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Nineteen Members of UW-Eau Claire Faculty, Staff to Retire

RELEASED: May 9, 2008

EAU CLAIRE — Nineteen faculty or academic staff members at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire have recently retired or will retire soon.

Dr. Terry Allen, professor emeritus of theatre arts and director of University Theatre, will retire in May after 20 years at UW-Eau Claire. In addition to teaching classes in acting, stage movement, directing, playwriting and theatre history, Allen developed and taught topical courses such as "American Cinema" and "Theatre of the Holocaust." He directed more than 40 plays, combining his many research interests into a variety of productions and collaborative faculty-student projects. He served twice as director of University Theatre, for a total of eight years, and was director of summer theatre at UW-Eau Claire for 15 years. He has been active in the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival, as a member of its national selection team and as playwriting chair for Region III. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Central Missouri State University and his doctoral degree from Southern Illinois University.

Diann Benesh, senior lecturer emerita of economics, will retire in May after 32 years at UW-Eau Claire. Benesh taught basic economic courses and advanced courses in intermediate microeconomic theory, the history of economic thought and public finance. Her research interests include the economic effects of the Great Depression and integrating gender and cultural diversity into classrooms. For many years Benesh was the only woman in the economics department and she is now its first woman retiree, serving as a role model for the increasing number of women economics faculty and students. She was the first woman president of the Wisconsin Economics Association. Benesh earned a bachelor's degree from UW-Milwaukee and a master's degree and ABD from Virginia Tech.

Dr. Helen Dale, professor emerita of English, will retire in May after 27 years. A former high school English teacher, she taught classes in English composition and composition theory, English education, and race, gender and learning. Her research interests include those areas and collaborative writing and supervision of student teachers. She has presented and published widely on these and other topics. In 1992, Dale won the Steve Cahir Award for Outstanding Research in Writing from the American Educational Research Association. In 1994, she received a National Endowment for Teaching grant to support her curricular research. In 1995, her course syllabus for English Methods was named an Outstanding English Methods Syllabus by the National Council of Teachers of English and published in "How Teachers Get Taught: Methods of Teaching the Methods Class." She has been invited to join delegations of educators visiting China, South Africa and Russia. She earned a bachelor's degree from Miami University in Ohio, a master's degree from New York University and her doctoral degree from UW-Madison.

Dr. Stephen Gosch, professor emeritus of history, will retire in May after 40 years. Gosch began by teaching western civilization courses at UW-Eau Claire, but his scholarship evolved over the years to a broader comparative scholarship in world history, which he introduced to UW-Eau Claire classrooms in 1982. He also taught courses in the history of Japan, 19th and 20th century Europe, and Marco Polo's world, as well as a popular team-taught interdisciplinary course on the Vietnam War, which he developed with a colleague in political science. He has published numerous articles and co-authored several books, including the recent "Premodern Travel in World History." Gosch earned a bachelor's degree from Boston University and his master's and doctoral degree from Rutgers University.

Jane Herrick, lecturer of art & design, will retire in May after 17 years at UW-Eau Claire. Previously she was a high school art teacher and an art consultant for the Eau Claire School District. Herrick taught courses in sculptural fibers, an introductory visual arts studio and foundations of drawing and composition. She works in a variety of media, often mixing and incorporating drawing, collage, fibers, handmade paper and sculptural elements in her pieces. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and juried exhibitions in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Ohio, California, Arizona and New York. In 2001 she had a solo show at Eau Claire's L. E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, and her work was featured in Fiberarts magazine. Another of her solo shows will be on display at the public library in Eau Claire through May, and this summer her work also will appear in the exhibit "Beyond Basketry" at the Dairy Barn Arts Center in Athens, Ohio. Herrick earned a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University and her master's degree from the University of Iowa.

Dr. Ardyth Krause, assistant professor of social work, will retire in May after five years. She taught courses in introductory social work, interpersonal skills, human behavior in social work and social work internship. Prior to joining the UW-Eau Claire faculty, she was the administrator of a seven degree university program at a women's prison in Indiana. Her research interests center on adults with disabilities. Krause spent eight years working with persons with various disabilities. While at UW-Eau Claire, she performed a qualitative student/faculty investigation of how persons with mental health disabilities view their social work services. She served on the solutions team for United Way of Greater Eau Claire and on the board of the Mental Health Association of Greater Eau Claire. She earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the Jane Adams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Dr. Lawrence Martin, professor of English and director emeritus of the American Indian Studies program, will retire in July after 10 years at UW-Eau Claire. A tribal member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, he taught American Indian Studies survey courses as well as courses in the Ojibwe language, indigenous religions of the Americas and linguistics courses in the English department. Prior to joining the UW-Eau Claire faculty, he was a professor of English at the University of Akron from 1977-98. His research interests include medieval spirituality and dream interpretation, American Indian literature and the Ojibwe language. He published four books and many articles on these and other topics. He worked on behalf of Ojibwe language revitalization, giving presentations and workshops, and serving on the board of the Waadookodading Ojibwe Immersion School at Lac Courte Oreilles. He earned his bachelor's degree from St. Francis College, a master's degree from UW-River Falls and his doctoral degree from UW-Madison.

