Moraine Park staff and faculty gathered for an end of the year celebration and cornhole tournament! Needless to say, a fun time was had by all!
The hard work and academic achievement of Moraine Park Technical College students was recognized during the College’s annual Student Awards Banquet held at The Golf Club at Camelot in Lomira on May 10.
Moraine Park presented the 2019 Student of the Year Award to Ashley Martin of Fond du Lac. The Student of the Year Award is designed to recognize a student who excelled in and outside of the classroom and has taken full advantage of the opportunities that Moraine Park has made available for them.
The 2019-20 District Student Ambassador Award was presented to Barbara Turner of Beaver Dam. The Moraine Park District Student Ambassador Award identifies outstanding students in the technical college system, with nominations solicited from faculty and staff in the spring semester of each year.
Technical Achievement Awards were presented to 33 students. To receive this award, recipients must be enrolled in a technical diploma program and have maintained a 3.25 GPA. They are judged on classroom participation and other contributions and characteristics that exemplify an outstanding student. The 2019 recipients were August Baumgartner of West Bend, Alex Canfield of Jackson, Calin Eigner of Iron Ridge, Zach Fahrenkrug of Campbellsport, Zach Franck of Prairie du Sac, Ben Henriksen of Beaver Dam, Aaron Hess of Richfield, Genevieve Hicks of Beaver Dam, Keisha Krezman of Fond du Lac, Mitch Lochen of West Bend, Nicholas Martinez of Fond du Lac, Nic Nielsen of West Bend, Nicole Nowicki of Beaver Dam, Hunter Scannell of West Bend, Isaac Schrage of West Bend, Zachary Wilson of Adell, Pete Cruckson of Fond du Lac, Brady Detert of Beaver Dam, Troy Essmann of Oconomowoc, Thomas Freiberg of Campbellsport, Nick Giudice of Waupun, Alexander Hoepfner of Fond du Lac, Zac Hoogeveen of Randolph, Joe Jasinski of Adell, Michael Moon of Beaver Dam, Derek Mueller of Port Washington, Melanie Pitr of Slinger, Mitchell Regan of Hartford, Andrew Robinson of Cedarburg, Michael Schaefer of Juneau, Alex Sippel of Saint Cloud, Daniel Sowin of Sheboygan Falls, and Anastasia Szczesny of Iron Ridge.
The Campus Impact Award recognizes students who have served the College by participating in a college focus group, a college-related function, or a club/student government activity or project. Other considerations include GPA, reliability and follow-through. In total, 18 awards were presented, recipients were Trina Anderson of Fox Lake, Alizabeth Barnes of Waupun, Noah Bille of Brandon, Isabel Clark of Chilton, Kevin Fritsch of Fond du Lac, Christine Gil of Randolph, Thomas Holman of Hartford, Joe Jasinski of Adell, Sheri Laidler of Campbellsport, Bekah McCardell of West Bend, Ashton Mislivecek of Hillsboro, Abby Muenchow of Horicon, Peggy Rider of West Bend, Isaac Schrage of West Bend, Jerod Splan of Iron Ridge, Anastasia Szczesny of Iron Ridge, Queenie Weesen of Mequon, and Janine Williams of Fond du Lac.
