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Volume 1, Issue 1

Official newsletter of the UW-L College of Liberal Studies Top students and faculty honored at the 9th annual Evening of Excellence Four graduate students, 27 undergraduate students, and 10 faculty and staff were recognized at the April 14 Evening of Excellence award ceremony. Patricia Michalek received the John E. Magerus Award for Outstanding Senior. Junior Faculty Recognition of Excellence Awards Teaching Christine Hippert (Sociology/Archeology) started teaching for the Sociology/Archeology Department in Fall 2007. Hippert maintains high SEI score averages (4.5 out of 5 for 130 students per semester). Since being hired, the anthropology minor enrollment is steadily increasing due to her dedication and innovation in the classroom. Research/Scholarship/Creative Activity Tony Docan-Morgan (Communication Studies) is finishing his second year in the Communication Studies Department. Along with receiving some of the highest SEI scores in the department, Docan-Morgan maintains a high record of scholastic publications. He had one publication in 2008, six in 2009, and has four more articles ready for publication. Marti Lybeck (History) earned international recognition for contributing research to her field after two short years at UW-L. Yale University invited Lybeck to speak about women’s sexuality in early 20th century Germany at a featured presentation. Lybeck also earned the SUNY best dissertation of the year in queer studies. SUNY Press chose her dissertation in a manuscript competition and awarded her a book contract.

Summer 2010

Inside this issue: Teaching Fellowship 3 MVAC Grants

4

Centennial Mural

5

Psychology Campaign

6

Professional theatre 7 success Hmong Studies Keynote

8

Citizen Environmentalists

9

English Professor Award

10

Spanish study

11

Study Abroad Testimonials

12

Student Excellence 13

Service Natalie Eschenbaum (English) has been teaching classes in the English Department for the past two years. She meets regularly to discuss approaches to teaching College Writing in the new Composition Committee. Eschenbaum is the co-adviser for the English Club and UW-L Chapter of the National English Honors Society and is involved in the Student Association’s 2009-10 Academic Affairs Committee. Jean Janecki (Modern Languages) is finishing her fourth year as a Spanish instructor. She is involved as the Spanish Club adviser, chair of the technology committee, and the activities committee. She is active with the Hispanic Heritage Month and has participated in the Joint Technology Committee for the last three years.

Designed and Written by Meredith Brown Public Relations Intern College of Liberal Studies


Academic Staff Recognition of Excellence Awards Teaching Natalia Roberts (Modern Languages) has been teaching Russian with the UW-System Collaborative Languages Program (CLP) since 2005. Roberts teaches first and second year Russian while teaching the course electronically at UW-Oshkosh and UW-Stevens Point and is always looking to expand her teaching repertoire. Roberts receives high SEI scores at all three campuses. She also has given presentations at a variety conferences on creative technology applications. Research/Scholarship/Creative Activity Susan Hughes (Educational Studies) is an instructor for the Master of Education-Professional Development Learning Community (ME-PD). Hughes is the lead facilitator of the first hybrid (half classroom, half online) learning community program for ME-PD. She is also an active participant in the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) conferences, Western Wisconsin Educators (WWED) events, and the first annual HOPE Foundation International Conference (Harnessing Optimism and Potential through Education). Service Jim Putz (Communication Studies) has been the Basic Course Director of CST 110 for over a decade. For nearly two years, he was involved in intensive research, writing, and training needed to switch the department’s public speaking course into a hybrid orientation to the communication discipline. Putz also co-chaired an interdisciplinary study group to revise the required CST 110 information literacy session. Because of his efforts, librarians honored Putz with the 2009 Eugene W. Murphy Library Special Recognition Award. Classified Staff Recognition of Excellence Awards Christine Reed (Music) joined the Department of Music in July 2003. She assists with special events not included in her job description. For the past four years, Reed was a member of the Program Associate Professional Development (PAPD) Mentoring Committee where she serves as a mentor to the new academic associates in the Center for the Arts. Reed also served on a committee with Professor Betsy Morgan and Professor Bruce May in developing the UW-L e-Portfolio. Mary Johnson (Sociology/Archeology) has been in the Sociology/Archaeology Department for four years. Johnson works closely with 17 full-time faculty members, about 300 majors, and several MVAC staff members. Johnson continued to do all this work during her long-term rehabilitation after surgery on her ankle. Johnson treats students with respect and kindness and goes out of her way to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to succeed.

