• Tim Maki of Spooner was named the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus by Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College-Superior Foundation. Maki, a 1990 graduate of the computer information systems-programmer/analyst program, is WITC's current technical operations manager and has been with WITC for 25 years.

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• Air Force Airman Tyler Knepper of Esko graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in San Antonio. Knepper, a 2016 graduate of Esko High School, is the son of Jesden and Cassie Hansen of Duluth and Jenn and Chris McLeod of Esko. His grandparents are Marilyn and Jeff Knepper, and Randy and Jan Hansen, all of Esko.

• Retired Col. Ronald Hein of Duluth was promoted to brigadier general during a December ceremony conducted by Maj. Richard Nash, the adjutant general for the State of Minnesota. Hein served with the Minnesota Army National Guard for 37 years starting in 1955. He retired as a colonel.


• Denfeld Nation Automation FIRST Robotics Team 4009 finished in 24th place in the Lake Superior Regional competition. During the event, DNA received the Creativity Award from Xerox for their unique octo-bot design, which featured eight sides and six holonomic wheels.

• A team from University of Minnesota Duluth's Labovitz School of Business and Economics' Financial Markets program is moving on to the Americas Regional in Seattle next month. The team qualified for the North and South American event after winning the Upper Midwest local final during the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute's annual Research Challenge in Minneapolis earlier this month.

Students Stephen Espel, Alex Glockner, Matt Hansen, Curt LaChappelle and Luke Stone beat out 15 college teams in the competition which involved writing an extensive financial analysis on Vascular Solutions, a Minneapolis medical device company.

• Ely resident Elizabeth Kisch is one of nine Bemidji State University students voluntarily assisting Bemidji residents with filing their taxes through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Kisch is a senior pursuing a bachelor's degree in accounting and business administration.

• Superior High School students Olivia Hunker, Alexandra McClelland, Taylor Collelo, Emma Ferrando and Taylor Tuura will advance to the State Family, Career and Community Leaders of America competition in April in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

• University of Minnesota Duluth graduate student Jason Weaver was named a 2017 Traffic Safety Scholar and was awarded a $1,000 scholarship to attend the National Lifesavers Conference on Highway Safety Priorities this month in Charlotte, N.C. Weaver was chosen for these awards because of his strong personal conviction for traffic safety issues.

Weaver is a citizen of Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, serves on the Tribal Governing Board and is a liaison to the Tribal Roads Department. He is pursuing a master's degree in tribal administration and governance at UMD and holds a bachelor's degree in sustainable business management from University of Wisconsin-Superior. He is also an army veteran.

• Superior High School's two Quiz Bowl teams placed third for the season. In their Ashland tournament - their final match - Superior Two nabbed fourth place and Superior One took sixth. There were a total of 12 teams.

• Nicole Swanson of Mason graduated from University of Akron (Ohio) with a doctorate in polymer science.

• Western Governors University, an online university based in Salt Lake City, announced Meagan Fitzgerald of Duluth graduated with a master's degree in leadership and management.

• The College of St. Scholastica announced the following local students graduated:

Bachelor's degrees in biology: Anthony Anselmo, Bigfork, cum laude; Kelsey Hansen, Superior, summa cum laude; and Mackenzie Sherrill and Rebecca Zwak, both of Duluth, summa cum laude and cum laude, respectively.

Bachelor's degrees in management: James Bechthold of Duluth and Miles Everson of Eveleth, cum laude and summa cum laude, respectively.

Master's degrees in management: Jason Hale of Duluth; and Melissa Honkola of Hermantown.

Bachelor's degrees in nursing: Sarah Hare and Stacie Lockhart, both of Duluth, summa cum laude and cum laude, respectively; Catherine Mattfield, Hoyt Lakes, cum laude; and Melanie Troumbly, Bigfork, cum laude.

Master's degree in business administration: Christopher Blomquist and Sabrina Fuchs, both of Hermantown; Brenda Granquist of Poplar; Charles Graysmark, Jill Letendre and Dustin Letica of Duluth; and Luke Beirl of Ashland.

Master's degrees in occupational therapy: Amanda Bishop, Inna Korablina and Sarah Bruley, all of Duluth; Haley Bassett and Claire Rosen, both of Cloquet; Katlyn Farrell of Trego; Sydney Gordon of International Falls; Leah Kessler of Coleraine; Lindsay Kozumplik of Hibbing; and Kaylyn Mottonen of Proctor.

Bachelor's degrees in computer science: Theodore Jacobi of Cloquet and Jennifer Jacobson of Hermantown, both summa cum laude.

