In Focus Vol. 9, No. 3

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College of Letters & Science


March 2019, Vol. 9, No.3

The sweet taste of success

Meet three Letters & Science alumnae who have become stand-outs in the Milwaukee food scene ... (p. 6)

Fostering stu


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Feature Stories

UWM’s program to support foster kids Political Science prof named editor New class studies law through films Alumnae showcase culinary businesses Researchers developing cancer treatment MMTP builds UWM/MPS teacher team Grad student takes Fulbright to Africa

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When senior Alexandrea Talsky had a minor financial aid problem she wasn’t able to untangle by herself, she turned to the Fostering Success office. Tralen Hazelwood, a first-year student, credits the office with helping hold him accountable, making sure he stays on track with studies and assignments through its coaching program. Both students came to UWM out of the foster care system, so they don’t have the usual built-in family support to help them figure out how to get into college and succeed in higher education. That’s where UWM’s new Fostering Success program, launched in fall 2017, comes in. The program is modeled on a successful effort at UWStout that provides support to students coming out of the foster care system and students who are homeless — those who don’t have traditional family networks. That support may include help in finding scholarships, getting connected on campus, life skills, preparing for the future and just the opportunity to be with others who’ve had similar experiences, according to Tawney Latona, an advisor in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and UWM’s Fostering Success coordinator. About 100 students helped In Wisconsin, children in the foster care system generally “age out” at 18 and are on their own, Latona said. Those who wish to go on to college can apply for a scholarship through the Department of Children and Families. Currently, approximately 100 students are involved in some way in UWM’s program. Just getting to college can be a challenge, and completing a degree is very difficult. A 2011 University of Chicago study showed that only 11 percent of women and five percent of men coming out of foster care had completed a college degree by age 26. That compared with 33 percent of the general U.S. population, according to census data. Trying to beat the odds

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2 • IN FOCUS • March, 2019

Both Talsky, an international studies major, and Hazelwood, who is undecided, are determined to beat those odds. Talsky and her siblings were removed from their home when she was 8 years old. After a year, her grandmother became a foster parent to her and one of her sisters.

udent success

gives support to students coming out of foster care system Talsky was determined to go to college, but it wasn’t easy. “I knew that I wanted to go to college, but it was really a big challenge for me,” she said. “My grandma didn’t actually graduate from high school and neither of my parents went to college, so no one really knew what to expect.” With the help of high school counselors UWM students Alexandrea Talsky (left) and Tralen Hazelwood say the Fostering Success program directed by Tawney Latona (right) has helped them. (UWM Photo/ and teachers, Troye Fox) she applied to As a first-year student who’s also working, he said he UWM and was accepted. Originally from Mukwonago, appreciates how the program helps keep him on track. she wanted to stay in the Milwaukee area so she could “The program holds me accountable,” he said. “It’s really stay connected with her siblings. A UWM scholarship good at helping me to figure out what I need to do and for students from the foster care system, the Morgridge when I need to do it, especially with classes and projects.” Foster Care Scholarship, clinched her decision. While she applied for and received that scholarship, which Talsky, who is also in Honors College and working on a is given to one student each year, she is glad she has the peace studies and conflict resolution certificate, plans to take some time off after graduation, then head to Fostering Success program to turn to as she navigates law school. She’s currently the office manager at the her way toward a spring 2019 graduation. University Legal Clinic. “What’s really helped me the most is to have a contact on campus,” she said. “They’re able to really understand what “I want to be able to help people, and give back,” Talsky said. “I feel the best way for me to do that is to be an I’m going through and what challenges I’m facing.” attorney. So many people have been there for me, and I ‘The program holds me accountable’ think it’s super-important to give back.” Hazelwood entered the foster care system after his mother died of ovarian cancer when he was 16. A single parent, she had arranged for their family doctor to become his guardian. Hazelwood heard about Fostering Success through a friend of his mother’s. “She said, you should give Tawney Latona a call, so I did,” Hazelwood said. “She was answering my questions and she said, ‘Oh wait, we have this program.’ And here I am.”

Hazelwood isn’t sure where his studies will lead him, but he’s determined to get a degree. “Out of all my brothers and sisters, only one has gone to college. I want to be the first of my mom’s children to graduate with at least a four-year degree.” By Kathy Quirk, University Relations College of Letters & Science • UW–Milwaukee • 3

