Telling the UWL story

Corey Sjoquist

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of articles recognizing alumni receiving distinguished service awards in September 2019.

Sjoquist continues to share UWL’s appeal with prospective students

As a campus Vanguard in the early ’90s, Corey Sjoquist would walk groups past Wentz Hall to share how he and others once sat in the residence hall’s windows to play “La Crosse Squares,” a knock-off of the Hollywood Squares TV game show. He shared that story — and others — hoping prospective students would see why UWL is so special.

Two decades later, Sjoquist is still sharing his love for UWL.

As director of Admissions, Sjoquist and his team helped UWL enroll a freshman class of 2,166 students in fall 2018, the largest since 1979. That hallmark follows continued years of strong enrollment even though state high school graduate numbers are shrinking and students have an array of options.

“It is the personal touch provided by UWL Admissions staff and their leader that is getting students to matriculate to UWL in record numbers,” says Dan Kellogg, ’01. The current registrar for UW Extension previously worked with Sjoquist on campus.

As the senior Admissions director in the UW System, Sjoquist continues to gain respect from Kellogg and other colleagues across the state.

“Corey has inspired us to continue to function as a strong UW System despite the ever-evolving competitive landscape of admission in Wisconsin,” notes Jennifer Jones, acting assistant vice chancellor for enrollment management and director of Admissions at UW-Green Bay.

Those colleagues recognized Sjoquist with the Wisconsin Association for College Admission Counseling Admissions Professional of the Year in 2017. He remains a resource for new admission directors and others exploring the field. “Working in admissions is a great opportunity,” he says.

Sjoquist would know. He started in Admissions as a freshman, entering paper applications into the computer system. He later was a Vanguard before accepting his first job after graduation in the office as a counselor.

Sjoquist isn’t the only family member who found success on campus. Other family alumni include: wife Stacey (Ansay) Sjoquist; sisters Monica (Sjoquist) Dinauer, Molly (Sjoquist) Olson and Maggie (Sjoquist) Wilson; brother-in-law Ryan Olson; and sister-in-law Jenna (Gehl) Jones.

The Corey Sjoquist file
• Influential college admissions counselor in the state of Wisconsin. Currently, director of the UWL Admissions Office, where he has worked since 1996.
• Served on the UWL Alumni Association Board from 2008-17, president from 2011-12.
• Community service: Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in West Salem, Barre Badgers 4-H Club, Golden Key International Honor Society, West Salem School District, American Red Cross blood donor since 1991.
• Awarded Wisconsin Association for College Admissions Counseling (WACAC) “Admissions Professional of the Year,” 2017.
• Bachelor’s in mass communications, ’96; master’s in college student development and administration, ’03.

Six to receive distinguished alumni awards

Alumni from the past four decades have earned top awards bestowed by the UWL Alumni Association. They’re being honored for distinguished service and successful careers.

The alumni will return to campus in fall to speak with students and participate in a panel at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, in the Great Hall, Cleary Alumni & Friends Center. An Alumni Awards Brunch and Ceremony is planned for 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, in The Bluffs Room, UWL Student Union. Tickets are $25 per person and can be ordered through the Alumni Association at 608.785.8489.

The awards and honorees include:

The Maurice O. Graff Distinguished Alumni Award

Recognizes outstanding achievement of alumni who have brought honor and distinction to the university. Long-time administrator Maurice O. Graff instituted the honor in 1977.

Sharon Weston Broome, ’78
• Respected politician. Former Louisiana State Senator and State Representative; first woman to hold pro tempore positions in both. Currently, Mayor-President of the City of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish.
• Bachelor’s in mass communications.
Lynda Kohler, ’83
• Admired advocate for families and children dealing with disabilities and disadvantages in southeastern Wisconsin. Currently, president and CEO of SHARP Literacy Inc. in Milwaukee.
• Bachelor’s in recreation leadership.

Rada Distinguished Alumni Award

Recognizes alumni who have graduated within the last 20 years, achieved professional distinction and taken part in humanitarian activities. Professor emeritus Ron Rada and his wife, Jane, created the award in 2002.

Sulaimon “Wale” Elegbede, ’05
• Esteemed business and servant leader. Founding board member of La Crosse Interfaith Shoulder to shoulder Network to curb growing anti-Muslim sentiment. Currently, head of the Project Management Office and senior project manager for Center for Regenerative Medicine at Mayo Clinic.
• Bachelor’s of information systems.
Corey Sjoquist, ’96 & ’03
• Influential college admissions counselor in the state of Wisconsin. Currently, director of the UWL Admissions Office, where he has worked since 1996.
• Bachelor’s in mass communications; master’s in college student development and administration.

Parker Distinguished Multicultural Alumni Award

Recognizes outstanding alumni who have contributed significantly to the improvement of multicultural understanding on the campus and in their careers. History Professor Emeritus James Parker initiated the award in 1997.

Angela Kellogg, ’92
• Renowned student services administrator; advocate for diversity and inclusion. Currently, senior academic planner for the Office of Student Success at UW System Administration.
• Master’s in college student personnel.

Burt and Norma Altman Teacher Education Award

Honors and recognizes outstanding educators and the significant contributions they make to children and communities. Professor Emeritus Burt Altman and his wife, Norma, long-time supporters of teacher education, created the award in 2015.

Pamela Kalafut, ’77
• Prestigious high school teacher, mentor and student activities director at Hinsdale, Illinois, Central High School for 34 years. Currently, retired and serves as a substitute teacher with the Avery Coonley School in Downers Grove, Illinois.
• Bachelor’s in art education.