More than 100 outstanding students recognized at annual Leadership Awards ceremony

Wood Medallion recipients Charest, Timm share experiences in service on and off campus
Abbey Goers | May 8, 2024

Alongside more than 100 of their peers, 13 seniors were awarded the Samuel E. Wood Medallion for their outstanding leadership in student involvement at UW-Stout’s annual Leadership Awards ceremony.

The program, held on May 1, included Outstanding Student Leader; Student Employee of the Year; Outstanding Cooperative Education and Internship Student of the Year and more.

The event was sponsored by the Involvement Center, Stout Student Association and Career Services. Those nominated for awards also were recognized.

Wood Medallion winners

The Wood Medallion is the highest nonacademic award for students at UW-Stout. Less than 1% of full-time students receive the award. It is presented to seniors who have contributed in student activities, leadership and scholastic ability. Winners are chosen by a committee representing faculty, staff and students.

Wood Medallion recipients
2024 Samuel E. Wood Medallion recipients / Braeden Lange and John Roeber

Award recipients are:

  • Olivier Charest, applied science, La Prairie, Quebec
  • Ava Cinealis, applied biochemistry and molecular biology, Sheboygan
  • Kalie Dahl, hotel, restaurant and tourism management, Cologne, Minn.
  • Josie Finocchiaro, family and consumer science education, Rockton, Ill.
  • Camryn Gettendorf, retail merchandising and management, Weyauwega
  • Emily Holze, animation and digital media, Chilton
  • Anna Johnson, family and consumer science education, Eau Claire
  • Ethan Myers, packaging, Pleasant Prairie
  • Bailey Pedersen, professional communications and emerging media, Gillett
  • Aliyah Smetana, mechanical engineering, Suamico
  • Amanda Shipley, engineering technology, Rockford, Minn.
  • Hans Stelpflug, construction, Colgate
  • Hannah Timm, family and consumer science education, Fremont

Samuel E. Wood was a longtime assistant chancellor for Student Services/Dean of Students. He retired in 1991 and died in February 2013.

Charest and Timm are honored to receive the Wood Medallion, they said.

“It is a true honor to be associated with Samuel’s name. He was a pioneer here at Stout, and I am very proud of receiving his leadership award,” Charest said. “Even though all my actions came from the bottom of my heart, it is touching to know that my contribution, as well as that of other students, is being underlined and rewarded. It sets a great example for the next generation of students.”

Timm received the award along with two of her classmates and rugby teammates and feels privileged to join the prestigious group of campus leaders. 

“This award is not just a reflection of my efforts, but a testament to the communities built here on campus,” she said. “The amount of support and inspiration from all the individuals I have had the privilege to work with make it so easy to dedicate my time and service. To know I am joining this amazing group of leaders is so motivating to continue to strive for excellence in leadership.”

An outstanding researcher and scholar athlete

Charest was a student premedicine adviser through the Pre-Health Society, advising and mentoring younger students seeking medical school. He served as a biology and chemistry student tutor; a biochemistry and organic chemistry teacher assistant; and a neuroimmunology student researcher, assisting Professor Jennifer Grant

Olivier Charest with Professor Jennifer Grant and fellow student Ava Cinealis at the Leadership Awards
Wood Medallion recipient Olivier Charest with Professor Jennifer Grant and fellow recipient Ava Cinealis / Braeden Lange and John Roeber

He recently received the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Management Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher award at UW-Stout’s annual Research Day.

He volunteered as a certified nursing assistant in palliative care at Dove West Healthcare and in the emergency department at Mayo Clinic in Menomonie. He also assisted in the French class at Menomonie High School, as French is his first language. 

Charest played forward on the Blue Devil men’s ice hockey team. He was one of 48 seniors recognized as a UW-Stout Scholar Athlete, an award given to senior student athletes with a 3.5 grade point average or higher.

“Many people believed in me and paved the way for me to succeed, so being able to have these opportunities meant the world to me. They allowed me to fulfill my desire to leave a positive and long-lasting impact on my fellow students, my professors, UW-Stout and the Menomonie community,” he said.

Charest graduated on May 4 and is returning to Quebec. He will attend medical school starting in September.

Advocating for teacher excellence and the polytechnic advantage

Timm served as president of the Stout Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, was a Student Unit officer for the Wisconsin Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and was named a student representative for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Professional Standards Council for Teachers.

Hannah Timm and Chancellor Katherine Frank at the Leadership Awards
Wood Medallion recipient Hannah Timm and Chancellor Katherine Frank / Braeden Lange and John Roeber

She served as vice president of Phi Upsilon Omicron, an academic honor society that builds relationships with community families and supports them through acts of service.

She is a tour guide with the Admissions Office, is a resident adviser and hall manager with University Housing, and was captain, president and treasurer of the women’s club rugby team.

