Moraine Park students partner with Habitat for Humanity

by jbrezinsky17. May 2013 11:20

    Moraine Park Technical College’s Beaver Dam Student Senate recently wrapped up a two-day build with Habitat for Humanity of Washington and Dodge Counties. More than 50 student volunteers rotated through a total of four working shifts to help put the finishing touches on the new ReStore located in Beaver Dam.  The ReStore is a shopping and donation center opening its doors late May.  Sales from items sold in the store benefit Habitat for Humanity.
    Student volunteers produced the equivalent of more than 200 hours of labor in less than 14 hours on Wednesday, May 1 and Tuesday, May 7.  Students lifted, hauled and moved donations and furniture, painted walls and floors, installed shelving units, washed windows, and put in a retaining wall.
    “The Moraine Park volunteers amazed us with their efficiency, wonderful work ethic and commitment to getting the job done,” said Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Coordinator Emily Jennings. “We still can’t quite believe all of the work they got done.”
    The Habitat/Restore community service project was sponsored by Moraine Park’s Beaver Dam Student Senate along with the College’s Electrical Power Distribution and Welding clubs and The Edge program.
    The new ReStore is located in the former Save-A-Lot building at 1022 Madison Street.
    For more information on Moraine Park’s Service Learning projects visit



Wisconsin Beef Council’s Farm-to-Fork Tour Connects Culinary Chefs and Students to the Farm

by ratkinson17. May 2013 08:00

Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, May 10, 2013 — Meeting a beef farmer, stepping into his farm’s green pastures and touring a meat processing facility, isn’t the everyday norm for chefs and culinary students in southeastern Wisconsin. Yet for these professionals, recently they followed the "life of a sirloin steak" from a local beef cattle farm, Huth Polled Herefords to Brandon Meats and Sausage, an award-winning family-owned and operated meat processing facility in Fond du Lac County.

For more than 55 chefs and culinary students the farm and meat processing plant became the classroom during a “pasture to plate” tour of Wisconsin's beef value chain.

"The Farm-to-Fork Tour was truly an eye opening experience," says Chef Zac Benson of The Pine Lodge Restaurant at Heartwood Conference Center in Trego. "To be able to see where our beef and dairy products are coming from and positive impact these family farms have on the local economy, is truly special."

The tour connected the dots of the beef value chain from farmer, processor, restaurant to end consumer. Chefs from Mr. B's A Bartolotta Steakhouse, Brookfield; The Blind Horse Restaurant & Winery, Kohler; among culinary students from Moraine Park Technical College (MPTC) learned about new beef cuts today's health conscious consumer’s desire. Participants gained an understanding of modern farming practices, sustainability, food safety and nutrition. The Beef N' Beer Tasting pairing MPTC culinary student inspirations with local craft brews topped off the tour.

"Helping connect culinary professionals to a beef producer, meat crafter and beef educational experts is vital," says John Freitag, Executive Director of Wisconsin Beef Council. "By showcasing new beef cuts to add value to menus while communicating with foodservice professionals who directly impact consumer’s choices strengthens the understanding of beef in today’s food chain.” 

In addition to the beef farm tour, attendees toured a modern dairy farm, Vir-Clar Farms. This family dairy farm milks 1,400 dairy cows, raises dairy beef cattle and recycles waste using an on-farm bio-energy digester to power 400 Fond du Lac area homes. Wisconsin's dairy influence offers consumer choices from the many Holstein dairy beef cattle speckling our landscape.

"I was pleased to learn that farmers not only take excellent care of their animals, but also the environment around them making this a sustainable industry," says Lisa Hitchcock, Chef de Cuisine at The Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells. "The tour gives a detailed look into the entire process of what it takes for us to create and enjoy a delicious meal with beef."

For culinary professionals interested in attending a future "Farm-to-Fork" tour, contact Angela Horkan, Director of Marketing at Wisconsin Beef Council at 608.833.9941. Chefs can also earn continuing educational credits by attending.

For delicious recipes, grilling tips and ways to fuel up with lean beef, visit  or call 1-800-728-BEEF today.    

The Wisconsin Beef Council is a checkoff-funded, producer-directed organization dedicated to building demand for beef and veal through promotion, consumer education and research. The WBC continues its work to improve the demand for beef and veal through well-planned programs throughout Wisconsin.

Jerry Huth, a beef farmer speaks to the care of raising cattle at his family farm, Huth Polled Herefords in Oakfield.


Culinary professionals tour Vir-Clar Farms, a family dairy farm who milks 1,400 dairy cows, raises dairy beef cattle and recycles waste using an on-farm bio-energy digester to power 400 Fond du Lac area homes.

