Farewell to the Natatorium

Memories of the Natatorium

The cinder block walls. The linoleum floors. The minimalist architectural facade. What was there not to like about the Nat? Yes, the Nat may have been utilitarian in design, but in its heart it was a great place to stay healthy, to learn from some of the best educators and researchers in the country and, prior to the advent of hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation programs, it provided a friendly, healthy place for patients in the community to come and exercise and recover from their heart events. ~Anonymous

Read about the beginning of the Natatorium here!

On a cold January night in about 1964, my future wife Jean and I had our first date at a UW swim meet at the NAT. Classes had not yet resumed following the winter holiday break when I called her and asked whether she’d be interested in going out on that cold night. We were physical education grad students and spent many hours together during the day, but had never actually dated. Not exactly a romantic place for a first date, but it “broke the ice,” literally and figuratively. We have been married for over 55 years. ~Anonymous

Read more about the history of the Natatorium here!

1960-1969

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Jerry Dempsey | PhD | Graduated 1966

What are you doing now? How did your time in Kines prepare you for your career?

Prof Emeritus

Can you recall a funny story or a fond memory of your time in the Natatorium?

Interactions with new prof Bruno Blake and Fran Nagle

What did your time at the Natatorium mean to you?

Important to my teaching career

JoAnne Safrit | Ph.D. | Graduated 1967

What are you doing now? How did your time in Kines prepare you for your career?

I came to Wisconsin in 1960, to obtain a Master’s degree in physical education. I became a scholar, and enrolled in the Ph.D program, specializing in educational measurement. I received my PhD degree in 1967, and left UW Madison for a few years, returning to the Madison campus as an Associate Professor in 1970. Many changes were to come…the two Physical Education departments merged, I was moved to the Nat. I had an office and a lab there, and great parking! I taught all my classes there. I received the Virginia Horne Henry Distinguished Professorship while there. It was a wonderful experience!

Can you recall a funny story or a fond memory of your time in the Natatorium?

I taught my classes in dresses and heels, even though elegant pant suits were in style!

What did your time at the Natatorium mean to you?

Oh, it was wonderful. Most of the men there were scholars, and I enjoyed interacting with them. It was a great period of time for my scholarly productivity.

Any other memories?

I was sad to see the Nat go, but I wasn’t surprised. It had not changed overall in many years. But I loved being there.

1970-1979

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Jerry Darda | PhD | Graduated 1972

What are you doing now? How did your time in Kines prepare you for your career?

Currently retired. I was hired full time in Fall 1964 with a half time appointment in Physical Education-Men and the other half time in Athletics. I taught swimming classes for men only since at that time the Nat was for men only and the departments were named Physical Education and were seperate for men and women. After about a decade my appointment was 100% athletics, since politically there was a desire (in now) Kinesiology to eliminate split appointments.

Can you recall a funny story or a fond memory of you time in the Natatorium?

At that time there was tremendous animosity between the Men and Women (separate) Physical Education departments and when I brought in Madison West high school female, D’Lynn Damron, for training, the opposition was fierce and numerous Male faculty tried to oust her on the basis that she was a sexual distraction for the males. With the support on Men’s Swimming coach ( there was no Womens team at the time), Jack Pettinger, we prevailed. D’Lynn went on to win the 1st ever Women’s National Collegiate diving championships ( Then under the banner of DGWS). Se narrowly missed the 1972 olympic team.

What did your time at the Natatorium mean to you?

I spent 30 years of my life in that building daily from 1964 until I retire from coaching in 1994. During the 70’s we had to raise many of our own funds for travel so we produced an annual water show including comedy diving trampoline tricks and actually pulling a water skier the length of the pool. We did this for about a decade.

Any other memories?

Although I retired from coaching in 1994, I was hired in the athletic department as the academic advisor to the football team from 1995 until 2008.

Anita Palmer | B.S | Graduated 1970, Lecturer/Advisor 1984-1988

What are you doing now? How did your time in Kines prepare you for your career?

