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Tip sheet for week of April 2, 2012

April 2, 2012

Story Idea

Professors in the departments of economics and history will take 15 history and 15 economics students — including one student from Eau Claire and several from western Wisconsin — to New York City April 7-15 for an immersion experience. Students will participate in a project titled "New York City and the Immigrant Experience: An Economic and Historical Perspective." Professors Rose-Marie Avin (economics) and Jane Pederson (history) will create a learning community around the question: "What is the impact of immigration on New York City and by extension the United States?" Prior to traveling to New York City, students will study economic theory and the rich historical literature on immigration. Avin's class is focusing on the economic contributions and experiences of the new immigration (since 1965) from China, Latin America and the Caribbean. Pederson's students will focus on the "old immigration" (1815-1914) from Ireland, Germany, Italy and China. The economics and history students will travel together to New York City to better understand the experiences and realities of immigration. They will visit museums, tour neighborhoods and immerse themselves in the immigrant experience. Students will expand analytic and research skills, garner interdisciplinary insights, interact with students and faculty from another discipline, and together discover the wonders of one of the truly diverse and great cities of the world. For more information, contact Dr. Rose-Marie Avin at 715-836-45123 or, or Dr. Jane Pederson at 715-836- 5900 or

Story Idea

Two alumni recently were honored at the White House after being named a Champion for Change. Last week Sara Finger (1997 political science grad) was honored by the White House for her work to improve access to health care in Wisconsin. Finger is founder and executive director of the Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health, an organization that works to advance comprehensive women's health in Wisconsin by engaging, educating, empowering and mobilizing individuals and organizations. As the Wisconsin regional coordinator for Raising Women's Voices and the national Women's Law Center's State of Women initiative grantee, WAWH has been recognized as Wisconsin's health care reform leader for women. In January, Tod Pritchard (1985 journalism grad) was honored for his work in emergency preparedness and response. He is the emergency preparedness coordinator for Wisconsin Emergency Management. He oversees ReadyWisconsin, a program designed to help people get ready for emergencies. The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama's Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities. To learn more about the Champions go to

Story/Photo Idea

UW-Eau Claire will host a series of events in April in honor of Hmong Heritage Month. The month was established to promote an appreciation for and education of Hmong culture and history among members of the university and greater Eau Claire communities. Events this week that may provide story or photo opportunities include:

  • A Hmong hut and exhibit will be displayed April 2-6 in the Skylight Lounge of Davies Center.
  • A Proclamation of Hmong Heritage Month event will run from 2-3 p.m. April 2 in the Skylight Lounge of Davies Center. Hmong community members will speak during the event.
  • People are invited to wear traditional Hmong clothing during Hmong Outfit Day April 4.
  • Dr. Paul Hillmer, associate professor of history at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn., will give a presentation from 7-9 p.m. April 5 in Davies Theatre. During his presentation, titled "A People's History of the Hmong," Hillmer will discuss the history of the Hmong, Hmong Diaspora and the Hmong's role in the Vietnam War. Hillmer has created documentaries and written books about the Hmong history.

Mai Neng Vang, a psychology major from Eau Claire, is among the organizers. You can reach her at

Story Idea

UW-Eau Claire will host an open house from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, for people who want to learn about a new online degree completion program. The event will take place in the Presidents Room of Davies Center. The new bachelor of professional studies in organizational leadership and communication degree completion program will provide students with the practical knowledge and creative thinking skills they need to advance in a variety of careers. The fully online program was created by UW-Eau Claire faculty to meet the needs of busy working adults. For more information, contact Dr. Kate Lang at 715-836-4765 at or Phil Huelsbeck at 715-836-5400 or

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