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Lakeland University will award degrees to nearly 700 students on Saturday at the institution’s 156th commencement.

A total of 698 students are eligible to graduate, including 484 undergraduates and 214 graduate students. A graduate student ceremony will be held at 10 a.m., undergraduates from the evening and online programs will graduate in a 1 p.m. ceremony and graduates from the main campus program will graduate in a 4 p.m. ceremony. The ceremonies are held in the Woltzen Gym in the Wehr Center on Lakeland’s main campus.

Each ceremony will be streamed live via the internet at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/Lakeland/.

Additional details about the day can be found at https://lakeland.edu/graduation.

Lakeland offers classes at its main campus in Sheboygan County and through its Evening, Weekend & Online program with seven centers in Wisconsin.

Speakers at the three ceremonies will be Marie Martin, director of global education and services at Fox Valley Technical College; Kim Henning, pastor at Grace Congregational United Church of Christ in Two Rivers; and Laura Kohler, senior vice president-human resources, stewardship and sustainability at Kohler Co.

Martin will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Henning and honorary Doctor of Divinity and Kohler an honorary Doctor of Laws.

At FVTC, Martin oversees international partnerships, study abroad for students and faculty, global trade education programs on campus and in businesses, training in foreign languages and cultures for technical professionals and English Language Learning programs.

Prior to her position at FVTC, Martin taught at the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business, Northwestern University in Chicago and at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in the College of Business. She served as principal of The Multicultural Management Institute, providing training and consulting for organizations expanding in the areas of diversity management and global business relations.

Martin received a bachelor’s degree and master’s in linguistics from The Institute of Foreign Languages in Moscow, Russia, and a master’s and a Ph.D. in Slavic studies from the University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.

Henning graduated from Lakeland in 1978 and received his Master of Divinity degree from Eden Theological Seminary in 1982.  Prior to serving Grace Congregational UCC, he served Lake View UCC in Lake View, Iowa. He is married with three children.

At Kohler, Laura Kohler oversees the company’s worldwide human resources organization and leads Kohler’s stewardship and sustainability programs. In this capacity, she drives Kohler’s global corporate social responsibility and sustainability strategies, which include a focus on community partnerships, corporate and associate giving, disaster relief and Kohler’s journey to net positive.

She also oversees Kohler’s renowned Arts/Industry program, and has served on Kohler’s Board of Directors since 1999. Kohler began working summer jobs at Kohler Co. during high school. Since returning in 1995, she served as vice president of communications and then vice president of human resources.

She serves as board chair of Outward Bound USA, the Kohler Trust for the Arts & Education and the Kohler Trust for Preservation. She also is a board member for the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and The Actors Center in New York City and a trustee at Lawrence University.

She received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Duke University and her master’s degree in fine arts from the Catholic University of America. She is married with three children.

William Younger Sr., a leader, supporter and friend at Lakeland for four decades, died on May 7. He was 93.

A tireless advocate of Lakeland and its mission, Younger was a friend, advisor and mentor to Lakeland presidents and senior staff. He served as director of the Lakeland Center for Business and Economics and later as a member of the institution’s Board of Trustees. He enjoyed frequent visits to campus, talking to faculty, staff and students to understand what was happening and how he could assist.

With his late wife, Phyllis, and their family, they have been faithful and generous donors to Lakeland, providing funding not only for the campus center that bears their name, but also for the William H. and Phyllis Younger Scholarship, which makes a Lakeland education accessible to financially deserving students.

In 2013, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Lakeland’s commencement.

“Bill was deeply good, very wise and powerfully competent in his vocations of family member, trustee and business person,” said Lakeland President David Black. “Although analytical, his remarkable mind was also decisive and action focused. To many of us, he was bigger than life. We will miss him greatly, but will be reminded of his importance to Lakeland every time we enter the Younger Family Campus Center.”

In 2003, the Younger family made a multi-million gift, the largest in the school’s history, in support of A Legacy for Lakeland, a $15 million comprehensive campaign that funded improvements to the Chase Science Center, the Wehr Athletic Center expansion and Lakeland’s endowment fund.

The Youngers have a strong family connection to Lakeland, tracing their family tree to the Esch family, which had members serve in various teaching and leadership roles. Additionally, the Youngers were always active in their church (he was a Lay Preacher in the Methodist church), and they were attracted to Lakeland’s ties to the United Church of Christ.

The Youngers were also drawn to supporting the Lakeland student profile: often a first generation college student from a family of modest means, often from a small Wisconsin community.

“Lakeland has been very helpful to economic groups that are really the heart of this country,” said Younger in 2003. “Lakeland is serving a segment of society that is extremely important to the strength of our nation and the health of our local communities. Our students know what work is. I believe they really value their education.

