UW-WC Announces 2011 Campus Awards

Special Recognitions to be Given at May 19 Commencement Ceremony

Several special awards will be presented at UW-Washington County’s Commencement ceremony on Thursday evening, May 19.  These awards include 2011 Outstanding Alumna, Service Recognition Awards and thirteen Department Awards.


Jody Heipp will receive the Outstanding Alumna Award for 2011.  A graduate of West Bend West High School, Jody Heipp began her college career at UW-Washington County.  Jody notes that the decision to attend UW-Washington County versus a four-year college was an easy and obvious one.  “The small class sizes made participation and discussion happen naturally. The professors were student-centered and were readily available to assist any student to make sure they succeeded. Jody notes that UW-Washington County was also cost effective.  In addition to saving money by living at home and the reasonable tuition, she received the  Elmore & Alyce Kraemer New Freshmen Scholarship which helped with expenses.

Jody transferred to UW-Oshkosh, where she completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Education in December 2000. She went on to complete a Masters of Science in Education-Special Education in 2002. Not stopping there, she completed a second Masters of Science in Education degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from UW-Madison in 2005.

Jody started her career in education as a high school special education teacher at Oshkosh West High School.  Trying to get closer to home, she began teaching elementary special education for the School District of Slinger at Addison Elementary School.  Jody taught special education for one more year, and then became a third grade teacher at Slinger Elementary School for an additional four more years.  Currently, Jody is serving as Associate Principal at Slinger Middle School, a job she has held since 2008, and Director of Summer School for the Slinger School District since 2010. 

Jody and her husband, Cory, have two daughters, Sierra and Ally. Jody enjoys spending time outdoors with her family, camping and ATVing in Northern Wisconsin. She also likes to garden and run – completing her first half marathon last summer, with definite plans to do it again soon.


Michael Thorn will receive a Service Recognition Award.  Thorn is retiring from his position as Professor of History after more than 25 years of faithful and enthusiastic service to the UW Colleges.  A native of England, he earned his BA with Honors in History and Political Science from Oxford University and completed his Ph.D. at The University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Thorn received the Rolfs Award for Teacher of the Year in 1999. Over the years, he has served as chair of the Appointments Committee, Chair of the Lectures Committee, and Chair of Tenure, Retention and Promotion Committee at UW-WC as well as serving as Chair of the UW Colleges History Department and Chair of the UW Colleges Appeals and Grievance Committee.

What he appreciates most about his career was “being allowed to do what I think I’m good at.”  The campus “trusted me and that was invaluable.” Thorn plans to stay connected by continuing to teach one IS course each semester.

Retirement plans for Michael and his wife Stephanie, include trips to Paris to visit their daughter and her family.  He’d also like to exercise more and plans to spend some time working in the large flower and rock gardens at their home in Madison. As a long-time collector of antique engravings, he’s also interested in doing more trading, possibly starting a business.

Ray Werhand will receive a Community Service Award.  Ray serves as treasurer of The University Council, treasurer of The Washington County Campus Foundation and as the campus representative on The Board of Visitors. His high level of commitment and years of service to the campus are admirable. In addition, you’ll find him and his wife, Janet helping at Fine Arts events, hanging artwork for the recent “Always Lost” display and Winter Arts Festival. Even more admirable is that Ray’s service is all done as a volunteer - without pay.  UW-Washington County is very fortunate to have talented volunteers like Ray to rely on.


Departmental awards are given to one or more outstanding students in a particular discipline who have displayed keen insight, overall understanding and superior attitude. The nominations are received from each department’s faculty.  Departmental award recipients include:

Anthropology – Michael Rands, West Bend
Art – Nicole Prigan, Slinger
Chemistry – Susan Christensen, West Bend; Wil Knight, Slinger; and Jenny Ritterbusch, Mayville
Computer Science – Tim Buss, West Bend
English – Danielle Schubert, Germantown
Geography/Geology – Brad Wolf, Adell
History – Maramanee Olson, Saukville
Mathematics – Nickolas Gryga, Cedarburg
Physics – Derrick Engelman, Kewaskum; and Nickolas Gryga, Cedarburg
Political Science – Zack White, Hartford                              



Sue Bausch