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College of Menominee Nation Ceremonies Celebrate New Alumni and Native Leaders


Professor Ruth (Cyndi) Pyatskowit
Professor Ruth (Cyndi) Pyatskowit, 2015 American Indian College Fund Teacher of the Year.

Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 30, represented a special milestone for the College of Menominee Nation. The 111 students eligible for graduation from CMN’s Keshena and Green Bay campuses brought the College’s total number of alumni above the 1,000 mark. Candidates received Bachelor’s and Associate degrees, technical diplomas, and the certificate of mastery in 15 programs of study.


Thirty-four of the graduates are Menominee and a total of 56 are members or descendants of American Indian tribes. The other 10 tribes are Bad River Chippewa, Brotherton, Cherokee, Crow, Ho Chunk, Lac Courtes Oreille Ojibway, Mohican, Oneida, Potawatomi and Stockbridge-Munsee tribes.


Joining CMN President Verna Fowler in the program were Dr. Alton (Sonny) Smart as guest speaker; Trenton Miller, Sr., who spoke on behalf of the graduating class, and Justin Gauthier, a 2011 CMN graduate who welcomed the new graduates to the ranks of alumni.


Dr. Smart, a member of the Bad River Band, serves on the Social Work faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and was one of the first four instructors at CMN when it opened in January 1993. Miller, a Shawano resident, received his CMN degree in Natural Resources. He is a son of the late Glen Miller, Menominee leader during whose tenure the idea of the tribal college was conceived. After earning his Associate Degree at CMN, Gauthier enrolled at UW-Madison and has recently completed his baccalaureate there in English.


A special President’s Award was given during ceremonies to Loretta Webster of the Oneida Tribe. Webster was recognized for her aid in the 1992-93 academic year in the establishment of the College of Menominee Nation while she served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Cultural Diversity at UW-Stevens Point. President Fowler cited Webster for facilitating discussions with the Stevens Point Chancellor that led to a credit-transfer agreement as CMN began offering classes. Webster, who is a UW Law School graduate, subsequently served as Land Management Attorney and in other capacities for the Oneida Tribe. More recently, she has practiced and fostered traditional arts. The award commended her work on behalf of American Indian students and communities.


Professor Ruth (Cyndi) Pyatskowit of CMN’s teacher education program received the 2015 American Indian College Fund Teacher of the Year Award. Pyatskowit, who lives in Shawano, is project director and principle investigator on several education and literacy grants at the College focused on young children. Her more than 30 years of professional experience includes substantial work with Head Start and other early childhood initiatives.


The College, which opened for students in 1993, is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It is one of only three Land Grant institutions in Wisconsin and one of 36 recognized tribal colleges in North America. It enrolls American Indian and non-Indian students on its Keshena and Green Bay campuses.



Academic Degree and Technical Graduates Announced by College of Menominee Nation


The 111 students from 28 communities completing studies in the 2014-2015 academic year at the College of Menominee Nation are the following:


Bachelor of Arts

  • Public Administration: Shane A. Dixon, Sr., of Shawano, and Bryan L. Waukau, Keshena.

Bachelor of Science

  • Business Administration: Mani A. Boyd, Shawano, and Denise M. Madosh, Susan M. Waukau and Arlyne L. Wayka, all Keshena. Madosh graduated with academic honors.

  • Early Childhood/Elementary Education: Theresa M. Carroll and Amy L. Jensen, both Gresham; Pauline A. Centers, Seymour, and Andrew G. Manthey and Megan L. Welk, both Shawano. All five graduate with highest academic honors.

Associate of Arts and Sciences

  • Accounting: Sarah L. Steinback, Shawano.

  • Biological and Physical Sciences: Lucille R. Martin, Bowler; Brennan A. Waupoose, Keshena, and Jaime L. Wheelock, Oneida. Martin graduates with a double major in Early Childhood Education. Wheelock graduates with high academic honors.

