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Nathan Fleming

The Sky is the Limit for Nursing Graduate Nathan Fleming ’17

March 4, 2019

When Nathan Fleming was a sophomore in high school, he was hospitalized with a nasty bone infection in his finger. He received excellent care from the staff at the University of Wisconsin Children’s Hospital and went on to make a full recovery.

“After that, I knew nursing was the profession for me,” Fleming said. “I wanted to give back, plus there are great job opportunities in the field.”

Fleming is a nurse in the cardiopulmonary unit at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse. A native of Darlington, Fleming is one of the many Viterbo students who stay in the La Crosse area after graduation. According the most recent available data from the Class of 2016, of the 410 graduates to respond, 72 percent remained in Wisconsin and 43 percent stayed in La Crosse. An additional seven percent work in the surrounding area. “I love the area—the river, the bluffs, plus La Crosse offers great employment opportunities in the healthcare field,” Fleming said.

Fleming was familiar with Viterbo because his aunt graduated from the college in 1977. He researched the university and was impressed with the excellent reputation of the School of Nursing. He also wanted small class sizes.

“I thought my Viterbo education was excellent and it prepared me very well for my career,” he said. “Every professor, both in my major and outside of it, cared about the education I received. And I especially liked the core nursing classes, the numerous and varied nursing clinical experiences, and the ethics and humanistic world view included in the curriculum.”

Fleming’s nursing career is off to a great start. He finds the work both rewarding and challenging. Eventually he said he might want to work in the ICU, be a flight nurse, or become a nurse anesthetist. “The sky is the limit,” he said.

Drake Dickson

Drake Dickson ’18 had Employment Options at Graduation

March 4, 2019

Drake Dickson had two employment offers the weekend he graduated in May 2018 with a degree in finance from Viterbo University. He chose to accept a position as an accounting inventory associate with Organic Valley, a cooperative of more than 2,000 family farms with over $1 billion in annual sales. He certainly has no regrets.

“I absolutely love it at Organic Valley,” Dickson said. “I don’t have a single complaint.”

Dickson is one of many Viterbo students who have professional employment offers extended to them at the time of graduation. His duties at Organic Valley include the monthly reconciliation of inventory of warehouses in Wisconsin and California, ensuring accurate shipments, invoicing, purchase orders, and whatever else the job requires during a particular day.

An internship with RCI of La Crosse and his Viterbo education had him well prepared for his career, Dickson said. He also credited Alyssa Gostonczik, intern and employer relations coordinator in the Viterbo career services office, for her work in coordinating the academic side of the for-credit internship.
Dickson transferred to Viterbo, where he found the transfer credit policies, transfer student scholarship, and the guaranteed internship program in the Dahl School of Business very appealing.

“Viterbo was really great,” he said. “I had a really good relationship with all my professors. Faculty member Sabrina Steger is one of my references.”
Dickson lives in his native Westby, and he says the Coulee Region is the perfect place for him. He loves fishing, camping, skateboarding, snowboarding, and designing clothes. He served as the coach of the La Crosse Central High School snowboarding team last winter.

Lightwire Theater to Replace Luma in Viterbo University Ronald McDonald Arts for Young America Family Series

January 4, 2019

Jan. 2, 2018

Contact Jen Roberdeau at 608-796-3738 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – The Viterbo University Fine Arts Center has added a performance by Lightwire Theater at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16 in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre. Lightwire Theater will replace Luma, which was scheduled to perform on the same day.

Lightwire Theater has been featured as semi-finalists on NBC's America’s Got Talent and winners of Tru TV's Fake Off. The group combines theater and technology to bring stories to life in complete darkness and are internationally recognized for their signature brand of electroluminescent artistry.

At Viterbo, Lightwire Theater will present their original piece Lightwire: The Show, which explores a strange and fascinating new world. Birds grow 16 feet tall, cats fight with light sabers, and 60 electroluminescent creatures light up the stage in this visually stimulating performance the whole family will enjoy.

The story begins with an outcast young bird trying to come to terms with a strange new power he’s been given. Banished from his tribe for being different, he wanders his planet, where danger lurks everywhere. A chance encounter with a warrior cat creates an unlikely friendship, and together they have the potential to save their world from an alien species seeking to destroy it.

Lightwire: The Show will replace the originally scheduled performance by Luma, a company that produces a similar show featuring lighted spectacle and movement. The Viterbo Fine Arts Center recently learned of the cancellation of Luma’s spring tour and was able to secure Lightwire Theater for the same date and time as the previously scheduled performance. 

Since Lightwire: The Show is a similar performance that will occur on the same date, no new tickets will be issued for the performance. Tickets that were previously purchased for Luma will be honored at the door. All ticket holders were contacted by the Viterbo box office regarding the change and should contact the box office at 608-796-3100 or with questions.

