Lakeland graduate returns in new athletics role
Leslie Laster, a two-time Lakeland graduate and a member of the university's Athletic Hall of Fame, has been named Lakeland University's first director of student-athlete development. Her first day at Lakeland is Sept. 12.
Laster, who received her bachelor's degree in psychology from Lakeland in 1998 and her master of arts in counseling from Lakeland in 2010, will work with various areas of the campus community to ensure student-athletes have the tools and resources necessary to succeed in the classroom and in personal and professional development.
She will focus primarily on first- and second-year student-athletes, but will provide overall support and guidance as necessary to support retention and graduation of all student-athletes. She will report to the dean of students and work closely with the director of athletics.
Laster will also advise Lakeland's Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), work on enhancing Lakeland's game-day experience and coordinate with the Lakeland alumni office to engage alumni in mentoring and networking opportunities with student-athletes.
Laster returns to Lakeland after working more than 15 years with young people, primarily in counseling roles in the Sheboygan Area School district. She most recently was a counselor at Horace Mann Middle School.
She came to Lakeland as an undergraduate from Iron Mountain, Mich. The former Leslie Jerks was a two-sport standout, earning numerous honors in both basketball and volleyball. She was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.
Laster lives in Sheboygan with her husband, Santino Laster, a 2005 Lakeland graduate, and their three sons.
Lakeland welcomes four new faculty members
Lakeland University is welcoming four new full-time faculty members this fall.
New to the university are Monique Brickham, assistant professor of art; John Guarente, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities; and Ana Galaviz-Echagaray, visiting instructor of Spanish. Kim Viglietti, who has been teaching at Lakeland part-time since 2011, is now a full-time instructor of business administration.
Brickham will lead the graphic design portion of Lakeland's art major, and comes to the university with a wealth of classroom and professional experience.
For the past three years, she has worked as a graphic designer at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., and she's also worked as a freelance designer since 2005, serving a lengthy list of clients. She also worked in design roles at Convergent Marketing in Appleton, Journal Community Publishing Group in Waupaca, Wis., and at the Appleton Post Crescent.
She has taught as an adjunct instructor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay since 2012, and was a graduate instructor at the University of Minnesota-Duluth School of Fine Arts while in graduate school.
She has a master of fine arts in graphic design from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, a web design certificate and a web development certificate from Fox Valley Technical College and a bachelor's degree in communication and the arts with a graphic design emphasis from the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay.
Guarente comes to Lakeland as an experienced conductor and educator at the collegiate level. He comes to Lakeland after service as director of vocal music at the College of Central Florida, where he conducted the CF Patriot Singers and the Musical Theatre Ensemble. He worked closely with the band director and theatre faculty to coordinate musical theatre performances, joint concerts with band and choir, voice/piano recitals and voice juries, and prepared and arranged performances for numerous campus events.
In his role at CF, he regularly networked with regional high school teachers and church directors, running workshops with choirs and planning collaborative events to help recruit talented singers and maintain the college's visibility within the community.
In 2012, Guarente received a teaching fellowship with the Miami Choral Academy, a community outreach program funded by Seraphic Fire. In working with MCA, he brought choral music to underprivileged schools in the Greater Miami Area and developed a music skills curriculum for elementary school students.
In 2015, he became the artistic director for the Marion Civic Chorale, the area's oldest and largest community chorus. He was also recently featured conductor for the second annual Marion County All-County High School Honor Choir, and was the featured choral clinician for the Ocala Summer Music Camp.
He received a doctorate of musical arts in choral conducting with a doctoral cognate in vocal pedagogy from the University of Miami, and a bachelor of arts and a master of music degree with a concentration in choral conducting from Rutgers University.
Viglietti has been an adjunct instructor at Lakeland since the spring of 2011, teaching Business Information Processing, Management Information Systems, Management Principles and Marketing Principles.
She brings a wealth of professional business experience to the classroom. She worked nearly 20 years at Kohler Co., including time as product manager for kitchen faucets and retail faucets in global marketing and as associate channel manager and senior marketing analyst in North American faucets marketing.