The Meritorious Service Award is granted to students who have served the College through their leadership and participation in co-curricular activities such as student clubs, student government or other volunteer opportunities. This year’s 45 recipients include Alyssa Ahlstrom of Van Dyne, Austin Barber of Fond du Lac, Danielle Barron of Berlin, Maurice Beck of Campbellsport, Jacob Berger of North Fond du Lac, Taylor Branski of West Bend, Kerwana Clayborn of Fond du Lac, Deborah Davis of Oshkosh, Derek DeChant of Randolph, Brady Detert of Beaver Dam, Calin Eigner of Iron Ridge, Tamara Freeman of Beaver Dam, Nick Giudice of Waupun, Eileen Grammas of Beaver Dam, Connor Gray of Cottage Grove, Mollea Greylord of Fond du Lac, Derek Jackson of Rubicon, Mitch Jacobs of Slinger, Shayenne A. Jaffke of Hartford, Ty Kaage of Oshkosh, Corina Kanwischer of Hartford, Brittany Kjell of Rubicon, Kelsey Kliefoth of Menasha, Jay Kroncke of West Bend, Kaleb Krueger of Mayville, Jessica Leibham of West Bend, Heidi Lucas of West Bend, Jesse Mack of Beaver Dam, Christian McCreary of West Bend, Jodie Meyer of Oshkosh, Rebecca Moreno of West Bend, Kellie Murray of West Bend, Nicole Peterson of Eldorado, Zack Petit of Watertown, Melanie Pitrof of Slinger, Zack Rabideau of Jackson, Gretchen Rauls of Fond du Lac, Susan Rodencal of Fond du Lac, Patrick Rupprecht of Randolph, Lauryn Slade of Hartford, Amy Spiekerman of West Bend, Alex Tischedndorf of Kewaskum, Nicole Toombs of Ripon, Alyssa Wescott of Theresa, and Christina Whitehouse of Waupun.
The Leadership & Service Award is reserved for members of Moraine Park’s Student Government. A student’s comprehensive level of commitment to the College and their representation of the student body through their attendance and engagement in Student Government and its related opportunities are taken into consideration during award selection. The 12 award recipients include Alden Broome of Beaver Dam, Dominic DeLaura of Slinger, Zach Fahrenkrug of Campbellsport, Thomas Freiberg of Campbellsport, Brad Hetzel of Lowell, Ashley Martin of North Fond du Lac, Michael Moon of Beaver Dam, Leah Pietrangelo of West Bend, Joshua Strnad of Rio, Jonathan Szczesny of Iron Ridge, Sam Turner of Baraboo, and Elizabeth Wustrack of Fond du Lac.
Student government leadership recognition included Jonathan Szczesny of Iron Ridge, Beaver Dam Student Senate president; Elizabeth Wustrack of Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Student Senate president; Leah Pietrangelo of West Bend, West Bend Student Senate president; Kevin Fritsch of Fond du Lac, District Student Government president; Queenie Weesen of Mequon, Wisconsin Student Government lt. governor; Joshua Strnad of Rio, Wisconsin Student Government governor.
For more information about Moraine Park, visit morainepark.edu.
Moraine Park Technical College nursing program celebrated the pinning of 51 students at their spring ceremony on May 17. This symbolic event represents the beginning of a nursing career. As well, it serves as an end to the Moraine Park journey and a celebration of the opportunities that lay ahead.
Additionally, the College is also celebrating a historic year by graduating 12 males from the program for the first time ever.
“We are seeing more non-traditional students in fields that have historically been either male or female dominated,” Bonnie Baerwald, president of Moraine Park Technical College said. “The increase of males in the nursing field shows that success in the industry is a result of educated skills, not gender, and brings the opportunity for a diverse work atmosphere within our healthcare systems.”
The students who received their nursing pins at the spring 2019 ceremony are Alyssa Ahlstrom of Westfield; Rosie Alsum of Brandon; Lindsay Birschbach of Fond du Lac; Erica Breitenstein of West Bend; Megan Calbaum of Princeton; Nicole Claerbout of West Bend; Danielle Cleland of Fond du Lac; Jamie Droppers of West Bend; Amanda Dylak of Beaver Dam; April Eck of Potosi; Briar Eck of Potosi; Nikki Eiring of Fond du Lac; Melissa Endries of Pipe; Katherine Erickson of Cedarburg; Carissa Ewald of Ripon; Ben Falter of West Bend; Cassie Florine of Hartford; Hunter Godfroy of Oakfield; Holly Hoagland of West Bend; Emma Holland of Waupun; Kelly Jacobs of Fond du Lac; Andrew Keel of Beaver Dam; Aubrey Kerr of West Bend; Maggie Kollmann of Fond du Lac; Caroline Krebs of West Bend; Jamie Nicholas of Waupun; Jared Obendorfer of West Bend; Jennifer Plummer of Sun Prairie; Jonathan Ratzel of Fredonia; Parker Resop of Horicon; Katie Retzlaff of North Lake; Jennifer Roeseler of Fond du Lac; Katrina Salva of Watertown; Frederick Schellgell of Oshkosh; Amanda Schmidt of Beaver Dam; Julie Schumacher of Fond du Lac; Catherine Seibel of Fond du Lac; Kaitlyn Shallow of Watertown; Katelyn Sharp of Ripon; Natasha Sokoloff of New Holstein; Riley Stegemeyer of Slinger; Jonathan Szczesny of Horicon; Courtney Tennies of Kewaskum; Alexi Turnage of Fond du Lac; Chelsea Turner of Fond du Lac; Mikayla Van Ooyen of Kewaskum; Christian Walding of Milwaukee; Aubrey Weidemann of Columbus; Kaitlyn Woo of West Bend; Shelby Wulff of Waupun; Tanya Zangl of Fond du Lac.
