Movers & Shakers Gala goes out with a bang
More than 500 guests gathered at Lakeland College on May 17 for a spectacular evening of dancing, multi-course gourmet food, fellowship and philanthropic fundraising.
The seventh annual Movers & Shakers Gala was the final time this popular community event offered an evening of dancing. Beginning next year, the Gala will feature a lineup of various talent acts.
Saturday's event, which benefits Lakeland College, the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra and numerous local charities, showcased the dancing skills of nine community leaders and their professional partners.
Tracy Wusterbarth, a human resources specialist at ACUITY, won the 2014 Movers & Shakers Gala championship, which goes to the dancer with a combination of the best judges' scores and the most purchased votes. Wusterbarth, the last dancer of the night and a former Miss Wisconsin, danced the jive and showcased her strong tap dancing skills. Votes purchased for Wusterbarth, who was sponsored by ACUITY, also benefited the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice.
Winning the "Judges' Choice" award was Julie Steinert, who danced a dazzling Cha-Cha hip-hop routine. Votes for Steinert, a nonprofit organization professional currently working as an office administrator at her husband's dental practice, also benefited Meals on Wheels of Sheboygan County. She was sponsored by Peter J. Steinert DDS SC and Bank First National.
Lakeland's Todd Wehr Center was transformed into a majestic ballroom, which included an elegant dance floor framed by wall-to-wall carpeting plus professional lighting and two large video screens.
In its previous six years, Movers & Shakers raised more than $2.5 million, including a four-year total of $263,500, for more than 30 nonprofit organizations.
Major sponsors of this year's Gala were the Frank G. and Frieda K. Brotz Family Foundation, Festival Foods and Studio Gear Technology. Additional event sponsors included Blue Moon Studios, Huber Creatives, Salon Sase, Zimmermann Printing and Canopies Events with Distinction.
This year's celebrity dancers, in addition to Wusterbarth and Steinert, were:
- Jason Bemis, of Bemis Manufacturing, danced the Viennese Waltz. Votes for Bemis benefited the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sheboygan County. Bemis was sponsored by Bemis Manufacturing Co.
- Rodney Ellison, a Lakeland graduate who works as a physical trainer at the Sports Core, danced the Mambo. Votes for Ellison benefited the Sheboygan County Cancer Care Fund. Ellison was sponsored by Plastics Engineering Company.
- Eric Kriete, a Lakeland graduate who owns The Silver Fern Pub in Sheboygan, danced a 70s "disco themed" Swing medley. Votes for Kriete benefited The Salvation Army-Sheboygan. Kriete, who wore an all-white suit reminiscent of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, was sponsored by The Silver Fern.
- Ashok Rai, the president and chief executive officer of Prevea Health in Green Bay, danced a Bollywood-style Tango. Votes for Rai, whose performance was preceded by a videotaped good luck message from Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, benefited the Sheboygan County Cancer Care Fund. Rai was sponsored by Prevea Health.
- Tammy Schaefer, whose husband, Larry, founded the popular Legend Larry's chicken wings franchise, opened the show and danced the Viennese Waltz. Votes for Schaefer benefited Bookworm Gardens and Rainbow Kids. Schaefer was sponsored by Legend Larry's.
- Johanna Schmidt, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan, danced the West Coast Swing. Votes for Schmidt benefited Rotaract. She was sponsored by Sheboygan County Rotary Clubs and Sartori Cheese.
- Nichola Stayer-Suprick, an active volunteer in the community, danced the Cha-Cha Two-step. Votes for Stayer-Suprick benefited Safe Harbor. Stayer-Suprick was sponsored by Johnsonville Sausage.
Professor transforms assessment into "zombie apocalypse"
Fake blood gushing from a professor's mouth doesn't generally inspire thoughts of higher education.
But Lakeland College Associate Professor of History Rick Dodgson believes there's a time and place for innovative learning through good old-fashioned – even goofy – fun.
Dodgson and five other Lakeland professors, charged with the annual evaluation of Lakeland's general studies program and the liberal arts competence of graduating students, put an irreverent twist on one phase of this exercise with their recent "Zombie Assessment."
Approximately 30 seniors who volunteered to be part of the assessment, not knowing what to expect, were brought into a classroom, where they were shown a video depicting zombies invading Lakeland's campus.
Following the short video, the students, who were asked to represent various countries, broke off into groups to determine which nations were in most need of a limited supply of "anti-zombie vaccine." Armed with demographics about their countries, the seniors studied natural disaster pamphlets produced by the Center for Disease Control. Then they debated each other.
The exercise, which was observed by the faculty who designed it, measured the students' ability to process information, think critically, build a case and verbally communicate it.
