Distinguished Company: Alumni and Athletic Hall of Fame Honorees

November 28, 2012

Class Notes, Currents Magazine

Winona State Alumni Relations honored its 2012 Distinguished Alumni and Athletic Hall of Fame honorees during WSU Homecoming on October 18 and 19.

Distinguished Alumni

Charles “Barney” Fox ’54 played baseball for the Warriors and went on to a long career teaching high school business and coaching baseball.


Dr. Timothy Meyer ’90 was Student Senate president at WSU and continued to earn a doctorate in osteopathic medicine. Currently, he is chief medical officer and chief of staff at Memorial Medical Center in Neillsville, Wis.

Distinguished Faculty & Staff

Dr. Frederick W. Foss taught chemistry at WSU for 41 years, touching the lives of more than 17,000 students.

Fred and Sandy Olson both spent their careers teaching mathematics. Fred founded the statistics program at WSU and introduced computer programming; Sandy started multiple courses and the math minor for elementary education majors at WSU.

Distinguished Young Alumna

Echo Huang ’95 has built a successful career as an accountant, financial advisor, and philanthropist. Read her story beginning on page 14 in this issue of Currents.

Distinguished Service (Posthumous)

Dr. Richard Jarvinen, professor of mathematics and statistics, taught at WSU from 1989 to 2010. In addition, he consulted with the Johnson Space Center and was instrumental in diagnosing the failure of the Spaceshuttle Challenger. Jarvinen passed away on July 6, 2011.

Athletic Hall of Fame

George Benedict ’71 was a standout football and basketball player before interrupting his career to serve in Vietnam with the U.S. Army.

Carol Feldmann ’68, a member of the tennis, volleyball, softball, and basketball programs, won the first “W” presented to a female student-athlete while advancing to the National Collegiate Tennis Championship.

William McNary ’69 was an All-America defensive lineman who led the Warriors to an NSC title in 1968.

Kyle Schlaak ’01 powered WSU to back-to-back NSIC basketball championships and is fourth on the Warriors’ all-time scoring list.

Cyndy Schubbe ’02/’10 was a dominant pitching force for the Warriors’ softball team and is at or near the top in every major pitching category at WSU.

Charles Weisbrod ’63/’66 pitched Winona State to conference, area, and district championships and the NAIA World Series for three straight years.

New Leader for Alumni Relations

Ann MacDonald ’01 has been named Winona State’s new interim director of Alumni Relations. MacDonald has been at WSU since 1997 and most recently served as director of Educational Improvement and Leadership and worked in Outreach and Continuing Education. She has more than 30 years of experience in leadership and partnership development, making her a good fit for connecting with the university’s 50,000 alumni worldwide.

“My work here at Winona State has focused on providing leadership and professional development programs for area businesses and industry as well as the university,” said MacDonald. “This position gives me the opportunity to create programs that will help our graduates enhance their personal and professional expertise as well as remain connected with each other and the university.”

MacDonald earned her bachelor’s at Truman State University and master’s in training and development at WSU. She co-developed the first Applied Educational Lean Facilitator Certificate program in the country and is also certified to facilitate numerous professional development programs.

Turning Tragedy Into Triumph

On November 11, 1997 Tasha Schuh’s ’03 life changed forever when she accidentally stepped through a trap door during a high school theater rehearsal. While the 16-foot fall left her a quadriplegic, Tasha went on to graduate from high school and earn a degree in communication studies from Winona State in 2003.

This summer, Tasha returned to the spotlight when she was crowned Ms. Wheelchair USA in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. The reigning Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin competed with eight other contestants for the title.

She earned a second bachelor’s in theology at Maranatha College in 2007 and has worked as a motivational speaker for the past seven years. It’s been a big year for Tasha:  she’s just finished a book, My Last Step Backwards, and she’s recently engaged with a wedding planned for next August. Find out more at:  www.tashaschuh.com.

Flying High

William Pischke ’84 proudly displays the Winona State Warrior and school colors along with the U.S. flag at his home in Renwick, Iowa. Pischke had the flag custom-made this past summer so he could display his school pride to his north central Iowa community. Pischke graduated with a degree in criminal justice and currently works for the Iowa Department of Human Services. He and his wife, Cindy, have two sons, Jeremy 00 and Jason.

Podiatrist Wins Award

Alyssa Stephenson ’95 has been named the 2013 recipient of the Rising Star Award by the American Podiatric Medicine Association. It awards members for astounding accomplishments in scientific, professional, or civic endeavors who have been in practice for no more than ten years. She will receive the award next March in Washington, D.C.

Alyssa has been active with the National Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners Test Development Committee, ABPS Exam Committee, has lead efforts to have hospitals in her area recognize full-scope of practice for podiatrists, and is currently president of the Wisconsin Society for Podiatric Medicine.

Looking Good

We reported this baby announcement in the last issue of Currents, but this baby photo was too good to pass up:  Abigail Hope was welcomed on November 5, 2010 by Meghan (Anderson) ’00 and Erik ’01 Leverenz (Grayslake, Ill.). She joined her big sister, Kaitlyn.

We enjoy receiving your baby pictures and publish selections in each issue of Currents. Email your baby photos to alumni@winona.edu, or, submit them at the Alumni & Friends website:  http://www.alumni.winona.edu.

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About Winona State University

Founded in 1858, Winona State University is a comprehensive public university with more than 8,500 students. The oldest member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, Winona State offers 80 undergraduate, pre-professional, licensure, graduate, and doctorate programs on its three campuses: the original Main Campus in Winona, the West Campus in Winona, and Winona State University-Rochester.

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