Outstanding Alumni selected in the UW-Platteville College of BILSA

September 18, 2013

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PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — University of Wisconsin-Platteville College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture officials have selected the recipients of the Outstanding Alumni Awards for the 2012-13 academic year. Those selected include Rick Lenz, Randy Smith, Dr. Philip Villani, Dr. Mike Retallick and Dr. John “Jack” O’Neill. They will be honored during the college’s Homecoming reception on Oct. 4.

Outstanding Alumni

This award acknowledges an individual who has demonstrated noteworthy career success. The outstanding alumnus contributed to a body of knowledge that advances a profession through research or professional activities, has made a significant contribution to society in the form of philanthropic contributions or has demonstrated visionary thinking and actions. This recipient must be an alumnus of the College of BILSA or its predecessors.

• Lenz has had a very successful career in the world of finance and banking. Starting as a merchant services representative for Metavante Corporation (now FIS), he continually moved up the ladder until he was named vice president for merchant services.

In 2011, Lenz decided to start his own company – Motus Financial. He currently serves as CEO of the company, which provides credit card processing services.

Lenz earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1991.

• Smith is a 1979 graduate. He earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology with a materials and processing emphasis.

He is the vice president of technical services/strategic global initiatives at General Kinematics.

Smith has been a long-time supporter of the manufacturing technology management program and the Department of Industrial Studies, serving on the Industrial Studies Advisory Council.

• Villani is a professor of botany at Butler University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1991 and later earned his Ph.D. in botany from the University of California-Riverside.

He has conducted outstanding research and has been acknowledged for excellent scholarly and teaching activities in the field of botany. He remains actively connected to UW-Platteville.

• Retallick is an associate professor at Iowa State University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural education in 1993 before earning his master’s degree in agribusiness in 2002 at Kansas State University. He earned his Ph.D. in agricultural education in 2005, also from Iowa State University.

During his career, Retallick has been selected for several awards and remains active in the community.

• O’Neill is a retired faculty member of the Department of Media Studies. He was one of the UW-Platteville professors in the television program who built one of the largest enrollments for broadcast students in the Midwest.

He was a primary contributor to the development of the communications program and the radio and television broadcasting major in the mid-1970s.

O’Neill earned his bachelor’s degree from UW-Platteville in 1966 and became a faculty member in 1968. In 1971, he received his Doctor of Education from the University of Northern Colorado. He then became the UW-Platteville director of TV services upon his return.

Formatted by: Dan Wackershauser, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194, wackersd@uwplatt.edu

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