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  February 2015

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Power of AND

In this issue

Chancellor addresses issues related to state budget cuts in series of videos

UW-Eau Claire ranks among most efficient Midwest regional universities

Physics program recognized as leader in preparing students for STEM careers

Three chemistry professors receive prestigious NSF grants

Peace Corps ranks UW-Eau Claire among top volunteer-producing schools

Eau Claire Marathon course to pass through UW-Eau Claire campus

UW MBA Consortium ranked in top 10 by US News & World Report

Honors course combines creativity and analysis through game design

Residence halls join initiative to keep plastic out of landfills

Visiting lecturer to discuss recruiting, retaining diverse students

Viennese Ball tickets now available

Fire Ball drag show fundraiser set for Feb. 27-28

Alumni Association to present 'Let's Do Lunch' event

Alumna Jane Sauer passes away at 96

Champions of The Power of AND

New alumni success stories

Blugold Trivia

Alumni links

Alumni events

Alumni success stories

Blugold Babies

eView archive

eView survey

Photo album

The View online








Chancellor addresses issues related to state budget cuts in series of videos

Chancellor James Schmidt

Gov. Scott Walker has announced a 2015-17 UW System biennial budget proposal that includes significant reductions in state support for public higher education while also providing the UW System with increased operational flexibilities. UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt appears in a series of videos answering questions that have been posed to him since the budget announcement.

UW-Eau Claire's state budget page is regularly updated with the latest budget information as it becomes available. back to top

UW-Eau Claire ranks among most efficient Midwest regional universities

Students in classroom

UW-Eau Claire is one of the most efficient Midwest regional universities, according to an analysis by U.S. News & World Report that compared spending and educational quality.

For the spending efficiency analysis, U.S. News looked at the public and private colleges that scored the highest in the 2015 Best Colleges rankings (a measure of overall undergraduate academic educational quality) but that spent relatively less to achieve that quality. The 2015 edition of "America's Best Colleges" ranks UW-Eau Claire No. 6 among the top regional public universities in the Midwest and 33rd among all private and public institutions in the Midwest.

"At UW-Eau Claire, we strive to ensure that every dollar entrusted to us from students, parents, the state of Wisconsin and our benefactors goes to support our core mission of excellence for our students," said UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt. Full story. back to top

Physics program recognized as leader in preparing students for STEM careers

Tom Lockhart and students in physics lab

Thomas Lockhart, UW-Eau Claire professor of physics and astronomy, works in a physics lab with students Tyler Tolan and Mathew Guenther as they test for the potentials of electric fields using a digital multimeter.

UW-Eau Claire's physics and astronomy department has been recognized as one of eight such departments nationally for successfully preparing students for careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). 

The American Institute of Physics (AIP), through its Career Pathways Project (CPP), identified UW-Eau Claire's physics program as one using best practices and having a strong record of placing its bachelor's degree earners in the STEM workforce. UW-Eau Claire was cited in the AIP study report titled "Equipping Physics Majors for the STEM Workforce," which resulted from a CPP study supported by a National Science Foundation grant. Successful physics departments were identified based on site visits to departments and other methods of data collection. Full story. back to top

Three chemistry professors receive prestigious NSF grants

Stephen Drucker and student

Stephen Drucker, UW-Eau Claire professor of chemistry, works on research related to photochemical reactions with student Michael McDonnell.

Three chemistry professors at UW-Eau Claire currently hold grants from the National Science Foundation's Research in Undergraduate Institutions program.

Stephen Drucker has received a $228,693 grant in support of his ongoing research project titled "Spectroscopic and Computational Studies of Alpha, Beta-Unsaturated Carbonyl Compounds in Triplet Excited States." Jim Phillips' $227,330 grant supports his project titled "Continued Studies of Condensed-Phase Structural Effects in Complexes of BC13 and Group IV Lewis Acids." Kurt Wiegel holds a $200,000 grant for his project titled "Thermoreversible hydrogen bonding in mesophase formation: Enhancing stability and formation."