  • Early Childhood Education: Nakoa D. Chiltoskie, Cherokee, N.C., and Noelle A. Madosh and Deidre A. Caldwell, Keshena.

  • Liberal Studies/Humanities: Larry Madden, Bowler, and Amellia F. McGeshick, Green Bay. McGeshick graduates with high academic honors.

  • Liberal Studies/Social Sciences: Carol J. Bogda, Carol L. Brunette, Angela S. Hernandez, Jesse D. Kaquatosh-Williams, Amber F. Webster and Melissa J. Wilber, all Green Bay; Mason S. Powless, Seymour, and Denise L. Nacotee and Mary A. Shawanokasic, both Keshena. Brunette and Powless earned high academic honors.

  • Natural Resources: Luis A. Kakkak and Timothy B. Waupoose, both Keshena, and Trenton T. Miller, Sr., Shawano.

Associate of Applied Science

  • Nursing: Vincent H. Bilotti, Tara R. Rysewyk, Crystal R. Thiem and Renee M. Williams, all Green Bay; Katie M. Borntreger, Rhonda A. Lindstrom, Nicole R. Mertz and Chanda N. Oviedo, all Shawano; Melanie George, Kaukauna; Ashley A. Gipp, Clintonville; Katie J. Lowney and Houa K. Moua, both Appleton; Carrie L. Rozoff, Denmark; Steven J. Seidl, Luxemburg; Laura L. Thayer, Bonduel; Kenlee M. Wasurick, Greenleaf, and Colleen M. Wayka, Keshena.

Technical Diploma

  • Business Office Technician: Kode-Ray C. Adams, Gresham; Jodie L. Davids, Bowler; Maria L. Frechette and Marsha L. Miller, both Keshena, and Desma M. Wayka, Neopit. Adams and Frechette graduated with high academic honors.

  • Electricity: Dana A. Bergeon and Benjamin M. Rudolph, both Shawano; Allen G. Grignon and Brian L. Grignon, both Keshena, and Daniel J. Hebert, Gresham. Rudolph graduated with high honors.

  • Practical Nursing: Brenda K. Balthazor, Amber L. Bodoh, Sally E. Kauth, Sarah M. Krueger and Nicole L. Zabel, all Clintonville; Stephanie M. Bishop, Pulaski; Gina M. Blazek, Daggett, Mich.; Stephanie L. Bugler, Keshena; Audra E. Demmith, Mountain; Jason J. Boucher, Karissa A. Donley and Kayla C. Prichard, all Shawano; Gaudalupe M. Guzman, Lori L. Hanson, Lana J. McVeigh, Katie E. Muellenbach, Lorna L. Odeen, Cassie L. Petersen, You Vang, Constance R. Wray and Tiffany N. Young, all Green Bay; Rachel E. Huested, Wrightstown; Stephanie A. Miller, Marinette; Tiffany A. Nennig, Manitowoc; Melissa R. Rass, Stevens Point; Ariel J. Schmidt and Christine A. Van Dahm, both Appleton; Angela M. Schneider, De Pere; Jill M. Seefeldt, Wild Rose; Heidi L. Spurlock-Mondragon, Krakow, and Paula K. Wojtalewicz, Iola.

  • Sustainable Residential Building Systems: Anthony Brown, Crystal K. Lyons and Richard A. Tourtillott III, all Keshena; Jesse J. Hugginis, Clintonville, and Jared Skenadore, Oneida. Skenadore graduated with honors.

  • Welding: Shawn C. Behnke, Mitchell J. Mazemke and George A. Swett, all Shawano; Jesse Downs, Bonduel; Kyle J. Grignon, Neopit; Antonio V. Waukau, Sr., Kyle J. Wilber and Christopher J. Wynos, all Keshena; Lucas B. Huntington, Gresham; Raymond J. Mickelson and Ohkwalli Skenandore, both Green Bay, and Aaron M. Vele, Tigerton. Downs graduated with high honors and Mickelson with honors.

Certificate of Mastery

  • Criminal Justice: Forrest Perez, Keshena