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Business Master’s Bridge Certificate: An important new program for international students

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater College of Business and Economics is pleased to announce it now offers a Business Master’s Bridge Certificate for international students, which fills a critical gap for students with a three-year undergraduate degree from universities in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Sri Lanka and other non-Bologna Process countries.

While a four-year undergraduate degree is a prerequisite for most graduate programs in the United States, three-year degrees from universities within the European Higher Education Area are usually accepted by means of the Bologna Declaration and Bologna Process. However, students with degrees granted from non-Bologna Process universities (outside the European Higher Education Area) typically cannot enroll directly into a graduate degree program in the United States.

The new Business Master’s Bridge Certificate from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater was designed to span this gap with 30 credits, versus 60 credits for a second undergraduate degree to meet graduate program requirements. Prospective students apply to the certificate and graduate programs concurrently. Those accepted to the certificate program are provided with a letter of conditional admission to the graduate program, which is contingent upon completion of the certificate. The bridge certificate program may also satisfy graduate program prerequisites, such as common body of knowledge credits.

Because UW-Whitewater’s College of Business and Economics is AACSB-accredited, students can be confident of the quality and value of their degree. AACSB is the most rigorous business school accreditation worldwide, and only 5% of business schools in the world earn this prestigious accreditation. This distinction conveys high-quality curriculum, faculty, research, innovation and engagement.

International students can also be assured of a safe, supportive environment when they choose UW-Whitewater. The university has an expert team – including staff from the School for Graduate Studies, College of Business and Economics graduate advising office, and Center for Global Education – available to guide students every step of the way. The university’s English Language Academy reinforces the inclusive nature of the campus. And the City of Whitewater is a welcoming community that blends university life with small town character.

Learn more about the Business Master’s Bridge Certificate today.


Graduate students engage during a leadership development course. (UW-Whitewater Photo/Craig Schreiner)

UW-Whitewater students line the stage with flags from their home countries at the close of the International Dinner.  The International Dinner on Friday, March 4, 2016 at the UW-Whitewater University Center concluded International Education Week activities.  (UW-Whitewater Photo/Craig Schreiner)

UW-Whitewater students line the stage with flags from their home countries at the end of the International Dinner, concluding International Education Week activities. (UW-Whitewater Photo/Craig Schreiner)


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DBA Student Spotlight: John Muraski, M.S., MBA, PMP

The DBA Student Spotlight series highlights individual stories from within our Doctorate of Business Administration cohorts, representing diverse backgrounds, experiences and aspirations.

DBA Student John Muraski

(UW-Whitewater photo/Jonathon Kelley)


John Muraski, M.S., MBA, PMP

Senior Lecturer | University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh College of Business

September 2017 (anticipated)

Climbing Mount Everest

Seven years ago, the 30-person consulting practice John Muraski co-owned was helping a professional sports organization create its vision statement. Inspired to define his own vision, he realized his path would lead to academia when that statement became, “To engage, educate and enable others.”

John decided to take a year off from consulting to teach at the university level. He began as an adjunct professor at UW-Oshkosh and transitioned to full-time lecturer soon after, but he quickly realized his potential would be limited without a terminal degree. After researching Ph.D. programs, he knew he could not commit to a full-time, onsite program for several years. Frustrated and at a crossroads, John was relieved to learn that the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater was launching a cohort model Doctorate of Business Administration program that was designed to only take three years.

Though he considered learning to be a hobby and described himself as a lifelong learner, the program truly challenged John. In fact, he called the pursuit his “personal Mount Everest.” He routinely put in about 40 hours of work a week during the first year of coursework, but whittled this down to 30 hours a week in the second year.

John was surprised by how much he continued to learn during the dissertation process. In addition to refining his writing skills, he has been learning theory and methodology. And although he checks in with his DBA mentor weekly, the dissertation process is completely self-directed, requiring greater self-discipline.