The students accepted their nursing diplomas at the College’s annual commencement ceremony on May 18. They will continue studying through the early part of the summer in preparation for their National Council Licensure Examination to earn their Registered Nursing License. In 2018, Moraine Park’s nursing pass rates were an impressive 99 percent, and currently, the program ranks in the top 10 for nursing programs in Wisconsin.
For more information on Moraine Park’s nursing program, visit morainepark.edu/nursing.
May 18 was a momentous day for the nearly 350 graduates who participated in Moraine Park Technical College’s commencement ceremony, held at the Fond du Lac High School Field House. In all, the College had nearly 800 graduate candidates eligible to receive their associate of applied science degrees and technical diplomas.
Rick Parks, CEO of Society Insurance served as the keynote speaker. He encouraged the new graduates to do something worthwhile, work with and for people that had earned their respect, be passionate about what they do, find ways to give back, and always be humble.
“If you live your life by working with people you respect, doing something worthwhile, and giving back, I can all but guarantee you will be successful,” Parks said. “That may be defined by financial gain and notoriety or perhaps it may simply be the respect offered to those that selflessly do good work. Regardless, you will be successful. When you reach this point, be humble.”
Aurelio Rosas, a three time Moraine Park graduate and current student in the Medical Office Specialist program was the featured student speaker at the event. Through telling his own story, he reminded everyone that it’s never too late to go after your dream career and that education is ageless.
“Your Moraine Park education is one of the best gifts you could have ever given to yourself,” Rosas said. “No matter where you go, or what you do, the knowledge that you have obtained can never be taken from you. After you leave here today, you will officially be a college graduate with a technical diploma or associates degree. You are now more attractive to prospective employers, and in many cases, you will have multiple options for your career path. Your degree is step one on a long career path.”
Dr. James Eden, vice president of Academic Affairs, presided over the presentation of candidates with the conferring of degrees and diplomas done by Moraine Park President Bonnie Baerwald. Brenda Raad, dean of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Fred Rice, dean of Applied Technology and Trades, announced the graduate candidates. From the Moraine Park District Board, Chairperson Mike Staral, Secretary Lowell Prill Employee Member Cindy Fields, Additional Member Cindy Laubenstein, and Elected Official Member Mike Schwab recognized the graduates.
Staral, who welcomed the Class of 2019 and their guests to the ceremony, congratulated the graduates and their families on their accomplishments and encouraged them to keep moving forward.
“This ceremony is symbolic in many ways,” Staral said. “It does mark the fulfillment of your commitment to earn a credential. It proves that the hard work, perseverance, and dedication has paid off. It does mean a lot to those who have supported you through this journey. They’re proud of you, and today is a celebration for them as well. This ceremony does not end your education. Moving forward in your career means constant learning and growing. Work hard, be open, and embrace this! You’ll be surprised where it will take you!”
Staral, also a 1978 Moraine Park alumnus, served as the alumni commencement speaker.
President Baerwald extended her congratulations to the graduates and extended her personal gratitude to the commencement speakers, Moraine Park District Board, Moraine Park faculty and the President’s Cabinet.
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, the College 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 are also offered.
To learn more about Moraine Park, visit morainepark.edu.
To view more photos from the 2018 Commencement Ceremony, go to facebook.com/moraineparktech.
Jerod Splan of Iron Ridge is a student unlike any other. He was born completely deaf, but it is clear that he has the determination to face any challenge on this path. As a student in the automotive program, Jerod has spent the past 2-years perfecting his life-long passion.
