Mark Christopherson: Set up for success
In a way, Mark Christopherson ('86 mechanical engineering technology)
is a lot like UW-Parkside in that he is very familiar with the entire
region the campus serves. Christopherson was born and raised in
Kenosha. When his parents moved to Racine in 1976 he attended J.I. Case
High School. After high school, Christopherson chose a university right
in the middle. "Parkside was convenient, just the right size and had a
really nice campus," he said.
Today, Christopherson owns Reinicke Athens Inc., a general contractor
based in Athens, Ga., serving Fortune 500 companies. He has guided the
construction firm through a successful decade with sales increasing
more than 150 percent in the last 12 years.
"Parkside affected my professional career by setting me up for
success," Christopherson said. "I was always challenged to excel by the
faculty and staff. My experience at Parkside has helped me make the
right decisions along the way."
The Parkside environment also proved beneficial. "The atmosphere at
Parkside was different than I imagined it might be at other colleges,"
he said. "Many nontraditional students made Parkside a much more
serious student body, in my opinion, particularly in the night classes."
The serious tone of the classroom helped created a more focused learning opportunity. And because Parkside is a smaller campus, it was easy for students to
get to know one another, Christopherson said. "It was very easy to get
to know a lot of people and to have direct involvement with different
professors and their staff.
"Parkside has an extraordinarily friendly environment, which is
conducive to learning while at the same time being a lot of fun."