He admitted that he could not have persevered without the whole-hearted love, support and tolerance of his family. John explained, “It’s tough and it’s rigorous. It’s not just another master’s degree or a series of courses you take.” He stressed, “You aren’t there to receive. You’re there to contribute and lead. You’re taught how to create knowledge. Above and beyond good learning skills, you need to acquire good leadership skills.”

He added that he wouldn’t have been successful without the exceptional DBA faculty at UW-Whitewater. He explained, “They push you. They take your brain out for a test drive and it’s supposed to be tough. But they also want to enable you to succeed.”

DBA Student John Muraski

John Muraski (left) relates, “The DBA program is not just another master’s degree. You aren’t there to receive. You’re there to contribute and lead.” (UW-Whitewater photo/Craig Schreiner)

John’s cohort has also been integral to his success. A number of the DBA students stayed on campus or in town during the session weekends. As a result the group cooked together, went out together and formed a strong support network. In fact, he felt that those who went home in the evenings may have missed the full benefit of an intensive, immersive learning environment with fewer outside distractions.

When asked for words of advice to anyone considering a DBA, he shared, “The DBA isn’t a mountain you climb because it’s there. It’s a pinnacle of learning how to learn. It’s a pinnacle of being a social scientist. You need to have a desire to learn, commitment to follow through, and belief that you can succeed.”

John looks forward to reaching the summit of this academic challenge and living out his vision of engaging, educating and enabling others.

Learn more about the UW-Whitewater Doctorate of Business Administration program.



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Human Resource Management program honored with prestigious award

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater College of Business and Economics was recognized for its outstanding Certificate Program with Emphasis on HR at’s 2017 LEAD (Leadership Excellence and Development) conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Each year this conference draws esteemed executives and experts from around the country, and the awards celebrate exceptional leadership and innovations in developmental programs.CertificateProgramEmphasisOnHr

UW-Whitewater’s Certificate in Human Resource Management features graduate-level courses that are offered both online and on-campus to accommodate adult learner schedules and preferences. The program is designed to provide current and aspiring human resource professionals with industry-specific knowledge and competencies in several key areas. In addition to the certificate program, UW-Whitewater’s MBA students may also pursue an emphasis in human resources.

Management Department Chair and Professor Jon Werner shared, “The Human Resource Management Certificate is an excellent opportunity for HR professionals who don’t have a degree in human resource management to bolster their resumes and advance their careers. And for individuals not currently working in HR, the graduate certificate credential will aid their career transition.”

Werner continued, “What’s really great is how the certificate and MBA emphasis complement each other. While the certificate requires a few more credits than the emphasis does, it can have a more immediate impact on a student’s resume while they work toward their longer-range MBA goal.”

Associate Dean Paul Ambrose was excited about the LEAD award distinction. Asked about the program’s future, Ambrose related, “We will continue to maintain a high-quality program that addresses the needs of adult learners, both in terms of relevance and delivery. He emphasized, “Because these courses are part of our highly-ranked, AACSB-accredited online program, learners can be confident of the curriculum’s quality and timeliness.”

Information on the Certificate in Human Resource Management course offering and application process can be found at

LEAD 2017 Award

( photo)


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New Feature: DBA Student Spotlight

We are pleased to introduce a new series of stories from the UW-Whitewater College of Business and Economics: DBA Student Spotlight. The Doctorate of Business Administration cohorts feature a rich variety of backgrounds, circumstances and aspirations. Though each student is striving toward the same degree completion goal, their individual paths and hurdles have been unique, and their efforts to stay the course are inspirational.

Amelia Ruzzo, DBA Student

(UW-Whitewater photo/Jonathon Kelley)


Amelia Ruzzo

Information Technology Executive | Thermo Fisher Scientific

September 2017 (anticipated)

From defense contracting to defending a dissertation

Amelia Ruzzo has spent nearly 20 years with companies in high-tech industries such as defense, mining, information technology, industrial automation and scientific research. Reflecting on what she had achieved in her career and what she aspired to do in the future, she realized her goals centered on teaching and motivating others and that she wanted to transition to an academic career.

