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University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
University Bulletin Vol. 50, No. 4
Fourth Week
Fall Semester
Sept. 9. 2002

Leonard Gambrell receives Regents Teaching Excellence Award
Leonard Gambrell, professor emeritus of political science at UW-Eau Claire, is a recipient of the 2002 Regents Teaching Excellence Award.
     "This whole thing has me reeling," Gambrell said of the award. "It's very difficult to put into words what I feel. To be honored for doing what I loved doing is a very nice bonus."
     The excellence awards recognize some of the UW System's finest faculty and reflect "the UW System's vigorous commitment to teaching," said UW System President Katharine Lyall.
     Students come to UW-Eau Claire expecting to be challenged and respond best to the faculty who do routinely challenge them, Gambrell said of his motivation to continuously improve his teaching. And the university as a whole values quality teaching, he said.
     "Being told regularly, in various ways, that my teaching performance and skill development are important meant that I was able to work in a professional, challenging environment in which I always tried to reach deep within myself to try to find one more way that I might get a complex set of ideas across to my students," said Gambrell, who retired from UW-Eau Claire in June after 36 years of teaching.
     "Engaging in these practices becomes or creates a standard that we simply assume as our responsibility to our students, our colleagues and to the institution. UW-Eau Claire is a place where many faculty take these challenges seriously," he said.
     Gambrell said his goal when teaching is to ensure that students are engaged in the course and to help them understand the concepts that he has deemed important.
     "If I have done my job right, students can continue to learn, on their own, about my particular subject matter for the rest of their lives," Gambrell said. "Experience has taught me that developing the capacity to think is at least as important as the specific content of the course. … These are lifelong learning skills valuable in all walks of life."
     When describing Gambrell, many of his students and colleagues note his enthusiasm for political science and teaching, and his love of helping students understand complex issues.
     "Dr. Gambrell is one of the most dedicated individuals to the profession of teaching and the field of political science at UW-Eau Claire," said Erin Brandt, a 2002 UW-Eau Claire graduate. "He takes a marked interest in his students, pushing them to excel beyond their perceived abilities. His enthusiasm for the subject inspires students to pursue political science as a major and as a career beyond the university."
     Another former student said Gambrell's dedication to his students continues to inspire him several years after graduation. "As I now start on the path toward earning a Ph.D. in international relations, I look to the example set by Dr. Gambrell as my benchmark of success," said Marc Hutchison, a 1998 UW-Eau Claire graduate.
     Faculty said Gambrell inspired them to be better teachers. "In Leonard Gambrell, I found someone who made me think about issues in ways that made me a better teacher and in ways that have undoubtedly affected my students," said Michael Fine, professor of political science.
     Gambrell is a scholar who enjoys sharing his knowledge, Fine said. "Len has a lifelong interest in teaching and learning about war and peace," Fine said. "… I want to emphasize how much he integrates the work on his scholarship with his classes. It would be impossible to separate the two. For Leonard Gambrell, studying war and peace is teaching war and peace.
     "This extends not only to the conventional classroom … It is impossible for an important world event to pass us by without a local radio or television station calling to interview Len. It appears that long ago he decided to not say ‘no' when asked to speak to community groups."
     In recent years, Gambrell has added a new dimension to his teaching by leading groups — including UW-Eau Claire students and community members — in tours of Vietnam, said Stephen Gosch, a professor of history who team-taught a course on the Vietnam War with Gambrell.
     "Teaching the Vietnam War course with Leonard for the past 20 years has been one of the highlights of my professional life," Gosch said. "He has taught me a great deal about the War, about teaching and about living a meaningful life."
     Gambrell, who joined UW-Eau Claire's faculty in 1966, earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Oklahoma State University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.
     Winners of the $5,000 awards will be honored during a Sept. 13 ceremony in Madison.


Sept. 11 remembrances planned

Faculty, staff and students at UW-Eau Claire will mark the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy in several meaningful ways, including the following:

