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Lakeland College senior Aimee Thrune, a triple major from Prairie du Sac, Wis., was named the winner of the 50th annual Clarence H. Koehler Award, the college's top award for undergraduate students. The award was announced at the annual Honors Banquet on April 1.
Thrune, who will graduate in May with majors in education, mathematics and Spanish, amassed an impressive resume of leadership and involvement during her time at Lakeland.
The Koehler Award is presented each year to a Lakeland senior who best exemplifies "The Lakeland Spirit" by his or her participation in and support of the college's programs and activities. To be eligible, graduates must complete all four undergraduate years at Lakeland and maintain a high level of academic achievement.
Thrune was named to the college's Dean's List every semester, is a previous winner of the Outstanding Student in both Mathematics and Spanish and is a member of the Spanish National Honors Society.
She served the college as a resident assistant, an admissions ambassador, a tutor and a teaching assistant in Spanish. She played basketball four years, serving as team captain for two. She served as an officer for several difference academic and athletic organizations, and worked countless volunteer hours for several organizations. She studied abroad in Columbia and China.
"These opportunities helped me find friends, listen better, find myself and strive for success," Thrune said. "I sought understanding and found it by being involved in a little bit of everything at Lakeland because I was exposed to different perspectives every day."
The award is named for the Rev. Clarence Koehler, who graduated from the college in 1937 and from the seminary in 1939. He later became a member of the college's board of trustees, and was chairman of the board in 1957 when he passed away at age 48.
The Rev. Koehler was an outstanding student and participated in numerous activities on campus, including music, athletics, student publications and managing the campus bookstore. He maximized his college experience, and this award honors that spirit.
Other winners at Wednesday night's banquet included:
Business Administration Outstanding Student in Accounting: Kelly Rogers Outstanding Student in International Business: Sho Fujino Outstanding Student in Marketing: Karyssa Gallenberger Outstanding Underclassman in Business Administration: Krista Kretschmann Outstanding Upperclassman in Business Administration: Joseph Kaestner-Provencher
Creative Arts Outstanding Art Major: Katie LaPlaunt Outstanding Student in Communication: Stacy Scheibl Outstanding Theatre Student of the Year: Elizabeth Plotka Outstanding Student in Writing: Katherine Amundsen
Education Outstanding Student in Education: Erica Sommerfield
Humanities Outstanding Student in Religion: Callie Olson Outstanding Student in English: Lindsay Brown Outstanding Student in Spanish: Emily Huberty
Natural Science Outstanding Senior in Biochemistry: Jenna Ward Outstanding Freshman in Chemistry: Suzette Rosas Outstanding Senior in Chemistry: Kevin Urbaniak Outstanding Student in Computer Science: Pablo Palacios Outstanding Student in Mathematics: Michele Marquardt Outstanding Student in Sport Studies: Derek VandenPlas
Social Science Outstanding Student in Criminal Justice: Megan Gomez Outstanding Student in History: Vanessa Vander Weele Outstanding Student in Nonprofit Management: Maria Cervantes Outstanding Student in Political Science: Rebecca Gardipee Outstanding Student in Psychology: Kimberly Daane Outstanding Student in Sociology: Chieko Kusanagi
Lakeland College Japan Outstanding Student at Lakeland College Japan: Sayaka Sue
Ellen J. Kregel Athletic Award: Alec Redlich
Senior Honors Karissa Anderson, Paige Gerber, Lindsay Kleckner, Veronika Lau, Joshua Leisemann, Stephanie Rock, Amber Smith, Brittany Kopp
Who's Who Award Katherine Amundsen, Karissa Anderson, Lindsay Brown, Emmaculate Dika, Rebeca Elliott, Paul Elzinga, Megan Gomez, Jennifer Kjin, Katie LaPlaunt, Veronika Lau, Jacob Maechtle, Callie Olson, Sara Pfile, Vanessa Popp, Zachary Rogers, Brandon Rooker, Trevor Tanck, Kimberly Thimmig, Aimee Thrune, Leah Ulatowski, Jenna Ward, Braden Woods, Daniel Zea Zapata, Katherine Zielsdorf
Ishmael Beah, author of "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier," will speak at Lakeland College on March 31 for the second annual Lakeland College Community Book Read.
Ishmael BeahThe event, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in Lakeland's Bradley Theatre, is free and open to the public. Beah will speak about his life as a child soldier in Sierra Leone and read some excerpts from both his memoir and his recently published novel, "Radiance of Tomorrow."
Following the keynote, Beah will answer questions from the audience. All guests are encouraged to read "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier" prior to the event.
Beah was born in Sierra Leone and at age 13 was pulled into the country's brutal civil war as a child soldier. After his parents and two brothers were killed, he fought for more than two years before he was removed from the army by UNICEF and placed in a rehabilitation home.
"A Long Way Gone" was a No. 1 National Bestseller and was named one of the Top 10 Nonfiction Books of 2007 by Time Magazine. The memoir tells the story of Beah's experiences during the war and his struggle to regain his humanity and re-enter the world of civilians, who viewed him with fear and suspicion.
For more information about the panel discussion or the Community Book Read, contact Gina Covelli, Lakeland College community relations manager, at
Check out photos and video from last year's inaugural Community Book Read with author Chad Harbach.
The Rev. Louis Grossen, a 1951 graduate who later served the college in several important support roles, passed away on Jan. 16 at Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice. He was 85.
The Rev. Louis GrossenA Mount Horeb, Wis., native, Grossen attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but transferred to Mission House College, where he graduated in 1951. He then graduated from the Mission House Theological Seminary (now the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities) in 1954 with a Master of Divinity degree. On Aug. 22, 1953, he married the former Margery Gaul, a 1954 Mission House graduate.
