In Their Own Words

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  • Foundation & Alumni

Mary Krueger

Mary KruegerIn 2007 Mary Krueger was named the Wisconsin Technical College System’s 2007 Alumni of the Year. Krueger, who earned an associate’s degree in nursing from NTC in 1975, received the award for demonstrating the value of a technical college education through career advancement, community service, continued personal and educational growth, and support of the technical college system.

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Barb Ochs

Barb OchsBeing a single mom in the rural community of Butternut, Wisconsin, could have prevented Barb Ochs from pursuing a secondary education. But thanks to the NTC regional campus located in nearby Phillips, she was able to earn an associate degree in small business administration while raising her two daughters.

“Having close access to the Phillips campus changed my life,” said Ochs. “As a single mom, I didn’t have to travel a long distance to obtain an education. I fulfilled my entire associate degree there.”

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Bill Janssen

bill janssenBill Janssen has not one, but two associate’s degrees from NTC. He first earned a marketing degree in 1978, and went to work for the local division of a Midwest home and auto electronics company. When it went out of business, Bill returned to NTC to pursue a degree in laser technology.

“It seemed like a wonderful career opportunity,” said Janssen. “At the time it was a new and very exciting program. And having completed the marketing program, some of my required core classes and electives were already fulfilled.”

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Karla Lodholz

karla lodholzRemember when you graduated from high school and had to make a decision about college? Karla Lodholz does.

“I was young, a little scared and not ready to leave home by making a commitment to a four-year college,” she recalled. “The tech just worked for me,” said Lodholz. “I didn’t have to pass up an education because of any of that. That’s pretty powerful. All of the systems were in place. NTC made it very easy for me to have that opportunity.”

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Frank Opatik

Frank Opatik More than 40 years after earning his degree in residential design, Frank Opatik’s NTC education has come full circle. Now retired from Wausau Homes, where he spent his entire career, he shares his wealth of experience by serving as chairman of NTC’s Residential Design and Residential Building Systems Advisory Board. “I want to be involved with NTC because this is where my career got its start and I want to give something back,” Opatik said. “With my experience, I feel I can contribute to make the programs very progressive and help them keep up with the needs of the industry.”

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Yolanda Voigt

Yolanda VoigtAs director of volunteers at Aspirus Wausau Hospital, Yolanda Voigt oversees almost 700 volunteers. Her department schedules and coordinates a wide variety of volunteer events and services, including providing end-of-life care through Comfort Care and Hospice Services.

The volunteers also install and test 900 Lifeline units in Marathon County, deliver 120 mobile meals a day, raise funds to purchase hospital equipment, and operate two on-site gift shops as well as a Starbucks in the hospital’s main lobby.

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Janice Gulsvig

Janice GulsvigYou never know where your NTC education will take you. In fact, Janice Gulsvig, who now owns a nationwide healthcare quality-measurement company, said it laid the groundwork for her entire career.

Gulsvig graduated from NTC in 1974 with an associate's degree in nursing. After working locally for a few years, she moved her young family to Minneapolis, where she continued her education and earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota.

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Ben Zelazoski

Ben ZelazoskiWhen Ben Zelazoski of Antigo was deciding which college to attend in 1968, his criteria were simple: He wanted a good education. He needed it to be affordable. And he didn’t want it to take four years. “I chose NTC because it offered a solid educational background, was geared for those who wanted to get out in the workforce, and was much cheaper than a four-year college,” Zelazoski explained.

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