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July 2017

Golden Moments Revisited

One of the most prominent memories Jim Shilling '66 has of his graduation ceremony at University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point was the trumpet fanfare that announced the procession of graduates. "You look up at Old Main and see the long trumpets in each of the bell towers," he says of the former Commencement tradition. That moment sent shivers down his spine back then, and "still does when I think of that day."

During his second Commencement procession, as part of his first Golden Iris Reunion in 2016, music was still a factor, but Shilling was singing a different tune–literally. Upon their arrival on campus, he and his fellow Golden Iris alumni were asked to regale students and staff with a rendition of "Arf-Arf-Arf! Come on Pointers!" [MORE]

Little Things Mean A Lot

On December 17, 2016, Taylor Dubey was preparing to take the stage and receive her diploma from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. But "the old sheepskin" was not the only thing Dubey and her fellow winter graduates received that day. Prior to the Commencement ceremony, each soon-to-be new alumnus was given a gold dollar from the Chancellor, which he or she could keep as a memento of time spent at the school or donate to the university by depositing them in one of the purple buckets stationed at the doors leading into MAC. Dubey didn't hesitate to return her coin. Neither did 224 of her classmates–nearly half the graduating class. [MORE]

Talking 'Bout My Generations

There were plenty of reasons why first year student Nicole Hauck decided to attend University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point. For one thing, there was the location and layout of the campus, which, following a campus tour, Nicole declared made her feel very comfortable. She also was intrigued by the university's many academic offerings, and impressed by the facilities and technology available to students. "It was very natural to envision myself living and learning here," she says. Of course, it didn't hurt that UWSP is pretty much in Nicole's blood, as the 2017 Alumni Generations Scholarship recipient's family ties to the university run deep and wide. [MORE]

February 2017

One Woman's Educational Lineage

Every Memorial Day weekend, Alexa Posny ‘74 returns to Stevens Point with her 95-year-old mother, Virginia, and her siblings to honor their ancestors, who have their final resting place there. These include her uncle, Douglas, a pilot killed in WWII; her great-grandparents, John and Ada Strope, and her great-great grandparents. The family also honors Karl and Margery Strope, Alexa's maternal grandparents and the first generation of the family members to establish lasting educational ties to Stevens Point. [Read more]

Love comes in many forms

For Tim Blotz ’85 it was love at first sight. The object of his affection was the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and the Jenkins Theater where, as a high school student, Tim competed in the state one-act play competition. But another major love interest awaited him on the UWSP campus in the form of future wife Susan Higgins ’85. [Read more]

How we met: A collection of Pointer love stories

"I met Jeannine Milazzo in the fall of 1979 in our junior year of school. We were living in Nelson Hall and got engaged there in spring of 1981 on Valentine's Day. After graduation that year we moved to the Chicago area and were married in 1982. We've been married since then, have three daughters, one four year old grandson and twin baby grandson's." - Les Nelson '81 [Read more]


2015- Issue One

Economist for the Real World

The path for this truck driver’s son from Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, to Chicago, where he heads one of the most prestigious economics faculties in the world, began on a Stevens Point golf course. "I was recruited hard by the golf coach," recalled John List. Continue Reading...

Eyewitness to History

“Well,” John Regnier begins, “at 93 my head works better than my body.” Indeed, it works pretty darn fine as the long-time Stevens Point resident recalls his Depression era boyhood on a Minnesota farm as one of 10 children. Continue Reading...

"Write" Where She is Supposed to Be

"Since I was a young girl, I fantasized about being an author," said Melissa Westemeier. As a Pointer undergraduate she wisely chose to balance her fantasy with practicality and get her degree from the School of Education, College of Professional Studies. "I can’t say enough good things about the education program," she adds. "It was top notch." Continue Reading...


Leader of the Wildlife Pack Leaves a Legacy

There was something about Doug Stephens. It might have been his early sense of protectiveness toward all wild things. “He was absolutely fascinated with wildlife,” recalled his father. As a teenager during family vacations on Lake Owen near Cable, Wisconsin, the Peoria, Illinois, native got to know the local game warden and volunteered as a sturgeon guard, watching over the fish during spawning season and staying on the lookout for poachers. Continue Reading...

Polka, Pizza, and Preparation for Life

For a black teenager in the late 1950s living in segregated Beloit, college was an ambitious dream. Barbara Hickman did not see herself as a pioneer or activist. She just wanted to become a third-grade teacher. Continue Reading...

Rings of Distinction

A Janesville native, Dan Hauser, who played both football and baseball for the Pointers, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 1977. When he first arrived on campus, he decided to follow in the footsteps of his educator parents and began studying business education. Eventually, however, that plan went awry. Continue Reading...

