2024-25 nicolet college student ambassadors

Nicolet College Announces 2024-25 Student Ambassadors


Every year, Nicolet College and the Nicolet College Foundation select student ambassadors to represent the voice and interests of the student body. From a large group of qualified candidates, ambassadors for the 2024-25 academic year were recently selected: Culinary Arts student Becky Visser Breezer will serve as the Nicolet College Student Ambassador and Welding student James Kieweg will serve as the Nicolet College Foundation Student Ambassador.

Nicolet College President Kate Ferrel said, "Becky and James have the spirit of resilience and determination that we aim to foster in all our students at Nicolet College. Their stories are a testament to the transformative power of education and the support systems we have in place. We're incredibly proud to have them represent Nicolet College as ambassadors."

Visser Breezer, a Minocqua resident enrolled in the Culinary Arts program, was nominated by her instructor Mitch Below, who said she embodies pride and respect in and out of the classroom.

“Becky continually takes charge in class, leading her fellow students and helping when things get busy,” Below said. “She represents our culinary program wonderfully and she also is a model student for the entire campus.”

Despite a mysterious neurological event that rendered Visser Breezer unable to walk only three years ago, she recovered after many hospital visits and tests with a great deal of grit and tenacity. Now, her goal is to complete the Culinary Arts program and open a barbecue food truck after she graduates next year.

“Cooking is my way of bringing me and my energy into this world,” Visser Breezer said. “Seeing people eat my food really makes me feel good, especially when they’re enjoying it.”

She added that her culinary instructors have opened her eyes to exploring new ways of thinking when it comes to sourcing quality food products and composting waste. Her goal is to use that knowledge gained and apply it to her future business model.

Foundation Ambassador Kieweg is a Rhinelander resident pursuing a welding technical diploma. He was nominated by his success coach, Tyler Ruppert, who said Kieweg’s inspirational story makes him a good representative of the Nicolet College Foundation.

“James overcame a lot in life and came to Nicolet College looking for a new start,” Ruppert said. "He works extremely hard and puts in extra hours that many students would not."

In fall of 2022, Kieweg was in a car accident that resulted in the amputation of his left foot and the loss of the use of his right eye. He spent months in and out of the hospital recovering. A series of unfortunate circumstances left him homeless soon after he was fitted for his first prosthetic, but that did not stop Kieweg from chasing his dreams.

With support from the Nicolet College Foundation and other community resources, Kieweg was able to get back on track. He found employment, housing, and even started the Welding program less than a year after his accident. The Nicolet College Foundation is helping to support Kieweg through emergency financial assistance and scholarships. His story serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for others who are experiencing trying times.

“Overall, I've come away a much better person. I'm much more grateful and just glad to be alive. I don't take things for granted,” Kieweg said. “There's absolutely no way I could have done it without the Foundation. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to give back. It really is an honor.”

Each of Wisconsin's 16 technical colleges selects one student ambassador every year to participate in a leadership development and recognition program in April in Wisconsin Dells. Following that session, the students officially serve as ambassadors for one year and, unofficially, for a lifetime. The Nicolet College Foundation also selects its own ambassador.

Photo cutline: Two Nicolet College students were recently selected to serve as Student Ambassadors for the 2024-25 academic year. Culinary Arts student Becky Visser Breezer was chosen as the Nicolet College Student Ambassador and Welding student James Kieweg will serve as the Nicolet College Foundation Student Ambassador.