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Jefford Vahlbusch Named UW-Eau Claire
Honors Program Director

RELEASED: July 30, 2009

EAU CLAIRE — Dr. Jefford Vahlbusch has been named director of the University Honors Program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

"The first aim of the University Honors Program must be to help honors students to go as far intellectually as they possibly can in four years of study at UW-Eau Claire," said Vahlbusch, an associate professor of German who has taught in UW-Eau Claire's department of foreign languages since 1999. "I look forward to helping the program become more visible, more vibrant and more useful to our students, faculty, departments and colleges."

Founded in 1983 under the leadership of Dr. Ronald Mickel, professor emeritus of history, the University Honors Program offers special courses and seeks to provide outstanding advising and to nurture a close-knit learning community for highly motivated, high-achieving students in all the disciplines taught at UW-Eau Claire, Vahlbusch said.

Currently, students accepted to UW-Eau Claire who rank in the top 5 percent of their high school class and have an ACT composite score of at least 28 are invited to join the University Honors Program. Dr. Susan Turell, interim associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of undergraduate studies, who oversees the Honors Program, said she expects significant changes in the program under Vahlbusch's direction.

"Dr. Vahlbusch already has a list of possible initiatives, including increasing the pool of qualified students who would benefit from an honors education, which in turn would enhance the entire university learning community," Turell said.

Vahlbusch was appointed director after an internal search, succeeding Dr. Paul Hoff, professor of Spanish and foreign language education, who had led the Honors Program since 2003. The directorship is a half-time position. Vahlbusch holds a bachelor's degree in English and German and master's and doctoral degrees in Germanic languages and literatures from the University of Michigan.

-30-

JP/DW

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