For more award recipients, go to page 14-18


Faculty member selected as a Wisconsin Teaching Fellow Jo Arney of the Political Sc ience and Pub lic Administration Department was selected as a UW-L teaching fellow for the 2010-11 academic year. The UW System teaching fellows program exists to support early-career professors in their teaching endeavors, and to engage them in a yearlong study of teaching and learning. Selected participants create an original research project to study their chosen areas of educational research. Arney plans to research online learning and ways to enhance student learning through course management programs

like D2L. She is interested in developing a model of active learning and proposing effective group projects in online settings. Arney’s research on online course management will bring practical insight to college professors in all fields. Her interest in this topic is shown in her previous experiences at UW-L. “I was fortunate enough to be invited to give two different presentations on campus related to teaching,” says Arney. First, she presented at the Passport to Technology program Jan. in 2008. Her topic included “Ten suggestions to increase efficiency and save time using Desire2Learn.” Her second opportunity was her partici-

pation in the 11th Annual Conference on Teaching and Learning in Sept. 2008. “During this conference I was able to present on strategies for bringing active learning into the online classroom that I had developed as part of my faculty development grant,” says Arney. Arney teaches a variety of classes in the Political Science and Public Administration Department. This past spring, she taught three classes: “E nvironm ent al P olic y, ” “Non-profit Organizations” and “ Et hic s Man agem ent in Government,” a class she developed on her own.

Professor Jo Arney of the Political Science and Public Administration Department was selected as 2010-11 Wisconsin teaching fellow. She will study online student learning on D2L and other classroom management programs.


The Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center earns 94 percent of CLS grants The Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center (MVAC) has acquired an overwhelm ing majority of all CLS grants. The organization, affiliated with the Archeology/Sociology Department, won 47 of all 50 CLS grants between July 1, 2009 and Feb. 28, 2010. A majority of M V AC ’ s wo r k in v o lv e s c onst ruct ion c ont rac ts throughout the Mississippi Valley Region. The organization exec ut es arc haeo lo gic a l excavations at construction sites

to ensure historic preservation. “Grants within the College of Liberal Studies are different than those received by other UW-L colleges,” says Professor Joseph Tiffany, Director of MVAC. Although MVAC primarily works with construction site excavations, most of its grants, large and small, are used for professional development of teachers and staff workers and educational endowment. Many grants are used to incorporate archaeological concepts in math

and science classes at local schools. They are designed to use archaeology as a vehicle for studying other disciplines. MVAC also acquired a very prestigious National Endowment for Humanities grant, winning over larger schools like Berkley. This grant allows MVAC to develop a three-week summer institute bringing archaeology experts to campus. This is the second time MVAC received the grant, having previously won it in 2007.

UW-L Grants by College July 1, 2009 to Feb. 28, 2010 Non-federal # College of Business Administration 2 College of Liberal ThisStudies story can fit 75-125 words. 46 Selecting pictures College of or graphics is an important part Science andof adding content to your newsletter. Health 18

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Art students commemorate Centennial through clock tower mural at Cartwright Within his first few weeks on campus, assistant professor Binod Shrestha was ready to leave his mark at UW-L. When hearing of the request for art in the waiting area of the Chancellor’s Office, Shrestha suggested adopting a Centennial theme for the work. With the help of his design foundations and drawing classes and Art Department Chair Jennifer Williams Terpstra, Shrestha’s vision became a realit y. Terpst ra enlist ed students from her painting class to help with the project as well. Because their classes met at the same time, Shrestha and Terpstra collaborated during classes to design a work that captures the spirit of the Centennial.

As part of the project, students examined campus for the most ideal locations to create the mural. The students eventually chose its current State Room location over the initial Chancellor’s Office request. This location proves to be ideal as it reflects the studentcenteredness and traditions of the university. After the location was selected, faculty and students thought of themes and concepts to include in the work. Those involved created several sketches and voted for their favorites. In the end, the students chose to illustrate a timeline of the school’s history. They did this by depicting campus buildings through time, including Graff Main Hall (the oldest) and Centennial Hall (the newest). The mural’s focal point is

the Hoeschler Clock Tower, symbolizing the progression of time. Through their work, the artists hope to portray the school as hav ing a t im eline of achievements. Once designs were set, the students and their teachers worked to transfer their ideas to the mural location. The students used Photoshop and a projector to make the mural a reality. It took them about five weeks to complete the project. Students involved in the project gained many valuable experiences; they experienced the value of teamwork and were able to become part of UW-L history. The mural was recognized at a Feb. 8 presentation with a plaque highlighting the group’s efforts.

Art students design the clock tower mural located in the Cartwright Center. The mural was recognized at a Feb. 8 ceremony.


