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UW-Superior Alumni Association honors former students

Each year, the University of Wisconsin-Superior Alumni Association honors outstanding university alumni, faculty and staff members. They represent, through their personal and professional accomplishments, the lasting value of UWS. Three alumni and one faculty member were presented with their awards at the 2013 Donor Appreciation Dinner in September. Distinguished Alumni Award The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to a graduate of UWS whose success serves as an inspiration for current and prospective students. Since earning his law degree at UW-Madison, Ed Manydeeds, UWS class of 1973, has built a career as a respected attorney in Eau Claire, practicing law in a large portion of northern Wisconsin. He practices civil law as a partner in the firm Danielson, Guettinger, Richie & Manydeeds. In 2010, then-Governor James Doyle appointed Manydeeds to a seven-year term on the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents. The 18-member governing board oversees Wisconsin’s 13 four-year universities and 13 two-year colleges. Manydeeds, a registered member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, is the first Native American to sit on the board. He has served on Doyle’s Judicial Selection Committee and with the Office of Lawyer Regulation. Young Alumni Achievement Award The UW-Superior Alumni Association recently established the Young Alumni Achievement Award to honor alumni that have graduated within the past 15 years, and whose success serves as an inspiration for current and prospective students. This was the inaugural year for the award. Since graduating in 2001, Joanna Sweda Kirk has made her mark in the legal profession. She was hired by Knudson, Torvinen and Jones in 2006, after graduating from the Hamline School of Law in St. Paul. In January 2010, she was named a partner in the firm. Johanna recently opened a solo practice in Superior. Kirk Law Office LLC provides legal services to businesses, nonprofits and individuals in many areas of law and uses technology, innovative structures for the scope of work performed for clients, and alternative billing practices. Edward and Betty Kossak Service Award The association established the Edward and Betty Kossak Service Award to honor those who have made significant contributions in time, energy, leadership and support to further the goals of UWS. Anna McNeil, class of 1963, has volunteered on a number of UW-Superior Alumni Association efforts to connect with alumni and students. In Madison, she has worked with the Madison Chapter Leader and Alumni Board Member John McNeil, who also happens to be her husband, on Madison reunions. She has also assisted with the all-class reunions on campus, always willing to help where needed. The area where she has made a huge impact is the annual silent auction held in conjunction with the Chancellor’s Ball. This is the Alumni Association’s biggest fundraising event, the proceeds of which benefit students at UWS. Not only does Anna help solicit items from the Madison area, she also hand makes quilts and wall hangings that are very popular with the bidders. One of the most time consuming tasks with the auction is the set up. Anna has taken the lead for many years in making sure the auction set up is not only organized, but presentable. James Rainaldo Mentor Award The James Rainaldo Mentor Award recognizes a UW-Sor faculty or staff member who has touched the lives of current and former students in a unique and significant way. Dokhanchi, better known as Haji, is a professor of political science at UWS. He earned his doctorate from State University of New York and began teaching at UWS in 1992. After teaching general international politics courses for a number of years, he developed the Peace Studies track. The major objective of the track was to focus more on the issues of war and peace, and how students can become agents of change for a more humane world. Along with Karl Bahm and Judy Dwyer, he developed the War and Peace in Bosnia Study Abroad Program, which takes students to Bosnia during the month of May every other year. Haji also takes students to Washington D.C., meeting with legislative staff and alumni in the area, both of which have made a great impact on his students at UWS.