By Karen Stokes
Making major contributions to society whether large or small can result in making a positive difference in the world.
Twenty four alumni and one organization were honored Friday, Oct. 12, at the Milwaukee Pfister Hotel where they gathered with their friends, family and fellow alumni for a lively celebratory dinner event.
An impressive group of UW-Alumni representing a wide range of professions, community services and volunteering were celebrated at the UWM Alumni Association Awards. The awardees represented the fields of education, entrepreneurship, arts, science, finance, business, human services and even ownership of the Milwaukee Admirals.
“This year’s award recipients were selected from a large pool of exceptional talent,” said Adrienne Bass, associate vice chancellor for alumni relations. “We’re amazed at how broad and community focused and how well the selection committee did this year in selecting our nominees.”
The recipients were chosen based on their outstanding professional achievements, civic involvement and partnerships with the university.
A special appearance was made by Mayor Tom Barrett who congratulated the awardees and gave thanks to UWM.
“Thank you to UWM for producing so many great graduates and thank you for educating my wife,” Barrett said.
The mayor’s wife Kris, (‘83 BS Elementary. Education) is a UWM alumna.
The following honorees are Milwaukeeans:
- Nathaniel Deans Jr., BS English & Education ’11 English teacher, Riverside University High School
- Eva Marie Lewis King, MS Biomedical Sciences ’15 DNA laboratory supervisor, Milwaukee Crime Laboratory
- Nicholas Robinson, BS Architectural Studies ’10, MArch Architecture ’12 Co-founder & principal, DREAM Builders LLC
- Jacarrie Carr, BS Community Education ’15 Founder, Jacarrie’s Kicks for Kids
“Receiving the Gold Award was everything for me. I was so happy and overjoyed,” said Carr. “To go from living in poverty, not having much motivation besides my parents to get to this point is truly a blessing from God. I was happy to represent African American men, I was happy to beat the statistics, I was happy to show my parents I did it.”
Friends and family enthusiastically displayed their Panther pride for the honorees.
“I’m am proud of Nathaniel Jr.” said Deans’ father, Nathaniel Deans Sr. “I’m glad to see his goals and dreams of helping young people have come true.”
“The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is fortunate to have so many influential and dedicated alumni, not only in this region, but also across the country and throughout the world,” said Bass.
Other honorees include:
Lifetime Achievement Award
Paul Hemmer, BS Biological Sciences ’85
Distinguished Alumni Service Award
David Misky, BS Biological Sciences ’92
Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards
Eugene Guszkowski, BS Architecture ’71, MArch Architecture ’73
Lei Schlitz, MS Mechanical Engineering ’93, PhD Mechanical Engineering ’98
Corporate Partner Award
Robert W Baird
Community Service Awards
Jennifer Lehrke, BS Architectural Studies ’97, MArch Architecture ’99
Harris Turer, BBA Marketing ‘88
Honorary Alumni Award
K. Vairavan, Professor Emeritus, UWM College of Engineering and Applied Science
Panther Pride Volunteer Award
Meg Jansky, BBA Management Information Systems ’85
Graduate of the Last Decade (Graduate)
Daniel Burkholder, MFA Dance ’11, MFA Performing Art
Natalie Harlan, MHRLR Human Resources and Labor Relations ’08
Angela Meyers, BA Sociology ’02, MLIS Library and Information Science ’08
Srikanth Pilla, PhD Mechanical Engineering ’09
Nirmal Raja, MA Art ’10, MFA Art ’12
Mark Speltz, MA History ’09
Graduate of the Last Decade (Undergraduate)
Brent Aussprung, BSE Mechanical Engineering ’14
Lauren Decker, BFA Music ’12
Brian Firkus, BFA Music ’12, BFA Inter-Arts ’12
Eric Miller (Posthumous), BA Mass Communication – Journalism ’06
Julia Robson, BS Biological Sciences ’12, BS Conservation Science ’12
Ed Sturkey, BBA Marketing ’07, BBA Finance ‘07.
This article originally appeared in the Milwaukee Courier.