Psychology students develop a drug abuse campaign in local schools Psychology students are getting their hands dirty with the Child and Youth Care capstone project (CYC 495). This year’s class is conducting its fourth annual public awareness campaign. The students from the spring semester developed a program targeting elementary, middle and high school students on the dangers of drugs and alcohol. The project, titled “Pre-scripted Rx: Prescribing knowledge on drugs and alcohol,” gave special attention to educating parents and teachers on the warning signs and dangers of alcohol and drug use in children. Campaigns of previous years addressed topics like health, obesity and exercise, body image and bullying. Instructor Lisa Caya and the capstone students planned awareness activities which took place the week of April 19.

“One day an elephant saw a hummingbird lying on its back with its tiny feet up in the air. ‘What are you doing?’ asked the elephant. The hummingbird replied, ‘I heard that the sky might fall today, and so I am ready to help hold it up, should it fall.’ The elephant laughed cruelly. ‘Do you really think,’ he said, ‘that those tiny feet could help hold up the sky?’ The hummingbird kept his feet up in the air, intent on his purpose, as he replied, ‘Not alone. But each must do what he can. And that is what I can do.’” -A Chinese Folktale

The psychology students used the Chinese folktale, shown above, as a motto for their project.

Spread the Word! Our goal is to inform all CLS alumni of activity at their alma mater. Our e-mail list is not fully updated, and we could use your help. If you know of anyone who would like a copy of the CLS Newslink, please pass it on!


UW-L theatre students finding success on professional stage despite dismal economy The future is looking bright for UW-L theatre majors. Many current students and recent alums are finding success on the professional stage. Three current students have acquired internships with professional theatre companies and two alums were casted in their first professional acting roles. Justin Schmitz is a senior theatre major who was recently hired as an intern for the renowned Utah Shakespeare Festival Company in Cedar City, Utah. He will serve as audio technician for the company’s major summer festival. Schmitz will have the opportunity to work closely with professionals from across the country. The festival will produce six main stage productions including Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” and “Much ado about nothing” as well as a musical version of Dickens' “Great expectations.” After graduating from UW-L next year, Schmitz plans to attend graduate school in preparation for m it z Justin Sch a career in sound design. “I couldn't have done it without the full support of the entire theatre faculty and staff,” says Schmitz. “They have continuously taught me extremely valuable lessons in life, theatre and how to make the most of both.” David Hartig is a graduating senior who will gain professional stage management experience at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Hartig was selected as stage management intern. He previously completed an internship with the Peninsula Players Theatre in Fish Creek, Wis., last fall. Hartig plans to become a professional stage manager after his internship with the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Nick Mompier is a sophomore theatre major who will serve as a stage electrician for the Des Moines Metro Opera. Mompier worked as master electrician and scene shop staff this fall and served as assistant designer for the children’s show “Miss Nelson is Missing.” He hopes to pursue a career in lighting design after graduation. “This job will permit me to work with a N ick Mo m pier new level of talent and I'm very excited to be able to learn from the experience,” says Mompier. “It will also be a help in building a resume to help me pursue a career in stage lighting in the future.” Jillian Kuhl, who plans to graduate in May, already has her career off to a good start as a future member of the Hampstead Stage Company. Kuhl will perform with this traveling theatre company from October through December. She will perform in abridged versions of “A Christmas Carol” and the “Prince and the Pauper” for children across the nation. Kuhl is most appreciative of the open support from the Theatre Department. “In the theatre department, it is normal to have a professors work phone, home phone and cell phone,” she notes. “They are completely invested in helping the students.” Carrie Cavadini is a recent alum who will appear as Donna Anna in Sieur Du Luth Opera’s production of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.” This is Cavadini’s first leading role in professional l Jillian Kuh opera. Cavadini is finishing up a master’s degree in voice performance at the University of Minnesota. This past March, she performed in The Very Light Opera Company’s version of “The Sorcerer.” The Very Light Opera Company is a Twin Cities company devoted to performing historically accurate Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.


Anthropology professor delivers keynote address at Third International Conference on Hmong Studies Assistant Professor Vincent Her of the Sociology/Archaeology Department was a keynote speaker at the Third International Hmong Studies Conference at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn. The theme of the conference was Hmong Global Identities in the 21st Century. “It was fascinating to see different approaches to Hmong identity and how the field of Hmong studies is developing and evolving,” says Her. American scholars attended along with those from China, French Guiana, Germany, Laos and Vietnam. They converged for a three-day conference where researchers presented a wide range of topics in Hmong and Hmong American studies. In addition to his keynote address, Her conducted a workshop on religious diversity and Hmong Am e r ic a n i d e n t it y w it h professors from UW-Milwaukee

and Kansas State University. Their goal was to initiate dialogues on Hmong religion that draws on both a traditional and Christian lens. Hmong studies is a new field that is just beginning to gain recognition. The discipline started in the late 1890s with publications by Western missionaries on the Hmong of China and Southeast Asia. Today, people working in Hmong studies are trained in many disciplines, including anthropology, history, sociology, education and intercultural communication, just to name a few. To illustrate the rapid development of the discipline, Her further described how Hmong identity in the U. S. has changed since 1980. “What it meant to be Hmong in the past fluency in the Hmong language, adhering to traditional customs and practices and belonging to a clan,” says Her.

