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Tip sheet for week of April 16, 2012

April 16, 2012

Campus Expert

A UW-Eau Claire faculty member who is a renowned expert on cyberbullying and his research partner will release a new book this month that connects teens' use of technology outside of school to the school environment. Dr. Justin Patchin, an associate professor of criminal justice, has been studying issues relating to cyberbullying for 10 years. When students receive hurtful, threatening or sexually explicit electronic messages, it affects their ability to concentrate on schoolwork so schools do need to address these issues, Patchin said. The book, "School Climate 2.0: Preventing Cyberbullying and Sexting One Classroom at a Time," provides educators with a guide for developing a positive school climate that counteracts cyberbullying and sexting. The book includes specific strategies for improving school climate, such as building a sense of community, peer mentoring, social norming, youth grassroots campaigns, data-driving action plans, and policy and programming approaches. In the last decade, Patchin and his research partner have completed formal studies involving more than 12,000 students from more than 80 middle and highschools throughout the United States.They were among the first researchers in the nation to study how teens misuse technology and how cyberbullying affects teens.Their new book focuses on findings from their most recent study, a random sample of more than 4,400 middle and high school students, ages 11-18. The study represents some of the most recent and comprehensive data on topics relating to how teens use technology. In addition to the data collected, the researchers also have spoken to thousands of teens, parents, educators, law enforcement officers and other adults who work directly with youth. Patchin was part of a White House anti-bullying conference and served as a visiting scholar with the FBI. As co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center, Patchin responds routinely to phone calls, emails and other contacts from people looking for help with specific issues relating to high-tech bullying. For more information about the book or his extensive research on teens and their use of technology, contact Dr. Justin Patchin at 715-836-4058 or patchinj@uwec.edu.

Story Idea

A junior psychology major from Eau Claire has created a series of events in April to celebrate Hmong culture and history. Mai Neng Vang, a North High School graduate, established Eau Claire Hmong Heritage Month to foster cultural understanding. When Vang came to the U.S. from Thailand just before her fourth birthday she didn't speak any English. She soon found herself in a preschool classroom surrounded by English-speaking children and a teacher she could not understand. With the help of an interpreter, Vang learned the English language and found academic success. But the memory of those early struggles — as well as an appreciation for her native Thailand — has stayed with her. Vang has organized activities to share her native culture with members of the campus and Eau Claire communities, and to strengthen the relationship between the university and the local Hmong community. Throughout April, the campus will host events, which include everything from Hmong exhibits to Hmong cooking to expert speakers to a Hmong volleyball tournament. Born in a refugee camp in northwestern Thailand, Vang said she wants to motivate students like her, who may not have the same benefits as students with ready resources. Vang also developed a language acquisition and cultural retention program to provide summer instruction to English language learners who participate in UW-Eau Claire's Blugold Beginnings program. A list of Eau Claire Hmong Heritage Month events can be found online. For more information, contact Mai Neng Vang at vangmn@uwec.edu.

Story Idea

Yeoi Lin (Linda) Lee, an international student, will host a screening of the "People's Crisis," a documentary about North Korea. The screening will begin at 7 p.m. April 17 in Davies Theatre. Lee, a political science major from South Korea, said this is an educational opportunity for people to learn about a country that little is known about. The film offers an overview of the North Korean people's crisis, featuring interviews with North Korean refugees who have escaped, their journey to freedom, expert analysis and insight into grass roots changes taking place inside the country. For details, contact Yeoi Lin (Linda) Lee at leeyl@uwec.edu.

Story/Photo Idea

UW-Eau Claire will host the "Just Bag It" sustainability fashion show in honor of Earth Day from 8-10 p.m. Thursday, April 19, in the commons room of Towers Hall on upper campus. One student from each residence hall will model a costume created by fellow residents made out of recycled and repurposed materials. Campus dignitaries will judge the show. The residence hall that places first will receive smart strips installed in each room. The strips reduce energy use by stopping phantom loads, which is energy pulled from electronic devices after they are turned off. Reusable cloth shopping bags will be given to students attending the show. The Student Office of Sustainability's SCORE program will host a free CFL light bulb swap during the show. Students can bring an incandescent bulb to trade for a more energy efficient CFL bulb. For details about the fashion show, contact Kate Hartsel at 715-836-2505 or hartseka@uwec.edu. Other campus Earth Day events can be found online.

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