Thursday, August 28, 2014

Welcome Back Students!

I always know fall is approaching when our hallways and classrooms fill back up with students. It has been an exciting couple of weeks at Moraine Park as our staff and students prepared for the new semester. I had the opportunity to attend Summer Welcome Day, where I got to meet many of our new students and talk with members of our student organizations. The Amazing Race is always a fun part of the day, as students complete challenges that help them navigate around the campus and become familiar with all of the different services offered.


I was also excited to find a seat at the Welcome Back Lunch this week featuring entertainment by Nick Pike. The cafeteria was full, but I soon saw why some seats were left open in the front row. Nick, a comedic juggler, had a couple of stunts that required help from the audience. He pulled students out of the crowd to help him get onto a unicycle and walk across glass while blindfolded and juggling axes! Thank you Student Senate for sponsoring such a fun activity!

As the semester continues, I plan to be out and about visiting with students and meeting those new to MPTC. If you see me in the hallways, please don’t hesitate to say hello and let me know how your semester is going!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Moraine Park receives $1.2 million Blueprint for Prosperity grant

On Wednesday, July 23, I was excited to welcome Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson to our Fond du Lac Campus. Lt. Governor Kleefisch came to campus to announce Moraine Park’s $1.2 million Wisconsin Fast Forward: Blueprint for Prosperity grant to train up to 126 workers for in-demand fields.

Pictured from left: Denise Devereaux, Mercury Marine VP of human resources; JoAnn Hall, MPTC dean of economic and workforce development; Kristen Finnel, MPTC dean of health and human services; Fred Rice, MPTC dean of applied technology and trades; Sheila Ruhland, MPTC president; Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch; and Reggie Newson, secretary of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.
This award is part of $28 million in grants that Governor Walker recently announced as part of his Blueprint for Prosperity initiative to help Wisconsin Technical College’s train over 4,900 workers for jobs that employers need to fill.

Our training gets workers into the workforce quickly, and keeps them in the workforce, ensuring we will continue to keep moving Wisconsin forward. The Blueprint for Prosperity grant will allow Moraine Park and its partners to continue to expand its training and education efforts. We look forward to training workers for the positions that employers need to fill.

For more information, visit:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Jackson Regional Center Site-Visit

I recently had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Joyce Natzke, Professor of Education for the College of Adult and Graduate Studies at Wisconsin Lutheran College located in Milwaukee.

Dr. Natzke was at our Jackson Regional Center conducting a review of our center as part of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation requirement for colleges with regional centers.  (Some of you may recall that last September we had an open house to celebrate the opening of our new site in Jackson.)  This visit allows HLC to be sure the programs and services we deliver at our regional sites are aligned with criteria for accreditation.

During the visit, Dr. Natzke toured the facility and met with Moraine Park administration, faculty and students to discuss the regional center, its role, and the education and learning experience.  Students who met with Dr. Natzke were at the center for a Fabrication class. Having the opportunity to experience and be a part of an accreditation review is something that doesn’t happen often for our students. As I listened to their conversation and responses to the questions, I saw firsthand the quality of students who choose to come to Moraine Park, and, more importantly, the excellent education and hands-on learning they are receiving. I would like to extend a thank you to these students for sharing in this experience:  Scott Bensemann, Dakota Grudzinski, Paul Haber, Cole Jungers, Casey Lamberg, Keith Lubner and Kori Siegl, as well as to Steve Henderleiter, their Welding/Fabrication Instructor.

If you have questions about our accreditation process or our Jackson Regional Center, please don’t hesitate to connect with me.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


On Saturday, May 17, Moraine Park celebrated and recognized the accomplishments of our students at our 2014 Commencement Ceremony.  This is an event that I look forward to every year knowing I too experienced my first “official” graduation at Madison Area Technical College receiving an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Administration/Marketing- Fashion Merchandising. 

We were at full capacity at the Fond du Lac High School Fieldhouse and that indicates the great support that family, friends and other special guests have for our graduates.  The smile each and every graduate had as they accepted their diploma from me was “priceless.”  It also meant a lot to me to be able to personally thank the graduates whose service and leadership to our Fond du Lac, Beaver Dam and West Bend campuses has had such an impact on our College during their time with us.