"We took the topic seriously," said senior writing major Michelle Fromm, whose country was China. "We got into a few little tiffs about the nature of zombies, whether they could swim and things like that, but it was really fun. I thought it was definitely unique. Zombies are popular in pop culture, so I think a lot of people latched on to that theme. It was cool, hip."
Produced by Lakeland's History Club, the video features Dodgson as a TV anchorman reporting live. When his character, "Rick Diculous," is overwhelmed by the fast-growing zombie population, fake blood spills cartoonishly from his mouth. The students reacted with smiles of amusement.
"At Lakeland, we take education seriously, but we also recognize the need to appeal to our students' outside interests to engage them in their learning," said Dodgson. "We had great fun with this event and all of the students seemed to get a real kick out of it. We had some very creative solutions to the zombie problem we presented to them."
Along with Dodgson, faculty members who oversaw the evaluation were Associate Professor of Writing Nate Lowe, Fessler Professor of Creative Writing & Poet in Residence Karl Elder, Assistant Professor of General Studies & Director of Academic Advising Pam Engebretson, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Richard Lemke and Instructor of Communication John McKenzie.
949 to graduate at Lakeland
More than 900 students will earn degrees on Sunday as Lakeland College celebrates its 152nd commencement.
The college will award diplomas to 949 graduates, including 633 undergraduates and 316 graduate students. The graduation ceremony begins at 2 p.m. in the Wehr Center.
Details about the ceremony can be found at http://lakeland.edu/graduation.
The undergraduate group includes 208 students who attended classes at Lakeland's main campus and 425 students who completed Lakeland's Evening, Weekend and Online program at one of seven centers around Wisconsin.
Jeffrey Selingo, an award-winning author, columnist and speaker who has spent nearly 20 years as a journalist covering colleges and universities worldwide, will deliver the commencement address.
Selingo is the author of "College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students," which explores how families will pay, what campuses will look like, how students will learn and what skills will lead to success in the job market.
In addition, as part of this year's celebration Lakeland College create a huge social scrapbook celebrating the accomplishments of our 2014 graduates. To contribute, tag your posts, Instagram photos and tweets with #muskies14. Find out more at Lakeland.edu/muskies14.
More than 900 graduate at 152nd commencement
More than 900 students earned degrees Sunday as Lakeland College celebrated its 152nd commencement.
The college awarded diplomas to 949 graduates, including 633 undergraduates and 316 graduate students. Nearly 450 students were part of a crowd of more than 3,000 people attending the ceremony, held Sunday afternoon in the college's Wehr Center.
The undergraduate group included 208 students who attended classes at Lakeland's main campus and 425 students who completed Lakeland's Evening, Weekend and Online program at one of seven centers around Wisconsin.
Jeffrey Selingo, an award-winning author, columnist and speaker who has spent nearly 20 years as a journalist covering colleges and universities worldwide, delivered the commencement address. Selingo is the author of "College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students," which explores how families will pay, what campuses will look like, how students will learn and what skills will lead to success in the job market.
Selingo told Sunday's graduates that while their college education was ending, the opportunities to learn were just beginning. He referred to the ability to adapt in today's ever-changing economy and job market as the "killer app."
"In the 21st century, where the jobs of tomorrow haven't even been dreamed of yet, learning never ends," he said.
Selingo told the students that the best way to tackle the future is to become masters of "learning, unlearning and re-learning."
Tess Myklebust, of Wisconsin Dells, spoke on behalf of the class. She graduated with honors with a double major in business management and marketing and was named winner of the college's prestigious Koehler Campus Senior Award.
"When I was a junior in high school and looking for colleges, I never would have thought I would be signing myself up for such a wonderful experience," Myklebust said. "Lakeland has surrounded me with so many positive opportunities. At Lakeland, we were not just a number, we were valued learners with names and faces that were remembered."
See photos and Twitter posts from the 152nd commencement here.
Movers & Shakers Gala returns for one final dance
You can dance if you want to – but only for one more year.
If you have always wanted to see the spectacular dance moves that are part of the region's premier social event, make sure you attend the seventh annual Movers & Shakers Gala, set for Saturday, May 17, at Lakeland College.
This is the final year that Sheboygan County "celebrities" will show off their best dance moves to raise money for local charities and nonprofit organizations, Lakeland College and The Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra.
The Movers & Shakers Gala will have a new format in 2015, and a sneak preview will be unveiled at this year's event.
"Ever since we introduced the Movers & Shakers Gala in 2008, people have been excited to see the evening we have planned for them each May," said Deborah Wente, a member of the Lakeland Board of Trustees and the chair of the Movers & Shakers organizing committee. "We are ready for a big finish for this format, and we cannot wait to preview to our supporters what we have planned for the future.
"The community support and volunteer interest for Movers & Shakers continues to be strong. These people join our 'celebrities,' local companies and our guests who give financially to make this evening successful."