“You talk to folks who work at Lakeland – they’re just good people. They reflect Midwestern values of hard work and honesty, which are extremely important. They do their best to make Lakeland the best.”

Younger worked for four decades for two electrical manufacturing companies: Square D and Allen-Bradley. He served in various management capacities with Allen-Bradley, including vice president of international and, finally, president of the sales division.

After retiring from Allen-Bradley in 1980, Younger formed his own consulting company, W.H. Younger & Assoc., Inc., in 1981. He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University and a master’s in business administration from Indiana University.

Two Lakeland University studio art majors, Alyssa Gabrielse and Anna Colon, had pieces selected for the upcoming exhibition “Alive in the Arts” at the Plymouth Arts Center, 520 E Mill St., Plymouth, Wis.

An opening reception will be held on Friday, May 11, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. The exhibition will be on display through August 3.

Colon’s piece features a dragon and is a solar etching from the Printmaking I course. Gabrielse’s piece is an oil painting of a landscape of a Lakeland campus scene from the Painting II course.

To check gallery hours and learn more, visit online at plymoutharts.org.

oil landscape campus scene
dragon sleeping

Lakeland University and the City of Neenah’s Committee on Aging will hold its third annual School for Seniors on May 16 at Lakeland’s Fox Cities Center, 2320 Industrial Dr., Neenah.

Classes will be held between 8:45-11:30 a.m. Lakeland faculty and staff will simultaneously teach three different 45-minute courses. Senior-citizen enrollees will be able to rotate, taking one, or more, free classes, as desired. Residents of Neenah and area communities are welcome.

Classes offered this year are:

  • Understanding Religious Extremism – Rev. Karl Kuhn, professor of religion
  • Talking to Your Tech: Interactive Technology in our Daily Lives – Chuck Grubisic, director of technology services and operations
  • What to Say: Using Dialogue in Fiction Writing – Jeff Elzinga, professor of writing

Register by Monday, May 14, by calling the Fox Cities Center at 920-727-0777. Registration, refreshments and information tables will be available beginning at 8 a.m.

Karin Miofsky

Lakeland University's Karin Miofsky, associate professor of criminal justice, is the 2018 winner of the annual Underkofler Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.

Miofsky, who joined the Lakeland faculty in 2014, is Lakeland's 27th winner of the Underkofler, which recognizes outstanding performance in undergraduate teaching. The award was presented on April 11 at Lakeland's annual Honors Banquet.

Miofsky has developed a reputation at Lakeland for being a strong teacher, a collaborative colleague and a student-centered advisor.

Richard Lemke, also an associate professor of criminal justice and the 2015 Underkofler winner, said support for Mifosky during the nomination process settled into four themes – authentically present, intellectually challenging, selfless and professionally inspiring.

Lemke said Miofsky consistently puts the needs of her students and the institution ahead of her own, and nurtures students' professional goals by helping them develop a cognitive tool kit and pushing them to always be at their best.

One student nomination said, "Dr. Miofsky has always gone above and beyond for her students. If you are going through something, she is very understanding and will work with you, and she takes a personal interest in the success of all of her students. She does a phenomenal job of preparing students for real life after graduation."

Another student said. "Dr. Miofsky is always willing to help students out with almost anything, even if it doesn't relate to her classes. She is very motivated to see her students succeed and is willing to go the extra mile to help them."

Students said her classes are challenging, making them all the more rewarding upon completion.

"If you want a career in the criminal justice field, Dr. Miofsky will help prepare you for this career," one student said. "Expect to be challenged so that you can be the best student and future employee possible. A class taught by Dr. Miofsky is not one that you can skate through, and you will feel incredibly proud of yourself when you complete the class."

In addition to her classroom teaching, Miofsky has served Lakeland as a faculty advisor to three student organizations, supported the Starfish implementation team and provided her expertise in Lakeland's ThinkHaus series and the School for Seniors in Neenah.

"In Karin's short time at Lakeland not only has she demonstrated great teaching, but the admiration of the students, said Brian Frink, dean of Lakeland's School of Science, Technology & Education. "But, above all that, she has modeled great teaching for her fellow faculty members."

Miofsky earned her Ph.D. in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Her primary areas of interest explore patterns of bullying and victimization within schools, the conceptualization of teen sexting and the nature of community crime control. She has written about and presented on these areas extensively.

Prior to earning her Ph.D., Miofsky earned her master's in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She received a bachelor's in psychology and criminal justice from Saint Louis University.

Before joining Lakeland's faculty, Miofsky served as an assistant professor at the University of Hartford in Connecticut.

The Underkofler Award is presented through the Alliant Energy Foundation and the Wisconsin Foundation for Independent Colleges, Inc. The Underkofler Endowment Fund was created in honor of past Wisconsin Power & Light president and chairman James R. Underkofler to recognize his 48 years of service to the utility industry.

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