This news release describes past events and should be used for historical purposes only. Please note date of release.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield Hall 218
Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004
Faculty, Staff Excellence Awards
Announced During Opening Meeting
of the Academic Year
phone (715) 836-4741
fax (715) 836-2900

MAILED: Aug. 25, 1997

EAU CLAIRE -- Chancellor Larry Schnack and Foundation Chairman Joseph Mirr today presented awards of excellence to five members of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire faculty and staff during the opening meeting of the 1997-98 academic year.

Each received a university medallion and $1,000 from the UW-Eau Claire Foundation in recognition of their commitment to excellence.

Dr. Ann G. Klein, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, is the Excellence in Teaching Award recipient. The annual award is determined by alumni and recognizes outstanding ability to inspire students to high standards of scholarship.

John Hildebrand, professor of English, received the Excellence in Scholarship Award, recognizing research, productive and creative work, and professional participation and performance.

Dr. Lee Anna Rasar, associate professor in the department of allied health professions, received the Excellence in Service Award in recognition of activities outside the classroom that promote excellence in education and improve the university's public image.

Ada Bors, special events coordinator in University Centers and Programs, is the recipient of the Academic Staff Excellence in Performance Award in recognition of leadership and dedication by a member of the university's 200-member non-teaching academic staff.

Donna Weber, payroll and benefits manager and assistant director of Personnel Services, received the Classified Staff Excellence in Performance Award that recognizes outstanding performance by a member of the university's 427-member classified staff.

Profiles of each recipient follow:

Ann Klein views teaching as her "primary responsibility and most favorite thing to do." Unsolicited comments from students and consistently strong positive ratings from students across her courses are a testimony to her effectiveness in this primary responsibility, according to Dean Ronald Satz from the College of Professional Studies. "The enthusiastic appreciation which students have expressed for her efforts attests to the quality of her commitment and contributions to her students" says Satz.

A member of the UW-Eau Claire faculty since 1990, Klein holds a bachelor's degree from UW-Madison, a master's degree from the University of California, and a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts. A former public and private school teacher, she also directed collaborative projects at North Adams State College in Massachusetts from 1984-88. She has served as lead adviser in the UW-Eau Claire department of curriculum and instruction and continues as a primary adviser in the department. She developed the advising handbook for the elementary/middle level programs.

Klein bases her excellence in teaching on a solid foundation of scholarly activity. She has been recognized as a "faculty grant scholar" by the Office of University Research. She has published in the Journal of Instructional Psychology, College Student Journal, Roeper Review, and the National Forum of Educational Administration and Supervision Journal. She has been a consultant to area public schools and served on many department, School of Education, and university committees.

Her research interests include the study of gifted and talented education, gender studies, and social studies education. During the 1997-98 academic year, she will be on sabbatical leave, researching the life of Leta Stetter Hollingworth, the founder of the field of gifted education, a psychologist and a feminist.

John Hildebrand has had two major books brought out by major publishers in seven years - "Reading the River: A Voyage Down the Yukon" Houghton Mifflin, 1988, and "Mapping the Farm: The Chronicle of a Family" Knopf, 1995. His short stories, articles, travel pieces, book reviews and first person essays appear in anthologies and magazines ranging from the academic to the popular. These include The Missouri Review, Manoa (University of Hawaii), The University of Arizona Press, Sports Illustrated, Outside and Harrowsmith's Country Life. He has been honored with awards and fellowships from The Milwaukee Journal Sunday Magazine (judge: Gay Talese), the Wisconsin Library Association and the Breadloaf Writer's Conference as well as a $36,000 fellowship from the Bush Arts Foundation.

Hildebrand, a member of the English department's creative writing faculty, joined the faculty in 1977. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and holds a master of fine arts degree from the University of Alaska.

"To be taught writing by a professional, to have a professional available for consultation and advice, to have an active professional writer visible and working within the university community legitimizes in a very real way much of what we spend a great deal of our time doing," says colleague Bruce Taylor from the creative writing faculty. "John, in his dedication to and proficiency in his craft, vitalizes our mission to provide the highest quality teaching on the undergraduate and graduate level."

