the best in the U.S. by Plastics Today, a publication for plastics professionals. 14TH UW-Stout’s U.S. News and World Report 2020 ranking among public regional universities in the Midwest, up two places from 2019. 2ND AND 3RD Apparel design and development team’s awards in the 2019 Advanced Textiles Student Design Competition in Florida. $305,834 U.S. Department of Defense grant for a regional cybersecurity symposium on campus and for student scholarships. THREE 1ST’S + 2ND Three graphic communications students won in the national Gutenberg Awards and took second as a team in the Phoenix Challenge College Competition.

1ST AND 8TH Katherine P. Frank — first female leader and eighth leader overall in school history. $342,000 National Science Foundation grant awarded to LAKES research experience for undergraduates program, the third three-year grant to study regional water quality. 3RD The place taken by a team of seven construction majors in the national student challenge in January at the National Association of Home Builders show in Las Vegas. 1,760 Number of N95 masks that Dunn County Emergency Management purchased from the School of Art and Design. NO. 1 Student chapter of the Club Management Association of America named Chapter of the Year at the World Club Managers Conference in February in Texas.


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Campus briefs

Menards donate $2.36M The Menard family, Wisconsin natives and owners of a Midwestern chain of home improvement stores, donated $2.36 million for the UW-Stout Menard Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovation. Initiated in 2017 with a Charles Koch Foundation grant as the Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovation, the center’s goal is to provide programming on campus and around the state for debate and research on important civil liberty issues. The center, directed by Professor Tim Shiell, is in Bowman Hall. Coal out, natural gas in UW-Stout took “a big step in the right direction” on March 4, said Sustainability Manager Sarah Rykal. That day marked the end of the coal-burning era, which dated to about 1910, to heat campus. The university — following a UW System mandate — switched to less expensive natural gas as its fuel source for the 2.6 million square feet of buildings. Rykal sees natural gas as a “bridge fuel to a renewable energy infrastructure.” UW-Stout has taken many steps in recent years to be more sustainable, including solar projects and campuswide recycling and composting. The university is on Princeton Review’s Green Colleges list and plans to be carbon-neutral by 2050. Professor authors book on African-American soldiers Le’Trice D. Donaldson, an assistant professor of history, has authored “Duty Beyond the Battlefield: African American Soldiers Fight for Racial Uplift, Citizenship, and Manhood, 1870-1920.” It was published by Southern Illinois University Press. Donaldson found that soldiers during that time served to disprove stereotypes about African-Americans. “It wasn’t just about their personal service,” Donaldson said. “It was for the entire community.”

will compete in the Legends and Overwatch leagues. The electronic video game matches will be held on weekends. Players will have jerseys and are tentatively scheduled to compete from a computer lab in the University Library. Grad working on vaccine Jack Hemsath graduated in December 2019 with a degree in applied biochemistry and molecular biology. With his sights set on beginning medical school in 2021, he found himself in the spring of 2020 working on the COVID-19 vaccine project in the Infectious Disease Lab at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “I can’t say enough about how Stout prepared me for lab work and everything else. The hands-on approach was really beneficial,” said Hemsath, who also played on the Blue Devils baseball team. He hopes to help Mayo deliver a vaccine and then focus on becoming a physician. Graduate realizes dream at 50 Growing up on the south side of Chicago, Golden DeAngelo never imagined going to college. However, when he was in his 40s and passing UW-Stout every day on his way to work, he suddenly found himself doing just that. After several years of full-time schooling while working a night shift at Andersen Corp., DeAngelo graduated in December at age 50 with his bachelor’s in business administration. “It’s about like a dream,” he said. DeAngelo is one of many nontraditional students at UW-Stout who benefit from transfer and degree completion programs, as well as online and hybrid learning options. He promptly enrolled in UW-Stout’s risk control and safety management master’s program. “My mother told me people have died so I could get an education. That always stuck with me.” 7 8

Black soldiers were often sent to harsh, remote areas as the military moved westward in the U.S. They took pride in their service and laid the foundation for the rise of Black Nationalism, which influenced future leaders of the 20th century civil rights movement, Donaldson said. Three cheers for O’Leary Nenagh O’Leary and her family had three reasons to celebrate when she graduated May 9. She received three degrees, a result of five years in college and 167 credits. “I filled my schedule to the max,” she said. She didn’t plan it that way, but she saw advantages to all three areas of study as she learned about each one and dug in: business administration; digital marketing technology; and information and communication technologies. “Having these degrees has broadened the possibilities for me,” said the St. Paul native as she began her postgraduation job search. New fashion, retail program The bachelor’s in fashion and retail is a merger of the apparel design and development program and the retail merchandising and management program and will be debuting this fall. The two programs were merged to maximize some of the overlapping areas in curriculum as well as enhance the overall program with the addition of emerging technologies and practices. With internship opportunities and a career focus, the program will have three concentrations: fashion design and development; fashion marketing; and retail analytics. Students will learn about market research, planning, designing, developing, buying and marketing.  Game on for esports team The university’s and UW System’s first esports team will begin competing this fall against other collegiate teams. The first Blue Devil squad will compete in Rocket League. In the spring, two more squads 6


