POW/MIA Recognition Day, September 21, 2018
National POW/MIA (Prisoner of War/Missing in Action) Recognition Day is September 21 (annually the third Friday in September) and I thought this would be a great opportunity to provide some of the history on the flag you may have seen featuring a silhouette of an individual before a guard tower and barbed wire in white on a black field with the words “You Are Not Forgotten”.
Like many students, Tammy Flick of Beaver Dam found Moraine Park Technical College as a place of hope and a promise of a better future. Tammy was a part of the customer service world for over 25 years, and in 2009, as a result of a suffering economy, she found herself unemployed and unsure of where to go next.
“It was a scary time, but looking back on it now, the timing was perfect,” said Tammy. “I wanted my work to be rewarding. I knew if I was going to make a change, I wanted to be in the medical field.”
She sought guidance through Moraine Park’s Career Center in Beaver Dam. The career instructors helped her with program selection, financial aid, grants, and enrollment. Tammy decided to pursue both the Medical Assistant and Medical Coding Specialist technical programs. She was able to take all of her classes at the Beaver Dam campus, right in her hometown, and she completed both degrees in a one-year time span.
Tammy wasn’t just a student in the classroom, she was also active at the College and with her peers. She involved herself in the student senate and helped with many student-life events. Tammy made many connections and lifelong friends during her time at Moraine Park. And, on May 22, 2010, Tammy walked the stage to accept her dual technical diploma at the College’s annual commencement ceremony.
So where has she been since graduation? The question really should be ‘where hasn’t she been?‘
Immediately following graduation, Tammy began her medical career at Dean/SSM Health Dermatology clinic in Madison. And, when an opportunity became available closer to home, she transferred to the Dean/SSM Health Family Medicine clinic in Beaver Dam.
“I know I’m in the right place,” said Flick. “It is a very rewarding field. If at the end of my day, I can ease a worried mind or a put a smile on the face of a patient, then my job is done.”
Her philanthropic spirit has carried on in her daily work, through the many events she volunteers at locally both through her employer and also through personal endeavors. Tammy has also participated in two mission trips, one to Guatemala in November 2016, where she helped work in a health clinic and built houses for residents.
Then in November 2017, she visited Haiti, where she assisted at a dental clinic and taught CPR to individuals at an orphanage.
“The trips were life-changing,” said Tammy. “It opened up my eyes to the world in a different way, it made me want to give back, and it made me truly grateful for the life I have been given.”
So what’s next for Tammy?
She is currently making plans for a 2019 return to Haiti. She expressed that there is much more work to do, and she wants to help in any way possible.
She accredits many of the opportunities she has been given, to the education she received and the hard work of Moraine Park staff, like Janet Bauer, a medical assistant instructor at Moraine Park.
“Janet is amazing, knowledgeable, and was tough for a reason, we were learning about people’s bodies,” said Tammy. “I am so thankful for the many doors that have been opened as a result of my education.”
Today, Tammy is enjoying her life. On June 16, she celebrated 30-years with her husband Brian, at a small intimate backyard vow renewal.
Around her community, you might find Tammy enjoying everything that Beaver Dam has to offer. From the Kayak launch at Waterworks Park to her grandson’s soccer games, and everything in between. She is also heavily involved in the Swan Park’s Rotary Light show, this winter will be the 2nd annual event.
It’s not hard to see that Tammy is living her best life, and we are proud to be a part of her journey.
For more information on Moraine Park, visit morainepark.edu.
Chris Rowe, a May 2018 graduate of Moraine Park Technical College, enrolled in the Introduction to Mass Communication course and was not entirely sure what to expect.
The Introduction to Mass Communication course at Moraine Park explores communication in media and media literacy by providing insight into the important issues that confront students as consumers and purveyors of mass media within the workforce and in society. The mass media revolution, including media technologies, the evolution of media content and platforms, including new media, the impact of media communications on business and society as a whole, media bias, and media law and ethics provide the focus for this course.
“I learned that Mass Communication is more complicated than I thought,” said Rowe. “In an ideal world, mass media companies should strive for excellence, honesty, and the betterment of the people they supply the information to on a daily basis, however, this is not always the case.”
Students who take this course learn that the freedom we enjoy does not prevent the spread of misinformation. Different types of media can contradict or leave information out to affect individuals’ beliefs and opinions.
“While taking part in this class, I really enjoyed considering some of the history and evolution of mass media, such as news, music, and film,” said Rowe. “It also was significant to learn about the impact the media has on our society and how we think and feel collectively, as well as individually. The pervasive role that media plays can be not only detrimental but also at times positive. I highly recommend this class with Dr. Rebecca Leichtfuss so that individuals understand the role and influence that media has on our free society.”
To learn more about Moraine Park Technical College, visit morainepark.edu
It has been a long road for Moraine Park Alumna, Ashley Cruz of Fond du Lac, who earned her cosmetology degree in 2004. She came to the College a young expectant mother looking to start a cosmetology career. While many years have passed since she walked the halls of Moraine Park as a student, she still speaks highly of her time at the College.
Robin Peebles, a graduate of Moraine Park Technical College’s Cosmetology Program, knew it was time for a change. Upon graduation, she looked forward to starting her new career and accepted employment with a small salon in Oshkosh. After gaining experience over the next seven years in different salons, decided renting a booth would be the logical next step but it didn’t take her long to begin thinking about starting her own business.
Becoming an entrepreneur would allow her to create an atmosphere for her clients to “achieve a state of bliss while visiting the salon” and would definitely provide an opportunity to achieve financial success, while becoming more independent.
“I had the skills and ambition to make the dream a reality but soon learned there were things I needed help with. Immediately, I needed help with writing a business plan and spent quite a bit of money hiring someone”. After her initial investment and her business plan in place, Robin opened the doors to Euphoria, Inc. an Aveda concept salon specializing in hair and makeup services.