Lightwire Theater’s performance will be part of the Ronald McDonald Arts for Young America Family Series, which is sponsored by Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Wisconsin and Southeastern Minnesota. It is also sponsored in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. KQEG TV is the media sponsor.

Tickets for Lightwire: The Show are $23, $19, or $15 for adults and $19, $15, or $11 for children. For more information or to order tickets, contact the Viterbo box office at 608-796-3100 or visit



"A Proposal to Halt Chronic Wasting Disease in Wisconsin" Presentation at Viterbo University Oct. 10

January 4, 2019

Oct. 4, 2018

Contact Rick Kyte at 608-796-3704 or or Nicole Van Ert at 608-796-3616 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – Retired Wisconsin DNR wildlife experts Mike Foy and Tom Hauge will present “A Proposal to Halt Chronic Wasting Disease in Wisconsin” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10 in the Viterbo University School of Nursing Building Collins Auditorium room 196.

Chronic wasting disease has been detected in 53 counties in Wisconsin, and its continued spread threatens the future of Wisconsin’s hunting heritage and a $1 billion per year economic resource. Up to this point, there have been no serious proposals for slowing the spread of CWD in Wisconsin.

Foy and Hauge’s proposal is to pay hunters and landowners for killing CWD-infected deer. “Payment 4 Positives” is an incentive-based program that would invest approximately two percent of the annual economic gain realized from deer hunting to enlist hunters throughout the state to address a problem that has long frustrated natural resource officials. 

“We suggest taking a business world approach and offer landowners, hunters, and small businesses a robust financial reward for voluntarily acting to sustain the health of Wisconsin’s deer herd,” said Foy and Hauge. “Our deer hunting heritage makes a $1.3 billion annual economic contribution to our state.”

Foy retired from the Wisconsin DNR as a wildlife biologist working more than 30 years, half of which he was on the front lines of the state’s CWD response efforts in southern Wisconsin. Hauge retired from the DNR after 37 years with the wildlife program, the last 25 as director of the Wildlife Management Program.

This presentation is part of the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership’s fall 2018 lecture series and is free and open to the public. It is cosponsored by the La Crosse County Conservation Alliance. No tickets are necessary, but seating is limited. For a full schedule of D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership events, visit



Jim Salmo Named Viterbo University Vice President for Advancement

January 4, 2019

Nov. 26, 2018

Contact Anthony Slaby at 608-796-3042 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – James (Jim) Salmo has been named vice president for advancement at Viterbo University effective in January. Salmo was chosen to lead fundraising and benefactor relation efforts at Viterbo, succeeding Wendell Snodgrass who resigned in August.

In this senior leadership position, Salmo will serve on the president’s cabinet and oversee benefactor relations, gifts, and scholarship creation.

Salmo brings almost 35 years of experience in the advancement field, including his current posts as the vice chancellor for development and alumni relations and the CEO of the Southern Illinois University Foundation, both at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill. He has held similar advancement leadership positions at Rhode Island College, the University of Missouri, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, and other institutions of higher learning.

“I am thrilled to have Jim join the Viterbo community,” said Viterbo University President Glena Temple. “He brings a wealth of experience in fundraising through appointments at both public and private institutions and from involvement in professional organizations. I look forward to introducing Jim to our alumni, friends and benefactors in the months ahead.”

Originally from St. Louis, Salmo earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Saint Louis University and Master of Arts in Media/Communication from Webster University. He has completed several professional development programs, including the Harvard Graduate School Management Development Program and the Big Ten Fundraising Institute. He and his wife Lisa have an adult son, David, who lives in Milwaukee and works as a fundraiser for the United Performing Arts Fund.

“Following my on-campus interview, I knew Viterbo University was the place I wanted to be,” Salmo said. “The mission and core values resonate with me, and I feel President Temple has a very good vision for the institution and I could sense she cares deeply about the students, employees, alumni, and the La Crosse community. Hopefully I can take my more than 30 years of experience and add value to the strong foundation I already see in place at Viterbo.”



World Premiere of Decoding the Driftless at Viterbo University Sept. 26

January 4, 2019

Sept. 18, 2018

Contact Rick Kyte at 608-796-3704 or or Nicole Van Ert at 608-796-3616 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – The public is invited to attend the world premiere of the documentary film Decoding the Driftless at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26 in the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center Main Theatre.

Decoding the Driftless explores the amazing origins, diversity, and resources of the Driftless Region, or the region untouched by glaciers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois. Audiences will enjoy a wild ride of adventure from the air, ground, water, and of the secret underworld, as leading scientists, local guides, and area enthusiasts reveal their passion and knowledge of the area. Viewers will travel back in time 500 million years to discover how this unique region formed and has evolved as they explore the archeology, paleontology, geology, and biology of this fascinating region with fun-loving hosts. Audience members will have their eyes, mind, and heart opened like never before as they uncover ancient hidden mysteries, endangered Ice-Age throwbacks, and globally rare ecosystems.

