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  April 2014

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In this issue

UW-Eau Claire unveils new brand message

Area voters show support for Confluence Project

UW-Eau Claire again named a top U.S. green college by Princeton Review

Mining company commits funds to university initiative

Three generations of Blugold chemists collaborate on plastics research project

Biology professor receives NSF funding to continue plant light response research

Student, faculty community project addresses hunger among area youth

Event to feature students' faculty-mentored research, creative projects

English professor, literacy program receive civic engagement awards

Professor emerita Karen Loeb receives first place in fiction contest

English professor B.J. Hollars receives Council for Wisconsin Writers award

Instructor's new book highlights biographies to read aloud with children

Alumni take on campus spruce-up project through employer's outreach program

Education graduate receives award for work in school psychology

Costa Rican service experience helps shape students' thinking, plans

Alumni Association plans spring events

Visa Signature Card available

New alumni success stories

Blugold Trivia

Alumni links

Alumni events

Alumni success stories

Blugold Babies

Blugold Bliss

eView archive

eView survey

Photo album

The View online




UW-Eau Claire unveils new brand message
The Power of AND logo

Thanks to literally hundreds of alumni — and several thousand faculty, staff and students — UW-Eau Claire recently unveiled a new brand message: The Power of AND. That message, which will soon be seen on our website, in recruitment materials and even on banners around campus, captures the spirit that sets us apart.

The Power of AND describes how UW-Eau Claire challenges students, faculty, staff and alumni to explore multiple passions and academic pursuits. Blugolds are not defined solely by one interest or discipline. They are scientists AND poets; musicians AND marketing gurus; nurses AND world travelers.

"Excellence" remains as UW-Eau Claire's motto, and the term will continue to be prominently displayed on the University Seal. The new Power of And message gives us another way to describe what happens at UW-Eau Claire and the people who are proud to call themselves Blugolds.

The Power of AND was created after a yearlong research effort that involved the campus as well as alumni in focus groups, surveys and interviews to determine what makes us distinctive and how to tell our story to prospective students. On April 16 the entire university was introduced to the new brand. Hundreds of students, faculty and staff took pictures at photo booths set up across campus with signs that featured their "AND" messages.

Check out our Facebook page for some great pictures of the many creative ways in which our students are taking hold of the Power of AND in their lives. Or visit our new Web page and read stories about alumni, faculty and students who are bringing the Power of AND alive. Then share your "AND" with us. Let us know what passions you combined because of your time at UW-Eau Claire. What's your AND? back to top

Area voters show support for Confluence Project
Confluence Project

Results of two referendums on the ballot during spring voting indicate Eau Claire city and county residents are in favor of the Confluence Project proposed for downtown Eau Claire and support its moving forward.

The Confluence Project includes construction of a new arts center to be shared by the community and UW-Eau Claire, a commercial/retail complex and university student housing at the confluence of the Chippewa and Eau Claire rivers in Eau Claire.

In an Eau Claire County referendum, voters supported the county contributing $3.5 million toward the project's $51.2 million performing arts center, and the results of a city of Eau Claire referendum indicated that voters are not in support of requiring a referendum before the city could spend $1 million or more on any arts-related building project.

UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt wrote in his campus blog that the $77.2 million project represents a new way of government institutions and private enterprise working together to create something that no single entity could create alone: a first-class arts center that will greatly benefit the community and the university. Read Chancellor Schmidt's full blog posting.

Local coverage of the referendum results appeared in the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram and Volume One. back to top

UW-Eau Claire again named a top U.S. green college by Princeton Review
Green Colleges logo

For the fourth year in a row, UW-Eau Claire has been named one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada by The Princeton Review.

The newly released guidebook, "The Princeton Review's Guide to 332 Green Colleges," lists UW-Eau Claire among the 332 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability through academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. Full story. back to top

Mining company commits funds to university initiative
Unimin campus visit

Representatives from Unimin talk with a geology class about the new internships and scholarships they are creating specifically for UW-Eau Claire geology majors.

A North American mining company with operations in Wisconsin is investing more than $50,000 annually in a new Responsible Mining Initiative being established at UW-Eau Claire.

Unimin announced this month that it will invest the monies in summer internships, scholarships and grants specifically designated for UW-Eau Claire geology students.