An ordained United Church of Christ minister, Grossen served a number of pastorates throughout the Midwest before, in 1976, being named director of alumni relations at Lakeland. Later he became the college's director of planned giving and church relations, before retiring in 1995. He was instrumental in the college publishing its first alumni directory, led alumni giving to record highs and logged tens of thousands of miles driving to speaking engagements around the Midwest to share the Lakeland story.
He received the Outstanding Alumni Award and Lakeland's award for distinguished service. In retirement, he served on the college's Sesquicentennial Committee.
As a student, Grossen was a member of Lakeland's first unbeaten football team, served as senior class president and was business manager of the Spectrum.
According to his wishes, his remains were cremated and a service will be held at Salem UCC, 217 Salem Drive, Plymouth, on Jan. 24, at 11 a.m. A short visitation will be held prior to the service at 10:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent for the Grossen Scholarship Fund at Lakeland.
A complete obituary can be seen here.
Lakeland College will spotlight the work of three students when the final Lakeland Senior Art Student Portfolio Exhibition for this academic year opens on Friday, Feb. 27.
Breanna WeberAlhanna LaRose, Tarah Johnson and Breanna Weber will discuss their work during an opening reception beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the Bradley Gallery, located in the Bradley Fine Arts Building on Lakeland's campus.
The exhibit, which will feature works created by these students during their time at Lakeland, will run through March 30. The Bradley Gallery is open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday, when the college is in session. Attendance at the reception and admittance to the Bradley Gallery are both free and open to the public.
The senior art show is a requirement for all Lakeland art majors. Students gain the experience of having their own exhibit, and are responsible for planning the show, putting the public relations together, hanging their work and any other details.
Alhanna LaRoseLaRose, of Sheboygan, is majoring in art with a graphic art emphasis. She has served a pair of internships, one at Lakeland illustrating books as part of the college's Malawi project, and another at Riveredge Nature Center designing logos, posters and other work. She has produced two comics for the Lakeland College Mirror student newspaper, and she's involved in Shutter Club and Making Spirits Bright on campus.
"I have a strange obsession with comics which anyone that has heard me talk probably already knows," LaRose said. "'Graphic novel-ish' style is present in most of my work because of how I try to explore myself as a person through my characters. As the medium evolves, that's what it has become. It's a very intimate art form, therefore making it the most interesting for me."
Weber, of Sheboygan, is majoring in liberal arts with a graphic art emphasis. She graduated from Lakeshore Technical College in 2012 with an associate's degree in graphic and website design. She is the owner of Breanna Rae Photography & Design and Car Girl With a Camera. She has been a writer, photographer and social media manager for the Mirror, and served photo, marketing and web internships with Dynamic, Inc., and Hyper Tails Agility Club.
Tarah Johnson"Much of my work reflects my two biggest passions; animals and automobiles," Weber said. "A goal I set for myself when I was a teenager was to somehow make my mark in the world. Not anything big that the whole world knew, but enough that I would be remembered positively somehow. At 23 years old, I can say I have already successfully done that through my artwork and photography."
Johnson, of Sheboygan, is also majoring in art with a graphic arts emphasis. She has a wide range of experience, including internships with The Johnson Inspiration Photography, Breanna Rae Photography & Design and Lakeland's Student Success & Engagement Office. She also works as a freelance photographer, photographing weddings, families, children and couples. She won an honorable mention award for photography in the 2014 Lakeland Student Art Exhibition.
Lakeland College will spotlight the work of three students when the second of three Lakeland Senior Art Student Portfolio Exhibitions opens on Friday, Jan. 23.
Kyle Kultgen, Nate Prosser and Andrew Klauer will discuss their work during an opening reception beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the Bradley Gallery, located in the Bradley Fine Arts Building on Lakeland's campus.
The exhibit, which will feature works created by these students during their time at Lakeland, will run through Feb. 23. The Bradley Gallery is open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday, when the college is in session. Attendance at the reception and admittance to the Bradley Gallery are both free and open to the public.
Kultgen, of Random Lake, Wis., is majoring in art with a graphic design emphasis. In the summer of 2014 he served a graphic design internship with Kapco, Inc., in Grafton, which allowed him to work on a variety of projects.
"In my designs it reflects what I am thinking in my mind and feeling in my body," Kultgen said. "My artwork identifies the kind of person I am today. When I put color in my pieces, I use light colors if my mood defines happiness or greatness and I use dark colors if my mood defines anger."
Klauer, of Berlin, Wis., is majoring in art with a graphic design and studio emphasis. In the summer of 2014 he served an internship with Apparel Art that allowed him to do logo design and embroidery work on hats and clothing.
"I would describe my art as mind catching," Klauer said. "My art is meant to remind people of their dreams, happy moments, and the nature they have seen, the feeling they have throughout their lives. Things I see throughout the day influence my art, or dreams I have, even stories people have told me. I make art like this because it helps me relax and helps me remember important things and people in my life. Capturing a perfect day, an adventure you took or a feeling you get from the ones you love when you're with them."
Prosser, of Johnsburg, Ill., is majoring in art with a graphic design emphasis. This past fall, he served an internship on campus designing posters for campus events, and in the spring 2014 semester he served an internship helping prep Bradley Gallery exhibits. He has been working in the Lakeland Art Store since January 2013.
In addition to Lakeland art exhibits, Prosser's work was in the "Alive in the Arts" exhibit at the Plymouth Arts Center in July 2013. His design was also chosen in the McHenry County Health Department's Anti-Smoking post design competition.
"More times than not, the artwork I create is brightly colored, and either abstract or surreal," Prosser said. "I am much happier working on pieces that are cartoon oriented or things like caricatures, because that is my style of art. Since cartoons and animation shaped my style, it is only natural for me to be attracted to designing similar things."
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