This news release describes past events and should be used for historical purposes only. Please note date of release.

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
News Bureau • Schofield Hall 201Eau Claire, WI 54702
phone: (715) 836-4741
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UW-Eau Claire Faculty, Staff
Receive Excellence Awards
At Opening Meeting Of The Academic Year
MAILED: Aug. 21, 2001

         EAU CLAIRE — Chancellor Donald Mash and Foundation Chairman Larry Weber presented awards of excellence to six members of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire faculty and staff during the opening meeting of the 2001-02 academic year Aug. 20.
         Each of the award recipients received a university medallion and $1,500 from the UW-Eau Claire Foundation in recognition of their commitment to excellence.
         Dr. J. Todd Stephens, professor of special education, is the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award. The annual award recognizes outstanding ability to inspire students to high standards of scholarship and is determined by alumni.
         A member of the UW-Eau Claire faculty since 1997, Stephens holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and his doctorate from UW-Madison.
         Stephens is known for interacting well with his students and using a teaching style that inspires students to learn. His teaching interests include cognitive disabilities, characteristics of learning and educational needs, applied behavior analysis and behavioral challenges. He also coordinates the Cognitive Disabilities Licensure Program and advises more than 60 students.
         Unsolicited positive comments from his students are a testimony to his effectiveness as a teacher, according to department chair Dr. Vicki Snider. “He is committed to his profession and takes a sincere interest in his students.”
         As a member of the UW-Eau Claire Human Development Center’s interdisciplinary team, Stephens provides services to community clients in the areas of behavioral and learning problems. He also is involved in research about the way children with cognitive disabilities learn and use action concepts.
         “Dr. Stephens is a very valuable member of the HDC staff who has excellent clinical skills and is respected as a knowledgeable educator,” said Dr. William Frankenberger, professor of psychology and director of the Human Development Center. “He has a history of scholarly accomplishments and has expressed a strong interest in the collaborative projects we are currently completing with the Lac du Flambeau community.”
         Stephens also has contributed widely to international education. This summer he initiated and directed a summer course in Scotland, where several UW-Eau Claire students gained firsthand experience with students with disabilities as well as a better understanding of another country’s culture.
         An active participant in faculty collaborative research, Stephens currently is working with Dr. William Dunlap and Dr. Susan McIntyre, professors of curriculum and instruction, on a grant-supported project with the Japanese Ministry for Education. His portion of the three-year project involves researching teacher education and special education in Japan and the United States as well as professional development for special education teachers. In April 2000 he hosted a delegation from Japan.
         Stephens has served on the University Senate since the spring of 2000 and has been active on numerous university-related committees as well as providing leadership on state professional organizations.
         Dr. Jeremy Hein, associate professor of sociology and anthropology, is the Excellence in Scholarship Award recipient. This award recognizes research, productive and creative work, and professional participation and performance.
         Hein’s research interests include Southeast Asian refugees, Hmong-Americans, international migration and civil rights. He teaches courses on race and ethnicity in the United States, social movements, contemporary black-white relations and Hmong-Americans in Wisconsin.
         He first became interested in Hmong-Americans while in college. His senior thesis focused on how Southeast Asian caseworkers provided resettlement services for their clients. His doctoral dissertation was a comparative study of French and American resettlement programs, which was published as a book in 1993.
         When he joined UW-Eau Claire in 1989, he began studying Hmong leadership, community organization and perceptions of prejudice and discrimination, and the transmission of cultural practices. His book on why Cambodians, Laotians, Vietnamese and Hmong people left their homelands and the sociological issues concerning their adjustment to this country was published in 1995.
         He has authored or co-authored 16 refereed professional journal articles, published 21 book reviews and made 16 presentations at professional meetings. He has received grants from the National Science Foundation, the American Sociological Association, and the UW Institute on Race and Ethnicity, as well as a fellowship with UW-Madison and another with the French government to study immigration and civil rights issues in France.
         Hein currently is a member of the Eau Claire Community Task Force on Racial Justice, which is charged with developing proposals and recommendations to improve race relations and reduce racial inequalities in the city.
         A colleague wrote in a letter of support, “Dr. Hein is an ideal collaborator who is generous with his time and willing to share what he knows. He is a peer to whom others look for guidance in structuring research. He is imaginative in developing new research projects and disciplined in carrying them through to publication. I am certain he will continue a pattern of publication and provide leadership for other faculty in the area of research.”
          Dr. Susan Harrison, associate professor of computer science with a current reassignment to University Senate and Academic Advising, is the recipient of the Excellence in Advising Award. This award recognizes effective advising qualities and practices.
         Harrison joined the computer science department in 1983. In 1997 she was named chair of the University Senate and faculty representative to the UW System. Last fall she began a two-year appointment in Academic Advising where she advises more than 100 undergraduate students. Even though Harrison no longer holds an official assignment in the computer science department, she still advises nearly 80 freshmen computer science majors each year.
