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University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

University Bulletin Vol. 50, No. 7
Seventh Week
Fall Semester
Sept. 30, 2002

 UW-Eau Claire mathematics and computer science programs receive national funding
The mathematics and computer science departments at UW-Eau Claire have received a $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop the Excellence in Mathematics and Computer Science Scholarship Program.
     Beginning with the 2003-04 academic year, the initiative will provide 30 students — new freshmen or currently enrolled students who major in mathematics or computer science, and demonstrate financial need and academic potential — with scholarships and opportunities to enhance their academic programs, said Michael Howe, associate professor of mathematics.
     In addition to scholarships of up to $3,125 per year (renewable for up to four years), EMACS scholars will receive support in the form of faculty and peer mentoring, student/faculty research projects, capstone and independent study opportunities, career counseling that includes preparation for graduate school, and service-learning and internship opportunities.
     "Offering outstanding academic opportunities — in addition to substantial scholarships — will help our mathematics and computer science departments recruit talented high school students who might otherwise not consider majoring in mathematics or computer science," Howe said, noting that UW-Eau Claire is the first UW System school to receive a NSF Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics Scholarship Program federal grant.
     "Increasing the number of graduates in mathematics and computer science will increase the number of highly skilled workers who can enter high-tech fields," Howe said. "That's good news for those in high-tech industries who tell us they can't find enough qualified Americans to fill the high-tech jobs available in this country."
     The initiative will benefit UW-Eau Claire by helping to increase the number and diversity of students majoring in mathematics or computer science, said Howe, who developed EMACS with Andrew Phillips, professor of computer science, and Alex Smith, associate professor of mathematics.
     "This grant award is further recognition that UW-Eau Claire's mathematics and computer science programs are among the best of the best," Provost Ronald Satz said. "This initiative will allow us to build on our already exceptional programs and provide opportunities to even more high-achieving students."
     When awarding the grant, the NSF reviewers noted UW-Eau Claire's outstanding faculty and academic programs, the quality of its mathematics and computer science programs, and the overall excellence of the university, Howe said. The reviewers also cited the importance the university places on student-faculty research, he said.
     The EMACS program was funded through the NSF Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics Scholarship Program, which funds scholarships for academically talented, financially needy students, enabling them to enter the high-technology workforce. The grant's funding is from a non-tax supported program, Howe said.
     In addition to the $400,000 provided by the NSF, the UW-Eau Claire Foundation has committed to raise an additional $100,000 to support students who receive funding from the NSF program, said Carole Halberg, president of the Foundation.
     By promoting the NSF support in its fundraising efforts, the Foundation can pursue additional funding from alumni, regional employers and emeriti faculty, Halberg said. "We will take this opportunity to ask that these sources support the EMACS program long after the completion of the initial NSF funding."
     For more information, contact Michael Howe at 836-3366 or hower@uwec.edu.

Governor hopefuls to debate on campus
For the first time since 1986, Eau Claire will be the site of a gubernatorial debate.
     Attorney General Jim Doyle and Gov. Scott McCallum have tentatively agreed to a debate at UW-Eau Claire Wednesday, Oct. 16.
     The debate also will include gubernatorial candidate Ed Thompson, running on the Libertarian ticket, and Wisconsin Green Party nominee Jim Young. The hour-long event, open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. in Gantner Concert Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center.
     The forum will consist of questions from a panel of journalists as well as from audience members.
     The debate will be carried live on Wisconsin Public Radio station WHWC (88.3), NewsTalk 790 WAYY-AM and Community Television in Eau Claire. Eau Claire television stations WEAU and WQOW will tape the event for future broadcast.


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Chicago art trip planned
The UW-Eau Claire art department is sponsoring a trip to Chicago Nov. 8-10.
     The focus of the trip, an annual event, is to expose students to a variety of exhibitions, but community members also are invited. Events of interest include "The Medici, Michelangelo and the Art of Late Renaissance Florence" at the Art Institute of Chicago, the work of Juan Muñoz at the Museum of Contemporary Art and the work of Charles LeDray at the Arts Club Chicago.
     A bus will leave UW-Eau Claire at 8 a.m. Nov. 8 and arrive at the Cass Hotel in Chicago's River North District, just one block from Michigan Avenue, in the early afternoon. Participants will then be free to plan their own schedule, as there is no set itinerary for the group.
     The return trip Nov. 10 will include a stop at the Milwaukee Art Museum, where "Leonardo Da Vinci and the Splendor of Poland" will be showing in addition to the regular collection.
     The cost, which covers lodging and transportation, is $110 for quad-occupancy rooms and $165 for double-occupancy rooms. The deadline for purchasing tickets is Oct. 7.
     For more information, call the art department office at 836-3277 or send e-mail to Bobby Pitts at pittsbl@uwec.edu.


