Standing up to reunion bully: Upcoming Appleton school board appearance advocating for university hate/bias language for monitoring reunions

Greetings advocates-

I will be taking up the advocacy of my best friend, Kristine Kelpinski-Ehm, who helped me survive the veteran crisis of readjustment and reintegration during a time in my life when I needed a friend.

She is one of the few who came to my rescue when I was battling a lapse in VA opioid painkiller prescription and dealing with end-of-life concerns. She is being outcasted by self-identifying high school reunion leadership for asking they present their treasury and minute-taking reports.

The group organized a tax-exempt entity called “Appleton West Class of ’93 Inc.” without the consent of classmates.

Kelpinski-Ehm shared her concerns after uncovering legal issues with one of the business owners claiming he was in charge of our reunion planning.  Self-identified planner, Neil Wynveen, has tax warrants pending.

Kelpinski-Ehm sought transparency and received retaliation.

As a veteran, I stepped up as her guardian at Outpost 422 where veterans, who are being bullied for seeking help from the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, come to check in and recieve a battle buddy. I am her battle buddy enduring the melee of the attacks perpetrated on the “Appleton West Class of ’93 Reunion page” we are banned from.

We are classmates speaking up and speaking out about her ordeal.

The upcoming appearance before the Appleton Area School District Board tells her story and what I witnessed with her attacker’s public humiliation for calling him out regarding his pending tax warrants as a reunion organizer.

The following rough draft provides the full-length detail of what I truly want to say but only have three minutes. Currently, Appleton public schools’ administrators have trouble with moderating online reunion behavior.

The task is too tough to tame. I am taking the business model of Outpost 422 from the time when I was attacked by Curtis Lemke at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, like what I am witnessing happening with my best friend.

Letter to the Appleton Public School Board

Good evening respected leaders of the Appleton Area School District-

My name is Bradley Burt. I am a 10th Mountain Division veteran who has been speaking up and speaking out about digital hostility and Machiavellianism through my honors research and am pursuing my graduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

I stand before as one of your reformed troublemakers who found value in making life changes starting with going back to school later in life and achieving high honors. My whole world changed the day I graduated as a summa cum laude journalism major and corporate communication minor.

That day reflects the pursuit and reward for Overcoming Impossibility. I crossed through the threshold into a new level of success and became an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater class of ’23.

This year, in celebration, I wanted to provide a timestamp feature profile regarding where we are as a class as an alumnus of Appleton West Class of’93. The profile reflected Heide Hall and Madison College as a convergent media portfolio piece for my grad school application.

The journey led to needing to contact Appleton Schools Superintendent Greg Hartjes, who graciously added me to the agenda and value our time. Thank you.

I have been in contact with the local press with press releases about the subject of reunion trolling and hiding of treasury reports by our self-appointed reunion committee, who was confronted by a classmate on our reunion page and now she and I have been outcasted for speaking up about their hate and bias towards her.

I am appearing before you today with concerning news.

Our class, Appleton West Class of ’93, has a reunion Facebook page that organized without the permission of the school or the membership and have uncovered the group has registered a tax-deferred entity titled “Appleton West Class of ’93 Inc.” organized and filed by classmate and past admin Cori Collins Marinan, controlled by page founder Jennifer Kohl, naming Jenna Kadlec as the president who recently stepped down.

When approached by classmate Kristine Kelpinski-Ehm, she was called out for not taking her medication, who was berated by classmates Carey Varga-Halverson, Charity Recla, and page founder Jennifer Kohl.

Kelpinski-Ehm was banned, and all of our comments were removed, which included the naming of Chad Van Daalwyk as our new reunion president and me as the secretary who was bringing our reunions into Robert’s Rules of Order for addressing treasury reports and minutes, which have not been brought before members.

I briefly discussed the concerns of our classmate with classmate Chad Van Daalwyk, noted in a phone call he was hanging onto the money from the past reunion. We began collaborating with building a newsletter that would provide minutes and treasury reports.