As she became more invested in her business, Robin soon realized there were additional skills that she would need such as payroll, how to prepare accounting and tax reports, and determining effective marketing strategies. Through a great deal of hard work, Euphoria, Inc. has been a success but Robin cautions those who are thinking of making the leap to entrepreneurship.
“I am happy I made the decision to open my own business; however, it has not been an easy task. Owning a business is more than having the skills associated with the trade. You need to have business skills and constant problem solving to achieve solutions”.
If you are considering your own business, Moraine Park Technical College offers a certificate program and associate degree program to enhance your existing skillset. The programs provide new and existing entrepreneurs hands-on training in the areas of business planning, financing, marketing, customer service, financial management and business communications.
Jeff Stueber, Business Management Instructor at Moraine Park Technical College comments, “An entrepreneur is a doer, not just a dreamer. It takes a lot of hard work and passion. Robin demonstrates that in her pursuit of her salon while voicing some of the obstacles that might get in the way. That is where a class or certificate might come in handy. Entrepreneurs are vital to our economy and they account for 28.8 million businesses in the United States according to the SBA. The interesting part is we still need more. Imagine what our down town districts would look like without small business.”
If you are interested in learning more about the Small Business Entrepreneurship associate degree or Entrepreneurship Certificate, please contact an academic advisor to get started on your new career pathway!
- Julie Bosveld, 920-924-6325 firstname.lastname@example.org (Fond du Lac campus)
- Laurie Kuehn, 920-887-4457 email@example.com (Beaver Dam campus)
- Robin Kranz, 262-335-5877 firstname.lastname@example.org (West Bend Campus)
To learn more about Moraine Park, visit morainepark.edu.
When it comes to fun, new restaurants Moraine Park alumna, Allison Gossman, has topped the list. Allison is one of the masterminds behind Fond du Lac’s deliciously unique restaurant, The Sweet & Salty Pig.
As a 2004 graduate of Moraine Park’s culinary program, she is no stranger to the inner workings of the food business. Allison spent 13 years working as a cook at local eateries, a large majority of that time at Backyard Grill & Bar.
Just how did The Sweet & Salty Pig come to be? After her father, a believer in Allison’s talents and drive passed away from an aggressive form of kidney cancer, she decided to join forces with her good friend Janis (also a Backyard employee) and tackle the challenge of restaurant ownership. Together they embraced the opportunity and began brainstorming ideas for a new restaurant.
“I have always loved baking, I knew I wanted to incorporate baked goods somehow, that’s where the ‘sweet’ comes in,” said Allison. “As we were developing the rest of the menu, we noticed that there was a lot of bacon and pork incorporated in our ideas, and that is how The Sweet & Salty Pig was born.”
And, who doesn’t love bacon?
The Sweet & Salty Pig officially opened its doors on February 28, 2018, and when I walked in the doors on May 23 at 2:00 p.m. to meet with Allison, there were very few empty tables.
“It’s been going great,” said Allison.
Not only did it look like it was going great- it smelled like it was going great!
Allison speaks fondly of her time at Moraine Park, her instructors, and everything that she has learned along the way. Her advice to those interested in pursuing a culinary career?
“Have an open mind of where your degree can take you,” she said. “I thought I wanted to be a full-time baker, but after trying new things, I learned that I loved all areas. Have an open mind and don’t limit yourself.”
The fully-stocked bakery case is proof that the “sweet” is a huge part of the business model. She does get the opportunity to bake now and then, but with her other responsibilities, she is learning to delegate tasks as needed.
“I recently hired a baker and she is amazing,” Allison said. “Everything from the waffles, biscuits, and croissants, to the desserts, are all hand-made from scratch, and they’re delicious.”
So, what’s next?
An open house, debuting a new, expanded menu! Allison states that they did a soft launch and then an official open, but never did a ‘grand opening’ event. The open house will take place on June 2, and the new menu will debut some customer requests, as well as new unique items.
As for further down the road, she has her eye on big plans for her sweet & salty business.
“My first step is to incorporate some outdoor seating. I’m working on plans for that now,” said Allison. “Further down the road, I’d love to look into expanding altogether.”
And, just what is her favorite part of owning this unique haven?
“I love coming up with neat ideas to incorporate into the menu, and sampling the creations,” she said.
You can plan to see her at the Fond du Lac farmers markets this summer, looking for fresh produce to use on her menu items, which she plans to update frequently.
“People like to try new food, and I like to make new food!” she said.
And, as if she isn’t busy enough, Allison is also working towards earning her Bachelor’s degree, raising her 8-year old son, and planning a wedding for some time in the future, date TBD.
It’s very evident that she is enjoying her time as a new business owner and grateful for her Moraine Park education and the community support. However, she is also proud to have built a living legacy for her Dad.
“He rode his bike everywhere, which is why I have bike décor, it’s a small reminder of him,” said Allison. “He would have loved this place.”
The next time you stop in, look around and you’ll find lots of treasures, mementos, and items honoring their “sweet & salty” roots.
And one more tidbit for current students or recent graduates, Allison is hiring! She is in need of line cooks, and currently has 2 Moraine Park graduates on staff! She is truly an alumna who sees the value in Moraine Park’s culinary education, and we are proud to have been a part of her journey!
To learn more about the Sweet & Salty Pig, visit sweetnsaltypig.com.
Are you a Moraine Park Alumni? Interested in sharing your story? Email email@example.com.
For more information on Moraine Park programs, visit morainepark.edu/programs.
Don Charleston is the epitome of a Moraine Park success story. He came to the College in 1973 looking for more career opportunities and a better life. At the time, his family was living on his wife’s $4 per hour nursing wage.
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