UW-Eau Claire e-View newsletter

In This Issue

Enjoy some alumni fun in the sun!

New education building included in Wisconsin budget

Work progresses on student center, Little Niagara footbridges

Schofield Auditorium undergoing renovation

Robert Baca receives Career Excellence in Teaching Award

Crispin Pierce receives Fulbright Scholar award to teach, conduct research in Finland

Nicholas Phillips to perform and teach in South Korea

Peter Myers receives National Endowment for the Humanities award

UW-Eau Claire announces administrative appointments

Bruce Taylor named Eau Claire's second poet laureate

Students, alumna awarded Fulbright teaching assistantships

Athletic training major receives national scholarship

Research findings may influence climate change models

International business major to be offered beginning this fall

Partnership launches first fully online undergraduate degree

New major gifts officer joins Foundation; staff changes announced

Blugold Marching Band looks for sponsors as ranks swell

Endowments by former standout runners to transform cross country team

Green fund supports improvements to student garden

Justin Vernon becoming a media sensation

Blugold Generations

New alumni success stories

Blugold Trivia

Alumni Links

e-View archive

Alumni events

Blugold Babies

Blugold Bliss

Photo album

'The View' online

Alumni success stories

Blugold e-postcards, screensavers

e-View survey


UW-Eau Claire e-View newsletter

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June 2011

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Enjoy some alumni fun in the sun!

The UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association offers the following opportunities to gather with fellow alumni and friends in July and August:

Harbor LadyThursday, July 21: Harbor Lady alumni dinner cruise, Sturgeon Bay. Alumni and friends are invited to go on a relaxing two-hour dinner cruise aboard the Harbor Lady yacht. Boarding begins at 6:30 p.m. from the Stone Harbor Resort dock, with departure at 7 p.m. Cost is $37 per person, which includes a dinner buffet while cruising along miles of beautiful shoreline on Sturgeon Bay. Cash bar will be available; prize drawings will be held. Friday, July 22: Wine and lighthouse tour, Sturgeon Bay. Climb aboard the Door County Trolley for a tour that includes stops at Simon Creek and Harbor Ridge wineries, and Cana Island and Eagle Bluff lighthouses; enjoy lunch at the Top Deck Restaurant at Gordon Lodge. Cost is $57 per person. RSVP for one or both events by July 15. View invitation.

Wednesday, Aug. 3: Dinner Theatre Comedy Club, Fanny Hill, Eau Claire. Join other alumni and friends at 5 p.m. on the tiki deck and stay for the 6 p.m. comedy club performance. Appetizers and beverages will be served. RSVP by July 22.

Thursday, Aug. 4: Mississippi River cocktail cruise, La Crosse Queen, La Crosse. Enjoy pizza and beverages beginning at 5:30 p.m. Cost is $20 per person. Door prizes will be awarded. RSVP by July 22.

Call 715-836-3266 or email alumni@uwec.edu to register for these events. See the alumni events calendar for additional details. back to top

New education building included in Wisconsin budget

Education BuildingThe 2011-13 Wisconsin state budget recently passed by the state Assembly and Senate provides funding for construction of a new $44.5 million Education Building at UW-Eau Claire.

The approximately 170,000 square-foot building will replace the obsolete Brewer Hall/Campus School complex. It will be located between Schneider Hall and Zorn Arena. Campus School will be razed to make way for the new building. The current project timeline calls for construction to begin in April 2012 with completion in November 2013.

This is the first new building to be fully funded with state tax dollars on the UW-Eau Claire campus in 30 years. The Human Sciences and Services building on Water Street, constructed in 1982, was the last fully state-funded building.

The new education building will house UW-Eau Claire's College of Education and Human Sciences administrative units; significant classroom space; the departments of education studies, English, foreign languages and special education; and select student support services, including Services for Students with Disabilities, the Student Success Center (providing writing, math and other academic support) and the Office of Multicultural Affairs. back to top

Work progresses on student center, Little Niagara footbridges

Little Niagara footbridge
Footbridges are currently being constructed over Little Niagara Creek on UW-Eau Claire's lower campus. (UW-Eau Claire photo by Rick Mickelson)

Work on the second floor of the new W.R. Davies Student Center and footbridges over nearby Little Niagara Creek is under way as construction progresses on UW-Eau Claire's student center project.

