Skip to main content

2020-2021 Faculty Achievements

| Alaina Guns

Despite the challenges of teaching during a year of a nationwide pandemic, our faculty went above and beyond in their accomplishments over the last year. 

Mari Bodensteiner, lecturer in the languages department, was the recipient of a U.S. Department of State public diplomacy initiative award in which experts in the field of English language education lead intensive English language projects. Working with the public affairs sections of the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Bodensteiner partnered with the Instituto Cultural Dominico-Americano and developed the Open Learning Program as a curriculum and content creator, and program trainer and developer. In the Dominican Republic, the Open Learning Program was developed in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Bodensteiner developed and implemented four eight-week online courses for English language learners and English language teachers.

Mari Bodensteiner has been selected to serve on the American Councils for International Education Selection Committee for the English-Speaking Nation (ESN) Program in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The selected participants will participate in the first-ever cohort of teachers for ESN’s secondary-teacher training program. The teachers will earn their TESOL certificate and be inducted into Uzbekistan’s Teacher-Trainer Corps. You can read more about the program and courses online.

Mari Bodensteiner and Ami Christensen, both lecturers in the department of languages, presented "Not Another PowerPoint: Creating Student-Generated Multimodal Projects" at the 2020 Minnesota English Language Educators conference, held Nov. 20-21. Visit the website they created as part of their presentation to learn more about their work.

Mari Bodensteiner and Ami Christensen gave two presentations with Emily Claypool Offord of Clemson University as part of the TESOL 2021 International Convention & English Language Expo, held virtually March 24-27. Their presentation, titled “Not Another PowerPoint: Creating Student-Generated Multimodal Projects,” was conducted as a live session, and their presentation “Energizers and Icebreakers: A Playlist for Classroom Engagement” was recorded and available as an on-demand session.

Mari Bodensteiner and Jennifer Majorana, Central Michigan University, presented “Bess Assess that Vocab Mess” at the TESOL 2021 International Convention & English Language Expo, held virtually March 24-27. Their presentation had more than 800 attendees.

Mari Bodensteiner was selected to be an English language specialist in 2019 by the U.S. Department of State through its English Language Specialist Program, a public diplomacy initiative in which experts in the field of English language education lead intensive English language projects. Working with the public affairs sections of the U.S. Embassy Kyiv in Ukraine, Bodensteiner partnered with teachers in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to create a series of 12 webinars, which are broadcast each week to English language instructors in those countries.

Dr. Josh Brown, associate professor of German and linguistics in the department of languages, had his article "Writing about Amish Women and Singlehood" published Sept. 30 in the journal Culture and Religion.

Dr. Brown recently gave two presentations: “Heritage Swedish Across the Lifespan in a Minnesota Family” (co-presented with Angela Hoffman of Uppsala University) at the 11th Workshop on Immigrant Languages in the Americas virtually hosted by the University of North Carolina-Asheville; and “Postvernacular Pennsylvania Dutch” as an invited virtual talk to the department of language sciences at UW-Madison.

Dr. Brown recently gave an invited virtual talk titled “The Last Stages of Language Shift” for various departments at the University of Georgia. The talk was sponsored by UGA's Willson Center for Humanities and Arts.

Dr. Brown gave an invited presentation, titled “Verticalization processes in American heritage language communities,” April 30 as part of a panel on language maintenance and shift with Dr. Suzanne Aalberse (University of Amsterdam) and Dr. José del Valle (City University of New York). The event was sponsored by the Universität Regensburg and the Université de Lausanne.

Dr. Brown presented the paper “Ideology and Språkfrågan: Paths Leading to Language Shift in Four Swedish-American Congregations” with Angela Hoffman (Uppsala University) at the 12th Annual Workshop on Immigrant Languages in the Americas, hosted by the University of Helsinki Oct. 6-9.

Dr. Cheryl Jiménez Frei, assistant professor of history; Dr. Elena N. Casey, assistant professor of Spanish; and Dr. Lisa Schiller, associate professor of nursing; have received a COVID-19 Grant for History in the Public Interest from the Albert Lepage Center at Villanova University, for their project, “Documenting the Undocumented.” The project, currently in progress through the fall semester, involves collecting and archiving oral histories of migrant and undocumented farm workers in western Wisconsin to document their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Oral histories will be archived in UW-Eau Claire's Chippewa Valley COVID-19 Archive, and, in partnership with Arizona State University, in ASU's global COVID-19 archive, "A Journal of the Plague Year." The multidisciplinary project brings together UW-Eau Claire faculty and students across public history and Spanish for health professions courses and the Health Care for Immigrant and Local Farmers Clinical Immersion Program.

