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UWPlatteville Commencement Saturday

PLATTEVILLE — The 189th commencement at UW–Platteville is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 15.

The day will include two graduation ceremonies inside Williams Fieldhouse. The first ceremony, which will feature graduates in the College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture, and the School of Graduate Studies, will begin at 9 a.m. The second ceremony, which will include graduates in the College of Liberal Arts and Education and College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science, will be held at 2 p.m.

There will be 235 students from the College of BILSA who will receive degrees, as well as 154 students from the College of LAE and 121 students from the College of EMS. Graduate Studies will confer master’s degrees to 92 students.

The ceremonies are being streamed online live through the Media Technology Services website at

Rochelle Ripp has been selected as the principal speaker for the College of BILSA and Graduate Studies ceremony. Brent M. Wetter will be the senior speaker.

Prof. Emeritus Donna Perkins will be the commencement marshal for the morning ceremony.

A 2009 UW–Platteville graduate, Ripp currently serves as Wisconsin’s 65th Alice in Dairyland, an honor she was selected for on campus in May.

One of the most recognizable spokespersons of Wisconsin agriculture, Ripp is a public relations professional working for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. She travels throughout the state, nation and world to promote Wisconsin products to audiences of all ages, educating the media, youth and civic groups about the many facets of the state’s agricultural industry.

Wetter, a communication technologies major, is no stranger to microphones, but his experience usually comes from the production side, not the talking side. Wetter has served as producer, director and technical director (among other duties) for campus entities such as radio station 91FM WSUP, and television shows Pioneer Sports Talk, 30-CC music video show and University Report. In addition, he directed the live Badger Camp Telethon.

Perkins retired this fall after nearly a quarter of a century in the UW–Platteville Business and Accounting Department. During her career, she earned several prestigious BILSA honors, including the Outstanding Academic Advisor Award and the Thomas and Lee Ann Lindahl Teaching Excellence Award. She was honored further by the UW System with the Alliant Energy Underkofler Excellence in Teaching Award in 2002 and as a Wisconsin Teaching Scholar in 2003.

Brian J. Rauch will serve as principal speaker for the College of LAE and College of EMS ceremony. Rauch earned his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from UW–Platteville in 1986. He subsequently earned his master’s and Ph.D. from UW-Madison. He graduated from the M.B.A. executive program at UW-Madison in 2000. In 2005, Rauch earned an international business certificate after completing the Global 2020 executive program at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Rauch has worked at Deere and Co. in Dubuque since 1994, serving as vice president–engineering and technology in the construction and forestry division since 2007.

Ian E. McGregor will be the senior speaker, while Joe Lomax will serve as commencement marshal at the afternoon ceremony.

McGregor, an environmental engineering major from Wauwatosa, Wis., gained a world of experience during his time at UW–Platteville. As a member of Engineers Without Borders, McGregor made three trips to remote villages of Ghana, West Africa. In 2009, the group constructed a 50-foot reinforced concrete bridge that provides the only access to healthcare facilities, schools and market centers for a community of about 400. In January of 2011, he assisted with a feasibility study looking at the possibility of constructing a primary school to serve four rural villages. This past August, he was part of an eight-member team that began construction of the primary school that will serve 250 children.

In 1969, Lomax was offered and accepted a teaching position at UW–Platteville. Lomax is believed to have been the first African–American faculty member at UW–Platteville. He was one of the pioneers of the police science program.
Prior to coming to UW–Platteville, Lomax earned an undergraduate degree from UW–Stevens Point. In 1963 he was hired as an officer in the Beloit Police Department, the first African–American to hold the title. Following a promotion 3½ years later, Lomax trained fellow officers.

While at UW–Platteville, Lomax worked with criminal justice agencies throughout the state to help build the program. He launched Criminal Justice Career Day as well as the department’s internship program. Lomax introduced new classes during the years and recently helped organize the Criminal Justice Alumni Reunion. He also established the online criminal justice master’s program and undergraduate online program.

Dr. Michael Penn will be honored as a recipient of the Alliant Energy Underkofler Excellence in Teaching Award.
Penn has been teaching in the UW–Platteville Civil and Environmental Engineering Department since 1997. He was recognized for continually striving to generate the best learning environment for his students. He was also recognized for establishing good relationships with his students, engaging them in and out of the classroom, and fostering critical thinking, which exemplifies a balanced active learning environment.