UW-Eau Claire students selected for two summer internships with Unimin will earn $4,500 per month, or $13,500 for the summer. One student will be hired as a geology intern working in the company's Tunnel City mining operation, while the second student will work as an environmental intern at the company's offices in Mankato, Minn. Full story. back to top

Three generations of Blugold chemists collaborate on plastics research project
Nick Robertson with students

Nicholas Robertson '04, center, and his student research team at Northland College.

A research team that includes three generations of Blugolds is gaining international attention for developing a new method for converting waste plastics into useful chemicals, a process that has the potential to significantly reduce a waste stream that's currently sent to landfills.

The research — published in the journal Chemical Communications and featured in the online March issue of the Royal Society of Chemistry publication Chemistry World — involves converting waste plastics into chemicals that can be reused to remake other plastics or be used as building blocks for chemical applications in the pharmaceutical or cosmetics industries. Full story. back to top

Biology professor receives NSF funding to continue plant light response research
Derel Gingerich and student

Associate professor Derek Gingerich, left, and senior biology major Gavin Sunde continue NSF-funded plant light response research.

Derek Gingerich, an associate professor of biology at UW-Eau Claire, has received a three-year $214,510 grant from the National Science Foundation to continue a faculty-student collaborative research project related to how plants respond to light.

The research project, "RUI: Analysis of Mutants Identified in Screens for Suppressors or Enhancers of a Red Light Hypersensitive E3 Ubiquitin-Ligase Mutant," developed from Gingerich's previous research, also was funded by an NSF grant in 2009, which studied how plants respond to light. Gingerich and his team of student researchers will build on the previous work involving the role of two specific genes — LRBI and LRB2 — in plants' light response; specifically to red wavelength light. Full story. back to top

Student, faculty community project addresses hunger among area youth
Garry Running and Nathan Schaffer

Geography professor Garry Running, left, and Nathan Schaffer, a geography and economics major, are leading a project that will give more elementary-age youth access to food during the summer months.

More Eau Claire elementary-age youth will have access to food this summer thanks to a team of Honors students and a geography professor at UW-Eau Claire.

Working with several community organizations, the university team is leading a project that will make it possible for young people with food insecurity issues to access Feed My People Food Bank's Weekend Kids' Meals at more locations in Eau Claire, including at four city playgrounds and the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library.

"During the school year, Feed My People sends meals home with more than 1,600 Eau Claire elementary school students every week," said Nathan Schaffer, a junior geography and economics major who is helping to lead the project. "But when school is out, just 1,600 meals are distributed to kids during the entire summer. That means many of the kids who need the food are going without it during the summer months." Full story. back to top

Event to feature students' faculty-mentored research, creative projects
2013 CERCA event

Matthew Bowe, now a senior mathematics education major from Bloomer, presented his research during the 2013 Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity.

UW-Eau Claire students will display their faculty-mentored research, scholarly and creative projects April 30-May 1 during the university's annual student research event, the Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity.

This year CERCA marks its 22nd year and has been recognized as a "Program of Distinction" by the UW-Eau Claire Student Affairs Awards and Recognition Committee.

More than 315 collaborative student-faculty projects will be shared via films, oral presentations and exhibits/posters from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. each day in Davies Center. Students, faculty, staff and the general public are invited to follow the event on the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Facebook page (#CERCAuwec), which will include a live agenda. Full story. back to top

English professor, literacy program receive civic engagement awards
Ruth Cronje Donna Lehmkuhl
Ruth Cronje
Donna Lehmkuhl

A UW-Eau Claire faculty member and a literacy intervention program have been recognized for excellence by the Wisconsin Campus Compact (WiCC).

Ruth Cronje, UW-Eau Claire professor of English, has received WiCC's Sister Joel Read Civic Engagement Practitioners Award, which recognizes outstanding faculty and staff members who have made significant contributions to the area of civic engagement on their campuses.

UW-Eau Claire's Early Childhood Literacy Intervention Program, Services and Evaluation (ECLIPSE) has received the Esther Letven Campus-Community Partnership Award, which recognizes campus-community partnerships that produce measurable community impact as well as student growth and learning. Full story. back to top

Professor emerita Karen Loeb receives first place in fiction contest
Karen Loeb
Karen Loeb

Karen Loeb, a professor emerita of English at UW-Eau Claire, is the 2014 first-place winner in Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine's fiction contest for her story "The Walk to Makino." Susanna Daniel, a novelist living in Madison, served as the judge for this year's contest.