Dr. Cheryl Jiménez-Frei, Dr. Elena N. Casey, Dr. Lisa Schiller, and Dr. Lorraine Smith, assistant professor of nursing, presented their collaborative oral history project preserving the experiences of undocumented Latinx farmworkers in Wisconsin for the annual conference of the National Council on Public History on March 20. Their presentation formed part of a multi-institutional panel organized by Jiménez Frei, titled “Addressing Silences in the Archive: Documenting Pandemic Experiences from Latinx, Black, and Indigenous Communities.” Jiménez-Frei and Casey also have been awarded a Summer Internship Program grant from the Lepage Center at Villanova University to hire a graduate student from Villanova for the Rural Voices/Voces del Campo project, a collaboration with Schiller and Smith to conduct oral history interviews regarding experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic in western Wisconsin. Throughout summer 2021, the intern will assist Jiménez-Frei and Casey with Spanish-language interviews, transcription and translation, and digital archive development and curation.

Dr. Casey delivered a presentation of her research, titled “Notable Melancolía: Writing American Illness from Early Modern Spain,” on April 20 for the panel “Melancholy and Mental Health at the Margins of the Early Modern World,” which she organized for the annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America. The panel also was composed of scholars from Utah State University, Vanderbilt University, University of Mary Washington, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Brown University.

Dr. Casey and Dr. Cheryl Jiménez-Frei were invited by the Center for Public Humanities at Messiah University to give a virtual presentation April 7 on their research collaboration, “Documenting the Undocumented: Addressing Archival Silences Through Oral Histories of the Pandemic,” a rapid-response, public humanities project that connects students and faculty in public history, Spanish, Latin American studies and nursing.

Dr. Casey has been elected as a distinguished member for the 2021-22 academic year by the student executive board of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars for her embodiment of the society’s values of scholarship, leadership and service.

Dr. Casey and Dr. Cheryl Jiménez Frei, assistant professor of history and Latin American and Latinx studies, have been awarded an ORSP student-faculty research grant for their “Rural Voices/Voces del Campo” project during the 2021-22 academic year. Funding from the award will compensate two students for their work constructing and curating digital archives and interviewing English and Spanish speakers about their experiences of life and the COVID-19 pandemic in western Wisconsin and the rural Midwest.

Dr. Casey and nursing faculty members Dr. Lisa Schiller, associate professor and graduate programs director; Dr. Lorraine Smith, assistant professor; and Dr. Mohammad Alasagheirin, associate professor, have received a Professional Development Grant from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs for their event and EDI Tier 2 workshop “A Place to Breathe: Culturally Responsive Community Healing Documentary Viewing and Panel.” “A Place to Breathe” is a new full-length documentary on immigrant and refugee experiences in the health care system and culturally responsive, community-led healing from trauma. A virtual film viewing and panel composed of filmmakers and health care providers from the documentary and the UW-Eau Claire community will stimulate dialogue on best practices in culturally responsive health care and the importance of centering community health workers and providers who come from the communities they serve. The documentary is available Oct. 6-22; the panel is on Zoom Oct. 21 from 5-6:30pm. See panel registration and documentary viewing details.

Dr. Analisa DeGrave, professor of Spanish in the departments of languages, Latin American and Latinx studies and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, had her article, titled “From Xibalbá to Twenty-First-Century Honduras: ‘Transrealista’ Sketches of Power and Marginalization in Carlos Humberto Santos’s ‘Bocetos de un cuerpo sin forma’,” published in TRANSMODERNITY: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World, a peer-reviewed and interdisciplinary journal of Luso-Hispanic and U.S. Latino literary and cultural studies. The article, which was published in the spring 2021 issue (Vol. 9, Issue 6), is available as an open access publication from the University of California.

Dr. Marcela Depiante, associate professor of Spanish, and Dr. Adolfo Ausín, Michigan State University, presented the paper “Person Restrictions in Non-Canonical Agreement Patterns in Spanish” at the Hispanic Linguistics Symposium 2021, an online symposium hosted Oct. 7-9 by Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Dr. Manuel Fernández, professor of Spanish and director of the Latin American and Latinx studies program, delivered a presentation of his CETL faculty-student collaborative research project, titled “Demythologizing José Martí in the Spanish Language Classroom,” at the XXVII Congreso Internacional de Literatura Hispánica on March 6. Fernández delivered a different version of this presentation, titled “José Martí on Race and Immigration for the Spanish Language Classroom,” at the 53rd North Central Council of Latin Americanists (NCCLA) Conference on April 19 with collaborator and now alumna Miranda Fernández.

Dr. Wendy Makoons Geniusz, associate professor of languages, presented the talk “Biskaabiiyang: When we talk about decolonizing in Ojibwe, we say we are returning to ourselves” as part of a Zoom panel discussion for the Society of Economic Botany on April 17.

Dr. Anne Cummings Hlas, professor of Spanish in the department of languages, and Jesselyn Nadolny, a Spanish education major and current Blugold Fellow, presented “An examination of creativity in the classroom” at the Wisconsin Association for Language Teachers Virtual Conference Nov. 6-7.

Dr. Hlas had her article “High-Leverage Teaching Practices: Designing Tasks for Interaction” published in “One vision—Multiple Perspectives: 2021 Report of the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (CSCTFL),” pages 31-45. Hlas also presented “Best of Wisconsin: Designing Tasks for Interaction” March 13 at the virtual 2021 Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

Dr. Paul Hoff, professor of Spanish in the languages department, has been recertified as an ACTFL OPI tester of Spanish by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. In this capacity he regularly conducts oral proficiency interviews for Language Testing International (the ACTFL testing office) to assess the Spanish language ability of individuals in academia, business, health care and government.

