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My La Crosse Experience

Distinguished alumni awards recipients share how the "La Crosse Experience" shaped their lives. Learn how all seven of the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Awards recipients became successful, as well as ask questions. Open to all students, faculty, staff and community members. Following the panel discussion, join us for refreshments and networking opportunities!

The 2019 awards and honorees include:

The Maurice O. Graff Distinguished Alumnus Award
Recognizes outstanding achievement of alumni who have brought honor and distinction to the university. Long-time administrator Maurice O. Graff instituted the honor in 1977.

Sharon Weston Broome, ’78
• Respected politician. Former Louisiana State Senator and State Representative; first woman to hold pro tempore positions in both. Currently, Mayor-President of the City of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish.
• Bachelor’s in mass communications.

Lynda Kohler, ’83
• Admired advocate for families and children dealing with disabilities and disadvantages in southeastern Wisconsin. Currently, president and CEO of SHARP Literacy Inc. in Milwaukee.
• Bachelor’s in recreation leadership.

Rada Distinguished Alumnus Award
Recognizes alumni who have graduated within the last 20 years, achieved professional distinction and taken part in humanitarian activities. Professor emeritus Ron Rada and his wife, Jane, created the award in 2002.

Sulaimon “Wale” Elegbede, ’05
• Esteemed business and servant leader. Founding member of La Crosse Interfaith Shoulder to Shoulder Network to curb growing anti-Muslim sentiment. Currently, Head of the Project Management Office for the Center for Regenerative Medicine and Senior Project Manager at Mayo Clinic. 
• Bachelor’s of information systems.

Corey Sjoquist, ’96 & ’03
• Influential college admissions counselor in the state of Wisconsin. Currently, director of the UWL Admissions Office, where he has worked since 1996.
• Bachelor’s in mass communications; master’s in college student development and administration.

Parker Distinguished Multicultural Alumni Award
Recognizes outstanding alumni who have contributed greatly to improve multiracial culture and understanding on campus and in their careers. History Professor Emeritus James Parker initiated the award in 1997.

Angela Kellogg, ’92
• Renowned student services administrator; advocate for diversity and inclusion. Currently, senior academic planner for the Office of Student Success at UW System Administration.
• Master’s in college student personnel.

Burt and Norma Altman Teacher Education Award
Honors and recognizes outstanding educators and the significant contributions they make to children and communities. Professor Emeritus Burt Altman and his wife, Norma, long-time supporters of teacher education, created the award in 2015.

Pamela Kalafut, ’77
• Prestigious high school teacher, mentor and student activities director at Hinsdale, Illinois, Central High School for 34 years. Currently, retired and serves as a substitute teacher with the Avery Coonley School in Downers Grove, Illinois.
• Bachelor’s in art education.


  • 2 to 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, 2019


Strzelczyk Great Hall, Cleary Alumni & Friends Center
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University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Strzelczyk Great Hall, Cleary Alumni %26 Friends Center


For questions about this event or to request disability accommodations , contact Vickie Bain at 608.785.8489 or


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