It’s always fun to get updates from our alumni! We recently heard from Sandra, class of ’81.
“I am many years beyond my education at Moraine Park, but I still embrace the memories. I graduated in 1981 with an associate degree in Food Manufacturing Technology – Dairy, the same year that my daughter graduated from high school! My 26 registered classmates were 20+ years younger than me. Sadly, only 6 of us graduated. Some of us earned a trip to the state of Washington to compete in dairy judging. What a wonderful experience!
“After graduating from Moraine Park, I worked at Hillshire Farms in New London in quality control, research and development, and other food-related industry positions. In 2010, I retired from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection – Division of Food Safety after 15 years of service where I was a Laboratory Evaluation Officer.
“I couldn’t have done it without my degree and the staff and instructors at Moraine Park Technical College. I like sharing my Moraine Park Story. I hope to encourage potential students of all ages to attend and get a degree.”
Sometimes where you start, isn’t where you are destined to
end up, and Catherine Holmes of Fond du Lac knows that first-hand.
Her educational journey began after she earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and started her career working with special needs children. She left the workforce for a short time when she relocated to Fond du Lac and began raising her family. Catherine then joined the team at Agnesian HealthCare in Fond du Lac, where she has been an employee for over 10-years. It was there that she was introduced to the business analyst career field, a high demand job that is considered one of the best-kept career secrets.
The beauty of this career path is that it wears many hats.
In fact, you may have never actually seen the job title of business analyst.
However, jobs like project manager, business systems analyst, functional
analyst, process analyst, market research analyst, or management consultant,
are all actually business analysts.
Catherine enrolled in Moraine Park’s business analyst
program in August of 2017 and was hired as a business analyst for Agnesian
prior to graduating.
“I love that no two days are the same,” Catherine said. “We call ourselves the engineers of change, but my role is to reevaluate processes and offer guidance.”
More specifically, she is helping to navigate a change in computer systems by holding conversations and being the liaison between her employer and the computer system company.
One of the best parts of this career path is that it is
considered in high demand by many industries, including healthcare, insurance,
manufacturing, finance, and retail. Employers throughout the United States will
need 861,400 analysts by 2024. That is a growth of 14% compared to all
occupations at 6.5% growth. In Wisconsin, employers will need 13,151 analysts
by 2024, and the median annual wage is $71,230 for an experienced analyst.
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections).
Today, Catherine is a college graduate, with goals to
continue her educational journey.
“I highly recommend this career field,” she said. “My instructor, JoAnn, was supportive and flexible, and set me up for success in the field.”
It was a beautiful sunny Saturday morning, and Moraine Park
Technical College and Marian University teamed up once again to sponsor a
veteran’s suicide awareness event, dubbed 22 No More. A 2.2-mile trek to help
raise awareness of the many veterans’ lives lost too soon due to suicide.
Over 125 people participated in this year’s annual event,
intended to raise awareness of the alarming suicide rate among veterans and,
form a strong community around those who have served or currently serving.
Although 2.2 miles may not seem like a significant distance, the number was
chosen to identify the 20-22 veteran suicides or, one every 80 minutes which
occur every day, and, ensure everyone who attended would be able to take part
in the event.
Participants received a free 22 No More water bottle or
small nylon sport-pack courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Veteran Affairs
and everyone was encouraged to honor a service member by carrying a photo of
them during the walk. There was also an opportunity for the community to meet
with area veteran resource providers, the National Guard, and ROTC service
The event began promptly at 10:00 a.m. with a flag
presentation by Marian University’s ROTC followed by the 2.2-mile walk around
the Fond du Lac Soccer Complex. Participants also got the marathon treatment
courtesy of MPTC’s Health and Wellbeing Committee who provided water and
bananas along the way and, the walk ended with a free from Yummy Bones Barbeque
sponsored by Moraine Park’s Student Veterans and Civil Engineering Technology
Plans are in the works to conduct the 22 No More
walk again next year, and we are always looking for new ways to raise awareness
and increase participation. If you would like more information or may be
interested in assisting next year, please contact Steve Pepper, Moraine Park’s Student
Veteran Specialist at 920-924-3489 or email@example.com
You might remember Arletta from our previous blog posts, marketing campaigns, or perhaps you’ve seen her out in the Fond du Lac community. If not, you can catch up with her story here.
