By James Marien —

People return to their roots in different ways. Some people go back to their childhood home or visit old friends, and some people happen to create new degrees for their alma mater to offer. Craig Yolitz, vice president in the FindLaw business of Thomas Reuters, graduated from University of Wisconsin–Stout in 1985 with a major in industrial technology.He is the man responsible for the new digital marketing technology major.

Yolitz’s contribution was not his first to the university. In 2013, Stout created a minor in Web Technology through the aid of Yolitz and Thomson Reuters. Yolitz’s contributions to the university have not gone unappreciated.

This fall, Yolitz was recognized by the Stout Alumni Association as the STEM College Outstanding Alumni, and rightly so. Not only has Yolitz and his employer contributed several programs to the STEM College, but they also help to fund it.  The Thomson Reuters Web Development Program Fund has helped develop the curriculum for these new programs.

Technology is always changing; Yolitz realized this in the workforce and came to the conclusion that Stout needed more programs to satisfy these changes. He saw a need at Thomas Reutuers for more employees with skills in web technology and search engine optimization, which are skillsets taught through the newest programs here at Stout. Furthermore, it can be seen that any industry could benefit from talent in these areas.

In the early 1980’s, when Yolitz was attending Stout, the Cooperative Education program was just beginning. Now, however, the program has grown to include more than 1,000 students. Like many other Stout graduates, Yolitz’s co-op was a stepping-stone that led him directly into his full-time job. In fact, the things that Stout did to prepare him were all stepping-stones towards his career.

Yolitz’s many contributions to programs here at Stout are greatly appreciated by students and faculty alike. In an interview with Stout Communications, Chair of UW–Stout Apparel and Communication Technologies Department Steve Schlough said, “It is unlikely this major would have been approved without Craig’s effort.”

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