Lakeland senior wins teaching scholarship
Aimee Thrune, a Lakeland College senior from Prairie du Sac, Wis., is one of 46 winners nationally of a $5,000 Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) STEM Teachers for America’s Future Scholarship. Thrune is majoring in math, Spanish and education at Lakeland.
The AFCEA Educational Foundation offers scholarships of $5,000 to students actively pursuing a degree for the purpose of teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) subjects at a U.S. middle or secondary school.
“Aimee is an excellent student and a very bright mathematician,” said Heather Molle, Lakeland College assistant professor of mathematics. “She is quick to answer questions I pose to the class, and can also explain her answer to other students. I believe she will be an amazing math teacher. She has a passion for both mathematics and learning.”
Thrune is a standout performer in the classroom, and an active leader and participant in a number of campus activities.
As a junior, Thrune was named the college’s Mathematics Student of the Year and received Who's Who of American Colleges honors. This past June, she studied abroad in Columbia, and taught basketball to a group of Columbian students in their gym class. She also tutors area high school students.
She is a three-year letterwinner on the Lakeland women’s basketball team, and this year is serving as a team captain. She is also on the golf team. She is president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, president of Math Club, treasurer of the Spanish Club and a member of the Lakeland College-Community Activities Board and Student Association.
She works as a resident assistant for Morland House and as a campus ambassador for the college’s admissions department, giving tours to prospective students and parents.
In addition to this scholarship, Thrune also receives the Kuehn Achievement Scholarship.
Classroom on the dance floor
For three consecutive class periods on Wednesday morning, Lakeland College Spanish instructor Elizabeth Shumway's students convened on a makeshift dance floor – the school's basketball court.
Then they got their dance on. Paying homage to National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, Shumway invited Milwaukee-based professional dancer and instructor Dennis Lopez to teach students in her beginning, intermediate and advanced Spanish classes. Lopez' hour-long sessions included popular dances such as Cha-Cha-Cha, Salsa and Bachata.
"Latin dance is an integral part of Hispanic culture," said Shumway. "Of course grammar and vocabulary are important, but this is a different form of communication and I wanted our students to experience this important piece of culture."
Lopez, who will perform with his band, Spanglish, during "Festive Fridays" on Friday night at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, enthusiastically taught the dozens of Lakeland College Spanish students the basic footwork and movement of Latin dance. A native of Puerto Rico, Lopez smiled often as he explained how correct steps have the rhythm of a heartbeat. He said celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month through dance is a great way for people to understand the culture.
"This type of dancing literally changes people's lives," Lopez said. "It's not only a hobby; it's a passion. It's a way to exercise and a great social outlet. It's something different to do than going to a nightclub and getting drunk. This brings people together. I have stood up in weddings for people who met through this type of dance."
Lakeland junior Catherine Benzie, from Iron Mountain, Mich., said she really enjoyed the lessons. So much so, in fact, that she plans to ask some friends if they'd like to learn more of this type of dancing together. "It was very different, and I've never really experienced anything like it before," Benzie said. "It was a lot of fun and I'd encourage anyone to try it."
See more photos on our Facebook page.
Black Violin and The Moxie Strings coming back to Lakeland
Strings will be the thing as Lakeland College opens its 2013-14 Krueger Fine Arts Series on Friday, Sept. 27. Black Violin – the wildly popular group that had students buzzing in 2010 – returns to the Bradley Theatre stage, along with special guest The Moxie Strings.
The show begins at 7:30 p.m. with The Moxie Strings. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for non-Lakeland students, and can be purchased in advance by contacting Deb Fale at 920-565-1536 or at the door.
Black Violin played to a packed Bradley Theatre in the fall of 2010. The duo of Wilner "Wil B" Baptiste and Kevin "Kev Marcus" Sylvester combines the eloquence and proficiency of classical orchestra strings, and forges it with the vibes and smooth flows of hip-hop. Black Violin creates a sound that is refreshing and uplifting to hip-hop lovers and classical string enthusiasts. Their ability to blend the two genres flawlessly promises an evening that everyone is guaranteed to feel.
A review in the New York Times said, "Black Violin works hard, but makes it all look like play…Sometimes they play with the intense seriousness of orchestral soloists; at others they fiddle as if at a hoedown; at still others they strum the violin and viola like guitars."
Black Violin has worked alongside many talented artists and groups, including Linkin Park, Akon and Wu-Tang Clan. The smooth duo has also collaborated with the likes of P. Diddy, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Tom Petty, Aerosmith and many more.
The Moxie Strings is a fun, energetic crew that delivers a large dose of feel good. Between their upbeat string style and their natural on-stage charisma, the group gives a new spin to bluegrass, Celtic, Canadian, rock, jazz and old time through a young perspective that is rooted in tradition. The Moxie Strings brings a unique bravura fashioned by the electrifying combination of fiddle player Diana Ladio and electric cellist Alison Lynn. The duo is joined on stage by world percussionist Fritz McGirr, who adds a dynamic sound with his creative rhythmic energy.
Away from the stage, the group travels the country jumping from classroom to classroom to spend time introducing new genres of music to beginning high school and middle school string students. The group will be giving a free workshop to Lakeland music students and area school music students earlier in the day. The Moxie Strings was also honored as the featured artists/clinicians for MSBOA's first annual Alternative Styles Day.