I am a retired Physical Education teacher. I retired in 2011 after having taught for 37 years at all levels from kindergarten through college. i taught at UW-Madison in the PE & Dance program, and also in the Elective PE program, for 4 years from 1984-88. I taught a variety of professional preparation courses and supervised student teachers and practicum students. I was a PE major from 1965-70 when almost all of the women’s professional major’s classes were taught at Lathrop Hall. The women’s and men’s programs were separate until the late 1960s when we began having co-educational classes, the first being Exercise Physiology which was held at the Nat. We were still the Department of Physical Education & Dance until the early 1990s when we became the Department of Kinesiology. My experiences as a student and teacher while at the Nat prepared me to value the quality of education available at UW-Madison. I worked with many excellent faculty members, as well as with intelligent and highly motivated students. They taught ME to value excellence in teaching.

Can you recall a funny story or a fond memory of your time in the Natatorium?

A fond memory of my time at the NAT was my office that was located on the 2nd floor facing Lake Mendota. I could hear the marching band practicing in the late fall afternoons, and I could see the rowers on the lake. I called it a “million-dollar view”.

What did your time at the Natatorium mean to you?

It meant learning how to be a professional in my career and to value all of the different aspects of physical education/kinesiology, including adaptive classes, elective activity classes, how to teach teachers, research. There were, and still are, so many opportunities to learn at UW-Madison. I was fortunate to be a part of it all.

Tim Kennedy | BS Physical Education | Graduated 1970

What are you doing now? How did your time in Kines prepare you for your career?

I am now retired. The degree I earned allowed me to teach elementary physical education and coach at the high school level. I then went into the business world and the leadership qualities I learned helped me be very successful.

Can you recall a funny story or a fond memory of you time in the Natatorium?

My favorite memories had to do with taking classes from some legendary coaches – Dynie Mansfield (Baseball), Badger Bob Johnson (Hockey), George Bauer (Gymnastics), and Bud Foster (Basketball). The stories they could tell of their experiences couldn’t be topped.

What did your time at the Natatorium mean to you?

As a Physical Education major, the Nat was my home base for my college education.

Ginny Conway | BS - physical education and dance | Graduated 1978

What are you doing now? How did your time in Kines prepare you for your career?

I learned how to organize people of any age. I teach dog training and, separately, teach tai chi.

Can you recall a funny story or a fond memory of your time in the Natatorium?

I recall many a diver jumping up from the platform to touch the ceiling and trying to remove bits.

Bob Allen | BS | Graduated 1971

What are you doing now? How did your time in Kines prepare you for your career?

Long retired. It inspired my continued coaching for over 40 years.

Can you recall a funny story or a fond memory of your time in the Natatorium?

I remember being in Badger Bob Johnson’s 1st hockey class. He went on to be an NCAA champion and Stanley Cup Victor. Many of his initial Canadian recruits were in this class. His son Mark, an olympic champion, has been the Wisconsin women’s coach for many years.

What did your time at the Natatorium mean to you?

A time to analyze my blood gases on the treadmill and attend early morning swim classes. Hop in the pool and swim, get out, go to the showers and throw up, and then return to the pool to finish the class. At least it was better than swimming in the nude at the old Red Hall.

Jane Mann Gellman | BS Women's PE | Graduated 1971

Can you recall a funny story or a fond memory of your time in the Natatorium?

The Nat wasn’t for us (women). I was only there because we had exercise physiology there, the only course we had with men, and I did synchronized swimming in the pool. I know there were no hair dryers, and I think there were no women’s locker rooms, but I’m not sure about that. With no such thing as handheld hair dryers, we went home all winter with frozen hair.

Anonymous

What are you doing now? How did your time in Kines prepare you for your career?

I am retired after spending 30 years at UW…obtaining my MS and PhD, then 5 years at UW, Milwaukee. In 1980, I returned to UW-Madison as a full Professor. It was during this time that I received the first Distinguished Professorship, one of the Henry Bascom Professorship, in the then Kinesiology Department. My office was in the Nat, I taught in the Nat, and, thanks to Henry Montoye, my Measurement Lab was in the Nat.

Can you recall a funny story or a fond memory of your time in the Natatorium?

