UW-Eau Claire e-View newsletter

In This Issue

University celebrates Chancellor Schmidt's inauguration

Community for the Confluence in collaborative effort

Centennial Hall project on schedule for November completion

Gail Scukanec to step down as dean, will assume graduate studies oversight role

Nursing, mining initiatives receive UW System incentive grants

UW-Eau Claire among top universities for military veterans

Honors program gives students tools, confidence to become engaged community members

NSF grant funds continuation of geology research in Argentina

First two students complete BPS program

Students explore Yosemite through immersion experience

University hosts Brazilian students studying in STEM fields

Nursing professor collaborates with community, students on food insecurity research

Blugold Beginnings program receives state diversity award

Student wins $200,000 racing scholarship at Atlanta event

UW-Eau Claire named 'bicycle friendly' university

Blugold Marching Band continues to thrive through strong leadership, financial support

Priority registration available to veterans for spring 2014

Oshkosh area alumni to get all jazzed up

New alumni success stories

Blugold Trivia

Alumni Links

e-View archive

Alumni events

Blugold Babies

Blugold Bliss

Photo album

'The View' online

Alumni success stories

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November 2013

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University celebrates Chancellor Schmidt's inauguration

Chancellor Schmidt at inauguration

Nov. 8 was a festive day on campus as hundreds gathered for a celebration of UW-Eau Claire and the inauguration of its eighth chief executive, James C. Schmidt. The day included esteemed guests, speeches, music, poetry, food and just the right amount of pomp and circumstance to officially welcome Chancellor Schmidt.

Visit the chancellor's inauguration website for photos, videos and other highlights of the inaugural event. back to top

Community for the Confluence in collaborative effort

Community for the Confluence button

The citizen-led group Community for the Confluence is now collaborating with the official Confluence Campaign online and in the community.

The Eau Claire Regional Arts Council, UW-Eau Claire, Commonweal Development, BluGold Real Estate and supportive citizens will use the Community for the Confluence website to communicate with the community as one cohesive voice for the Confluence Project. The site will enable Confluence Project public-private developers to provide more in-depth project information faster and announce opportunities for the public to make a difference as advocates.

The Confluence Project includes a community arts center, a privately developed mixed-use building containing retail and commercial space, and apartment-style student housing in downtown Eau Claire.

Community for the Confluence will hold a pep rally at downtown Eau Claire's State Theatre Tuesday, Nov. 26, at 5 p.m. The event will feature UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt and Student Senate leaders Bryan Larson and Jacob Wrasse, who will discuss the synergy created by the Confluence Project to expand arts and cultural opportunities for the university and the community. Details about the pep rally and the Confluence Project in general are available online.

Public hearings scheduled by the Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors on Dec. 3 and 17 will give community members an opportunity to speak in support of the project. back to top

Centennial Hall project on schedule for November completion

Centennial Hall

Construction of Centennial Hall, UW-Eau Claire's newest academic building, is on schedule for on-time completion by the end of November, with move-in for faculty and staff to take place during the break between the fall 2013 and spring 2014 semesters.

Classes are scheduled to begin in the new facility on Jan. 21, the first day of the spring 2014 semester.

The approximately 182,000-square-foot building, located between Schneider Hall and Zorn Arena, will house UW-Eau Claire's College of Education and Human Sciences administrative units; significant new classroom space for use by the entire campus; the departments of education studies, English, foreign languages and special education; and select student support services, including Services for Students with Disabilities, the Student Success Center and the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Full story. back to top

Gail Scukanec to step down as dean, will assume graduate studies oversight role

Gail Scukanec
Dr. Gail Scukanec

Dr. Gail Scukanec, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences at UW-Eau Claire, will step down from that position on July 15, 2014, and beginning July 16, 2014, she will serve in a part-time position focused on a study of the university's various graduate programs. Scukanec has served as dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences since 2007.

In her new position, Scukanec will oversee all aspects of graduate education, including determining the feasibility of new graduate programs, searching for additional resources for graduate students and assessing current graduate policies. Full story. back to top

Nursing, mining initiatives receive UW System incentive grants

Nursing building

Two UW-Eau Claire initiatives — one designed to increase the number of nurses in Wisconsin and the other to build an educated workforce for the state's natural resource industry — have received funding through a newly created UW System incentive grant program.

