1969 Lakeland graduate gives generous gift to benefit natural sciences
Dr. Cliff Feldmann remembers vividly the care and support he received as a Lakeland College student from many of his teachers, most notably, longtime chemistry professor and division chair David Rath.
Now, more than 45 years after graduating with a bachelor's degree, Feldmann is giving the college a significant gift that will allow the continued transformation of the programs in Lakeland's natural sciences division.
Feldmann, president of Sheboygan Falls-based Feldmann Engineering & Mfg. Co. Inc. and a resident of Florida, recently made a gift of $840,000 to Lakeland's natural sciences division.
The money will set in motion significant expansion of the Lakeland Undergraduate Research Experience (LURE), fund cutting-edge equipment that will provide new student research opportunities and create significant new scholarships designed to attract top-tier, high-achieving students from throughout the Midwest.
Prior to earning a chemistry degree at Lakeland in 1969, Feldmann had to withdraw from classes for several months due to family challenges. Feldmann credits Rath for stepping in to make sure he stayed on track to graduate.
"Dr. Rath provided me with an opportunity to continue my education," said Feldmann, who later earned a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked a number of years for Hewlett-Packard. "He provided me extra time and a facility on campus at which I could study. That made it easier for me to transition through a difficult time.
"I had a very positive experience there while doing my undergraduate work and now I'm at a point in my career where I want to give back in the hopes of making a difference for this generation of faculty and students. I want to fund programs where students can access their professors with an opportunity to develop close, mentoring relationships."
Lakeland President Dan Eck said the college is excited to work with Feldmann to see how his generous gift will transform the natural sciences programs.
"Lakeland is grateful to have loyal alumni who are willing to share their hard work and good fortune in support of the college's mission," Eck said. "We have a very talented faculty, and we are all looking forward to seeing the positive impact on our academic programs and the increased opportunities for students that will come with this incredible gift."
Feldmann's gift will benefit a program that has been experiencing significant growth in the last several years.
Paul Pickhardt, chair of the natural sciences division and associate professor of biology, said some of the funds will strengthen LURE, the college's 10-week summer program that allows undergraduate students to work alongside faculty members to design and conduct research which is later presented at regional or national conferences.
"Our faculty are enthusiastic to provide hands-on learning opportunities to our students, and the planned equipment acquisitions from this initial gift will allow us to do that," Pickhardt said. "Currently our students are somewhat limited on the types of research questions they can explore in the laboratory, and these purchases will greatly expand their opportunities within coursework and independent research projects. Research equipment investments that can lay the foundations for strong programs yet also strengthen interdisciplinary ties across traditional disciplines will be emphasized."
Additionally, Pickhardt said Feldmann's gift will put Lakeland's programs in a stronger position to enhance current relationships create new ones with community and industry partners. The gift will also help the growth of the college's exercise science program.
Feldmann said he's been impressed with Lakeland's commitment to the sciences and the focus on the same kind of faculty-student interaction that benefitted him more than four decades earlier.
"Lakeland is a great setting for getting a good, private, liberal arts education in a small environment. This is getting more difficult today, particularly for students with limited means, to achieve their educational goals," Feldmann said. "That is a particular area I would like to support.
"The important thing is the student relationship with faculty focused on teaching in a smaller environment where they can work more intimately. That's the experience I had many years ago."
Feldmann Engineering & Mfg. Co. Inc. started in 1947 in a cheese factory building near Plymouth by Feldmann's parents, Marvin and Myrtle Feldmann. It has evolved over the decades, and today the company has become the world leader in the manufacture and sale of its Jiffy Ice Drills. Other popular products include lawn aerators, portable fencing, shrub and tree planting augers and specialty products.
Band concert to celebrate director's strength
The Lakeland Concert Band will celebrate the strength of its director during its fall concert on Wednesday, Nov. 19, in the college's Bradley Theatre. The free concert begins at 7:30 p.m.
It will be the first performance under Director and Assistant Professor of Music Chris Werner since he underwent successful cancer surgery in August.
The theme for the concert is "Bright!" and the program includes classic band works by Gustav Holst and Henry Fillmore and an array of newer compositions that build the bright theme: Frank Ticheli's "Sun Dance," Kimberly Archer's "Hymn to the Dawn," John Mackey's "Aurora Awakes," Joseph Turrin's "Lullaby for Noah" and David Maslanka's "Illumination."
"This concert is purposefully designed to be happy, invigorating, inspiring and bright," Werner said. "Oddly enough, I programmed this concert the week before my cancer surgery in August, during a time when most people would probably be in a very dark, depressed and scary place.
"However, the amount of positive energy from family, friends, students and faculty at Lakeland got me through this difficult period and this concert repertoire is reflective of their spirit and gifts in helping me survive. Try as I might to come up with a program brooding, intense and reflective – the universe would have nothing of it! This program is direct, celebratory and certainly 'bright!'"
The Lakeland Concert band includes 48 students and represents nearly every academic major on Lakeland's campus. In addition to Werner, former longtime Lakeland Director of Bands Lewis Schmidt will be a guest conductor on this program.
Grand opening of new Lakeland College Milwaukee Center is Nov. 19
Lakeland College will formally celebrate moving its Milwaukee Center to Honey Creek Corporate Center IV, 9000 W. Chester St., Milwaukee, with a grand opening on Wednesday, Nov. 19, from 4-6 p.m.