We were moving forward and bringing hope to our class. That was, until Wynveen’s named president, Jenna Kadlec, stepped down and handed her admin role over to him. Shortly after, my comments and polls as the newly named secretary were deleted and I was banned.

Rather than remove Wynveen, Kadlec stepped down and handed her admin role over to both him and Van Daalwyk, who are self-identifying as our current reunion leadership, after referring to myself and Kelpinski-Ehm, and I quote, as “Douchebag Debbie Downer Drama Starters.”

Classmates who attended the reunion are now referring to us as “drama” for our attempts to build an inclusive reunion welcome to all and remove Wynveen.

As of now, both Kelpinski-Ehm and I are speaking up and speaking out while the group profiles us in front of our peers with diatribes, passive aggressive cryptic groupspeak and has violated hate/bias policies the University of Wisconsin uses to regulate its campus activities.

Look, I understand this is the Appleton School system, however being someone who was attacked by hate/bias during my recent college experience, I must come forward and ask the group to be charged with trolling, ask the group’s Facebook representing the Terror brand be shut down and the school district order they cease and desist from operating as a quorum due to malice and negligence.

I am speaking up for Bullycide prevention as a Veterans Crisis Line survivor and advocate and have begun publishing a newsletter reporting about what is going on. I have also contacted the press after my class president and Appleton West associate principal who is also a part of the Class of ’93 did not intervene and left me on read.

I am in contact with Superintendent Hartjes reporting what is happening, unsure who to speak with to bring our class reunion to order and civility.

I am handing this over to the school board hoping we can organize a reunion trolling task force by building policies used by the university of Wisconsin for hate/bias reporting.

The Wynveen issue is not a laughing matter. Together, through the development of the “Words Kill” campaign, we as an academic honors society can stand up to digital hostility not only with reunions but as a cyberbullying task force on social media.

Through the use of community engagement flow codes, we can connect all in distress with direct access to a reporting link like my Outpost 422 registered trademark created for veterans in distress.  Thank you.

Respectfully Submitted,

Bradley J. Burt

CEO-Outpost 422

Contact Outpost 422’s reunion newsletter and let’s share your story on the new website regarding trolling by your reunion social media.


Wisconsin Senators address public comment regarding hyper politicized POW MIA repatriation bill on Aug. 8

On August 8, representatives of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Rolling Thunder Inc. and American Legion Wisconsin showed up to the Wisconsin State Capitol expressing their support for Senate Bill 8, which was introduced for public comment. The bill has a track record for hyper politicization.

As one of the registered speakers, I brought before senators the concerning issues raised from the capstone video feature. The following letter was prepared sharing the concerns witnessed during the development of the rejection of Senate Bill 602, which is a similar bill seeking the same appropriation of $180,000 per year per session included in Senate Bill 8.

Attn: State of Wisconsin Senators

Topic: Tabling Senate Bill 8 for investigative inquiry

On May 13, 2023, another veteran crossed the stage at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. That veteran is me. Upon graduating summa cum laude as a journalism major, I realized now is the time to get active publicizing the POW MIA issue.

My ongoing class project, Outpost 422, which is a trademarked reporting style, will cross the threshold into graduate school at UW Milwaukee next seeking help with launching of an eNewsletter raising awareness about what is going on at our State Capitol regarding the hyper politicizing of our Wisconsin POW MIA, which seeks help with launching the next phase of my community engagement campaign called “I Will NOT Forget.”

The campaign shares my story about what I endured advocating for the POW MIA in the college classroom, the benefits of the UW POW MIA Recovery and Identification Project, along with receiving backlash from professors who will not let veterans utilize the freedom of academic expression that stifled my brand’s opportunities to raise awareness.

For my journalism capstone, I was an investigative reporter developing an interactive media online investigative outreach informing classmates and viewers about what I had uncovered during the development of Senate Bill 602, which I believe is the bill preceding the introduction of Senate Bill 8, which is now being brought before the public for comment.