Chefs get a behind the scenes tour at Brandon Meats and Sausage. This award-winning meat crafter has two generations working in the meat processing business.


Moraine Park Kiwanis Satellite Club raises $1,600 for St. Baldrick’s

by jbrezinsky16. May 2013 11:24


     Moraine Park Technical College’s Fond du Lac Kiwanis Satellite Club recently presented a check for $1600 to the St. Baldrick’s organization.
     A quilt, handcrafted by members of the Moraine Park satellite club, was displayed at various community events with all proceeds from the raffle tickets donated to St. Baldrick’s.
     Kathy Hass, a satellite club member, said the club was looking for a service project that fit with Kiwanis’ mission to change the world, one child and one community at a time. “Making the quilt to donate to St. Baldrick’s was a perfect project for us,” she said. 
     Robin Schroeder, organizer of the Fond du Lac St. Baldrick’s event, said the $1600 donation is a great help in supporting St. Baldrick’s, which sees 82 percent of their budget going to fund childhood cancer research, but the quilt service project also helped create awareness about their organization. “Getting the word out about what St. Baldrick’s is, and how we are helping children who are suffering from cancer, is so important. We are very thankful for all [Moraine Park’s Kiwanis Satellite Club] did to make their service project so successful.”
     Craig Schwanz, a Moraine Park automotive technician instructor, was the lucky winner of the quilt.
     Moraine Park’s Kiwanis Satellite Club is an extension of the Kiwanis Club of Fabulous Fond du Lac host club. For information on the Fond du Lac Kiwanis Club, visit
     For more information on St. Baldrick’s, visit







Moraine Park announces Jim Wessing as 2013 Commencement Speaker

by ratkinson14. May 2013 14:16

Moraine Park Technical College has announced Jim Wessing, co-founder and president of Kondex Corp., Lomira, Wis., as their 2013 Commencement keynote speaker.

The College’s 2013 Commencement Ceremony will be held Saturday, May 18, at 10:00 a.m. at the Fond du Lac High School Field House. Dr. Sheila Ruhland, Moraine Park president, will preside over the ceremony.

 Associate of applied science degrees, technical diplomas and certificates will be presented by Moraine Park District Board Chair Dr. Richard Zimman, Vice Chair Vernon Jung, Jr., and board members Donna Goetz and Shirley Kitchen. 

"I am both humbled and honored to be the keynote speaker at MPTC's 2013 Commencement Ceremony," said Wessing, who noted his wife, Sue, earned three separate degrees from Moraine Park while they were raising their family and growing Kondex.  "I have experienced firsthand the feeling of accomplishment by Sue, as our children and I applauded her each time she walked across the stage; realizing the completion of another milestone in her life."

"We are excited and honored to have Jim Wessing as this year’s Commencement Speaker," said Moraine Park President Sheila Ruhland. "Jim is a strong supporter of both Moraine Park and technical education. He understands the important role technical education plays in our high schools and he recognizes the many opportunities a technical education provides for those who pursue it as a postsecondary option."

Kondex was presented with the 2013 C.L. Greiber Award of Merit by the Moraine Park Association of Career and Technical Education in recognition of contributions to the improvement, promotion, development and progress of career and technical education in Wisconsin.

Wessing is a trustee of the University of Wisconsin Memorial Union Building Association and Ag Sector Board Director of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.  He served as past president of the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association (FEMA) and the Wisconsin Buy Recycled Business Alliance. Wessing, who received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, is also a member of The Executive Committee (TEC) and a long-time Junior Achievement teacher.  His awards include FEMA’s Golden Presidents Club and C.P. Nicholson Memorial Award. Wessing was named the 2000 CCLT Distinguished Graduate and in 2009 was named the Lomira Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Business Person of the Year.

Kondex Corp. is a global manufacturing company employs 300 dedicated associates and is a manufacturer of precision components servicing the agricultural, bio-fuels, lawn and turf, construction, and forestry markets. Kondex produces high-quality cutting parts used in items such as harvesters, wood chippers, stump cutters, concrete equipment and harvesting equipment. Find out more at

Moraine Park Technical College was established in 1912, and is one of 16 technical college districts that make up the Wisconsin Technical College System. With campuses in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend, Wis., Moraine Park offers more than 100 associate of applied science degrees, technical diplomas, apprenticeships and certificates delivered in a variety of formats — classroom, online and blended. Training and technical assistance for businesses is also offered. To find out more about Moraine Park, visit


Three Moraine Park staff earn state honors

by ratkinson14. May 2013 14:08

Moraine Park Technical College staff members Stephanie Lueck, Amy Patterson and Bonnie Baerwald were recently honored for their contributions to technical education during the Wisconsin Association for Career and Technical Education’s (WACTE) annual conference held in Middleton, Wis. in April.