“I’ve been around cars all my life,” Jerod said. “My Dad and Grandfather both enjoy working on cars as a hobby. I knew from a young age that this was my life calling.”
Jerod is a 2008 graduate from Lomira High School, and after graduation, he enrolled at Moraine Park in the CNC/Tool & Die program at Moraine Park. He enjoyed the program, and learned a lot, but couldn’t deny that his mind always drifted to back to automotive. So, Jerod enrolled at Moraine Park again in 2016. He came into the program already familiar with cars and the automotive industry but was looking to build upon those skills.
“The program gives a good introduction to the industry,” he said. “I’ve learned the right way to do things and how to perform my job safely. My instructors Jim, Frank, Craig, and Tim are great. I’ve learned a lot.”
In fact, for the automotive instructors, Jerod was their first deaf student, offering learning opportunities all around, such as introducing deaf culture, visual aids, and supplying a videophone to call customers.
“Moraine Park has worked hard to accommodate my learning,” Jerod said. “I’ve had my interpreter, Tammy, by my side daily, and the learning is very visual. English is not my first language, American Sign Language (ASL) is, but I’ve found the transition to learning here to be very easy.”
There’s no denying that Moraine Park is working to fill employment gaps in the industry, but there is also an overall goal to make sure learning is possible for all who aspire to earn it. Of course, Jerod didn’t stop with just utilizing the classroom, he also involved himself in student life.
“Jerod has brought such a fun dynamic to the student life department,” Sam Saeger, student involvement specialist said. “He has made the most of his college experience by joining student senate, attending conferences, and being a part of the Automotive Club. ”
Jerod can be found around Fond du Lac’s campus, participating in activities or simply enjoying the company of his friends at the College.
“I’ve enjoyed meeting new people,” he said. “I’ve made some great friendships, and have been given opportunities to grow.”
Jerod will be graduating on May 18 with his automotive technician associate degree.
“I’m proud that I have faced the challenges,” Jerod said. “I could have been afraid or have hidden, but instead I embraced it. I have been given many opportunities and am happy with my experience at Moraine Park.”
Congrats to Moraine Park’s nursing program on a HUGE accomplishment.
The College’s 2018 National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) Nursing pass scores raised from 96% to 99%!
What this means?
That 99% of Moraine Park Nursing students pass their NCLEX exam!
For comparison, the national pass rate average is 85%.
Congrats to the students and faculty for working hard to provide top-notch nurses ready to provide quality care in the field!
Live, learn, and embrace fresh starts. That was the exact mindset that Josh Strnad, of Rio, had when he came to Moraine Park. As a first-generation college student, with a lifetime of real-world experiences and circumstances under his belt, he knew that the opportunity of obtaining a degree was his ultimate goal.
“I’ve lived a rough life,” Josh said. “I’ve made choices that haven’t always had a positive result, but when I came to Moraine Park, I immediately felt welcomed, regardless of my past.”
Josh found the College through the Department of Vocational Rehab, as he was transitioning from his life in prison back to civilian life. He was able to meet with the Career Center staff at Moraine Park and take a career assessment. Through that, he discovered that the civil engineering path would be a good fit for him.
When he began classes that fall, it didn’t take long for him to find a second home at the Fond du Lac campus. He joined the Student Senate and the District Student Government, where he served as Lt. Governor and then Governor. It was through these groups that he developed a strong support system.
“We are like a family,” Josh said. “Moraine Park and my peers have helped to give me a new life direction.”
Josh will graduate this May with his associate degree in Civil Engineering.
“I’m proud of myself,” he said. “Everything I’ve done up until this point, I’ve never finished. I now can eliminate that negativity and say that I’m a college graduate!”
Josh’s college journey wasn’t always easy. He utilized many resources, from the student success center to student life, to help make graduation possible.
“I’ve learned so much more than I ever thought,” Josh said. “Overall, I’ve learned how to be a team player, a good communicator, and how to adapt in different work atmospheres.”
Anyone who knows Josh understands that his life transformation didn’t happen by chance. He was given opportunities and took advantage of them all, from college courses in prison to opportunities to give back today.