I support the funding of the UW MIA Recovery and Identification Project, however I do not support Rep. Robin Vos and Rep. Jim Steinke’s role with hyper politicizing the POW MIA issue, like what happened with Senate Bill 602. Upon interviewing Dept. of Finance Secretary Peter Barca during the last session, he mentioned “someone is playing politics here. We have over a $2 billion surplus. The bill has bipartisan support.”

Our Joint Committee on Finance should be admonished for withholding Senate Bill 602 from being brought before the senate.

As a POW MIA advocate, supporter of the UW MIA Recovery and Identification Project’s research and “Boot on the Ground” pilot, along with the collective efforts of the UW Madison Biotechnology Center, I ask our senators to assemble an ad hoc committee to address the development of Senate Bill 602, why the bill was not passed, and how we can hold the ranking members of the Joint Committee on Finance accountable this time ensuring that those of us who advocate for the families of the POW MIA can guarantee this won’t happen again. I will be following up with all of you in the future regarding this matter.


Respectfully Submitted,

Bradley J. Burt

CEO-Outpost 422


Attn State of Wisconsin Senators

The future of EAP is here. Outpost 422 will help you locate a chaplain and a treatment center nearest you. Employee assistance is a safe alternative to working with the Veterans Administration.

The past bills, S.B. 446 and S.B. 602, had unanimous bipartisan support, yet were rejected. The hyper politicization stemmed from the bill potentially making Gov. Tony Evers look good during the governor election, which was rumored by POW MIA advocates and discussed with members of Evers’ cabinet upon discovery.

The public comment was listed as “information only” due to mixed feelings and trust the next bill will end up in Rep. Vos’ hands and will not see the light of day in the senate for another session.

Senators in attendance all agree the behavior demonstrated by the Joint Committee on Finance during the development of Senate Bill 602 should not be happening. A recommendation for setting up an ad hoc inquiry committee, which would audit the bill’s development, was offered.

Seeing the look of disappointment on the University of Wisconsin Missing-in-action Recovery and Identification Project’s director’s face as the capstone closed was disheartening.

The illustration of the memory was brought before the senators as a reminder why publishing the POW MIA issue is sacred, which should never have been left in the hands of the Joint Committee on Finance’s oversight, according to the hearing’s ranking member.

Senators will proceed by addressing concerns raised in the capstone and have received a letter by Sen. Melissa Agard regarding the matter.

Due to time constraints, I was unable to stay for the rest of the hearing. The hearing was broadcasted by Wisconsin Eye.

The Airman Davis E. Burt Post Everlasting burial experience as an American Legion past service officer and family member

May be an image of helicopter and text that says 'The Airman Davis E. Burt Story Outpost 422 Overcome Impossibility POST EVERLASTING Facing the grey areas of veteran burial advocacy: What we as Legionnaires must do to protect the integrity of Post Everlasting honor protocol.'

Around September 7, 2020, I was tasked by my brother, who is the executor of my father’s remains, to retrieve and coordinate with Highland Memorial Park Cemetery in Appleton, Wisconsin, the information needed to bury our father 21 years after his death.

My father’s story is the testament of what a service officer must go through when the executor won’t let go.

The tug-of-war experience between caretaker and family led to the dishonor of Legionnaire requests for Post Everlasting burial protocol.

Today we honor the dishonor of an Air Force veteran, who is our guest of honor at Post 38 American Legion of Appleton, Wisconsin, where my father entered service.

On the last month before the new millennium, Airman Davis E. Burt passed away at his home. His remains sit up North on the mantle with his oldest son arguing with his service officer brother playing games with Burt’s burial.

None the less, the service officer leads the mission seeking answers regarding protocols for burial. There was one item the cemetery left out that caused the feud. The cemetery caretaker stated he must receive and bury the remains to place a VA marker headstone.

The Outagamie County Service Officer stated, “As long as Highland will agree to place the marker, there is no need for burying the remains.”

Gerald Reger, cemetery director, made clear the VA won’t place the marker without the burial of the remains. Both parties used passive aggressive communication leaving unfinished business on the table.

Today, we are here to finish my last order of business as a past county service officer.