"To have three independent NSF-funded research programs ongoing in the chemistry department at the same time speaks to the high quality of the cutting-edge research being conducted by our faculty and students," said Warren Gallagher, chair of the UW-Eau Claire chemistry department. Full story. back to top

Peace Corps ranks UW-Eau Claire among top volunteer-producing schools

Peace Corps volunteers

For the first time, UW-Eau Claire ranks among the Peace Corps' top volunteer-producing colleges and universities in the United States. 

With 13 graduates currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers, UW-Eau Claire ranks No. 24 on the Peace Corps' annual Top Schools rankings list among medium-size schools nationwide. 

Since the Peace Corps was created in 1961, 347 UW-Eau Claire graduates have served as Peace Corps volunteers.

Service in the Peace Corps is a hands-on leadership experience that offers volunteers the opportunity to travel to the farthest corners of the world and work on sustainable development projects in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth development. Full story. back to top

Eau Claire Marathon course to pass through UW-Eau Claire campus

Eau Claire Marathon

Fire up, Blugolds, and save the date! On May 3, the 2015 Eau Claire Marathon (full, half and relay events) will follow a course that takes runners through the UW-Eau Claire campus.

Does your bucket list include running a full or half-marathon  — or getting family or friends together to form a marathon relay team? Check that box when you join fellow alumni and the more than 85 current UW-Eau Claire students who'll be participating in Eau Claire Marathon events as part of their distance running class. They're encouraging fellow students, alumni, and faculty and staff to join them, and all Blugolds will be able to purchase a special Blugold-themed shirt to wear on race day. (Note: Training groups for runners of all ability levels are meeting at Haas Fine Arts Center at 8 a.m. each Saturday through May 2. Email Tracy Yengo or Matt Evans for more information.)

Are marathons more of a spectator sport for you? Plan now to come to campus for one of the most scenic vantage points for watching the race and cheering on the competitors as they pass the 24-mile mark. Water and cheering stations and lots of fun activities are being planned.

For more information and to register for the Eau Claire Marathon, visit the race website at www.eauclairemarathon.com. See you May 3 on Wisconsin's Most Beautiful Campus for the Eau Claire Marathon! back to top

UW MBA Consortium ranked in top 10 by U.S. News & World Report

Student at commencement

U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium program in the top 10 online MBA programs for 2015. That puts the program in the top 5 percent of ranked MBA programs across the country. The program is also the top ranked program among Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan and Iowa universities, both public and private.

Schools included in the UW MBA Consortium are UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse, UW-Parkside and UW Oshkosh. The Consortium is managed at UW-Eau Claire.

"It is great to receive this recognition," said Robert Erffmeyer, director of the UW Consortium MBA program. "We are fortunate to have talented and dedicated faculty and staff at our four Consortium partner schools. That, together with our students' commitment, academic credentials, GMAT scores and course performance, all contribute to the ranking." Full story. back to top

Honors course combines creativity and analysis through game design

Game design Honors course
A new Honors course in game analysis and design examines the experience of games and how they intersect with education and learning.

It's game time for UW-Eau Claire students enrolled in Chris Hlas' Honors course in game analysis and design.
Hlas, a mathematics professor specializing in mathematics education and motivation, developed the Honors course to analyze the experience of games and how they intersect with education and learning. The University Honors Program is a stimulating community of learners, designed for academically talented, high-potential students. The courses are designed to provide close interaction between students and faculty and emphasize active learning, civic engagement, global expertise and sustainability. 

Each week's class is based on readings centered on a specific theme, including what makes a game, what defines fun and the necessity for conflict within a game. Students then form teams, select a topic of interest and start developing a board game based on that topic. Full story. back to top

Residence halls join initiative to keep plastic out of landfills

Amyline Sivathayalan
International student Amyline Sivathayalan, Malaysia, who works as a student recycler for Housing and Residence Life, sorts plastic bags and wrap and fills a machine that will bale the material so it can be recycled.

