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Ten individuals honored at Service-Learning Recognition Breakfast

April 25, 2013

EAU CLAIRE — Ten individuals received awards at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's 15th annual Service-Learning Recognition Breakfast April 17.

Service-learning has been a graduation requirement at UW-Eau Claire for the past 17 years. The recognition breakfast aims to honor those who have gone above and beyond for their school and community by showing great involvement and care in their service-learning activities.

Senior Holly Anderson, a history major from Boyceville, and senior Megan Koester, an organismal biology major from Medford, received Student Excellence in Service-Learning awards.

Anderson was chosen for her contribution to the Bolton Refuge House. She started volunteering there steadily in August of 2011 and has continued since then. In the summer of 2012, she was selected as the Buffalo County Outreach-Rural Services Advocate Intern, where she worked with clients and provided supportive services to those who had experienced domestic violence, sexual assault or other intimate partner crimes. She also helped to relaunch the Bolton Refuge House Court Watch Program with no outside supervision.

Koester was selected for her involvement at the Irvine Park Zoo in Chippewa Falls. She completed more than 200 hours of service at the zoo, which greatly surpassed UW-Eau Claire's 30-hour service-learning requirement. Koester grew up with horses and her familiarity with animals allowed her to not only work without supervision at the zoo, but also to receive a part-time relief zookeeper position.

Lissa Martinez Greer and Shelly Sutley received Community Partner Supervisor awards.

Greer, UW-Eau Claire's Blugold Beginnings program coordinator, has arranged service-learning experiences for students working with Blugold Beginnings for the past five years. Two of the major endeavors include the Blugold Beginnings Fifth-Grade Program and the Blugold Beginnings Fifth-Grade Tour Day.

Sutley started the Bluebird Restoration Project, which aims to bring people closer to nature and encourages individuals to get involved by monitoring the bluebirds and other kinds of birds around them. She has volunteered with the Beaver Creek Reserve for the past five years, and has recently joined the UW-Eau Claire Children's Nature Academy staff. Through a UW-Eau Claire Community Leadership course, she has implemented more ways for students to become involved with the project.

Additionally, two service fellowships are awarded each year to UW-Eau Claire students. The recipient of the $1,000 Sally Webb International Service Fellowship was sophomore Katie Dorney, an English major from Holcombe.

Since the age of 15, Dorney has supported the Light of India School with her own finances. During the summer of 2014, she will travel to Attili, India, to teach English to children. In Attili there are few prospects for jobs without an understanding of the English language. Dorney hopes to provide the tools the children need to gain a brighter future.

Senior Jill Seichter, a social work major from Menomonie, received the $1,250 Ryan Prechel Community Service Fellowship. The scholarship was established by Nancy and David Prechel in recognition of their son's exceptional career as a student leader at UW-Eau Claire.

Seichter was selected for her work with the "Music+Memories=Magic" project, which provides personalized iPods to Alzheimer's and dementia patients at two local nursing homes. The devices contain music specific to the individuals and assists in communication with staff and family members.

Faculty Mentor Awards were presented to Dr. Nicole Schultz, assistant professor of communication and journalism, and Dr. Chuck Tomkovick, professor emeritus of management and marketing.

In the past five years, Schultz has mentored 60 UW-Eau Claire students, working with such organizations as the Three to Five Club, Girls on the Run-Eau Claire, the Special Olympics and the Youth Aviation Adventure.

Since 2000, Tomkovick has served as a faculty mentor to 85 students, listening to student reflections about their service-learning projects with an abundance of local organizations. He is known for bringing happiness to others and his willingness to help anyone in need.

Kristy Lauver, interim chair of the management and marketing department, said "Chuck is an amazing instructor with incredible dedication to his students. He has always poured his heart and soul into working with students and guiding them not only in their academic studies, but also on the great adventure of learning about life. Chuck's long-term impact on the students he has influenced is immeasurable."

Craig Monson and Marci Siker received the David G. Anderson awards, made available by the Ruder Ware law firm to honor David G. Anderson, a 1966 UW-Eau Claire alumnus and a shareholder with Ruder Ware, in recognition of his community service and volunteerism.

Monson received the David G. Anderson Community Builder award in recognition of his career in the nonprofit sector. A $250 gift will be made in honor of his employer, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

In the 12 years that Monson has served the organization, he has worked with the Safe and Sound Program and as CEO. He also volunteers his time at other nonprofit organizations and community events, including the Taste of the Valley and the Eau Claire Marathon.

Siker received the David G. Anderson Community Service Award, which recognizes continued commitment to community service and volunteerism. A $250 contribution will be made to the UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team in her honor.

Siker received her bachelor's degree in elementary education from UW-Eau Claire in 1952 and her master's in 1972. She taught at Sherman Elementary in Eau Claire for many years and served on the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association board for two terms, from 1996-2002. Siker and her husband, Milt, are passionate about the UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team and have offered sincere support and care for the team for more than 20 years.

For a full listing of 2012-13 outstanding service-learning students, visit the Center for Service-Learning website.

For more information about the UW-Eau Claire service-learning program, contact Benita Wagner, Center for Service-Learning program associate, at or 715-836-4649.



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