The UW System will invest $22.5 million over the next two years to support projects aimed at increasing economic growth and building a stronger Wisconsin workforce. Twelve proposals were funded, with two of them coming from UW-Eau Claire.

Led by UW-Eau Claire, the nursing initiative was awarded $3.2 million to increase the number of nursing faculty at four UW System nursing programs, support nursing enrollments and mitigate projections for unprecedented shortages of registered nurses in Wisconsin. UW System schools that are part of the project include Eau Claire, Madison, Milwaukee and Oshkosh.

UW-Eau Claire's "Responsible Mining Initiative" received $451,000 in grant monies to focus on workforce development to meet the needs of the emerging mining industry and environmental protection. Full story. back to top

UW-Eau Claire among top universities for military veterans

U.S. flags

U.S. News & World Report has named UW-Eau Claire one of the top public colleges and universities in the Midwest for military veterans.

In its inaugural "Best College for Veterans" list, the magazine ranks UW-Eau Claire second among public universities in the Midwest and 11th among all public and private schools in the region.

UW-Eau Claire is one of just two public universities and the only UW System school among the top 15 institutions in the U.S. News Midwest rankings. Full story. back to top

Honors class gives students tools, confidence to become engaged community members

Mike Huggins
Mike Huggins, a retired Eau Claire city manager, teaches a UW-Eau Claire Honors class on civic engagement.

Civic engagement was not a new idea for Brady Krien, who has long believed that thriving communities need active and engaged citizens.

But the UW-Eau Claire senior wasn't sure how to go about becoming one of those engaged citizens, nor was he certain that a college student from Lake Geneva could make a lasting difference in the Eau Claire community.

Krien's uncertainty has since been replaced by a sense of empowerment thanks to a university Honors class — taught by a national expert on civic engagement — that brings students together with other Eau Claire community members who want to help solve local problems. Full story. back to top

NSF grant funds continuation of geology research in Argentina

Students doing geology research

Geology students, from left, Ellen Buelow, Brian Nehring and Samantha Taylor study rock formations in the Andes Mountains in Mendoza, Argentina, as part of NSF-funded research.

Dr. J. Brian Mahoney, professor of geology at UW-Eau Claire, recently received a three-year $224,916 grant from the National Science Foundation to continue a faculty-student collaborative research project in the South Central Andes Mountains located in Mendoza, Argentina.

The purpose of the project is to study the origin and evolution of the modern Andes by examining the structural geology and sedimentary record to determine the rate and style of uplift of the mountain range.

Preliminary studies revealed that the mountain range is still growing, and uplifting is occurring faster than previously thought, which means the range is much younger than has been predicted, Mahoney said. Full story. back to top

First two students complete BPS program

Wendy Chesnet '13 discusses how earning her Bachelor of Professional Studies degree online through UW-Eau Claire has changed her life.

Years after leaving their studies at UW-Eau Claire without a diploma in hand, two students have now received their bachelor's degrees through the online Bachelor of Professional Studies degree completion program: the first ever to do so.

Jim Budde and Wendy Chesnut completed their degrees in organizational leadership and communication in the summer of 2013. Both graduates had previously attended UW-Eau Claire but were forced to hold off on their education for personal reasons.

Budde left UW-Eau Claire in 2007 to accept employment with the U.S. Postal Service. When the announcement of the BPS program came three years later, he was immediately interested.

Similarly, Chesnut was juggling the responsibilities of being a working mother when she decided to pursue the two-year, fully online program. Full story. back to top

Students explore Yosemite through immersion experience

Students in Yosemite

UW-Eau Claire students Deanna Kainz, left, and Sandy Thao participated in the Yosemite immersion experience.

A dozen UW-Eau Claire computer science, education, English and geography students visited Yosemite National Park from Sept. 21-29 as part of a domestic immersion project.

Dr. Blake Westerlund, assistant professor of English, and Dr. Harry Jol, professor of geography and anthropology, collaborated to offer the trip to UW-Eau Claire students enrolled in the "Land and Literature" course.