“I believe that everyone deserves a second chance,” he said. “According to most statistics, I shouldn’t be where I am today. Now, I’ve learned not only how to be successful, but that I deserve to be.”
At the College, Josh is known to many as a father figure, giving endless advice, guidance, and a shoulder to lean on if necessary.
“Surround yourself with good people,” Josh said. “Ask for help, never give up, and focus on what motivates you. One of my main motivations is my daughter, Emma. I hope one day that she will see what I’ve done and be motivated to do well her life, too.”
Josh has aspirations to continue his education, with an overall goal to work as a plumbing design engineer.
“You never know the best you, until you’ve seen the worst you,” Josh said. “I’m proud to say, that today I’m the best version of me.”
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 forward.”
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 have grown.”
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.”
For more information on Moraine Park’s Alumni Association, visit morainepark.edu/alumni.
Change is scary, and those who are working to pursue their educational goals know this all too well. Ashley Martin of Fond du Lac recognized that fear when she found herself at the front steps of Moraine Park’s Fond du Lac campus in 2017.
As a mother of four, she had been working two jobs to make ends meet, but she had aspirations of finding her dream career.
“I wanted to better my life,” Martin said. “When I walked through the front doors of the College I was so scared. I didn’t know if I could go back to school after all this time.”
Like many returning students, she was looking for a career that would work well for her life and fulfill her goals. Moraine Park’s Student Success Center helped her with a career assessment. Through that, she discovered the Substance Abuse Counseling program. She enrolled immediately and began her college career in fall 2017.
“I instantly felt welcomed,” Martin said. “I have found great friends and supporters who are more like family, and they always give me a reason to keep coming back.”
One of those connections was with Sam Saeger, a student life specialist at Moraine Park.
“Ashley is one of a kind,” Sam said. “She is driven and focused. Not only is she an exceptional student in and out of the classroom, but her commitment and enthusiasm towards the College are unmatched.”
Since enrolling at Moraine Park, Martin has served on the Student Senate as secretary and vice president, and the Diversity Club as the vice president. She founded the Substance Abuse Counseling Club, is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, and has served the College on cross-functional collaboration teams as a student representative. She is also a part of a work-study with Sam and can be found all around the Fond du Lac campus and in the community, helping with student life events and advocating for the College.
“It’s incredible to know that as students, our voices are valued and heard,” Martin said. “Moraine Park is my college, and it will always be my college. I find such value in the fact that my opinion matters.”
Martin has also maintained a 4.0 and been on the Dean’s List her entire college career. It is because of her drive, determination, and all-around positive spirit that Martin has been named as Moraine Park’s 2019 Student of the Year.
“I’m still in shock,” she said. “I never thought this was possible for me. I have worked hard, and I am proud of myself.”
Criteria for Student of the Year nominations include demonstrating excellence in and out of the classroom while modeling Moraine Park’s core abilities to communicate clearly, act responsibly, work productively, think critically and creatively, adapt to change, demonstrate integrity, and work cooperatively. There were ten candidates this year, all of whom excel both academically and in their service learning. There are very few student honors that exceed this award at Moraine Park, and to even be nominated is a tremendous accomplishment. Martin will receive her award at the Student Awards Banquet on May 10.
“We all celebrate with Ashley on her success at Moraine Park,” Sam said. “However, it is her heart and generosity that stand out the most. She is very deserving of the Student of the Year award, and I couldn’t be more proud of her.”
Martin will graduate on May 18, and it will be her first time walking a commencement stage.
“Moraine Park has given me unlimited opportunities,” Martin said. “I’m proud of my school, and I look forward to serving as an alumnus.”
She has goals to continue her education, with an overall goal to be a mental health counselor.
The finalist include Dominic DeLaura of Slinger, Troy Essmann of Oconomowoc, Justin Kraus of Fond du Lac, Alex McCleary of Fond du Lac, Christian McCreary of West Bend, Michael Moon of Beaver Dam, Jonathan Szczesny of Iron Ridge, Sam Turner Baraboo, Elizabeth Wustrack Fond du Lac.
For more information on Moraine Park, visit morainepark.edu.
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