January 2017

A Tale of Two Students

It’s a heartwarming, classic American story: pretty co-ed meets handsome football player after a game, and love ensues. Four days after the co-ed's graduation from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, the two get married. With a shared passion for teaching, they begin their first jobs and start a family. They succeed in their careers, and build a wonderful life together. Grateful and generous, they commit to giving back–to their church, their community and their university. And to think, it all happened because of one phone call. [READ MORE]

Close to Home, Near to Heart

When the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is just "down the road a piece," a person might be tempted to take it for granted. Not so for Wisconsin Rapids attorney Patrick Arendt, his wife, Leslie, and their children, Lauren (2011, history) and current business major John. As lifelong residents of central Wisconsin, the Arendts have long been aware of UWSP’s importance to the area, thanks to family friendships with Lee Dreyfus (UWSP chancellor 1967-77) and Tom George (UWSP chancellor 1996-2003). More important, they recognize the vital impact of the University, both past and future. [READ MORE]

Call of the Wild…and Crazy

To say that Tyler Stangel (2015 CIS App Development Major) is a fan of wild and crazy ideas is like saying the Schmeeckle Reserve has some trees. In fact, through one of these ideas, this young UW-Stevens Point alumnus is helping to create opportunities for students to pursue their own passions—wild and crazy are optional. [READ MORE]


Alumna's Future Began on the Executive Level and Got Even Better

Like her father and brother before her, Megan wanted to be a Pointer. “I chose UW-Stevens Point because it has a reputation of being a great college and because it is close to my hometown of Wisconsin Rapids,” she said. Even after switching majors from art to psychology, Megan was unsure about a career path. She was sure, however, that completing her degree meant working her way through school. Continue Reading...

From Custer to Space and Home Again

Art Pejsa also was a lead member of the team that developed the guidance systems to bring the Space Shuttle back to earth. He has authored two books on ballistics for gun enthusiasts and another on the game of bridge. But let's start at the beginning in the small town of Custer, just east of Stevens Point, where Pejsa grew up. Could this boy, raised where birds control the skies, even imagine that one day he would part of a team directing manned space flight? Continue Reading...

Olympic Hopeful is Right on Track

Mike Dellemann grew up about 10 miles south of Madison in Oregon, Wisconsin. A standout high school athlete, he chose UW-Stevens Point because his older sister was a Pointer and the university was near the family lake home in Rhinelander. His most important consideration, however, was track. Continue Reading...

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Sowing and Reaping

January 2018

Farmer’s son Vic Thalacker helps cultivate future Pointers

By all accounts, Vic Thalacker ’63 is a forward-thinking kind of guy. For decades as a research chemist and laboratory manager at 3M in Stillwater, Minn., he led groups of scientists in developing cutting-edge adhesives, coatings and other extrusion-based polymers designed for a variety of uses. As it turns out, Thalacker is also a forward-paying person—one who has chosen to share his good fortune and give back through mentoring, volunteering, compassion and, at UWSP, scholarship support.



October 2017

Giving, Not Taking, One for the TEAM

Facility Services’ social and charitable arm pulls together for the benefit of others

It started as some of the very best ideas do--with cookies, brownies and other assorted goodies. In 2012, Facility Services at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point held a bake sale in support of the university’s student food pantry, The Cupboard. The fundraiser was the brainchild of the newly formed group known as TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More). TEAM members concurrently held a food drive, collecting some 58 pounds of canned goods and nonperishable items to go with the $37 in cash raised during the sale. Thus began a tradition linking good times with good works. [MORE]


Honoring a Life of Service


Lela Jahn receives the William C. Hansen Distinguished Service Award

Throughout her lifetime, Lela Jahn ’62 was known for her generosity of spirit, particularly when it came to empowering women through education and financial know-how. A teacher by training, Jahn was instrumental in establishing and shepherding several programs designed to help communities and individuals—in the United States and abroad--become self-sufficient, even against difficult odds.

Before her untimely passing in 2015 at age 75, she had willingly and joyfully shared her many gifts with her alma mater in a number of capacities: guest lecturer, member of the UWSP Foundation Board of Directors and 2010 Winter Commencement speaker. She also left an enduring legacy on campus with the establishment of the Discover the World Scholarship (administered through the Office of International Education) and the Reaching Across Generations women’s mentorship program. This year, UWSP honors Jahn with the William C. Hansen Distinguished Service Award, commemorating a woman who not only exemplified Pointer spirit, but was a tremendous humanitarian in her own right. [MORE]


Distinguishing Features

Awards program highlights strengths within the UWSP alumni ranks

“Pointer Pride” is more than a familiar, alliterative catchphrase at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. It is an expression of unity, a declaration of collective identity. Inherent in the phrase is an assurance that the successes of any individual Pointer reflects favorably on us all.