My Distinguished Professorship was one of the very few given to women on campus. It was the envy of my male colleagues. It was established by a million dollar gift to our Department by Virginia Horne Henry, who was a graduate of the Women’s PE Department!

What did your time at the Natatorium mean to you?

It was my academic home. After the merger of the two departments, I spent all of my time in the Nat.

Share other memories

After the merger of the two departments, Professor Ann Jewett and I were moved to the Nat. I was Chair of the Department, a duty that rotated among senior faculty in 3 year stints. Others stayed in that role for longer stints.

Kim Bertagnoli | BS Physical Education | Graduated 1978

What did your time at the Natatorium mean to you?

I was in the Women’s PE dept and at the time most of our courses were at Lathrop Hall. However I did play on the a women’s volleyball team and in the 70’s team practices were at the Nat as well as home games. We would pick up practice equipment downstairs and our travel bags/ uniforms there as well for games. We knew no other area for practice. It was a special place. Years later I completed a Masters degree in Cardiac Rehabilitation/ Exercise Physiology at the Nat and worked as an graduate assistant and later as a staff person at the UW Health Cardiac Rehab Program which was housed in the biodynamics lab for a number of years. There were many men (mostly) that came to rehab in their shorts and white T shirts. Eventually when I became aware enough I realized many of them were accomplished professors, doctors, and administrators at UW Madison! Some were even recognized nationally and internationally. I was humbled by the experience to work with them in their health care and they were great friends. My years experiencing these two experiences were amazing and unforgettable. I am so thankful and happy to have had them. In this respect I am sorry to see the Natatorium come down but time marches on always….

1980-1989

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Mark Vitcenda | MS Exercise Physiology | Graduated 1986

What are you doing now? How did your time in Kines prepare you for your career?

I am a retired clinical exercise physiologist, having worked 34 years in the UW Outpatient Cardiac Rehab program. I began as a “student assistant” in the program during my second year of grad school, ultimately working my way into a full-time job in the program and never left. Dr. Fran Nagle, Dr. Peter Hanson, Mike Giese, Jean Einerson were my mentors who gave me the confidence to pursue a clinical course in Exercise Phys.

Can you recall a funny story or a fond memory of your time in the Natatorium?

Several!: 1) Because we worked with heart patients, we had a defibrillator for our program. One day someone came running into our class saying that we were needed in the pool. Someone had suffered a cardiac arrest while swimming. As I approached the deck area carrying the defibrillator I noticed that one of the rescuers was my Advanced Cardiac Life Support Instructor, Frosty Girdley. How fortunate! We successfully resuscitated the gentleman (a UW professor) who eventually participated in our program and became a good friend. 2) During one of our rehab picnics, my grad school friends, our medical director, Dr. Peter Hanson, and some of our patients held a mock wedding ceremony for me and my future wife on the west lawn of the Nat. Dr. Hanson gave me away, a patient served as the official, and my colleagues were in the wedding party.

Sue Shattuc | Graduated 1983 BS/ 1987 MS

What are you doing now? How did your time in Kines prepare you for your career?

I am currently a contract grant writer. Writing my thesis certainly provided me with the best prep for this work! Specifically, Dr. Fran Nagle was my advisor and in editing my thesis he taught me the importance of eliminating prepositional phrases in my writing. Oftentimes the grants I write now require me to limit the information I provide to a particular maximum word count. The first thing I do if I go over is to rid the writing of prepositional phrases if I’ve let any sneak in!

Can you recall a funny story or a fond memory of your time in the Natatorium?

Where do I begin? I spent six years in the Nat classrooms while earning my undergrad and graduate degrees. So many memories to choose from. However one, in particular, will *never* fade – I believe it was a graduate lab class in what I’ll call applied physiology – don’t remember the name. We were learning about the effects on the body of rising temperature from exercise. The lab involved taking one’s baseline temperature and then running outside for the duration of the class and then taking it again at the end of the exercise. However, one volunteer was requested (at the very end of a class, mind you) to run inside on the treadmill WITH AN INSERTED RECTAL TEMPERATURE PROBE to track the rise of the body’s core temperature throughout the class period. Of course, no one was volunteering for that! We were actually going over the class time because the professor wasn’t going to let us go until he had that volunteer. I’m sweating it because I have to get to work at the other end of campus. Finally, I threw up my hand and said “I’ll do it!”. On that lab day in front of the class, the professor hands me the rectal probe (which is a long pliable plastic covered wire about 3/8″ round) and excuses me to the bathroom to insert it. I return to the room with this super long wire trailing me much to the joy of everyone in the room but me!!