The concrete flooring of the student center's second level is currently being poured, said Christopher Hessel, construction project coordinator for UW-Eau Claire Facilities Management. After the concrete floor has cured, workers will begin installing the second-story exterior block wall and structural steel for the facility's third level, Hessel said. Workers then will begin installing exterior brick and natural stone on the facility's lower level.

The footbridge located at the west end of the student center site is expected to be open by July 15, providing a more direct route to UW-Eau Claire's Nursing Building from many locations on campus, Hessel said. Full story. back to top

Schofield Auditorium undergoing renovation

Schofield Auditorium
Seats are being removed from Schofield Auditorium to prepare for renovation work.

Historic Schofield Auditorium at UW-Eau Claire is being renovated this summer to better accommodate public events serving the campus, student organizations and the greater Eau Claire community. Renovation of the auditorium, which resides in Schofield Hall — the only National Historic Building on campus — began in late May and is scheduled to be completed by fall semester.

Schofield Auditorium is the largest fixed-seating venue on campus, with a seating capacity of 660. It is the setting for major presentations such as the Artist Series, The Forum, musical events, orientation welcomes and lectures. Schofield Auditorium hosts an average of 135 student-sponsored events per year, accounting for 98 percent of its use.

The project, which will cost approximately $785,000, is being funded through a partnership that includes the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, Student Senate, University Centers/Event Services, and state and university facilities improvement funds. Full story. back to top

Robert Baca receives Career Excellence in Teaching Award

Robert Baca
Robert Baca

The first College of Arts and Sciences Career Excellence in Teaching Award recently was presented to Robert Baca, professor of music and director of jazz studies at UW-Eau Claire. He will receive a $1,000 award at the opening of the 2011-12 academic year.

The award was created by the UW-Eau Claire Foundation through the generosity of an individual donor who wished to remain anonymous. The intent is to recognize one member of the faculty or instructional academic staff each year for a career-long history of excellence in teaching. Baca, who has been with the university for 25 years, was recommended by colleagues, students, former students and music education contemporaries from across the nation.

Baca coordinates five jazz ensembles, including UW-Eau Claire's distinguished Jazz Ensemble I. The jazz studies area has flourished under Baca's leadership, garnering national awards, performing at large venues across the U.S. and releasing 15 CDs to critical acclaim. The New York Times Magazine recently recognized UW-Eau Claire as having "one of the most well-regarded jazz studies programs in the country." Full story. back to top

Crispin Pierce receives Fulbright Scholar award to teach, conduct research in Finland

Crispin Pierce
Dr. Crispin Pierce

Dr. Crispin Pierce, associate professor of environmental public health at UW-Eau Claire, is one of only a handful in the state to recently receive Fulbright Scholar awards.

"I am honored to receive the award and look forward to using this international experience to benefit my students and interdisciplinary research at UW-Eau Claire," Pierce said. "I frequently encourage students to take internships across the United States, to study abroad or to serve with international organizations like the Peace Corps. I also realize how much faculty can grow from such experiences."

Pierce will teach and conduct research at the University of Eastern Finland in spring 2012. He plans to study the exposure of Finnish children to heavy metals and impacts on health. Pierce also will work to re-establish Scandinavian connections for future student internships and shared research. Full story. back to top

Nicholas Phillips to perform and teach in South Korea

Nicholas Phillips

Dr. Nicholas Phillips
(Photo by Rachel Schimelman,
R|S Design)

Dr. Nicholas Phillips, pianist and assistant professor of piano at UW-Eau Claire, will travel to Seoul and Gyeongju, South Korea, in early July to participate in the 2011 International Conference of the College Music Society.

