The Pioneer Post

The Pioneer Post is a resource for online students that provides tips and information about distance education.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Julie Kimbler has joined the Distance Learning Center as the Coordinator of the Master of Science in Distance Education Leadership (DEL) program.  The program is designed for professionals working within distance/online higher education administration, policy analysis, and academics. Julie will manage all aspects of the program.  Additionally, she’ll lead research, assessment, and faculty development efforts within distance education at UW-Platteville.

Prior to joining the DLC, Kimbler served as Dean of Student Services at Bryant & Stratton College. She has also served as an academic program director, an adjunct faculty member (both online and a face-to-face), within K-12 as a technology coordinator and teacher, and as a business and training analyst for a large aerospace company.
“Through these experiences, I was fortunate to be exposed to large and small organizations, public and private education, and many technologies. I have a passion for education which includes my own personal and professional growth,” Julie said, who is currently working on her PhD within the Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences (GSCIS) – Computing Technology in Education, at Nova Southeastern University.
The curriculum for the Master of Science in Distance Education Leadership is built on and grounded in conceptual and practical frameworks from the disciplines of leadership, learning theory, business, organization theory, behavior and development, and analytics. While the focus of the program is on distance/online higher education, professionals in K-12 distance education, corporate, and military environments will find value in the program. Classes include topics such as diversity; organizational wellness; participative problem-solving and implementation; and technology and performance.

-- Denise LaBudda
Eric Severson has worked in law enforcement for almost thirty years, but that wasn’t his original plan.

Eric first came to UW-Platteville in 1980 to study technical communication. After graduating, Eric felt a pull toward the law enforcement field. As a student, he had worked as a resident advisor, helping students solve their problems, and it sparked his initial interest in the profession. Unfortunately without any firsthand law enforcement experience, he had trouble getting hired.

So Eric returned to UW-Platteville and began working on a second bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. “I wouldn’t reverse the way I got my degrees. My communication degree has probably been more helpful—especially in leadership positions,” Eric said.

“Completing my degree was not a requirement or necessary for advancing my career,” Eric said. “I wanted to finish it and set a good example for my kids to finish what you started.”

“If I was aware of how quickly I could’ve gotten back into the academic world, I would have done it much sooner,” he said.

Eric is now in his 26th year with the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department, working as an Inspector (Undersheriff) responsible for both the law enforcement and corrections side of the department. In addition to administrative litigation and human resources work, he mentors new command staff and works cooperatively with the 29 police agencies in Waukesha County.

Outside of work, Eric pursues a different passion: building his own RV-8A airplane. Eric is a private pilot and member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). As a student, he got his license at the Platteville Municipal Airport.

Eric’s wide-ranging interests have not only taken him down a different career path, they’ve led him to one in which they are an asset. “In law enforcement, you need a variety of people with different skill sets and knowledge bases. What we do is complex, and we need people who can solve a variety of problems,” he said.

With only nine credits left to complete, Eric was hired by the Waukesha (Wis.) County Sheriff’s Department as a Supervisor, and put his criminal justice degree on hold. He returned to UW-Platteville in 2011 —this time, online—to finish his degree.

-- Cheryl Lange

Monday, August 5, 2013

~ Heraclitus of Ephesus, Greek philosopher

If the university could grant an organizational change leadership
Angella Donovan
degree for personal experience, Angella Donovan could have skipped the formalities. The first graduate of the Organizational Change Leadership program was highly motivated to apply, register, and complete her coursework in two years.

“As 2010 wound down, I was working for the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, I owned a wedding planning business, and my four children ranged from one to eight years old. I sold my business in December of 2010 and by June of 2011, I was bored and knew I needed to do something else,” Angella said.

She made a quick decision to start a master’s degree in organizational change leadership, submitted her FAFSA, and began working with her advisor to register in time for fall courses. “Liz Lucas was a huge help. I wanted to finish quickly and took two courses a semester. As I approached the end of my coursework, I appreciated Ron Bonlender, Susan Hansen, and Derek Dachelet working together so I could complete my capstone project and graduate this month.”