What did your time at the Natatorium mean to you?

Everything. Simply everything. I had the most fantastic professors, met some of my best friends, and from my work in cardiac rehab when it was located in the Nat I had some of the most dear friendships with those participants. I always said I was fortunate to have 50 grandpas.

Any other memories?

Met one of my very best college friends on the first day of freshman orientation for PE majors – still one of my best friend today.

Ted Hirschfeld | BS | Graduated 1987

What are you doing now? How did your time in Kines prepare you for your career?

Working as a Licensed Athletic Trainer – My time in the former PE / Kines program prepared me well for my career as an athletic trainer.

Can you recall a funny story or a fond memory of you time in the Natatorium?

A great majority of my PE classes were at the Nat. Wound up riding my moped from Sellery Hall to the Nat daily.

What did your time at the Natatorium mean to you?

It was my “home base” for all my degree classes.

Mary Lenling | BS Occupational Therapy | Graduated 1981

What are you doing now? How did your time in Kines prepare you for your career?

My times in the Nat did not necessarily prepare me for my occupation but it did contribute to my lifelong love of exercising and swimming. I was part of the Synchronized swim team from 1975 to 1977. The workouts and training were tough and I have never held my breath for so long!!! We competed around the big ten and would do an annual show at the end of the season. Great times!

Doug Seals | MS, PhD | Graduated 1981

What are you doing now? How did your time in Kines prepare you for your career?

I am a professor of integrative physiology at CU Boulder. I obtained my MS and PhD degrees in the Biodynamics Laboratory, which prepared me for postdoctoral research training as the next step in my career development.

Can you recall a funny story or a fond memory of your time in the Natatorium?

My office was in the row of grad assistant and instructor offices in the back hallway of the building. I shared the office with 1-2 other grad students and we helped each other transition through the challenges of grad school. One of my fondest memories was the noontime pickup soccer games, which involved a mix of grad students and faculty. These pickup games were performed in the fields on the west side of the Nat. I remember during the warm weather months, especially during a wet period, you would be eaten up by mosquitos in that field even during the daytime! I also remember departing the Nat for jogs out to Picnic Point and also teaching activity classes in the upper gyms, which would get really hot during the summer. So, lots of fond memories.

Swapan Mookerjee | PhD | Graduated 1988

What are you doing now? How did your time in Kines prepare you for your career?

Professor, Department of Exercise Science, Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA. It was still the HPERD when I was there. The program was rigorous and prepared me very well for the rest of my professional career. As a TA in the PE Elective Program, I taught Aquatics, Conditioning classes. I also taught the Ex Physiology Labs for Dr. Nagle in the PE 236 class for PT students. As a Research Assistant, I spent long hours on various projects in the Biodynamics Lab and coordinated the Faculty Fitness program including stress testing all the participants.

What did your time at the Natatorium mean to you?

I practically lived in that building from 1982 – 1987. My TA office in the back of the building was my base of operations as I worked in the Biodynamics Lab, taught Aquatic Conditioning in the Pool, Conditioning in the Gym upstairs. biked daily to the SERF to teach additional PE Elective courses there. It was a very busy period in the Nat as there was a lot going on there.

Any other memories?

I made the supreme mistake of telling people that my first name, Swapan (simply pronounced as “Swo-pun”) was like Waupun, Wisconsin. So I was doomed to be addressed as “SWAA – PAAN” for the rest of my existence there and at all Badger reunions. Yes, I was aware of the midwestern penchant for stretching the “a’s” in a word or name!

Jack Raglin | PhD | Graduated 1988

What are you doing now? How did your time in Kines prepare you for your career?