Phillips will perform three recent works for piano written by living Korean women composers, including a work written specifically for Phillips by Seung-Ah Oh, a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship recipient. Phillips also will play in a lecture-recital of songs by Clara Schumann, Alma Mahler and Fanny Mendelssohn with singer Marietta Dean. The CMS conference features presenters from throughout the world and includes performances, papers and lecture-recitals on a wide variety of topics, including cultural presentations on Korea and Korean music.

Phillips also recently had a new CD released on the Albany Records label. "Boris Papandopulo: Piano Music" features piano music by the most famous Croatian composer of the 20th century. According to Phillips, it is the first commercial CD released in the U.S. devoted to the piano music of Papandopulo (1906-91). Phillips is aware of only one other recording of Papandopulo's works, which was distributed by a Croatian pianist exclusively in Croatia. Read more.

Phillips holds degrees in piano performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, Indiana University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

For more information, contact Phillips at phillins@uwec.edu or visit his website. Full story. back to top

Peter Myers receives National Endowment for the Humanities award

Peter Myers
Dr. Peter Myers

Dr. Peter Myers, professor of political science at UW-Eau Claire, is the only person in Wisconsin to receive a 2011 Summer Stipend award from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Myers will spend the summer researching and writing on issues of race in America, specifically the historical, political and philosophic idea of color blindness.

"For over a century, the idea now commonly named 'color blindness' has been an inspiring and unifying principle for the mainstream of anti-racist thought in America," Myers said. "However, this idea has lately become the focal point of intensifying controversy." Full story. back to top

UW-Eau Claire announces administrative appointments

Two administrators will begin their duties at UW-Eau Claire beginning July 1 following national searches for both postitions.

Dr. Michael Wick
Dr. Michael Wick

Dr. Michael Wick has been named associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at UW-Eau Claire, and Dr. Jennifer Fager has been named director of assessment.

Wick has served as interim associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies since 2009. As associate vice chancellor, he will provide operational direction and coordination in academic affairs, including the oversight of personnel matters, supporting university strategic-planning goals, coordinating academic affairs department/unit program reviews and annual reports, facilitating campus accreditation processes, overseeing and advocating for select units and programs, preparing instructional and divisional presentations and reports, and serving as a liaison to the UW System as well as various campus initiatives.

Jennifer Fager
Dr. Jennifer Fager

Fager will lead the design and implementation of a universitywide assessment program that furthers student achievement of UW-Eau Claire's liberal education learning goals and outcomes. She comes to UW-Eau Claire from Xavier University in Cincinnati, where since 2008 she served as the associate dean of education in the College of Social Sciences, Health and Education.

Fager is a reviewer for the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education, an assessment mentor for the Higher Learning Commission's Academy for Assessment of Student Learning, and a consultant-evaluator and team chair for the Higher Learning Commission.

For more information, read the individual news releases about Wick and Fager. back to top

Bruce Taylor named Eau Claire's second poet laureate

Bruce Taylor
Bruce Taylor

Bruce Taylor, UW-Eau Claire professor emeritus of English, has been named poet laureate of the city of Eau Claire by the Eau Claire City Council.

Taylor is the city's second poet laureate and second UW-Eau Claire emeritus professor to hold the position. The city named Dr. Nadine St. Louis, professor emerita of English, as its first poet laureate in April 2010. St. Louis died Sept. 29, 2010.

The Eau Claire poet laureate serves a two-year term. The appointee is expected to live or work in the community, be actively involved in community life, compose two poems relating to the community each year and to present them for publication in the local newspaper, and to function as the city's literary ambassador. Full story. back to top

Students, alumna awarded Fulbright teaching assistantships

Gina Malagold Bethany Webster
Gina Malagold
Bethany Webster
Whitney Zahn Maria Boland
Whitney Zahn
Maria Boland

Three UW-Eau Claire students and an alumna have received English teaching assistantships under the U.S. Student Fulbright program.

