Alumni News

If you wish to share an MATC Alumni News update or start a scholarship in honor of an MATC alum, email Donor Relations Coordinator Bob Holland at

Business & Management

Amber Campbell, Accounting, was named controller of CornerStone One, a Brookfield-based commercial contractor. Her appointment was noted in The Daily Reporter, a construction news source in Wisconsin.

Thaime Nanez, Marketing Management B2B, was honored as one of BizTimes magazine’s 2023 Women of Influence. Nanez and her husband, Jesus, own Chucho’s Red Tacos and the Farmhouse Paint Bar & Hall in Milwaukee. Nanez, who is a bilingual business coach at BizStarts, also runs two popular festivals — Frida Fest and Fiesta Selena.

Community & Human Services

Julie Laurence Brown, Aesthetician, was the Outstanding Technical Diploma graduate at the college’s Spring 2023 Commencement. In August, she was featured in Milwaukee Magazine’s 2023 Faces of Milwaukee.

Bria Burris, Human Service, was profiled in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in July. The article recounted her journey from foster kid, teen mom and homeless college student to her appointment to the MATC District Board in 2022.

Gerald “Gerry” Kudek, Fire Science, retired as fire chief of the West Bend Fire Department after 38 years serving the city. Fellow firefighters honored his service, including Allenton Fire Chief John Breuer who was quoted as saying, “Chief Kudek has been a staple of support and leadership throughout his years as West Bend’s fire chief.”

Creative Arts, Design & Media

Najma Abdi, Web and Digital Media Design, received MATC’s President Award at the Spring 2023 Commencement. The award honors her academic achievement, contributions to the college and community involvement. “I was shocked and honored to win,” said Abdi, who was born in Minneapolis after her parents fled war-torn Somalia. “As a first-generation student here, I feel very proud.”

Paul Bartolotta, Culinary Arts, was named chef de cuisine for the 24th annual Naples Winter Wine Festival, to be held January 26-28, 2024, at The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Tiburón, in Naples, Florida.

Sarinlada Panyasopa, Pastry and Baking Arts, opened a new restaurant called Mom’s Kitchen in Pewaukee. The menu features classic Thai dishes inspired by the cooking of Panyasopa’s mother, Wannee Panyasopa.

Josh Rank, Music, debuted his novel “The Present Is Past” in July. Set in Appleton, Wisconsin, the novel tells the story of a family faced with Alzheimer’s disease.

John Suess, Commercial Art, was the featured artist at the North Shore Public Library in Glendale in March. After retiring from the Milwaukee Public Library, Suess focused some of his free time on painting Learn about his upcoming shows at

General Education

Mason Johnson, Associate of Arts, graduated in Spring 2023 and transferred to Southern Utah University. Johnson, a forward on the MATC men’s basketball team that won the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II championship in March, surpassed the 1,000-point career mark and was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

Mikale Stevenson, Associate of Arts, graduated in Spring 2023 and transferred to Grambling State University in Louisiana. Stevenson was a point guard on the championship MATC men’s basketball team and was named to the NJCAA Third Team and to the All-Tournament team.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

Michael Emem, Architectural Technology, was featured as a Class of 2023 Notable Alumni in BizTimes magazine. Emem is the president and CEO of Emem Group LLC, which has managed over $100 million in residential and commercial development projects in the Milwaukee region.

Dave Megna, Electrical Technology, was featured as a Class of 2023 Notable Alumni in BizTimes magazine. As vice president of Wisconsin field operations for Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group, Megna is responsible for the delivery of electricity and natural gas to customers in Wisconsin and upper Michigan. Since 2021, he has served as a director on the MATC Foundation Board, the college’s philanthropic partner in supporting student success.

Erica Pergande, Environmental Conservation and Pollution Control, joined raSmith, a civil and structural engineering and surveying firm, as a senior wetland ecologist/project manager.

Dorothy York, Computer Operations, was featured in The Milwaukee Business Journal for her work with Acts Housing to help families become homeowners. As vice president of real estate, York oversees the purchase, restoration and sale of 100 homes annually through the Homeowner Acquisition Fund Program.

Community Education

Jessica Currie, Adult High School, continues her work as executive director of Missionary Currie for Women and Children. She helps mothers experiencing homelessness find emergency shelter, clothing, food and support services. City of Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson honored Currie’s work when he proclaimed November 21, 2023, as Missionary Currie for Women and Children Day. Learn more about her organization at

Richard Diaz, Adult High School, was awarded the 2022 Environmental Hero Award from the Sierra Club for his work to raise awareness about lead poisoning in Milwaukee, to increase voter registration and to advocate for environmental causes. The community advocate is a co-founder of the Coalition On Lead Emergency, or COLE. He was profiled in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in January.