Lueck, of Campbellsport, is a financial aid specialist for Moraine Park. She received the 2013 Professional Excellence – Outstanding Support Professional Award.

Baerwald, of Fond du Lac, was the recipient of the 2013 Professional Excellence – Outstanding Member - Community Involvement Award. Baerwald is Moraine Park’s vice president of finance and facilities.

Patterson, a communications instructor for the College, received the 2013 Professional Excellence – New Instructor Award. Patterson lives in Beaver Dam.  

WACTE has more than 600 members throughout Wisconsin and is comprised of local affiliates representing the Wisconsin Technical College Districts, Department of Public Instruction, Business Education, Vocational Education Special Needs, Wisconsin Technical College System Board/UW-Madison Association, Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators, and Wisconsin Association for Leadership in Education and Work, and UW-Stout. The association unites those involved in career and technical education by providing professional development, encouraging leadership in the political arena and promoting innovative change to enhance lifelong learning.

Moraine Park Technical College was established in 1912 and is one of 16 colleges making up the Wisconsin Technical College System. To learn more, visit


Moraine Park students help keep families together

by ratkinson26. April 2013 08:40

Service Learning project combines volunteerism with education 

Imagine this scenario: Mom and dad find they can no longer keep a roof over their family’s head and must tell their children they will be homeless. Now imagine the crisis made worse when the children learn there is no shelter where they can all stay together. Dad is placed in a men’s only shelter while mom and children are offered housing in a separate shelter. That scenario changes forever with this month’s opening of the community’s only family shelter, run by the Solutions Center ( The official ribbon cutting is set for April 25 at 9 a.m. at the family shelter location, 38 North Sophia Street. Making this development even more inspiring is the role a cadre of students from Moraine Park Technical College (Moraine Park, had in the process; those students will also be on hand for the ribbon cutting.

First, about the Solutions Center. This organization and its predecessors have been providing shelter for people in Fond du Lac for more than 40 years, with some 350 individuals sheltered annually, 150 of them children. Most come to escape domestic violence or after being evicted. The success rate of those individuals moving into permanent housing in the community is almost 90 percent. Shelter and other services including crisis counseling and legal advocacy are all provided free of charge.

Yet the Solutions Center had no shelter to offer to an intact disadvantaged family needing temporary housing while they got back on their feet. That need led them to purchase the home on Sophia Street back in December 2012. They immediately set to work refreshing and updating it.

“Fond du Lac has been without a family shelter since 2007,” said Lindee Kimball, executive director at the Solutions Center. “We’re keeping families together when it counts the most.” The home will house one family at a time, with the average stay expected to be 30 days.

Kimball offered thanks to the staff and students from Moraine Park for making the family shelter their service learning project for the semester. “I believe this sort of project will set a tone of volunteerism for these students for the rest of their lives and they will be part of the ongoing volunteer force in our community. Plus we learned so much from them as they brought a whole spectrum of education to us.”

Moraine Park, already on the leading edge of the service learning philosophy, recently formalized the effort under the direction of Brenda Schaefer, a social sciences instructor at the college who now has the added title of Services Learning Coordinator. Schaefer is passionate about this experiential approach to learning, which she’s been spearheading at Moraine Park for two years now, and that passion comes through the minute you ask her about the Solutions Center partnership.

“One of our goals at Moraine Park is community partnership, and the shelter project is a perfect example of not just reading or hearing about a concept but doing,” explained Schaefer. “The students chose this project after hearing a presentation by a staff member from the Solutions Center and it has opened their eyes to see that people in need are no different from all of us.”

Schaefer went on to explain that students across a wide variety of classes had a hand in the shelter. “One group of culinary arts students are preparing recipes to teach families about cooking healthy meals on a budget, another group of students from our HVAC program did an energy analysis and made repairs to the shelter. We also had students in sociology, early childhood, marketing and accounting participate. The connection between the classroom and real life is amazing.”

Echoing Schaefer’s sentiments was Dr. Caron Daugherty, Dean of General & International Education at Moraine Park. “The competencies gained in classroom learning are validated right in front of them as they are helping families,” said Daugherty. “It’s the melding of the two that makes this an especially meaningful situation for everyone involved.” Along with its own service learning initiative, Moraine Park is also a member of the Wisconsin Campus Compact, a coalition of college and university presidents committed to strengthening service learning partnerships between the state’s post-secondary institutions and the communities they serve in key areas such as literacy, health care, hunger, homelessness, the environment and senior services. The idea behind the Wisconsin Campus Compact is to educate students not only for careers but also for their roles as active, engaged community members.

