UW-Stout: An award-winning university

Our game designers bring home a national championship

On April 3, the college basketball world will crown a new men’s Division I national champion. I’m proud to say that UW-Stout has its own national champion: A group of students won the Best Visual Quality award at the Intel University Games earlier this March for a video game they designed. Everend is about a young owl caught in a massive cave after an ancient volcanic eruption; the game was designed by 12 students in a class taught by associate professor Dave Beck, the game’s executive producer. Games from 11 universities and colleges from around the U.S. were chosen by Intel to compete at the showcase. “Although they were new to the event this year, UW-Stout brought an amazingly artistic team, and they deservedly grabbed the top prize in the Best Visual Quality category,” said Randi Rost, manager of Intel’s game developer experience team. I want to congratulate the students and Professor Beck for showing the rest of the world that great things can happen at campuses like UW-Stout and for bringing home a national championship. More details are available here.

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We appreciate the award from Main Street of Menomonie

Speaking of awards, I wanted to make sure everyone knows about the exceptional award we received recently from the Main Street of Menomonie: the Spirit of Excellence award for our partnership with downtown Menomonie. This award is for an entity that goes above and beyond the support that is typical in helping to revitalize the downtown. I want to thank Main Street of Menomonie for the award and thank my senior special assistant, Kristi Krimpelbein, for her service on the Main Street board of directors. A Dunn County News story about the awards is available here.

High schoolers show off engineering skills at the Rube Goldberg event

Continuing with the award theme, I was privileged to help judge and hand out the awards last week for the annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest regional held in the Great Hall of the Memorial Student Center. As an engineer, I love watching these high school students use their already impressive engineering skills to build these ridiculous machines; the goal this year was to use as many steps as possible to apply an adhesive bandage. The winner was from Elk Mound High School and their machine used a bicycle wheel, balls, chutes and ramps, as well as a marble that bounced off two bongo drums, in 75 steps. The event was hosted by the UW-Stout Technology Education Engineering Collegiate Association and is a perfect fit for a polytechnic university. Details about the competition are available here.

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Celebrating a rainbow of diversity at Qubie Gayla

Awards also were handed out at the 4th annual Qubie Gayla that I attended Thursday night in the Great Hall. The night honors and celebrates progress and achievements in advocacy for LGBTQIA+ equity. I want to thank Coltan Schoenike for doing such as great job as the master of ceremonies. Coltan also did a fantastic job promoting the event earlier in the week on the WEAU-TV Hello Wisconsin morning show. The evening started with a fantastic dinner and ended with the Qubie Ball. Kudos to everyone at the QUBE who worked so hard on this event.

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