Sixteen hundred pounds of plastic waste collected in residence halls at UW-Eau Claire has been diverted from landfills due to the university's participation in the Wisconsin Wrap Recycling Action Program, a statewide public-private initiative to reduce plastic waste and increase plastic bag and film recycling in Wisconsin, which began last fall.

WRAP enlists partner organizations to collect recyclable plastic bags and film. So far, UW-Eau Claire is one of only two universities in the UW System partnering with WRAP. 

UW-Eau Claire Housing and Residence Life started as a WRAP partner last fall, just before students moved into campus residence halls. Housing and Residence Life had already been recycling cardboard during move-in through its Cardboard Corral event, through which more 36 tons of cardboard have been recycled. The addition of WRAP receptacles for plastic bags, wrap and film have further increased students' ability to recycle waste generated during move-in. Full story. back to top

Visiting lecturer to discuss recruiting, retaining diverse students

James Moore
James L. Moore

James L. Moore, associate provost for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at The Ohio State University, will visit UW-Eau Claire to provide insight on recruiting and retaining a more diverse student population.
As part of his visit Moore will present his research on mentoring and retaining males in higher education Feb. 23 from 4-5:30 p.m. in Room 1415 of Centennial Hall. The results of his research, he said, can also be applied to women of color.   

From Feb. 23-25, Moore will meet with various departments throughout the university, sharing his extensive research and expertise as a College of Education and Human Ecology distinguished professor of urban education at The Ohio State University. Full story.back to top

Viennese Ball tickets now available

Viennese Ball

Prepare to dance the night away at UW-Eau Claire's 41st annual Viennese Ball. The event will be presented from 6:30 p.m.-1 a.m. April 10-11 in Davies Student Center. The largest Viennese ball outside of Vienna itself, the event is presented both evenings and is a much-anticipated fundraiser for music, service and international study scholarships for UW-Eau Claire students.
Ticket brochures were mailed during the first week of February, and a printable ticket order form is available online. Ticket orders must be submitted by U.S. Mail. If ticket requests exceed availability, orders will be returned.  

The Viennese Ball is a formal event recalling the romance and elegance of 19th-century Vienna, Austria. Modeled on the historic New Year's Eve Kaiser Ball, the event transforms all three levels of Davies Center. The ball showcases the University Symphony Orchestra, performing waltzes and polkas from the Strauss Era; Jazz Ensemble I, performing music from America's big band era; and student and faculty ensembles and regional musicians performing a varied repertoire. Full story. back to top

Fire Ball drag show fundraiser set for Feb. 27-28

Fire Ball drag show fundraiser

UW-Eau Claire will present the Fire Ball drag show and fundraiser at 6 p.m. Feb. 27 and 28 in the Ojibwe Grand Ballroom of Davies Center.

The Fire Ball, which has become one of the university's largest events, will feature outstanding local and national performers, including Raven and Alyssa Edwards from "RuPaul's Drag Race." 

The event raises funds for the LGBTQA Student Support Fund, which provides scholarships to LGBTQ students and allies who wish to pursue social justice experiences, education and activism when they would otherwise be financially unable to do so. Full story. back to top

Alumni Association to present 'Let's Do Lunch' event

Harry Jol
Harry Jol

The UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association is planning a number of events this winter. Here's one coming up soon:

Let's Do Lunch lecture series. Thursday, Feb. 26, noon, Eau Claire Golf & Country Club, Altoona. Harry Jol, professor of geography and anthropology, will discuss a recent research expedition to Rhodes, Greece, where he was part of a collaborative team that is investigating historical sites within this medieval town. More info.

For more information about this events and others in the works, contact the Alumni Association at 715-836-3266 or alumni@uwec.edu. back to top

Alumna Jane Sauer passes away at 96

Jane Sauer
Jane Sauer

One of UW-Eau Claire's oldest alumni recently passed away. Jane Sauer, 96, died Feb. 10 in Wausau.

