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

RELEASED: Aug. 19, 2008

UW-Eau Claire's 2008 faculty and staff excellence award recipients
UW-Eau Claire's 2008 faculty and staff excellence award recipients are (left to right) Dr. Matt Germonprez, Dr. Rosemary Jadack, Dr. Jeanie Geurink, Dr. Shyam Chadha, Robin Baker, Marjorie Frankenberger, Dr. J. Brian Mahoney and Dr. Theresa Kemp. (UW-Eau Claire photo by Rick Mickelson)

EAU CLAIRE — Eight University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire faculty and staff members were recognized for excellence during the university's academic year opening meeting Aug. 19.

Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich presented 2008 Excellence Awards to Robin Baker, athletics budget coordinator, assistant to the director of athletics and assistant softball coach; Dr. Shyam Chadha, professor of mathematics; Marjorie Frankenberger, academic publications and scheduling specialist in Registration Services; Dr. Matt Germonprez, assistant professor of information systems; Dr. Jeanie Geurink, assistant professor of communication and journalism; Dr. Rosemary Jadack, professor of nursing; Dr. Theresa Kemp, professor of English; and Dr. J. Brian Mahoney, professor of geology.

Each honoree received the University Medallion and a $1,500 check from the UW-Eau Claire Foundation. Three of the awards — the Excellence in Teaching Award and the Excellence in Performance awards for classified and academic staff — are funded by Markquart Chevrolet, Markquart Motors and Markquart Toyota of Eau Claire. The Arnold and Lois Domer Foundation of Eau Claire funded the awards honoring the nominees for the Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award and the U.S. Professor of the Year Award.

Baker, who came to UW-Eau Claire in 2001, received the Excellence in Performance Award for Administrative and Professional Academic Staff. As budget coordinator/assistant to the director of athletics, she is responsible for more than $2 million in expenses and revenues for 22 athletics teams. She also manages 97 athletics accounts; prepares financial data; administers payroll for more than 100 students; and approves and processes all purchase orders, team and individual travel, and payments to officials. As an assistant softball coach for the past seven years, Baker helped lead UW-Eau Claire's team to the 2008 NCAA Division III national championship and a third-place finish in 2007. She also serves on the University Senate, has served on several athletics department search committees and is a member of the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Region Softball Coaches Ranking Committee and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. One colleague, in a letter supporting Baker's nomination for the award, said Baker is "proficient, organized and most importantly works well with people under pressure to meet the needs of our 22 sports while simultaneously managing the many internal and external demands by entities involved with the athletics department." Another colleague wrote, "You couldn't ask for a better role model for our student athletes. She teaches them not only about softball, but about life. Her athletes stop in throughout the day to talk, ask for advice and just say hi. Her caring attitude toward each individual is very evident."

Chadha, a member of the mathematics faculty since 1984, received the Excellence in Scholarship Award. During a 24-year program of sustained scholarship while at UW-Eau Claire, Chadha has published 26 scholarly papers in top academic journals that require lengthy and stringent review processes. Through his publications, many in premier international journals, he has earned the esteem of other world-renowned scholars. For example, Saul Gass, professor emeritus of management science at the University of Maryland and former president of the Society of Operations Research, has described Chadha as a "leading researcher in the area of fractional programming and its extensions." Chadha also is a referee of research papers for international journals and regularly receives invitations to review manuscripts or requests for consulting from researchers in other nations. His growing national and international reputation as an authority on mathematical programming and operations research has led to several invitations to speak at major international conferences in recent years. In January 2009, he will present the findings of a summer research project, on which he collaborated with a colleague and two students, at a conference in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Chadha regularly collaborates with students and other faculty members; he has co-authored a dozen papers with UW-Eau Claire students and colleagues, directed six faculty-student collaborative research projects and mentored hundreds of mathematics students.

Frankenberger, a UW-Eau Claire employee for 26 years, received the Classified Staff Excellence in Performance Award. Frankenberger coordinates and produces the university's class schedules and final and common exam schedules, and she schedules academic classroom space. She also helps maintain the official course file information in the academic scheduling database and coordinates distance education offerings. Because of her expertise with Registration Services' third-party software package, Frankenberger was asked to present at the Wisconsin Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers conference. She has served on three presentation panels for the users' group's national conference and was asked by CollegeNet, the company responsible for the software, to present at the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers conference. Frankenberger also has served on numerous university committees seeking classified staff involvement. She "has consistently taken on increasingly challenging roles and responsibilities as well as continuously looking for ways to become more efficient in her job," the award nominating committee wrote. "Her knowledge, dependability, conscientiousness, professionalism and leadership exemplify excellence."

Germonprez, a member of UW-Eau Claire's information systems faculty since 2005, received the Excellence in Teaching Award. Alumni select the award recipient. Germonprez, who teaches upper-level information systems classes in design and development, is admired by students for his responsiveness to their questions and suggestions, as well as his ability to make difficult courses enjoyable, said Dr. Thomas Hilton, chair of the information systems department. "I've watched him take feedback from students on how to improve some aspect of a course and then right there plan modifications to the lectures, assignments, exams, schedule and grading extemporaneously to address the issue raised by the students," Hilton said. "His students have commented to me repeatedly on this, observing that he is the only professor they've ever had who could be so quickly responsive without sacrificing quality or efficiency." Hilton also noted Germonprez's "ability to make students love him for working them harder than they thought possible. Every semester I find in his course evaluations comments like, 'This is the hardest course I've ever taken, and I've never enjoyed a course more!'" Germonprez also teaches in a way that prepares students to continue learning about a subject area once they've completed a course, Hilton noted. "This is essential in the ever-changing field of organizational computing that is information systems," he said.

