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Nicolet College - Four Lundborgs graduate from Nicolet in May


Four Lundborgs graduate
from Nicolet in May


Posted June 1, 2011
Choose any four students at Nicolet and you’ll find they represent a wide range of backgrounds and career goals. This is certainly true of Kathleen, Willow, Hailey and Charlton – with one big difference: they’re all from the same family. The four Lundborgs of Prentice, each with his or her own unique situation, all attended Nicolet this past year, and each graduated in May with a certificate or degree.

Lundborg FamilyKathleen and her daughters Willow and Hailey took classes in the graphic design and digital media art programs, while Charlton was in the auto tech certificate program.

“I have to admit, at first it was a bit weird having Ma and Hailey in a lot of the same classes,” said Willow, “but after awhile I got used to it.” While their schedules were different, there were opportunities for the family to lunch together on occasion, as well as carpool. “It’s kind of a fun novelty,” Willow added, laughing. “There aren’t a lot of Lundborgs, and yet here were four of us, attending college together.”

One family, four diverse goals

Kathleen is the mother of five children (oldest daughter Tara is a graphic designer in St. Paul, Minn., and youngest son Ethan is 11 years old). In the 1970s she earned an associate degree in commercial art from Madison Area Technical College (now known as Madison College). Then, for many years she was a stay-at-home mom. For the past 20 years she has been home-schooling her children. “As my children were leaving the nest, I considered re-entering the job force,” she said. “I reviewed my talents and determined that I needed to learn the new computer programs used in today’s graphic design industry.”

In May, Kathleen received an advanced technical certificate in Digital Media Arts. She’s completed the core courses for the associate degree in Graphic Design and once she’s completed some general education requirements she will also receive that degree. Her goal is to do illustration and design work. She’s already been doing some branding and logo design for local businesses and this summer will illustrate a book for a New York publisher, and illustrate a children’s brochure for a nature center in Minnesota. “A big advantage in going to school is the networking that takes place,” she said.

Returning to Nicolet as an older student was challenging but rewarding, Kathleen said. “While I felt comfortable with my drawing and designing skills, all the computer programs were new to me. But the classes were relatively small; the instructors gave each student the help they needed to succeed in the program.”

Kathleen offered older students this advice: “If you want to go back, just do it, don’t hesitate. Follow through, so when you are 90, you don’t regret not getting that education you wanted.”

Willow, 26, who graduated in May with an associate degree in Graphic Design and an advance technical certificate in Digital Media Arts, arrived at college more circuitously. After high school she worked for five years at Biewers Sawmill in Prentice as a machine operator/rover. “I didn't see this would lead me to use my talents in art or photography,” she explained. “Don’t get me wrong – the sawmill was a fun place to work, but when I saw what Hailey was making in school and how my older sister Tara was doing in her career, I said, ‘Hey, I want to do that!’”

Willow’s goal was to enhance her photography skills and get some design experience. “But it turned into a whole lot more,” she said. “The videography classes with Daniel Goscha were amazing. Bob Kanyusik's ceramic classes were great, and Barb Buckel's print design classes were very cool, too.” Willow will be pursuing a career in the graphic design/photography/art field.

Hailey, 23, was aware of Nicolet from an early age. “My family used to go to the plays and exhibits,” she said. “I remember when Joan Baez came in 2000. I absolutely loved the campus.” Home-schooled all her life, Hailey received her GED in 2006 and followed the family’s artistic tradition by enrolling in Nicolet’s Graphic Design program. After receiving a degree in that, she went on to earn her Digital Media Arts certificate and an associate degree in the college’s University Transfer Liberal Arts program.

“I’ve always been interested in video and was excited when Nicolet started this program,” she said. “The program’s four classes act as a great foundation to creating time-based digital media. The college also has a great supply of high-tech video cameras and other equipment, a post-production lab and a separate filming room – all the elements necessary to properly learn this skill.”

Hailey, a diligent student, exceeded even her own expectations when she created a short video using stop-motion animation and entered it in the Wisconsin Technical College System “Futuremaker” contest in April. “The message I wanted to convey was how creativity is shaping my future,” she said. The judges were impressed. Out of nearly 50 videos from the state’s tech colleges, Hailey’s took first place, with a prize of $2,500.

Hailey’s goal is to establish her own photography business, and she’s well on her way, currently self-employed with plenty of high school senior and wedding photography assignments. She’s also creating a portfolio of commercial products and foods she has photographed.

Charlton, at 20, is following his own trajectory. After high school he was undecided about what direction to go. “I always had a desire to expand my knowledge in the auto mechanic and technician fields,” he said. “When I learned there was still an open spot in the auto technician program at Nicolet, almost as an on-the-spot decision I enrolled.”

After one semester, Charlton landed a job at Rhinelander General Motors as a quick lube technician, while being trained in other areas. In the meantime, he has completed his certificate. “I think the most rewarding thing about going to Nicolet was meeting and connecting with other students,” he said. “Many of them are go-getters and I really like working with a group that is motivated and dedicated. Our lab instructors listened and helped us any time we asked, and they had a fun side as well, especially on the field trips.”

Charlton has enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and begins training in August. “This will keep me busy for the next few years. Beyond that,” he said, “I hope to learn as many things as possible and gain experience in different fields while I am still young.”

What was it like to be on campus with his mom and two sisters? “Even though I didn’t see them that much,” Charlton said, “when I did, it was pretty cool being able to swap stories about our classes.”

Overall, Kathleen said, the Lundborgs found the Nicolet campus beautiful, the staff friendly and the location relatively close to their Prentice home. “Nicolet offers an array of programs using the most current technology and equipment,” she added, “and their classes are taught by excellent instructors. It truly is an opportunity for those living the Northwoods to expand their horizons, learn a new trade or re-train to switch to a new career.”