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Four UWP students named Lifetime Pioneers
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PLATTEVILLE — Four UW–Platteville graduates received the Alumni Association Lifetime Pioneer Award at the December commencement ceremony Saturday.

The award recognizes outstanding graduates who have excelled in academics, professional development and campus involvement, and who have the potential to become active members of the Alumni Association. Winners receive a lifetime membership to the UW–Platteville Alumni Association.

Recipients of this award are Elizabeth Wagner, biology major from Stevens Point; Cindy Kurek, industrial engineering major from Crystal Lake, Ill.; Alex Gooding, electrical engineering major from Grand Chute; and Courtney Wiegel, mathematics education major from Darlington.

“College is about academics, but it is also about the experience,” said Wagner. “You get a lot more out of your time in college if you are involved.”

Wagner was a member of the Residence Hall Association and Porter Hall Council, Wilgus Hall resident assistant, trip leader for the Outdoor Recreation Department and president of Student Ambassadors.

“I would advise future students to get involved and to not be afraid to go out of their comfort zones and try something new,” said Kurek.

Kurek was a member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the Society of Women Engineers where she received the Distinguished Member Award. She was also a student assistant for Women in Engineering, Mathematics and Science where she helped run the Ambassadors Program and the phone-a-thon to recruit perspective students.

“Receiving this award is a real honor,” said Gooding. “I put a lot of work in, so it is nice to be recognized.”

Gooding was a student ambassador, resident assistant, thrower for the track and field team, member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Student Academic Success presenter.

“UW–Platteville was my heart and soul for the five years I was here,” said Wiegel. “It is a complete honor to receive this award from a place that is so close to my heart.”

Wiegel was involved in the Math Club, Kappa Alpha Sigma president, United Greek Council president, and served as a peer mentor for Women in EMS and First Year Experience. She also served on university search and screen committees, was a Stop the Hate facilitator and a teaching assistant for the Introduction to College Life course.

“I am so impressed by the accomplishments of our 2012 honorees and am confident they will be ambassadors for UW–Platteville as they graduate and move into the workforce,” said Kim Schmelz, UW–Platteville Alumni Services Director. “This is our way of rewarding graduating seniors for all the time and effort they have given to UW–Platteville. We will continue to support them and keep them connected as alumni.”