Forum set for reimagining the liberal arts: essential skills for graduate success


March 15, 2019 - As a part of the Reimagining the Liberal Arts at UWRF Strategic Initiative, UW-River Falls is hosting a panel discussion featuring successful community and regional leaders, key employers of our graduates, and UWRF alumni sharing their insights on the essential knowledge, skills, and aptitudes that they believe are critical in preparing our diverse students for successful lives and careers. The forum is Tuesday, March 19, from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Falls Room in the University Center. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments provided.
Panelists will share professional and personal stories regarding their own educational and career journeys, as well as provide insights into the types of skilled and well-educated employees and colleagues that they hope to employ and collaborate with in the future.
Panel members are:
Chris Blasius, chief executive officer of the River Falls Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau since 2013. A proud UWRF alumna, she formerly with worked with the River Falls Municipal Utilities. She is currently leading the Work River Falls group that works with local employers on strategies for workforce growth. She is a UWRF Chancellor’s Advisory Council member.
Barbara Butler, owner of Butler CPA, LLC, an accounting and asset management firm in Hudson. A UWRF graduate and member of the UWRF Foundation Board of Directors, Butler has been providing quality, personalized financial guidance to local individuals and businesses for over 25 years. Her firm’s expertise ranges from basic tax management and accounting services to more in-depth services such as financial planning. Her husband, Bob, is professor emeritus in Ag Engineering Technology.
Kristi Cernohous, vice president of quality for Interfacial, a company focused on helping innovators incubate in advanced materials and manufacturing processes. Together with entrepreneur husband, Jeff, Kristi has been involved in the development of numerous businesses in the River Falls area, many in collaboration with or employing other alumni. They are currently primary tenants at the St. Croix Valley Business Innovation Center incubating at least two new businesses. They are both UWRF chemistry alumni and she is a member of the UWRF Chancellor’s Advisory Council member.
Michelle Scheuermann, owner of BulletProof Communications, LLC, a marketing communications consultancy in St. Paul specializing in communication strategies utilizing both traditional and non-traditional avenues to increase awareness and participation in brands, events, and more. She is the former senior director of communications at the Sportsman Channel, a UWRF graduate, and a member of the UWRF Alumni Advisory Board.
Steve Wilcox, serial entrepreneur and owner of The Resultants, a firm of business advisers in Hudson. A UWRF graduate named 2019 Distinguished Alumnus, Wilcox believes that running a business is like racing a sailboat. You need a team of highly capable individuals all understanding their roles and knowing when to contribute to the overall effort. He is very engaged in non-profit leadership (BSA, Rotary) and is a past member of the UWRF Foundation Board of Directors.
Shannon Zimmerman, executive vice-president of Amplexor, a River Falls based global content and language solutions company. Amplexor combines innovative technologies and deep subject-matter expertise to deliver solutions that guide businesses’ transformation into digitally-led organizations with improved operations, better-quality products and services and global reach. Zimmerman is the Wisconsin State Representative for Assembly District 30 and serves as a member of the UWRF Chancellor’s Advisory Council and UWRF Foundation Board member.
Following the panel conversation, presentations from faculty and staff exploration groups will focus on the following related topics:
    •    New Directions in Integrative Learning
    •    STEM Trends in Higher Education
Community members are encouraged to attend this free special campus event.  For further information, call Dean Yohnk in the College of Arts and Sciences at 715-425-3777 or email

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