Seniors Gina Malagold, Madison, Bethany Webster, Shawano, and Whitney Zahn, Menomonee Falls, and 2008 graduate Maria Boland, a native of St. Paul, Minn., have been awarded the grants for the 2011-12 year.

Malagold is pursuing a Spanish major and Latin American studies minor. She will spend nine months, from March-December, in Argentina. Malagold will teach English to university students who hope to become English professors, while participating in research and volunteering at a children's school to organize an after-school program.

Webster, a music and German major, applied to the Fulbright program after tutoring German at UW-Eau Claire and volunteering at a local elementary school. She will be in Germany from September-June, teaching English and helping students with verbal proficiency. Her outside project will be introducing students and the community to U.S. culture, specifically bluegrass music, through an informational setting and practical performance setting.

Zahn, a German major with a minor in international business, will teach English to high school students in Germany from September-June. Zahn, a member of the UW-Eau Claire forensics team, also plans to start a speech team at the high school.

Boland, a Latin American studies and Spanish graduate, was awarded a teaching assistantship in Brazil. In her spare time she will work on education initiatives in the community, specifically encouraging girls and low-income students to stay in school. She hopes to create a partnership between the community and Latin American Sustainability Education and Development, the UW-Eau Claire student organization that she helped found during her time in Eau Claire. Full story. back to top

Athletic training major receives national scholarship

Emily Kidd
Emily Kidd

UW-Eau Claire junior Emily Kidd, St. Paul, Minn., has been awarded a 2011 National Athletic Trainers' Association Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship.

An athletic training major, Kidd was among 45 students nationally to receive this year's NATA undergraduate scholarship and is the first UW-Eau Claire student ever to receive the award. Approximately 8,000 students representing 352 academic programs across the country were eligible for the $2,300 scholarship.

"Winning this scholarship has not only assisted me with the financial aspect of college but has also boosted my confidence in my abilities as a future athletic trainer," Kidd said. "As I head into my final year at UW-Eau Claire, confidence will be essential in executing the skills expected of a senior athletic training student." Full story. back to top

Research findings may influence climate change models

Tali Lee
Dr. Tali Lee takes measurements of plant response to CO2 with student intern Ann Karpinski. (BioCON Experiment/NSF Cedar Creek LTER Site photo)

Scientific models used to predict future climate change could be modified because of findings from an extensive research project that involves a UW-Eau Claire biologist and several of her students.

Dr. Tali Lee, associate professor of biology at UW-Eau Claire, and researchers from the University of Minnesota conducted an 11-year experiment with 13 plant species common in prairie ecosystems in U.S. Midwestern states.

"The study found that in this ecosystem the capacity for plants to absorb extra carbon from the atmosphere as carbon dioxide levels rise was less than expected," Lee said. "These results are important to consider, along with other studies, because models used to forecast future climate change include estimates of plants' absorption of CO2. Our study indicates that today's models may overestimate the ability of plants to absorb excess CO2, which means they may underestimate the pace of future CO2 increases and associated global change."

The findings are published in the current issue of the journal Global Change Biology. Lee is the lead author on the article. Full story. back to top

International business major to be offered beginning this fall

Beginning this fall, UW-Eau Claire will be the first college or university in northwestern Wisconsin to offer an international business degree. The new degree program was approved June 10 by the UW System Board of Regents.

"In today's interconnected world, it is essential for our business students to be trained to work in an environment that requires the knowledge and skills of doing business globally," said Dr. Rama Yelkur, professor of marketing and coordinator of international business programs at UW-Eau Claire.