Sauer received a two-year academic diploma from Eau Claire State Teachers College in 1940, a bachelor's degree in education in 1944 and a master of science in teaching degree in elementary education from UW-Eau Claire in 1971.

She taught for 30 years in Waupaca, Beloit, Wauwatosa, Eau Claire, Stevens Point and Merrill. She worked as an elementary teacher and reading specialist. She served as president of the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association and on its board for several years. Full obituary. back to top

Champions of The Power of AND
Power of AND

In this issue of eView, we continue our series spotlighting alumni and other Blugolds who exemplify The Power of AND.

David Gillings

Conservationist AND communicator
David Gillings’ interest in biology and his passion for languages has literally taken him around the world. After graduating in 1971 with a degree in biology and a minor in languages, David immediately put his Spanish and Portuguese language skills to use as he traveled the world as a purser for the former Pan American World Airways. When the airline began to fold, he combined his biology background, language skills and international travel experiences to go to work for the international environmental consulting firm Ecology and Environment Inc. He did endangered species survey work throughout the southeast United States and in South America. In Colombia, he assisted with survey work for endangered condors in the vicinity of an extinct volcano, including the microclimate found within the dormant caldera. Today, he is the environmental manager for the Natural Resources Stewardship Division of Palm Beach County, Florida's Department of Environmental Resources Management. In this role, he assists in the negotiations for acquisition of environmentally sensitive lands to protect rare habitats and threatened and endangered species. He supervises a staff of 35 professionals who manage and preserve more than 31,300 acres in 35 separate natural areas. The NRS staff and Natural Areas Program recently were recognized in the field of environmental protection and energy by the National Association of Counties for their outstanding work at Florida’s Limestone Creek Natural Area. By combining his biology knowledge and his language skills, David Gillings has enjoyed a rewarding career as a conservationist AND a communicator, and that’s pretty powerful!

Read more AND stories on The Power of AND website. And please submit your AND story as well! 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:
Laurel Robertson Laurel Robertson '90, a UW-Eau Claire journalism graduate, recently appeared with her two children on the Food Network's reality cooking show "Guy's Grocery Games." (Photo by Steve Kinderman of the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram) Full story.
Alan Gustafson Alan Gustafson '12, a UW-Eau Claire geology graduate, has joined the REI Engineering environmental team in Wausau. Full story.
Tim Peterson Tim Peterson '98, a UW-Eau Claire management information systems graduate, has been named senior VP and CIO of CUNA Mutual Group in Madison. Full story.
Seal Aly Wheeler '13, a UW-Eau Claire art graduate, is a member of the Madison Potters Guild, a group of independent potters and ceramic artists. Full story.
Seal Nick Adams '07, a UW-Eau Claire mass communication graduate, recently had his photography featured in the "Embracing You" exhibit at the ArtWorks Center in Austin, Minn. Full story.
Seal Bridget Reil '04, a UW-Eau Claire art graduate, has opened a gallery and studio called Eclectic Soul in Neillsville. Full story.
Seal Brian Bengry '99, a UW-Eau Claire marketing graduate, is CEO and senior financial adviser for Conscious Capital Management in Madison. 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 Blugold stocking cap and gloves. The name of this month's Blugold Trivia winner will be published in the March 2015 issue of eView.

February Blugold Trivia question:

A new Honors course in game analysis and design examines the experience of games and how they intersect with education and learning. Who is director of the University Honors Program?

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!

January's winner:

Congratulations to Kelly Macik, a 2006 UW-Eau Claire communication graduate and winner of the January Blugold Trivia prize! Kelly's name was drawn from among those who correctly answered that the 2015 Eau Claire Marathon will begin and end in Carson Park. back to top

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Last Updated: February 20, 2015 Questions/Comments: alumni@uwec.edu