Speaker Date Topic
Mark Schmitz - Director CCES Oct 25, 2019
Concordia’s Aquaponics System
Concordia’s Aquaponics System

As director of the CCES, Dr. Mark Schmitz plays an integral role in the programming of the center and will work closely with the new aquaponics system. In fact, it was Schmitz who advocated for the system’s installation.

Schmitz is well-equipped for the aquaponics addition. His master’s work focused on aquaculture, and his dissertation examined the ecology of walleye. Schmitz started experimenting with aquaponics in the late 1990s, when modern-day systems were still in the infancy stages of gaining popularity. Prior to his start at Concordia in 2017, Schmitz managed a private fish hatchery in Sheboygan County and then worked for seven years as an associate professor of biology at the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan. During his time at UW-Sheboygan, Schmitz was instrumental in setting up a “green roof”—a vegetative system on the rooftop of one of the academic buildings—and he also started a now-defunct aquaponics system on the college campus there.

“We were doing various experiments with the aquaponics system in Sheboygan and were able to identify, for example, which varieties of basil perform better and under what conditions,” Schmitz says. “That’s what makes me excited about this aquaponics system we’ll have at Concordia. It offers the chance to do meaningful research that will help the industry and help growers.”

Jeff Whittle MD, MPH Nov 01, 2019
All of Us Research Program
All of Us Research Program

I am a physician and researcher at the Medical College of Wisconsin. I am very interested in widely disseminating information about the National Institutes of Health All of Us Research Program. It is part of the Precision Medicine Initiative. This initiative seeks to carry out research that will help make healthcare more personalized by tailoring healthcare more precisely to each person’s unique biology, environment and behavior. The All of Us Research Program wants to enroll a million or more persons around the country as partners in this effort. 

Dean Rennicke - CUW Foundation Nov 08, 2019
From Nuns to Pastors, I Have Worked With Both, The 42 Year Journey with Concordia In Between
From Nuns to Pastors, I Have Worked With Both, The 42 Year Journey with Concordia In Between

Rennicke began his role as vice president of the Concordia University Wisconsin Foundation on Monday, May 22. He officially ended his positions as vice president and general manager of the Lakeshore Chinooks and vice president of marketing for Kapco, Inc. on May 12, but has said he will be available to the collegiate summer baseball team in an advisory capacity.

In his new role, Rennicke will focus on advancing Concordia’s athletic teams with an eye towards raising funds for future new facilities. More immediately, he will work with the rest of the advancement department on the campaign for Concordia’s new academic building, the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center.

Concordia announced last fall its plans to erect the new building, which will house its Batterman School of Business and serve as the central space on campus from which free market principles will be developed and advanced. The building will also serve as a space for cross-disciplinary student collaboration and will be a resource to the community.

“Dean’s integrity, vast experience and alignment with the mission of Concordia made him a perfect fit for this new position,” said Rev. Dr. Roy Peterson, vice president of advancement. “I’m confident his reputation in the community will help raise the profile of the university and allow us to continue to move Concordia forward.”

A Milwaukee native who was raised in Mequon, Rennicke has had the opportunity to visit the Mequon campus countless times and has been a friend of the university for decades, said Peterson. With Kapco Park located on the campus grounds, his work with the Lakeshore Chinooks kept him especially connected in recent years. Two of his children also graduated from Concordia in 2016 and 2017.

“It’s the right time,” said Rennicke. “I wanted to be able to use my skillset to impact the most people in a positive way, and now is the time for Concordia to be that place. The vision of the leadership and the mission of the university align well with my values.

“I wanted to leave Kapco on a high note,” Rennicke continued. “I’m grateful for my time there and remain a supporter and friend of Jim (Kacmarcik, Kapco president), Kapco and the Chinooks.”

Rennicke had served six years as VP of Marketing for Kapco and VP/GM for the Chinooks. He began his professional career as a minor league pitcher and coach after he was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers during his junior year at UW-Madison. Seven years later, after multiple arm surgeries, he returned to Milwaukee and joined the Milwaukee Brewers front office, where he spent 15 seasons in various capacities, including vice president of corporate and ticket sales. Before stepping into his role with Kapco, he joined the Journal Broadcast Group’s radio networks selling the Packers and Brewers Radio Broadcasts.

