Jodie Liedke wins Underkofler Teaching Award
Lakeland University's Jodie Liedke, assistant professor of composition, is the 2017 winner of the annual Underkofler Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.
Liedke joined Lakeland's faculty in 2014, and she graduated from Lakeland summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in writing in 2006. She is Lakeland's 26th winner of the Underkofler, which recognizes outstanding performance in undergraduate teaching. The award was presented on April 5 at Lakeland's annual Honors Banquet.
Liedke was recognized for creating a supportive classroom environment. Her students described her teaching as passionate, energetic and inspiring, and her students lauded her for her creativity, empathy and humor.
One student wrote, "She is so full of life and I honestly look forward to her classes every week. I wish more teachers were like her. I have yet to leave her class confused on an assignment. She has every qualification and trait to be an outstanding teacher."
Nate Lowe, dean of Lakeland's School of Humanities and Fine Arts, said Liedke has a deep respect for people and for the hard work that goes into teaching and learning.
"You see, it's very simple: Jodie genuinely believes in her students," Lowe said. "And they know this. They know this because she is always prepared to support their needs. They know this because she will not stop challenging them to achieve more. There is a word for this: trust."
Joshua Kutney, assistant professor of composition, served as her mentor when Liedke joined the faculty. He recalled having a meeting with Liedke in her office, and having to stand at the end of a long line of students waiting to see her.
"The students were not required to meet with Jodie," Kutney said. "They wanted to meet with her. They were eager for her advice because they knew it would benefit them. The lines outside of Jodie's office have only grown as her reputation as an outstanding teacher has spread across campus."
In addition to her teaching, Liedke is chair of Lakeland's fine arts and convocation committee, assists with the Great Lakes Writers Festival, is a member of the Lakeland Community Book Read Committee and has served as guest interviewer of the visiting author and she served as Core I Coordinator for the 2015-2016 academic year. She won the Golden Musko Award for Most Valuable Female Professor in 2015.
Liedke, who has a master of fine arts from Wichita State University, previously worked at Globe University in La Crosse, where she was named Faculty Member of the Year in 2010. A published author who has given a number of readings, Liedke previously won Lakeland's Clarence H. Koehler Campus Senior Award.
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.
Jessica Luecke wins annual Koehler Award
Lakeland University senior Jessica Luecke, an accounting major from Fox Point, Wis., was named the winner of the 52nd annual Clarence H. Koehler Award, the university's top award for undergraduate students. The award was announced at the annual Honors Banquet on April 5.
Luecke, who graduated in December, 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 university's programs and activities. To be eligible, graduates must complete all four undergraduate years at Lakeland and maintain a high level of academic achievement.
"I am proud to say that the search for who I am, what I want to do and where I see myself in five to 10 years isn't a question anymore," Luecke said. "Lakeland provided me all of those answers while delivering the education to make sure those plans are not only on paper, but a reality. My experience here was one of a kind, and one that I am honored to have."
Luecke works in the global tax department at Actuant Corporation in Menomonee Falls, Wis. The winner of the 2017 Outstanding Student in Accounting award, Luecke served a pair of internships as a student, one as an actuary intern with Towers Western Consulting Firm in Milwaukee, and one as international intern at La Paz Resort in Heredia, Costa Rica.
She also graduated with a minor in Spanish, and was a member of the Lakeland Spanish National Honor Society. She studied abroad at the University of Madrid in Spain the summer of 2015.
Faculty and staff often turned to Luecke to help organize student support, and she never disappointed. She was president of the Lakeland Foundation Board and the Accounting Club, and Student CEO of the Year for the Accounting Club and Foundation Board.
She was an officer for the Pi Kappa Gamma sorority and a member of the Fraud Competition Planning Committee, the Lakeland Campus Activities Board, the Lakeland Excels at Professionalism Committee and a facilitator for the Lakeland Leadership Conclave.
She prepared tax returns as part of Lakeland Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, served as a writing and business tutor and student services program assistant and worked for Lakeland's admissions department as a campus ambassador and call team member.