The 2017 graduate from Moraine Park’s Leadership Development program has big things on her horizon, and we are excited to highlight them!
When she came to the College in 2015, she had dreams of being a motivational speaker. To keep working towards that goal, after graduation she enrolled at Marian University to pursue her Bachelor’s degree in Communications. Today, she has her own business, Authentically Arletta, LLC., and is finally witnessing her hard work come to life. In fact, in 2019 alone, she has been invited as a keynote speaker to multiple local events.
“I’m so much closer to my dreams than I’ve ever been before,” Arletta said. “Moraine Park was a huge part of my foundation, and the place I will always consider my second home.”
Of course, Arletta’s success didn’t happen by chance. She
has been on a long journey of self-discovery, one that she notes has had many
“This has been quite a journey, but I didn’t do it alone,” Alretta said. “I’ve had the support of family, friends, and many people at Moraine Park that have helped me along the way.”
Specifically, she names Moraine Park employees Bonnie
Baerwald, Mary Vogl-Rauscher, Steve Pepper, Rob Heyrman, and Amy Anderson-
among others, as key players to aiding her success.
Today, her dreams are even closer as she celebrates her May 2019 graduation with a Bachelor of Communication degree with a minor in business from Marian University and being named as Marian’s Communication Student of the Year. She was also a member of Lambda Pi Eta, the national communication high honor society, and ended her college career with a 3.95 GPA.
This August, Arletta will be one of the keynote speakers at TedXFond du Lac and is working towards a goal of one day speaking at the Essence Festival in Louisiana.
“I’ve thought about my dreams becoming a reality for a long time,” she said. “My work isn’t done, in fact in a way it’s just beginning, but it’s so exciting that I’ve made some big accomplishments and that they are no longer just a part of my dreams.”
Additionally, Arletta is working diligently on a new initiative, the Peculiar Princess Project, a mentoring program for youth girls of color ages 10 to 18.
“I look forward to taking on more speaking events registering with Wisconsin’s Speakers Bureau and taking my career to the next level,” Arletta said.
We wish Arletta the best of luck as she continues towards accomplishing her goals, and are so fortunate to be a part of her journey.
If at first, you find success, keep looking for new ways to grow! Moraine Park alumnus and current student, Cory Bennett of Beaver Dam, has been doing just that.
After graduating from Beaver Dam High School in 1999, Cory
found employment and began to build his life.
“I’ve always succeeded in school, but didn’t consider
continuing my education right after high school,” Cory said. “I found success
in my employment, but eventually I wanted more for myself.”
In 2010, Cory began his mechanical design technology degree at Moraine Park. It didn’t take him long to adapt to college life and soon he was a member of the student senate and Phi Thea Kappa, a 2-year college high honors program. He was also a part of the National Community College Aerospace Scholarship Program, an elite group of students who were given the opportunity to participate in research, space rover robotic design, and mock missions. In fact, of the 6,000 applicants, only 200 were chosen nationwide.
“This opportunity was a result of my membership with Phi
Theta Kappa,” he said. “The aerospace certificate is just one of the many
opportunities that came as a result of my time at Moraine Park.”
There’s no denying that Cory worked hard at the College, and
that was noticed by not only his instructors but also by a local employer,
Wells Vehicle Electronics in Fond du Lac. Cory had uploaded his resume to
Wisconsin Tech Connect, a statewide online employment tool for students and
graduates of the Wisconsin Technical College System. It didn’t take long for
Wells to find Cory’s resume, and he secured a job two months before graduation.
When he graduated from Moraine Park in 2014, he was ready to work.
“I’m very fortunate to be at Wells,” Cory said. “I started
working in product design and advanced to automation when I came back to
Moraine Park in 2016.”
As a returning student, Cory understood the skills he needed to advance in his career, and that Moraine Park has the tools to help build them. This December he will graduate with his associate degree in electromechanical technology.
“I appreciate that Moraine Park teaches the skills that are needed to succeed in the field,” he said. “The classes are flexible, and they provide useful knowledge that prepares you for life after college.”