He and his wife, Margaret, live in Grafton and attend First Immanuel Lutheran Church in Cedarburg. The two have three children: Ben, Elizabeth and Abby.

Azita G. Hamedani, MD, MPH, MBA Nov 15, 2019
Project ADAM
Project ADAM

Azita Hamedani MD, MPH, MBA is a practicing academic emergency physician and founding Chair of the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health. Prior to returning to Wisconsin, she was on faculty at Harvard Medical School and completed a hospital administrative fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.  Dr. Hamedani completed her residency/chief residency in the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency program (Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital) and is a graduate of Yale College, Yale School of Medicine & Public Health, and the Kellogg School of Management.

Zadan Mason (Dr. Hamedani's son) is a sophomore at University School of Milwaukee (USM), where he worked closely with the school nurse, Ms. Kathleen Roebber, to secure Heart Safe School designation from Project ADAM.  USM is the first north shore high school to receive this designation from Project ADAM.  Project ADAM was created in 1999 to help increase awareness of sudden cardiac arrest in students, as every three days a US high school student athlete dies of cardiac arrest which could be prevented through quick action of bystanders. Given his love of sports, after helping make USM Heart Safe, Mason was inspired to help all neighboring high schools also become heart safe as well.

Patrick Pryor - Mequon Police Chief Nov 22, 2019
Mequon Police Department Update
Mequon Police Department Update

Patrick started his career in law enforcement with the Milwaukee Police Department as a Police Officer in 1995.  He came to the City of Mequon in 1999, where he has held the positions of Patrol Officer, Patrol Sergeant and Administrative Sergeant.   Patrick holds a certification from Northwestern University, School of Police Staff and Command and received his bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Law Studies from Marquette University.

Jim Hahn - Community Outreach Kids Matter Jan 03, 2020
Kids Matter
Kids Matter

Jim Hahn started with KIDS MATTER in 2008 as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program volunteer. His professional background includes more than 25 years in nonprofit fundraising and administration. He served as a national award-winning officer of the Greater Milwaukee Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and as a member of the Subject Matter Expert Corps charged with writing the international exam questions for the Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) credential.

While pursuing his English degree at West Virginia University, Jim joined Alpha Phi Omega National Service Organization in 1983. Having served at all levels of the organization including on their national board of directors and as the National Marketing Director, today he chairs their efforts to expand into Canada. His experience in nonprofit service has afforded him tenures in addressing homelessness, healthcare advocacy, small business development, literacy, local historic preservation, as well as victims of child abuse and neglect. 

Erich Roush, PSYD - Psychologist Jan 17, 2020
Veteran Track Program at Aurora Psychiatric Hospital
Veteran Track Program at Aurora Psychiatric Hospital

"I have a person-centered approach that meets people where they are at. I individualize care to help meet people's goals by using a mixture of education and evidence-based therapeutic approaches as needed to foster change. My background in positive psychology and resilience focuses on people's strengths to not only survive, but thrive."

I earned my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and Master's of Science in Clinical Psychology from the Wisconsin School of Professional Psychology. I also received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Marquette University. I completed a psychology internship at Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), and also completed Master Resiliency Training from the U.S. Army.

I have been in the U.S. Army since 2007: five years active duty and six years and counting in the Reserves. My focus is treating trauma, moral injury, and working with a military population which includes individual, couple, and group therapy. I utilize a number of evidence based modalities (CPT, PE, EMDR, ACT, CBT) in addition to an interpersonal style to treat trauma related disorders.

I am also competent in treating anxiety, depression, substance use disorders, serious mental illness, and relationship problems. I have extensively studied barriers for veterans accessing mental healthcare and have a strong background in motivational interviewing.

I have a beautiful wife and three amazing children. We also have a dog, two cats, two birds, and many fish. Chickens are on the horizon. Outside of work, I enjoy playing, coaching, and watching sports... in that order. I play everything from volleyball to bowling to basketball to ping pong. If it has a ball, I will probably enjoy it. I also love spending time with my kids, traveling (when possible), the theatre, and trying new foods.