University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee


Alumni Awards Evening 2015

October 9, 2015

Pier Wisconsin


Please join us by attending this annual event that honors the most outstanding alumni from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. This special event will be held at Pier Wisconsin and will include a reception, dinner and award ceremony.

The 2015 award recipients have been selected and will be announced on July 15.

2014 Awardee Bios

Steven Davis, BBA Marketing `80
Chief Executive Officer of Bob Evans Farms
Davis spent his career developing retail foods into nationally known brands. From Kraft to Pizza Hut, Davis has led a distinguished career building innovative ideas into iconic brands. Active in his community, Davis has given back by serving as a board member of the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute Foundation, active with Columbus economic development organizations and Operation Feed which provides food for needy families in Central Ohio. In 2005, Black Enterprise Magazine named Davis as one of the 75 Most Powerful Black Men in American Business and in 2010, Davis graced the cover of Who’s Who In Black Columbus.

Allyson Nemec, MA Architecture `90
Architect and President of Quorum Architects
Nemec’s contributions to Milwaukee and the Architecture community are unparalleled. Nemec is a former Alumni Association Board President and a well-recognized name in Milwaukee for her tireless work in historic preservation, her many activities that give back to the community, and most importantly, for her continued support of UWM and the School of Architecture and Urban Planning.

Margaret Rykowski, BS Nursing and MS Nursing `76, `80
Nursing Director of San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center; retired Rear Admiral in the United States Navy
Rykowski is one of only two Navy Rear Admirals, serving for the Reserve Nurse Corps, and one of less than 90 women to have been promoted to Admiral in the US Navy. Breaking barriers her entire life, Rykowski was named the first “nurse fleet surgeon” after being told nurses were not eligible for the position.

Matthew Jandrisevits PhD Education `06
Matthew is a psychologist who volunteers his time with under-served and uninsured populations at the Bread of Healing Clinic and Agape Community Center. He also serves as a Mental Health Advocacy Team Leader at Cross Lutheran Church in Milwaukee.

Michael J. Murphy, BA Geological Sciences `86
A lifelong public servant, fighting to alleviate homelessness in the City of Milwaukee and address other challenges, Michael was recognized as a leader by his fellow alderman when he was unanimously elected as Milwaukee’s Common Council President in February 2014.

Ursula Twombly, BS Architectural Studies `85
Twombly has spent her career supporting and mentoring emerging women architects while leading one of the premier women-owned businesses in Wisconsin, Continuum Architects + Planners, S.C. A leading member of the School of Architecture and Urban Planning alumnae, Twombly helped establish and promote the Leenhouts scholarship.

Mary B. Emory, Corporate Secretary for the Board of American Friends of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris; Vice President of the Federation Alliance Française USA Board
A lover of all things French, Emory helped spearhead fundraising to establish an endowed scholarship at UWM to honor Professors Martha Best and Martine Meyer, beloved professors in UWM’s French Department. The endowed scholarship annually supports students intending to teach French language and culture.

F. William Haberman, Attorney at Michael Best and Friedrich
Serving on the UWM Foundation Board of Directors, Haberman has taken a strong interest in developing UWM’s Innovation Campus and Innovation Accelerator. He is also an ex-officio member of the Friends of Golda Meir Library Board of Directors. He serves as President and Manager of the Richard and Ethel Herzfeld Foundation, which has generously supported numerous UWM initiatives.

Michael Cotey, BFA Theater-Acting `08
Founding Artistic Director of Youngblood Theatre Company in Milwaukee
Cotey’s Youngblood Theatre Company did “terrific work that changed the landscape of Milwaukee Theatre” (Milwaukee Magazine). His role with Youngblood included directing, acting and producing 16 plays that brought fresh theatrical experiences to Milwaukee audiences.

Nicholas W. Wichert, BA Psychology `07
Co-Founder of seed accelerators and start-ups including Victory Spark, Revolution Labs, Emergent Labs, Vetransfer Inc., Chatterpipe Inc., and Offermation. Nick is a leader in founding and co-founding seed accelerators and start-ups.  He is also an advisor to numerous early-stage companies and non-profit organizations.

Northwestern Mutual, beginning in 1976, has been one of the university’s most generous donors. Over that time the company has supported programs and projects in numerous UWM Schools and Colleges including: The Center for Technology Innovation in the Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business; music scholarships in the Peck School of the Arts; Empowering Nonprofits in Technology in the Center for Urban Studies Initiatives and Research; and the Latino Leadership Program in the Roberto Hernandez Center.

Spancrete is a valuable partner to UWM’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning. Innovating the precast industry for almost 70 years, Spancrete partnered with the School of Architecture and Urban Planning in the formation, implementation and continued financial, design and production support of the nation’s first academy/industry based architectural design studio focused on designing with precast concrete

We Energies is one of UWM's most significant philanthropic partners. Over the span of 39 years, they have supported numerous UWM initiatives. Among the many strategic investments are those for wind energy research and the Renewable Energy Research Fund in the College of Engineering and Applied Science; a student team in the School of Architecture and Urban Planning for the International Solar Decathlon competition; and the Supply Chain Management Institute in the Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business. We Energies also has made exceptional investments in Innovation Campus, the UWM Real Estate Foundation’s new campus in Wauwatosa.


The Green Gulls is an active alumni group of Wisconsin State Teachers College student-athlete alumni. Named after the mascot of UWM’s predecessor institution, Wisconsin State College Milwaukee, the Green Gulls are one of the longest running UWM alumni groups, meeting on a bi-monthly basis to reminisce, discuss current UWM events and continue to support the Athletic Department and UWM as a whole. Recently, the Green Gulls endowed a full scholarship for a UWM student-athlete.