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:
- Outstanding Student in Accounting: Jessica Luecke
- Outstanding Student in Hospitality Management: Katrien Rogers
- Outstanding Student in Marketing: Ashley Thomas
- Outstanding Student in Business Administration: Nathaniel Cooper
- Outstanding Student in Sport Management and Leadership: Afton Barrows
- Outstanding Student in Communication: William Franke
- Outstanding Student in Music: Reggie Nimmer
- Outstanding Student in Theatre: Mayce Bacon
- Outstanding Student in Writing: Danielle Livingston & Karalee Manis
- Outstanding Student in English: Megen Schramm
- Outstanding Student in Religion: Emma Landowski
- Outstanding Student in Art: Callah Kraus
- Outstanding Student in History: Zachary Petrowsky
- Outstanding Student in Biochemistry: Taylor Green & Suzette Rosas
- Outstanding Student in Biology: Brooke Wilder-Corrigan
- Outstanding Student in Chemistry: Brianne Frank
- Outstanding Student in Exercise Science: Samantha Williams
- Outstanding Student in Education: Mikayla Schnell
- Outstanding Student in Criminal Justice: Daniel Matijevic
- Outstanding Student in Psychology: Ariel Lochman
- Outstanding Student at Lakeland University Japan: Ikko Nishimura
- Ellen J. Kregel Athletic Award: Samantha Williams
- Erroll B. Davis, Jr. Award: Tina Castillo
- Senior Honors Program: Jamie Gundlach
- Who's Who awards: Jessica Beaudry, Nathaniel Cooper, David Del Ponte, Madison Doll, Bailey Grayvold, Megan Hellmer, Hailey Jester, Sara Judge, Avinash Limbu, Danielle Livingston, Jacob Nault, Eric Nygaard, Suzette Rosas, Rachel Stankevich, Michael Whitley, Brooke Wilder-Corrigan, Samantha Williams, Sarah Willihnganz.
Lakeland launching new approach to bachelor's degree this fall
This fall, Lakeland University students will "earn while they learn" at the upper Midwest's only non-engineering co-operative education university.
Lakeland's new approach to earning a bachelor's degree will offer significant savings to students. It also takes advantage of a number of regional and national market conditions and addresses the region's employment needs.
Lakeland will partner with local companies to create paid co-op work experiences in positions that fit their academic major, providing money to offset tuition costs.
"The new program is specifically designed to give students real-world work experiences and, at the same time, offset their tuition costs," said Scott Niederjohn, dean of Lakeland's School of Business and Entrepreneurship. "Unlike internships, which are often short-term, temporary assignments, the co-op program will have students working in regular, full-time positions that may last as long as six months."
Lakeland estimates students in the program can earn up to $100,000 in wages and scholarships over their four years, significantly minimizing their student debt after graduation.
For local employers, the move creates a new talent pool at a time when several local companies are struggling to fill positions.
Lakeland will enroll hospitality management majors in its co-op program this fall. Students will work in on-campus jobs as freshmen, and by their sophomore year begin working in the hospitality industry, possibly at one of Lakeland's three partners – The Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, The American Club in Kohler or Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan.
Lakeland will quickly form additional partnerships in other majors within its School of Business and Entrepreneurship, including accounting, business administration, marketing, management information systems and sport management and leadership. Lakeland University President David Black said full implementation will happen within three years.
Traditional-age students attending Lakeland full time at its main campus and part-time students attending Lakeland at one of its seven centers or through online courses will be eligible for participation in the program, depending on their major.
Black said the rising cost of higher education and the decline in the traditional college-age demographic are challenging the business model of a traditional residential campus, especially for private institutions.
"Lakeland and many other institutions are seeing fewer students entering as freshmen and transfers," Black said. "Additionally, more who have enrolled are dropping out, and the overwhelming reason for the decline is financial.
"Students are having a difficult time finding a compelling reason to pursue degrees at private university rates when the value of those degrees is not appreciably different from public college degrees."
Black said the co-op education model is an innovative solution that combines classroom-based studies with practical work experience. Lakeland's partners will pay students for work related to their academic major, and students will select from one of several plans to determine how much of their earning will be applied to their tuition.
"Students will gain two big benefits," Black said. "By the time they're ready to graduate, students will have earned enough money working to significantly minimize student debt. They will also have worked in a variety of entry-level positions which have them positioned for jobs requiring high-level skills in their first job out of college."
Lakeland's board of trustees at its March meeting approved the co-op education concept, which received a strong endorsement from trustee Tryg Jacobson, president of the creative community Jake's Café in Sheboygan. Jacobson's daughter graduated from a co-op education institution, Northeastern University in Boston.
