Angie Ruppe  Angie Ruppe, Director
 ASPIRE Student Support Services, Disability  Grant 
 Background: Hello and welcome to TRiO Student Support  Services! My name is Angie Ruppe and I am the Director of the  SSS-Disability Grant. I graduated from the University of  Wisconsin-River Falls with a major in Psychology. Shortly after, I attended graduate school at Saint Mary's University of  Minnesota, where I completed a Master's Degree in Counseling  and Psychological Services in 2005. I obtained my Licensed Professional Counselor license in the state of Wisconsin in  2009. I went back to graduate school to obtain a Master's of  Business Administration degree from the University of  Wisconsin-Eau Claire in December of 2010.
 I come to UW-Stout with a unique professional background in  teaching, management, and counseling. Above all, I am a strong  supporter of life-long learning, whether this is from formal  education or from our experiences. Anything is possible if we are willing to take the risk to change, learn, and grow. I am here to advocate for and help students achieve their educational goals.

What I do in my free time: I enjoy spending my free time with family and friends. I am also passionate about working with Habitat for Humanity, a group I have been a part of since undergraduate school.
Favorite Quote: "The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination." -Carl Rogers Humanistic Psychologist
Julie  Julie Adams, Office Manager

Background: I attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and have enjoyed working with non-profits and within the University setting. My main goal is to always make each student feel welcome in ASPIRE Student Support Services and, also, to let them know how happy we are that they are here!

What I do in my free time: I absolutely love creating  watercolors, writing family cookbooks and eventually the great  American novel, antiquing, taking walks with my husband and puppy, visiting my 3 grown children, and hopefully, learning to snowshoe this winter.

Favorite Quote: "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." -Mark Twain

hml  Hannah Lammer, Advisor

Background: I am from Menomonie, WI and earned my undergraduate degree from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, MN and my Master's degree in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH. After graduating from college I taught English in Japan. I have worked with high school, community college, and university students in advising, teaching, and support roles and enjoy helping students navigate educational experiences. I enjoy advocating for student success and assisting students in their development into critical thinkers and planners.  

What I do in my free time: I enjoy traveling, spending time with family and friends, going on walks, and researching. I am always challenging myself to learn and grow, especially in the areas of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Favorite quote: "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take - Wayne Gretzky" - Michael Scott

Becky Marine-Border

 Crystal Kothbauer, Advisor

Background: I earned my Bachelor's Degree in Human Development and Family Studies from UW-Stout and Master's Degree in Guidance and Counseling with a heavy emphasis on Educational and Career Counseling from UW-Superior.  I also completed Post Master's Coursework in Rehabilitation Counseling and received my license as a Professional Counselor in early 2017.  My passion lies in helping students discover their true potential and guiding them through that process.  Prior to joining the ASPIRE team, my work experience includes academic advising and career counseling in higher education, educational program management, and vocational rehabilitation.

What I do in my free time:  I most enjoy spending time with my husband and two sons.  I'm always open to trying new experiences and creating new memories.  I also enjoy writing, fashion, decorating, music, movies, and imagining the Pinterest activities that I may one day have time to try!!  In the warmer months, I enjoy taking walks, biking, camping and kayaking.  My most recent interest has been in learning about body, mind, and spirit connections, specifically mindfulness and spiritual wellness and trying to slow down and put what I learn into action in my own life because life moves too fast and it's important to be present and enjoy every moment!

Favorite Quote:  "Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself." - George Bernard Shaw

Gail Mentzel

 Gail Mentzel, Advisor

Background:  I joined the ASPIRE Student Support Services office at UW-Stout after relocating to the Menomonie area.  Prior to starting my position with ASPIRE, my career in higher education has included: academic advising, teaching college success strategies and psychology courses, processing financial aid awards, and recruitment.  I earned my undergraduate degree in psychology at UW-Eau Claire and discovered my passion for working in higher education with my first job as an Admissions Counselor for Michigan Technological University.  After two years in Admissions, I returned to college and earned my Master's degree at UW-La Crosse in College Student Personnel.  I am a passionate advocate for higher education and supporting student success.  I am passionate about my own life-long journey of intercultural learning and development, and I am committed to the work of advancing equity, diversity and social justice on campus.  Students are my priority and are welcome to stop by to see me anytime!

