Updates from Alumni and Friends


Alumni Update Form

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Send us your on-the-job photos and/or news to history@uwrf.edumail.

Alumni Updates

Thanks to all who have shared an update so far!
Most recent updates on top :)

Jon Peterson, Nov. 2014 (Class of 1999)

Current: Director of the Office of College and Career Readiness, St. Paul Public Schools, St. Paul, Minnesota


Alex Halverson, Nov. 2014 (Class of 2008)

Current: Judicial Law Clerk, State of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Past: Law clerk for the Minneapolis City Attorney's Office; Law Clerk for the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection

Bill Berry, Oct. 2014 (Class of 1975)

Current: Self-employed writer

Message: Author of Banning DDT: How Citizen Activists in Wisconsin Led the Way,link published by Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2014.


Julie Bohnhoff-Overby, Dec. 2013 (Class of 1984)

Current: Teacher, Plymouth School District, Plymouth WI
Past: Private piano instructor

Bruce R. Feld, Dec. 2013 (Class of 1978)

Current: Contract Manager, Hallmark Business Connections, Inc., Minneapolis MN
Past: Various paralegal positions in law firms and corporate legal departments
Message: Speaking from experience, the writing and critical analysis skills you learn as a History student at UWRF can set you apart from the competition. These are skills not often found in today's workplace.

Carol Kettner, Dec. 2013 (Class of 1981/1987)

Current: Retired
Past: Taught 2nd through 4th grade in Barron, WI 1986-2010

Thomas Neuman, Dec. 2013 (Class of 1995)

Current: Teacher, 9th Grade Geography/Coach, Newman Smith High School, Carrolton, TX
Message: I worked for 3 years in the Geography Department while doing my undergrad - a fantastic group of professors!! I now teach geography and coach football here in Texas! Friday Night Lights for real!

Edward E. Schlumpf, Dec. 2013 (Class of 1960)

Current: Retired
Past: Educator, coach and guidance counselor. Taught secondary U.S. History, World History, World Geography, Social Problems, Speech, Phy. Ed. and Journalism. Also high school Guidance Counselor, 24 years, Hartland, WI

Adam Westrich, Dec. 2013 (Class of 2003)

Current: Pastor/Clergy, St. John's United Church of Christ, Norwood Young America, MN
Past: Librarian, Bethel Seminary Library

Marjorie Williams, Dec. 2013 (Class of 1996 M.A.)

Current: Retired
Past: Taught high school

Craig Zabel, Dec. 2013 (Class of 1977 B.A.)

Current: Head of the Department of Art History, Penn State University, University Park, PA
Past: Faculty positions at Dickinson College, University of Virginia and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Mark Kinders, Apr. 2013 (Class of 1994 M.A.)

Mark Kinders, vice president for public affairs at the University of Central Oklahoma, was selected as chair-elect to a higher education task force that sponsors a nationwide conference on public higher education government relations.

The Higher Education Government Relations Conference brings public policy advocates, presidents, regents and other higher education leaders together to discuss state and national trends generated by governors, state legislators, Congress and the federal administration.

The national task force, which also recognizes exemplary contributions by higher education policy advocates, is comprised of 20 representatives from four higher education associations: the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, representing regional four-year institutions; the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, comprised of doctoral research institutions; the American Association of Community Colleges; and the Council for the Advancement of Support of education, whose membership includes over 4,000 public and private higher education institutions in 29 nations.

Collectively, the four associations represent more than 14.9 million students at America's public higher education universities and colleges.

During the three-day annual conference, attendees are updated on federal and state public policy initiatives, global challenges, and universities and colleges best practices to improve America's global competitiveness through higher education. 

Kinders will chair the task force as it establishes its 2014 conference agenda.

He served as the UWRF director of public affairs from 1985-2008.

Helen Stoltz-Wood, July 2012 (Class of 2003)

Helen Stoltz-Wood with her book at the 2013 History and Philosophy Banquet

Stoltz-Wood wins genealogy award

The Wisconsin Historical Society, in conjunction with the Wisconsin State Genealogical Society, has awarded Helen Stoltz-Wood of Hudson a 2012 Genealogy/Family History Award for From Denmark to Wisconsin: One Family - Two Ships, 1641-2011.

An independent panel of judges found "From Denmark to Wisconsin" tells the saga of a Danish-American family from the 17th century in Denmark, through their 19th-century immigration to northwestern Wisconsin, to the present, primarily in Polk and St. Croix counties.

Extensively documented from Danish and American records, and well-illustrated, "From Denmark to Wisconsin" provides interesting context in its attempt to illustrate the "whys" as well as the "hows" of the family's history. The award-winning family history was selected from a field of five nominees.

The Wisconsin Historical Society's Board of Curators approved the award at its meeting in Bayfield on June 23.

Hudson Star Observerlink, July 4, 2012.