Viglietti has a master of business administration from Concordia University and a bachelor's in business administration with specializations in economics and business from UW-Madison.
Galaviz-Echagaray comes to Lakeland after two years of service as a teaching assistant in intermediate and advanced undergraduate Spanish at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where she received a master of arts degree. She has a bachelor's in Hispanic languages and literature from Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa in west-central Mexico.
As part of her master's degree studies, she took a service learning class entitled The Latino Youth Biliteracy Project, which included her committing to 30 hours of service learning projects in Arkansas schools during the semester.
The wait is over. At midnight on July 1, Lakeland College will officially become Lakeland University.
Two new majors and several academic program enhancements are part of this historic change, along with a new academic structure and leadership team. The following three schools will house all of Lakeland’s academic programs:
- Business & Entrepreneurship
- Science, Technology & Education
- Humanities and Fine Arts
"These changes position Lakeland as a leader in higher education for decades to come," Lakeland President Dan Eck said. "This is more than just a name change. We are responding to student and employer needs and the wave of developments impacting higher education."
For a complete look at all the changes and the motivation for them, read an expanded story.
Iris Moran, a 1961 Lakeland College graduate and a strong, lifelong supporter of the school's music program, died last month after a fall while visiting the Hoover Dam in Nevada.
Moran, of Mountain View, Calif., decided to attend Lakeland in 1957 after watching a performance by the Dis-Chords, a Lakeland singing quartet, in her hometown of New Salem, N.D.
"Receiving a scholarship and the promise of a part-time job made my college education possible," she said in 2012. "Lakeland College opened up my world and has motivated me to contribute to Lakeland all these years."
Iris grew up in the United Church of Christ and loved to sing, which made her a perfect fit for Lakeland and legendary music professor Henry Ellerbusch.
Iris and her husband, Tom, made a significant pledge to Lakeland's choir program in 2014, and the family asks that memorial gifts are made to Lakeland's Professor Ellerbusch Music Scholarship Fund, W3718 South Drive, Plymouth, Wis., 53073; or to Foothills Congregational UCC Church, 461 Orange Ave., Los Altos, Calif., 94022.
"Iris lived life to the fullest," said her obituary. "Her energy was legendary, her love was expansive, and her ebullience infectious. She gave selflessly to her family, friends, church and other organizations. No task was too great if it benefited her family and others."
Read the full obituary online.
Lakeland mourns passing of alumni award winner Hugh Denison
Hugh Denison, a generous friend of Lakeland College and a recipient of an Honorary Alumni Award, died on Friday. He was 70.
Denison received an Honorary Alumni Awards in 2013 during homecoming weekend. A Sheboygan native, he had a distinguished career in the financial services industry, following in the footsteps of his father, Frank "Homer" Denison, who founded H.C. Denison in Sheboygan.
In 1985, Hugh Denison joined Heartland Advisors in Milwaukee in its first year of operation, and he held a number of key roles, retiring as a senior vice president-portfolio manager.
Denison first visited Lakeland as a teen with his father and Lucius P. Chase, a former chairman and member of the Lakeland Board of Trustees. Over the years, Denison has served the college in many capacities including guest lecturer, member of the college’s Foundation Committee and an advisor to presidents.
"Lakeland is a unique and treasured asset to the greater Sheboygan community that has remained true to its Christian roots and provides an outstanding education," he said in receiving the alumni award. "We cannot afford to lose an asset of this importance, and it’s imperative that leaders step up and help the college remain prosperous."
Denison was engaged in numerous charitable organizations throughout his career. He was a tireless advocate for charitable causes, including the Boys & Girls Club, the Skylight Opera, the Milwaukee Athletic Club, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and as trustee of the YMCA Endowment Trust, the Potowatomi Tribal Foundation Council, Lawrence University and Babson College (Ma.) Locally, he served on the boards of the Deland Foundation and the JMKAC.
A profile of Denison that includes information about services can be read here: http://www.jsonline.com/news/obituaries/hugh-denison-had-a-passion-for-investing-and-volunteering-b99742411z1-382569251.html
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