Author: Ann Laatsch '88

Published Date: 7/9/2021

Categories: Alumni

Ann Laatsch
Dear Pio friends,

The past 16 months have given many of us the unanticipated opportunity to consider the importance of connection in our lives. Like everyone else, my world became very small. While I will always be grateful for the chance to have deepened friendships with my small pandemic pod, and to have discovered new, creative ways to connect safely with others, nothing is as satisfying as hugging a parent, a long overdue, in-person heart-to-heart, or laughing-til-you-cry in a room full of people you love. As I count the days (28!) until my first girls getaway in more than a year, I am thankful that Carroll brought five of the seven of us together. And I reflect on the relationships and partnerships Carroll has fostered not only among its students, but throughout the region.

Despite the pandemic-related challenges of the 2020-21 school year, Carroll has continued to expand its presence by establishing partnerships that will serve students, the community, and the university for years to come.

In March, Carroll announced its new Sport Performance Institute, a partnership between the College of Health Sciences and the university’s athletic programs. The Carroll University Sport Performance Institute (CUSPI) is dedicated to enhancing sport performance and the advancement of sport science through service, education, and research. The CUSPI's practical work and research endeavors cover a range of activities, such as testing and monitoring Carroll athletes, educating sport scientists and coaches, and completing applied and translational research projects.

Carroll University and the School District of Waukesha kicked off a new partnership during Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 7-13, 2020) to rev up student interest in computer coding at the grade-school level. Over 1,125 students in more than 40 classrooms across Grades 3-5 signed up for the virtual launch of the program on Dec. 9. School of Education students have developed self-paced educational modules that will be available to Waukesha students via the Blackboard program.

In November, Carroll celebrated its recently opened Idea Lab with a new slate of programs for regional business leaders. Based in Carroll’s Frontier Hall, the Idea Lab is home to the Analytics and Business Intelligence Consortium (ABIC) at Carroll’s School of Business.

ABIC’s goal is to create mutually beneficial, meaningful partnerships between businesses and Carroll, with the university providing talented scholars and expert business faculty to projects that provide invaluable, experiential learning for students.

A new agreement between Carroll University and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville will allow Carroll students to earn Bachelor of Science degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering without ever leaving southeast Wisconsin. Carroll students will complete UW-Platteville engineering courses in an online format through UW-Platteville Engineering Partnerships (UW-PEP).

These external partnerships are tangible evidence of Carroll’s commitments to providing students with practical learning opportunities beyond the classroom walls, as well as being a dynamic and innovative presence in the region. But since I’m writing this on behalf of the Alumni Council, I’d be remiss if I didn’t suggest ways that you as Carroll graduates might partner with the university in smaller but equally meaningful ways. Perhaps you’d consider being a guest speaker in a classroom, volunteering at an alumni event, developing internships or job placement opportunities for students, or even hosting an alumni event. If any of those opportunities are of interest, please contact the Office of Alumni Engagement at 262-524-7237 or

Thank you, and I hope to re-connect with you at an alumni event in the near future!

Ann Laatsch '88
Panoramic View of campus