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When Dr. Jeffrey Medin, 1985 biological sciences graduate and recipient of the 2010 Alumni Association Outstanding Achievement Award, addresses the winter 2014 graduating class of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, eight of those graduates will be the first to receive a bachelor's degree with a marketing major.
The marketing major began in fall 2013 after the UW Board of Regents approved the promotion of the program from a business-management concentration.
The eight new marketing graduates join more than 80 of their classmates receiving degrees from the College of Business, Economics, and Computing (CBEC). Bryan Miller, Paddock Lake, Wis., is one of those graduates. He is also receiving the Chancellor's Award honoring the university's top graduate. Miller, a management information systems (MIS) major, started his educational journey at Parkside as a transfer student from Gateway Technical College when he was 30 years old.
At Saturday's ceremony, 51 percent of the undergraduates entered UW-Parkside as transfer students. Of that group, 18 percent are from Gateway. Nontraditional students (more than 25 years of age) account for 42 percent of the undergraduate class.
"Not only did UW-Parkside give me this top-notch education," Miller said, "it provided me an opportunity to really connect on campus." His faculty nominators describe Miller as, "a natural leader who knows how to bring out the best in his teammates by building trust and rapport, as well as creating respect for himself while respecting others."
In addition to the Chancellor's Award, Christopher Buss and Mila DeChant will be recognized as Outstanding Graduates.
Buss, West Bend, Wis., is not the first UW-Parkside student to earn a double major. He may, however, be the first to combine English with computer science. Nominators from the Computer Science Department describe Buss as talented and hard-working. Those from the English Department say he is an engaged and engaging student with a clear, analytic mind and a gift for writing and imagining.
Buss served the Parkside Academic Resource Center (PARC) as both a writing tutor and a computer science tutor. PARC Director Nick Tryling noted that Buss almost "single-handedly doubled the activity of computer-science tutoring" from the previous semester. What the PARC will miss most when Buss graduates, Tryling said, "is simply his happy disposition."
DeChant, Mt. Pleasant, Wis., credits her accomplishments at UW-Parkside to the place and the people. "My gratitude," she said, "goes to this institution and to everyone who has contributed to my success. I truly had a support system. Even those with whom I had disagreements have allowed me to grow." The Communication Department nominated DeChant as an Outstanding Graduate because of her "high standards of excellence, professionalism, and creativity and insight in applying theory to practice."
The largest number of majors at Saturday's ceremony, 53, is from the business management program. One of those is Lindsy Frischmuth, 22, of Racine, Wis. With the help of summer-session classes, Frischmuth, a graduate of Racine's Walden III High School, completed her degree in just three-and-a-half years. What makes her accomplishment even more amazing is that she graduates cum laude, worked full time at Rogers & Hollands Jewelers, and recently bought a house.