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Tip Sheet for the week of May 12, 2008

RELEASED: May 12, 2008

Story/Photo Idea
Spring commencement exercises for 1,166 will be held May 17 in Zorn Arena. Candidates from the College of Business, College of Education and Human Sciences, and College of Nursing and Health Sciences will receive degrees during a 9:30 a.m. ceremony. Candidates from the College of Arts and Sciences and candidates for master's degrees will receive degrees during a 2 p.m. ceremony. Several of the master's degree candidates from the College of Business are among the most recent group of online MBA students to graduate from UW-Eau Claire. Some of these students will come to campus for the first time for graduation since they completed their entire MBA online, an option available since 2002. Dr. Jane Schauer, a cardiologist with the Heart Group of Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, N.M., and a 1976 UW-Eau Claire nursing graduate, will deliver the "Charge to the Class" during both ceremonies. She also will receive the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award. A reception for graduates and guests will follow each ceremony on the Central Campus Mall. For more information about the ceremonies, contact Beverly Soll at 715-836-4419 or sollba@uwec.edu.

Story Idea
UW-Eau Claire will offer its first Arabic language class during the 2008-09 academic year. With funding from a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant grant, the department of foreign languages will host Arabic teacher Sofiene Addala from Tunisia next year. With more than 400 million native speakers, Arabic is the fourth most widely spoken language in the world and represents a rich culture that also greatly influenced Western art, sciences and humanities. Learning Arabic — the language of the Middle East and much of Africa — is important for those who want to better understand and connect with a region that figures prominently in today's international economic and political climate. Nationwide, there is a growing demand for Arabic language instruction as Americans have come to understand the importance of learning the language of Islam. For more information, contact Dr. Johannes Strohschnk, chair of the foreign languages department, at 715-836-4549 or strohsj@uwec.edu.

Story Idea
A new UW-Eau Claire and Eau Claire Area School District program will help teachers and student teachers better meet the learning needs of students of color. The grant-funded program, "Culturally Congruent Response to Intervention," will provide teachers and student teachers with cultural competency skills and expertise on intervention. The project will give teachers the skills to identify struggling students early and knowledge of the appropriate instructional interventions in the regular classroom. One skill teachers will learn is the ability to determine the difference between language acquisition deficits and learning disabilities when evaluating children who are English language learners. To discuss the grant, contact Dwight C. Watson, associate dean of teacher education at UW-Eau Claire and author of the $164,000 UW System three-year grant that will fund the program. You can reach him at 715-836-2013 or watsondc@uwec.edu.

Story Idea
UW-Eau Claire geographers will discuss the sand dunes of the lower Chippewa River valley in the context of the area's natural history during a presentation from noon-1 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at Sweetwater's Restaurant in Eau Claire. Dr. Sean Hartnett, professor of geography, and Dr. Garry Running, associate professor of geography, will discuss the dune formations during their presentation, titled "Sand Dunes in the Lower Chippewa River Valley."

Calendar Note
UW-Eau Claire students will take final exams May 12-16. The 2008 spring semester will end Friday, May 16. Three-week Summer Session classes will begin Monday, May 19.

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