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Alumni Close-Ups

David Bither MA’78: Record-Holding Record Label

February 27, 2014

David Bither MA’78 of Nonesuch Records goes with his heart.

Melinda Myers MS’86: Turning Black Thumbs Green

February 27, 2014 1 comment

For Melinda Myers MS’86, there’s something special about helping people grow their first tomato.

Geraldine Hines JD’71: Defending Justice

November 11, 2013 1 comment

Hines traces her path to the judge’s bench directly back to her experience as one of four black students in the UW Law School’s Class of 1971.

Viveca Chan ’76: Ad Agency Pioneer

November 11, 2013

Chen had no idea what she wanted to do with her life — only that she wanted a U.S. education.

D. Wayne Lukas ’57, MS’60:
Still Racing Strong

October 21, 2013

There’s no how-to book in thoroughbred racing … experience is paramount.

Sweet and Scary: Leigh Henderson MBA’07

August 29, 2013

When it comes to baking cakes, Leigh Henderson MBA’07 is good — scary good.

Andrew Stoltmann ’94: Defending Investors

August 29, 2013 1 comment

Andrew Stoltmann ’94 witnessed the cruel effects of fiscal crime when his father was swindled in a real estate deal, losing $80,000.

Jeff DeGraff PhD’85: Dean of Innovation

June 13, 2013 2 comments

“If you want to become better and new, the positive tension that comes from diversity, people holding divergent views, is essential to making innovation happen.”

Marshall Brickman ’62: The Jersey Score “Dueling Banjos” to Jersey Boys

June 13, 2013

“My theory of life — and career choices — then and now is to hang out with people that I don’t mind having lunch with.”

Rich Varda ’75: A Sustainable Target

March 7, 2013

When you want to reduce your energy consumption, you might swap an incandescent light bulb for a more efficient compact fluorescent. But Rich Varda ’75 thinks bigger — much bigger.

Carolyn Smith ’87: Pushing the Limits

March 7, 2013

Carolyn Smith ’87’s calves have powered her through more grueling miles than most people can even fathom.

John Schmitt ’80: The Long Road

November 10, 2012

For years, John Schmitt ’80 had heard that many of the world’s people live without access to clean, safe water

Bob Wills MS’81, PhD’83, JD’91: Urban Cheesemaker

November 10, 2012 1 comment

When night settles on Milwaukee’s near south side, Clock Shadow Creamery starts humming

Dave and Rachel ’03 Brown: Amazing Race Champions

August 30, 2012

. . . the Browns became the most successful team in race history by winning a record eight challenges.

Jamie Yuenger ’04: Mini-Documentarian

August 30, 2012

“We are all part of a bigger story.”

Emily Friedman ’07: On the Campaign Trail

May 30, 2012

Emily Friedman has a front-row seat to history as an ABC News digital reporter covering Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Tom Hall ’86: Video Game Innovator

May 30, 2012 1 comment

“I felt guilty eating breakfast. I had to get in to work and make the game.”

Michael Wenninger DVM’04: Exotic Animal Vet

February 28, 2012 1 comment

A typical day for veterinarian Michael Wenninger DVM’04 brings to mind something that you’d see on Animal Planet.

Sarah Wu ’99: Exposing School Lunches

February 28, 2012 1 comment

A hotdog encased in soggy bagel dough with a side of Tater Tots and a skimpy fruit cup might not seem like much to write home about, but . . .

Michael Eddy ’90: Assisting in the Birth of a Nation

November 9, 2011 1 comment

Making history in southern Sudan

Harris ’06 & Lyle ’08 Friess: Taking a Shot at Making a Difference

November 9, 2011

Brooklyn Youth Sports Club: Basketball to promote academic excellence

Bruce Kania ’75: Floating a Sustainable Idea

August 29, 2011 3 comments

No man is an island. However, one man’s name is becoming synonymous with them.

