News Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Daniel Wackershauser, Marketing Specialist
Phone: 608.822.2303
Mail: 1800 Bronson Blvd., Fennimore, WI 53809
Date of Release: November 28, 2022

Details finalized for Fall Commencement

Fennimore -

The fall semester at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College is drawing to a close. With it, comes the annual commencement ceremony. This year it will be held on Friday, Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. in the auditorium. Currently, there are 102 program students expected to graduate this semester, with 67 attending the ceremony. “This is always my favorite time of the year,” said Dr. Jason Wood, Southwest Tech president. “Whether it’s the spring or the fall, to see the pride on the graduates’ faces, knowing they are moving toward a better future, is exciting.”

This year’s guest speakers include Crystal Wallin, a 2018 Associate Degree Nursing alumnus from Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin; Paige Johnston, a student in the Nonprofit Leadership program, from East Dubuque, Illinois; and Matilyn Terpstra, a spring 2022 Medical Assistant graduate, from Cuba City, Wisconsin.

Crystal Wallin

Crystal Wallin

Crystal Wallin, MSN, RN, NRP, CCEMTP, is a 2018 graduate of the Associate Degree Nursing Program. She’s completed her Master of Science in Nursing with an emphasis in Leadership in Health Care Systems. She has worked as an ER nurse, as well as an assistant director of nursing in long-term care. Currently she is a registered nurse at Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, an adjunct nursing instructor at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin and a board member of Southwest Wisconsin Technical College.

Wallin has been a volunteer first responder, worked as an EMT-Basic and EMT-Intermediate for a critical access ER, and private interfacility transport service. She worked as a hospital-based emergency medical dispatcher for air and ground transport before, during and after paramedic school. She was a critical care paramedic and field training officer with Gunderson Tri State Ambulance in La Crosse for nine years. She sat on the executive council of the Wisconsin Southwest Regional Trauma Advisory Council for five years, and the executive board of the Hospital Emergency Readiness Coalition for four years.

Paige Johnston is a student in the Nonprofit Leadership program at Southwest Tech. She is the founder of the Boundless Trailer, a renovated 1974 Yellowstone camper that has been transformed into a mobile resource center.

Paige Johnston

After finishing the Nonprofit Leadership program, Johnston plans to continue leading and growing her nonprofit organization. “I plan to continually challenge myself intellectually by learning new skills and getting new knowledge in whatever way that presents itself,” she said. “I want to continue loving and supporting our communities’ underrepresented individuals. I hope to travel the world, build new meaningful relationships, and hang onto the ones I’ve gained through my time here at Southwest Tech. And I hope I continue to fight for what is right and use my voice to influence change positively.”

More information about Johnston’ efforts can be found at

Matilyn Terpstra is serving as the student ambassador speaker during commencement. She graduated in the spring from the Medical Assistant program. Terpstra did her clinical rotation at Southwest Health in Platteville in April and May and three days after graduation she was hired. She currently works there, under her own provider, at the Cuba City, Platteville and soon-to-be Kieler clinic. “Family Medicine is great,” she said. “You learn so many new things every day because every day is something completely different.”

Matilyn Terpstra

Terpstra will have an important message for the next graduating class at Southwest Tech. “Take the risk – do what makes you happy,” she said. “Putting yourself and your happiness first is extremely important and that’s what I learned during my two years at the tech.”

“I chose Southwest Tech for multiple reasons – they had the hands-on aspect I was hoping for, they were close to home, but far enough for me to be on my own, and the staff and instructors are so welcoming and truly want you to succeed,” she said.

Terpstra served as an ambassador during both of her years at Southwest Tech and was the 2022 state student ambassador.

For those attending the ceremony, the auditorium is located directly inside the main entrance of Building 400, accessible from the main parking lot off Bronson Boulevard.

The commencement ceremony will be streamed live on Southwest Tech’s Facebook page. More information is available at


| Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, a finalist for the 2023 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, is one of 16 institutions that comprise the Wisconsin Technical College System. Southwest Tech offers more than 60 programs in a wide variety of disciplines. Courses are offered on campus, online, HyFlex and in a blended format. The college provides apprenticeship, certificate, technical diploma, and associate degree programs that respond to district workforce needs and prepare student for family-sustaining jobs and career advancement. |

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