         Harrison is known for providing students with sound academic and scheduling advice, career counseling and personal attention. She insists on frequent contact with her advisees through group advising sessions, individual meetings and e-mail correspondence.
         Harrison has very strong interpersonal skills, wrote Dr. Andrew Phillips, chair of computer science, in a letter of nomination. “Susan listens carefully to what her advisees say, and she tries to provide academic and career advice that matches their goals.”
         Harrison was involved in the Title III Advising and Mentoring Program and recently participated in the National Academic Advising Association’s Summer Advising Institute in Lexington, Ky.
         She holds a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University in Upland, Ind., a master’s degree from Ball State University in Munsie, Ind., and her doctorate from the University of Minnesota.
         Harrison’s method of advising is an excellent example to her colleagues, according to a chair from another department. “Susan is extremely available to her students, treats them with incredible respect, and carefully listens to their concerns. In fact, I’ve seen Susan rearrange her office just to make it more inviting to the students during peak advising times.”
         Karen Kremer, associate professor of communication and journalism, is the recipient of the Excellence in Service Award in recognition of her activities outside the classroom, which promote excellence in education and improve the university’s public image.
         Kremer, who joined UW-Eau Claire in 1984, is known for her dedication and commitment to children, library services, reading and small businesses in the Chippewa Valley.
         Kremer served as co-chair of the UW-Eau Claire Women in Higher Education Holiday Project from 1997 to 2000. Through her leadership, she helped to provide gifts for children of more than 150 UW-Eau Claire student parents — many of whom praise the project as an “incredible gesture of support and caring.”
         She also has been an ambassador in her work with the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library and recently completed a term as president of the executive board of the Friends of the Public Library. As a result of her creative efforts on the Friends’ Give-A-Kid-A-Book project, more than 3,000 books were distributed to low-income children in the area.
         Small businesses in the Chippewa Valley also have benefited from Kremer’s contributions to the UW-Eau Claire Small Business Development Center. A colleague writes, “Karen has generously shared her expertise and talents in advertising and marketing communication and often goes beyond expectations by helping small business owners implement their advertising plans and then following up to monitor the results with them.”
         She also volunteers countless hours to the Eau Claire Indianhead Kiwanis Club to assist in planning and executing their charitable projects.
         Kremer earned her bachelor’s degree from UW-Superior and master’s degrees from Syracuse University and UW-Eau Claire.
         Gene Leisz, senior artist in the Media Development Center, is the recipient of the Academic Staff Excellence in Performance Award in recognition of leadership and dedication as a member of the university’s 200-member non-teaching academic staff.
         Leisz joined UW-Eau Claire in 1988 and is responsible for planning and developing visual communication materials, coordinating the production of visual instruction and support materials by the graphics staff and producing instructional materials. He earned his bachelor of fine arts degree and teaching certification from UW-Eau Claire.
         Leisz led the university in the transition from “board” graphics to computer-based and digital imaging, creating electronic presentations and artwork/visualizations to enhance the teaching-learning process. His work can be found in several textbooks, poster sessions, scholarly journals and presentation support materials.
         Last semester Leisz played an integral part in creating the university’s UW Day display. He also developed a presentation for a Board of Regents meeting in May 2000, which led several Regents to say it was the clearest explanation of enrollment management they had received.
         In addition, Leisz spends considerable time helping students prepare their posters for Student Research Day.
         “In a world increasingly influenced by visual images, UW-Eau Claire is very fortunate to have the talents of Gene Leisz,” a colleague said in a letter of support. “He has the ability to visually capture the complexity of UW-Eau Claire without diluting the message of academic quality.”
         This fall Leisz will begin a term on University Senate and he also is a member of the Academic Staff Professional Development Committee, Viennese Ball Committee and CITI Advisory Committee. His community activities range from presenting on the use of technology in instruction to putting his talents to work for community theatre groups and the Ecumenical Religious Center.
         Mary Hayden, library assistant in the McIntyre Library, received the Classified Staff Excellence in Performance Award recognizing outstanding performance by a member of the university’s 425-member classified staff.
         Hayden, who joined UW-Eau Claire 10 years ago, is known for her dedication and positive attitude. According to library staff, Hayden’s qualities include her willingness to learn, flexibility, adaptability and general unflappability in working with McIntyre Library users and staff.
         “Her dedication to providing a high level of service to library users is obvious and evident in her interactions with library users,” said Robert Rose, director of libraries. “She displays a consistent attitude of curiosity, a desire to learn and a willingness to assists students in meeting their educational goals,” Rose said.
         In addition to her duties as a library services assistant and lead worker in the government publications department, Hayden is the editor of the library newsletter “Off The Shelf,” and currently serves on the library long-range planning committee and the UW-Eau Claire Commission on the Status of Women. In addition, Hayden chaired the American Association of University Women-Eau Claire Nicaragua Learning Center Project, is the co-president of AAUW-Eau Claire and serves as a Eucharistic minister at the Newman Parish.

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Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741

Updated: Aug. 21, 2001