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Fourteen UW-Eau Claire Faculty
Members to Retire in May and June
MAILED: May 14, 2002
EAU CLAIRE — Fourteen faculty members from a number of departments will retire in May and June from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. All will receive emeriti status.
Terry Balding, professor of biology, will retire in May after teaching at UW-Eau Claire for 35 years. He brought his great enthusiasm for observing and learning about nature to his courses in animal behavior, anatomy and physiology, embryology, mammalogy, ornithology and general zoology, as well as to his research and writing in areas of special interest. Balding received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Western Illinois University at Macomb and his doctorate from Ohio State University.
Richard Behling, professor of philosophy and religious studies, will retire in May after a 33-year career at UW-Eau Claire. He taught formal logic, contemporary analytic philosophy, philosophy of language and philosophical essay writing and served as editor of PRISM, the UW-Eau Claire undergraduate journal of philosophy and religious studies. He also served as adviser to the departmental Philosophical Society. Behling received his bachelor's and master's degrees from UW-Milwaukee and his doctorate from Southern Illinois University.
Penelope Cecchini, professor of music, will retire in May after 36 years in UW-Eau Claire's department of music and theatre arts. She taught courses in music theory, class piano, piano ensemble and applied piano and was a founding member of the UW-Eau Claire faculty piano ensemble Trio Toscano. While at UW-Eau Claire, Cecchini was awarded two faculty development and curriculum improvement grants for study with Maestro Orazio Frugoni in Tuscany, Italy. She received her bachelor's degree from Butler University and her master's degree and diploma for advanced graduate study from Michigan State University.
Gene Decker, associate professor of allied health professions, will retire in May after teaching at UW-Eau Claire since 1976. He began by teaching microbiology and human nutrition courses, but in 1977 developed the health care administration program at UW-Eau Claire, serving as the sole faculty member for 23 years and graduating more than 400 students. He received a John S. Falco Distinguished Service and Leadership Award from the Wisconsin Health Care Association. Decker earned his bachelor's degree from UW-Eau Claire and his master's degree and doctorate from Ohio State University.
Leonard Gambrell, professor and chair of the political science department and interim chair of sociology, will retire in June after 36 years at UW-Eau Claire. He taught courses on international relations theory, national security policy, dilemmas of war and peace and the Vietnam War and was a founding member of the Wisconsin Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, serving on its executive council since its creation in 1985. In recent years he has organized and led a number of students and community members on trips to Vietnam, a practice he hopes to continue in retirement. Gambrell received his bachelor's and master's degree from Oklahoma State University and his doctorate from the University of Virginia.
A. David Gordon, professor and chair of communication and journalism, will retire in May after teaching at UW-Eau Claire since 1997. He taught courses in mass media ethics and communication in the information age. Over the years Gordon served on the executive committees of both the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication and before coming to UW-Eau Claire taught at a number of colleges and universities in Boston, Miami and Chicago. Gordon received his bachelor's degree from Carleton College, master's degrees from Columbia University and UW-Madison, and his doctorate from UW-Madison.
Robert Janke, associate professor of geography, will retire in May after 36 years of teaching at UW-Eau Claire. He taught courses in physical geography, landforms, map reading and interpretation, cartography, weather and climate, remote sensing and solar energy to more than 16,000 students. Janke grew up near UW-Eau Claire and his lifelong involvement with the campus led him to activities such as writing the environmental impact statement for the library addition and serving on the physical plant planning committee for 12 years. He also was responsible for design and oversight of the audio tutorial system in the geography department. Janke earned his bachelor's degree from UW-Eau Claire and his master's degree from Michigan State University.
Michael Lindsay, professor of curriculum and instruction, will retire in May after teaching for 31 years, including 24 at UW-Eau Claire. He taught more than 4,400 students, including over 1,000 graduate students and more than 500 intern/student teachers. He taught more than 40 different undergraduate and graduate courses, including 25 he designed and introduced. He also presented 55 papers at 50 conferences of 25 different educational organizations. Lindsay's main interests have been teacher education, adult education, staff development, faculty evaluation, and curriculum development. Lindsay received his bachelor's degree and doctorate from Stanford University and his teacher's certification and master's degree from UW-Milwaukee.
Richard Palm, associate professor of geography, will retire in June after 34 years of teaching at UW-Eau Claire. He taught courses in physical geography, climatology, Africa and Wisconsin; authored a physical geography textbook; and co-authored a book on Wisconsin weather. He also was a member of the State Social Studies Curriculum Committee for DPI, which authored the State Geography Exam, State Social Studies Curriculum Guide and the State Geography Standards. Palm earned his bachelor's degree from UW-Milwaukee and his master's degree from Northern Illinois University.
Tiit Raid, professor of art, will retire in May after 35 years of teaching at UW-Eau Claire. He taught primarily painting and drawing. As a working painter, he has participated in more than 115 local, state, regional, national and international exhibitions since 1965, receiving several Best of Show awards. Currently he is painting landscapes inspired by his home surroundings in Fall Creek. Raid received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Minnesota.
William Smethells, professor of physics and astronomy, will retire in May after teaching at UW-Eau Claire for 31 years. He taught a variety of courses in astronomy and physics but had a special interest in general education courses such as "The Mysterious Universe." From 1992-2000 he also served as department chair, assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and interim associate vice chancellor for information and technology. Smethells earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, his master's degree from Michigan State University and his doctorate from Case Western Reserve University.
Sylvia Steiner, professor of communication disorders and academic adviser, is retiring in May after 32 years at UW-Eau Claire. She taught courses in speech and hearing science, anatomy and physiology of speech and hearing, and research procedures in communication disorders. She served for 17 years as chair of the department of communication disorders and for eight years as director of graduate studies in communication disorders. This spring she received a Lifetime-Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Association. Steiner received her bachelor's degree from Baldwin-Wallace College and her master's degree and doctorate from the University of Iowa.
Fred Waedt, senior lecturer of accounting and finance, will retire in May after a 30-year career at UW-Eau Claire. Since 1998 he has served as regional liaison for work-force development and as a senior lecturer in accounting and finance. Previously held positions include assistant professor of finance, program coordinator for business outreach, and assistant dean for executive and professional programs, a position that involved supervision of a number of non-credit business programs for the College of Business. Waedt received his bachelor's and master's degrees from UW-Madison.
Bonnie Willkom, lecturer of speech pathology and communication disorders, will retire in May after 11 years at UW-Eau Claire. She taught courses in language development and disorders, clinical procedures and observation, school methods, and developmental language disorders and also supervised public school externships. Willkom, a past president of the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association, earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from UW-Eau Claire.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: May 14, 2002