Top students

Top seniors recognized; more than $1 million awarded in scholarships

The UW-La Crosse Foundation awarded more than $1.05 million in scholarships for the upcoming academic year. During five ceremonies, UWL students graduating with top honors were recognized.

Top honors and the graduating seniors honored:

The Murphy Awards for Academic Excellence

The Murphy Awards for Academic Excellence recognize the university’s top two graduating scholars, as chosen by the Scholarship and Awards Committee.

Laura Kaiser
Laura Kaiser, of Unity, Wisconsin, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and mathematics.

Favorite UWL professor: Dr. Heather Schenck because she knows how to provide just the right amount of challenge for students. She makes sure they are still able to succeed and don’t become overwhelmed by new ideas. The spectroscopy class I took with her opened my eyes to the possibility of a future in spectroscopy and organic chemistry.

Sara Krueger
Sara Krueger, of Rhinelander, Wisconsin, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in history education and broadfield social studies education.

Favorite UWL professor: Dr. Ariel Beaujot because she opened opportunities for me through my work with “Hear, Here” that have shaped me into a stronger educator and inspired a passion for activism and social change. She excels in connecting history to the present day and using that connection to better our community.

The Jake and Janet Hoeschler Award for Excellence

The Jake and Janet Hoeschler Award for Excellence recognizes a College of Business Administration graduate for academic accomplishment and leadership on campus and the community.

Shantel Hartzell
Shantel Hartzell, of Gilman, Wisconsin, graduated with a Bachelor of Science with majors in accountancy and finance.

Favorite UWL staff member: Mo McAlpine because she has been a part of my recreational experience since I arrived my sophomore year. The Recreational Eagle Center has been my home for four years. It is where I found employment, friends, competitive sports, outdoor pursuits and everything else I wanted to find during my undergraduate experience.

The Strzelczyk Award in Science and Health

The Strzelczyk Award in Science and Health recognizes an outstanding senior in the College of Science and Health for academic achievement, along with campus and community service.

Thomas Schultz
Thomas Schultz, of Darlington, Wisconsin, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in biology, with a minor in chemistry.

Favorite UW-L professor: Dr. Dan Grilley. I first met him during my sophomore-level chemistry class. He taught me to have high expectations early on in my collegiate career, and he expects a lot from all of his students. As my research advisor for the last three years, he has taught me so much and has truly been a great mentor.

The John E. Magerus Award for the Outstanding Graduating Senior from the College of Liberal Studies

The John E. Magerus Award for the Outstanding Graduating Senior from the College of Liberal Studies recognizes an outstanding graduate for academic accomplishments, leadership, and campus and community involvement.

Gabriela Aguilar
Gabriela Aguilar, of Austin, Texas, earned a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies, with a Spanish minor, in December.

Favorite class in college: Media and Identity because it sparked my interest and passion for media studies. It exposed me to rhetorical criticism and allowed me to begin to pursue my particular interests in Latinx and queer representation. Without this course, I would never have decided to continue my education in the pursuit of a master’s degree.

The Rosandich Graduate Thesis Award

The Rosandich Graduate Thesis Award recognizes the best graduate thesis, based on originality, impact and written quality.

Nicholas Faulds
Nicholas Faulds, of Mount Morris, New York, earned a Master of Science in Exercise and Sport Science – Physical Education Teaching in August 2018.

When I’m 40, I want to be: Teaching adapted physical education and coaching after school sports at the California School for the Blind; president of the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America) professional organization; president of the SEIU Local 1000 labor union; published in the Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly professional journal; and a beacon of hope for families of individuals with visual impairments.

Learn more about these outstanding graduates.