Regents meeting allows UW-Stout to shine; Career Conference, applied math program anniversary  

Final preparations are being made for an exciting two days at UW-Stout. The campus hosts the UW System Board of Regents meeting Thursday and Friday in the Memorial Student Center. I sent an email to campus previously with an invitation to attend all or part of the meeting, but I wanted to remind everyone how important it is for UW-Stout to have the Regents, UW System staff and guests here for two days. It gives us a special opportunity to showcase everything that makes UW-Stout special.

I also want to take a minute to thank everyone who has worked so hard on this effort. It really does take dozens of people working very long hours to make this event a success. I can’t name everyone, but I would like to single out my senior special assistant, Kristi Krimpelbein, for pulling everyone together and making sure the details are taken care of.  Kristi has handled the planning and execution of these details with professionalism and grace, and I want to publicly thank her for her hard work.

My presentation to the Regents is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the Great Hall; other administrators will give presentations to committees Thursday morning. The details on the meeting, including a link to the agenda, can be found here.

Career Conference busting at the seams

Anyone attending the Career Conference last Tuesday and Wednesday in the Multipurpose Room of the Johnson Fieldhouse saw for themselves what a success this event was, with a record number of employers vying for the opportunity to talk to our students and recent graduates about the co-op, internship and full-time job opportunities.

The conference attracted more than 400 employers, and with another one in the spring it’s one of the main reasons we have maintained an employment rate for recent graduates that exceeds 97 percent every year.

I love attending the conference and talking to many alumni who come back to recruit our students for positions in their companies. They all speak fondly of their years at UW-Stout and how much of a role their education played in their workplace success.

For the record, the conference attracted 413 employers that filled 450 booth spaces. More than 2,000 students attended, as well as 100 faculty and staff. Seventy of the employers were new to the event.

I’ve heard from several employers since the conference, expressing their gratitude for an absolutely “top shelf” experience. I would like to thank Bryan Barts, Career Services director, and his staff and student workers who made it a success.

Career Conference

Applied math and computer science program celebrates 50 years

I have always been interested in mathematics and graduated from UW-Stout with a mathematics teaching minor. I felt right at home Saturday as I helped celebrate the 50th anniversary of the undergraduate program in applied mathematics and computer science in the Memorial Student Center.

I was particularly happy to help recognize the efforts of Eino Maki, of Menomonie, who served for 25 years as the applied math program director. I had Eino as an (excellent) instructor and then worked with him as a faculty member and college dean; I have the utmost respect for his efforts.

I would like to thank Terry Mason and other UW-Stout faculty and staff who successfully organized this great event. I also want to thank a couple of alumni who helped plan the gala: Colleen Hartmon Bollom, a 1988 graduate who is a member of the Stout University Foundation board; and Eric Austvold, a 1989 graduate who was master of ceremonies.

Bridge to Hope’s Restaurant Tour a great event

On Sunday I was pleased to help facilitate the Bridge to Hope’s Restaurant Tour. The fundraiser allowed participants to tour five Menomonie establishments and sample food. Skoog’s Parkside, Silver Dollar, Lucette Woodfire Eatery, Duke and Dagger and Dean & Sue’s provided delicious food for tourists in support of this successful event.

Members of UW-Stout’s women’s basketball team as well as UW-Stout’s Outreach and Prevention Counseling Center helped facilitate activities at the restaurants.

Proceeds will help the Bridge to Hope’s efforts to offer assistance, shelter and resources to victims of domestic abuse.

If you’d like to donate to the “Bridge,” contact Naomi at 715-235-9074.

[Pictured with me at the Bridge to Hope fundraiser at The Silver Dollar are Kryshak Hazelton and Brianna Banks from our women’s basketball team.  Alexa DeMoe from our Outreach and Prevention Counseling Center was also on hand to assist with the fundraiser.]


Tripling down on providing hurricane relief

Many people are struggling in the wake of the devastating hurricanes, Harvey, Irma and now Maria. Previously, I appealed to you to support relief efforts if you are willing and able. My wife, Deb, and I are tripling down on our efforts to help through donations to ongoing relief activities, and I encourage you to consider helping as well.

As the images of destruction continue to come in from Puerto Rico and the surrounding islands, our hearts go out to those who have lost love ones and are attempting to put their lives back together.

Fortune magazine has published a comprehensive look at places to donate for Hurricane Maria relief. That review is available here. Thank you for considering my request.