Lakeland University Blog

Koehler Award winner enjoys renewal at LU

Koehler Award winner enjoys renewal at LU


Koehler Award winner enjoys renewal at LU

Dial back to her freshman year at Lakeland University, and it’s safe to say that winning any awards was not in the cards for Erika Rosberg. In fact, she wasn’t convinced that she would stay beyond that first year.

Fast forward to today and Rosberg’s record of scholarship, her leadership roles and ability to mentor and motivate others led to her being named the winner of the 59th annual Clarence H. Koehler Award, the university’s top award for undergraduate students. She received the award Wednesday at Lakeland’s annual Honors Banquet.

The Koehler Award is presented each year to a Lakeland senior who best exemplifies “The Lakeland Spirit” through participation in and support of the university’s programs and activities. To be eligible, graduates must complete a majority of their undergraduate courses at Lakeland and maintain a high level of academic achievement.

The other finalists for the 2023 Koehler Award were Baylee Babcock, Samantha Butler, Sadie Conway, Hailey DeGrave, Carson Galla, Clare Kelnhofer, Brelynn Scoles and Alexa Yost.

Within her first month as a freshman at Lakeland, Rosberg, a sport management and leadership major from South Elgin, Ill, had been suspended from the softball team, written up by campus security, went home twice and missed half her classes while she slept through the other half.

“I was on a fast track to dropping out,” Rosberg said. “I was miserable and not here for the right reasons. I thought that I could be content with floating through college, staying in my comfort zone and never getting involved in anything else besides softball. I had to make a change and do it fast.”

Rosberg reinvented herself. By the end of her sophomore year, she was an admissions ambassador, a junior admissions counselor, an active academic coach, an intern for Lakeland’s marketing department and a Blue & Gold Champion.

That was only the beginning.

Rosberg served as a social media management intern for the Sheboygan A’s baseball team and served another internship that saw develop and implement social media plans for Lakeland’s baseball and football programs. She also worked closely with the Sheboygan Falls YMCA to develop new sales and marketing strategies and created new marketing initiatives for Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice.

She’s a member of Lakeland’s Honors Program, which invites students to complete an alternate track of academic requirements, including a research project of their own design. Rosberg’s research was an analysis of implicit gender biases toward women in sports management roles.

Beyond that, she led the creation of the Honors Student Council, a new LU student organization which holds events on campus to help promote the honors program and find new ways for students to be leaders at Lakeland.

She is a resident assistant, marketing assistant for the accounting club and was a member of the 2024 LU Winter Carnival planning committee. Her efforts were recognized with a Demonstrating Excellence as an Individual Award.

“For far too long, I had scared myself into believing that the only way to be influential on this campus was as an athlete,” Rosberg said. “I was ready to change that stigma. Athletes should not be the only ones in the spotlight. So, with a lot more time on my hands, I sought out to make the most out of my remaining time as a Muskie.”

Kim Viglietti, an assistant professor in Lakeland’s School of Business, Science & Technology, met Rosberg when she was a sophomore in her principles of marketing class.

“Erika’s hard work and drive proves Lakeland is a place for new beginnings,” Viglietti said. “She has found her voice and is a role model on our campus. She is everything Lakeland hopes a Muskie can be.”

Rosberg’s time at Lakeland will continue beyond graduation in May. She will serve as a graduate assistant for the marketing and admissions offices and take the lead in revamping Lakeland’s Blue and Gold Days, which introduce incoming students to all things Lakeland.

“Erika will continue to work hard to encourage her fellow Muskies to break out of their comfort zones and learn to love LU as much as she does,” Viglietti said. “Her story may have started out a little bumpy, but the conclusion only exudes excellence.”

Rosberg especially cherishes memories of her time as a Blue & Gold champion, as they led to her meeting some of her closest friends while showing her the positive impact she can have on others.

“Lakeland has invested in me in more ways than I ever expected,” Rosberg said. “It is because of this that I became so committed to this campus and have a passion for leaving it a better place for future Muskies.

“If not for Lakeland and its fostering of emerging leaders, I would never have been given the chance to reimagine myself and be a role model on campus, nor would I have found my voice and passion within life.”

Other winners announced at the Honors Banquet include:

  • Lakeland University Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar Awards: Baylee Babcock & Brelynn Scoles
  • Outstanding Student in Accounting: John Putnam
  • Outstanding Student in Biology: Andrea Garcia
  • Outstanding Student in Business Administration: Gabriel Ascher
  • Outstanding Student in Criminal Justice: Dana Hanson
  • Outstanding Student in Exercise Science: Brelynn Scoles
  • Outstanding Student in Food and Safety Quality: Brandon Uhlean
  • Outstanding Student in Marketing: Erika Rosberg & Kerstin Sauerbrei
  • Outstanding Student in Mathematics: Hannah Pratsch
  • Outstanding Student in Psychology: Baylee Babcock & Jonah Heisler
  • Outstanding Student in Sport Management & Leadership: Hannah Nelson
  • Outstanding Student in Creative Writing: Marian Cramer & Tayler Otten
  • Outstanding Student in English: Breeana Arsenault
  • Outstanding Student in Graphic Design: Ayano Takeda
  • Outstanding Student in History: Faith Turley
  • Outstanding Student in Music: Simon Ulrich
  • Outstanding Student in Professional Writing: Rachel Pagel
  • Outstanding Student in Religion: Allison Klemme
  • Outstanding Student in Education: Madeline Buechel
  • Outstanding Student in Nursing: McKenzie Wassink
  • Senior Honors Projects: Samantha Butler, Jonah Heisler, Dana Hanson, Clare Kelnhofer, Sydney Mayer, Tayler Otten, Mikayla Rieck, Erika Rosberg
  • Erroll B. Davis, Jr. Award: Fabiana Siegmeier
  • Ellen J. Kregel Athletic Award: Faith Turley & Hannah Nelson
  • Lakeland University Japan
    • Outstanding Student in Lakeland University Japan Associate of Arts Degree Program: Abigail Montgomery
    • Outstanding Student in Lakeland University Japan Bachelor of Arts Degree Program: Gianna Duarte
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