I am a professor in the department of kinesiology at Indiana University, where I’ve been a faculty member for 32 years. Simply put, I would not have had the career I have enjoyed without the preparation I received at UW under Bill Morgan and the other fabulous professors in the department. And it helped that Dr. Morgan provided me with what we refer to in his program as “residue”

What did your time at the Natatorium mean to you?

I did pretty much everything but sleep there. I took classes, did research, worked out, and hung out.

Pat O'Connor | PhD | Graduated 1989

What are you doing now? How did your time in Kines prepare you for your career?

The classes and seminars from faculty who were leaders in the field (e.g., Drs. Dempsey, Morgan, Montoye, Nagle, Safrit) and research opportunities were invaluable preparation for my career as a Kinesiology professor focused on exercise and sport psychology at the University of Georgia. The robust intellectual atmosphere, including seminars given by leading researchers who were invited to visit such as George Brooks and Robert Sonstroem nurtured and matured my curiosity and those of my peers in ways that I had not imagined before attending UW-Madison.

What did your time at the Natatorium mean to you?

Beyond making several great friends and enjoying the intellectual atmosphere while earning a doctoral degree, 33 years ago I met my wife while working out on a cross-country ski machine in the Nat. So, the memory of the people and the place will always be with me and I am sad to see it go.

Kevin Gasser | BS Physical Education | Graduated 1985

What are you doing now? How did your time in Kines prepare you for your career?

I am currently the Dual Credit Coordinator at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri. I also advise new freshmen students interested in education and exercise science as well as teach Motor Development as an adjunct instructor. From 1989-2011 I was a physical education teacher primarily at the middle school level and coach at the high school level in the Madison Metropolitan School District.

Can you recall a funny story or a fond memory of your time in the Natatorium?

Walking up the stairs to the faculty office floor and knowing what faculty was in their office by seeing smoke billowing out of their office doors. Several faculty smoked in their offices in the early to mid-’80s and would continue to smoke while we would have our meetings.

What did your time at the Natatorium mean to you?

I had several professors that I fondly remember and how they impacted my life as an educator and a person Dr. Kathy Nelson taught me how to be a confident teacher. The skills I learned in several of her classes I still carry with me today. Dr. Kay Peterson, who would make sure we were proud to be “physical educators” and we should insist on being called that. According to him, we were not teaching “gym” or “PE”. I try to this day remind future teachers that they should call themselves physical educators / physical education teachers. Dr. John Olson taught me the importance of being organized and prepared when coaching and how to make adjustments in either practices or games. Dr. George Stelmach

Dan Benson | BS Physical Education | 1982

What are you doing now? How did your time in Kines prepare you for your career?

I am the Department Chair for Physical Education & Health at Homestead High School in Mequon, WI. I have taught at Homestead since 1987. I started my teaching career at West Chicago H.S. in 1983. My time in Kines prepared me for my career in so many ways that I did not understand back at UW. The relationship between human movement and wellness as it related to science was paired so well at UW but it didn’t sink in until I started to become a veteran teacher. My teachers / professors were incredible. Each one was different in their approach but all were very effective and surely kept my interest and fueled my passion for human performance and teaching.

Can you recall a funny story or a fond memory of your time in the Natatorium?

I had Dr. Fred Hatfield back in the late 1970’s for a Movement Activity class and he ranted about the invalidity of the BMI measurement test as it related to health and life insurance! He was a world renowned fitness / strength trainer and one of the most fit men I have ever known and his BMI was through the roof. I will never forget that speech he gave us! I actually could write a book with just awesome short stories from my time at UW / Kinesiology!

What did your time at the Natatorium mean to you?

It meant everything to me. I pretty much lived at that building for 4 + years! Tasking classes, playing rec. sports, working in the cardiac / human performance lab, playing outdoor volleyball and many, many other reasons to be there. I also remember going to the WIAA State Swimming Meet as a spectator because my dad was he meet referee for many years. The unreal excitement and massive crowd at that meet was so impressive.