On Monday July 25, 2023, 24 years after Burt’s passing, the executor decided to pull up stakes and bury the Air Force veteran’s remains, who still needed a firing squad sendoff due to Burt’s funeral taking place in the beginning of January scheduled for a later date.

Today, we rejoice. We are sending a father and fellow veteran to the banquet hall at Post Everlasting and paying Burt’s respects. The service officer experience must be discussed so that we may learn from our guest of honor’s mishap.

From the beginning to the end of the three-year journey, I have witnessed many desperate attempts by Burt’s family to obstruct his rites of passage into Post Everlasting, so much that the executor and service officer have cut ties and want nothing to do with burying our guest with military honors.

Graciously, the American Legion will honor every new member into Post Everlasting and am thankful for those who put the event together. We are perpetuating and inculcating Americanism by standing up to those who believe our rites and practices are no longer of value.

The most important person is the person we honor at each Post Everlasting memorial salute. Today, Burt finally rests. Aside from the behavior of Burt’s executor, his two Legionnaire sons honor his right to finish his burial ceremony demonstrating how Legionnaires stay the course for veterans and their families they are tasked to serve.

Post Everlasting is a legacy provided to those who serve and receive an honorable discharge, which is a privilege to servicemembers and veterans who pass and respectfully deserve. Honor is the vow of the fourth commandment.

From the moment of being tasked to the phone call to arrange a firing squad, what I witnessed regarding Burt’s burial affairs was his executor’s family feud dishonor, along with understanding survivor’s guilt and his hostage taking of family members who withheld the deceased veteran’s remains from receiving Post Everlasting honors rites of passage.

Those who do not serve simply do not understand. We guide and stay the course.

We must learn from those who prejudice our traditions. Through their ineptness, we can assure all who serve have an advocate and will go to the furthest lengths under their watch.

The role of the service officer is managing grief. Passion is the tenacity to finish the job no matter what lengths or what obstacles may surface.

The service officer is the sentinel of the Post making sure those who are unsure are empowered by our knowledge.

Eagle Six Kicks Off Veterans Day at the Baird Patriot Veterans Career Forum

US Bank

MILWAUKEE, Wis.—Gray Colton, Chairperson for the Robert W. Baird & Co. Patriot Veteran Hiring Program, invited veterans of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater to attend the Baird Patriot Veteran Career Forum.

The event took place on Friday, November 1, 2019. Colton is the Senior Vice President of Private Wealth and Management for the Robert W. Baird & Co.

Colton arranged to have the 101st Airborne Commander share his mission with members of the Patriot program and veterans. Colton was pleased to see so many veterans turned out to support the Patriot mission, who gave a cordial introduction to Maj. Gen. Brian Winski.

“We are honored to have Eagle Six with us today,” said Colton.

Colton introduced Winski, who is a Milwaukee native and graduate from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee referred to as “Eagle Six,” which is the 101st Airborne Commander’s call sign in the field and in combat.

Winski began his speech by addressing the need to hire veterans, who shared the value of having veterans in the workplace.

“Every man and woman who wears America’s uniform is a part of a long unbroken line of achievement and honor. No single military power in history has done greater good, shown greater courage, liberated more people or upheld higher standards of decency and valor than the Armed Forces of the United States of America,” said Winski.


Winski, Post Commanding General of the 101st Airborne Division, after delivering his Veteran’s Day speech, impressed upon all in attendance that Wisconsin holds an ironclad lineage with his division, which dates all the way back to the Civil War through the 8th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment.

Eagle Six shared the story of how the 101st models the efforts of those who served with the 8th in the Civil War and their mascot “Old Abe,” which is the icon for the 101st Airborne Screaming Eagle patch.

Wisconsin 101st Airborne Heritage Speaks

Winski closed his address by reiterating the level of dedication and commitment veterans provide to not only their country, but also their employers, which is their common core leadership attribute in the workplace that follows with them into their prospective careers and beyond.