“A clan is the group to which a Hmong person owes his or her allegiance. The clan name becomes his or her last name. The clan is a network of people that you can depend on in times of need.” Today, Hmong identity appears to be much more loosely defined, especially by younger generations of Hmong Americans. This drastic change occurred only within a span of 30 years. Her teaches courses in anthropology and sociology. One of his classes explores race and the experiences of minorities in the United States. In that class, he and students try to address questions such as: What does it mean to be an American?; What are the challenges facing immigrants as they work to establish themselves in a new society?; and What are the changes that take place within a family as people pick up American values and ideals?

Assistant Professor Vincent Her (right) gave a keynote address at the Third International Hmong Studies Conference (left). Her also presented a Hmong spirituality workshop with other scholars.


“Citizen Environmentalists” documents civic activism transforming policy Assistant Professor James Longhurst of the Department of History recently published “Citizen Environmentalists,” a non-fiction book illustrating citizen participation in the control of urban pollution. The book, published by Tufts University Press, analyzes a case study of environmental debates surrounding Pittsburgh air pollution during the early 1960s and the late 1970s. Central in this policy change was GASP (Group Against Smog and Pollution). While the group included scientists, activists and engineers, the driving force behind the organization’s success was a group of self-described “housewives.” Longhurst used journalistic accounts, archival documents, legal records and interviews with key individuals to reach conclusions. His interest in this topic surfaced while attending graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, a historically industrial city. Pittsburgh’s factories contributed to the poor air quality and heavy pollution. Longhurst studied the actions of GASP to learn how grass roots activism changed Pittsburgh from a center of factories to a post-industrial city. “Citizen Environmentalists” is a result of Longhurst’s doctoral research. His original dissertation was more than 400 pages long and revolved around three emphases. His new book highlights one of those themes: middle-class women’s environmentalism. “Most people have described the doctors and the scientists as leading the policy reform,

but it was the women who did it,” explains Longhurst. “The housewives ran it.” The book explores the rhetoric and methods used by the grass roots organization. GASP appealed to the public by claiming the rights of citizens, and by emphasizing care for children. The women asserted that cities are ultimately a place where people live and that clean air is a right. They used the image of a bird with a young chick “gasping” for clean air. The imagery provoked “maternal as well as environmental themes,” according to Longhurst. GASP also received a large amount of funding through a cookbook project. The fundraiser served to educate fellow women on their mission to eliminate pollution. Longhurst started teaching at UW-L in fall 2008. He teaches a variety of classes including: a HIS 102 course studying how environmental themes shape history, American Environmental History and 20th Century America. Longhurst developed two new classes during his time at UW-L. In spring 2009, he taught a course called “Rights Revolution” studying the History of the 1960s. Next fall, he is piloting a new writing-emphasis course called “History Through Film.” Students in the course will critically analyze 10 films in order to understand the historical contexts of the time each movie was created.

Professor James Longhurst wrote “Citizen Environmentalists” (left). His research interests lie in the language of environmental reform and how the communication tactics of “average” individuals can influence both politics and power structures.


English professor wins fiction award for short story Englis h Profess or Mat t Cashion recently won the Larry and Eleanor Sternig Short Fiction Award for his short story, “Last Words of the Holy Ghost.” The award is sponsored by the Council for Wisconsin Writers. Other awards supported by this organization include prizes for poetry, children’s literature and novels. An awards banquet honoring these achievements was held May 15 in Milwaukee. In addition to valuable recognition, Cashion received a monetary prize and a week-long stay at a Madison-area retreat center during the summer. He will spend his week at “Edenfred,” a center designed for artists from varying disciplines. “At the retreat, artists of all kinds will spend their days in their rooms creating art,” says Cashion. “Then everyone meets in the evening to eat dinner and socialize and talk about their ideas.” The award-winning story, originally published in the literary magazine Willow Springs, revolves around a 14-year-old boy named H a r o l d wh o e x p e r i e n c e s heartbreak for the first time in his life. Simultaneously, his mother and step-father are divorcing, his father and step mother are divorcing, and his beloved dog dies. Cashion has already

expanded the story into a novel he’s currently writing. “Last Words” occupies a chapter of the book. “When I write novels, I try to concentrate on one chapter at a time,” explains