The purpose of the journey, according to Westerlund, was to explore the many diverse cultures of California and to use ground-penetrating radar technology to research the history of the land within the park. Full story. back to top

University hosts Brazilian students studying in STEM fields

Eduardo Nascimento

Eduardo Nascimento, a student in the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program, is enrolled in the intensive English program.

UW-Eau Claire is hosting Brazilian students studying in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields as part of the Brazilian government's new Brazil Scientific Mobility Program, which provides scholarships to undergraduate students of junior or senior standing for one year of study at colleges and universities in the United States.

The Brazil Scientific Mobility Program is coordinated by UW-Eau Claire's Center for International Education (CIE) in collaboration with the Institute of International Education (IIE), a nonprofit international education and training organization, and is a part of the Brazilian government's initiative to grant 100,000 scholarships for students to study abroad. Full story. back to top

Nursing professor collaborates with community, students on food insecurity research

Group working on food insecurity research

The food insecurity research team includes, from left, Emily Moore, director of Feed My People Food Bank; Dr. Mary Canales, UW-Eau Claire professor of nursing; UW-Eau Claire nursing student Brenda Kaczmarski; and Nancy Coffey, nutrition coordinator at the Eau Claire County UW-Extension Office.

A UW-Eau Claire nursing professor and students have collaborated with area agencies on research aimed at better understanding the effects of food insecurity on local residents.

Dr. Mary Canales, a UW-Eau Claire nursing faculty member interested in food and local justice issues, and public health and public policy research, collaborated with the Hunger Prevention Coalition of Eau Claire County to create a research team composed of representatives from multiple agencies to study food insecurity in Eau Claire County. The research team was an academic-community partnership that included UW-Eau Claire faculty and students; Emily Moore, director of Feed My People Food Bank; Nancy Coffey, nutrition education coordinator for the Wisconsin Nutrition Education Program through the Eau Claire County UW-Extension; and the AmeriCorps Volunteer Program. Full story. back to top

Blugold Beginnings program receives state diversity award

Blugold Beginnings staff

Blugold Beginnings staff members, back row, from left: Katie Gorell, Josh Nesja, Jodi Thesing-Ritter, Jacqueline Bonneville; front row, from left: Shannon Waterhouse, Kristi Herbenson, Lissa Martinez Greer.

The Blugold Beginnings program at UW-Eau Claire recently received the Ann Lydecker Educational Diversity Award from the Wisconsin State Council on Affirmative Action.

The Blugold Beginnings program seeks to educate and inspire students, especially underrepresented, low-income or first-generation students, to believe that a postsecondary education is important, attainable and available at UW-Eau Claire and other institutions.

The Lydecker Award recognizes the work of the Blugold Beginnings staff and hundreds of UW-Eau Claire students who provide mentoring and tutoring to students in area schools. Full story. back to top

Student wins $200,000 racing scholarship at Atlanta event

Aaron Telitz in race car
UW-Eau Claire junior Aaron Telitz has won the $200,000 Mazda driver development scholarship.

Aaron Telitz, a UW-Eau Claire geography major, won the $200,000 Mazda driver development scholarship during the 2013 Skip Barber Race Series Championship Shootout Nov. 11-13 in Atlanta, Ga.

"Winning this scholarship is a huge launch pad to continue my climb to IndyCar," Telitz said. "It gives me the opportunity to go into next season and focus more on my on-track performance. The scholarship money will go toward my 2014 race campaign in the USF2000 Championship."

Telitz, a junior from Birchwood, is balancing his love of racing and his interest in geography as he pursues his dream of becoming an Izod IndyCar driver. He returned to UW-Eau Claire this semester after taking a yearlong leave of absence to focus on his racing. Full story. back to top

UW-Eau Claire named 'bicycle friendly' university

Bicycle Friendly logo

UW-Eau Claire has been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly America program for its efforts in bicycle friendliness.

UW-Eau Claire was awarded the bronze distinction as a Bicycle Friendly University. The distinction is valid for four years, from 2013 to 2017. UW-Eau Claire is one of just four universities in the state and 75 nationwide to receive a Bicycle Friendly University designation.