Yelkur initiated the idea of the major and was instrumental in the development of the new degree program. A year ago, Yelkur received a $190,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to prepare UW-Eau Claire students and Wisconsin businesses to be more competitive in emerging markets. Part of the grant also supported the development of the international business degree. Full story. back to top

Partnership launches first fully online undergraduate degree

UW-Eau Claire will offer the UW System's first bachelor of professional studies degree and UW-Eau Claire's first fully online bachelor's degree completion program beginning in the fall 2011 semester. The new bachelor of professional studies degree in organizational leadership and communication was approved June 10 by the UW System Board of Regents. Applications for fall currently are being accepted online.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers with comprehensive skills and knowledge are needed in almost every industry. In response, UW-Eau Claire and UW-Extension partnered to create the new 60-credit degree completion program, which combines communications and traditional liberal arts courses — including economics, history, philosophy, political science and sociology — with course work from the College of Business. Full story. back to top

New major gifts officer joins Foundation; staff changes announced

Mark Helmke
Mark Helmke

The UW-Eau Claire Foundation has hired a new major gifts officer who will connect with the more than 15,000 UW-Eau Claire alumni who reside in the Twin Cities area.

Mark Helmke, a 1986 graduate of UW-Eau Claire, began his duties June 20. He primarily will be responsible for working with the university's alumni and friends in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area as well as in the northwestern region of the United States.

Helmke has had a successful 13-year sales career in the transportation industry. In 1997 he purchased a Madison-based delivery company and grew it into a five-state regional carrier before selling the business. Now he said he looks forward to meeting fellow alumni and making an impact on his alma mater. Full story. back to top

Blugold Marching Band looks for sponsors as ranks swell

Blugold Marching BandThe UW-Eau Claire Foundation and the Blugold Marching Band have teamed up to make sure the band plays on. A fundraising campaign to support the cost of maintaining one of the largest marching bands in Wisconsin is being introduced through band members.

"The Blugold Marching Band was one of the main reasons I chose UW-Eau Claire," said Bryan Kujawa, a junior music education major from Greenfield. "This past season I was given a leadership position, and I've truly grown as a person because of it."

Kujawa is among the more than 50 percent of band members who say the respected organization factored into their decision to choose UW-Eau Claire. However, he is in the minority when it comes to band membership by major. A full 68 percent of Blugold Marching Band members are non-music majors. Dr. Randal Dickerson, director of the band, thrives on a diverse collection of students who are enthusiastic about music and performance, and believes students from any major can benefit from the experience. Full story. back to top

Endowments by former standout runners to transform cross country team

Laureen Seeger

Laureen Seeger met with members of the women’s cross country team while visiting campus in May to receive the Alumni Association’s President’s Award during the weekend of spring commencement. Seeger is one of three alumni who recently pledged to create endowments for the men's and women's cross country programs. (UW-Eau Claire photo by Bill Hoepner)

Two separate gifts to the UW-Eau Claire cross country team are about to transform both the men's and women's programs. The UW-Eau Claire Foundation recently received pledges from alumni to create endowments, kicking off a fundraiser with a goal of raising $400,000 over the next five years. The effort is part of a series of events leading up to the university's centennial celebration in 2016.

"The current economic climate is the major force behind this fundraising effort," said Dan Schwamberger, UW-Eau Claire's head cross country coach, noting that the teams have a combined roster of close to 60 student athletes. "Basic team expenses, such as transportation, continue to increase while our budget has remained the same. The new endowments will benefit the cross country program in a variety of ways, which include basic budget necessities and other items that may not be considered a necessity but are essential for the program to be successful on a national level."

Former cross country runners and UW-Eau Claire alumni Laureen McGurk Seeger, Dick Johnson and Mary Fischbach Johnson made the first gifts. Full story. back to top

Green fund supports improvements to student garden

Campus garden
UW-Eau Claire photo by Bill Hoepner

The student-initiated campus garden in the courtyard of Phillips Science Hall at UW-Eau Claire is undergoing renovations this summer.

The garden has been managed by The Foodlums, a student organization, since the spring of 2007 with the goal of providing a hands-on educational experience for students interested in sustainable food production as well as producing food for members of the campus community.

Money from the new green fund, allocated by the Student Office of Sustainability, has allowed The Foodlums to build raised beds in the garden to improve the aesthetics and accessibility of the garden. A garden shed, fruit trees to be planted on campus and newly established bee hives (to help pollinate the garden) also were supported by the fund as part of the garden project. Full story. back to top

Justin Vernon becoming a media sensation

Justin Vernon
UW-Eau Claire photo by
Rick Mickelson

In conjunction with the recent release of his second album, "Bon Iver, Bon Iver," indie-rock star Justin Vernon, a 2004 UW-Eau Claire comparative studies in religion graduate, has been the subject of media and talk-show coverage across the country.