English professor Matt Cashion recently won a creative writing award for his short story “Last Words of the Holy Ghost.” Photo Credit: Joe Anderson

Cashion. “I thought this particular chapter might also work independently as a short story.” Cashion published his first novel, “How the Sun Shines on Noise,” in 2004. The novel’s protagonist quits his reporting job at a smalltown newspaper, then takes a job as a third-shift convenience store worker, where he befriends working class citizens whose stories never

made the newspaper. It also reflects on how people tend to glamorize typical day-time jobs and notes how the world is busiest and loudest when the sun is brightest. The novel was a finalist in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom creative writing competition. As a faculty member, Cashion keeps busy doing a variety of activities within the English Department. He teaches creative writing, literature, and he is faculty adviser for the literary magazine Steam Ticket. The journal is managed by students in ENG 320 Literary Journal Production. Students review submissions, edit, and design layout for the journal. It features artwork, fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction from experienced and emerging contributors throughout the country. Cashion also demonstrates excellence when booking campus visit s from nationally-renowned authors. “Matt has done an amazing job with securing visiting writers events on campus at least once every semester,” says English Department Chair Susan Crutchfield. “One of the poets he brought here, Brian Turner, was recently featured in The New


A new study abroad program helping students learn medical Spanish Professors Jean Janecki and Melissa Wallace, along with the help of site Directors Armando Miguelez and Cynthia Gambruno of the Academic Language Institute in Alicante, Spain developed the new study abroad program. The program allows students to study Medical Spanish through the University of Alicante in Spain between academic semesters. The program’s first sponsored trip happened during J-Term 2010; there is another trip planned for the summer. The Modern Language Department plans to host the faculty-led study abroad trips to Alicante on a regular basis. “Melissa Wallace was first to come up with the idea for a new study abroad program,” said Janecki. “And Jason Kouba from the Study Abroad Office was also a

great help.” Planning for this program took a lot of work and nearly a year to complete. Gambruno visited UW-L in the summer of 2009 to coordinate the program with UW-L staff. The program gives opportunities to students who usually wouldn’t be able to study abroad. “This was a great opportunity since I had a very busy academic schedule and could not study abroad for a semester,” said participant Jessica Monthey. 17 students enrolled in the program. Most participants were Spanish minors with some kind of science background. While on the trip, students spent the morning in language classes and used another two hours each day attending Medical Spanish class and lectures. The

program was fortunate to have the class taught by a registered medical doctor, a rarity in medical Spanish courses. Throughout the three and a half weeks abroad, the course featured discussions led by local medical practitioners. In the process, students were able to visit health facilities and gain insight on the universal health care system used in Spain. Those enrolled in the program stayed with host families during their stay. The trip also coincided with a variety of holidays, celebrations and traditions. “Because the period included several holidays, Three King’s Day and New Year’s Day, we had great cultural experiences along with our in-class learning,” said Stephanie Kitzmann, study abroad participant.

(upper left) Participants in a new study abroad trip received first-hand Spanish experience during an excursion to the Alhambra in Granada, Spain J-Term 2010.

(Lower left) Jean Janecki, study abroad program director, helped organize a new program that allows medical Spanish in Spain during J-term.


Alicante, Spain J-term trip testimonials “Our program offered numerous pre-organized trips which allowed us to visit several close cities. These included day and weekend trips to Granada, Madrid and Murcia, among others. “ Stephanie Kintzman, senior Major in Biology with medical concentration Spanish and Chemistry minors

“During my time in Spain, I stayed with a wonderful Spanish family that taught me all about the Spanish culture and strengthened my speaking skills and fluency. Overall, the trip was a great experience!” Jessica Monthey, Junior Biology and Spanish majors Pre-Physical Therapy program

“Not only was I submerged in the Spanish language but the Spanish culture as well. Currently I am taking SPA 320 which looks at the history of Spain. Much of the architecture and paintings we look at I have seen first hand through various visits to museums while in Spain. This class is more appealing to me because I have been there and seen it. “ Cassandra Fahey, Senior Pre-Physical Therapy and Psychology majors Spanish minor.


