Meet Our Expert Instructors

Wisconsin’s technical colleges have outstanding faculty with relevant experience in their fields that makes career programs meaningful for students. They also bring a variety of life experiences and community involvement to their teaching. These stories demonstrate how our faculty members add value to the technical college experience.

Mary Lieder-Harper and Myra Withey started as instructors at Western Technical College on the same day in 1990. Since that time, they have been a mainstay in the Mechanical Design program, training future generations of workers. “We make a great...
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For the first time ever in Wisconsin, students from a technical college are conducting scientific research, and Dr. Angelo Kolokithas, Program Director of Biology at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, is leading the charge. Throughout his career, Kolokithas has done extensive...
Students at technical colleges often get the benefit of having instructors with real-life experience in the field they’re teaching. “When students see that, I think it makes it more credible to them because you’re actually speaking from your own experiences,”...
When Shawn McAfee first entered the graphics industry, desktop publishing software had yet to reach the market. In this pre-digital age, everything was done using layout boards, ink and wax. “Since I started in this field, the work of graphic...
Rich Wilkosz has been fascinated with science since early on in his childhood. “I used to spend a lot of time walking out in the woods when I was younger, observing things,” he says. “It just came naturally.” But it...
Chef Jeff Igel has been a fixture at Fox Valley Technical College for 20 years. In 1996, he was hired as Department Chair for the Culinary Arts & Hospitality Department. Two years ago, he became the department’s Program Director of...
When Dave Thompson talks about the Machine Tool program at Chippewa Valley Technical College, his eyes light up with the same excitement and passion he had when he was a first-year student there in 1990. This time, though, he is...
Albe Heinen graduated from Gateway Technical College with her Barber/Cosmetology license in 1993. Since that time, she has carved out a successful career for herself and has helped countless others do the same. She is a true champion for apprenticeships,...
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“When I went through school, I always thought it would be neat to be an instructor,” says Jason Robbins, a graduate of Southwest Wisconsin Technical College. So in 2010, he returned to his alma mater as an instructor to see...
Since her arrival on the Nicolet College campus just a few years ago, Dr. Emily Stuckenbruck has had quite an impact on the community, even garnering attention for her efforts on a national level. Stuckenbruck was recently selected to the...
Dr. Bruce Forciea, MPTC instructor
Dr. Bruce Forciea loves communicating so much that he keeps finding new ways to do it. Forciea gives lectures, creates animated videos, teaches online and in person, and writes blogs, textbooks and novels. A former iceskating coach and chiropractor, Forciea...
Kou Yang, NTC instructor
Kou Yang has faced many challenges in her personal and professional life. As an instructor she is driven to inspire, lead, mentor, and make an impact on people’s lives. “There was a time in my life where I had to...
Tom LaPierre, MATC instructor
Tom LaPierre is one of only three people in Wisconsin who hold the American Culinary Federation’s designation as a certified executive pastry chef. He didn’t start out wanting to become a chef. LaPierre first tried his hand at commodities trading...
Ted Wilinski, MATC instructor
Two things motivate Ted Wilinski, Sustainable Facilities Management instructor at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC): reducing energy use and helping students get better-paying jobs. “We need to use energy wisely and minimize what we take out of the ground,” he...
Jeff Vonau, MPTC instructor
Some of Jeff Vonau’s best days were stormy days. Vonau was a lineman for an Electric Utility in Eagle River for 23 years and he found great satisfaction in getting the power back on for customers after a severe storm...

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