Commencement recognizes Pioneers

May 13, 2017
Commencement Ceremony Spring 2017
Commencement Ceremony Spring 2017
Commencement Ceremony Spring 2017

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – More than 1,200 students were candidates for graduation during the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s 198th commencement this past weekend.

The ceremonies began on May 12 with the School of Business and the School of Graduate Studies. Ceremonies for each of the three colleges were held on May 13, including the College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture; the College of Liberal Arts and Education; and the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science.

Chancellor Dennis J. Shields spoke to the graduates about the importance of civic engagement and making their mark on society. “Being civically engaged means that you will extend yourself and give of your time, energy, and attention, to promote the quality of life in your communities in ways both large and small,” he said. “University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneers are well known for their positive contributions to communities in Wisconsin and beyond.”

Kassidy Kohout, a business administration major from Fennimore, Wisconsin was the student speaker for the May 12 ceremony. Rob Cramer, former vice chancellor for Administrative Services at UW-Platteville and current vice president of administration with the University of Wisconsin System, delivered the principal speaker address. The selected marshal for this ceremony was Dawn Drake, executive director of Alternative Delivery Systems at UW-Platteville.

Dr. Ann Moyer, an alumna and great contributor to the health field in many ways including clinical and research work in genetics and genomics, was the principal speaker for the College of BILSA ceremony. Graduating with a 4.0, Emily Hefty of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, was the student speaker. This year’s commencement marshals for the College of BILSA were Dr. Jodi McDermott, assistant dean of the College of BILSA and Alicia Prill-Adams, assistant farm director of Pioneer Farm.

Emma Cleveland, of Platteville, a double major in political science and renewable and sustainable energy systems, was one speaker for the College of LAE ceremony, and Sakara Wages, a non-traditional student from Chicago, Illinois, who was accepted into a doctorate program at UW-Madison, was the other speaker. Michelle Merkovich, a 2012 alumna, who works for the FBI, served as the principal speaker. Retiring after the 2017 spring semester, Dr. Mittie Nimocks Den Herder ended her career at UW-Platteville after 31 years by being the College of LAE marshal.

The principal speaker for the College of EMS ceremony, Cynthia Bachmann, graduated from UW-Madison with a degree in electrical and computer engineering. From there she worked for The Boeing Company in Seattle, Washington before becoming vice president of Fixtures Engineering, Kitchen, and Bath Americas at The Kohler Company. Josiah Stewart, of Dousman, Wisconsin, founder and president of the UW-Platteville Game Development Club and graduating with a 3.9 GPA, gave one student speaker address, and St. Paul, Minnesota native Paige Hagen, who was an ambassador to the WiSys Technology Foundation, was the other student speaker. Dr. Joe Clifton, who joined UW-Platteville in 1984 and had a role in establishing the software engineering program, served as this ceremony’s marshal.

The university has graduated more than 56,000 students during its 150 years of existence.

Formatted by: Dan Wackershauser, Communications Specialist, Communications, 608-342-1194,


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