Share other memories

Favorite / most influential instructors: Kay Petersen “”Look sharp, feel sharp, be sharp!”” He was a tremendous mentor just by example. William Morgan – I took Intro to Sports Psychology in 1979 and it might be the only class where I actually read everything that was assigned. His pioneering research and ideas had me fully invested and it is still one of my passions. I was a much better coach due to the importance of the research that he shared! Really interesting stuff and he had such a passion. JP Mullen – Exercise Physiology. A tough class that he really made manageable and fun to learn. Gordon Stoddard – Athletic Training. I came close to majoring in athletic training just because of him! As a coach I pretty much was the “”trainer”” also due to his great teaching. Finally – George Bauer… the biggest inspiration a student could want. He was ageless and the best storyteller ever.

Anonymous

The cinder block walls. The linoleum floors. The minimalist architectural facade. What was there not to like about the Nat? Honestly, despite it’s appearance, I have many fond memories of the Nat–my “home away from home” for 5 years during my graduate studies. As a grad student in Exercise Physiology, a TA for several PE classes, and an employee of the UW Cardiac Rehabilitation program that was housed in the Biodynamics Lab, I spent most of my waking hours in that building. Many of my graduate-level courses were in the front rooms, where the morning sunlight kept me awake during early winter classes. I taught beginning and intermediate volleyball upstairs in the gyms, swimming classes in the pool, and first aid/CPR in Gym 6. As a grad student I also participated as a subject in many doctoral research projects in human exercise physiology and psychology that were held in various research labs within the building. I also used the pool for my own physical and mental health and competed in several volleyball tournaments held in the gyms. My most cherished memories were working in the cardiac rehabilitation program. One of the first of its kind in the country (developed by Dr. Bruno Balke), we initially were situated in the Biodynamics Lab in the “heart” of the first floor. No windows, a small shower/locker-room area, an in-ground treadmill, and a few bikes were all we had. The patients used the upstairs gyms for running and walking during inclement weather and for vigorous–and sometimes heated–games of volleyball. The program expanded its reach within the community and needed more space and we later moved to Gym 6. We got more equipment and installed an air conditioner to keep the room cool during summer heatwaves. (We joked with the patients that the chain-link enclosures across the windows were not meant to keep them from escaping.) During nice weather, we used the volleyball court on the east side for our cooldown games and the loop around the creek on the west side of the building as a running/walking path. The west lawn also served as our annual summer picnic area for the patients, where we handed out awards for attendance, most miles run, and best attitude. The program continued to grow and ultimately became a clinic under University Hospital and Clinics, and in 1987 we moved to what is now the Whole Foods location on University Avenue, thus ending our stay on the UW campus. Later, during my professional years as an exercise physiologist with the UW Health Preventive Cardiology Program, I came back to the Nat twice yearly to introduce myself and our cardiac rehab program to interested Kinesiology undergrads who needed a clinical practicum experience. For me, these visits were always like coming back to the nest–to see young, enthusiastic students excited to experience “the real world” and use the knowledge they received in the Nat. Yes, the Nat may have been utilitarian in design, but in its heart it was a great place to stay healthy, to learn from some of the best educators and researchers in the country and, prior to the advent of hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation programs, it provided a friendly, healthy place for patients in the community to come and exercise and recover from their heart events.

Anonymous

What are you doing now? How did your time in Kines prepare you for your career?

I am a retired Physical Education teacher. I graduated from UW-Madison in 1980 and had my first year of classes at Lathrop Hall. We moved most of our classes to the Nat in 1977 except for our dance classes. The strong motor development clases with Halverson and Roberton along with the emphasis o the Laban Movement Framework were instrumental in the way I taught for over 35 years.

Can you recall a funny story or a fond memory of your time in the Natatorium?

Motor development lab, relaxation classes, posture pictures and the pool at Lathrop. The outdoor fields and gymnasium space at the Nat and using the under-water weighing tank at the Nat (I hyperventilated and they had to bring me up several times before it worked!). The long, cold walk to the Nat from the main campus area . . . but stopping for oatmeal chocolate cookies at the stand on University Avenue and for icecream at Babcock hall! I also participated in rec sports with my dorm floor, officiated volleyball at the Nat and water polo at the Red Gym (canvas hung for walls in the “locker rooms!). Fondest memories are of the passion that our instructors had and the close-knit group of undergrads since we were a small program! I just went for a hike with one of my classmates (and roommates!) last week – we try and get together a few times a year. She taught PE in Wisconsin for over 35 years also.

