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School of Human Ecology Recognizes Four Outstanding Alumnae

Linda Ahlers ’72, Dorothy A. O’Brien ’70, Karon Ohm ’84, and Rebecca Brown ’06 earn SoHE’s 2019 Alumni Awards.

The School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is thrilled to recognize four alumnae as winners of its 2019 Alumni Awards. Linda Ahlers ’72, Dorothy A. O’Brien ’70, Karon Ohm ’84, and Rebecca Brown ’06 all exemplify SoHE values and vision, working to improve the quality of life for children, families, consumers, and communities. Alumni and friends are invited to join the school in honoring them, as well as connect with old friends and enjoy fascinating lectures and workshops, at this fall’s annual Back to School event on September 27, 2019.

Below are brief introductions to the four Alumni Awards recipients, with more detailed profiles to follow in the coming weeks.

Distinguished Alumni Award

The School of Human Ecology Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes graduates of SoHE who have achieved significant recognition in their chosen profession or life’s work. Through this work, they have improved the quality of life for others and brought honor to themselves, their community, the School of Human Ecology, and the University of Wisconsin.

Linda Ahlers

Linda Ahlers (SoHE ‘72) spent the majority of her career ascending through the ranks of the Target Corporation and, for the decade preceding her retirement, served as President of Marshall Field’s. Despite the heavy demands of her executive business roles, she has continuously and extensively volunteered in the arts and in women’s communities, and given generously to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Read more about Linda here.

Dorothy A. O’Brien

Dorothy A. O’Brien (SoHE ’70) has tirelessly advocated on behalf of SoHE and has worked with numerous nonprofit organizations. She works both internationally and nationally creating social change and exemplifying the spirit of the School of Human Ecology. Read more about Dorothy here.

Wisconsin Idea Alumni Award

The School of Human Ecology Wisconsin Idea Alumni Award recognizes a graduate who has endeavored to improve human life by creating new or innovative projects, public engagement or service, and other avenues that lead to greater individual, family, community or consumer well-being.

Karon Ohm

Karon Ohm (SoHE ’84) has spent her career advancing growth and change in a diverse set of leadership roles, as well as giving back to the SoHE community. She is the proud mother of four children, now grown, in whom she says she eagerly instilled the Wisconsin Idea. Today, she and her husband own Hands On Art Studio in Door County, Wisconsin, which serves as a makers-place and creative playground for the general public to access and experience art. Read more about Karon here.

Early Career Alumni Award

The School of Human Ecology Early Career Alumni Award recognizes outstanding graduates who have received a degree or certificate from a program within the School of Human Ecology and is under 40. Selection is based on demonstrated achievement and leadership within a chosen field.

Rebecca Brown

Since receiving her M.S. in Design Studies from the School of Human Ecology (SoHE ’06), Rebecca Brown has been taking the design industry by storm. She is currently the Director of Business Development at Creative Business Interiors, Inc., where she has been working for nearly 15 years. Her creativity and tenacity have earned her an excellent reputation in a highly competitive market. Read more about Rebecca here.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more on these exemplary alumnae, and be sure to register for Back to School. Learn more about the event and register here.

Do you have questions about the Alumni Awards? Contact Communications & Advancement Manager Dan Dick.