Student Success Stories

Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

Noah Zirbel, LTC graduate

Lakeshore Technical College
Wind Energy Technology, 2009
Field Service Engineer, Invenergy Services

Noah Zirbel grew up with wind turbines in his back yard. His parents hosted the first two utility scale wind turbines in the state on their farm south of Green Bay. “I was intrigued,” he said of the giant towers...

Architecture and Construction

Jeff Urlaub, CVTC graduate

Chippewa Valley Technical College
Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Technology
Founder & CEO, MEP Associates

Jeff Urlaub went from raising hogs and working construction to CEO of a consulting, design and engineering company with offices in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Oklahoma. An injury from an accident led him to reconsider his future, and in 1988 he...

Arts, AudioVisual Technology and Communications

Breonna Bleuel, MPTC graduate

Moraine Park Technical College
Graphic Communications, 2014
Marketing Coordinator, NAStar, Inc.

Breonna Bleuel learned about marketing from some of the best in the world—Walt Disney World. While studying Graphic Communications at Moraine Park Technical College (MPTC), Breonna participated in the Disney College Program. “It is very competitive process,” she said. “It...

Business, Management and Administration

Bockhorst head shot

Moraine Park Technical College
Business Marketing, 1986
Co-Owner, Design and Production Manager, InSpire Magazine

Mary Beth Bockhorst knows first-hand the power of inspiration and she has put herself in the position to share that with others as Co-Owner and Production Manager of InSpire Magazin e . Bockhorst’s career path began when she graduated high school and took a factory job performing manual labor.


NWTC grad, Jim Smidel

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
Accounting, 2000
Agricultural Lender, Investors Community Bank

Jim Smidel was a small dairy farmer who felt he was not making enough money to support his family. At the age of 34, Jim wanted a more fulfilling career with a better income. While taking a Farm Management and...

Health Sciences

Blackhawk Technical College
Registered Nursing, 2000
Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer for Beloit Health System

In 1996, Sharon Cox was a stay-at-home mom and daycare provider. College wasn’t on her radar. She was 15 years out of high school and the thought of going back to school after so long was frightening. It was that...

Hospitality and Tourism

Waukesha County Technical College
Culinary Management, 2008
Owner and Chef, Krimmer’s Restaurant

Wes Krimmer wanted to open up a restaurant since age 13. When he turned 14, he took his first step toward that dream, getting a job at McDonald’s, and he has been a fixture in the restaurant industry ever since...

Human Services

Moraine Park Technical College
Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) Associate, 2013
Addiction Counselor, Agnesian HealthCare

Brandon Boe has been sober for a decade, and he’s making it his life’s work to help others on their path to recovery. “For all my time being sober, I realized that giving back was something that I wanted to...

Information Technology

Emily Van Haren, Madison College grad

Madison Area Technical College
IT - Mobile Apps, 2015
Software Engineer, Apple, Inc.

Emily Van Haren can hardly believe it; just months after earning her associate degree at Madison College she’s working at Apple, Inc., in California. She started developing websites while in middle school and by the time she was 16, Emily...

Law, Public Safety and Security

Fox Valley Technical College
Fire Protection, 1999
City of Appleton Fire Department

Matthew Gerrits is a firm believer in the benefits of a technical college education. So much so, in fact, that the former Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) student is now an adjunct instructor in the Fire Protection program at his...


Lakeshore Technical College
Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship, 2016
Maintenance Mechanic, Masters Gallery Foods, Inc.

Spencer Thiel was still in high school when he got his first taste of apprenticeship. During his senior year at Plymouth, Thiel was a manufacturing youth apprentice for Curt G. Joa Inc., a custom machine builder in Sheboygan Falls. When...

Marketing, Sales and Service

portrait of NWTC graduate Lindsay Wiese

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
Marketing, 2011
Director of Marketing, Keller, Inc.

Growing up in Freedom, Wisconsin, Lindsay Wiese was familiar with both Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC). She knew she didn’t want to go to a four-year college and didn’t want a lot of student...

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Erin Salmon, Madison College grad

Madison Area Technical College
Civil Engineering, 2001
Operations Manager, Davis Construction Company

After serving in the Army overseas, Erin Salmon decided to follow her father’s footsteps into Civil Engineering and reenrolled at Madison College. She already had some credits from before her military service and knew she would get a good education...

Transportation, Distribution and Logistics

Brent Tate, Gateway Tech College graduate

Gateway Technical College
Automotive Technology, 2012 & Business Management, 2014
Estimator, Pulera Collision Center

Brent Tate started his dream job only three years after graduating from high school and without a lot of student loan debt. While in high school, Brent enrolled in Gateway Technical College’s Automotive Technology program through the Youth Options program...

Liberal Arts Transfer Programs

Hannah Lanser, former Madison College student

Madison Area Technical College
Liberal Arts Transfer
Senior Accountant, Wegner CPAs LLP

Hannah Lanser took a non-traditional path to her career. After high school she took some time off to nurture her spiritual life. She had been accepted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but deferred her enrollment and planned to start in...