Art faculty member displays artwork at international exhibitions This academic year, Art Professor Joel Elgin exhibited his artwork in Mexico City, the Polish cities of Warsaw and Poznan and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His exhibitions entitled “The Irish Prints: Into The Mist” are inspired by Irish legends and numerous research trips to Ireland. In March, Polish and Irish officials invited both Joel and Katherine Elgin to lecture and exhibit in Poznan and Warsaw. Joel exhibited his paintings while Katherine shared her writings on Irish mythology. “A highlight of the opening exhibition in Warsaw was the participation of Irish Ambassador to Poland, Declan O’Donovan and Éamon Ó Cuív, Irish Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs,” says Elgin. “Minister Éamon Ó Cuív holds a great interest in the Ancient Stories of Ireland and has taken an interest in the work.” The exhibition catalog featured an introduction by Ann Hodge, curator of prints at The National Gallery in Dublin. Irish art is of great academic interest to both Joel and Katherine Elgin; “The prints I make are a reflection of the deep respect I hold for the ancient Irish: for their creation myths, for their gods and heroes and for the powerful gifts they have left us,” says Elgin. “The images are often produced through collaboration with Kathy, who puts to words, the blend of myth and truth that makes the stories of Ireland both magical and very important.” Art Professor Joel Elgin consorts with Irish Ambassador Declan O’Donovan and Éamon Ó Cuív, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. His art is displayed in the background.

In 2000, Elgin first travelled to Ireland and has since returned five times to study historical sights and legends. Last year, Elgin was invited to participate as a member of a research team that was allowed rare access to the 5,000 year old Irish passage tomb known as Knowth. Elgin’s international exhibitions and lectures inspire his art students to research and travel as well. “Twelve printmakers who applied to study in Italy this summer received international undergrad research grants” says Elgin. In the past twelve years, over two- dozen of his printmaking students received grants to study art in Italy, Ireland, South Africa and Cambodia. Many have gone on to earn master’s degrees in printmaking. In addition to this year’s exhibitions, Elgin’s etchings have been displayed in Ireland, Russia, Italy, Argentina, Cuba and extensively in the United States. He has lectured at Yale University, Swarthmore College and Carleton College. His prints have been collected by Harvard University’s Fogg Museum, Trinity College in Dublin and the Cincinnati Art Museum. Elgin’s work can also be seen at The Grace Chosy Gallery in Madison. See www.gracechosygallery.com for more information.


Continued from page 2 Undergraduate Student Excellence Kelsey Ajango (History) is a double major in archaeological studies and history with a regional emphasis in the ancient and medieval world. Her academic interests concern the ancient Near East and the classical world. Ajango achieved intermediate language skills in four languages: French, Japanese, Spanish and Akkadian. She is currently finishing her History Research Seminar titled “A Study of the Cultural and Societal Significance of Lapis Lazuli.” She plans to attend graduate school in the future. Carrie Bero (Women’s Studies) is a double major in Spanish and women’s studies. She served as president of the Women’s Studies Student Association, two-time producer of the “Vagina Monologues,” intern for the Campus Climate and Violence Prevention offices, and performer for Awareness Through Performance. Bero made the most impact in stimulating student support for the UW-L Violence Prevention Office. She uses her organizational skills to bring students to action on important issues. Zoe Browne (Art) is an art education major. She spends her spare time in the shop perfecting her art. Much of her artwork expresses the recent loss and illness of her father. As a future art educator, she seizes every opportunity to volunteer. So far, Browne served as president for the UW-L National Art Education Association and is a Boys and Girls Club volunteer and Project Girl Workshop participant. Browne is currently student teaching at Logan Middle School. Tyler Burkhart (Political Science & Public Administration) is a double major in political science and public administration with minors in mathematics and philosophy. Outside of his classroom leadership, Burkhart remains involved in a variety of extracurricular activities. He was an intern for the City of Onalaska, a Resident Assistant, president for National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH), and a tour guide (Vanguard) for the Admissions Office. He is also the Director of City Affairs for the UW-L Student Association. Soren Cesar (Psychology) is a psychology major with a minor in political science. He secured a grant from UW-Madison to explore perceptions, motivations and behaviors related to bottled water usage on-campus. Cesar served as the president of the UW-L Ultimate Frisbee Club and Human Resources Coordinator with Hegenbarth Food Group. He is also a member of Golden Key and Psi Chi, the National Honor Society of Psychology. Cassie Deacon (Psychology) is a double major in psychology and women’s studies. She presented an analysis of race, class, gender and sexual orientation as factors for victims of domestic violence at the American Multicultural Student Leadership Conference in 2009. Deacon volunteered and interned at the UW-L Violence Prevention Office and Houston County Women’s Resource Center. On campus, she is active in ALANA (Asian, Latina, African, Native American) Women’s Organization and is a Diversity Organization Coalition Representative. Kyle Emmert (Modern Languages) is an early childhood through middle childhood education major with a minor in Spanish. As a Spanish student, he is involved in Delta Sigma Pi, the Spanish National Honor Society. Spanish professors note Emmert’s curiosity, common sense and critical thinking and depend on him to present thoughtful answers in class. Emmert is involved as a tutor for the UW-L Pre-College Program and a teacher’s aide. Emmert also coaches soccer bilingually to multicultural and economically challenged students.