David Peterson, Oct. 2009 (Class of 1980)

I went on the [History Club's Haunted UWRF] tour last night and I thought the students did an excellent job. What a great idea!  Wish I had thought of it when I was president of the History Club (1979-1980) . . . but we were busy waging the Save South Hall battle along with Ed and Ursula. Please pass my thanks along to the students who organized and ran the tours. If they ever want to hear my own South Hall Ghost stories I'd be glad to share them. The place is definitely haunted. PS:  . . . the ghost(s) my friends and I experienced were not malevolent. There were a lot of footsteps involved.

Ron Briel, July 2009 (Class of 1972)

Greetings Fellow UW-RF Alumni,

Earlier this summer I took a walk down "memory lane" when I visited UW-RF campus with my family. This was my first visit to River Falls since I graduated with a Master of Arts Degree in 1972. As we slowly ambled across campus I played the role of tour guide, attempting to convey how things were when I lived there. As we proceeded, all kinds of memories from those times entered my mind, from long gone daily routines to specific events to particular persons who shared those times. "This was my early morning route to Rodli Commons to get breakfast," I explained as I pointed in an easterly direction from in front of the residence hall where I lived for most of the time I was there. "This is South Hall where I had most of my classes and where most of my professors had their offices," I said with a bit of a lump in my throat. I explained that there are no classes or offices in South Hall anymore, and that it is now preserved as part of the history of the university. As we walked by there I thought about George, Terry, Steve, Noble, and of course, Ed. I longed to walk through the front door and say hello, but that door is now closed to such communication forever. Time and tide wait for no one. I waited too long!

I thank Susan Voelker for this opportunity to share a few words with you about my visit to this very special place we all love so much.

Ron Briel, April 2012 (Class of 1972)

Greetings Fellow Alumni,

I’m providing the following information on myself and my family:


  • I graduated from UWRF in 1972 receiving a Masters Degree in History
  • In 1981 I graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln receiving a Ph.D. in History, including a minor field in Sociology/Anthropology
  • In 1984 I received a Masters Degree in Geography with a minor field in Community and Regional Planning, also from UN-L


  • From 1977 through 1979 I taught history and geography at Wayne State College at Wayne, Nebraska
  • For the 1979-1980 academic year I taught history at Nebraska Wesleyan University
  • From 1979 through 1983 I taught history at UN-L
  • From 1984 to the present I’ve worked in the NE State Department of Health as the Manager of Nebraska’s Credentialing Review Program which conducts reviews of proposals for new ideas for credentialing and / or for changes in scope of practice by health professions seeking to enhance their role in the health care system

 Family and other personal information

  • I’ve been married since 1986 to my wife Kristi Jo Briel.  We have a daughter, Amber Marie Briel, ten years old.  She is a fourth grader in Lincoln Public Schools.  Amber is in the gifted program.  Amber just finished reading the entire Harry Potter series, from start to finish, since this last Christmas holiday season—amazing!
  • My mother passed away in 2008.  My father passed away in 1992.
  • I still own property in Wisconsin—my mother’s house in my home town.  It’s nice to still have a ‘foothold’ in my home state.  We vacation in Wisconsin every year and spend at least some of that time at that location. We also spend at least a couple of days of vacation time in River Falls every year.

 Special Memories of River Falls during the early 1970’s

  • Teachers: Dr. Edward Peterson, Dr. Terry King, Dr. George Garlid, Dr. Noble Stockton, Dr. Steven Feinstein, Dr. Walker Wyman
  • Places: ‘Emma’s’, ‘The Deep End’, ‘The Hollows,’ South Hall, the footbridge to the city park, Lake Louise, Third Floor Johnson Hall, the old newspaper room at the Library (now gone), Rodli Commons, the Area Research Center, those unique flat-topped hills surrounding River Falls, the beauty of Cascade Avenue, the old cinder trail on the far side of the Little Kini (now gone), the water falls on three sides of Lake Louise
  • Times: Vietnam War ‘teach-ins’ on the campus mall where the Melvin Wall Fountain is now, long early morning walks to breakfast at Rodli Commons, time spent with colleagues at the Area Research Center, watching a football game in November 1971 when the temperature had to be near zero (it was OK; we beat Whitewater that day!), short trips to the Wilson Library at the University of Minnesota, tubing down the Apple River
  • Friends and colleagues include: Bill Linkus, Bill Riley, Joe Poitier, Richard Lierman, Wayne Funk, Sister Ruth Behrends, Dr. John Turcheneske, Nancy O’Denius, Kurt Thompson, Dave Aaronson, Mike Grant, Mr. David Etok, Billy Beaudette, Richard Schelhaus, Gust Sagatook.  My apologies to all whose names I might have inadvertently misspelled. 

 If there is any additional information you might want from me, please send me a line.Thanks.

 Ron Briel

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