1990-1999

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Gwen Ward | Occupational Therapy | 1991

“I swam at the Nat as a child in the late ’70’s-mid ’80’s. State swimming was always held there. Loved that pool, always swam well there. Then my dream came true when I was able to Lifeguard there as a student at UW! Favorite pool for swimming & lifeguarding in my career! Incredible, wonderful memories!”

2000-2009 Graduates

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Nicole Uttech | BS Kines | Graduated 2000

What are you doing now? How did your time in Kines prepare you for your career?

I’m in my 20th year teaching PE for KUSD and 18th year in my current building teaching elementary PE. The wonderful staff, practicum at local schools and clubs, extracurricular activities, and curriculum made me a very well rounded physical educator!

Can you recall a funny story or a fond memory of your time in the Natatorium?

My favorite classes were those taught by Tim Gattenby. His classes were fun, down to earth, real-life experiences that I will never forget!

What did your time at the Natatorium mean to you?

I lived on Lakeshore nearly my time at UW because it was convenient to the Nat!

Stacey Brickson | PhD | Graduated 2002

What are you doing now? How did your time in Kines prepare you for your career?

To say I’ve had a career path is a bit oxymoronic. It’s been more of a round about with short travels down every avenue, only to find myself back in the center circle. After my two post-docs, I dabbled in industry, was an Assistant Professor in the Dept of Ortho teaching in the PT program, was a scientist in the UW Human Performance Lab, started a private Physical Therapy practice, and found my way back to the classroom at Madison Area Technical College. My time in Kines, and exposure to people who care so much about growth rather that titles, gave me the confidence to get off the path and enjoy the round about.

Can you recall a funny story or a fond memory of your time in the Natatorium?

I was doing a post-doc in Dr. Gary Diffee’s lab, using an expensive custom piece of equipment to test single cardiac muscle cells. I was told to be “very careful”, and I was… until I wasn’t. Dr. Diffee assured me that these things happen once to everyone (although I couldn’t find evidence of a previous disaster). Fortunately, he had a back up muscle rig, so our research didn’t come to a halt during repairs, which took several months and thousands of dollars. Back in the saddle, I fired up a cardiac muscle cell, only to break the back up rig. With my head in my hands, tears rolling down my cheeks, sitting on the stairs to the basketball court, Dr. Greg Cartee stopped to comfort me. “What’s wrong” he asked. “I broke the rig”, I admitted. “That’s ok. Dr. Diffee has a back up.” Me- “that was the backup”. Dr. Cartee, “Oh”.

What did your time at the Natatorium mean to you?

How can one grow so much within the confines of interior concrete windowless walls? It goes to show that it is not the physical space around us, but the people who fill that space which give us the tools we need to grow. While each phase of my life has been a tremendous gift, I look back at my time as a graduate school in the Department of Kinesiology as being the most pivotal for realizing the importance of working hard, playing hard, giving back and paying it forward.

What did your time at the Natatorium mean to you?

It meant learning how to be a professional in my career and to value all of the different aspects of physical education/kinesiology, including adaptive classes, elective activity classes, how to teach teachers, research. There were, and still are, so many opportunities to learn at UW-Madison. I was fortunate to be a part of it all. ~Anita Palmer 1970

Though  I was a student long before the Nat, my experiences at the university provided me with a life of teaching, of performing, of student orientations.  I enjoyed and thank the University for my education and love of what I did with my life. ~ Marcia Ann Barratt Murray

What did your time at the Natatorium mean to you?

Everything. Simply everything. I had the most fantastic professors, met some of my best friends, and from my work in cardiac rehab when it was located in the Nat I had some of the most dear friendships with those participants. I always said I was fortunate to have 50 grandpas. ~Sue Shattuc 1983