Winski extended his appreciation to veterans and guests by offering an opportunity after his presentation to answer questions regarding his current deployments in Syria, Afghanistan and Africa.

Winski expressed his gratitude to all who serve and have served. The Robert W. Baird, the Baird Patriot Veteran Hiring Program and the message by Winski share one thing in common—all must appreciate the hard work and dedication of veterans and servicemembers on Veteran’s Day.




Are you a service member or veteran and need help planning a path to graduation success? Outpost 422 is here for you


Welcome to Outpost 422, your academic distress support network. The website is here to serve as a beacon for those who are missing and feel lost on campus in the military and veteran community.

We are using G.I. Bill benefits to teach research strategies and use resilience and success as a navigation tool.

The registered trademark provides writing and research methodologies for profiling both public affairs and scientific research through the development of a virtual outreach and academic support group off campus.

For those who are visiting seeking information about the 1st Lt. Jerome A. Volk mobile coverage of his crash site, please be aware, we are handling a current crisis and have put the project on hold.

The future of EAP is here. Outpost 422 will help you locate a chaplain and a treatment center nearest you. Employee assistance is a safe alternative to working with the Veterans Administration.

We are still publishing the POW MIA issue here at Outpost 422 but have taken the necessary steps with incorporating the most recent Madison College honors literature review, which outlines barriers to success.

For us to relaunch the campaign, we need a team of investors and panel of investigators for project pilot support. The “I Will NOT Forget” campaign is developing into a convergent media form of academic reporting.

The goal for the campaign seeks placing the needs of those in academic distress first by offering an outlet with investigating the POW MIA issue for developing strategies with academic success. The campaign is an interactive ongoing publication keeping our community informed so that all who are still missing will not be forgotten.

Eventually, once the next phase of the Outpost 422 registered trademark enters the support group phase, we will have a monthly newsletter tracking Volk’s last known whereabouts and how we as scholars can provide hope to families of the missing by providing transparency through publication.

Infographic credit:

Veterans and servicemembers overcome many obstacles outside of what traditional students experience. At Outpost 422, we are combining researching the POW MIA issue with academic research to create a pathway to success.

One thing learned from writing an honors literature review at Madison College was that resilience provides the map to success for student veterans and service members. Support groups are a dire need for our success.

Variables are the obstacles standing in our way. Examining variables and applying strategies build and develop perceptions with overcoming the impossibility of becoming another attrition statistic. The POW MIA drive our mission to succeed.

Outpost 422 seeks investors and those who served for building a support group on all college campuses. Through strategic planning, coordination and communication, we can overcome impossibility.

Please fill out the contact form if you are interested in sitting down, going over my honors literature review and need a strategy to map your way out of dropping out of college.

You worked hard for your G.I. benefits. We need you in the game.

Madison College honors literature review chronologically examines variables inhibiting success amongst those utilizing G.I. benefits in college

The Madison College honors project is in the books as of May 30, 2023. The overview of the project includes a future recorded presentation regarding what hurts and what helps veterans and service members succeed.

The presentation shares the call for a mandatory qualitative survey amongst all who use G.I. benefits. The proposal for the survey asserts every university must assess the needs of those readjusting and reintegrating as service members each semester.

The honors project was prepared for the Madison College honors society hoping to achieve success by advocating for equity on both community college and university campuses. The project was stalled by the professor, and in many ways, was a barrier to my personal success.

The University of Wisconsin investigative division intervened on the basis of complaints filed addressing variables with my learning success. The complaints were backed by articles from the literature review.

Instead of holding parties accountable, the university conjured false narratives through hasty generalizations.

With the rise of veterans and service members attending post-secondary education, the reality of neglect and social isolation increases. All that I am advocating for with the literature review is a simple roll call at the end of the semester that can perform the service of mustering advocacy for equity as students, despite having a nontraditional status.

We must form up on all campuses and stand up for our right to receive equal treatment, and not have to file complaints to exercise our rights. The university is ironclad in their belief we are the problem, especially when it comes to my filing of complaints regarding intimidation and passive aggressive academic abuse.

