Alumni Notes

You can learn about fellow University of Wisconsin-Madison graduates and submit your own professional and personal news here.

You can also share your memories and tributes of UW alumni who have passed in obituaries, including those who have died of COVID-19.

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  • Donald J. Opitz, Feb 12, 1924-March 3, 2020

    Donald Opitz, 96, passed away in his sleep, March 3, 2020.
    He was born February 12, 1924 to Charles and Catherine Opitz in La Crosse Wisconsin. He is survived by his sister Beatrice Renner (103), son Paul Opitz, son Mark Opitz, his wife Lauren, grandsons Dylan and Ryan, granddaughter Jennifer Bignell, her husband Dane, grandson Allen Jewell, former wife Priscilla Quist and longtime partner Barbara Miller. He was proceeded in death by his daughter Kathy Jewell and brothers Ken and Greg Opitz.

  • Susan Davis Named to 2019 Irish Business Top 100

    Susan Davis International Chairman Susan Ann Davis was named to the 2019 Irish Business Top 100 by Irish America Magazine during its 34th annual event.

  • Brenda Williams, PLA, ASLA, Honored with Wisconsin ASLA Lifetime Achievement Award

    Brenda Williams, PLA, ASLA, a principal with Quinn Evans, has been honored by the Wisconsin chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) with its 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award. A leader in the preservation of cultural landscapes, Williams’ career has focused on historic landscapes, where she has championed the conservation, adaptation, and stewardship of culturally significant sites.

  • Founder/Creator of the Music for Young Violinists Project and Registered Nurse: Heather Figi

    I graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1999 with a Bachelor’s degree in Music, Violin Performance. In 2014 I founded and created the Music for Young Violinists project which hosts tutorial videos, articles on playing and teaching violin and an online store featuring 25 of my collections of sheet music and teaching resources. My […]

  • Refugee Relief: Matt and Diana (Lofgren) Friederich

    After serving 12 weeks prior to 2020 at the Moria refugee camp in Greece we are starting a six week stint spanning March and April 2020. We are working with EuroRelief, a NGO responsible for housing and shelter allocation in the camp.

  • Keith Williams ’81 wins Concordia University’s prestigious Poehler lectureship

    Keith Williams ’81 Professor at Concordia University, St. Paul, MN has been awarded the 2020 Poehler lectureship.

  • David Schmitt ’59

    David Schmitt BS ’59 with a degree in chemical engineering died on January 17, 2020 in Battle Creek, Michigan.

  • Jim Ciha ’78

    Jim Ciha ’78 submitted his 25th Colorado 14er this past August by hiking to the top of Mount Princeton, 14,197 feet. There are about 55 Colorado 14ers (peaks 14,000 feet or higher) and that means many more adventures for Jim in the future. Jim lives in Grand Junction, CO.

  • Dr. Angela Dassow Wins Wildlife Award from the Animal Welfare Institute

    Dr. Angela Dassow, assistant professor of biology at Carthage College, recently won the Christine Stevens Wildlife Award from the Animal Welfare Institute for her work in passively tracking the locations of packs of wild gray wolves in central Wisconsin through acoustic monitoring of their howls.

  • Named Maryland’s Top 100 Women: Martha James-Hassan

    Dr. Martha James-Hassan (BS-Kinesiology, ’93) was named to the Daily Record’s Top 100 Women in Maryland for 2020.