For that reason, Pointers take pleasure in acknowledging and celebrating the unique contributions made by UWSP community members who have distinguished themselves in some manner. One way in which the university has chosen to do this is through its Distinguished Alumni Awards program. [MORE]


August 2017

A Digital Revelation

You may not know Nelson Carvajal ’07, but chances are you have at least a passing familiarity with his work. Carvajal has served as a production staffer of several successful television shows and films, including ER, Chicago PD, Transformers: Age of Extinction and Suicide Squad. For three years, until May 2017, he worked as an associate producer on Steve Harvey’s daytime talk show.

But to fans of digital film, Carvajal is something of a household name. The Webby Award nominee is a well-regarded video essayist and independent filmmaker who is at the forefront of the Do It Yourself (DIY) film movement. [MORE]

Part of the Solution

In some cases, “wildcard” is used as a pejorative term, describing something that is wildly, and perhaps dangerously, unpredictable. Nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to the information technology company Wildcard Corp., founded in 2007 by UW-Stevens Point alumnus Talin Senner ’00. By offering a full slate of cybersecurity and other technology solutions, Wildcard actively defends against the dangerously unpredictable.

“I started my own IT company and became a ‘wildcard’ in the sense of working on a variety of projects and technologies,” says Senner, “from systems engineering to programming.”


The Will and the Way

Working toward a degree in biology, with an emphasis on aquatic environments, Andy Janicki ’07 was on track to secure a job that would allow him to work outdoors—a dream come true for this devotee of the natural world. He did indeed wind up in his preferred work environment … just not quite in the way he had planned. As a result of a 2005 spinal cord injury that left him a quadriplegic, Janicki’s career focus shifted from limnology to disability rights. Thankfully, he still has been able to spend many work hours outdoors since founding Wheels to Water, a nonprofit that provides adaptive kayaking trips to people with disabilities. [MORE]

April 2017

Meeting Tech Demands

A $4 million gift from Sentry Insurance has opened the door to a world of opportunity at UWSP. The funds have been used, in part, to create a new major in data analytics at the University, which was first offered in Fall 2016. According to computing and new media technologies department chair Professor Tim Krause, this new field of study could have a profound affect on enrollment numbers. “This investment by Sentry means we are having discussions with students about coming to this university that never would have happened,” he said. [Read more]

Historically Speaking

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Greg Summers recently recalled how he came to be part of the UW-Stevens Point family. “There actually was a fair amount of serendipity involved,” he said. Upon hearing that the University's environmental historian was leaving in 2000, Summers, who was then a graduate student in environmental history, offered to pinch-hit until the position could be filled. This temporary gig turned into full-time employment when Summers applied for and won the teaching post the following year. He has happily been working and creating opportunities at UWSP ever since. [Read more]

Inspiration Point

"Professor Shanny Luft is an asset to the university, and he should make a quarter of a million dollars a year.” So said Amy Vida ’16, who studied under Luft, associate professor of religious studies at UW-Stevens Point. In lieu of a sizeable salary bump, however, Vida found another way to show her appreciation of Luft, She presented him with her 2016 Token of Inspiration. [Read more]

2015-Issue Two

Learning Begins at the End of the Road

To get to the village of Matelot, Trinidad (pop. about 1,000) you really have to want to go there. The last few miles are a test because the roads aren’t paved that far. And you have to walk. And it’s uphill. And it’s hot. For a group of UW-Stevens Point women, it was the perfect way to spend winter break, Continue Reading...

A Place, A Passion, A Purpose

How is the Congo like Wisconsin? No, this is not a trick question, but Andrew Roth (BS 2008, College of Fine Arts and Communication) smiles broadly and a little playfully as he answers. “Congo’s famous beer, Primus, is brewed near Goma. North Kivu is known for their cows and that, of course, means cheese. Continue Reading...

"My Ellis Island"

Umuaka. Stone Mountain. Poetic names for two towns both on highways to bigger places, both humid and tropical, both surrounded by national forests and both just a few hours from gulf waters. Umuaka is really a small farming village in south eastern Nigeria; Stone Mountain is located near Clarkston, a small town north of Atlanta Georgia and the central campus of Georgia Perimeter College. Professor Gregory Okoro (BS, ’78) calls both home. Continue Reading...


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