Women’s tennis team raises money for Safe Harbor
KOHLER – Victoria Powelson hails from Ishpeming, Mich., but judging by her proud smile late Tuesday afternoon, the top women's tennis player at Lakeland College feels quite connected to Sheboygan County.
"This is amazing," said Powelson, a sophomore. "To help the community while I'm playing the game I love is a really special feeling."
Lakeland shut out Wisconsin Lutheran 9-0 on a bright, crisp afternoon to finish 11-2 and cap its best season ever. But as the match wound down, much of the discussion was about the Muskies' fund-raising effort for Safe Harbor of Sheboygan County.
The players' final donation will exceed $2,000, and next week, Lakeland's entire team will make the short drive from Lakeland's campus to Sheboygan to present Safe Harbor with a check.
"Community service is extremely important," said Lakeland senior tennis player Erica Hoffmann, a Sheboygan Falls native. "Young people have so much potential to help their communities, because they have so much idealism and enthusiasm. It's crucial to tap into that energy."
For the past week, that's exactly what Lakeland's tennis players did, collecting pledges for Safe Harbor – a refuge for victims of sexual and domestic abuse. Supporters of the players had the option of making a flat donation or pledging a certain amount of money for each game won. Earlier Tuesday, a couple of players set up a table at Lakeland's dining facility so fellow students could make pledges.
"We grabbed every kid we could," said Powelson. "I think we raised about $400 just at lunch. And even the students who couldn't make a pledge were very supportive of what we were doing."
Added Hoffmann: "The really cool thing I've noticed is how willing people are to give to a worthy cause. This brought our whole school together. The faculty really got involved, and we had a large number of students out here today cheering us on."
Even before the afternoon's first serve, the pledged total, based on flat pledges, was $817. Lakeland's dominant performance raised that figure significantly and steadily into early evening.
"I couldn't be more proud of this team," said Lakeland College head coach Casey Carr, a former Sheboygan North and Lakeland standout tennis player. "This wonderful group of student-athletes is really making a difference in our community.
"Today was a perfect example of what we are supposed to teach young adults. It wasn't just the tennis team that raised the money. It was the students, the faculty, the professors and the athletic department. This is what Lakeland College and being a liberal arts college is all about." Lakeland College Interim President Dan Eck, who attended the match, said he was extremely impressed by the players' philanthropic spirit, but not surprised. "This is the type of student Lakeland attracts," he said. "They think about more than just themselves." Laura Roenitz, executive director at Safe Harbor of Sheboygan County, said community donations make up more than 50 percent of the nonprofit organization's budget. She added that this contribution will be used to support direct client services such as providing food and shelter, and that because food and shelter supplies are running low, "This could not have come at a better time."
Last year, Roenitz said, Safe Harbor of Sheboygan County served 664 individuals and 464 households and supplied 4,000 nights of shelter for direct and indirect victims of sexual assault or domestic abuse.
"We are thrilled with the results, and this really demonstrates these young women's tremendous commitment to our community," said Roenitz of the Lakeland tennis team's effort. "It's not only a great example of their community stewardship, but also speaks highly of the education they're receiving. It is clear to me that connecting students to the community is very important at Lakeland College."
On the court, these are the best of times for Lakeland's women's tennis team. Just 1-36 from 2006-2011 and 6-7 last season, the Muskies are now surging. They were predicted to finish eighth in their conference this fall, but locked up second place with Tuesday's win.
Young standouts like Powelson and fellow sophomore Lynn Pipke, along with seasoned players like Hoffmann and fellow seniors Brittany Jurek and Jenna Oberthaler, have the program surging under the steady coaching hand of Carr.
On Tuesday, Powelson won her No. 1 singles match 6-0, 6-0 over an opponent who hadn't previously lost in conference play. But after her win, the player who likes to be called "Tor" seemed more proud of her team's contribution to Safe Harbor than her own dominant performance.
"Helping others is huge," she said. "Giving back is so important. I can't wait to do this again next year and I think we will do even better."
If you would like to contribute to Safe Harbor of Sheboygan, call 1-800-499-7640
Petri to speak at Lakeland's U.S. Constitution Day lecture
U.S. Rep. Tom Petri will deliver Lakeland College’s annual U.S. Constitution Day lecture on Monday, Sept. 16. Petri will give a talked entitled “The Constitution at 226: A Living, Breathing Document.”
The lecture will begin at 11:15 a.m. at Lakeland’s Bradley Theater. Admission is free and open to the public.
Petri will use historical contexts, debates and present-day issues to discuss how trends have affected the Constitution, and the way the document has been interpreted over the past two decades. He will also offer insight on how he personally uses the Constitution to guide him in his decisions in Congress.
“I’m very excited to be a part of Lakeland’s Constitution Day celebration,” Petri said. “The Constitution is truly a remarkable document that has gone through many interpretations and changes through the years. I look forward to discussing some of these issues with the students, faculty and visitors.”
In 2004, a federal law designated Sept. 17, the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution, as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day in the U.S.
Petri represents Wisconsin's 6th Congressional District and is serving his 18th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. First elected in April 1979, Petri has been returned to office every two years since. He is a current member of both the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Committee on Education and the Workforce (formerly Education and Labor). As a member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, he is a member of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training.
Petri is no stranger to Lakeland. In 2002, he delivered the commencement address and was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree. Petri also visited the college in 2010 as a part of a greater area tour he organized for Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki, who spoke about the value of Lakeland’s Japan campus.