Dr. Ron Dempsey Joins University Advancement
Winona State University announces the appointment of Ron Dempsey to the position of Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director of the WSU Foundation in February.
“Dr. Dempsey brings with him nearly 30 years of experience in higher education and a strong track record of reimagining and strengthening development programs,” said WSU President Scott R. Olson. “The most recent fiscal year represented WSU’s most successful fundraising year ever, thanks to our dedicated team in the University Advancement division and Gary Evans, who has served as Interim Vice President for Advancement since January 2015.”
Dempsey most recently served as the Vice President for Advancement and University Development at Southern Polytechnic State University, Marietta, Georgia.
Dempsey expressed his enthusiasm at joining the Winona State community of learners. “Winona State University has a national reputation as a top-tier comprehensive university and I am excited about becoming as part of such a well- respected institution. I look forward to working with President Olson and the advancement staff as we continue to carry our mission by developing relationships, communicating the extraordinary value of our academic program, and inviting others to support the university.”
Dempsey received his Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) from Wake Forest University, North Carolina; his Master of Arts (Sociology) from the University of Louisville, Kentucky; his Master of Science (History and Sociology of Science and Technology) from the Georgia Institute of Technology; his Doctorate of Philosophy (Sociology of Religion) from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky; and will complete his Doctorate of Philosophy (Sociology of Science and Technology) from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2016.
“As Vice President for University Advancement, one of my main roles is to make connections,” said Dempsey. “I look forward to working with our students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, community members, legislators and friends of Winona State University to help connect the needs of the institution with available external resources, to develop partnerships with industry and benefactors, and to learn about student needs and how WSU can better serve students.”
“I believe Dr. Dempsey’s leadership will build on this strength and bring Winona State to the next level.”
— WSU President Scott R. Olson
WSU Ranks 3rd on Niche’s List
Winona State University is ranked third out of 10 on Niche’s Best Public Institutions in Minnesota list for 2016.
Based on rankings by students, WSU received an overall grade of a B. WSU received an A- in campus quality, on-campus housing, technology, and transportation. The university also received a B or above grade in overall health and safety, athletics, parking, and local area. Niche Colleges aims to help people make decisions about neighborhoods, K-12 schools, colleges, and universities through reviews from everyday experts. The website was founded in 2002 by Carnegie Mellon University students, originally as CollegeProwler.com.
Meet WSU Development Directors
Winona State University relies on the generosity of donors to support its mission, but it also relies on the tireless work of its development team to inspire generosity and connect passion with possibility.
The advancement team recently added a new director of development, Jeff Bartholomew, to create a team of four directors dedicated to WSU’s philanthropy mission.
Bartholomew graduated from WSU in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology. He has spent most of his career in the non- profit sector, specifically as the executive director for multiple YMCAs in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Before coming back to WSU, he was the Executive Director at the United Way in Winona. Bartholomew said for him a career in philanthropy is about personal happiness, professional challenges, and community impact.
“I have been blessed by the success I have achieved in the field of development and more importantly matching donor’s interest with their capacity to give,”
Bartholomew said. “There is nothing like developing long-term relationships with those that share common vision and can dream.”
Bartholomew said sharing in that vision with WSU will be important to him because of his alumni status.
For the other members of the advancement team, helping WSU continue its vision through working with donors and supporters fuels them as professionals.
Cindy Jokela has worked in university development for over 20 years, including the last nine at WSU. She has a bachelor’s degree in language and literature from Yale University.
For Jokela, it is a privilege to see the impact of philanthropy not only on the recipients who benefit directly, but also on those who give. There is joy and often great meaning for donors when they can help make a life-changing opportunity and education possible for WSU students. “Those who give to the WSU Foundation can feel confident that their gift has a direct and immediate impact on our students and university,” Jokela said. “Every gift, no matter the size, truly does make a difference.”
Debbie Block’s professional development experience spans 16 years, all at WSU, with the past four years as a director of development. Block finds it rewarding playing a role in connecting donors’ passions with meaningful ways to support students.
Block is inspired by alumni and friends who invest in students and the university. “For me, watching relationships develop between donors and students is special. There are so many heartwarming stories about the connections made and maintained over many years because of philanthropy,” Block said. “I can honestly say that every gift makes a difference. Private support funds a margin of excellence that differentiates WSU and our students. Each of us can positively impact the lives of others by sharing our time, talent, and treasure. It feels good to give back.”
Robert Christiano is an alumnus of WSU with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and a master’s degree in counselor education. Christiano served as the graduate assistant in the WSU communications office before becoming a director of development in October 2014.
Christiano said philanthropy is vital to the future of WSU. He thinks it is important to create an awareness and culture of giving in the WSU community.
“Nothing makes me happier than seeing the direct impact a gift has on our students,” Christiano said. “Each day, I am energized by the generosity and selflessness of our donors. It is so rewarding to partner with them as they choose to support WSU’s mission. We are truly a community of learners who continue to improve our world.”
