Vol. 54, No. 8Eighth Week • Fall Semester • Oct. 9, 2006

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NSF grants $500,000 to support ESTEAM program

Eberth Alarcon memorial service, benefit set

Dual Choice enrollment starts today

UW System regents oppose marriage amendment

Burning River Brass to perform Wednesday

Colloquium to examine Iowa town's "neo-Hindu" transformation

Artists show world from macro/micro levels in "SUPERvision" exhibit

Muslim, Jew to share comedy on Forum stage

Event honors faculty, staff publishing successes

Professional development opportunities

Speaker to discuss proposed marriage amendment

Alumnus to promote Teach For America

Homecoming weekend includes Blugold victories


NSF grants $500,000 to support ESTEAM program
UW-Eau Claire excellence sealUW-Eau Claire has received a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop the "Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics" scholarship program.

The ESTEAM initiative will provide approximately 20 students who major in science or mathematics and demonstrate financial need and academic potential with scholarships of up to $10,000 a year (renewable up to four years) and opportunities to enhance their academic programs. Science majors include biochemistry/molecular biology, biology, chemistry, computer science/software engineering, geology, physics and pre-engineering.

Dr. Michael Howe, associate professor of mathematics, is the program director and author of the grant proposal. "This NSF program was very competitive and the success of our proposal is a clear affirmation of the strength of UW-Eau Claire's programs in science and mathematics," Howe said. Full story. Go to top of page

Eberth Alarcon memorial service, benefit set

Eberth Alarcon
Eberth Alarcon

A memorial service celebrating the life of Eberth Alarcon, UW-Eau Claire associate professor of mathematics, who died Sept. 26 after a battle against acute leukemia, will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, in Schofield Auditorium at UW-Eau Claire. At approximately 4 p.m. the service will move in a silent procession from the auditorium to the Council Fire Room of Davies Center for a more informal gathering.

A benefit to assist with the medical and related costs of Alarcon's illness will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, in the upper level of Stella Blues, 306 E. Madison St., Eau Claire. The suggested donation for the benefit is $10. The event will include a silent auction. Bids for the auction can be placed at the benefit or online at http://naranjadia.blogs.com/benefit/.

The Eberth Alarcon Memorial Scholarship Fund, as well as a benefit fund to assist with expenses, also have been established through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation. Gifts to either of these funds can be directed to the Foundation, Schofield Hall Room 214, with either "Alarcon Help Fund" or "Alarcon Scholarship Fund" specified. Checks should be made payable to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.

Read Alarcon's full obituary. Also read recent Spectator and Leader-Telegram articles in which colleagues and students remember Alarcon. Go to top of page

Dual Choice enrollment starts today
Each year employees enrolled in one of the state group health insurance plans have the opportunity to change from one health insurance carrier to another or to add eligible family members who are not currently covered. This year, the Dual Choice enrollment period is Oct. 9-27. The effective date of any change is Jan. 1, 2007. Dual Choice booklets will be distributed this week via campus mail to everyone who is enrolled in a state group health insurance plan.

A benefits fair will be Wednesday, Oct. 18, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Tamarack Room of Davies Center. Several changes taking place in 2007 could affect UW-Eau Claire employees. Insurance vendors will be available at the benefits fair to answer questions. For additional information on Dual Choice enrollment and other insurance open enrollments, see the Human Resources online newsletter. Go to top of page

UW System regents oppose marriage amendment
From UW System news release

UW System logoThe UW System Board of Regents voted Oct. 6 to formally oppose a proposed amendment that would change the state constitution related to defining marriage as between a man and a woman, saying the amendment would be a significant setback for the university as it seeks to recruit and retain faculty and staff.

A clause in the proposed amendment would not allow Wisconsin to recognize a legal status “identical or substantially similar” to marriage, UW System Legal Counsel Patricia Brady told a regent committee on Thursday. This could lead to “uncertainty” about what benefits the university or state would be able to provide to employees, Brady said.

Current state law prohibits the UW System from offering domestic partner benefits, putting the state at a competitive disadvantage in recruiting and retaining university employees. UW-Madison is the only member of the Big Ten that does not offer such benefits to its employees.

In introducing the resolution to the full board, Regent Charles Pruitt of Shorewood reminded fellow regents that, two years ago, the board took a strong position in favor of offering domestic partner benefits as "critically important for this university to be able to compete in a global economy.” The resolution was approved by the board's Business, Finance and Audit Committee on Thursday.

For more information on this and other actions and discussion by the Board of Regents, see the Day 1 and Day 2 news summaries from its October meeting at UW-Platteville. Go to top of page

Burning River Brass to perform Wednesday
Burning River Brass

Burning River Brass, a chamber ensemble comprising 12 of the finest brass and percussion players in the country, will give a UW-Eau Claire Artists Series performance Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in Gantner Concert Hall of Haas Fine Arts Center.