I encourage all of our graduates – now officially Moraine Park Alumni – to stay in touch, let us know of your careers successes, and more importantly, to stay involved with your alma mater. It’s easy to connect! Simply go to, click on Alumni & Friends and explore the opportunities available to stay connected with MPTC.  You can also contact Dana Knebel, Director of College Advancement 920-924-3225.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Service-Learning Celebration

On Thursday, May 1, I attended our Service-Learning Celebration Breakfast on the Fond du Lac campus.  This has become an annual event to learn about the community service-learning projects our students, or in some cases, entire classes, participated in.  Students from Accounting, Building Trades Construction Worker, Business and Event Planning, Corrections, Introduction to Sociology and Introduction to Ethics presented their projects.  I am so proud of all of these students and the leadership from their instructors to engage them in such wonderful hands-on experience and learning about the community project.  All of the students spoke about what a great opportunity this was to get involved and engaged. 
I had the chance to talk with Building Trades Construction Worker students Tim Milligan, Nate Stockhausen, Mike Schmid, Dillon Pufahl, Luke Breuer and their instructor Don Enders, about their Habitat for Humanity of Washington and Dodge Counties home building project in West Bend.  When I asked the students if everything with the project had gone as planned, their response was, “No. We learned to adapt to change.”  When they shared how rewarding it was to add their names to the footings of the home, I could see their pride knowing this would be a project that would “last a lifetime.” 

The Business and Marketing Events class along with Instructor Jeff Stueber are planning a Pink Pumpkin event on the Fond du Lac campus, Saturday, Oct. 18.  As this team noted during their project presentation, “it is about making a positive impact in our communities.”

I encourage you to learn more about MPTC’s Service-Learning classes and projects and see how you might be able to get involved.  With so many opportunities, I’m sure you will find something you are passionate about that will engage you to help others!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Welcome Back, Students!

Although it doesn’t feel much like spring, our Spring Semester is into its second week!  I hope everyone had nice and relaxing winter break. Hopefully you all got the chance to attend the welcome back lunches last week featuring John Cassidy. I got a chance to attend at the Fond du Lac campus show and it was definitely an experience!

It was great to see all of you reconnecting with classmates! Make sure to check out some of the photos from the event on our Facebook page. Here are a few of my favorites from each campus:



I hope this is a wonderful semester for all of our students; we are so happy to have you all back on campus! Whether you are a first-time reader of my blog, or a regular, I hope you continue you to follow along with my blog. Please don’t be afraid to ask questions or share how your semester is going in the comment section below.  

Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday Happenings at Moraine Park!

The end of semester is always a busy time for students as they are working hard to finish up their end of semester projects and prepare for final exams. In spite of all this, Moraine Park students still found time to give back to their communities this holiday season.

Students in Moraine Park Technical College’s Electrical Power Distribution (EPD) Club rang bells for the Salvation Army at Racheck’s and Shopko in West Bend on Dec. 4, 2013. Pictured from left: Andy Luedtke, Tanner Holzhueter and Erik Hefner.
In Fond du Lac, Student Senate sponsored a diaper drive for the Fond du Lac Family Resource Center. The group also held a Bone Marrow Drive for Be the Match last month. During the drive students learned how to get involved in donating bone marrow through the Be The Match organization.  Many clubs around campus also held drives to collect hats, mittens and food that will all be donated to local organizations.

In West Bend, the Chiropractic Specialist Club, Cosmetology Apprentice Club, Electricity Club, Graphics/IMD Club, SAGA Club, Student Senate, SMARTS Club and the Student Nurses Association held a campus-wide food drive. The West Bend Student Senate and the Student Nurses Association collected items for the Kids2Kids Toy Drive. Kapco’s Kids2Kids toy drive collects over 20,000 toys for low-income children through Southeastern Wisconsin.
Winner of Mo-Vember at Mo-Raine Park, William Milbrot.
The Beaver Dam Student Senate found a creative way to raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues through a month-long event called Mo-Vember at Mo-Raine Park. Participants took before and after photos, one clean shaven at the beginning of the month and another at the end of the month and invited anyone to vote for their favorite Mo-Vember moustache for $1. The club also sold Kwik Trip gift cards with a portion of the proceeds donated to the Elks Christmas Baskets, which provides food baskets for families during the holidays. Between the two fundraisers over $700 was raised for the Elks Christmas Baskets. The Human Resources Club conducted a toy drive in conjunction with the Dodge County Toy Bank. The Electrical Power Distribution (EPD) Club rang bells for the Salvation Army. The Beaver Dam Student Nurses Association conducted a food drive for St. Vincent de Paul.

Students in the Beaver Dam and Fond du Lac chapters of the Multicultural Club collected school supplies and other donations this winter to support the Blue Mountain Project. The Blue Mountain Project is an organization committed to improving the health, education and economy in rural Jamaican communities. Some club members and other Moraine Park students will be bringing the items to Jamaica this January during their study abroad trip through Moraine Park’s International Education program!

I am so proud of the effort Moraine Park students have put into giving back to our communities. Their actions are so inspiring.  If you’ve been giving back this year, please be sure and share efforts in the comment section below!