Master's degrees in teaching: Ashley Brooks of Hermantown; Jessica Engleson of Willow River; Blake Herme of Deer River; Asa Jacobs, Matthew Leibfried, Kimberly Wilson and Carla Meneghini, all of Duluth; Brittany Lindmeyer of Esko; Molly Pearson of Wright; and Sasha Swetkovich of Washburn.

Bachelor's degrees in organizational behavior: Kelsey Ficken of Duluth and Shawn Krizaj of Hibbing, both summa cum laude.

Master's degrees in exercise physiology: Rachel Broadway of Cloquet; Lindsey Bushnell of Grand Rapids; and Savannah Kent and Graham Whiting, both of Duluth.

Bachelor's degrees in accounting: Rachel Graham, Duluth, cum laude; Crystal Burggraf, Grand Rapids, summa cum laude; and DaeLynn Karsiko, Aitkin, summa cum laude.

Master's degrees in education: Jennifer Heisler of Duluth, Katherine Winkel of International Falls; and Megan Wallis of Hibbing.

Bachelor's degree in English: Jordyn Kirk of Grand Marais.

Bachelor's degrees in elementary education: Chase Miller of Meadowlands and Samantha Stenberg of Duluth.

• Superior High School's varsity mock trial scored fourth place out of 24 teams during the state tournament. Superior's Zoey Walker was also named one of the state's best witnesses.

Team members are seniors Olivia Anderson-Petroske, Naomi Lear, Kyle Sullivan, Zoey Walker and Ashton Linnum; juniors Theo Britton and Elizabeth Tran; and sophomores Heidi Gondik, Lora Randa, Truck Nguyen.


• Montessori School of Duluth raised $660 for Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank's BackPack Program. Along with their donation, students handcrafted cards to include with the program's future food bags.

• Duluth Lions Club donated $1,000 to Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank. The funds will be used to purchase clay for students to make bowls for Second Harvest's Empty Bowl fundraiser in April.

• Iron Mining Assoc. of Minnesota donated $2,200 to local food shelves as well as $1,100 and a box of food to the Hibbing and Virginia Salvation Armies. Donated funds were raised through IMAM's Funspiel curling event.

Local businesses that contributed to the curling fundraiser include AMI Consulting Engineers, AW Kuettel and Sons, American Bank of the North, ArcelorMittal Minorca Mine, Benetech, Compudyne, GPM, Industrial Lubricant, Iracore International, KGM Contractors, Lind Industrial Supply, Mars Supply, Premium Plant Services, Road Machinery and Supplies, TASSCO, Tricon Wear Solutions and United Truck Body.

• Bayfield Area Food Pantry received a $2,020 donation from the Bayfield Chamber and Visitor Bureau and the various Bayfield businesses that donated a portion of their proceeds acquired during the Chamber's Shop Local for the Holidays Night. The businesses raised $1,020, and the Chamber matched up to $1,000. Participating businesses included Keeper of the Light, Joanne's Scandinavian, Stone's Throw, Reed Realty, Howl Clothing and Adventure, Big Water Coffee Roasters, Apostle Islands Booksellers, Morty's Pub and Roxanne's Gifts.

• Circle of Hope received $500 donations from each of the following area companies: Hermantown's Sunrise Funeral Home, Cremation Service and Cemetery; and Duluth's Energy Works Myofascial Release and Allyndale Motel. Shopko of Duluth gave $200 and Duluth's Bears Heavy Duty donated $1,000. Xcel Energy gifted $2,225.

• Greysolon Daughters of Liberty chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution gifted $1,000 to Lake Superior Squadron 101 of the Commemorative Air Force. The donation will go toward the ongoing restoration of the LSS 101 PBY Catalina flying boat.


• Hero K9 granted the Eveleth Police Department a multi-threat equipment grant along with a complimentary BarkBox containing dog toys and treats for Drago, their 3-year-old K9 officer. Hero K9 is a national nonprofit that supports K9s and their training.

• Noreen Zoltak, a local inside guard for Superior Eagles Auxiliary, gifted $700 to Superior's Warriors Ride, an annual fundraiser event for local veterans and service members.


• University of Minnesota Duluth's Bachelors of Social Work Program was accredited by the Council on Social Work Education after a three-year accreditation process. The program is a hybrid program consisting of online and face-to-face classes as well as an intensive internship.

• College Choice, an online publication that helps prospective students find the right colleges, recognized University of Wisconsin-Superior as one of the 30 most affordable online colleges in the nation. UWS offers 15 online program that range from certificates to master's degrees.

• Lake Superior College art faculty member Victoria Hutson was recognized as the sole 2017 Outstanding eLearning Faculty during the February Instructional Technology Council eLearning Conference in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Hutson, who has taught online for 15 years, was honored for her development of more than 200 instructional videos, her focus on providing online students with accessible materials and personal feedback; ongoing professional development pursuits; and her commitment to personalizing instruction.