In his 25 years as adviser for UW-Whitewater's American Marketing Association, Professor Jimmy Peltier helped the organization become one of the most successful student chapters in the world.
His efforts were recognized during AMA's annual conference March 24-26 in New Orleans, where he won the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.
"It was emotional," Peltier said. "My thoughts immediately went to all students I've worked with over the years. It's really all about them."
Peltier's award culminated an already triumphant week for UW-Whitewater, which took first place in the conference's Nintendo Case Competition.
"When I set expectations, I set them high so students have to work hard to achieve them," Peltier said. "They don't want to let you down."
The UW-Whitewater AMA chapter is a force to be reckoned with, having won nine Collegiate International Chapter of the Year awards in 34 years - more than any other school.
Peltier credits students for their work ethic and competitive drive, and UW-Whitewater for its academically nurturing atmosphere.
"These students are like my kids, like family. You let them know you care. That's the bottom line, you care about their success," he said.
AMA began presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award last year. Candidates must have 20 years of advising experience, be actively involved in AMA activities, participate in annual reports judging, showcase national leadership, and foster a successful student chapter. The nationwide pool of candidates includes current and retired chapter advisers.
Winners are chosen by the collegiate chapter council, of which Peltier retired as president last year, making this the first year he was eligible for the award.
His wife Renee Rizzo, daughter Hannah Peltier and nephew Sam Hopkins were present at the ceremony. "My family has always been there for me and earned this award along with me," he said.
Peltier says he's gratified that he also got to share the moment with his students.
"Given all pressures put on higher education, it's rewarding to see we are still focused on students," he said. "It's the most rewarding part of what I do."