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UW-Eau Claire Honors Seven Faculty, Staff
Members with Excellence Awards

RELEASED: Aug. 22, 2006

2006 UW-Eau Claire Excellence Award recipients
UW-Eau Claire's 2006 Excellence Award recipients are (back row, from left) Venerian Vance, Charles Tomkovick, Robert Hooper and Richard Mickelson; and (front row, from left) Thomas Miller, Jason Halfen and Robert Eierman. (UW-Eau Claire photo by Bill Hoepner)

EAU CLAIRE — Seven University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire faculty and staff members were recognized for excellence during the university’s opening meeting Aug. 22.

Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich and Interim Provost Steve Tallant presented 2006 Excellence Awards to: Dr. Robert Eierman, professor of chemistry; Dr. Jason Halfen, professor of chemistry; Dr. Robert Hooper, professor of geology; Richard Mickelson, photography and graphics coordinator; Dr. Thomas Miller, professor of history; Dr. Charles Tomkovick, professor of marketing; and Venerian Vance, university services associate.

Miller, who joined the history department in 1967 and has been department chair since 2000, received the Excellence in Advising Award. The award is given to faculty or instructional academic staff who the Faculty Awards Committee thinks has put forth exceptional effort to establish excellence in academic advising. A Student Senate committee makes the nominations.

Hooper, who came to UW-Eau Claire in 1983, received the Excellence in Service Award. Hooper gives his time and energy to improving the physical and intellectual climate for faculty and students. During his 16 years as department chair, he has carried a full teaching load and secured $1.6 million in external grant funding. His community service includes working with the K-12 schools on Mission Eau Claire, conducting teacher training programs, teaching for the Cray Academy, working with minority groups, and doing public outreach in geology.

Halfen, a member of the chemistry faculty since 1997, received the Excellence in Scholarship Award. In less than 10 years, he’s established an internationally recognized research program in the competitive field of biological inorganic chemistry. Halfen has published 52 research articles, many in the top journals in his field. His co-authors include 14 UW-Eau Claire undergraduate students. He’s acquired more than $823,000 in external research funds, including awards from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation and the National Science Foundation.

Vance, a university services associate in the Admissions Office, received the Classified Staff Excellence in Performance Award. Vance processes applications for transfer students and is involved in their acceptance decision. She has served the region through her work with Habitat for Humanity and the Boys and Girls Club. She received the 2005 Office of Multicultural Affairs’ Distinguished Service Award.

Mickelson, who joined the university in 1988, received the Excellence in Performance Award for Administrative and/or Professional Academic Staff. Mickelson puts a “face” on the university through his photographs, which are found in publications, posters, papers, brochures and Web pages. He’s won numerous awards and has been published in Wisconsin Trails, Field & Stream and Better Homes & Gardens.

Tomkovick, who joined UW-Eau Claire’s faculty in 1992, received the Excellence in Teaching Award. This is the second time that Tomkovick has received this award. Students and colleagues frequently mention Tomkovick’s enthusiasm, energy and open-mindedness. He’s known for challenging students, and for including students and faculty in his research. He has been a nominee three times for the CASE/Carnegie Foundation’s U.S. Professor of the Year.

Eierman, a member of the chemistry faculty for 23 years, is the UW-Eau Claire 2006 Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award nominee. Eierman’s primary scholarly activity has focused on science education. He’s chaired a committee to create the American Chemical Society standardized exam for “Quantitative Analysis,” reviewed for the Journal of Chemical Education, and coordinated a faculty science education discussion group and the Chem Demo Show. He’s also co-directed a series of federally funded workshops for K-12 science teachers, teaches science teaching methods courses for science education majors, serves as adviser and student teacher supervisor for secondary chemistry and physical science education majors, and has served on the master’s committees for nine teachers.

The Excellence award recipients received the University Medallion and a $1,500 check from the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.

-30-

JB

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