Beginning the program was the first of many changes for Angella. While earning her degree, she started a new job with the City of Platteville and went through a divorce.

The constant in her life has been her involvement with the Kappa Alpha Sigma sorority. A member as an undergrad at UW-Platteville, she has served on the alumni board the last 15 years, the last 13 as president. But the sorority, by its very nature, is in a constant state of change, putting Angella in an ideal position to offer guidance through her capstone project.

“When I pledged, there were nine actives. I saw the group grow to 50 and presently there are 20,” Angella said. “I’ll be working with the active members to develop a strategic plan that will facilitate needed change. Unlike many sororities with national affiliations, Kappa Alpha Sigma is a local sorority, responsible for their own constitution and managing all of the associated activities and business.”

“The pattern has been that with growth, there are changes to the constitution and sometimes a lack of understanding about why those rules are in place,” Angella said. “I want the sorority to stay true to its roots and not lose its identity while meeting the changing requirements of the university, such as raising the GPA standards for members.”

“Angella is a perfect example of the type of person the Organizational Change Leadership program is targeted toward,” said Professor Misty Lemon-Rogers. “As a young professional who is striving to become a leader in her field, the insight Angella brought to our online classroom through the discussion board and team exercises were beneficial to the entire class. It is no surprise that Angella continues to be successful in her career, and I look forward to continuing to mentor Angella as she continues on her lifelong journey of learning and success.”


The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Distance Learning Center works with faculty, staff, and students to promote all students’ independence along with ensuring that we are assessing a student’s ability and not their disabilities. Our faculty members work closely with instructional designers to ensure that all courses are compliant and accessible using a universal design theory. The Distance Learning Center works directly with our on campus resources to assist with approving and providing academic accommodations for our students.

Distance education students are eligible to apply for academic accommodations at any time during the year; however, academic accommodations are not retroactive so it is in your best interest to inquire and apply for accommodations at least four to six weeks prior to the start of classes. If you are not sure if you are eligible, not sure what academic accommodations are possible, or don’t know where to start, we encourage you to contact the Distance Learning Center ADA Liaison to discuss options and timelines. Appropriate documents for the physician’s documentation will be provided to you for the review process.

If you have already been issued a VISA (Verified Individualized Student Accommodation), check to see if your VISA expires at the end of this semester. If it does, please contact the Distance Learning Center ADA Liasion to have your VISA reviewed and renewed.

For more information, contact the ADA Liasion at 800.362.5460.

The following deadlines apply if you are taking courses through UW Colleges:

August 5        Last day to register and choose mail-in payment option

August 12      Fall course registration closes

                       Last day to pay for fall courses by credit card or check

                       Last day for administrative fee refunds for fall 2013


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

In its annual ranking, “Best Online Education Programs,” U.S. News & World Report ranked University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s ( bachelor’s in business program No. 85 in the nation.

UW-Platteville’s bachelor’s program in business administration is featured here. Regionally, UW-Platteville edged out University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (No. 123), UW-Superior (No. 148), Waldorf College, Forest City, IA (No. 128), and IAB College of Business (No. 86).

Click here for full social media release.
The University of Wisconsin-Platteville and its Distance Learning Center (UW-Platteville Online) have announced the winner of the $500 Dawn Drake Excellence in Distance Education Scholarship.

Matthew Meyer, originally of Beaver Dam, received his bachelor's degree in engineering from UW-Platteville in 2002 and is set to graduate with a master's degree in engineering through UW-Platteville's online program this fall. He currently works for River Valley Testing Corporation in Neenah and Green Bay.

The academic scholarship, established by Dawn Drake, executive director of alternative delivery systems at UW-Platteville, is awarded each spring to a degree-seeking student who has successfully completed at least one course in a UW-Platteville Distance Education program and has a GPA of at least 3.0. It symbolizes the important role that distance education has played in Dawn’s life, personally and professionally.

Click here for full press release or here for a feature on Matthew.


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