Tours of the new location will be available, and a short program will begin at 5:30 p.m. Appetizers will be served. As part of the festivities, 94.5 The Lake FM will be onsite with giveaways and promotions, including the chance to win an iPad.
The new location houses Lakeland's Evening, Weekend and Online program classes offered in the Milwaukee area.
"Lakeland has been offering educational options for adult students in Milwaukee for 35 years, so we're certainly not a newcomer to higher education in this area," said Zach Voelz, Lakeland's vice president for enrollment management. "This new center provides advances in technology that match the evolution of Lakeland's BlendEd flexible course formats and sets us up to serve our students and continue to evolve in what has become a rapidly changing higher education marketplace."
The college occupies the majority of the third floor of the Honey Creek Corporate Center IV. Lakeland's center, which is nearly 16,000 square feet, includes 10 classrooms, one laptop lab and one computer lab, a student lounge, eight offices, Wi-Fi throughout the facility and ample free parking. Classrooms are available for daytime rentals to businesses, clubs and other organizations.
Lakeland has offered evening degree programs in Milwaukee since 1979. Today, the college serves more than 500 students in the Milwaukee area and 2,800 students statewide. Lakeland's total enrollment is approximately 3,600.
In 1978, Lakeland developed an evening degree-completion program for working adults, the first in the state at that time. In 2012, Lakeland celebrated the 150th anniversary of the founding of its main campus, which is located in Sheboygan County.
Lakeland students in Milwaukee can earn a bachelor of arts degree in accounting, business administration, communication, computer science, criminal justice, education, marketing, psychology and specialized administration. Lakeland also offers a master of business administration, master of arts in counseling and master of education.
New Bradley Gallery show to spotlight work of three seniors
Lakeland College will spotlight the work of three senior art students when the first of three Lakeland Senior Art Student Portfolio Exhibitions opens on Friday, Nov. 7.
Becca Elliot, Renjie Zhou and Katie LaPlaunt will discuss their work during an opening reception beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the Bradley Gallery, located in the Bradley Fine Arts Building on Lakeland's campus.
The exhibit, which will feature works created by these students during their time at Lakeland, will run through Dec. 10. The Bradley Gallery is open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday, when the college is in session. Attendance at the reception and admittance to the Bradley Gallery are both free and open to the public.
The senior art show is a requirement for all Lakeland art majors. Students gain the experience of having their own exhibit, and are responsible for planning the show, putting the public relations together, hanging their work and any other details.
Elliot is a double major in art (graphic arts emphasis) and communication (professional emphasis). She has been working as a freelance graphic artist since the spring of 2012 and has created work for several on- and off-campus organizations. She won an honorable mention award at the 2012 Lakeland College Student Art Exhibitions.
She served a graphic art and communication internship in the first half of 2014 with Fond du Lac Festivals, Inc. She planned and organized a Walleye Weekend 2014 logo re-launch party and created a number of works for Walleye Weekend, including 20 digital billboards. She also served as a graphic art intern with Lakeland's Career Development office in 2013.
Elliot said her work for this show features a few different mediums. "In my digital art I tend to add layers at different opacities to give the final product a feel of depth or texture," she said. "While a lot of my work has these characteristics, I do have pieces that are more flat, although I try to still add a few drop shadows or textures to the majority of my pieces. Nature, space, depth and texture are my favorite aspects to find and put into my work."
LaPlaunt is majoring in art with a graphic arts emphasis. She is in her second year working as a graphic design intern with Lakeland's marketing department, and she spent two years working as a student assistant in the college's art department.
She won honorable mention awards at the 2013 and 2014 Lakeland College Student Art Exhibitions. She is the recipient of several scholarships, and she has been on the Dean's List for academic achievement.
"One of my favorite things about art is beginning a new project," LaPlaunt said. "I set high expectations for myself and look forward to the finished piece. Usually mid-project I will come to a point where I don't like it and I need to push myself to finish it. One of the worst parts of creating artwork is trying to figure out where to end. It's hard to spend a lot of time and effort on something, and then finally say it's finished when it's not quite perfect yet. Perfection cannot be achieved, so eventually I stop before I mess it up."
Zhou, an international student from China, is majoring in art with both a graphic arts and studio arts emphasis. His work has been featured in a number of previous exhibits at both the college and in the Alive in the Arts exhibit at the Plymouth Arts Center. In 2014, he won a second-place and honorable mention award at Lakeland's Student Art exhibit.
Since the fall of 2012 he has worked as a studio assistant and gallery receptionist for Lakeland's art department. He designed and painted a mural for the college's IT Center and teaches painting classes in his native China.
"What keeps artists spending time on making art? Not just having a passion for art, but also always giving yourself challenges," Zhou said. "Inspiration is very important, but not feeling inspired is not an excuse to stop making art. There is no way that anyone will have inspiration for art in every single day of life. But, if you keep painting and drawing you will sustain yourself with many good art ideas."
Lakeland to host International Food Fest on Oct. 25
Lakeland College's Global Student Association will host its annual International Food Festival on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 6-8 p.m.
The food fest, which will feature native cuisines prepared by Lakeland students from more than a dozen countries from around the world, will be held in Bossard Hall, which is located on the second floor of the Younger Family Campus Center. Food from China, Japan, Nepal, Kenya, Brazil and Malawi are among the cuisines that will be available.
The cost is $6 per person, and only cash can be accepted.