Culinary Arts graduate nominated for James Beard Award

Justin Carlisle, who owns the 22-seat restaurant Ardent in Milwaukee, was nominated for a James Beard Award in the category of "Best Chef: Midwest."

Carlisle is a Culinary Arts graduate from the college. According to Chef Paul Short, Carlisle was an exceptional but humble student who worked hard to craft great food.  

“All of us in culinary are extremely proud of Justin’s work and his accolades,” says Short. “As a program it will be fun to tell new incoming students of our alumni’s achievements.” 

Awards from James Beard Foundation are considered the top honor in the culinary world. Winners will be announced May 1.

Published March 22, 2017. Updated April 6, 2017.

Zong Her to receive 2017 Woman of Achievement Award

Zong Her, senior business intelligence project leader/developer, will be honored for her volunteer and public service by the Wisconsin Women of Color Network (WWWOCN) at their Women’s History Month luncheon Saturday, March 11 in Madison.

Her is one of four women to receive the 2017 WWOCN Woman of Achievement Award. These women have demonstrated commitment and service toward the improvement of the quality of life for all women. They have also shown a high degree of professionalism in their own areas of expertise and done well on their own personal growth and development.

An employee of Madison College for 12 years, Her founded the Asian Talent Scholarship through the Madison College Foundation. She volunteers with the college Asian Youth Career and College Fair each year, assisting with registration, recruiting presenters from the Asian community and reaching out to youth through local schools.

In addition, she serves on the committee responsible for the Hmong New Year Celebration at the Alliant Energy Center and volunteers in children and youth programs at Victory Hmong Alliance Church.

Published March 6, 2017.

Service Learning Academy receives Action Program of the Year Award

Madison College’s Service Learning Academy was named the Action Program of the year at the 2017 IMPACT National Conference. Volunteer Center board members Gloria Stendel, Anna Rodriguez, Chandra Dietrich, Allison Hoenig, Samantha Hunter and Cayce Swenson along with instructor Clarissa Sheldon traveled to St. Louis for the conference, where they received this award.

The Action Program of the Year Award recognizes campus-based, student-led programs, such as the Service Learning Academy, that contribute to making their campuses and communities a better place.

The Service Learning Academy is a semester-long program that pairs teams of students from the college with community non-profit organizations to volunteer two hours each week at the same organization for 10 weeks.

When the Service Learning Academy began the spring semester of 2016, only 24 students joined. Now, that number has risen to 81, and their involvement in the community continues to grow. Being recognized by this award provides more exposure as organizations see the Service Learning Academy and want to be a part of it.

Published March 3, 2017.

Clarion staff receives nine awards

Members of The Clarion staff received nine awards, including a first place in Best of Show for two-year college newspapers, while attending the Associated Collegiate Press Best of the Midwest Convention Feb. 17-19.

The newspaper earned a fourth-place award in the newspaper special edition category for its Nov. 2 election issue and a seventh-place award for publication websites. In both of these categories, The Clarion competed against both two-year and four-year schools attending the convention.

In addition, The Clarion staff received six individual awards:

  • First place in editorial/commentary—Sedgwick Smith Jr.
  • Third place in multimedia package—Ethan Maurice and Jessica Pokrandt
  • Fourth place in sports reporting—Ethan Maurice
  • Fifth place in multimedia package—Josh Zytkiewicz, Alexandra Christensen and Sedgwick Smith Jr.
  • Fifth place in editorial/commentary—Sedgwich Smith Jr.
  • Fifth place in sports reporting—Bailey Ayres

The Associated Collegiate Press is the largest national membership organization for college student media. It hosts several educational conferences throughout the year and recognizes excellence in student journalism. The Best of the Midwest Convention was held in Minneapolis this year and featured three days of workshops for the more than 200 students who attended.


Published February 22, 2017.

Agriculture Tech students dominate at statewide contest

Madison College students earned top honors at the 2017 Wisconsin Postsecondary Agriculture Student (PAS) contest held at the Truax campus on Feb. 13-14. Twenty-one teams from around the state competed in the annual event. The top six teams in the state have the opportunity to compete in the National PostSecondary Agriculture Student contest on March 13-16 in St. Louis.

