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Alumni, business award recipients named at CVTC Gala

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Alumni, business award recipients named at CVTC Gala

one man, two women award winners

CVTC Foundation and Alumni presented alumni and business awards to, from left, Dustin Goodman, CVTC Respiratory Therapy instructor, as the Outstanding Recent Alumni; Kelly Bakken, Altoona Police Department chief of police, as the Distinguished Alumni; and to Amy Olson, Nursing Education Specialist with Mayo Clinic Health System, on behalf of the health care system for Proven Business Partner.

As a business with a longstanding history of caring for not only communities in west-central Wisconsin, but for students of health care programs as well, Mayo Clinic Health System has been named Chippewa Valley Technical College’s Proven Business Partner for 2024.

The award was presented Thursday, Feb. 22, at CVTC’s annual Gala. Also honored were Dustin Goodman, CVTC Respiratory Therapy instructor, as the Outstanding Recent Alumni; and Kelly Bakken, Altoona Police Department chief of police, as the Distinguished Alumni.

Mayo Clinic Health System, Proven Business Partner

Like CVTC, Mayo Clinic celebrates longstanding success in the region. Part of that success is because of the partnership the two organizations appreciate with each other. 

Amy Olson, Nursing Education Specialist with Mayo Clinic Health System, said of its 5,000 employees in northwestern Wisconsin, more than 1,100 are CVTC alumni.  

“CVTC has a longstanding history of providing graduates who are ready to enter the workforce,” Olson said. “Mayo Clinic knows with every CVTC applicant that we see these individuals have been prepared with industry-ready, up-to-date curriculum and are ready to excel in the workforce.” 

Mayo Clinic and CVTC collaborate to provide clinical access for student learning and growth opportunities, but the partnerships go beyond in terms of what alumni do once they become Mayo Clinic employees. Many of those employees serve on alumni and foundation boards and advisory committees for the College. 

“We deeply value the opportunities to be innovative and grow clinical research and learning opportunities,” Olson said. 

Olson said the Proven Business Partner recognition from CVTC “solidifies the partnerships that we have valued for years. Being a Proven Business Partner with CVTC is an honor and something we truly cherish,” she said.

Kelly Bakken, Distinguished Alumni

Bakken was interested in law enforcement before she graduated from Alma high school. She had family members in emergency services and felt compelled to explore the career, which brought her to CVTC. 

The now Altoona Police Chief completed the two-year criminal justice program in 1998 and right after graduation, entered the law enforcement academy. 

“Looking back on it, it was a fantastic experience,” Bakken said. “The instructors were super friendly. A lot of people helped me build my career, but really looking back on it, it was the foundation that CVTC gave me that helped me build a solid foundation for what has been a long career in law enforcement.” 

In her nearly 26 years working in the law enforcement field, she has worked in corrections, served as  a patrol officer, a detective, captain of patrol and investigations, spent time working in police and sheriff’s departments, and she also worked as chief of police for Black River Falls. 

“The best part about being chief is getting to mold those new officers to be the best they can be as leaders in our community,” she said. “It’s what we do as a team here. It’s a team effort, and I have a great team.” 

Bakken gives back to CVTC by sitting on the Criminal Justice Advisory Committee and the Foundation Board. She is proud of that work.  

“It’s really about student success – making sure that the students have the tools to succeed, and that the College has the ability to provide that,” Bakken said. “CVTC is providing a service to our community.” 

Dustin Goodman, Outstanding Recent Alumni

Goodman has worked as a respiratory therapist for two local hospitals, for a specialty hospital in Madison, was an ECMO specialist for UW Health and the University of Minnesota Medical Center, and was a traveling respiratory therapist during the start of COVID-19. But he considers himself home now that he’s a full-time instructor at CVTC.

As a 2016 graduate of CVTC, Goodman said he’s a champion for his alma mater. 

“Our program is so strong. It has strong competencies and checks and balances,” he said of CVTC’s Respiratory Therapy program. “It set me up for success. When I got hired at UW back in the day, they were ecstatic to have a CVTC grad.”

As he works to inspire students at CVTC, the Fall Creek High School graduate is also a student right now as he works on earning his bachelors degree online from Boise State University. 

But Goodman isn’t resting on his laurels. 

He’s involved in Wisconsin’s respiratory therapy organization, taking his first position a year out of college on the board of directors. He also held two terms as vice president, and now he serves as a delegate.

“I want to make this profession better for the next generation,” Goodman said. “I want to teach the next generation to be that patient advocate. We have a voice. We’re not treating numbers or diseases, we’re treating people.”


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