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University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire


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phone: (715) 836-4741
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UW-Eau Claire Faculty and Staff
Receive Excellence Awards

MAILED: Aug. 21, 2002

         EAU CLAIRE  Six University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire faculty and staff members received excellence awards Aug. 20 during the opening meeting of the 2002-03 academic year.
         Chancellor Donald Mash and UW-Eau Claire Foundation Chairman Larry Weber presented the awards. Recipients received a university medallion and $1,500 from the UW-Eau Claire Foundation in recognition of their commitment to excellence.
         Dr. Marie (Mickey) Crothers, assistant professor of psychology, received the Excellence in Teaching Award, which recognizes outstanding ability to inspire students to high standards of scholarship. Alumni select the award recipient.
         Crothers, a clinical psychologist who joined UW-Eau Claire’s psychology department in 1997, teaches courses in abnormal psychology, theories of counseling, child psychopathology and general psychology. Her teaching is enriched through her ongoing clinical work in the community. Her research interests include family communication in the presence of life-threatening illness, sexual assault prevention, human responses to trauma and loss, and hypnosis.
         “When it comes to teaching, Mickey Crothers puts everything she has into everything she does,” said Larry Morse, chair of the psychology department. “She is thorough in her evaluation of student performance, and provides each student with detailed and constructive evaluative feedback. She treats all students with respect and compassion. She is a joy to have as a colleague and I am not surprised to know that our students find it a joy to have Mickey as their teacher.”
         Dr. James Walker, professor of mathematics, received the Excellence in Scholarship Award, which recognizes research, productive and creative work, and professional participation and performance.
         Walker, who came to UW-Eau Claire in 1982, is an internationally acclaimed authority on wavelet analysis, a new branch of applied mathematics. The author of 13 scholarly articles, four books, three book reviews and six software packages, Walker has given numerous talks to electrical engineers and mathematicians in the United States, Canada and Europe.
         Walker’s first two books were written primarily for undergraduate mathematics students, but his more recent book, “Primer on Wavelets and Their Scientific Applications,” is written for engineers who want to apply cutting-edge mathematics to problems in optics and acoustics.
         At least nine of Walker’s former students have completed Ph.D. programs in physics, mathematics or chemistry, and now hold academic and research positions at institutions throughout the United States.
         Dr. Katherine Lang, assistant professor of history, is the recipient of the Excellence in Advising Award. The award recognizes effective advising qualities and practices.
Lang, who joined UW-Eau Claire’s faculty in 1996, has distinguished herself as an outstanding adviser who is concerned with her students’ course registrations, as well as their broader career plans, her colleagues said. Regularly advising 40 to 50 students each semester, Lang has one of the heaviest advising loads in the history department.
         “Kate is one of the most honest and caring people I have ever met, and also one of the most supportive,” wrote the student who nominated Lang for the award.
         The student went on to say, “Kate has no qualms about being honest with her advisees and students. If you’re not working up to your potential, she will tell you and push you to do so. Kate has played a major role in my experience at UW-Eau Claire.”
         Dr. Paulis Lazda, professor of history, is the recipient of the Excellence in Service Award. The award recognizes activities outside the classroom that promote excellence in education and improve the university’s public image.
         Lazda, who joined UW-Eau Claire’s history department in 1967, has initiated programs that directly affect the development of democratic institutions in Latvia, a country that carries the physical and psychological burden of more than 50 years of totalitarian rule.
         Lazda established a study abroad program in Latvia in 1991, immediately after Soviet rule ended. In 1992, Lazda created the Occupation of Latvia Museum in Riga, providing visitors with a view of Latvian history through text, photos and artifacts. Lazda has served as president of the museum’s board of directors since 1993.
         In 1993, Lazda helped establish a scholarship that brought students from Latvia to UW-Eau Claire. In 1994, Lazda began the annual Symposium on East Europe, bringing students, faculty, emeriti and others from Wisconsin and Minnesota to UW-Eau Claire to interact with internationally recognized experts on East Europe.
         Lazda has received honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Latvia and Latvian Academy of Sciences. In 2000, he was named Commander of the Order of Three Stars, the highest civilian honor given in Latvia.
         “His activity clearly illustrates the university’s standard for excellence in the impact, innovation and productivity of his efforts,” states the Excellence committee recommendation.
         Dr. Deborah Gough, director of advising and academic testing, received the Academic Staff Excellence in Performance Award recognizing leadership and dedication as a member of the university’s 200-member non-teaching academic staff.
         Gough came to UW-Eau Claire in 1981 as an academic adviser and adjunct assistant professor in the department of history. In 1990, she became director of Advising and Academic Testing. In March 2002, Gough also was appointed interim director of New Student Orientation, making her responsible for all aspects of the university’s orientation program.
         A colleague said of Gough, “She always has the student and the university at the core of her approach to her responsibilities. This dedication, hard work and genuine concern for student success deserves recognition. I believe her commitment and attitude toward the university’s motto of excellence is exceptional.”
         Linda Bobo, IS comprehensive services senior in Computing and Networking Services, received the Classified Staff Excellence in Performance Award recognizing outstanding performance by a member of the university’s 425-member classified staff.
         A member of the campus community for more than 20 years, Bobo transferred to CNS in 1993 as a management information technician and moved to her current position in 1997.
         In their letter recommending Bobo for the award, committee members said, “Linda answers to cries for help promptly, conscientiously and follows through to satisfactory resolution. Not only has she demonstrated her dedication to excellence in the help she gives UW-Eau Claire staff, her professional support spans the campus in her training of student assistants that are so important to helping with UW-Eau Claire’s function.”

UW-Eau Claire Home  News Bureau
Judy Berthiaume
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741

Updated: Aug. 21, 2002