The Bicycle Friendly University program recognizes institutions of higher education for promoting and providing a more bikeable campus for students, faculty, staff and visitors. Each applicant is evaluated based on its efforts to promote bicycling in five primary areas: engineering, encouragement, education, enforcement and evaluation/planning. Full story. back to top

Blugold Marching Band continues to thrive through strong leadership, financial support

Blugold Marching Band

Over the last decade, UW-Eau Claire's Blugold Marching Band has grown from a band of 60 to its current size of 300 members. It is now considered one of the most active bands in the Upper Midwest, with performances ranging from home football games and contest exhibitions to international tours. During the upcoming winter break, the band will represent the university on a tour of Southeast Asia.

But what has made the BMB so successful?

Several factors are involved, including financial support from outside sources. The BMB recently received new drums, sousaphones and 65 replacement uniforms as a result of a strategic investment by the UW-Eau Claire Foundation and the university. Full story. back to top

Priority registration available to veterans for spring 2014

Students at UW-Eau Claire who are veterans or members of the armed forces are eligible to receive priority status for registration for spring 2014 classes.

Legislation has been passed in Wisconsin regarding priority registration for veterans. The legislation indicates that a veteran is a person who has served on active duty under honorable conditions in the U.S. armed forces, in forces incorporated as part of the U.S. armed forces, in the National Guard or in a reserve component of the U.S. armed forces. Full story. back to top

Oshkosh area alumni to get all jazzed up

Robert Baca

Oshkosh area alumni are set to be dazzled by the melodious tones of one of the country's premier jazz ensembles during a gathering beginning at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, at Becket's Restaurant, 2 Jackson St., Oshkosh.

Those attending will enjoy a fun evening with fellow Blugolds while they receive an update on what's happening back on campus, complimentary appetizers and beverages, and a chance at great Blugold door prizes.

The evening will be capped off with a performance by UW-Eau Claire's Grammy-nominated and six-time Down Beat award winner Jazz Ensemble I, under the direction of Robert Baca. See the event invitation for details. back to top

 

Alumni success stories

In addition to the alumni below, you can read about the accomplishments of other UW-Eau Claire alumni on the Alumni Success Stories Web pages:

Seal Ruth Staus '97, a UW-Eau Claire nursing graduate, has received an Excellence in Teaching Award from Metropolitan State University. Full story.
John Noltner John Noltner '90, a UW-Eau Claire journalism graduate, has been awarded the 2013 Peacebuilder Award by Jovial Concepts in Denver for his "A Peace of My Mind" project. Full story.
Matthew Rick Matthew Rick '09, a UW-Eau Claire economics graduate, is owner of Infinity Beverages in Eau Claire. (Photo by Volume One) Full story.
David Thoe David Thoe '82, a UW-Eau Claire business administration graduate, has been named vice president-senior lender of business loans at RCU. Full story.
Seal Benjamin Klema '10, a UW-Eau Claire English graduate, is co-creater of the Internet comedy series "Weblove." Full story.
Laura Trachsel Laura Trachsel '10 (left), a UW-Eau Claire special education graduate, and Kristin Geier '89, a UW-Eau Claire communicative disorders graduate, have been named early childhood special education teachers of the year by the Wisconsin Division for Early Childhood. (Photo by Cassandra Colson of the Jackson County Chronicle) Full story. back to top

Blugold Trivia headline
Show how much you know about UW-Eau Claire — AND win great Blugold prizes! Email your answer to this month's question to the Blugold Trivia mailbox (trivia@uwec.edu). Those sending correct responses to this month's question will be entered in a drawing for a UW-Eau Claire sweatshirt. The name of this month's Blugold Trivia winner will be published in the December 2013 issue of e-View.

November Blugold Trivia question:

James Schmidt was inaugurated as UW-Eau Claire's eighth chief executive on Nov. 8. What position did Schmidt hold just prior to joining UW-Eau Claire?

Know the answer? Email it, along with your name and class year, to trivia@uwec.edu. You'll be notified by email if you are this month's winner!

October's winner:

Congratulations to Dan Williams, a 1991 UW-Eau Claire business finance graduate and winner of the October Blugold Trivia prize! Dan's name was drawn from among those who correctly answered that UW-Eau Claire's International Folk Fair is sponsored by the university's Center for International Education. back to top

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Last Updated: November 22, 2013 Questions/Comments: alumni@uwec.edu