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Mary Dennewitz came to Lakeland College with goals of playing college basketball and positioning herself to one day work for the government. She approaches Lakeland's commencement ceremony this Sunday with the satisfaction of having accomplished all her goals.
The Chicago native will earn a bachelor's degree in accounting with an emphasis in fraud and forensics, and she's already been hired as an assistant bank examiner in the Office of the Comptroller of Currency in the Wisconsin Department of Treasury. She will participate in a six-to-eight month training period before eventually working in the Milwaukee office.
"Working for the government has always been my dream job," said Dennewitz, who also earned a minor in resort management. "I'm excited to start the next journey in my life, but I'm also nervous. Lakeland's staff has done an excellent job helping me prepare for the real world, and I'm anxious to put into practice what I've learned."
Dennewitz was a four-year standout on the Lakeland women's basketball team, and she collected three major awards in May. She was named the college's Woman Athlete of the Year and the recipient of the Ellen Kregel Award and the T.W. Hoernemann Basketball Award. The Kregel award is given to an upper class student-athlete with the highest overall grade point average and involvement in the campus community. The T.W. Hoernemann Award is presented annually to a senior athlete who exhibits academic excellence, basketball proficiency, fighting spirit, campus leadership and a winning attitude.
"It's a great honor," said Dennewitz. "These past four years I've seen other athletes receive these awards so I understand the significance this holds. It's amazing to join the previous group of winners, and receiving them is such a great honor."
The 5-foot-6 guard averaged 9.1 points and 2.2 rebounds per game last season. For her career, she averaged 7.9 point per game including an impressive .744 free throw percentage. Dennewitz was a member of the 2009-10 Northern Athletics Conference Championship team that earned the program's sixth bid to the NCAA Division III Basketball Tournament. She received All- NAC Honorable Mention accolades in 2010.
"I've worked my hardest these past four years at Lakeland," said Dennewitz. "Playing basketball and my academic work in and out of the classroom have molded me into the person I am today."