The complaints were made in good faith based upon my discoveries seeking the opportunity to sit down with the chancellor and have a brief discussion on how we can change.

Instead, the university responded by shutting down my meeting, who then escalated matters, distracted me by bombarding me with emails, which eventually led to reaching out to elected officials for help.

The university denies us our right to freely express our values and when we speak up we deal with backlash. The literature is our first line of defense.

Veterans and servicemembers work through many unnecessary obstacles, like what happened to me, that lead to attrition. Attrition is a fancy term that represents statistics of those who drop out.

The presentation provides an overview of the oppression veterans and servicemembers face when seeking to fulfill their dreams when utilizing the benefits, they worked hard for. Many variables stop them from succeeding, which is the analysis the literature review provides.

The literature review advocates the university act accountably with professor conduct. The articles share the effects of lived experience.

We deal with professors who tote ideologies that clash with our convictions to protect the Constitution. Professors escalate and gaslight through emails, which is alarming.

Why would anyone deliberately attack someone who defended their American way of life? Why are professors allowed to disrespect us? Yet, when we discuss military culture in our class project assignments, we receive backlash with low grades and micro assaults in graded commentary.

There must be a qualitative survey each semester collected by a third party and analyzed. That third party is Outpost 422. We are your academic distress support and success center.

During the research collection process, I attempted to work with the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater veterans resources coordinator. By March 2022, the topic of attrition had him angry.

By March 30, he pulled me in his office for an inappropriate conversation that went off the grid asking me personal questions and accusing me of staging complaints. Resilience, one of the literature review variables building success, led the charge.

The paper was finalized and turned in despite Madison College and UW Whitewater’s deliberate attempts to derail the project.

The variables of neglect and intimidation, discussed in the video featured below, shares the story of a person working for the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs that targeted me while attending school. He also conspired with his group to run my fellow Army brother Richard Harris off campus, who was our resource coordinator.

He was the president of the Veterans and Servicemembers Organization at the time. His group cultivated bullying in the veteran’s lounge. The lounge is a hostile learning environment.

The videos provide insight from the honors literature review. From 2017 to 2023, many of the barriers listed in the literature review surfaced, confirming there is a problem with universities and their handling of student veterans and service members on their campuses.

The key to becoming successful? Utilize office hours and get interpersonal with professors. They are just as scared as you. PTSD is the scarlet branding of the combat veteran. Professors are inept with handling our affairs. The honors literature review is their go to resource.

The paper seeks establishing a support group for VITAL veterans who transfer from the Madison VA Hospital.

The paper provides workshop information for effectively supporting student veterans and service members, which builds teams and leaders out of those who lack confidence through collaborative POW MIA profile investigative research.

The “I Will NOT Forget” campaign kicks off the advocacy for qualitative reporting of misconduct by parties who harass and intimidate veterans both in and out of the classroom.

The project was built between the COMM 242 Team Building and COMM 373 Leadership courses. The research seeks publication of the POW MIA issue in class projects as a means to stand up to our oppressors who forget them.

The Outpost 422 website is the future of third party mandatory affirmative action reporting. The term “VetQuity” represents the veteran and service member stake.

The road ahead seeks empowering those who serve in the classroom with POW MIA transparency and publication awareness. We must enforce our right to the freedom of academic expression no matter what.

By speaking up in multimedia, we possess the power to make change. Diversity, equity and inclusion includes the POW MIA, their families and all of us transition from the military.

We deserve equity for our service. Our buy in matters.

The path to success starts with resilience. The videos share the experience. Stay the course and never waiver. Nothing will change until we start speaking up. You can do so by filling out the contact form.

Let’s get you squared away with academic success. Your time to use your hard-earned benefits is now, but not without a community of support. The honors project is finished and now we get to work standing up to the oppressors who stall our projects and silence our voice.


The Outpost 422 registered trademark launches a new interactive podcast website called ‘Metal Cum Laude’

On Sunday May, 28, 2023, a brainstorm happened at the Rave during the Milwaukee Metal Fest event. A new approach to metal music is upon us honoring the achievements of those who attain academic success in the metal scene.