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Steinhilbers support Laboratory Modernization Endowed Fund to ‘help the university keep current’

A t UW-Stout, labs and the technology within them are essential to supporting the school’s polytechnic mission. Since its inception in 1891 as Stout Manual Training School, the university has promoted the value of hands-on learning in labs and with real-world experiences. Today, UW-Stout remains mission-focused with three times as many labs as classrooms. Therein lies a challenge with declining state funding: How to keep those spaces updated with the latest equipment and technology? The new computer science tutoring lab in Jarvis Hall Science Wing, opening this fall after a spring remodeling project by Facilities Management, is an example of this challenge. The lab rotated between several rooms until funding was allocated to fix the problem for about 1,000 students a year who use it. “Typically, the conference room was overcrowded, standing room only and many times with a line down the hall. Moving the lab was confusing for students as well. I am very pleased that UW-Stout invested in this project to support students with a larger, permanent location,” said Professor Diane Christie, director of the computer science program.

Since spring 2017, close to $3 million has been invested in more than 100 lab and classroom modernizations. The estimated annual cost of keeping them updated is $1 million. The ongoing need for more renovations is why alumni Barbara Steinhilber and her late husband, Howard, have made an estate commitment to the Laboratory Modernization Endowed Fund, part of Stout University Foundation’s Pathways Forward comprehensive campaign. The endowed fund is made up of private donations and will provide critical annual support for lab upgrades. “This was of utmost importance to me because UW-Stout has a high percentage of programs that are hands-on and require frequent updating. I hope our gift will help the university keep current and in step with the times,” Steinhilber said. She and Howard have made other gifts to the Foundation for more than 20 years. Barb, a 1962 dietetics graduate, also has served for 10 years on the Alumni Association board and on the Pathways Forward Steering Committee. Howard earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UW-Stout in 1959 and 1965. “Following graduation, I have continued to spread the word about the great opportunity I had, and I recommend Stout to anyone and everyone that I can,” Steinhilber said, noting that a brother and sister also attended UW-Stout. “The programs, staff, students, friends and my family have all had a role in the development of who I am, and for this I am truly grateful. Therefore, I feel that it is my turn to reciprocate.”

Barbara Steinhilber ‘62


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‘I believe in Stout’ Lawrence and Joanne Styer scholarship fund reflects appreciation for university’s mission


Foundation awarded more than $800,000 in scholarships in 2019, including 32 new scholarships.

W arry and Joanne Hosford Styer met at UW-Stout. After they graduated in 1954 with degrees in vocational education and dietetics, they began their life together in Damascus, Md. Larry taught for Montgomery County Public Schools for 35 years. He helped troubled students find their way and encouraged them to attend college. He sent many of his students to UW-Stout. Joanne, a nationally recognized dietician, was the director of food service at Montgomery County Public Schools. She received the UW-Stout Distinguished Alumni award in 1989 for her innovation, leadership and volunteer efforts. The Styers were married for 58 years when Larry passed away in December 2013. In honor of her husband and their Industry support in Winona, Minn., heard from faculty at UW-Stout that scholarships would help attract more plastics engineering students, he and others went to work. Maki is a member of the program advisory board, which includes many employer representatives. They advise the university about the latest skills and knowledge students need to work in the industry. As a result of the faculty recommendation, members of the board and others stepped up to create scholarships. In fall 2019, eight first-year students received awards. This fall, the number has grown to 11 scholarships, 10 of them for $1,500 apiece and one for $500. hen Steve Maki, vice president of technology at RTP Company

love for UW-Stout, Joanne is establishing the Lawrence and Joanne Styer Endowed Scholarship Fund, which will support engineering technology and dietetics majors. Joanne thinks alumni have a responsibility to help their communities and support students. As she invests in the future of the university, she wants to inspire others to give. “I believe in Stout. It is constantly abreast of new and relevant programs to meet students’ needs and keep in step with industry progress. I like that students can see they’ll have a successful career before graduation,” she said. An endowed scholarship is established with an initial gift of $30,000 or more to the Stout University Foundation. The “We wanted ways to attract incoming freshmen and let them see what plastics engineering has to offer and all the tremendous job opportunities and placement opportunities available,” Maki said. The industry will benefit in the long run. “There is a high demand for plastics engineers, particularly in the Midwest where there is a lot of injection molding,” Maki said. The plastics engineering program has a 100% employment rate for graduates and a $64,000 average starting salary. “Our program is well-recognized by the plastics field,” said Wei Zheng, program director and associate professor. Sixty students were enrolled in the spring

Larry and Joanne Styer

Scholarships established by employers for first-year plastics engineering students

semester, and 18 first-year students started last fall, the latter number higher than in recent years and a sign that the scholarships are having an impact.

Plastics engineering class


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