Guests this year can expect to once again see Lakeland's Todd Wehr Center transformed into a beautiful ballroom with an inviting dance floor, a massive lighting setup and huge video screens to provide a who's who of Sheboygan County a lush stage to showcase their best moves.
In its previous six years, Movers & Shakers has raised more than $2.5 million, including a four-year total of $263,500, for more than 30 nonprofit organizations.
Major sponsors of this year's Gala are the Frank G. and Frieda K. Brotz Family Foundation, Festival Foods and Studio Gear Technology. Additional event sponsors include Blue Moon Studios, Huber Creatives, Salon Sase, Zimmermann Printing and Canopies Events with Distinction.
Movers & Shakers is pleased to welcome nine new dancers, and each dancer has selected a charity which will benefit from their votes sales.
The 2014 lineup:
- Jason Bemis, of Bemis Manufacturing, will dance the Viennese Waltz. Votes for Bemis will also benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sheboygan County. Bemis is sponsored by Bemis Manufacturing Co.
- Rodney Ellison, a Lakeland graduate who works as a physical trainer at the Sports Core, will dance the Mambo. Votes for Ellison will also benefit the Sheboygan County Cancer Care Fund. Ellison is sponsored by Plastics Engineering Company.
- Eric Kriete, a Lakeland graduate who owns The Silver Fern Pub in Sheboygan, will dance a Swing medley. Votes for Kriete will also benefit The Salvation Army-Sheboygan. Kriete is sponsored by The Silver Fern.
- Ashok Rai, the president and chief executive officer of Prevea Health in Green Bay, will dance the Bollywood-style Tango. Votes for Rai will also benefit the Sheboygan County Cancer Care Fund. Rai is sponsored by Prevea Health.
- Tammy Schaefer, whose husband, Larry, founded the popular Legend Larry's, will dance the Viennese Waltz. Votes for Schaefer will also benefit Bookworm Gardens and Rainbow Kids. Schaefer is sponsored by Legend Larry's.
- Johanna Schmidt, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan, will dance the West Coast Swing. Votes for Schmidt will also benefit Rotaract. Schmidt is sponsored by Sheboygan County Rotary Clubs and Sartori Cheese.
- Nichola Stayer-Suprick, an active volunteer in the community, will dance the Cha-Cha Two-step. Votes for Stayer-Suprick will also benefit Safe Harbor. Stayer-Suprick is sponsored by Johnsonville Sausage.
- Julie Steinert, a nonprofit professional currently serving as office administrator of her husband's dental practice, will dance the Cha-Cha Hip Hop. Votes for Steinert will also benefit Meals on Wheels of Sheboygan County. Steinert is sponsored by Peter J. Steinert DDS SC and Bank First National.
- Tracy Wusterbarth, a human resources specialist at ACUITY, will dance the Jive. Votes for Wusterbarth will also benefit Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice. Wusterbarth is sponsored by ACUITY.
Complete biographies of each dancer are available on the Movers & Shakers website, http://moversandshakersgala.org.
The celebrities will be paired with a professional dancer, and are in the midst of months of training before they compete to win the support of four judges and what's sure to be another sell-out crowd.
A limited number of tickets are available and can be purchased online at the Movers & Shakers website or by contacting Kym Leibham, Lakeland's alumni & community engagement officer, at or 920-565-1014.
You don't have to attend the event to help support the charities. Anyone can purchase votes, at $20 each, for their favorite dancer prior to the event at the Movers & Shakers website. These charities receive 50 percent of the proceeds raised from the votes for each dancer on their behalf, so vote early and often.
Matt Quasius, who danced in 2011, is returning for his second year as host for the evening. Judges Sandi Vasatka and Jessica Mueller will be joined by guest judges Sheri Murphy, the 2012 Movers & Shakers Gala champion, and Tom Liebl, president and chief operating officer of Sheboygan Paper, Co., who purchased the fourth judge spot at the 2013 event.
A pre-event reception begins at 5:30 p.m., followed at 6:45 by seating in the ballroom for dinner, which features a mouthwatering menu prepared by Lakeland's Dining Services staff.
Several of the professional dancers will perform as part of a new feature this year. The couples include Angela and Frank Gillitzer, Sue Alby and Rod Schulz and Suzana Gossett and Joey Santos.
Following the competition, the dance floor will be open to all guests and Downtown Harrison will provide music for the remainder of the evening.
You can also be part of the pre-event buzz by joining dancers, committee members, guests and volunteers on Facebook at http://moversandshakersgala.org/facebook. "Like" the event page for regular updates.
If you want to get behind the scenes and help make this evening possible, a number of volunteer opportunities are open to the community. More information is available at http://moversandshakersgala.org/volunteer.