Report to the Board of Regents

Over 1,200 Milwaukee-area employers are giving students real-world experiences, helping to expand their skillsets and make important connections. By the time they graduate, nearly 80 percent of UW-Milwaukee students complete an invaluable internship or work study program.

UW-Whitewater student Cameron Cudnohowski unearthed three 1,000-year-old Anglo-Saxon skeletons on an archeological dig in England. Cudnohowski, a future teacher, said, “You study history in books, but this experience – literally putting the pieces of these people together and searching for their story – brings history alive.”

More than 120 students from across UW-Oshkosh campuses shared creative and scientific projects at the 26th annual Celebration of Scholarship. The event includes oral and poster presentations, art exhibits, and performances, which help students hone invaluable skills that contribute to their personal and professional development.

UW-Superior legal studies and criminal justice programs held a senior experience celebration on May 1. This allowed the 18 graduating seniors a chance to share and celebrate their capstone experiences. Several students also talked about jobs they’ve found prior to graduation.

More than 140 UW-Parkside alumni are making invaluable contributions to CNH Industrial, a global leader in the capital goods sector. Emilio Ruffolo manages machining and transmission operations at their Racine tractor plant. At other Racine sites, Tammy Knudsen delivers communications for employee awareness and engagement, while Bobbi Dyer develops and implements employee benefit plans.

Brent Coulthart inspired other veterans and students when he graduated May 4 from UW-Stout. Out of money, he dropped out of college a decade ago in Minnesota, then served five years in the Marines as a helicopter mechanic. Using military and disabled veteran benefits, he returned to school and overcame dyslexia with on-campus support to earn a degree in business administration.

Lucas Hintz is building a career out of service to others. Starting with a GED and associate degree in radiology tech, Hintz is now earning his second associate degree from UW-Stevens Point at Wausau and has been given the 2019 Samuel Weiner Award for Academic Excellence. This fall, Hintz will attend UW-Stevens Point’s main campus to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry or biology, with hopes of becoming a physician.

Lindsey Murry is the first graduate in UW-River Falls’ new agricultural engineering program. Named the 2019 Agricultural Engineering Undergraduate Student of the Year by the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, this McNair Scholar is not only being acknowledged for her academic excellence but also her extracurricular activities and invaluable contributions as a researcher and volunteer.

UW-Platteville Richland nontraditional student Chris Hynek is documenting his father’s life, which was dedicated to preserving prehistoric Native American culture. Hynek has painstakingly archived and digitized the quarterly journal Prehistoric American, which his father edited for many years. Hynek shared his research at UW System’s 16th annual Research in the Rotunda in April.

In May, UW-Madison’s School of Nursing marked the first graduates of its new accelerated bachelor’s of science in nursing program. Thirty-two students graduated from the one-year program that offers a second chance for adults who already have a bachelor’s degree and are seeking a satisfying, well-paying job. It is part of a full-court press by the School of Nursing to tackle a shortage of nurses in Wisconsin.

UW-La Crosse spring graduate Janelle Kopa will spend commencement weekend competing on the NBC-TV series, “American Ninja Warrior.” What Kopa likes best about ninja training is setting goals and achieving dreams. That’s something this early childhood education major plans to share with her students as she pursues a teaching career.

UW-Green Bay and the UW System have named Aaron Kennedy, founder and CEO for Noodles & Company, to be the first “entrepreneur-in-residence” at TitletownTech. With his experience as a global entrepreneur who has built brands, companies and movements, he will be an invaluable asset in TitletownTech’s mission of bringing world-class digital innovation and expertise to the region.

UW-Eau Claire sets students up for success by teaching skills that help them stand out in the real world. With nearly 8 out of 10 students participating in a job-related experience as part of their education, it’s no wonder many students land positions before they have a diploma in hand. What’s more? 97% of UW-Eau Claire students have jobs within eight months of graduation.

U.S. Army veteran Justin Rathkamp realized his dream to help fellow veterans after a career change to health care. This busy husband and father appreciated the flexibility offered by a UW Extended Campus online degree program. Hired as the Veterans Experience Officer at Madison’s VA Hospital, Rathkamp now enjoys evenings and weekends with his family.

SBIR Ready is an immersion program for small business innovation research offered by the Center for Technology Commercialization, part of UW System’s Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship. SBIR Ready is running a bootcamp this month to give early-career scientists and faculty the skills they need to make a business case for their innovative ideas. Research solves problems. Being ready to commercialize it? Invaluable.



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