2008 Outstanding Alumni Award Recipients


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Professional Development 

Service to the Community 

Franciscan Spirit 

Julie Vietri 
Julie Vietri '82
French and Mathematics 

Julie Vietri received the Outstanding Alumni Award for Professional Development, which honors an alumnus/a who has made significant and broad accomplishments in their professional career. 

After graduating from Viterbo in 1982 with a degree in Mathematics and French, Julie went on to teach math and computer courses at Princeton High School in Wisconsin.  She moved to Seneca High School in 1985 and finally settled in Phoenix, AZ at St. Mary’s High School in 1987, where she still teaches today.  Julie has served as the director of an SAT/ACT preparation course since 1992 and has even co-authored a preparation workbook for the SAT. 

Throughout her career, she has coordinated educational and sightseeing trips for students to France and Spain, served as the chair of the mathematics department and the foreign language department, coached volleyball, and served as the moderator for several student organizations.  She has also received certification as a community college instructor, and she recently received Catechist certification from the Diocese of Phoenix. 

According to one of her colleagues, “Mrs. Vietri is not only an excellent math instructor who does so much outside of the classroom for her students but also demonstrates a genuine concern for the whole educational experience of each of her students.”


  Margaret Wood
Margaret Wood '90

Margaret Wood received the award for Community Service, which honors an alumnus/a who demonstrates that a liberal arts education can be the foundation for unselfish and outstanding service to the community and humanity. 

Margaret received her Master of Arts in Education from Viterbo in 1990 and taught kindergarten, first grade, and second grade for La Crosse Public Schools until her retirement in 2004. 

She has been extremely involved in community service activities, both in La Crosse and throughout the state of Wisconsin.  She serves on the La Crosse County Board of Supervisors, the La Crosse County Health and Human Services Board, the Wisconsin State Board of Nursing, the Viterbo School of Nursing Advisory Board, and the Viterbo Alumni Emeritus Board, to name just a few.  In the past, she has also been an active member of the Viterbo Alumni Board, the American Association of University Women, and the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International for Key Woman Educators. 

Margaret’s son, Chris Wood ’97, said of his mother, “She embodies the Franciscan value of service above self.  When she commits to a project, she gives it her all.  She always has an eye on the big picture and what is best for the greater good.”


Brian Konkol
Brian Konkol '01
Criminal Justice

Brian Konkol received the Spirit of Francis Award, which honors an alumnus/a who embodies and exemplifies Franciscan values in their personal, professional, and spiritual life. 

After Brian graduated from Viterbo University in 2001, he enrolled at Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, MN in order to pursue a Master of Divinity degree, with the hopes of being ordained as a minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  After graduating in 2005, he journeyed to Guyana, South America as Long-Term Global Mission Personnel.  He and his wife Kristen lived in Guyana until 2007, where he served as the pastor for the Emmanuel Lutheran Parish, a lecturer for the Lutheran Lay Academy training program, an advisor for the National Youth Commission, and a director and administrator for the National Youth Camp. 

In 2008, Konkol changed continents, moving to South Africa to continue his service with the ELCA’s Global Mission program.  He now serves as the coordinator for the Young Adults in Global Mission program in South Africa, the advisor for the Young Adult League of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa, and a student advisor for both the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s School of Religion and Theology and Lutheran Theological Institute. 

In the words of one of his nominators, Brian “has definitely taken the Franciscan values he learned and experienced at Viterbo to a new level, positively impacting people and cultures in other parts of the world.  I don’t think we have seen the last of his work.  Brian is a role model for all alumni and students as he continues to exemplify the Viterbo mission.”