Tiffany Entringer (Psychology) is a psychology major with a minor in criminal justice. She served as a legal intern for the La Crosse Public Defender’s Office and teaching assistant for PSY 100. Along with Lee Starck, Tiffany received an Undergraduate Research Grant for a project that won a Midwestern research award. Entringer and Starck presented their research at UW-L, the annual conference of the Midwestern Psychology Association and the National Conference of Undergraduate Research. Jonathan Flancher (Military Science) is a student majoring in finance and economics with a minor in military science. Flancher served on the Wisconsin National Guard for nearly a year and was assistant deputy for the Racine County Sheriff’s Department. Flancher is a key leader in the UW-L Army ROTC program and will develop his military experience further by serving on active duty for the U.S. Army. Kyra Kaercher (Sociology/Archaeology) is an archaeological studies major with a minor in anthropology and a certificate in French studies. She studied a collection of Wisconsin pottery and presented her findings at the 2009 Midwest Archaeology Conference. She also conducted research examining trade interaction between city-states in the Middle East. Her findings were presented at a variety of conferences, including the National Conference of Undergraduate Research. Kaercher also traveled to Bolivia, Egypt and Syria. Nicholas Knoblock (Philosophy) is a philosophy major with a minor in creative writing. For an astounding eight semesters, Knoblock served as a tutor for the Introduction to Logic course. He was also Introduction to Philosophy teaching assistant for both Sheryl Ross and Omar Rivera. Knoblock presented his academic papers at NCUR in 2009 and again in 2010. Knoblock plans to pursue eventual doctoral studies in critical theory or literary criticism to combine his interests in philosophy and creative writing. Matt Landi (Political Science & Public Administration) is a triple major in political science, philosophy and public administration with a minor in environmental science. Despite his academic commitments, he remained involved through writing for The Racquet, volunteering for presidential campaigns, serving on the Executive Board for the La Crosse County Democratic Party, participating in Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity and chairing UW-L Student Association committees. Landi also received many awards for his outstanding service to the community. Rachel Lange (Communication Studies) is a communication studies major with a minor in sociology. Through her role as president of Lambda Pi Eta (The National Communication Honors Society), she further developed her leadership and organization skills; she comes to meetings with great ideas and makes them a reality. Lange is an intern for the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra and consistently goes above and beyond the job description. Allison Lefeber (Modern Languages) is studying Spanish and elementary education and has a minor in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). Lefeber worked with staff at the ESL Institute for over two years. She taught pronunciation labs, tutored students, proctored exams and helped with new student orientation. Lefeber studied abroad in Valladolid, Spain and taught first grade Spanish at Northwoods International Elementary School in La Crosse.


Lynn Lodahl (Political Science & Public Administration) is a double major in political science and public administration. Lodahl got involved on campus in a variety of ways through multiple leadership positions with the UW-L Student Association, a performer in Awareness Through Performance, director of the “Vagina Monologues” and a variety of clubs and academic committees. She also served as an intern with the State Public Defender’s office in Wausau. Donnie Mezera (Theatre) is a theatre performance major with a minor in theatre design/ technical theatre. Mezera is always willing to go the extra mile to serve the Theatre Department. His strong work-ethic is paired with a positive and easygoing attitude. Mezera remains actively involved with the Boy Scouts, even after earning Eagle Stout status. Mezera is also an active musician for the Department of Music; he is the drumline section leader for the Screaming Eagles Marching Band. Allyson Obermeier (History) is a history major with a minor in anthropology. She received the Frederick and Katherine Davies Scholarship, which recognizes one exceptional history student per year. Obermeier also received the Genie Award for Outstanding Work at Murphy Library, where she was a student worker. She also worked as a page at the Marshfield Public Library. Obermeier plans to attend graduate school next year in preparation for a career in library science. Sarah Palzer (Communication Studies) is a communication studies student with a minor in recreation management. Her paper, entitled “Communicating Adulthood: A Qualitative Study of Home-Leaving and Relational Dialectics in the Parent-Child Relationship,” was honored at the 2010 Undergraduate Honors Research Conference in Cincinnati. As an undergraduate, Palzer completed three internship opportunities with the YMCA. She also gained experience as a resident assistant and front desk coordinator. Colin Pierson (Sociology/Archaeology) is a sociology student with a minor in political science. One of his projects is an ethnography of bureaucratic structure, and the other examines cyber-bullying. To complete his ethnographic project, Pierson used his experiences as an intern at the La Crosse County Health and Human Services. Pierson currently serves as teaching assistant for Professor Enilda Delgado for her Social Research I class. Jonathan Ringdahl (Psychology) is a psychology major with a minor in sociology. He provided leadership and service as president of Psi Chi and Psych Club and founder of the UW-L Fishing Club. Ringdahl remained active in service activities such as the Alcohol Task Force, Neighbor’s Day and Operation Riverwatch. Ringdahl also served as a tutor and is currently child services and event planning intern at Family Resources in La Crosse. Gregory Roskos (Communication Studies) is a communication studies major with a minor in environmental studies. His excellence was first observed when working with several communication studies faculty members in a hiring committee. As a member of this committee, Roskos attended a national communication conference to find two new faculty members. Because of his efforts, Roskos will serve as the Communication Honors Society president for the 2010-11 academic year. Roskos also volunteers at the Myrick Hixon Eco Park.


