Alumni Awards 2021

Alumni Awards


 
Each fall, Edgewood College partners with the Alumni Board and the Office for Institutional Advancement to recognize extraordinary alumni with three awards:
 
Distinguished Alumni Award—acknowledges the accomplishments of an alum who has achieved excellence in their professional career and has demonstrated a commitment of ethical leadership, service, and search for truth.
 
Dominican Mission Award—recognizes an alum who has shown a commitment to social justice or a history of extraordinary volunteer service in the community, country, or the world.

Promise Award—recognizes an alum, 40 years of age or younger, who is an emerging leader and has achieved a high level of success through professional accomplishments and service to their alma mater or community.

 

2021 Alumni Awards

 

Meet Our 2021 Recipients

Joe M. Gothard '99, MA '04, Ed.D. '15

Alumni

Joe M. Gothard '99, MA '04, Ed.D. '15

2021 Distinguished Alumni Recipient

Dr. Joe Gothard, a Madison native, became superintendent of Saint Paul Public Schools in July of 2017. He is the educational leader of a district that serves more than 36,000 students and employs nearly 6,000 staff. Dr. Gothard has been passionate about public education his entire career and serves his community through many volunteer leadership roles, and beyond. On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was murdered by police officers in Minneapolis. Dr. Gothard led the district through the aftermath of that crime and the protests in the area that followed.

Cynthia Butitta '76

Alumni

Cynthia Butitta '76

2021 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient
Cynthia Butitta graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1976, with a degree in business and accounting. She’s had a remarkable career with more than 25 years of experience informing corporate strategy and business development in the biotechnology and high technology sectors. She most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Kite Pharma, where she was responsible for securing more than $1 billion in capital which enabled extensive growth of that organization. In 2018, Cynthia made a transformative gift to support our Bonner Leaders Program, a service-learning leadership program that connects students to community service and leadership opportunities right here in Madison. That gift enabled the program to grow from 18 to 25 students, increased scholarship awards for those students, and increased institutional support and capacity for the Bonner program.

Matthew J. Schroeder '07

Alumni

Matthew J. Schroeder '07

2021 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient
As Director of the Military & Veterans Service Office, Matthew Schroeder, works to provide veterans with a smooth transition into college life. Leading the office since 2011, Matthew provides guidance and resources for students to ensure their long-term success. Edgewood College students and their parents see Matthew as a compassionate leader on and off campus. One parent shared, “Care, dedication, and professionalism in service to Edgewood College make Matthew a most worthy candidate for this award.” A student said, “Matthew has been integral in my success here at Edgewood College. I joined the military my junior year, and Matthew has given me support in balancing both military and school responsibilities as well as getting my educational benefits in order.”

Dr. Mary Jean Etten '68

alumni

Dr. Mary Jean Etten '68

2021 Dominican Mission Award Recipients
Dr. Etten graduated in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in biology after completing her studies at Mercy School of Nursing in Dubuque, Iowa. Dr. Etten was a Dominican Sister for 17 years, caring for her community at St. Dominic Villa for 14 of those years. Dr. Etten’s interest in education and the health field led to her work in gerontology and Hospice. She is one of the founders of Suncoast Hospice in Pinellas County, Florida and is nationally known for her work in the hospice field. Dr. Etten’s professional accomplishments include serving as a faculty member in Thanatology in the School of Aging Studies, and at the Center for Hospice, Palliative Care, and End of Life Studies, at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. Dr. Etten has dedicated her life to living Dominic’s mission through caring for the sick and aging and devotion to learning and teaching others.

Tyrone Cratic Williams '12

Alumni

Tyrone Cratic Williams '12

2021 Dominican Mission Award Recipients

Tyrone personifies the power of a liberal arts education. He attended Madison East High School and arrived at Edgewood College as part of the inaugural cohort of our Community Scholars program. Today, he is a City of Madison Police Officer and serves in the direct area where he was raised in Madison. What started as a job has become a central focus of Tyrone’s life – nearly all his time away from the streets of Madison is occupied by his service to others. He uses his position to bring awareness and solutions to issues that are plaguing the community. He has led training courses for law enforcement, social service agencies, colleges, and universities on topics of implicit racial bias and its effects on decision making and community relations. Tyrone is passionate about speaking with and mentoring young people about entering the work force, about the realities of the ‘real world,’ and about taking control – and responsibility. He has taught and mentored at-risk youth on topics of financial literacy and employment education. Tyrone is now certified through the National Financial Education Council, and he continues to engage the Madison community as a Financial Literacy Educator through the company he started, Cratic Capital Development LLC, to help spread his message of financial literacy and responsibility to reach a wider audience. An engaged community learner and leader, Tyrone recently joined the Edgewood College Board of Trustees. 

Yesenia Villalpando-Torres '17

Alumni

Yesenia Villalpando-Torres '17

2021 Promise Award Recipient
A Community Scholars alumna from the class of 2017, Yesenia serves as a Social Worker in the Immigration Affairs Office of Dane County’s Department of Human Services. She provides resources to the immigrant and refugee community through case management, advocacy, crisis response, and outreach. Yesenia maintains a close relationship with Edgewood College, speaking to classes and sharing her experiences and expertise. Her activism and action are exemplified when ICE raids threatened Madison’s immigrant community in 2018. Yesenia applied her energy to protect her community, creating a grassroots response network in mere hours. She received no compensation for this work; it was something she felt called to do. She is an emerging leader, providing strength and a voice for those around her.

Meet Previous Recipients