Burning River Brass has been heard on National Public Radio's "Performance Today" and "Sunday Baroque" as well as radio stations throughout the United States and abroad. The group has four CDs on the Dorian Recordings label "Of Knights and Castles" (1999), "Russian Carnival" (2000), "Romanza Espana" (2004) and "Christmas Around the World" (2005). Full story. Go to top of page

Scott Lowe
Scott Lowe

Colloquium to examine Iowa town's 'neo-Hindu' transformation
Scott Lowe, professor and chair of UW-Eau Claire's department of philosophy and religious studies, will present a faculty colloquium, "The Neo-Hindu Transformation of an Iowa Town," at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, in Room 324 of Hibbard Humanities Hall. The subject is the town of Fairfield, Iowa, and the process by which its economic survival has become linked to the influx of primarily American and European practitioners of Transcendental Meditation. The presentation is free and open to the public. Full story. Go to top of page

Artists show world from macro/micro levels
in Foster Gallery 'SUPERvision' exhibit

'SUPERvision' poster art"SUPERvision: Responding to the Rise of Surveillance Technology," a new exhibit at UW-Eau Claire's Foster Gallery in the Haas Fine Arts Center, will open Oct. 12, with a reception in the gallery from 7:30 to 9 p.m. The national juried exhibition curated by Theresa Downing, associate curator of the Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul, explores how advances in mapping and surveillance technologies provide new ways of seeing and interpreting our world on macro/micro levels. Nineteen artists from across the nation, including Gail Schellinger of Eau Claire, will exhibit works in a variety of media, from paintings, photography and works on paper to sculpture, video projection, interactive art and installation art. Full story. Go to top of page

Muslim, Jew to share comedy on Forum stage

Rabbi Bob Alper Azhar Usman
Rabbi Bob Alper
Azhar Usman

Rabbi Bob Alper and Azhar Usman will present an evening of nonpolitical laughter Monday, Oct. 16, at the second event of the 65th season of The Forum at UW-Eau Claire. Their program, titled "One Muslim. One Jew. One Stage," will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium.

Rabbi Alper performs his comedy nationally and has appeared on CNN's "American Morning" with Paula Zahn, "The Today Show," "Good Morning America," "Showtime," "Comedy Central" and "Extra." He is the author of "Life Doesn't Get Any Better Than This," an inspirational book now in its fifth printing, and the award-winning full-color cartoon book "A Rabbi Confesses." He also has produced two best-selling comedy CDs.

In 2004, Usman co-founded "Allah Made Me Funny: The Official Muslim Comedy Tour," profiled in over 100 major world media including The New York Times, Time and Newsweek magazines and "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." Usman was the subject of an entire episode of "ABC News Nightline" in March 2005. That summer he was interviewed on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," and he became a regularly featured on-air personality on Viacom's newly established "MTV Desi." Full story. Go to top of page

Event honors faculty, staff publishing successes
Kent Syverson and Lois Taft Maureen Mack and Roger Tlusty

At left, Kent Syverson, geology, described his article on glacial geology to Lois Taft, nursing systems, during UW-Eau Claire's first Authors Celebration Oct. 3. At right, Maureen Mack, curriculum and instruction, discussed her book, "Women of Madeline Island," with Roger Tlusty, foundations of education. (Photos by Rick Mickelson, LTS)

UW-Eau Claire's first Authors Celebration Oct. 3 gave dozens of faculty and staff a rare opportunity to talk to colleagues from widely different disciplines about their scholarship and publication efforts. The event, which featured 40 recently published faculty and staff members, was cosponsored by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, McIntyre Library and Academic Affairs. "Based on attendees' and participants' favorable comments and recommendations, we hope to repeat the event next year and showcase another group of faculty and staff authors," said Karen Havholm, interim assistant vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs. The posters displayed during the Authors Celebration will be framed and hung in McIntyre Library. Also, work has begun on a Web site and a searchable database of UW-Eau Claire faculty, staff and student publications, Havholm said. Go to top of page

Professional development opportunities

Expert to offer strategies for response to student writing:
student writingFaculty and academic staff members are invited to bring a lunch and samples of their students' writing to a campuswide writing-in-the-disciplines workshop on Friday, Oct. 13, from noon to 2 p.m. in the Tamarack Room of Davies Center. Dan Melzer, university reading and writing coordinator at California State University, Sacramento, will present “Responding More Effectively and Efficiently to Student Writing in Any Discipline.” To register contact Karen Welch (welchka@uwec.edu) or Dianne Lund (lunddm@uwec.edu), or call the English department Writing Center at 36-2644. This workshop is supported by Academic Affairs.

