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Wayne State College Winter 2010 Commencement

Published Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Wayne State College held winter commencement at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, 2010, in Rice Auditorium.

Wayne State College held winter commencement at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17., 2010, in Rice Auditorium. A total of 182 degrees - 19 masters and 163 bachelors - were conferred by Wayne State Interim President Curt Frye.

Alumni Achievement Award

Carole and Dr. Dwain Petersen were the recipients of the Wayne State Foundation Alumni Achievement Award. Dwain received a Wayne State Service Award and graduated cum laude with one of the college's first bachelor of music education degrees in 1955. Carole completed her teaching credential at Wayne State in 1954 and started her teaching career in nearby Pierce. Dwain and Carole were married in 1955. They accepted teaching positions in Tilden, Neb., where Carole was first-grade teacher and Dwain was band director and led the boys' glee club.

Dwain joined the Naval Reserve in 1952. Upon receiving his draft notice in 1956, he and Carole moved to Newport, R.I., where Dwain was commissioned an ensign in the Navy. After aviation training at Jacksonville, Florida Naval Air Station (NAS) and electronics education at Glenview, Illinois NAS, they transferred to Barbers Point, Territory of Hawaii NAS in 1957. Dwain served for two and a half years on the Distant Early Warning barrier, flying 100 14-hour missions between Midway Island and Adak, Alaska NAS. Upon release from active duty he remained in the Naval Reserve as an air intelligence officer, serving 28 years and attaining the rank of commander.

Dwain earned a doctorate at the University of Nebraska in educational psychology. The family of five moved to Mankato, Minn., in 1964, where he became an assistant professor at Mankato State University. He served as director of institutional research, director of the Center for Cultural and Behavioral Education, professor and president of the faculty, retiring in 1997. Carole completed her bachelor's degree in 1974 and master's degree in 1979 in sociology at Mankato. She served as assistant director of the International Student Office at Mankato for 20 years.

Dwain and Carole have provided leadership and service to the Boy Scouts of America as den mother, den leader coach, Cubmaster, Scoutmaster and president of the Twin Valley Council. Carole also worked with 4-H. Twenty-three Eagle Scouts were nurtured by their devotion.

Carole and Dwain have been active in Kiwanis International for 42 and 20 years respectively at the local, regional and international level. They have served as presidents, lieutenant governor and administrators of Aktion Clubs for developmentally delayed adults. They spearheaded acceptance of women as full members of Kiwanis International.

Carole and Dwain have served the United Methodist Church at state, regional and world levels. They have been on three mission trips in the Caribbean assisting in repairing damage from hurricanes. They have assisted Dr. Ron Holt, a 1989 WSC graduate, with his work on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender issues at WSC. They have funded endowed scholarships at WSC for music education students and at MSU. The Petersens have been trustees of the Wayne State Foundation since 2005.

Invocation Speaker

Brandy LaRae Hartman, daughter of Jim and Bonnie Hartman of Grand Island, Neb., delivered the invocation. She majored in speech communication with a minor in mass media communications.

Hartman is originally from Milbank, S.D., and graduated from Milbank High School in 2003. She graduated from Northeast Community College in Norfolk with an associate degree in music business in May 2009, and transferred to Wayne State College in fall 2009. While at Wayne State she worked as a deejay on 91.9 The Cat radio station and anchored for the college television station. Hartman plans to work in promotions for concerts and other entertainment.

Commencement Speaker

Skylar Osovski, daughter of Ronald and JoAnn Osovski of Nebraska City, Neb., is one of two students who will deliver the commencement address to fellow graduates. She majored in mass communication/journalism.

Osovski's activities at Wayne State included intramurals, Minorities in Accordance Coming Together, and membership in Lambda Pi Eta Communications Honor Society and Phi Kappa Phi Academic Honor Society.

While at Wayne State she served as editor-in-chief, photographer, copy editor, campus classifieds editor and sports editor of The Wayne Stater student newspaper; sports director and on-air personality for KWSC-FM Wayne 91.9 The Cat; assistant news editor for the Norfolk Daily News; sports and news reporter for Wayne Radio stations KCTY 104.9FM and KTCH-AM 1590; news and sports writer for the Northeast Nebraska News Company, which includes the Cedar County News, Coleridge Blade, Laurel Advocate, Osmond Republican, Randolph Times and Wausa Gazette; and staff writer for GateHouse Media under the Hamburg Reporter, Nebraska City News-Press and Syracuse Journal-Democrat.

Osovski earned multiple awards for her work with student media, including several Nebraska Collegiate Media Association Golden Leaf Awards, most notably Newspaper of the Year for The Wayne Stater and Station of the Year for 91.9 The Cat. Individually, she took first place for Best Sports Story, Newspaper Series, Remote Broadcast and Public Service Announcement Series.

Her career plans include continuing to work in the media by serving as an employee with the Norfolk Daily News.

Commencement Speaker

Jessica Micheal Wimmer, daughter of Mark and Melissa Wimmer of Norfolk, Neb., also delivered the commencement address to fellow graduates. She majored in biology and minored in environmental studies.

Wimmer served as the vice president of the college's Habitat for Humanity chapter, vice president of the Biology Club and president of the Wildlife Club in 2009-10. She was a member of the Wayne State Honors Program and the Cardinal Key Women's National Honor Society.

She was employed through a National Science Foundation grant to do research with Dr. Barbara Hayford, Wayne State associate professor of Life Sciences, in Mongolia during the summers of 2009 and 2010. She also served as a research assistant for the Museum of Natural History at Wayne State College from September 2008 to May 2010.

Wimmer has presented findings of her research at the Nebraska Pine Ridge and Mongolia at meetings of the Nebraska Wildlife Society, the North American Benthological Society in New Mexico, and for her honor's research and senior research projects.

Her career plans include obtaining a master's degree at the University of Kansas and her Ph.D. in aquatic ecology.