Vol. 54, No. 19 • Second Week • Spring Semester • Jan. 29, 2007
A prestigious award from the National Science Foundation will enable Dr. Todd Wellnitz, UW-Eau Claire assistant professor of biology, to study how much water a stream needs to maintain the ecosystem it supports.
Wellnitz received a five-year, $740,000 NSF Career Grant, which recognizes a young researcher's dual commitment to scholarship and education. Wellnitz's project, "Linking heterogeneity to the contributions made by species for ecosystem processes," will combine research and teacher education in Colorado and Wisconsin streams. Full story.
UW-Eau Claire's "Education Abroad: Removing Barriers and Extending the Reach" program received an Honorable Mention in the study abroad category for the Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education from the Institute of International Education. It's one of four programs in the nation to receive the prestigious award.
"We have a very successful international program but several years ago we recognized that few students of color or students who major in education and nursing study abroad," said Karl Markgraf, director of UW-Eau Claire's Center for International Education. "We did research to determine what was keeping those students from having an international experience and then we developed the 'Removing Barriers' plan to address those issues." Full story.
This spring UW-Eau Claire's Center for Communication Disorders will launch a first-of-its-kind pilot program designed to help area teens and young adults with Asperger's syndrome develop the skills they need to succeed in work and life settings.
Through the "Facilitating Functional Social-Communication Skills in Adolescents" program, faculty and graduate students in communication sciences and disorders will work directly with eight teens and offer support services to another 10 teens and young adults who have Asperger's, said Angie Sterling-Orth, a lecturer in the communication sciences and disorders department. Those receiving services will be between the ages of 14 and 24, she said.
The program, funded through a $60,000 grant from Wisconsin's Medicaid program, is unusual because it will be housed at UW-Eau Claire but will involve numerous community service providers, said Dr. Kristine Retherford, communication sciences and disorders department chair. Full story.
Research examines success
"We found that the further away the release date is from the Super Bowl, the more likely it is that the movie will be a U.S. box office success," said Dr. Chuck Tomkovick, who, with Dr. Rama Yelkur, has conducted extensive research on Super Bowl advertising since 1998.
In addition to the release date, other significant factors that help predict the total U.S. box office revenue of Super Bowl-promoted movies were USA Today's Super Bowl Ad Meter, which measures how a group of volunteers reacts to the ads, and the movie's production budget, Tomkovick said.
Research relating to how effective Super Bowl ads are has become increasingly important as the cost to advertise during the game has continued to climb in recent years, with 30-second ads now selling for more than $2.5 million, Yelkur said, noting that the rates have increased more than 5,000 percent since ads were sold for the first game in 1967. Full story.
Student historians at UW-Eau Claire have come up with some new theories about why Confederate General Robert E. Lee was wrong when he advised against sending reinforcements to the Confederate garrison at Vicksburg in May 1863 during the American Civil War.
The students began the work in History 436, "Sectionalism, Civil War and Reconstruction," but did much of the work outside of the semester, said Dr. James Oberly, professor of history, who worked with them on the faculty-student collaborative research project using data compiled by University of Chicago Professor Robert W. Fogel, the 1993 Nobel Prize winner in economics.
The students met with Fogel and presented their findings to his colleagues at the Center for Population Economics at the University of Chicago on Jan. 19. Full story.
Campus Campaign: Promoting university-community discourse through the
When he arrived at UW-Eau Claire in June, Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich challenged the university community to find ways to promote open community discourse on a wide variety of issues. He believes so strongly in this approach that he established the Chancellor's Fund for Community Dialogue as part of his inauguration celebration and committed his own gifts to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation for this fund. The Foundation board responded by designating $10,000 in honor of the chancellor's October 2006 inauguration to endow the fund and ensure its future. The fund will encourage campus initiatives focused on meaningful community discourse.
To foster community-university interaction through the new fund, an annual theme will be announced each spring for the next academic year, starting in May 2007 for the 2007-08 academic year. Departments, faculty, staff and students will be encouraged to plan activities reflective of the theme. Key activities on campus such as the opening meeting, faculty and staff orientation, Forum lectures and other public and university events also will incorporate the theme. Full story.
Black History Month kicks off this week
• Wednesday, Jan. 31: Alumni Association "Let's Do Lunch" presentation, "Black Baseball and Beyond: Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson and Other Greats," with Mark Clark, professor of education; noon, Sweetwaters Restaurant.
• Wednesday, Jan. 31: Noon and 1 p.m. African American history class presentations by Michael Fedo, who also will give an evening Forum presentation (see next item).
• Wednesday, Jan. 31: Forum presentation, "A Life Informed by a Lynching," by Michael Fedo; 7:30 p.m., Schofield Auditorium (see related story below).
• Thursday, Feb. 1: Office of Multicultural Affairs Black History Month reception, 3:30-5:50 p.m., Tamarack Room, Davies Center.
• Thursday-Sunday, Feb. 1-4: University Activities Commission film, "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," 6 and 8:30 p.m., Davies Theatre.
• Monday, Feb. 5: University Activities Commission presentation, "12 Steps Toward Appreciating Diversity" with Mohammed Bilal; 7:30 p.m., Council Fire Room, Davies Center.
More information about Black History Month events.
Duluth, Minn., native Michael Fedo, a former correspondent for The New York Times, will tell the 1920 story of ordinary people caught up in an extraordinary moment of violence at his Forum presentation Wednesday at the UW-Eau Claire.
Fedo's program, titled "A Life Informed by a Lynching" - drawn from his book, "The Lynchings in Duluth" - will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium. A coffee-and-cookies reception, also in Schofield Auditorium, will follow The Forum, and Fedo will be available to answer questions and to sign books.
Formerly a professor at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park, Minn., Fedo has written five nonfiction books in addition to "The Lynchings in Duluth." His writings have appeared in publications including the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Christian Science Monitor. Full story.
Social injustice to be guest speaker's focus Feb. 5
Johnson, a writer, teacher and public speaker, has worked on unraveling the knot of social injustice since receiving a doctorate in sociology from the University of Michigan in 1972. After almost 30 years of teaching, he now devotes himself to writing and public speaking and has worked with more than 150 schools and organizations in 34 states. Full story.
Alumna to discuss recent Peace Corps experience
Storck, who worked in Kenya from 2004-2006 and now works as a recruiter with the regional Peace Corps office in Minneapolis, will have a booth at UW-Eau Claire's Community Action Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Zorn Arena, but she will make special presentations from 1-2 p.m. in the Alumni Room of Davies Center and from 4-5 p.m. in the Arrowhead Room of Davies Center. She will share photos and information about her time working on HIV/AIDS awareness and poverty alleviation in Kenya and also will speak about the benefits of volunteering with the Peace Corps.
Tours will be offered this week and next at the following times: 5:30 p.m. Mondays, 3 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m. Wednesdays and noon Thursdays. To join a tour group, meet in the Library Grand Corridor couch seating area outside the library, near the display cases. Full story.