The prize for first place includes publication in Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine, produced by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters; a $500 cash prize; and a one-week artist residency at Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts in Mineral Point.

"The Walk to Makino" depicts a woman's relationship with her father during his visit to her home in Japan and was inspired by her own experience, Loeb said. Full story. back to top

English professor B.J. Hollars receives Council for Wisconsin Writers award
B.J. Hollars
B.J. Hollars

B.J. Hollars, assistant professor of English at UW-Eau Claire, has been named the recipient of the 2014 Wisconsin Writers Award for nonfiction by the Council for Wisconsin Writers.

Hollars will receive the Norbert Blei/August Derleth Nonfiction Book Award for "Opening the Doors: The Desegregation of the University of Alabama and the Fight for Civil Rights in Tuscaloosa," published in spring 2013. The award includes $500 and a weeklong writing residency at the Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts in Mineral Point. Out-of-state judges selected Hollars for the award.

"Opening the Doors" is Hollars' second book on the issues of race and civil rights in the South. It provides an all-encompassing account of the University of Alabama's 1956 and 1963 desegregation attempts, as well as the never-before-reported-story of Tuscaloosa's own civil rights movement. Full story. back to top

Instructor's new book highlights biographies to read aloud with children
Rob Reid's book "Biographies to Read Aloud with Kids"

Rob Reid, senior lecturer of education studies at UW-Eau Claire, has written a new book that highlights biographies of fascinating people who are not always included in school history textbooks.

Reid's "Biographies to Read Aloud with Kids: From Alvin Ailey to Zishe the Strongman" contains profiles of 200 biographies written for children. The individuals featured in the book are fairly evenly split between males and females, with a strong representation of people of color and those with disabilities.

"This was a fun project to work on," Reid said. "I read about 500 biographies to reach the 200 books listed in my book, and I found many inspirational stories along the way — so much so that I am ready to compete on 'Jeopardy!'" Full story. back to top
Alumni take on campus spruce-up project through employer's outreach program
Alumni painters

UW-Eau Claire alumni, from left, Matthias Mulder '10, Nate Henry '06 and Amanda Zenner '08, all local managers for Sherwin-Williams, donated labor and materials through their employer for a painting project in the university's Brewer Hall.

Several UW-Eau Claire alumni who now work in management for Sherwin-Williams in Eau Claire have found a way to give back to their alma mater through their employer's annual community outreach initiative.

Amanda Zenner and Nate Henry, managers at Sherwin-Williams' Hastings Way location, and Matthias Mulder, the manager at the company's Hamilton Avenue location, along with other Sherwin-Williams employees, recently worked for two days in UW-Eau Claire's Brewer Hall, painting both the offices and hallway where Blugold men's and women's basketball offices will relocate this summer. The relocation follows the move to Centennial Hall by the university's College of Education and Human Sciences staff, who previously occupied the first-floor Brewer spaces.

Sherwin-Williams donated all the paint, prep work and labor for the project.

Zenner, who played for the Blugold women's basketball program from 2005-08, previously had contacted her former head coach, Tonja Englund, about the Sherwin-Williams team's desire to do a painting project for the university as part of the company's National Paint Week initiative. The timing was perfect, as the basketball coaches had just learned they would be relocating to the Brewer office spaces, Englund said. Full story. back to top

Education graduate receives award for work in school psychology
Krystle Kaifesh
Krystle Kaifesh

Krystle Kaifesh, a UW-Eau Claire graduate originally from West Allis, is the recipient of the 2014 Susan Allard Award presented by the Wisconsin School Psychology Association. The award is presented annually to an outstanding nondoctoral graduate student based on excellence in practice, research and service.

Kaifesh earned a master's degree in education in 2011 and an education specialist degree in school psychology in 2013 from UW-Eau Claire. She currently works as a school psychologist at the Stanley-Boyd School District, which serves more than 1,000 students in grades PK-12.

Michael Axelrod, an associate professor of psychology at UW-Eau Claire, nominated Kaifesh for the award based on her skills related to the practice of school psychology, research accomplishments and dedication to serving children with special needs. Full story. back to top
Costa Rican service experience helps shape students' thinking, plans
Costa Rica service project

Lindsey Merchlewitz, right, and Laura Neil paint a community building in a Costa Rican fishing village during their spring semester study abroad experience.