The following Madison College students will advance to the national Agricultural Machinery Service Technician (AMSTA) competition from the state event:

·         Aaron Sternweis and Ryan Kinyon, third place

·         Bryce Anderson and Brennen Woelfel, fourth place

·         Nick Schlais and Dillon Pongratz, fifth place

·         Brad Mercier and Clint Checky, sixth place

Madison College’s Justin VonHaden placed fifth in the individual awards for the Wisconsin PAS Contest and will also compete in the national contest.

The Wisconsin PAS AMSTA Contest is open to all Wisconsin technical colleges. Students are judged on various agricultural equipment stations, including tractors and implements, along with taking a written exam.


Published February 20, 2017.

Phi Theta Kappa receives Gateway members

Three more Gateway to College program students were inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society on Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Truax campus. The new inductees are Peter Beach, Kathryn Berggren and Bryce Paynter. After three and a half years of the program’s existence, the total number of members is now up to nine.

After the ceremony, Kathryn Berggren expressed her feelings of being one of the newest members of Phi Theta Kappa. “I came to the Gateway program after no other high school options worked for me and found a place where I felt I belonged. Because of that, I was able to find success along my path,” Berggren exclaimed.

The students will continue on as members of the Madison College community upon graduation from the program. Currently, the program is beginning to recruit the next generation of Gateway scholars.

For more information, please visit the Gateway to College page or call (608) 243-4597.

Published February 20, 2017.

Student Nurses Association earns award

Madison College Student Nurses Association (SNA) received the Break Through to Nursing Project Award at the Wisconsin Student Nurses Association Conference Feb. 3-5.

Hispanic/Latino population is the most underrepresented in the RN work force. This project invited local Hispanic/Latino high school students to our campus for them to see and participate in the nurse role. The high schools students participated in four simulation scenarios in our SIM Center. The evening was capped off with a “What’s Next” discussion. 

Published February 6, 2017. Updated June 5, 2017.

Librarians and Dean to present at 2017 ACRL conference

Cristina Springfield and Matthew Coan, librarians, and Julie Gores, dean of Libraries and Academic Support, will be heading to Baltimore this March. The team’s paper was accepted for presentation and publication by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). ACRL is the premier professional organization for academic libraries in the United States.

They will be presenting "How Data from an Unlikely Source Pointed Us in a New Direction for Information Literacy Assessment and Charted a Course to Student Success," at the ACRL 2017 conference in Baltimore, March 22-25. The paper covers their innovative use of a non-library software to capture data that demonstrates the positive academic impact to students who attend library instruction sessions—increasing course retention and success significantly. 

The paper was also selected as best presentation at the annual conference of the Wisconsin Association of Academic Libraries (WAAL) in April 2016.

Published February 1, 2017. Updated February 10, 2017.

Student's novella published

Student Kelly Sauvage Angel has published a novella entitled Om Namah. Her book is now available at the Truax bookstore.

Angel graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in literature. She is also the author of Scarlet Apples and Cream, two stage plays, dozens of short stories and hundreds of articles. A life-long learner with a passion for the arts, Angel is currently taking classes at Madison College towards the women and gender studies certificate.


Published January 27, 2017.

Employees recognized for excellence

The winners of 2017 Employee Excellence Awards were announced Tuesday, Jan. 10, during the Convocation program. They were nominated by fellow employees and chosen by the Awards Committee.

Jodi Goldbeck, Meeting and Event Management instructor, received the award for full-time teaching. Gilbert Villapando, a former instructor in several departments and former part-time advisor, was the part-time teaching award winner. The Excellence in Leadership Award went to Sylvia Ramirez, director of the Budget Office.

Rona McNeil received the Excellence in Organization and College Support. She is a technology services architect who transforms the college’s data into usable and actionable information for students, faculty, staff, management and the public. 

Martha Schwer, English faculty member, received the Excellence in Innovation Award, for her well-designed and rigorous online courses and course websites. The Excellence in Student Service and Support Award went to Nadia Rahman, student support advisor in the Career and Placement department.

Finally, the Digital Badge Team with the Medical Assistant faculty received the award for Outstanding Team. They developed a set of badges or micro-credentials that measure technical and soft skills, which so many employers indicate they need. Successful graduates of this program earn 33 college credits, a technical diploma and digital badge credentials.

Winners of the individual awards will be sponsored to attend the League of Innovation Conference in San Francisco, Calif., March 12 - 17. The team will receive a catered lunch.

Published January 11, 2017. Updated January 20, 2017.