Dr. Hoff gave the presentation "It Is a Happy Talent to Know How to (Role) Play" March 11 at the virtual 2021 Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

Dr. Kaishan Kong, associate professor of Chinese in the languages department, had her paper, titled “Developing Teacher Cognition on Culture and Teaching Culture in a Chinese Class,” published in the Journal of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages, Vol. 29, pages 1-33. Additionally, she co-presented at two virtual sessions with Hongjuan Zhou (Breck School, Minnesota) and Mohan Shang (Lakes International Language Academy, Minnesota) at the Ninth Annual Conference of the New England Chinese Language Teachers Association in October. The presentations were “A Case Study of Employing Translanguaging in a Chinese Summer Camp Toward Higher-Order Thinking Skills” and “An Experiment of Innovative Teaching in a Weekend Chinese School.”

Congratulations to Dr. Kaishan Kong for completing the EDI Tier 3 professional development program. She completed 10 or more Tier 2 sessions and a project within her scope of duties to help improve EDI on campus: "Engaging International Students in Academic Research."

Dr. Kong was invited to give an online guest lecture to students at Taylor's University in Malaysia on Feb. 19. The title of the presentation was “Intercultural Competence in the Global Workplace,” where Kong used examples to discuss the importance of intercultural competence in cross-cultural exchanges.

Dr. Kong has successfully completed the training and requirements to become a certified oral proficiency interview (OPI) tester for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). She has received an ACTFL OPI full-tester certification in Chinese. ACTFL OPI tester certification is a highly valued professional credential that is recognized nationally and internationally.

Dr. Kong gave a presentation titled “Integrating Cultural Diversity in Online Course Design” at the 2021 UW System LTDC Virtual Showcase on June 15. During her presentation, Kong shared two activities — Intercultural Talk and Cultural Learning Growth Project — to discuss the pedagogical potential of connecting international students and local students in class.

Dr. Jessica Sertling Miller, professor of French in the department of languages, gave a virtual presentation titled “Diversifying the Curriculum through Incremental Structural Changes” at the annual Wisconsin Association for Language Teachers conference Nov. 6-7.

Dr. Miller gave a virtual presentation titled “A Free Intermediate French Sequence to Improve Accessibility to a Culturally Diverse and Complex Curriculum” at the first Diversity, Decolonization and the French Curriculum conference Nov. 13-14.

Dr. Miller led a virtual workshop titled “Academic Integrity by Design” Feb. 25 for members of Diversity, Decolonization and the French Curriculum, a forum to foster conversation about diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice.

Dr. Miller led a virtual workshop titled “Academic Integrity by Design” Feb. 25 for members of Diversity, Decolonization and the French Curriculum, a forum to foster conversation about diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice.

Dr. Miller gave a presentation titled “Cross-Language Program Assessment” at the virtual Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages March 13.

Dr. Miller had her article “Academic Integrity by Design: Universal Solutions for Face-to-Face, Remote, and Online French Classes” published in the latest issue of The French Review (Vol. 94.3). The French Review is the official journal of the American Association of Teachers of French and has the largest circulation of any scholarly journal of French and Francophone studies in the world.

Dr. Miller and Avonlea Hanson, instructional design consultant in Learning and Technology Services, presented “Turning a F2F Course into a HyFlex Open Educational Resource with Canvas” April 9 at the UW System’s annual OPID 2021 Spring Conference for Wisconsin Educators.

Dr. Miller contributed a chapter, titled “Diversifying the Curriculum: From Structural Changes to Classroom Lessons,” to the edited volume “Teaching Diversity and Inclusion: Examples from a French-Speaking Classroom,” edited by N. Meyer and E. Hoft-March and published by Routledge.

Dr. Miller had her review of the interactive platform H5P published in the journal The French Review, Vol. 94, No. 4, May 2021, page 260.

Dr. Johannes Strohschänk, professor emeritus of German, has had his article, titled “Between Myth and Reality: Heimat in Space and Time,” published in Yearbook of German-American Studies, Vol. 54 (2019), pages 37-69.

Dr. José Valero, professor of Spanish, had his review of Miriam Cera Brea's "Arquitectura e identidad nacional en la España de las Luces: Las 'Noticias de los arquitectos' de Llaguno y Ceán" [Architecture and national identity in Enlightenment Spain. Llaguno and Cean's 'Noticias de los arquitectos.'] (Madrid: S.E.E.S.XVIII/Maia Ediciones, 2019) published in Dieciocho, 43.2, fall 2020, pages 399-402.

Dr. Matt Waters, professor of classics and ancient history, and chair of the languages department, had his chapter, titled “The Achaemenid Persian Empire: From the Medes to Alexander,” published in The Oxford History of World Empire, edited by P.F. Bang, C.F. Bayly and W. Scheidel, 2020, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pages 111-136.