Dr. Helaine Minkus, associate professor emerita of anthropology, will retire in May after 36 years. She taught courses on anthropology and cultural anthropology; the cultures of Africa, Japan and North American Indians; women and family in cross cultural perspectives; and sociolinguistics. Her research interests include the traditional cultural philosophy of the Akan people of Ghana, the process of cultural adjustment of international students, and host family programs for international students. She remained active in field research throughout her career and presented and published widely on all these topics. Minkus brought her expertise to many multiethnic campus activities, participating in the annual International Folk Fair; organizing four large multiethnic celebrations on campus; serving on committees related to women, international education and study abroad; and advising student organizations such as the Japan Culture Society and the Jewish Student Association. She received the 2008 Older, Wiser Learner Award from the Office of Student Development and Diversity, which recognized her service and commitment to non-traditional students. She earned her bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from Northwestern University.

Dr. Richard Ryberg, associate professor of social work, will retire in May after 11 years. Prior to joining UW-Eau Claire's faculty, he had 23 years of clinical social work practice and administration in the U.S. Air Force and in private practice. His areas of interest include families, social policy, alcohol and drug treatment, and social work with groups. He earned his bachelor's degree from Elmhurst College, a master's degree from the University of Illinois-Chicago, and his doctoral degree from UW-Madison.

Dr. Nola Schmitt, professor emerita of nursing, will retire in May after almost 30 years. Schmitt is a nationally recognized expert in holistic nursing and was instrumental in integrating holistic nursing with family health nursing at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She brought her commitment to collaborative, interdisciplinary care to her involvement with the Human Development Center at UW-Eau Claire, which offers clinical services related to the assessment of human development to local and regional clients. Schmitt was involved in a number of innovative projects, including the development of local and regional Parish nurse services. She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of North Dakota, her master's degree from UW-Madison and her doctoral degree from the University of Minnesota.

Sandra Seefeldt, senior clinical nurse specialist emerita in the Student Health Service, will retire in May after almost 21 years. She was the first nurse practitioner at UW-Eau Claire to obtain prescriptive privileges and also the first to attend a medical fellowship, which allowed her to increase her clinical skills in dermatology. Seefeldt served as a mentor and consultant to numerous other nurse practitioners, nursing and lab staff members, physicians, graduate nurses and physicians in training. She provided health care to UW Eau Claire students and as an avid educator taught patients about their health concerns, treatment options and preventive strategies. She also taught graduate nursing students about contraceptive options and organized numerous in house continuing education activities for the student health service staff. Seefeldt served on several campus committees, and was active on various community health-related committees, and organizations. She earned her bachelor's degree from UW-Eau Claire.

Dr. Marilyn Skrivseth, professor emerita and department chair of kinesiology, will retire in July after 29 years at UW-Eau Claire. In addition to a variety of physical activity courses, she taught introductory kinesiology and physical education teaching courses. She served in numerous positions over the years, including head coach of women's tennis, head women's track and field coach, men's and women's athletics director, interim department chair of allied health professions, and most recently, chair of kinesiology. She won numerous awards, including Tennis Coach of the Year for five years and Track Coach of the Year, and she was one of the first women athletes to be inducted into the UW-La Crosse Wall of Fame. She expanded opportunities for women athletes by adding four women's sports to the varsity sport module and for all students by working with others to elevate athletic training from a minor to a major. She helped offer an expanded array of kinesiology courses, growing the department from 100 majors and minors to more than 600. She earned her bachelor's degree from UW-La Crosse, her master's degree from the University of Oregon and her doctoral degree from the University of Iowa.