The show is called “Metal Cum Laude.” The goal for the show? Build a revitalization movement for those who want to broaden their horizon intellectually.

The show features the intellectual side of those who have a passion for post-secondary education and listen to metal. The name is trademarked as a new form of journalism called “interactive media.”

The podcast converges journalism and research writing with musicianship. The development of the brand offers tips and insights ranging from how to score an “A” to how to write a masterpiece ensemble.

Stay tuned here for more information. Keep checking back for updates.

All multimedia will be mixed and mastered through Autumn Landmine Productions.

Are you a veteran in crisis in the Oshkosh Community? Reach out here

Good afternoon-

Today, a phone call connected with the Winnebago County Crisis Center offering support to anyone who is seeking opportunities for community service or a battle buddy in times of distress.

Please fill out the contact form and let’s get you squared away. We will be pitching a proposal for a Saturday high noon police call in Menominee Park. All veterans, their families and support are welcome to participate.


FINAL PROJECT Intro to Creative Enterprise 166: Envision your creative future

Creative empowerment takes the warrior out of the battle ready mindset and leaves the war behind. Outpost 422 is transitioning into the next phase, which is a civilian readjustment writing support group sponsored by the Sacred Warrior Fellowship Inc.


Bradley J. Burt

Intro to Creative Enterprise 166 Tues./Thurs. 6:30-7:45 p.m.

Prof. Michael Betker


Envisioning a creative future

The road ahead requires building a portfolio website as a reflection of the road left behind. Despite setbacks and letdowns, titles, hardships and hangups, at least the bittersweet taste of having a $0 balance appear for the FAFSA loan exit interview. Free is free.

One can’t complain unless the cost of freedom comes at the price of losing face. I fondly recall my first meeting with my advisor. Now, all I see is her grimace when she speaks my name. I stand by my vow never to mistreat someone who served. I promise I will take my Warhawk experience and empower veterans who are lost, like I was, with the lessons of creative enterprise.

The future will magnify and echo the values of fealty to my Constitutional oath. I served and continue to serve as a multimedia journalist. The feeling is surreal knowing I never have to step foot on a jobsite or a sweaty paper mill unless I choose. Freedom is a state of higher consciousness.

The creative future I want seeks enlightenment and pursuit of creativity in connection with my fullest potential. I vow never to cower in the face of adversity. My higher self aligns with emotional intelligence and stays grounded in each moment. Living in the moment is my strength.

In each moment, I have a breath. I have life. Creativity will manifest if I focus on each task and dedicate my focus to manifesting awareness as my guide. Creativity is mindfulness and mindfulness is innateness. Through innateness, I find the value of staying empowered with my higher creative consciousness.

I will dedicate my focus and make creativity my focal point by letting the creative energy flow and use concepts like meditation and physical fitness in conjunction with journaling or doodling. Self-care is the priority.

In five years, I will travel the world seeking opportunities for creative collaboration. I plan on building creative empowerment workshops that connect those who are unable to see their true potential with the means for creative alignment. Eventually, as one ecstatic brainstorm and project development, the group will select a leader or leaders who will keep each other united.

As a leader of leaders, I will use lessons learned for opening new horizons and open minds who remain shut. As I feel the cold shoulder exiting Heide Hall, the moment passes like a newly lifted fog. Judgement has followed me each day spent learning in a space that did not welcome me. I will use the pain for building projects for channeling my grief. The burden is heavy.

My memories of Heide Hall are jaded, which are the illumination of my Jaded Patriot Press. The pain can be easily lifted when writing feature stories. The features lifted me out of the pit of despair when I began writing.

Over the next five years, I will perfect my writing craft and distribute my grief, like a spell casting shadows over my career. I did not walk away with support. Only anguish and doubt for those coming up behind me transferring from Madison College.

