The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will recognize distinguished graduates of the institution at the 2013 Alumni Association Awards Night on Saturday evening, May 4.
This year’s honorees are Dr. Jerry Blackwell, Class of 1978; Kate Meeuwsen ’76; recent alumnus Danny Schulz ’05; and Julie Van Straten ’91.
The annual program spotlights UW-Green Bay alumni who have made special contributions to the University and to their communities. The ceremony takes place in the Grand Foyer of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts on the campus at 2420 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay.
The event is open to the public. It begins with a 5 p.m. social and includes dinner at 6 p.m. followed by the program. The cost is $35 per person. For more information, contact the UW-Green Bay Alumni Office at (920) 465-2074 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or register online at www.uwgbalumniawards.eventbrite.com.
Three individuals will receive Distinguished Alumni Awards. They are:Dr. Gerald (Jerry) Blackwell, Class of 1978, president and executive director of the Wellmont CVA Heart Institute in Kingsport, Tenn. — A standout guard for the Phoenix NCAA Division II teams of the 1970s, Blackwell went on to achieve prominence as a cardiology researcher and practitioner. He served on the faculty of the University of Alabama Birmingham and continues to find success in clinical practice as a leader in the advancement of MRI and new diagnostic imaging technologies. One of the first formally MRI-trained cardiologists in the United States, he has earned teaching awards throughout his career for promoting more widespread use of cutting-edge tomographic imaging techniques (CT scans). He received his UW-Green Bay bachelor’s in Population Dynamics. He went on to earn his medical degree from Marshall University, where he was named the outstanding clinical student, and served his medical residency at Ohio State, where he received a cardiology fellowship and was named Chief Resident of Internal Medicine. He continues to keep in touch and support UW-Green Bay and Phoenix Athletics. Kate Meeuwsen, Class of 1976, civic leader, retired educator and member of the UW-Green Bay Foundation Board and Council of Trustees — Meeuwsen has a far-ranging and distinguished record of advocacy on behalf of educational initiatives at her alma mater and communitywide. She and her family have been important supporters of Phoenix Athletics, the Weidner Center, development of the Kress Events Center, and academic enhancements. With her husband, Mike, she was a May 2006 recipient of the University’s highest community honor, the Chancellor’s Award. Her community involvement includes leadership of the Adolescent Parenting Coalition, Inc., and formation of the nature-based 4K program at the Green Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Meeuwsen has also held leadership positions with the local chapter of P.E.O. International and fundraising efforts for Green Bay Notre Dame, and she has been a performer and board member with the Dudley Birder Chorale. She received her UW-Green Bay bachelor’s in Communication and the Arts (music). Julie Van Straten, Class of 1991, attorney, civic leader and general counsel for UnitedHealthOne — Over 20 years with UnitedHealthcare, Van Straten has risen to an executive position with significant responsibility in corporate and regulatory matters, risk management and business development support. She serves on the board of directors of Golden Rule Insurance Company, UnitedHealthcare Life Insurance Company and All Savers Insurance Company. In the community, she has been honored for her service as current president of the Women’s Fund of Greater Green Bay, as a member of the Chamber’s board of directors, and as a past board member for organizations including the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, United Way of Brown County, and the American Foundation of Counseling Services. Van Straten was the 2010 recipient of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce’s Athena Award, given to those who have demonstrated excellence in their business or professions, have generously assisted in the advancement of women, and have devoted time and energy to serving their community. She received her UW-Green Bay bachelor’s in English, and went on to receive her law degree from Marquette University Law School.
One alumnus will receive the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award. He is:Danny Schulz of Sheboygan, a 2005 graduate in Accounting and Business Administration, who is employed at Kohler Co. as an accounting project leader in payroll, sales and use tax. He has remained active with his alma mater including service as treasurer of the Alumni Association. He was last year named one of the Top Ten Young Professionals in Sheboygan County by the Coastal Connections organization. An active member of the University’s Alumni Association, he and his wife, Casie Rindfleisch-Schulz ’06, have also been leaders in promoting philanthropic involvement among young alumni, establishing their own scholarship funds for current UW-Green Bay students.