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UW-Eau Claire to offer new program for senior citizens
UW-Eau Claire will inaugurate a new monthly program for senior citizens Oct. 4. The program will provide entertainment and educational experiences in partnership with the community.
     The First Fridays colloquium will take place the first Friday of each month, Oct. through May (except Jan.), at no cost to the senior community.
     First Fridays programs will be presented in the Memorial Lounge at Christ Church Cathedral, on the corner of Lake and Farwell streets in downtown Eau Claire. A free continental breakfast will precede each formal program. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. for breakfast; the program will begin at 9 a.m.
     Each session will feature a university or community presenter. Programs may include concerts and recitals, lectures, slide presentations, or demonstrations on a variety of topics — such as travel, film, the visual arts and the humanities, new technology, consumer hoaxes and frauds, and social programs geared specifically toward senior citizens.
     The inaugural program Oct. 4 will feature Laura Chellman, director of Health Services at UW-Eau Claire, who will speak on "Tips for a Healthy Winter Season." On Nov. 1, videographer Cynthia Gray-Mash will discuss "Embracing Art and Science: The Making of a Documentary," and show her film, "Termespheres: Total Worlds." The Dec. 6 program, titled "Sounds of the Holidays," will feature Eu-Tu (ba), a UW-Eau Claire ensemble led by Jerry Young, and the UW-Eau Claire Voice Ensemble directed by Kathryn Proctor Duax.
     The new endeavor is funded in part by the UW-Eau Claire Foundation Community Outreach Program for the Arts, by Christ Church Cathedral, and by a Downtown Eau Claire Business Improvement District grant.
     Modeled on a successful program at Nebraska's Wayne State College, First Fridays is coordinated by Beverly Soll and Jennifer Hinners of the UW-Eau Claire Activities and Programs office and Scott and Heather Kirby of Christ Church Cathedral.
     For more information about First Fridays, or to be placed on a mailing list, call 836-2787.


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Festival of the Turning Leaves to begin Oct. 14
The third annual Festival of the Turning Leaves will be held Oct. 14 to Nov. 2 in Eau Claire.

     The festival will include a series of events with the theme "The City and Nature: Reflections on Life in the Upper Midwest." Presentations have been planned to encourage audiences to recognize the diverse nature of Midwest culture through literature, music and film.
     The following festival events will be held at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire:

     Oct. 14, 7 p.m. — UW-Eau Claire forensics team members will present "Variations on a Theme: Nature and the City in Popular Drama, Literature and Music."
     Oct. 27, 1:30 p.m. — UW-Madison composer Douglas Hill and retired UW-Eau Claire English faculty member Tim Hirsch will present "Nature Writing and Music: Creative Responses to the Work of Wisconsin Nature Writers."
     Oct. 29, 7 p.m. — UW-Eau Claire English faculty members Erna Kelly and John Hildebrand will present "Reading and Writing About Nature: A Discussion With Two Local Scholars/Writers."
     Oct. 30, 7 p.m. — UW-Eau Claire music and theatre arts faculty member Ivar Lunde and English faculty member Max Garland will present "Poetry and Music: A Video Collaboration."

     For a complete festival schedule, call 839-5004.

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Professor's new book celebrates the art of nursing
M. Cecilia Wendler, associate professor in the department of nursing systems at UW-Eau Claire, celebrates the spirit of nursing in her new book, "The HeART of Nursing: Expressions of Creative Art in Nursing."
     Recently published by Center Nursing Publishing of Sigma Theta Tau International, the nursing honor society, the book is a compilation of original stories, poems, essays, paintings, photographs and needlework by nurses, about nursing.
     Wendler, who routinely asks her rather startled master's level nursing students to produce works of original art, believes that art and the humanities can help deepen and enrich nursing practice in a variety of ways. Art, she says, can help nurses momentarily free themselves from their scientific, clinical orientation and better define and express what brought them to, and keeps them in, a challenging profession. Writing a poem or essay, for instance, may help bring some peace and closure to a nurse who has lost a young patient and been privy to the family's grief.
     But according to Wendler, art also can serve as inspiration for the practice of nursing itself, and in turn, transform that practice into art. One of her own contributions to the book, an essay titled "A Lesson from the ‘Phantom'," tells how her memory of a scene from the musical play, "Phantom of the Opera," inspired and empowered her to take time out from clinical duties to show compassion for the suffering husband of a dying patient.
     "Nursing's humanistic roots are very visible in these works and can facilitate healing at a whole different level," said Wendler. "Nursing is more than just body-caring. It is spirit-caring, caring for the mind, caring for the whole human experiencing sometimes exquisite suffering, a suffering routinely seen and co-experienced by nurses, always present, 24 hours each day. Thus, the book is a testament to the enduring nursing spirit."
     According to Wendler, Sigma Theta Tau has just begun to return to nursing's artistic roots, now recognizing publicly the connection between art, the humanities and nursing practice. A call for artistic contributions for their annual conference resulted in 65 contributions, including one from Wendler, who went on to contact the other contributors and propose a collaboration.
     Many agreed, and a second call for work brought even more contributions, after which Wendler spent two summers immersing herself in the works and considering how to organize them. Gradually, she said, seven themes seemed to emerge, which became the book's chapter headings: 1) The Nature of Nursing; 2) Bookends: Birth and Death; 3) The Extraordinary Ordinary; 4) Reflections: Nurses' Interiority Unfolding; 5) The Other is Me; 6) Preparing Others to Nurse: Teaching; and 7) Hope: Looking Forward.
     A number of other UW-Eau Claire faculty, graduate students and alumni also contributed to the book, including Joan Stehle Werner, professor of adult health nursing; Rita Sperstad, assistant professor of adult health nursing; nursing graduate students Sandra Lynch and Linda Jerzak; and nursing alumni Leah Luedke and Heather Nelson. Gene Leisz, senior artist in the Center for Instructional Technology Improvement and Innovation, illustrated one of Wendler's essays.
     
For information about purchasing "The HeART of Nursing," call the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International, toll free at (888) 634-7575.


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Liz Wolf Green, Editor
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Updated: September 30, 2002