Chris Cichosz appointed Director of Security
A Winona native, Cichosz graduated from Cotter High School. He went on to receive an associate’s degree in Law Enforcement from Rochester Community and Technical College and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and sociology from the University of Wyoming. Cichosz also attended St. Cloud State University, where he received his master’s degree in public safety executive leadership.
Prior to coming to WSU, Cichosz had worked for the Winona County Sheriff’s Office since 2001. Previous law enforcement appointments include: assistant detention deputy, patrol deputy, K-9 handler, narcotics/violent crimes investigator, chief deputy.
Sullivan Receives Friend Award
The Friend Award is given to individuals who have served the Special Education Department. Former honorees include people who have helped with program approval, served on the advisory council, or taught as adjunct professors. The honoree is determined by a nomination from a faculty member and a vote by the department.
Kathy Sullivan is a retired WSU librarian. She was the College of Education liaison and was helpful for graduate students working on their professional papers. She continues to support the department and has donated an entire bookcase of science fiction and fantasy books to an after-school program at the Winona low- income housing authority.
Students Reap Benefits of Waddle
Winona State University’s women’s track and field team was awarded more than $15,000 in scholarships through proceeds from the eighth annual Warrior Waddle 5K. Over the last eight years, the Warrior Waddle 5K has raised more than $100,000 for Women’s Track and Field Scholarships.
“Our sponsors, volunteers, participants and every individual who helps put teams together help us create such a successful event,” said Kathy Hovell, one of the organizers of the Warrior Waddle. “We are so thankful for their help, contributions and dedication every year.”
The ninth annual Warrior Waddle 5K is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 15. Registration will be available later this spring.
CLSC Accreditation Awarded
Winona State University’s Clinical Laboratory Science Completion program (CLSC) was honored by the National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) with the NAACLS Accreditation Award.
Inspectors from NAACLS spent three days on campus examining the curriculum, the laboratory and instrumentation, and conducting reviews with the students, advisory board, and faculty. The CLSC program was awarded with the maximum five-year award, which covers WSU through 2019.
The CLSC program provides a focused program of study designed to provide associate level Medical Laboratory Technicians (MLTs) the opportunity to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree. The CLSC program is part-time with online components to meet the needs of the working MLT. With the online delivery, students can seek their degree from all over the state and nation.
With this accreditation, WSU will increase the workforce pool from lower paying jobs at the two-year level in the lab to higher paying jobs at the four-year level.
Doctor of Nursing Practice Students Take Third Place
Doctor of Nursing Practice Students Kimberly Langer and David Steele received third place in the Doctoral Student Poster Exchange in March at the Midwest Nursing Research Society (MNRS) 40th Annual Research Conference in Milwaukee, Wis. Their poster was titled, “Applying the Evidence in Treatment of Acute Uncomplicated Bronchitis in Emergency Medicine.” The significant findings within this project have changed the care approach for adults diagnosed with uncomplicated bronchitis in the project setting.
MNRS is comprised of researchers within and outside the 13-state Midwest region and is a premiere research society that develops scholars, drives science, and leads innovation to improve the health of all people. All research presented at MNRS conferences have been chosen through peer review.
WSU Rated Best Value
Winona State University has been identified by College Values Online as having one of the best value bachelor’s degrees in parks, recreation, and leisure studies in their 2016 ranking. Winona State University was ranked 13 out of a pool of nearly 150 schools. The ranking considered tuition, financial aid, return on investment, and the number of minors, concentrations, or areas of emphases offered.
Winona State University offers students earning their bachelor’s degree in recreation concentrations in recreation and tourism, therapeutic recreation, and adventure tourism. Graduates of the program have taken advantage of career opportunities with the US Fish and Wildlife Services, USDA Forest Service, Minnesota Recreation and Park Association, National Alliance for Youth Sports, and the American Camp Association.
Kosik Named Alumni Relations Director
Heather Kosik is no stranger to WSU. Kosik received her BS Paralegal degree from WSU in 2008, and worked in the WSU Admissions Office as a counselor while completing her MS in Counselor Education. She left WSU for a short stint as a Future Center Advisor at La Crosse Promise, a private sector organization that works to strengthen community and improve the quality of life through a strong commitment to education. Kosik returned to WSU in March 2012 as the Associate Director of Alumni Relations, and moved into the Interim Director role three years later. She was appointed Director last July. Kosik, who grew up in Wabasha, Minn., and her husband, Royce, have two boys, ages four and two, and live in Fountain City, Wis.
Winonan Brings Home Awards
The Winona State University student newspaper, The Winonan, placed in four categories in the Best of Show competition at the annual Associated Collegiate Press – Best of the Midwest Conference in Minneapolis.
The Winonan received seventh place in the category of a four-year weekly newspaper. WSU junior Elizabeth Pulanco received ninth place for feature story; WSU senior Sam Thiel received 10th place for sports story; and WSU junior Sara Tiradossi received seventh place for news story.