Kate Slisz (Sociology/Archaeology) is a double major in sociology and communication studies. Slisz is currently working on a cross-cultural quantitative research project. Slisz is also heavily involved in Residence Life; she served as new student orientation assistant, resident assistant, conference assistant, and hate response liason. Slisz also has extensive international experience; she will complete a six-week internship in Tanzania this summer. Lee Starck (Psychology) is a psychology major with a minor in child and youth care emphasis. Along with Tiffany Ettringer, Starck received an Undergraduate Research Grant for a project which earned a Midwestern research award. Entringer and Starck presented their research at UW-L, the annual conference of the Midwestern Psychology Association and the National Conference of Undergraduate Research. Starck served as direct service provider for a A Brighter Living Experience (A.B.L.E. Inc.), and an intern for LaCrossroads Charter School. Sarah Swiggum (English) is an English major with an emphasis in writing and rhetoric. Swiggum puts her acquired language skills to practical use through her many related activities. She serves as news editor for The Racquet where she supervises the work of the section writers and two other editors. Swiggum also writes news stories for University Communications. Many of her articles appear in the Campus Connection and various news releases. She also served as a writing intern for Travel Organization Networking Exchange Inc. Shaylae Szotkowski (Music) is a choral and general music education major with a minor in Spanish. Szotkowski was a student conductor for the UW-L Women’s Chorus and Concert Choir, and is a sectional leader for the UW-L Chamber Choir. In March, she represented Wisconsin in the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Young Artist Competition in New Mexico. Szotkowski is also active in American Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Music Education. Christine Werner (Modern Languages) is a student studying German with a business concentration and a minor in international business. Werner spent an entire academic year in Oldenburg, Germany to learn German language and culture. In fact, she hosted and guided a group of jazz students from Frankfurt during a fall 2008 visit. Outside of class, Werner remained active in Residence Life. She served as front desk worker in two residence halls and was the Reuter administrative assistant. Connie Woxland (English) is majoring in English literature with a minor in history. Despite chronic health issues and the need to work long hours, she remains involved in her academics and extracurricular activities. In fact, she is active in the English Honors Society (Sigma Tau Delta). Woxland presented one of her essays at a conference for Sigma Tau Delta. She is currently working on an independent research project on the work of Czech postmodern author Milan Kundera.


CLS Graduate Student Excellence Kelly Arps (Masters of Education-Professional Development Janesville Learning Community)

Stephanie Gilliland (Masters of Education-Professional Development)

Lisa Tlougan (Education Specialist – School Psychology)

Kristin Van Vleet (Student Affairs Administration)

John E. Magerus Award for Outstanding Graduating Senior Patricia Stowell Michalek is an English education student with a minor in psychology. During her time at UW-L, she was a peer tutor for the ENG 050 developmental writing course. She brought complex understanding and application of composition theory and pedagogy into her interactions with students. Professor Virginia Crank asked her to serve as assistant director for the UW-L Writing Center. As assistant director, Michaleck initiated programs, developed publicity, and helped design the new Writing Center in Murphy Library. In addition to a part-time off campus job, full class load, and middle school coaching responsibilities, Michaelek was responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the Writing Center. She blossomed into a confident and thoughtful scholar who is just beginning to realize her intellectual potential.

UW-La Crosse College of Liberal Studies Newsletter  

Official newsletter of the UW-La Crosse College of Liberal Studies.

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