Having held high-level executive roles in fast-paced, high-stress environments, Amelia felt prepared for the rigors of the DBA program. That said, the sheer volume of reading and other coursework required was overwhelming at times. Describing her survival strategy, she shared, “Learn how to tread water. You have to identify what’s most pertinent and critical, because you won’t be able to do absolutely everything.”

In addition to coping strategies, she has relied on a tremendous support network that includes her husband, who also works in defense contracting in the greater Washington, D.C. area, as well as her fellow cohort members, whom she holds in very high regard.

Her confidence shines through on the subject of her dissertation, “Using the Gold Lease Rate as a Risk-Free Rate,” which was largely inspired by her experience working for a gold mining company and observations of the federal government’s struggle to stimulate the economy. When Amelia defended her proposal, she emphasized, “It is extremely important to have more reliable macroeconomic models that help guide our policymakers and chief economists.”

DBA Student Amelia Ruzzo

Amelia Ruzzo (right) shares her viewpoint with Angel Chatterton and other classmates (UW-Whitewater photo/Craig Schreiner)

Amelia earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, majoring in management of computer systems. She followed this with a Master of Science in management of technology from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Describing the DBA faculty at UW-Whitewater, she said, “The faculty is first class. They are interesting, current and articulate.”

She related that the experience as a whole had been a long, but satisfying journey. She elaborated, “The DBA program has been extremely rewarding because it accelerates learning by exposure to advanced research techniques that involve drawing from a student’s previous professional involvement.”

Like many endings, the completion of the DBA journey will mark an exciting new beginning. Amelia intends to embark on a new career in academia or government to leverage her advanced researching skills.

Learn more about the UW-Whitewater Doctorate of Business Administration program.


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Free VITA tax clinic returns to UW-Whitewater



Returning for the 2017 filing season, the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater will provide free tax help and free electronic filing of 2016 federal and Wisconsin tax returns for full-year Wisconsin resident taxpayers with low to moderate levels of income.

VITA will be open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. from January 28 through April 12. Note that the tax clinic will be closed March 18, March 22 and March 25. No appointments are needed; it is first come, first served.

Staffed by IRS-certified student preparers and supervised by faculty in the Department of Accounting, the program offers critical hands-on experience for students. And UW-Whitewater hopes to increase the number of returns processed and filed in 2017.

Robert Meyers, accounting department lecturer and program contact, relates, “We’re excited to have increased capacity this year. Based on additional training and streamlined processes, we’ll be able to help a lot more people.”

VITA is located in Timothy J. Hyland Hall, room 1001, across from parking lot 7 on Starin Road. On Wednesdays, stop at the Visitor’s Center on Starin Road (drive-thru on the north side of the building), tell them you are there for the VITA tax clinic and ask for a temporary parking permit. Park in Lot 7 in any non-metered spot. On Saturdays, simply park in Lot 7.

Map and schedule >>

Important notes:

Please review the supporting document that taxpayers should bring to VITA:

  • Photo identification
  • Valid social security cards for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents
  • Birth dates for taxpayer, spouse and dependents
  • Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, from all employers
  • All Forms 1099 (e.g., interest and dividend income statements)
  • All Forms 1098 (e.g., statements of tuition and student loan interest paid)
  • All Forms 1095 (e.g., forms relating to health insurance coverage).
  • If you received an exemption from the Health Insurance Marketplace, your exemption certification number.
  • Total paid for day care, as well as day care provider’s address and identifying number
  • Other relevant information about income and expenses
  • A Renters Certificate (completed by your landlord) or your 2016 property tax bill for your residence if you believe you are eligible for the Wisconsin Homestead Credit
  • Estimate of out-of-state purchases you made in 2016 on which you paid no Wisconsin sales or use tax (e.g., purchases through Amazon)
  • A copy of last year’s federal and Wisconsin returns, if available
  • A voided check for bank routing and account numbers for direct deposit

If you have further questions, you may email the VITA Site Coordinator at or leave a message at 262-472-5449.

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Hyland Hall
809 W. Starin Road
Whitewater, WI 53190

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