As Lindsey Merchlewitz made her way via ferries and buses to a small fishing village along the western coast of Costa Rica she knew the next couple of weeks would be exhausting and more than a little uncomfortable.

Merchlewitz, along with 19 other UW-Eau Claire students, were heading to Cabuya, a small, poor coastal town where they would help the locals with projects that were important to their community.

"We'd all heard about how hot it was going to be, how many bugs there were and all of the hard work we'd be doing under the blazing sun," said Merchlewitz, a communication sciences and disorders major from Rushford, Minn. "I worried about being able to understand my new host family. I expected to be sweaty and warm every second of every day. I expected the geckos and the tarantulas, scorpions and ants. I also expected to be tired after working each day. All these turned out to be realities in Cabuya.

"But what I did not expect was how much all of these things would come together to make this experience one of the best that I have ever had. It never crossed my mind that the short time I spent in Cabuya might change how I see the world for the rest of my life." Full story. back to top

Alumni Association plans spring events

The UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association is hosting several events in the coming months. Here are a couple:

Greg Kocken

Let's Do Lunch noon-hour lecture series. Wednesday, April 30, Fanny Hill Restaurant, Eau Claire, noon-1 p.m. Greg Kocken, head of McIntyre Library's Special Collections and Archives department at UW-Eau Claire, will discuss the role of the university's archives in relation to UW-Eau Claire's centennial in 2016. Tickets are $13 per person and include presentation, buffet, beverage, tax and tip. To reserve your spot, send e-mail to alumni@uwec.edu or call 715-836-3266. Learn more.

Ecolab employee luncheon. Friday, June 13, noon. Complimentary lunch featuring an update from Chancellor James Schmidt and Blugold door prizes. View invite.

For details about these events and others in the works, check out the alumni events calendar. back to top

Visa Signature Card available
Visa Card

Is your credit card working hard for you? Make the UW-Eau Claire Visa Signature® Card your card of choice, and reap the benefits. Right now, apply and get a $50 Statement Credit when you spend $200 in the first 90 days! Plus, with every purchase you make with this Visa Signature Card, a portion of your purchase will be contributed to the UW Eau Claire Alumni Association — at no cost to you! Offer ends June 30, 2014.1 Subject to credit approval. Accounts must be open and in good standing (not past due) to earn statement credit. Please wait 6-8 weeks after meeting threshold for account to be credited.
The creditor and issuer of the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire Card is U.S. Bank National Association, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc.© 2014 U.S. Bank National Association
Apply today! 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:
Jeffrey Brice Jeffrey Brice '03, a UW-Eau Claire business finance and accounting graduate, is co-founder and CEO of the investment fund platform TrustEgg in San Diego, Calif. Full story.
Seal Paul Cyr '79 and John Qualheim '79, both UW-Eau Claire art graduates, are displaying their artwork in the exhibit "John, Paul & Art" through May 27 at Eau Claire's L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library. Full story.
Rosemarie Schroeder Rosemarie Schroeder '73, a UW-Eau Claire nursing graduate, is immediate past president of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses. Full story.
Seal Megan Hoffman '11, a UW-Eau Claire music therapy graduate, is a music therapist at Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento, Calif. Full story.
Megan Ekenstedt Megan Ekenstedt '10, a UW-Eau Claire art graduate, is an art instructor, education coordinator and interim manager for the Highlands Art League in Sebring, Fla. (Photo courtesy of Highlands Today) Full story. back to top

Blugold Trivia headline
Show how much you know about UW-Eau Claire — AND win great Blugold prizes! Email 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 Blugold umbrella. The name of this month's Blugold Trivia winner will be published in the May 2014 issue of eView.

April Blugold Trivia question:

UW-Eau Claire has been named a top U.S. green college by The Princeton Review for the fourth consecutive year. How many schools total responded to Princeton Review's 2013 sustainability survey?

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

March's winner:

Congratulations to Jane Rockwell, a 1978 UW-Eau Claire English graduate and winner of the March Blugold Trivia prize! Jane's name was drawn from among those who correctly answered that the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, curated by alumnus Brent Hensel, is due to reopen in 2015. back to top

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Last Updated: May 9, 2014 Questions/Comments: alumni@uwec.edu