Daugherty also noted that students involved in service learning projects will be presenting case studies of their work at a special breakfast at Moraine Park on May 2. Fittingly, culinary students at the college will be preparing the breakfast as a way to celebrate the students’ efforts in the community.

Other local organizations that have benefited from the services learning commitment by Moraine Park students include Boys & Girls Club, Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Moraine Park Portfolio event to have modern gallery night vibe

by ratkinson26. April 2013 08:31

Students to showcase their work on May 1

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (April 23, 2013) – When most people hear the word “art” their mind likely jumps to images of traditional media like painting, sculpture and photography. But on Wednesday, May 1, it will be a mix of modern art media including web design, graphic communications and interactive media design that will take center stage at the Portfolio Day event hosted by the Fond du Lac campus of the Moraine Park Technical College District, 235 North National Avenue. Students from Moraine Park campuses in Fond du Lac, Beaver Dam and West Bend will be participating, showcasing their original work to the public and potential employers from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.

This will be the first Portfolio Day for students in Interactive Media Design, as 2013 brings the first graduating class in this new degree program at Moraine Park. The Graphic Communications program, by comparison, is well established, granting degrees for more than 20 years now.

The Portfolio Day student work will include illustration prints on museum quality paper featuring original logo designs, advertising posters and billboard layouts, along with step and floor graphics created by the students to support the event; computers showing 2D and 3D digital animation and motion graphics; and edited video shorts. Some 40 graduating students will be participating, with upwards of 40 potential employers from the region invited to attend. According to Dana Wangerin, graphics communications instructor at the college, “this is a proud moment for students and their families, with employers eager to see the work as well.”

Tom Ward, an instructor in interactive media design, echoed those sentiments, noting that potential employers representing area printers, web development firms, advertising agencies, digital marketing firms and video production companies are all likely to be in attendance. “We expect many of these students to make meaningful career connections during this four hour exhibit,” said Ward. 

The event is free and open to the public. It will be held in the Fond du Lac campus cafeteria, 235 North National Avenue.  For more on Moraine Park Technical College, log on to

Moraine Park’s nursing students surpass national rate

by jbrezinsky25. March 2013 10:03

     To work as a Licensed Practical Nurse or Licensed Registered Nurse, a person must first pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN) or the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN) exam after completing a nursing education program.
     Moraine Park Technical College recently received annual results for nursing students who took the NCLEX-PN and the NCLEX-RN exams and is proud to announce scores for both surpassed the national pass rate. One hundred percent of first-time Moraine Park test takers successfully passed the NCLEX-PN while 96 percent passed the NCLEX-RN. 
     “Faculty and staff at Moraine Park have worked hard to implement many program changes over the last few years, and their hard work has paid off.  We strive to maintain this level of performance,” said Kathy VanEerden, dean of Health Sciences at Moraine Park.
     For more information on Moraine Park programs, visit


Moraine Park wins prestigious advertising award

by abjork20. March 2013 09:51

Moraine Park Technical College was honored with a Gold ADDY award from the American Advertising Federation (AAF) at the recent 2012 ADDY Awards presented by the AAF-Fox River Ad Club. Moraine Park received the gold award for their 2012 Viewbook and the entry will now compete at the AAF’s 8th District level. 

The American Advertising Federation’s ADDY Awards is a nationwide competition that showcases the most creative design and advertising work from across the country.  If Moraine Park’s entry wins Gold again at the 8th District level, it will be forwarded to the June national competition, held in Arizona. For more information on Moraine Park, visit Visit for additional information on the AAF.


Dr. Josh Bullock Selected as Seventh President of Lake Land College

by abjork6. March 2013 15:37

On behalf of the entire Moraine Park college community, we congratulate Dr. Josh Bullock on being selected as the seventh president of Lake Land College, located in Mattoon, Ill. Dr. Bullock will begin his presidential duties on July 1, 2013.

Bullock, currently Vice President of Strategic Advancement at Moraine Park Technical College, has served the college for the past 11 years.  “I extend my sincere congratulations to Dr. Bullock in his new role. Josh will bring to Lake Land College a strong foundation in two-year college leadership to ensure the continued focus on student success and meeting the needs of the communities served,” said Dr. Sheila Ruhland, President of Moraine Park.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the past 11 years at Moraine Park and feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to work with so many great people over that time,” said Bullock.  “For the loss of great coworkers and friends I am deeply saddened.  With that said, I am both honored and excited to begin this new chapter in my personal and professional life.”  

Over the course of the next several months President Ruhland will work on succession and transition planning related to the Strategic Advancement Unit.  

For more information on Lake Land College and Dr. Bullock’s presidency selection, please visit: