May 16, 2004: Headlines: COS - Tunisia: Politics: The Gazette: Tunisia RPCV Governor Jim Doyle tells graduates to strive to serve

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Tunisia: Peace Corps Tunisia : The Peace Corps in Tunisia: May 16, 2004: Headlines: COS - Tunisia: Politics: The Gazette: Tunisia RPCV Governor Jim Doyle tells graduates to strive to serve

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Tunisia RPCV Governor Jim Doyle tells graduates to strive to serve

Tunisia RPCV Governor Jim Doyle tells graduates to strive to serve

Tunisia RPCV Governor Jim Doyle tells graduates to strive to serve

Strive to serve, Doyle tells UW-Whitewater grads

(Published Sunday, May 16, 2004 12:04:55 AM CDT)

By Stan Milam

Capitol News Service

WHITEWATER-Politics took a break Saturday as Gov. Jim Doyle urged 1,314 UW-Whitewater graduates to make citizenship and service a lifelong commitment as well as learning.

In his brief commencement address, Doyle did not utter a political word. He focused on the past achievements of UW-Whitewater and the responsibility the graduates have to continue a record of excellence.

"This degree recognizes a major step in your formal education, but it must not represent the end of your education," Doyle said. "Make learning a lifelong priority; continue to develop yourself-if not in a classroom, in your community."

When it comes to service Doyle has led by example. With his wife, Jessica, Doyle served in Tunisia as a Peace Corps volunteer for two years. The couple also worked at the Navajo Indian reservation in Chinle, Arizona.

It is our responsibility and duty to be good citizens in our communities and state," Doyle said.

Doyle recognized UW-Whitewater's history of community involvement.

"The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater has dedication itself to service learning," Doyle said. "As graduates, you need to make citizenship and service lifelong endeavors."

UW-Whitewater is taking Doyle's call seriously.

"In any given year, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater has literally thousands of individual contacts with the communities we serve across southern Wisconsin," said UW-Whitewater Chancellor Jack Miller in a memo to Doyle. "But, outside of abstract economic impact statements, the public rarely gets a collective sense of how all this work connects directly with people in their home cities, towns and villages."

Miller pointed out that the university is working on an online interactive map of southern Wisconsin that features UW-Whitewater involvement in the eight-county area the school serves most directly: Walworth, Rock, Dane, Jefferson, Waukesha, Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha.

The online map will provider a detailed breakdown of UW-Whitewater's presence in each county. The site will also list contacts to volunteer for, or request, services.

"We believe this site will be a very effective way to foster more partnerships with the communities we serve and help with the kind of real economic impact outlined in your 'Grow Wisconsin' initiative," Miller said in his memo to Doyle.

Regional impacts noted by Miller include:

-- More than 31,160 UW-Whitewater alumni live and work in an eight-county region. More than 80 percent of UW-Whitewater alumni stay in Wisconsin.

-- More than 750 student teachers were placed in school districts in the eight-county area from the fall of 2001 to the spring of 2003.

-- More than 36,000 children from 208 school districts have enjoyed national-caliber theater performances through Young Auditorium's low-cost Horizons program.

-- UW-Whitewater students have made more than 125,000 nursing home visits under a 27-year-old program headed by psychology professor Cliff O'Beirne.

-- History professor Nikki Mandell is leading a multi-year project to help teachers change the way they teach American history in light of national scrutiny of the subject due to low literacy levels.

Miller singled out two students, one with a Janesville connection, for exceptional achievement.

Eric Barber, a Chicago native, received an MBA in Human Resource Management and Technology Training. At the age of three, he underwent surgery to correct scoliosis and was paralyzed from the waist down as a result. During his undergraduate years at Whitewater, Barber was a member of the Warhawk wheelchair basketball team. He went on to play on the USA team in the 2000 and 2002 world championships and received "all world" honors as one of the top six players in the world during the 2002 World Championships in Japan.

Barber worked for WCLO radio in Janesville after receiving his undergraduate degree in 1995.

Miller also singled out Heather Vander Heiden of Kaukauna who graduated with a major in Environmental Safety and Health.

Vander Heiden enrolled at Whitewater after an on-the-job injury at a paper mill in her hometown. The injury resulted in permanent functional limitations.

"Heather has become a success story, graduating summa cum laude and pursuing a career in construction safety in hopes of preventing others from receiving injuries similar to hers," Miller said.

Janesville's Dab Wiese received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the school's electronic media program. He made news last year when he won a national MTV award for a public service announcement. He has since completed a film "Until that Day," featuring scenes from Janesville, Cambridge, Whitewater and Deerfield. Wise has been accepted into the graduate program at the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

Doyle urged all graduates to continue the success they have found at UW-Whitewater.

"After all, your dreams are Wisconsin's dreams, your successes will be Wisconsin's successes," Doyle said. "Live life to the fullest-our future depends on you."

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Story Source: The Gazette

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