In 10 years, I hope the world changes its ways and sees the value of the nontraditional stake. Over the next 10 years, I will vow to keep working diligently despite the low appraisal of those who never walked a mile in my shoes, or combat boots. I will build a new term called, “VetQuity,” which will require creativity for civilian reintegration at the local Vet Center or Veterans Affairs Hospital. I am 10 times better off than when I started.

I will use creativity to keep me illuminated and will encourage all to assess their creativity with the Myers Briggs questionnaire. Free college is the art of gonzo journalism. The jaded stake is the price we pay for enduring backlash when using our benefits. Like Author Kurt Vonnegut says, “So it goes.”

I will never waste a minute recalling a dismal moment at Heide Hall. Madison College will bring me back into revitalization. For my future, I will not let adversity beat diversity. I will see the value of all who are bright enough to call themselves intellectuals and bring comedy into my creative routine for nurturing and healing. Time heals all wounds.

My time spent on the battlefield was more welcoming than Heide Hall. My tour of duty is over. But the journey to building future proteges has only just begun. I will send more like me through the system who will come out Summa Cum Laude like I did. Overcome Impossibility.


Intro to Creative Enterprise 166: Final journalism pandemic college experience reflection

For the final last-minute class assignment for our Intro to Creative Enterprise 166 course, we had to analyze Suresh Jayakar’s Ted Talk.

Jayakar shared an interesting concept he calls “design thinking.” Currently, I am using this concept for my next job working as the business director at the Madison College Clarion newspaper.

I am returning after graduation to build their interactive footers for their experimental newsletter. The job landed in my lap after reading the newspaper while eating my breakfast. For those who have never attended Madison College, the cafeteria is the best experience.

Instead of eating gut bombs from Esker Hall, we have actual chefs preparing our food. The concept came from design thinking during a survey and town hall listening session by our dean of the college.

Dr. Jack Daniels instills this concept in his learners. He wants all who attend his school have inexpensive alternatives to standard college cafeteria experiences.

I believe this idea ties into what Jayakar describes with his story about the food truck. Daniels believes in investing in the college poverty problem. Attending both schools is like night and day. The problem I experience at Whitewater that I don’t at Truax is segregation.

The segregation between traditional and nontraditional social classes broods prejudice. Like Jayakar says, “Because sometimes, traditional ways of doing things just doesn’t work.”

My biggest problem I am solving for the Clarion as their business director is innovation with new technologies based on the segregation and cultural incongruity experiences I had working for the Royal Purple. I am proposing a nontraditional brainstorm session thanks to our lessons from our creative enterprise class.

I have been in the trenches with the college since March 2020, when we had to take the broadcast platform from our server to podcast format. Students had their studio time and ran their shows.

Traditionally, the Royal Purple shut down because their staff is dominated by traditional students with no experience in the field. The Clarion ran the entire time because we had nontraditional and traditional equity and buy in.

When I worked shortly for the Royal Purple, the advisor took me from being the multimedia editor all the way to taking me off the budget without telling me why. The Royal Purple is unfriendly to people of age and disabilities.

The Clarion encourages diversity and allows nontraditional students opportunities by being a student ran press. The Royal Purple is a business.

At the Clarion, I was running meetings and have published many stories. Freedom to explore and offer ideas each week was provided by allowing all who wish to submit stories. The Royal Purple uses a niche concept and does not allow buy in from nontraditional learners.

Again, night and day. The Royal Purple’s advisor is a sports reporter who trolls stories based on his allegiance to the Greek society. His fixed mindset would not allow gonzo journalism based on his prejudice that gonzo journalism “is for druggies.” Dr. Hunter S. Thompson was a sports editor for Elgin Air Force Base and was discharged honorably.

The Clarion has no Greek buy in. The Royal Purple uses a fixed mindset. The lesson: community college will provide more opportunities in journalism than the university. Ageism runs the university press.

The point I am making? We are intellectuals, like what was shared by Jayakar. As we close, I ask all of my colleagues when you enter the field to give nontraditional employees a chance and seek their advice. Your choice could come down to shutting down or operating your investment. Shutting down is the last resort.