• At 7:45 a.m. (the approximate time the first plane hit the World Trade Center tower) Sept. 11, two trumpet players will play dual taps from opposite ends of the footbridge on the UW-Eau Claire campus. Faculty, staff and students will be invited to throw 3,000 rose petals from the bridge into the Chippewa River as a symbolic gesture remembering the 3,000-plus people believed to have died in the attacks. Also, the carillon toll will mark the times of crashes into the second tower at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the crash in Pennsylvania.
• Faculty may devote whatever time they think is appropriate during their classes on Sept. 11 to discuss events related to the tragedy.
• Pastors from the Ecumenical Religious Center will lead 11 minutes of prayer at 9:11 a.m. Sept. 11.
• The Activities and Programs Office will coordinate the Blugold Organizations Bash: Celebrating American Freedoms. Through student organization involvement, students can exercise their freedom to associate, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom from want and fear. The Sept. 11 event will begin at 11 a.m. with a moment of silence to remember the people who lost their lives during the events of a year ago. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Central Campus Mall, students can gather information on a variety of student organizations. The event will move to the Council Fire Room of Davies Center if it rains.
• UW-Eau Claire's Student Senate will hold a candle light vigil at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 11 on the Central Campus Mall. All members of the UW-Eau Claire and greater Eau Claire communities are welcome to attend.
• UW-Eau Claire's student chapter of Amnesty International will host a poetry reading from 7-9 p.m. Sept. 11 in The Cabin of Davies Center. Some of the poetry will relate to the events of Sept. 11 and responses to it.
• UW-Eau Claire's Center for Service-Learning is organizing community service projects to commemorate Sept. 11.
• McIntyre Library will devote a Grand Corridor display to items related to Sept. 11. The exhibit, which will be on display from Sept. 5-30, will include publications related to the Sept. 11, 2001, events; publications of the newly formed Homeland Security Office; and other publications on related topics.


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Music at Sunset program launches harps project
The Friends of Music at UW-Eau Claire will present a program of music and food at sunset Sept. 12 to launch a campaign to raise funds for two harps for the department of music and theatre arts.
     Pianist Roger Bethard, senior logic design engineer at Cray Inc., will host the "Music at Sunset" program at his home overlooking the Chippewa River to kick off the fund-raising campaign aimed at providing new harps for the university's music students and performances.
     Bethard, whose home features a large acoustically designed music room and a Bosendorfer Imperial Grand piano, will open the program. Other performers include the UW-Eau Claire Voice Faculty Quartet, harpist Paula Smith from the department of music and theatre arts faculty, and pianist Barbara Young.
     "Music at Sunset" will begin at 6:15 p.m. with an hors d'oeuvres buffet and harp music by Smith. The Voice Faculty Quartet of Mitra Sadeghpour, soprano, Kathryn Proctor Duax, mezzo-soprano, Daniel Newman, tenor, and Robert Knight, baritone, accompanied by pianist Barbara Young, will perform operatic excerpts. Bethard and Young will perform a piano duet, followed by a dessert buffet from 8:15 to 9 p.m. The cost is $50 per person and is tax deductible.
     "This unique musical experience is kicks off for the Harps Project. Our goal over the next year is to raise $25,000 for the purchase of a pedal harp and a troubadour harp for the department of music and theatre arts," said Duax, chair of the Friends of Music. "This is a great opportunity to support the Harps Project while enjoying some wonderful music in a beautiful setting."
     To make a reservation for the program, call the UW-Eau Claire Foundation at 836-3526. Attendance is limited to 60 guests on a first-come, first-served basis.
     Donations to the Harps Project may be sent the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, 214 Schofield Hall, Eau Claire, WI, 54702-4004.


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UW-Eau Claire receives Marshall Fields grant for tutor/mentor program
The Marshall Fields Community Giving Program, formerly known as the Dayton's Community Giving Program, has donated $3,000 to UW-Eau Claire's Human Development Center.
     The grant, given to the university for the past seven years, will be used to pay tutor/mentors serving two elementary schools in Eau Claire. The HDC matches the grant to fund two graduate assistantship positions to coordinate the center's tutor/mentor program throughout the academic year.
     Graduate assistants are Terri Olsen, Bessemer, Mich., from the school psychology program and Taryn Jones, Prairie du Chien, from the department of communication disorders. Besides coordinating the program, Olsen and Jones will each serve as a tutor/mentor for a child.
     According to Olsen, the program will have 14 upper-level undergraduate and graduate student participants. Tutor/mentors will serve about 20-25 students from the first through fifth grades at Lincoln Elementary School and Lakeshore Elementary School.
     Throughout the school year tutor/mentors go to the elementary schools twice a week for an hour. Students who are identified as needing some extra help in academics are tutored one-on-one or in some instances paired up by teachers according to ability and grade-level.
     "In the past few years we have been trying to incorporate social skills lessons with academics, and we hope to develop and improve this aspect of the program this year," Olsen said. "The program benefits the university students by offering experience in working closely with one or two elementary students who are in need of some extra help academically and often socially."
     Olsen said the tutor/mentors learn about building relationships and techniques for helping students who need extra assistance. Students have the opportunity to work with a positive role model and do homework in a positive environment.
     "The teachers at the schools report that students who are involved in the program gain confidence in the classroom and are gaining academic skills they were behind on, such as reading and mathematics," Olsen said. "The program has a great reputation in the schools that it serves, and we are going to keep our expectations high and develop the program to meet the needs of the children."


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Liz Wolf Green, Editor
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Updated: September 12, 2002