It’s clear that Cory sees the value in his education, and he has goals to continue in the future in both the Process Engineering Technology and Quality Assurance programs.
“Moraine Park helps to make the college journey an easy
one,” he said. “I know that I will continue to have their support as I grow my
College isn’t one size fits all, and Tyler Duel of Van
Dyne learned quickly that despite his path, Moraine Park was his fit all along.
As a 2014 graduate from North Fond du Lac, Tyler had
every opportunity available to him. He had earned an impressive score of 33 on
his ACT’s and easily got accepted into the University of Wisconsin- Madison,
where his plan was to pursue a degree in electrical engineering.
“UW- Madison is wonderful, but early into my first
semester I realized it wasn’t for me,” Tyler said. “I didn’t excel in the
university setting, tuition was expensive, and honestly I wasn’t mature enough
for that atmosphere.”
Tyler may not have felt mature enough for the
university setting, but his actions following showed the opposite. He completed
his year at the UW, moved back home, and began to explore his options locally.
“I originally thought a 4-year college was my only
option for success,” Tyler said. “When I found Moraine Park I was hesitant. I
didn’t know if the same career opportunities would be available for me.”
Despite his initial hesitations, he decided to enroll
at Moraine Park in the Mechanical Design program.
“I easily adapted to the College,” he said. “My
classrooms were set up like an industry, so what I was learning every day would
easily transfer into a job setting.”
Tyler excelled at Moraine Park and in his program. He
interned at BCI Burke in Fond du Lac, and prior to graduating in May 2018, he
had three job offers from local industries on the table.
“Moraine Park prepared me all around,” Tyler said.
“Not only did I learn about the industry and my career, but I received help on
my resume, searching for jobs, and preparing for interviews. I felt ready and
able to start my career.”
Today, Tyler is employed at Marchant Schmidt, Inc. in
Fond du Lac as a mechanical designer. He has a steady career, very minimal
school debt, and endless opportunities for growth- all before the age of 25.
His goal is to continue his education so he can further his career.
“I love what I’m doing,” Tyler said. “I’m advancing in
my field and enjoying my work. I’m glad I chose Moraine Park.”
Holly Luehring, of Fond du Lac,
has the motivation to move mountains. She came to Moraine Park in 1995, with a
determination to find success, and turned what could
have been a roadblock into a driving force for her educational, professional,
and community pursuits.
“During high school
I was told I wasn’t college material,” Luehring said. “I couldn’t believe that
anyone would say something like that, but I used that as motivation moving
Determined to prove her
capabilities rather than let someone else limit them, Luehring enrolled at
Moraine Park and graduated two years later with an associate degree in
marketing. She then transferred to Marian University, graduating in 2001 with a
Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with an emphasis in
marketing. In May, she will graduate from Concordia University with a Master of
Business Administration (MBA) degree.
Luehring’s education at Moraine
Park helped launch her career. After graduation, she worked as a teller and
marketing intern at American Bank (now known as National Exchange). Her all-in
attitude and solid work ethic further influenced her rise to her current
position as Director of Marketing and Communications at Michels Corporation.
This role allows her to develop and guide a nine-member team that oversees all
marketing, public relationships, events and culture management for the company.
“I have an incredible team,” she said. “We share a vision,
and together we have worked to make that vision a reality. I am proud of how we
Luehring’s leadership extends
into the community as well, where she volunteers her time on the YMCA Board of
Directors, Executive Committee and Membership Committee; Fond du Lac Charity
Club; Fond du Lac Festival’s Board of Directors; and Fond du Lac Marketing
Professionals, which she helped to establish. In 2016, she was honored as the
Fond du Lac Young Professional of the Year.
She also remains committed to Moraine Park, serving as a speaker at the 2017 Commencement Ceremony, and currently serves on the Foundation Advisory Committee. Luehring’s drive, dedication, and contributions made her an obvious choice for Moraine Park’s 2019 Distinguished Alumni. She will accept her award at the May 17 recognition reception.
