Alumni News

It is our privilege to recognize our talented MATC alumni and their inspirational accomplishments. These updates are gathered from news outlets and from notes sent by graduates themselves. You can be proud that tens of thousands of MATC alumni are transforming our region, state and world.

We’d love to hear your stories!
Contact MATC Donor and Alumni Relations Coordinator Bob Holland at or 414-297-6825.

Business & Management

Willie Alexander and Bryce Killibrew, Entrepreneurship, formed NewWay Innovation in Milwaukee in 2018 and released their first electric bike, the GENZ-1, in 2020.

Danielle Bergner was honored by BizTimes as a Notable Alumna of MATC, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette University.

Nigel Harvey, Entrepreneurship, founder of Cream Skills, a Milwaukee basketball league that also teaches entrepreneurship, was featured in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story about how the COVID-19 pandemic affected youth sports in the city.

Viola Hawkins, Business Administration, received a Positively Milwaukee Award from TMJ4 News with a $1,000 grant from Scripps Howard Foundation to support the Vi Hawkins Grassroots Scholarship Fund at the MATC Foundation.

Anthony D. Smith, Marketing, director of community engagement and inclusion for the Marcus Performing Arts Center, was honored by BizTimes as a Notable Alumnus of MATC. He volunteers on several boards in the Milwaukee area, including Bronzeville, Hmong American Chamber of Commerce and the Salvation Army. In 2021, he completed a term of board service for the MATC Foundation Inc., which provides MATC students with scholarships, emergency funding and program support.

Marie Summers, GED and Management Development, was elected as councilwoman of the Oneida Business Committee in Oneida, Wisconsin, in 2020. With a background in human resources, she is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Indigenous law studies.

Community & Human Services

Joshua Abelt, Criminal Justice, was hired as second-shift production supervisor for Tranzonic Companies in West Knoxville, Tennessee. It is the national firm’s largest manufacturing and distribution facility.

Bria Burris, Human Services, was featured in a story in the Washington Post about how she persevered through the COVID-19 pandemic as a college student and mother of school-age children. After completing her degree in July 2020, she was hired by the Wisconsin Rental Assistance program in Milwaukee.

Leif Erickson, Fire Science, has been named executive director of Flight for Life Wisconsin, which is part of the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center.

Kimberley Motley, Legal Studies/Paralegal, and her husband, Claude, are central figures in the 2021 documentary “When Claude Got Shot,” featured at several film festivals.

Gerald Poltrock, Police Academy, announced his plan to retire as Weyauwega police chief in December 2021 after a more than 25-year career in law enforcement.

Creative Arts, Design & Media

Robert Bell, Visual Communications, was profiled on the television program “Positively Milwaukee With Carole Meekins,” featuring his passion for photography.

Allison Collard, Culinary and Pastry Arts, will head The Bake Sale in West Allis, which had its grand opening in June 2021.

Michel Cros, Television and Video Production, was recognized with a Wisconsin Broadcasters Association’s Award for Excellence, earning third place for Best Morning Newscast with WYTU Telemundo Wisconsin.

Becky Heck, Graphic Design, makes one-of-a-kind creations that are available on her Etsy site and include paintings, jewelry, clothing and customized dolls sold through her brand, Hex Designs. A Milwaukee resident, she also has a band, The Quilz.

Sarah Jonas, Culinary Management, chef/owner of Cafe Lulu in Bay View, celebrated 20 years in business, in partnership with co-owner Cameryne Roberts, in April 2021.

Titi Lagundoye, Hospitality Management, owner of Taste of Africa catering, was featured in a story about UpStart Kitchen, Milwaukee’s first 24/7 commercial kitchen and business incubator, in in September 2020.

Luka, TV and Video Production, a Milwaukee entertainer, was profiled by the Shepherd Express in April 2021, highlighting his career as a “deception artist.”

Joe McSorley, TV and Video Production, has joined the WISN-TV engineering team in Milwaukee as a part-time engineer.

Joe Piscitello, Culinary, has opened Chef in Da House, a personal chef service for parties and events in southeastern Wisconsin.

Malina Schweinert, Culinary Management, was interviewed for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s “Fork. Spoon. Life.” feature, profiling her journey to return to school to gain her degree and become a culinary educator.

Ramon “Swift” Sloan, TV and Video Production, was interviewed for the music podcast “Po Politikin” about his book series “Motivation – Mastering the Game” and his film “Circumstances,” which is executive produced by his Milwaukee film production company, Swift Motion Pictures.

Phil Ziesemer, Photography, and his wife, Mary, have retired as owners of Phil Ziesemer Photography in Merrill, Wisconsin. They operated the business full time from 1985 through 2020. “After 35 years of serving Lincoln and northern Marathon Counties, we have decided to retire from living the dream of owning a business in the photography industry,” Phil said.

General Education

Joseph Spence Sr., Teacher Education, published his 10th inspirational poetry book, “Sincerely Speaking Spiritually.”

Jose Trejo, Education, South Division High School principal, was honored with an inaugural Unity Award by Milwaukee Magazine in February 2021.


Nou Thao, Respiratory Therapist, was interviewed by WUWM, a Milwaukee National Public Radio station, about her work with COVID-19 patients in New Jersey at the beginning of the pandemic.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

Michael Emem, Architectural Technology, has founded Emem Group, a Milwaukee design-build firm featured in in August 2020.

In Memoriam

Susan Mary King (Hennen), age 63, passed away October 14, 2020. A graduate of Pius XI high school in Milwaukee and later earning an associate degree at MATC, she was a lifelong learner. In 2007, she won the Unsung Hero Award from the Wisconsin Law Journal.

Olga S. Lozinsky, Accounting, age 59, passed away in Florida on March 4, 2021. She was originally from Ukraine and was an avid gardener and an excellent baker.

Donna Marx, age 89, passed away December 31, 2020 in Stoughton, Wisconsin. She worked as a library aide, photographer, retail salesperson and secretary throughout her career, and enjoyed sewing clothes and quilts.

David S. Plombon, Mortuary Science, age 59, passed away January 4, 2021 in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. He worked for Max Sass and Sons Funeral Service for 11 years, moving back to the Chippewa Valley to continue in the funeral profession.

Karolyn Margaret Raasch, age 63, passed away August 22, 2020 in Shawano, Wisconsin. She worked for more than 28 years as an administrative assistant at North Star Casino.

Mary E. Sharp, Cosmetology, age 52, passed away August 22, 2020. A talented cosmetologist with more than 30 years of experience, she owned her own salon for 17 years in Wautoma, Wisconsin.

To learn more about creating a memorial scholarship, contact Development Director Monika Walloch at