Meet Our Community

Kelly Goetsch

Kelly Goetsch

UWMC Alum and Director of Product Development at Oracle®

I enjoy what I do because my job requires more than just knowing technology. As a product owner, I’m using many more skills, ones that will serve me well throughout my career, including the ability to persuade and negotiate.

Overall, the education I received at UWMC was academically rigorous and gave me a good foundation. The faculty and staff were very friendly and gave a lot of personal attention.

I didn’t realize how great of an education I received at UWMC until I attended the University of Illinois at Chicago. Everything seemed so much easier there compared to what I learned here.

Julie Bunczak, UWMC French Instructor

Julie Bunczak

UWMC French Instructor

In addition to gaining some cultural sensitivity with regards to dispelling French stereotypes, I also want my students to make linguistic connections between English, French, Spanish and other languages they may be studying.

I want them to be able to talk and write in French about topics that are important to them, including family life. Sometimes our discussions are about current events. More often, though, we are focused on pop culture, especially music. With the explosion of the Internet, they are teaching me music, especially their favorite French bands.

UWMC is a special place. This campus has demonstrated unwavering support for world languages. But beyond that, what sets us apart is that we have a fantastic faculty. And our students have such ready access to the faculty, who really want to see students outside of class time.

Paul Whitaker in class.

Paul Whitaker

UWMC Associate Professor of Biology

I took a year off from UC Berkeley to volunteer in Mexico, which turned into two years. I spent six months at an orphanage in Tecate, then 18 months with a non-profit organization in Tijuana, where I coordinated a family gardens project for low-income women in several shanty towns. That’s where I rediscovered my love of plants and gardening, discovered my passion for teaching.

I want students to know that their success is in their hands, but they need to be willing to pour themselves into achieving their goals. I also encourage students without clear career or educational goals to read widely, ask questions, talk to people and seek opportunities to stretch themselves in new and sometimes uncomfortable directions. Who would have guessed that my being willing to move into a Mexican orphanage, even though I knew only a few words of Spanish, would lead me to a career as a biology professor?!

Scott Stachowiak, UWMC Alum and Broadcast Producer for ABC's "World News Now"

Scott Stachowiak

UWMC Alum and Broadcast Producer for ABC’s “World News Now”

While I kind of chose UWMC by default, it turned out to be one of the better decisions of my life. There was an outstanding instructor-to-student ratio. My time there was well spent, and it served as an educational bridge, giving me time to figure out what I wanted to do and where I wanted to do it.

Not everyone is ready to make the jump right out of high school to a four-year university; so they should consider the assets that a school like UWMC has to offer. You can knock off some valuable general credits and save some money by living at home while picking up life skills that you don’t get in high school.

In my case, UWMC was the perfect stepping stone to the University of Minnesota, but it didn’t include the unnerving rat race that comes with a larger university.

Tyler Clausen at the piano

Tyler Clausen

UWMC Student

When I first came to UW-Marathon County, it was special to get voice lessons from professor William Day during his last semester of teaching. And now, with the help of Tim Buchholz, I’m improving my musicality. He really wants his students to succeed and is very encouraging.

The atmosphere is very welcoming at UWMC. The environment and staff are very helpful so all students can achieve their life and career goals. I’m really grateful that people can see that I can participate in different ways and not be excluded because of my disability.

When I was younger, I felt I had limits as to what I could do because of my cerebral palsy. As I got older, I learned what my abilities were so I set bigger academic goals for myself. I look at my disability as a strength that really is a tool for pushing me further.

Brad Berndt

Brad Berndt

UWMC Alum and Associate Director of Athletics at Duke University

Coming out of high school, academically and socially, I probably wasn’t ready for a larger four-year campus. UWMC was the perfect fit for me and the perfect academic preparation for my future. Athletically, I wasn’t talented enough to play at a bigger school so I relished the opportunity to continue playing basketball, a sport I love, for two more years at UWMC.

Every single credit I earned in my first two years transferred to UW-Madison and, more importantly, the academic rigor at UWMC was equal to or greater than the last two years of my undergraduate career. When I was at UWMC, I gained an appreciation for the importance of a strong liberal arts background. I learned to write well and speak well, the two most important skills I use every day in my job. I was in small classes, mentored by great professors who instilled in me a desire to learn.

It was a phenomenal financial value. I saved a lot of money because I was able to live at home with my parents. The money that I saved on room and board my first two years I was able to use to pay for graduate school later on.

Kristine Prahl

UWMC Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

I have been teaching at UW-Marathon County since the fall of 1997. The most recent courses I taught include General Survey of Microbiology, Honors in Microbiology, Greek and Latin Origins of Medical and Scientific Terminology, Concepts of Biology, Genetics, and Biology of Women.

I was born in Minnesota, but most of my school-aged childhood was in a suburb of Detroit, Mich. I went to college at Concordia University in River Forest, Ill., near Chicago, where I majored in biology and minored in chemistry. I also played the French horn in the Wind Symphony there each year. Then I went to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where I earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry. My graduate school research was a biofuels project involving genetic engineering of yeast for increased ethanol production.

I had some outstanding science instructors in both high school and college, and their excitement about teaching had a great influence on me. I love helping students prepare for their careers, and I also enjoy being in an environment where students and instructors are continually learning.

I like the small class sizes at UWMC, which allow me more opportunities to get to know my students. This is a school with quality academics, and it also has a family atmosphere.

Aaron Steffen, UWMC Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy

Aaron Steffen

UWMC Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy

I have taught all of the astronomy and physics lecture and laboratory courses offered at UWMC at one point or another.

I grew up in Sheboygan, Wis., and attended UW-Eau Claire and UW-Madison for my undergraduate and graduate degrees, respectively. After obtaining my Ph.D. in astronomy, I worked as a postdoctoral researcher at both Pennsylvania State University and NASA’s Spitzer science center at the The California Institute of Technology.

I am a first-generation college student and a product of the UW System. I choose a career in education because I wanted to give the students of Wisconsin the same educational opportunities that were offered to me when I started college. Astronomy is also a subject that captures everyone’s imagination, and it is fun to talk about the universe with others.

The small class sizes at UWMC enable me to have better one-to-one interactions with my students. This just isn’t possible at a large institution.

Greg Ewan

Greg Ewan

UWMC Alum and Product Manager at Greenheck Fan Corporation

I loved being at the MC. If I could have replicated that experience for my whole college career, I would have. It was very family oriented and prepared me well for UW-Platteville.  The professors were top notch. They had high expectations for you, especially the math professors. They taught us math principles rather than just having us memorize the rules.