781 graduate at Lakeland
More than 750 students earned degrees on Sunday as Lakeland College celebrated its 153rd commencement.
The college awarded diplomas to 781 graduates, including 514 undergraduates and 267 graduate students.
Lakeland has classes at its main campus in Sheboygan County and through its Evening, Weekend and Online program with seven centers around Wisconsin.
J. Garland Schilcutt, who is retiring as professor of business administration following this academic year, delivered the undergraduate commencement address.
Schilcutt arrived at Lakeland in 1958 and retires with the longest tenure of any faculty member in the college’s history. He is the architect of all of Lakeland’s business-related academic programs, and served as the college’s first director of its Master of Business Administration program, a position from which he stepped down this past August. He was also an early leader in the college’s Evening, Weekend and Online Program, serving as its dean for a time in the 1990s.
He has won numerous awards and honors over the years, including the 1992 Underkofler Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award and being named an honorary Lakeland alumnus in 1988. He is best known to Lakeland alumni for the hours he spent with students outside the classroom, serving as a counselor, mentor and friend.
Movers & Shakers Gala to debut new format
The Movers & Shakers Gala at Lakeland College is back, but it's like nothing you have seen before.
The eighth annual Movers & Shakers Gala, set for Saturday, May 16, at Lakeland College, introduces an entirely new format, and will help create new scholarships to help nine local high school students pay for their postsecondary education.
In previous years, Sheboygan County "celebrities" showed off their best dance moves to raise money for local charities and nonprofit organizations. This year, nine acts—from live music to speed painting to literature reading—will show off some of the talent in Sheboygan County.
"We can't wait to unveil what we have planned for this year," said Deborah Wente, a member of the Lakeland Board of Trustees and the chair of the Movers & Shakers organizing committee. "Our planning committee has created a night that offers a new experience that's sure to surprise our returning supporters and impress any new guests.
"The community support and volunteer interest for Movers & Shakers continues to be strong. We have a large group of local companies and guests who give financially to make this evening successful."
New this year, each act sponsor has partnered with Lakeland College to create a $5,000 college scholarship for nine local high school seniors. Students can attend any accredited college or university with the award, but if they attend Lakeland, the scholarship will increase to $10,000. Scholarship winners will be announced the night of the event.
Guests this year will see Lakeland's Todd Wehr Center transformed into a performance venue with three stages, a dance floor, a massive lighting setup and huge video screens to spotlight the evening's entertainment.
In its previous seven years, Movers & Shakers has raised more than $1.6 million.
Major sponsors of this year's Gala are the Frank G. and Frieda K. Brotz Family Foundation (dinner sponsor), Sargento Foods Inc. (reception sponsor), Prevea Health and Studio Gear Technology (technology sponsors). Additional event sponsors include Zimmermann Printing and Canopies Events with Distinction.
The 2015 lineup includes:
- A Shadow Dance will be choreographed and performed by the nationally acclaimed Dollhouse Dance Factory. This act features illuminated dancers casting artistic, rhythmic shadows from behind a screen. This act is sponsored by the Grover Family Foundation and a scholarship will go to a Sheboygan South High School student.
- Members of the Van Horn Automotive Group will perform a group glow dance in the dark, wearing special, colorful battery-operated costumes that will light up the room. This dazzling routine features creative choreography and eye-catching effects. This act is sponsored by The Van Horn Automotive Group and a scholarship will go to a Sheboygan County Christian High School student.
- Liesl Testwuide, publisher of the globally popular website "Hairpin Turns Ahead," will read one of her favorite pieces from her collection of stories that navigate life's twist, turns and inevitable changes. Her work has been featured on the Today Show, the U.K.'s Daily Mail, The Huffington Post and Germany's Bild. She is sponsored by Festival Foods and a scholarship will go to a Sheboygan North High School student.
- Playing popular music to groove to, Freewheel is a local band made up of brothers who play a wide selection of tunes from the 1990s to current hits. Comprised of Andrew, Daniel, Benjamin and Patrick Feldmann, Freewheel won a company-wide talent contest at Sargento Foods for the opportunity to perform at this year's Gala. The group is sponsored by Sargento Foods Inc. and a scholarship will go to a Plymouth High School student.
- Dynamic, award-winning artist Jason Prigge offers a high-energy demonstration on how to create a work of art at a masterfully fast pace in a style called speed painting. Prigge, who owns a studio in Manitowoc, will paint a colorful, intricate portrait (the subject will remain a surprise until the show) on a large canvas in less than the time it takes for the song he'll play to finish. He is sponsored by Legend Larry's and a scholarship will go to a Sheboygan North High School student.
- Lakeland College student Leo Liu joins forces with established local blues musicians to form The Hot Shots, a fresh and funky fusion of old-school and new-school blues. Liu, who studies electric guitar at Lakeland with Water Street Hot Shots' Michael Lee Ammons, hails from China, but has always loved American blues and jazz music. Joining Liu and Ammons are bassist Alan Mock and drummer Steve Irby. They are sponsored by the Zieve Family Foundation and a scholarship will go to an Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah High School student.