Click on the following links to learn more about Vernon and his band, Bon Iver, as well as their upcoming 16-date U.S. summer tour: feature story in The New York Times; cover story in Billboard magazine; interview on National Public Radio; tracks from the new album on NPR; album review in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; interview in the Toronto Sun; and an interview in Eau Claire's Volume One.

Vernon also has made recent appearances on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" and "The Colbert Report." back to top

Blugold Generations

Jaehnke familyThree generations of the Lucreta Jaehnke family recently gathered for a photo to illustrate the family’s connections to UW-Eau Claire. From left are: Jay Jaehnke, a 1979 accounting graduate from Onalaska and vice president/investments at Stifel Nicolaus in La Crosse; Jay’s mother, Lucreta Jaehnke, a 1974 education graduate (and former nontraditional student) who now lives in Madison; Jay’s sister Karen L. Blank, a 1977 nursing graduate from River Falls; and Jay’s son, Adam, a 2008 accounting graduate and senior auditor for Carlson Cos. who lives in Minneapolis. back to top

Alumni success stories

In addition to the alumni below, you can read about the accomplishments of other UW-Eau Claire alumni on the Alumni Success Stories Web pages:

Kate Nulsen Kate Nulsen '11, who received a master of science in nursing degree from UW-Eau Claire, has been promoted to director of the critical care department at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire. Full story.
UW-Eau Claire excellence seal

Angela Pittman Taylor '00, a UW-Eau Claire communication graduate, has been selected as a Woman of Influence by The Business Journal (as reported in the May e-View). A lengthier story and video interview are available for viewing. Full story.

John Raymond John Raymond '09, a UW-Eau Claire music graduate, toured the Midwest this spring with a New York-based jazz quintet that he co-leads as trumpeter. Full story.
UW-Eau Claire excellence seal

Judy Nichols '88, a UW-Eau Claire nursing graduate, has been named Cardiac Care Associate liaison for the Wisconsin Chapter of the American College of Cardiology. Full story.

Morgan Hinkley Morgan Hinkley '06, a UW-Eau Claire health care administration graduate, has been chosen by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living as a future leader in long-term care. Full story.
UW-Eau Claire excellence seal Bruce Gardow '74, a UW-Eau Claire social science and speech graduate, has created a tour of Eau Claire that highlights the city's Great Depression-era projects. Full story.
Matt Tiller Matt Tiller '08, a UW-Eau Claire music graduate, has received the Golden Apple Award from WQOW News 18 in Eau Claire. Full story.
Steve Palacek Steve Palacek '00, a UW-Eau Claire accounting graduate, has received the New Beginning Award from Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire and St. Joseph's Hospital in Chippewa Falls. Full story. back to top

Blugold Trivia headline
Show how much you know about UW-Eau Claire — AND win great Blugold prizes! E-mail your answer to this month's question to the Blugold Trivia mailbox (trivia@uwec.edu). Those sending correct responses to this month's question will be entered in a drawing for a UW-Eau Claire T-shirt. The name of this month's Blugold Trivia winner will be published in the July issue of e-View.

June Blugold Trivia question:

Schofield Auditorium, which is currently undergoing a renovation project, was completed as a lecture auditorium in the 1960s. What was the venue called back in that time period?

Know the answer? E-mail it, along with your name and class year, to trivia@uwec.edu. You'll be notified by e-mail if you are this month's winner!

May's winner:
Congratulations to Cary Hernandez, a 1986 UW-Eau Claire biology graduate and winner of the May Blugold Trivia prize! Cary's name was drawn from among those who correctly answered that the name of the nonprofit website founded and led by Sona Mehring '83, who received UW-Eau Claire's Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award last month, is CaringBridge. back to top

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