Ronald Silverman ’69: Dentist to a Dictator

August 29, 2011 1 comment

Ron Silverman ’69 stared into the jaws of death five years ago when he found himself fitting a crown molding for the mouth of Saddam Hussein.

Estella Leopold ’48: Carrying on the Leopold Legacy

June 2, 2011

“We can learn plenty from the past,” says Estella Leopold ’48.

Marjorie Liu JD’03: Genre Bender

June 2, 2011

There’s nothing in the family law classes to prepare future Badger attorneys to understand the relationship between a woman and a merman.

Ben Weiner ’06 and Kelly Korevec ’06: Partnership in Motion

February 28, 2011 3 comments

Weiner and Korevec create dailymile.com.

Madelon Rosenfeld ’71: Staying Sharp as a Fencing Champion

February 28, 2011 1 comment

Judge (and fencing champ) Rosenfeld makes her point with cold steel.

Zach Bassett ’09: Setting Sail through Craigslist

November 3, 2010

Just days before launching his professional career in Hastings, Minnesota, Zach Bassett ’09 was sailing a forty-six-foot yacht in the Mediterranean.

Rod Clark ’71: Literature in Bloom

November 3, 2010

As the editor of the literary magazine Rosebud, Rod Clark has published nearly 50 issues

The New Adventures of Tricia O’Kelley

August 24, 2010

After years of being what she called a “professional guest star,” (Patricia) Tricia O’Kelley ’90 scored a steady gig when she landed a role in CBS’s hit sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine.

Dennis White: Saving an Ancient Art

August 24, 2010 4 comments

Dennis White works to preserve Ojibwe culture.

Pam Alexander ’90, JD ’02: Animal Defender

May 26, 2010 1 comment

Pam Hart Alexander co-founded SAAV to help save animals.

Kurt Unterholzner ’82: Transplant Hero

May 26, 2010 3 comments

Kurt Unterholzner makes the most of his second chance.

Tony Dreyfuss ’97: The Philosophy of Joe

March 8, 2010

Since Tony Dreyfuss ’97 opened Metropolis Coffee in 2003 in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood, it’s garnered publicity in publications ranging from Saveur to London’s Evening Standard.

Michael Mann ’65: Location, Location, Location

March 8, 2010

Filmmaker Michael Mann ’65 says he chose to shoot his movie Public Enemies in the Badger state because, “There is no place else in America I can think of where [the] 1930s or ’20s or ’40s is as vivid as it is in Wisconsin. I’d forgotten how beautiful the state is.”

Jacquie Berg ’05: Soul Survivor

March 8, 2010

Jacquie Berg ’05 doesn’t just conquer challenges; she welcomes them. The California resident recently competed as a contestant on the CBS reality show Survivor: Gabon, where her daily life included meals of termites and ferns, and a less-than-ideal survival wardrobe.

John Ruf JD’93: The Man Who Loves Sailing

March 8, 2010 1 comment

Nothing has ever stopped John Ruf JD’93 from sailing — not the operations or radiation he underwent as a child to treat a tumor on his spine, nor the paralyzing injury he suffered after a car accident in 1998, when his mode of transportation became a wheelchair.

Dena Grushkin Florczyk ’80: Making a Difference in Nigeria

March 8, 2010

“I have become somewhat of a voice for the voiceless,” says public school teacher Dena Grushkin Florczyk ’80, who founded The Nigerian School Project to provide much-needed resources to teachers and students in Nigeria.

Everett Potter ’76: Where Does a Travel Writer Go on Vacation?

March 8, 2010 1 comment

Travel writer Everett Potter ’76 has the kind of job that most people only dream of — getting paid to travel the world, sample the best hotels, or ski at the finest mountain resorts.

Shane Welch ’01: Heady Accomplishments

March 8, 2010 2 comments

Shane Welch ’01 founded Sixpoint Craft Ales in the basement of his former Vilas Avenue apartment. Now based in Brooklyn, New York, Welch distributes exclusively in New York City to more than five hundred bars and restaurants.