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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center

Volunteer Recognition

2016 Awards

Past Award Recipients

2016 Awards

2016 Award Recipients

Left to Right: Jack Larson; Gundersen Health System, Michael Richards; McHugh Excavating, Mike Wiczek; Suzanne Harris; MVAC Director, Tim McAndrews











James P. Gallagher Award in Archaeology Excellence – Gundersen Health System

Michael RichardsGundersen Health System has received the 2016 James P. Gallagher Award for Archaeological Excellence in recognition of its proactive and constructive approach to planning and implementing numerous development projects within an archaeological sensitive area of the City of La Crosse. Gundersen staff have incorporated archaeological concerns at every stage of project planning, developing strategies in advance and, when unexpected discoveries have been made, working with multiple parties to adjust project schedules and approaches. Gundersen’s approach to this entire process has been exemplary. The award was received by Michael Richards, Gundersen Health System Executive Director of Government Relations and External Affairs.

Regional Archaeology Award – Suzanne Harris

The 20Suzanne Harris16 Regional Archaeology Award was given to Suzanne Harris for her important contributions to MVAC. As a UWL student in MVAC’s early years, Suzanne took part in significant local projects. More recently, she has worked with staff, students, and crew to greatly enhance MVAC’s ability to conduct sensitive work on burial sites and human remains. Other recent contributions include LiDAR research on mound locations, work with regional collections, and preservation and management of archaeologically and ecologically sensitive land in Vernon County.

Archaeology Education Award – Jack Larson

Jack LarsonJack Larson received the 2016 Archaeology Education Award. Jack is known as “Blueberry Jack” when he demonstrates flintknapping at fur-trade rendezvous, local libraries, and Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center, where he is a board member. Jack shares his expertise with avocational and professional archaeologists and the public, and delights in showing how tools made of copper, bone, antler and stone are used to make projectile points and other tools. Jack organized a flintknapping event at Norskedalen and included participants in MVAC’s Public Field Survey, and has also taught flintknapping at MVAC’s Public Field School at the Skumsrud Heritage Site.



Special Recognition: McHugh Excavating

Mike WiczekMcHugh Excavating received a 2016 Special Recognition Award for the company’s outstanding work on sensitive archeological sites in the City of La Crosse. Uncovering archaeological sites with heavy equipment is a challenge, especially when the remains are fragile and their locations are unpredictable. McHugh’s cooperation in scheduling and their exceptional operators helped MVAC to successfully locate and recover fragile remains in two major projects this year. The award was received by Mike Wiczek, Division Manager for McHugh Excavating.

2016 Support and Volunteer Recognition

The following friends have providing in-kind donations and volunteer services.

Rich Althaus Joe Kastantin
Joe & Sheila Ambrose Karen Kilby
Andrew Anklam Garson Leith
Connie Arzigian Frank Lightfoot
Mike Bednarchuk Jim Losinski
Jay & Amanda Bittner Dan & Judy Maas
Loren & Margaret Cade Tim McAndrews
Dave Christensen Bill Meyer
Ethan Clark David Moore
Jaremy Cobble Daniel Orlowski
Andrew Craft Akanksha Pachpinde
Jean Dowiasch Keith & Sharon Scearce
Braedon Graw Jacquelyn Schnabl
Brian Graw Sarah Schultz
Brianna Graw Jaelyn Stebbins
Georgene Graw Betty Steele, Susan, Walter & Sue- Nicole and Jake
Ron Graw Kathy Stevenson
Bill Gresens Phyllis Stevenson
Nick Gresens Hoyt & Jeanine Strandberg
Wendy Holtz-Leith Jerry Swim
Ron & Marie Howard Sue Swim
Gene & Jeanne Hynek Jim Theler
Bonnie Jancik Vicki Twinde-Javner
Jim Jordan Guy Wittenburg

Past Award Recipients


James P. Gallagher Award in Archaeology Excellence

2016 Gundersen Health System
2015 City of Onalaska
2014 Ruthann Benson
2013 Joseph A. Tiffany
2012 A-1 Excavating, Inc.
2011 Constance M. Arzigian
2010 Prairie Sand & Gravel, Inc.
2009 James L. Theler
2008 Carole McGinley Edland
2007 Katherine Stevenson
2006 Kathleen Brosius
2005 Bill Gresens
2004 John Magerus
2003 Elmwood Partners
2002 James P. Gallagher
2001 Susan Motschman
2000 Robert Thorud
1999 Richard Hilliker
1998 Dr. Adolf Gunderson
1997 Ernie Boszhardt
1996 Frank Linder
1995 Jim Terman
1994 University of Wisconsin – La Crosse Sociology/Archaeology Department
1993 Wisconsin River Power Company
1992 Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company
1991 Gunderson Clinic
1990 United Fund for the Arts and Humanities
1989 Charles D. Gelatt
1988 Charles F. Mathy
1987 University of Wisconsin – La Crosse Foundation


Regional Archaeology Award

2016 Suzanne Harris
2015 Gene and Jeanne Hynek
2014 Jay Bittner
2013 Robert “Bob” Halseth
2012 Dan and Judy Maas
2011 Mississippi Valley Conservancy
2010 Todd and Andrea Trocinski Family
2009 Robert Keiper
2008 John Ebersold
2007 James Losinski
2006 Fort Crawford Museum
2005 Mauston Panther Spirit Mound Project
2004 Steve Allen
2003 Todd Murphy
2002 Dan Wendt
2001 Bill Schneller
2000 Daniel Arnold
1999 Craig Malven
1998 Al Reed
1997 Jeff Woodward
1996 Todd Reichert
1995 LeVern DeVries
1994 Loren Cade
1993 Betty Steele
1992 Harland Stone
1991 Bill Gresens
1990 Paul Wiste
1989 Gary Steele
1988 Tim Blumentritt
1987 Steven Raith


Archaeology Education Award

2016 Jack Larson
2015 Marilyn Burkhart
2014 Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center
2013 Loren and Margaret Cade
2012 Robert and Gretchen Chalsma
2011 John Morris
2010 Bill Gresens
2009 Robert “Ernie” Boszhardt
2008 James L. Theler
2007 Effigy Mounds National Monument
2006 Jim and Donna Rankin
2004 Susan Motschman
2003 LeVern DeVries
2002 James P. Gallagher
2001 Greg Walsko
2000 School on the River, Longfellow Middle School, La Crosse, Wisconsin
1999 Carol Ziff
1998 Onalaska Middle School – 6th Grade Teachers
1997 Betty Hembd-Steele
1996 City of La Crosse Park and Recreation Department
1995 La Crosse North Woods Elementary School
1994 Marilyn Van Wyk
1993 Cooperative Educational Service Agency District #4
1992 La Crosse School District


Special Awards

2016 Special Recognition: McHugh Excavating
2013 Distinguished Service Award: George Garvin
2007 Distinguished Service Award: Dairyland Power Cooperative
2006 Common Ground Award: Chloris Lowe
2005 Common Ground Award:  Jay Toth
2004 Distinguished Service Award: John and Otto Swennes
2003 Distinguished Service Award: Jason Gilman
2001 Common Ground Award:  Ho Chunk Historic Preservation Office
Distinguished Service Award: City of La Crosse
1999 Special Award:  Connie Arzigian
Distinguished Service Awards:  Timme, Inc., and Mead and Hunt, Inc.
1998 Common Ground Award:  Merlin Red Cloud Jr.
Distinguished Service Awards:  Dean Wilder and Paul Stoelting
1997 Salute: Jim Gallagher
1995 Salute: Bill Gresens
1994 Salute: Jim Theler