Geurink, who joined the communication and journalism department in 2005, received the Excellence in Advising Award. A Student Senate committee makes the nominations for the award based on the results of a survey of current students. Geurink, who teaches more than 220 students each semester in courses focused on communication in the Information Age and news reporting and writing, also advises more than 70 students each semester. She is the faculty adviser to the campus radio station, WUEC-FM, and the student newspaper, The Spectator. She also has served for two years as president of the Chippewa Valley School Press Association, which annually hosts 400 high school students and their yearbook and school newspaper advisers for a one-day conference at UW-Eau Claire. After discovering many UW-Eau Claire students who wanted to volunteer the day of the CVSPA event, Geurink created a new event-planning course for public relations students who will each serve as a director for the event. The new class will launch this fall. Geurink said providing students access to advising opportunities is the cornerstone of her advising philosophy. "During registration weeks, I expand my office hours, preplan each visit and during this visit value their successes and create an environment of support," she said. "It is the students who make the decisions after we discuss varying ways to approach their course load, whether or not they plan to study abroad, internships, activities and work experience that will enhance their degree." Students' survey comments indicate their appreciation for Geurink's approach to advising: "She is easy to approach, and always willing to help. She is very passionate and involved in her students' lives, and takes extra time out of her busy day to spend time with them, not only to help with academics, but just to talk as well," wrote one advisee. Another commented, "What impresses me the most about her is that she truly cares about me as a person. I am not just some advisee; I am a person first."

Jadack, a member of the UW-Eau Claire nursing faculty since 1999, received the Excellence in Service Award. "The common theme of Rose Jadack's service is one of improving the lives of traumatized women and children in many community layers: the university, the Chippewa Valley and Wisconsin," wrote the award nominating committee. Jadack was part of an advisory group that in 2002 met several times a month to assess the needs of sexual assault survivors on the UW-Eau Claire campus and in 2003 established the university's Center for Awareness of Sexual Assault. She continues to be present at CASA volunteer advocate training sessions, providing insight about the evidence collection process for rape victims. Regionally, Jadack coordinates the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program in Eau Claire. As coordinator, she manages SANE scheduling, advocates for the program with area health care agencies, recruits and trains new SANEs locally and statewide, and provides input to area emergency response teams regarding evidence collection protocols. She also works as a SANE on an as-needed basis, typically several days per week, most weekends and parts of many holidays. Through her work with numerous children and families, Jadack recognized the need for a place to assist child victims of sexual and other physical abuse. She and other community representatives joined forces with the Children's Service Society of Wisconsin to create the Chippewa Valley Child Advocacy Center, which opened in 2007 in UW-Eau Claire's Nursing Building. At the state level, Jadack serves on the board of directors of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault, which supports sexual assault service providers in the state and sets policy for the state of Wisconsin regarding sexual assault.

Kemp, who has taught in the English department since 1999, is the UW-Eau Claire 2008 Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award nominee. During her time at the university, Kemp has taught more than 14 different English courses on a wide array of topics, ranging from freshman composition to highly specialized graduate seminars. She also is the English department's director of undergraduate studies. Kemp has coordinated and obtained grant funding for the Shakespeare in the Schools program, which helps students at a variety of ages better learn Shakespeare. Kemp's own university students also gain experience working with the younger learners. In letters recommending Kemp for the award, colleagues described her as an exemplary teacher and committed scholar. "One reason for her success is that she is a dedicated reviser of her approaches, someone who modifies her pedagogy based on student responses and her own demanding standards for herself," wrote Dr. Jack Bushnell, chair of the English department. She is known for holding students to demanding but reachable standards, and "her teaching evaluations all indicate that the vast majority of her students thank her for it, especially for the ways in which her courses challenge them intellectually, teaching them to think in ways they hadn't imagined," Bushnell wrote. Kemp was actively involved in the English department's extensive restructuring of its curriculum. "Her dedication to excellent teaching guided us in restructuring our major in ways that made more challenging experiences an integral part of every student's progress through our major programs," wrote fellow English professor and former department chair Dr. Martin Wood. In the last several years, Kemp has been published in several peer-reviewed publications and given seven national and regional conferences and workshops. She also received a departmental award, five intramural grants, a Wisconsin Humanities Council grant and a prestigious fellowship. She is an editor of the journal Feminist Teacher and recently contracted for a book, "Women in the Age of Shakespeare."

Mahoney, a member of the geology faculty since 1994, is UW-Eau Claire's nominee for the 2008 U.S. Professor of the Year Award sponsored by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. "Colleagues and students alike attest to Dr. Mahoney's remarkable ability to motivate, to encourage, to demand, and to actually witness student success," wrote Dr. Andrew Phillips, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, in a letter nominating Mahoney for the honor. Phillips noted Mahoney's effective use of connected learning experiences, including role-play exercises, student research within the local community, mock-disaster planning exercises, and analysis of current events from a political and scientific perspective, in his courses. He has shown a commitment to experiential learning experiences, routinely spending more than 100 days each year in the field with students in such destinations as the Black Hills, Arkansas, New Mexico, Montana, British Columbia, the East Indies, Costa Rica and Argentina. Students praise Mahoney's commitment; high academic standards; significant impact on their educational, personal and professional growth; and the connections he makes to real-life experiences, Phillips wrote. Mahoney also is a prolific scholar with a national reputation and a strong supporter of faculty-student collaborative research initiatives. He has authored or co-authored 80 research articles and has been an invited presenter at national professional conferences. He's acquired more than $1.3 million in external research funds, including awards from the government of British Columbia, the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Wisconsin Technology Initiative and the National Science Foundation.

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