“Don’t let someone tell you that you can’t do
something,” Luehring said. “Had I believed in my doubter’s vision for my
future, I’m sure my story would be much different. I’m proud of where I am, and
I hope I can inspire others to set the course for their journey.”
I hope this email finds you well. I have been meaning to reach out
to you sooner but my life is as busy as ever. But, better late than never. I
want to start by saying, “Thank You”. Thank you for giving me a
wonderful learning experience at Moraine Park. I truly did enjoy the lectures,
labs, and even the occasional debates that would eventually get the whole class
off topic. I also appreciated all the effort you all put into having us
students apply our knowledge, skills, and critical thinking through programs
like the Computer Clinic, Tech Tyme, and the IT Club. The latter two
proved instrumental in helping me develop a sense of leadership, organization,
and pride in motivating myself and my peers to go above and beyond to help out
the local community by applying what we learned in class. In mentioning
that, I hope the Club is going stronger than ever and that more and more
students find the real value of the experiential learning that it offers
But all in all, it was a challenging three years that have paid
off for me and my family. Prior to enrolling in school, I was giving up in
attempting to fulfill my dream of college education before even trying and I
was just about ready to succumb myself to working a dead-end job that would
lead me nowhere but to complacency. Thankfully, I had a wonderful group of
family and friends that encouraged me to finally believe that I could achieve
my dream as I did. That moment at graduation was a milestone achievement in my
life that my family and I will never forget.
It didn’t just end there. Last May, there was an opening in
the IT department at Masters Gallery Foods. I felt excited, nervous, and
stressed about applying for the position and not knowing what kind of candidate
they were after. However, I was also confident that all the hard work and
sacrifices I put in those three years at MPTC would make me a worthy candidate
whether I got the job or not. Needless to say, I aced the interview. I was
asked questions about networking, such as defining DHCP and DNS, as well as to
what troubleshooting approach would I take when dealing with malfunctioning
hardware and software. Also, they were very impressed with the volunteer work I
did as well as the internship at JF Ahern. I left the interview not know what
would happen next. Two days later as I was driving home from class, I get a
call from HR saying that the IT Director and Network Manager had selected me as
their primary candidate and that if I chose to accept, I would be joining
their Networking Team as a Technical Support Specialist. I couldn’t
contain my excitement and relief, I had to pull over to the side of the
road as my hands started to tremble and I couldn’t drive straight
Almost a year later and I find myself working with coworkers who
are just as passionate about working in IT as I am. I feel good going to work
every day and feeling proud of what I did to earn it. I look back at all that
lead me to this job and I don’t regret one thing. I just wanted to share this
story with you so that you realize how impactful your work is in shaping
students and their lives. Keep up the good work and I hope to see you soon.
P.S. I am currently in the process of enrolling at Lakeland
University to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in their Management of Information
Jose R. Bustos
Moraine Park Class of 2018- Information Technology
Moraine Park Technical College and Marian University student
veteran organizations will hold their third
annual 22 No More ruck march/walk for veterans on Saturday, April 20.
This event is intended to raise awareness of the 20-22
suicides committed by veterans every day and form a strong community around those
who have served or currently serving. The
event begins at 9:00 a.m. with registration in the B parking lot of MPTC’s Fond
du Lac campus, located off
Campus Drive across from the VUE housing,
followed by a 2.2 mile walk around the Fond du Lac Soccer Complex at 10 a.m. The
walk ends with an opportunity to
meet with area veteran resource providers,
National Guard, and ROTC service members and enjoy a free lunch provided by the
student veteran groups of both college.
A backpack is not required to participate, but everyone who
attends is encouraged to honor a service member by carrying a photo of them
during the walk. The first 100 individuals who register and take part in the
event will receive a free water bottle or small nylon backpack while supplies
last and “22 No More” t-shirts from last year’s event will be available for a
The event is free, but
donations are encouraged, with proceeds going to support the Student Veteran
Organizations of both colleges and Salute the Troops. To pre-register, please click here
and for more information on the 22 No More ruck march/walk please contact Steve
Pepper, Student Veteran Specialist for Moraine Park Technical College at
920-924-3489 or Maranda Abitz, Coordinator of Veteran Services at Marian
University, at 920-923-8641.