More than 380 students are eligible to participate in the University of Wisconsin-Parkside 2019 Winter Commencement held in the Alfred and Bernice De Simone Gymnasium inside the Sports & Activity Center at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 14.

Susan Podlogar, a 1984 UW-Parkside graduate and chief human resources officer for MetLife, is the featured commencement speaker. Janice Mueller will represent the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents.

The UW-Parkside Sports & Activity Center is located near the intersection of County Highways E and JR in the village of Somers.

A reception for graduates and their families is held after the ceremony in the Frank J. Petretti Fieldhouse, also inside the Sports & Activity Center.

The large number of potential graduates continues a trend spanning the past 10 years, a clear indication of student success at the university.

Ingrid Maria Liacopoulus, Racine, Wis., receives the first UW-Parkside master of arts degree. Liacopoulus earns a degree in applied professional studies.

Stacy Prodell, Qinghua Lao, and Austen Busse receive the first UW-Parkside bachelor of science in business administration degrees through the UW Flexible Option program. The Flexible option degree program is a revolutionary competency-based online program.

Saturday, Dec. 14

10 a.m. – Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree candidates

11:30 a.m. – Reception in the Frank J. Petretti Fieldhouse

Commencement Speaker

Susan Podlogar, former Racine resident, is MetLife’s chief human resources officer. She is an executive vice president and a member of the company’s Executive Group. Podlogar joined MetLife in July 2017.

Board of Regents Welcome

Regent Janice Mueller brings a message of congratulations from the UW Board of Regents

Outstanding Graduate Award Recipients

Laurel Marcinkus – Kenosha, Wis. (Chancellor’s Award emblematic of the top graduating student)

Laurel Marcinkus graduates with a GPA of 3.98 earning her degree in communication, a minor in public relations, and a creative writing certificate. She has been on both the Dean’s List and the Provost’s List every semester since she began her studies at UW-Parkside. Laurel is lauded for her impressive writing and speaking abilities. She received a National Medal at Carnegie Hall for her poetry when she was a freshman, along with video congratulations from Michelle Obama.

Michael Connolly – Kenosha, Wis.

Michael Connolly started his education at UW-Parkside in the spring 2015 semester. Michael is well-noted for his unique drive. Physics Professor Dr. Paul Mohazzabi said that in his 44 years of teaching experiences, he can remember only three other students like Michael in terms of progress and achievement. Dr. Mohazzabi added that Michael is “by far the best physics student that we have at Parkside.” He has a deep understanding of the laws of physics and how nature works.

Grace Kubiak – Waterford, Wis.

Grace Kubiak is an intelligent, motivated student. She currently boasts a GPA of 3.98 and has consistently earned high marks in her classes. Psychology Professor Dr. Sylvia Beyer is particularly impressed by her level of motivation and persistence. For the two Independent Studies Grace has taken with Dr. Beyer, she helped in the creation of stimulus materials for a study on political attitudes.

Jackie Kerr Schlosser – Lake Forest, Ill. 

Jackie Kerr Schlosser is not just the first in her family to receive a college degree. She is also a nontraditional student, having a family of her own with three children before returning to school to complete her studies earning a GPA of 3.963. Jackie is an advanced and certified tax preparer for both the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program through the United Way in Kenosha and the Moraine Township Center of Highland Park, Illinois.

Cassie Van Hoof – Kenosha, Wis. 

Cassie Van Hoof started her studies at UW-Parkside in the fall 2016 semester. Since then, she’s won the “Parkside Big Idea Challenge” in 2017, and this year WiSys honored Cassie with the Carl E. Gulbrandsen Innovator of the Year Award, one of the most prestigious innovation awards in the state of Wisconsin. Cassie is only the second undergraduate student and the first female to win this award in its 20-year history. Winning the Parkside Big Idea Challenge resulted in a $25,000 grant to help start her own company (Efoxen LLC) based on her scientific ideas and research.