Dr. Cheryl Starr, professor of theatre arts emerita, will retire in May after 20 years. She taught classes in acting, theater education, children's theater, arts management and costuming. She supervised numerous productions as director of the touring UW-Eau Claire Theatre for Young Audiences. Her research interests include various topics in drama and theater curriculum development and integration, and gifted and talented educational programming and assessment. She published or made presentations in all these areas. She served on national and state boards for theater and arts education and was an adjudicator for the Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival for 17 years. Locally she helped develop many programs, including the Chippewa Valley Museum Touring History Theatre Company, the annual Shakespeare Festival at Delong Middle School, and the Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild Summer Drama Camp. She earned a bachelor's degree from Northern Michigan University and her master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Joan Stehle Werner, professor emerita of nursing, will retire in May after 27 years. Stehle Werner is a nationally recognized expert in psychiatric/mental health nursing and traumatic stress. She was instrumental in integrating these topics into the family and adult health nursing curriculum at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She has developed or co-developed and taught more than 20 courses at UW-Eau Claire, including courses in nursing theory, holistic nursing and alternative/complementary therapies. She developed interdisciplinary courses with faculty from social work, psychology, library, special education and communication disorders. In a long and sustained research career, she has been involved in numerous projects, presentations and publications, including serving as editor for two books. She has received numerous awards, including UW-Eau Claire's Excellence in Scholarship Award, the Van Ort Award for Faculty Creativity and Scholarliness, and the Midelfort Health Care Award. She earned a bachelor's degree from UW-Eau Claire, and her master's and doctoral degrees from Indiana University.

Steven Terwilliger, professor emeritus and chair of the art & design department, will retire in May after 27 years. He taught many courses in his specialty areas of sculpture, drawing and photography, as well as a variety of art history courses. Terwilliger led the development, growth and continued refinement of the photography/video area and has continued to build into one of the top programs in Wisconsin. He also was instrumental in the growth and development of the graphic design area. He is recognized as a leader in the development and integration of computer technology in the department. In recent years, he was active in multidisciplinary and international education, including assisting in the development of a relationship with the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in China. Terwilliger also participated in national conversations on health and safety in the arts and in program and facility planning. He received his bachelor's and two master's degrees from Northern Illinois University.

Elizabeth Tillotson, clinical instructor in nursing, will retire in May after five years. She taught courses in clinical decision making, health and physical assessments, newborn to age 18 pediatrics, and nursing practice with children and families with health deviations. Her research interests included metabolic syndrome, and she has experience as a staff nurse in coronary care and intensive care and as a general staff nurse in multiple hospital settings. Prior to joining the UW-Eau Claire faculty, she worked for more than 20 years as a certified family nurse practitioner in clinics in Bloomer, Ladysmith and Radisson. She earned her bachelor's degree from Loyola University and her master's degree from UW-Eau Claire.

Dr. L. Elaine Wendt, professor and dean emerita of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, will retire in October after 27 years with the state of Wisconsin and 25 years at UW-Eau Claire. She became interim associate dean of the School of Nursing in 2002, associate dean in 2003, and dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences in 2004. Her responsibilities include undergraduate and graduate programming, enrollment management and student services. Wendt came to UW-Eau Claire in 1969, working as a faculty assistant in community health nursing. She left to work as a nurse in New York City and later returned to Wisconsin to teach at UW-Milwaukee. She worked in the private sector for several years before returning to UW-Eau Claire in 1979 as an assistant professor. She then spent several years in Maryland before again returning to UW-Eau Claire. In 1992, she joined the UW-Eau Claire faculty as an associate professor and chair of the family health nursing department. She was promoted to professor in 2001. She earned a bachelor's degree from South Dakota University, a master's degree from New York University and a doctoral degree from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Barbara Wimunc-Pearson, emerita professor of music, will retire in May after 27 years. She taught courses in applied piano, class piano and piano ensemble. She maintained an active performing career, appearing on and off campus in nearly 300 concerts as recital soloist, duo pianist, orchestra concerto soloist, collaborative artist and chamber musician. She is featured on a number of recordings, including "Clearly Three," "Shards of Glass," "Art Songs by Black American Composers" and "Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra Live!" Her research interests include medical problems of performing artists and collaborative musicianship, which she displayed in dozens of collaborative recitals with faculty and students. She also served in numerous capacities on every departmental committee, including serving as acting chair of the department. Wimunc-Pearson received her bachelor's degree from Rosary College, her master's degree from Northwestern University and her doctoral degree from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Dr. Edward Young, emeritus professor and chair of the department of economics, will retire in May after 31 years. He taught courses on a variety of economics topics, including labor economics, economics of American minorities, women and the labor market, and political economy. Several of these courses were introduced by Young, who demonstrated a commitment to diversity, in his teaching, student mentoring and work with faculty. Young's research interests include income determinants in U.S. metropolitan areas and economic development in former Soviet Bloc countries and Africa. He presented and published on these and other topics. He has served as chair of the economics department for 18 years and served as interim chair of the department of sociology 2005-07. Young also has been a great supporter of international education, teaching classes and lecturing in England, Denmark, Mexico and Vietnam, where he fostered connections with many foreign scholars who later visited UW-Eau Claire. Young earned his bachelor's degree from UW-Milwaukee and his master's and doctoral degrees from Washington State University.

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