- Dr. Toby Watson, a self-taught pianist, will get the evening off to a rousing start by delivering a performance created especially for the Gala. He is sponsored by Ansay & Associates and a scholarship will go to a Living Word Lutheran High School student.
- Sheboygan North High School's renowned student drumline has been wowing fans for years at local basketball games. The drumline has created a routine exclusively for the Movers & Shakers Gala, an unconventional performance sure to surprise even their biggest fans. The group is sponsored by Wells Fargo and a scholarship will go to a Sheboygan North High School student.
- Well-known funny couple Andi and Ben Igowsky are pulling out all the stops in an original musical comedy performance. Andi is a pediatric dentist with a stellar voice and Ben is in sales. Their combined personalities bring a one-two punch of true talent and natural wit. They are sponsored by Snap-On Tools and a scholarship will go to a Howards Grove High School student.
Biographies of each act are available on the Movers & Shakers website, http://moversandshakersgala.org.
A limited number of tickets are available and can be purchased online at the Movers & Shakers website or by contacting Kym Leibham, Lakeland's alumni & community engagement officer, at or 920-565-1023, ext. 2155.
You don't have to attend the event to help support the scholarships. Anyone can purchase votes, at $20 each, for their favorite act prior to the event at the Movers & Shakers website. The high school supported by the evening's winning act will receive 50 percent of the proceeds raised from the votes they receive, so vote early and often.
Judges for the evening include Sebastian Schmidt, Wally Waldhart, Amee Salzwedel and Sandi Vasatka.
A pre-event reception begins at 5:30 p.m., followed at 6:45 by seating for dinner, which features a mouthwatering menu prepared by Lakeland's Dining Services staff.
Following the competition, the dance floor will be open to all guests and The Pink Flamingos will provide music for the remainder of the evening.
You can also be part of the pre-event buzz by joining our entertainers, committee members, guests and volunteers on Facebook at http://moversandshakersgala.org/facebook. "Like" the event page for regular updates.
If you want to get behind the scenes and help make this evening possible, a number of volunteer opportunities are open to the community. More information is available at http://moversandshakersgala.org/volunteer.
Senior Aimee Thrune receives Koehler Award, others honored at banquet
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:
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
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
Outstanding Student in Education: Erica Sommerfield
Outstanding Student in Religion: Callie Olson
Outstanding Student in English: Lindsay Brown
Outstanding Student in Spanish: Emily Huberty
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
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
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
View photos from the event
Lemke wins Underkofler Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award
Lakeland College's Richard Lemke, an assistant professor of criminal justice, is the 2015 winner of the annual Underkofler Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.
Lemke, in his third year as a member of Lakeland's faculty, is the college's 24th winner of the Underkofler, which recognizes outstanding performance in undergraduate teaching.
The Underkofler Award was presented on April 1 at Lakeland's annual Honors Banquet, which recognizes outstanding academic accomplishments of students and faculty.
Lemke was recognized as a steady and respected professor in one of the largest majors at Lakeland.
"His preparation ensures that every class is excellent, well organized and engaging," said Elizabeth Stroot, a Lakeland professor of psychology and chair of the Underkofler Selection Committee. "Students comment regularly that he encourages their participation and values the diversity of their perspectives. His patient and gentle questioning style allows students to dig deeper, to think more carefully and to arrive at conclusions and ideas that may not have been their first responses."
He was also lauded for mentoring his students, tracking their academic progress and understanding their career goals, while also regularly assessing the college's criminal justice program to make sure the curriculum is rigorous and current.
Senior criminal justice major Joshua Leisemann has Lemke as a teacher, academic advisor and project advisor.
"He is tireless, helpful and caring with every single student; his dedication to improving a student's education is evident in his teaching and his assignments," Leisemann said. "He is always there to offer advice and solutions, to help a student with a paper/project and to show students their full potential."
Prior to coming to Lakeland, Lemke was an assistant professor at the University of West Georgia, where he was undergraduate program co-coordinator. He also worked as an adjunct professor at Marian University, the University of Cincinnati and Castleton State College. He has worked in the industry, serving as a case worker for the Rutland County Court Diversion in Vermont and for the Center for Addiction and Behavioral Health Research.
The winner of several grants and awards, Lemke has authored and presented numerous articles and papers. His areas of specialization include criminological theory testing, explanations of violence, community and institutional corrections (adult and juvenile), research methods and statistics and program assessment.
He earned his Ph.D. in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati, his master's degree in forensic psychology from Castleton State College and his bachelor's in psychology from the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin.
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.
View photos from the event
Beah to lead Lakeland Community Book Read
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.
The 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.
Check out photos and video from last year's inaugural Community Book Read with author Chad Harbach.