“My journey at UW-Stout has helped prepare me for my future. I have been fortunate to have had many professional development opportunities that have given me a strong network and perspective on my role in education, and I look forward to growing more,” Timm said. “I take pride in advocating for teacher excellence and finding ways to reward our teachers, who are making a difference in their students’ and co-workers’ lives and communities. 

“As a tour guide, I love meeting prospective students and giving them a brief view of life as a Blue Devil,” she added. “I love showing families why I love Stout and how our polytechnic advantage can benefit their education. Being a small part of their decision to be a Blue Devil is just so exciting.”

Timm will student teach culinary at Hudson High School this fall and graduate in December. She has already received a job offer from Hudson to teach family and consumer sciences.

Leadership Awards

Winners of the annual Leadership Awards are chosen by a committee made up of faculty, staff and students.

The winners are:

  • Outstanding Student Leader of the Year, three winners: Lauren Arenz, Onalaska; Kalie Dahl, of Cologne, Minn.; David Tesar, Lety, Czech Republic
  • Student Employee of the Year, three winners: Jared Doran, of St. Paul, Student Center’s event technology crew; Francis Kaunda, of Lilongwe, Malawi, University Housing; and Nicole Wrona, of St. Paul, University Housing
  • Student Staff Team of the Year, three winners: Student Center’s event technology crew; University Housing’s North Campus housing staff team; and University Housing’s operations managers
  • Student Organization of the Year, two winners: Service Club and Stout Students Unite
  • Student Organization Event of the Year, three winners: Service Club, Dog Toy Making; International Club, International Night; and Stout Packaging Association, Packaging Jamboree
  • Bill Siedlecki Advisor of the Year, two winners: Danielle Clarizio, International Club; and Malinda Herbert, Service Club


Student Leaders of the Year Lauren Arenz, Kalie Dahl, David Tesar
Outstanding Student Leader of the Year award recipients Lauren Arenz, Kalie Dahl and David Tesar / Braeden Lange and John Roeber

Outstanding CEIP Student of the Year Award

The Outstanding Cooperative Education and Internship Program Student of the Year Award was given to 25 students.

This past year, Career Services reported nearly 1,030 students participated in co-ops and internships through Career Services at more than 650 employers in 32 states and four international countries.

The winners are selected by the program’s Advisory Committee for excellence and achievements in their positions, for contributions to their employers and for academic achievement.

The winners, their majors, hometowns and employers are:

  • Tony Candler, business administration, Dallas, Wis., Talon Development - The Heights
  • Mareike Christianson, interior design, Edgar, Samuels Group
  • Kalie Dahl, hotel, restaurant and tourism management, Cologne, Minn., IDeaS
  • Ethan Draeger, business administration, Jackson, Client First Tax and Wealth Advisors
  • Camryn Gettendorf, retail merchandising and management, Weyauwega, Burlington Stores
  • Whitney Hamilton, rehabilitation services, Menomonie, Chippewa Valley Correctional Treatment Facility
  • Greyson Hammer, packaging, Milton, Boston Scientific
  • Nolan Harke, supply chain management, Appleton, Pierce Manufacturing
  • Riley Henk, interior design, Amery, Fluid Interiors
  • Jason Hovarter, computer and electrical engineering, Menasha, BW Systems
  • Isaiah Hoyord, construction, Iola, Hoffman Planning, Design and Construction
  • Nicole Kress, graphic design and interactive media, Dodge Center, Minn., Royal Credit Union
  • DJ Kron, mechanical engineering, Cold Spring, Minn., Jennie-O Turkey Store
  • Mitchell Kubeny, mechanical engineering, De Pere, Greenheck
  • Jenna Jablonski, psychology, Red Wing, Minn., Partners in Excellence
  • Annie Jacobson, real estate property management, Minneapolis, Weidner Apartment Homes
  • Glen Jakober, real estate property management, Colfax, Weidner Apartment Homes
  • Ana Maupin, digital marketing technology, Muskego, Midland Plastics
  • Emily McNett, applied mathematical and computer science; computer science, Milton, NSF National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • Zachary Morgan, manufacturing engineering, Eau Claire, Andersen Corporation
  • Jeremy O'Connor, construction, Preston, Minn., Knutson Construction
  • Waveland Rushton, engineering technology, Menomonie, Phillips-Medisize
  • Madison Skaggs, graphic design and interactive media, Sheboygan, PetSmart, Inc.
  • Pheng Thao, studio art, Green Bay, UW-Stout School of Art & Design
  • Emma Lynn Tynan, fashion and retail, Rio, Kohl's

Career success is a hallmark of an education at Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University, along with applied learning and industry collaboration.

The latest First Destination Report found that UW-Stout graduates from fall 2022 through summer 2023 were employed at a near historic high of 99% soon after receiving their degree and also had a record average starting salary of $58,000, the best among higher education institutions in west-central Wisconsin.

To learn more about the academic programs of the award winners, visit the websites of the College of Arts and Human Sciences and the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Management.

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