"It works because it provides an opportunity for students to learn on the job for extended periods of time and then use their experiences as a meaningful frame of reference as they learn in the classroom," Jacobson said.
"They also get exposed to corporate cultures they could never experience in a traditional classroom setting. They learn that happiness in whatever profession they choose has a lot to do with the corporate culture that aligns with their personal beliefs. Finally, they earn while they learn. This helps fund their education, and this is huge given the high cost of education today."
Jacobson said the mix of companies in Sheboygan County make co-op education an ideal approach.
"We probably have more world-class companies per capita than you'll find anywhere," Jacobson said. "Lakeland students will get an opportunity to learn while working in some of the finest companies in the world. It will be great for area companies, because it will provide the perfect venue for companies to get to know our students and build trusting relationships with them. And, if we're fortunate enough, convince these students to stay and become contributing members of our communities.
"It will also provide Lakeland University with a unique and meaningful point of difference as we continue to expand our brand's vision. It will help us attract and educate a different kind of student. One that, by virtue of their choice to come to Lakeland, shows a genuine commitment to becoming a better person. These are the kind of people we need in this world."
Lakeland alumna Lola Roeh elected to LU Board of Trustees
Lola Roeh, a 1973 Lakeland graduate and the general manager of The Ostoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, Wis., has been elected to the Lakeland University Board of Trustees. She was elected to a four-year term that will expire in the fall of 2021.
Under Roeh's leadership, The Osthoff has experienced tremendous growth. In 2002 and 2012, the Wisconsin Innkeepers Association presented Roeh with the coveted "Innkeeper of the Year" award.
Roeh is a respected leader in the tourism industry and was appointed chair of the Governor's Council on Tourism. She was originally appointed by former Governor Jim Doyle and appointed for two additional terms by Governor Scott Walker. She serves on the Board of the Wisconsin Hotel and Lodging Association, as well as the national lodging association, the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
Capturing the grandeur of the original Osthoff Hotel, today's resort opened in 1995 and offers all-suite accommodations, four seasons of recreation, stunning scenery and an unmistakable Old World charm.
In 2005, a new wing featuring a 7,500-square-foot conference center, 100-seat restaurant, destination spa and 48 additional two- and three-bedroom suites featuring both lake and woodland views were added. In 2014, The Osthoff added an additional 10,000-square-foot ballroom, bringing the total conference space to 39,500 square feet.
The Osthoff is considered one of the premier resort destinations in the Midwest and has earned the prestigious AAA Four Diamond rating for the past 19 years.
Lakeland Theatre presents 'Nunsense'
Charlie Krebs grew up Catholic in Corning, N.Y., and attended St. Mary's parochial school from kindergarten through 8th grade.
No wonder Lakeland University's associate professor of theatre and speech is getting such a kick out of rehearsals for this year's spring musical, "Nunsense."
"Oh, this show is so much fun!" Krebs said with a laugh. "It brings back so many great and funny memories. I tell stories during every rehearsal, like, 'When I was in 5th grade, this happened to me, and when I was in 6th grade, I did this.'"
"Nunsense," a comedy, is Lakeland's adaptation of the second-longest-running off-Broadway musical in history. Opening night, at the on-campus Bradley Theatre, is Thursday, March 30, at 7:30. Visit the event website https://lakeland.edu/nunsense - to order tickets and learn more.
The "Nunsense" storyline is built around the accidental poisoning deaths of 52 nuns in Hoboken, N.J., and the surviving nuns' comical fundraising efforts to pay for the deceased's funerals.
"We've been doing these big musicals in recent years, and we thought a small ensemble piece, a more intimate production, would be a nice change of pace," Krebs said.
The "Nunsense" cast is comprised of seven nuns and one priest. The lead role, Mother Mary Regina (Mother Superior), will be played by Lakeland senior Mayce Bacon, a veteran of LU's theatre and choral programs.
"I've never been a lead before, so while this has been very challenging, it's been a wonderful experience," said Bacon. "The family atmosphere that's been created while working together on this show is something I'll always look back fondly on. I can't wait for opening night!"
Krebs said Lakeland's spring musical will feature more than a dozen songs, and the band will be dressed as monks and other characters while playing on the stage rather than in the orchestra pit.
"This production is a loving spoof of nuns, joyfully portrayed in a musical comedy," Krebs said. "It's going to be a great, enjoyable show."
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