Series to focus on milliennial tools in the classroom:
millennial tools graphicThe Computing Assistance and Training, McIntyre Library and Network for Excellence in Teaching staffs will present the first session in a three-part series titled "Millennial Tools for Classroom Use: Taking Advantage of What Your Students Already Use" from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, in Old Library Room 1132.

The first session will feature Weblogs (blogs). After a quick overview of blogs, Manny Fernandez and Julie Adler from the foreign languages department will describe how they use blogs with their students. Participants also will view some sample blogs and discuss curricular uses for blogging.

Future sessions in the series will feature image sharing and video streaming (Oct. 27) and podcasting (Nov. 10). Participants may bring a lunch to the sessions. Go to top of page

Speaker to discuss proposed marriage amendment
Dan Freund, an Eau Claire attorney and volunteer for Fair Wisconsin, will speak at UW-Eau Claire's first Women on Wednesdays gathering of the semester from 4:30-6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, in the Alumni Room of Davies Center.

Freund's presentation, "The Constitutional Amendment to Ban Civil Unions and Same-Sex Marriage: A Risky Experiment?," will explore the legal, economic and other ramifications of the second sentence of the proposed amendment to ban civil unions and same-sex marriages.

The talk is free and open to anyone. Refreshments will be served. Women on Wednesdays is sponsored by Women in Higher Education with support from the office of the provost. Go to top of page

Alumnus to promote Teach for America

Zachary Verriden
Zachary Verriden '04 in his Camden, N.J., classroom. (Contributed photo)

UW-Eau Claire 2004 alumnus Zachary Verriden, the first UW-Eau Claire graduate accepted into Teach For America, will return to campus Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 11 and 12, to talk to current students from all majors about the advantages of the program, describe his experiences teaching in Camden, N.J., and invite them to apply to Teach For America.

Thursday he will be available to talk to students at the Career Conference in Zorn Arena, and he will make a presentation that evening at 7:15 p.m. in the Eagle Room of Davies Center. On Wednesday, Verriden will be available to speak to students during the first five minutes of classes. Those who would like Verriden to visit their classes and talk briefly about the Teach For America mission of striving for equality in education can contact him at zachary.verriden@corps2005.tfanet.org. Read more about Verriden's Teach for American experience. Go to top of page

Homecoming weekend includes Blugold victories
The Blugold football team won its third straight Homecoming victory Saturday when it defeated UW-River Falls 23-3 at Carson Park (read more), but it wasn't the only Blugold team giving UW-Eau Claire fans cause to celebrate. In addition to the football victory, the women's golf team won its third consecutive Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship and qualified for its seventh straight NCAA Division III national championship tournament by winning the conference tournament Sunday in Watertown (full story). The women's soccer team had two wins over the weekend, one against UW-Oshkosh on Saturday and one against Augsburg College on Sunday. Also victorious was the volleyball team, which swept UW-Stevens Point 3-0 Saturday to improve its overall season record to 19-2 (full story).

Below are some images captured during the weekend's Homecoming festivities:

Drum major Phil Salwasser

Top left: Drum major Phil Salwasser enthusiastically led the Blugold Marching Band during its halftime show. (Photo by Rick Mickelson, LTS)
Bottom left: Chuck Tomkovick, professor of marketing and the 2006 recipient of UW-Eau Claire's Excellence in Teaching Award, was the Homecoming parade grand marshal. He and his family were driven along the parade route by Lloyd Joyal, UW-Eau Claire professor emeritus of curriculum and instruction and a 1954 UW-Eau Claire alumnus. (Photo by Rick Mickelson, LTS)

Chuck Tomkovick and family with Lloyd Joyal

Top right: The Blugold football team took to the field for its game against the UW-River Falls Falcons. The Blugolds went on to win, 23-3, for their third straight Homecoming victory. (Photo by Bill Hoepner, LTS)

Bottom right: Alumni Keevin Peuse '79 and Maria Fedele '86 enjoyed the pregame Blugold Fever Fest in Carson Park. (Photo by Bill Hoepner, LTS) Go to top of page

Blugold football team takes to the field
Keevin Peuse '79 and Maria Fedele '86


University Bulletin
Published weekly during the fall and spring semesters by the UW-Eau Claire News Bureau. News items and notices should be sent to the News Bureau, Schofield 201, by 10 a.m. Monday for publication in the following week’s issue. E-mail submissions to Julie Poquette at poquetjm@uwec.edu are encouraged. Faculty/staff news items are published on a space-available basis.

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News Bureau
Julie Poquette, Editor, UW-Eau Claire News Bureau, Schofield 201, (715) 836-4741
Diane Walkoff, Editorial Assistant. Updated: October 11, 2006

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