What I do in my free time:  Most of my free time is spent with my husband and children!  My oldest children are in college and thoroughly enjoying their time as students.  My youngest son participates in high school athletics, and I love watching him play football and basketball.  I am a huge Packer fan!  I also enjoy reading long novels (a series is perfect!), traveling, going out to eat, and spending time outside in the warmer months.

Favorite Quote:  "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


Jessica Wekkin, Advisor and Writing Specialist

Background:  I completed my Bachelor's degree in Writing at Bethel University and went on to obtain my Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing from Hamline University.  Before coming to UW-Stout in 2013, I taught college-level writing for 5 years.  My favorite classes to teach were first-year composition and creative writing.  While teaching, I realized how much I enjoyed working with students individually, so I came to UW-Stout as a First Year Advisor in the Advisement Center.  I moved to the ASPIRE office in 2015 and find this job to be a perfect combination of my professional interests and experience in both advising and writing.

What I do in my free time:  I live in Hudson, Wisconsin with my husband, 5-year-old son, and dog.  We enjoy spending time on the St. Croix River, in the local parks, and going for walks in our neighborhood.  I have been fascinated by the sky all my life, so I spend a lot of my free time in my yard with my telescope and reading about or looking at pictures from space missions.  My current favorites are the Cassini, which is studying Saturn and its moons; New Horizons, which flew by Pluto in July 2015; and the Europa mission, which is scheduled to launch in the 2020s.  I love to read and appreciate many types of genres, including children's literature, which my son and I enjoy reading together.

Favorite Quote:  "There is a fine line between a critical mind and a critical spirit." - Paul Blezien

Jamie Vue

Jamie Vue, Writing Specialist

Background:  In 2014, I earned my Masters of Arts in English-Writing and since then I have committed my life's work to supporting students and community members in writing.  I previously worked in the Center for Writing Excellence at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire as a Graduate Assistant Director for a year and a half.  My experience in the Writing Center solidified my plans to pursue teaching, which led me to work in various settings with different age groups until I found my place in ASPIRE as a Writing Specialist.  Additionally, I am a firm believer of community building and have done volunteer work in organizations such as Feed My People and Literacy Volunteers of the Chippewa Valley.

What I do in my free time:  As someone who appreciates new experiences, I enjoy a wide array of activities in my spare time.  To name a few, I am usually reading, crafting, working on puzzles, exercising, or on road trips with my fiancé.  I enjoy reading all genres, but I am mostly fascinated by autobiographical writing.  Recently, I began the art or yoga and have found meditation to be a perfect complement to enhancing my spirituality alongside my love for nature and the mountains.  Most of all I enjoy taking hikes, exploring local trails as well as taking my adventures abroad.  The most memorable hike up to date is my trip to Thailand in 2014, where my fiancé and I trekked into a tropical jungle west of Chiang Mai and hiked to the peak of the Doi Suthep mountain together.

Favorite Quote:  "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you." - Maya Angelou

Benjamin Kilness

Benjamin Kilness, Math Specialist

Background:  I got my bachelor's degree in Math and Econ from UW-Madison in 2011.  I later went back to school to receive my teaching license in January 2016.  In January 2013, I broke my neck, which has left me in a wheelchair.  This has opened my eyes to the struggles people with any sort of disability face and the difficulty navigating through college.  I now want to help show other students that if I can do it, so can they!

What I do in my free time:  I love skiing and spending time with my fiancé and our cat, Cheeto.  I also like going to the gym regularly.  Since I went to Madison, I'm a huge Badger fan!  I'm also a big math nerd!

Favorite Quote:  "Seize the carp." - Pigpen