The film is created by Emmy Award-winning filmmakers George Howe and Tim Jacobson of Sustainable Driftless, Rob Nelson and Swedish filmmaker Jonas Stenstrom, both of and Untamed Science, and six-time Emmy-winning wildlife cinematographer Neil Rettig. They deliver some extremely rare footage of natural phenomena in the Driftless Region, in a way never seen before.

This presentation at Viterbo University is free and open to the public. No tickets are necessary, but seating is limited. For a full schedule of D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership events, visit



Viterbo University Announces New Master of Science in Nutrition Sciences Degree Program

January 4, 2019

Oct. 25, 2018

Contact Karen Gibson at 608-796-3662 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – Viterbo University has started the new Master of Science in Nutrition Sciences degree program, which will prepare dietetics professionals to be innovative leaders in fields such as disease prevention, health promotion, and nutritional interventions.

“The Viterbo M.S. in Nutrition Sciences degree curriculum allows students to tailor the program to best fit the needs of their specific area of practice by allowing the student to choose up to 12 credits of electives,” said Karen Gibson, Viterbo professor of nutrition and dietetics.

For example, a nutrition professional who works with athletes might choose courses such as advanced sports nutrition or nutrigenomics while someone working in community health could choose courses in grant writing or a systems approach to combatting obesity. A clinical dietitian would have the option to take classes in medical nutrition therapy and nutrition and cancer.

Classes will begin in summer 2019. Program curriculum integrates critical thinking, scientific writing, and evidence-based practice in nutrition and dietetics, which provides a foundation for students to complete a research project in the student’s specific area of interest or practice. Requirements for graduation include successful completion of 30 credits, including a research defense and presentation of a research project.

“There is a need for advanced level practitioners in the field of nutrition, especially in the use of evidence-based practice and the new information being discovered about nutrition and health, and this program will help meet that demand,” Gibson said.

For more information on Viterbo’s M.S. in Nutrition Sciences program, visit or contact Karen Gibson at 608-796-3662 or



Exhibit Featuring the Drawings and Sculpture of Heidi Hogden to Open in the Viterbo University Gallery Sept. 12

January 4, 2019

Sept. 6, 2018

Contact Joe Miller at 608-796-3757 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – An exhibit featuring the drawings and cement sculptures of award-winning guest artist Heidi Hogden entitled Attempts at Desert Survival will open with a reception from 5–6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12 in the Viterbo University Gallery.

Hogden is an assistant professor of drawing at Arizona State University. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in Minneapolis and a Master of Fine Arts in studio art from Tufts University in Boston. Her work has been exhibited across the U.S.           

Hogden will also give an artist lecture to Viterbo students from 10 a.m.–noon Wednesday, Sept. 12 in the gallery and room 301 of the Fine Arts Center.

The exhibit will run until Friday, Oct. 12. There is no admission fee to the gallery, which is located on the third floor of the Viterbo Fine Arts Center. The gallery is open from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. when school is in session.



Viterbo University to Host Viterbo 101 Show Choir Competition Jan. 5

January 4, 2019

Jan. 2, 2019

Contact Jen Roberdeau at 608-796-3738 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – The annual Viterbo 101 Show Choir competition will be held at the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center Saturday, Jan. 5 beginning at 8:40 a.m.

A number of local show choirs will compete throughout the day in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre, including varsity choirs from La Crosse Central and Sparta high schools, as well as middle school choirs from Onalaska, West Salem, Cashton, La Crosse Longfellow/LDI, La Crosse Lincoln, and La Crosse Logan. Seven middle school choirs and nine high school choirs will participate.

In addition to the group competition, a solo competition will take place throughout the day in the Fine Arts Center’s Nola Starling Recital Hall. Individual students from the participating show choirs will have the opportunity to perform a solo piece and receive feedback from a Viterbo University professor.

“This is our fifteenth year hosting this competition, and it’s always so exciting to kick off the show choir season here at Viterbo,” said Nancy Allen, director of Viterbo University’s Platinum Edition show choir, which is hosting the competition. “It’s a great opportunity for choirs and student singers to interact with our students and get feedback from university professors as they prepare for the rest of the season.”

Finalists from the preliminary group competition will be announced at 4:45 p.m., and the final competition will begin at 6:15 p.m. following a performance by the winners of the solo competition.

Viterbo 101 is open to the public. General admission wristbands can be purchased the day of the competition in the atrium of the Fine Arts Center. Wristbands are $10 for the preliminary competition only, $10 for the final competition only, $15 for the full day, or $5 for children 12 and under. Concessions will be available throughout the day.

More information, including a list of participating choirs and performance times, can be found at Contact the Viterbo Fine Arts Center at 608-796-3737 with questions.