Lee Anna Rasar joined UW-Eau Claire's music therapy faculty in 1990 with a bachelor's degree from the University of Alabama and a master's degree in music education and music therapy from the University of Georgia. Involved in a wide variety of service activities at all levels, she has been president of the Great Lakes Region of the National Association for Music Therapy and a chairwoman, officer or committee member of other boards, honor societies and committees of music therapy organizations. She has served on University committees and made numerous presentations at the national, regional, state and local levels.

But it is her personal investment of time, talents, knowledge and skills that inspired one of her colleagues to describe her as one who "is able to touch ... lives with her music and spirit ...." Her service includes giving assistance and comfort at hospitals and nursing homes, especially for rehabilitation, psychiatric, oncology and pediatric patients at Sacred Heart Hospital and for residents of the Syverson Lutheran Home.

She provides benevolence and new directions to adult and juvenile inmates of the Eau Claire County Jail and brings pleasure and enjoyment through her participation in numerous musical concerts.

"It is common for her to hurry to someone's side in their last hours to provide consolation and solace," the selection committee wrote. "It is not uncommon for the hours she provides in service and volunteer work during one week to exceed what is expected of others in a full-time position."

As a teacher, Rasar has inspired many students, taking her educational role beyond the classroom. She has developed programs for student volunteers who support and expand her service. She has worked with other departments to bring guest artists to nursing homes, and theater performances and anger management programs to local jails. Some of these contributions have been recognized with special awards including the 1994 Student Recognition Award; 1993 Award of Merit, Wisconsin Association of Homes and Services for the Aged; and a 1993 TV 13 Sunshine Award for volunteer work in music therapy.

Ada Bors joined UW-Eau Claire as special events coordinator in 1976. She holds a bachelor of fine arts and master's degrees from Ohio University. As the coordinator of university-wide events, she seeks opportunities to promote positive interaction between university programming and the greater Eau Claire community and works to strengthen university, community, and international relations.

She is the originator and coordinator of the Viennese Ball at UW-Eau Claire, first as a community volunteer in 1974 and 1975, and then as the university's special events coordinator. Documented as the largest Viennese Ball in the world outside Vienna, the event has raised more than $500,000 for music scholarships, international study awards and direct payments to student musicians and production staff. As a result of this work, she has been honored with a Decoration of Honor in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria and the Johann Strauss Medal from the City of Vienna and the Vienna Tourist Board. The Viennese Ball Music Service Award at UW-Eau Claire was named after her in 1994.

She has also served as the coordinator of Cabaret, representing University Centers, since the event was established in 1978. To date, Cabaret has raised more than $100,000 for music scholarships, awards and other departmental activities. She also served as campaign coordinator for the acquisition of a Bosendorfer Imperial grand piano for the music department and has been involved in the Host Family and Friends program for a number of years. She has worked tirelessly to support and promote the University Symphony Orchestra since the days she was a community member of the orchestra.

Carole Halberg, director of alumni relations and major gifts, notes her attention to detail concerning luncheons, commemorative events and commencement ceremonies. "She has made commencement a memorable and well-orchestrated event for thousands of students and their families," she writes. "Ada truly builds bridges with the community."

Donna Weber joined UW-Eau Claire classified staff eight years ago, transferring from UW-Stout where she had eight years of service. As payroll and benefits manager, she provides the backbone of answers for all benefits and retirement questions for faculty and staff. Her caring attitude has made starting a new job, retirement and bereavement a little easier for employees and their families.

"It is her spirit that allows her client to receive the highest level of service," writes the selection committee. "Donna combines administrative ability, technical competence, empathy and a caring heart."

Respected by her peers for her technical ability, Weber often serves on UW System committees and user groups. Whenever system changes are necessary, she is at the top of the list to contact for campus input.

"The concern she has begins with the impact on her staff. But she is able to see beyond, to the impact on other departments and other campuses," the committee notes.


UWEC [Administrative Offices] [News Bureau]

Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 218
(715) 836-4741

Updated: Aug. 25, 1997