Dolan appointed co-editor of the American Journal of Political Science Kathleen Dolan, distinguished professor and chair of the UWM Department of Political Science, has been appointed co-editor of the American Journal of Political Science, the flagship journal of the Midwest Political Science Association. Dolan, along with Jennifer L. Lawless of the University of Virginia, will lead the editorial team for a four-year term beginning in June 2019. They will be joined by four associate editors and a 56-member editorial board. Dolan’s research at UWM focuses on woman and politics, electoral behavior, and public opinion. She is the author of two books, When Does Gender Matter? Women Kathleen Dolan Candidates and Gender Stereotypes in American Elections (Oxford University Press 2014) and Voting for Women: How the Public Evaluates Women Candidates (Westview Press 2004) and numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals. She teaches courses on political behavior, gender politics and research methods. Dolan has received a multitude of awards and recognitions for her work in political science, including a National Science Foundation grant for her work on gender stereotypes and female political candidates, and the UWM Research Grant Initiative award. “We believe that the incoming AJPS editorial team led by Dolan and Lawless will maintain the journal’s tradition of making outstanding contributions to scholarly knowledge while continuing to expand transparency in both published work and the operation of the journal,” said Elisabeth Gerber, president of the Midwest Political Science Association. Dolan and Lawless were unanimously chosen as coeditors based on the recommendation of the search committee of the journal’s editorial team. The American Journal of Political Science is committed to significant advances in knowledge and understanding of citizenship, governance and politics, and to the public value of political science research. The journal is ranked first out of 165 political science journals on its impact factor, a measure of its importance in the field, according to the Journal Citation Reports. By Madeline Redell, University Relations 4 • IN FOCUS • March, 2019

Law through Po

Sara Benesh’s new po courts throug “My Cousin Vinny” stars Joe Pesci as an inexperienced New York City lawyer trying to defend his cousin in an Alabama court room against a capital murder charge. Legal experts agree the movie’s rendition of courtroom proceedings is extremely accurate, and the American Bar Association ranks it No. 3 on its list of Top 25 Greatest Legal Movies. Naturally, Sara Benesh included it on her syllabus. Benesh, an associate professor of political science at UWM, just wrapped up her brand-new “Law Through Popular Culture” class last semester. Drawing on a range of media from “Perry Mason” to “Marshall,” the course asked students to analyze how the courtroom has been portrayed in American movies and television shows over the years. At first blush, it might sound as though students were signing up to watch movies for homework – and they did, since many of the films and shows were too long to view during class. But the question of how law is portrayed in popular media is an important one, says Benesh. “My research area is legitimacy of courts. I’m fascinated by that,” she said. “But when you study legitimacy, one of the interesting things about it is that we don’t really know where it comes from. How does it happen that people have these certain perceptions about courts? “My hypothesis is that it’s the media. It’s films and novels and stories,” Benesh added. America has long been fascinated by the judicial system, and it’s evident in the way the focus of legal movies shifts over the decades. Some years, she says, the public is hungry for tough but fair prosecutors as their movie heroes; in others, they want to root for the underdog on the defense.

Included on the syllabus...

• • • • • • • •

Anatomy of a Murder (1959) Perry Mason To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) A Time to Kill (1996) The Verdict (1982) Counselor at Law (1933) Suits Paper Chase (1973)

opular Culture

olitical science class examines gh through film and television The class focused on media portrayals of everything from local county courts all the way to the Supreme Court. Benesh curated her playlist from a textbook written by Stanford professor Michael Asimow, and added her own selections if she saw a gap in Asimow’s coverage. Some of the works were classics, including “12 Angry Men” and “Kramer v. Kramer,” while others tended to the esoteric – Benesh admitted she’d never heard of the 1930s movie “Counsellor at Law” prior to the course, and she had a devil of a time tracking down a made-for-TV Andy Garcia movie called “Swing Vote.” “The students hadn’t seen hardly any of these, which I thought was interesting,” Benesh said. “I got completely addicted to ‘Suits.’ We watched the first five episodes for class, and now I’ve seen the whole series.” Alongside their visual homework, Benesh also had her students reading law review articles and papers on public policy, criminal justice, and journalism. She hoped to not only examine law in pop culture, but also introduce her students to different research methods and ways of thinking across the social science disciplines. For a final project, she asked her class to create a research design – a method to answer a question related to the portrayal of law in pop culture. Many students proposed projects focused on the “CSI effect,” where some prosecutors claim that juries have been influenced by forensic shows that give an unrealistic idea about the capabilities of crime labs. In fact, a good portion of the class was devoted to discussing what the movies and TV shows got wrong. “Your eyes are really opened to the difference between what is depicted on television and what is reality,” student Selena Bravo noted. A political science major, she completed the course last semester and is interested in a career in law. She points out that everything from what the judges wear to the architecture of the courtroom might differ in real life from how they’re portrayed in movies. • • • • • • • •

Legally Blonde (2001) My Cousin Vinny (1992) Boston Legal Law & Order 12 Angry Men (1957) A Few Good Men (1992) Dead Man Walking (1996) A Civil Action (1998)

Sara Benesh’s new class examines the impact of popular media on the public’s perception of the court system. Photo by Sarah Vickery.

For political science major Hannah Frontier, the class gave her a new understanding about current politics. “My favorite movie was ‘Confirmation.’ The film tells the story of Anita Hill and her allegations (of sexual assault) against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas,” Frontier said. “We watched the film around the same time that the Kavanaugh hearings were taking place. ... Watching the Kavanaugh hearings after watching ‘Confirmation’ almost gave me deja-vu, and gave me a lot of insight into the case and what may be taking place in the background of it all.” Students will have to wait to take the course again; the earliest it could be offered is the spring semester of 2020. Even so, Benesh already has ideas about how to improve the experience, including sitting in on actual courtroom proceedings for a day. Until then, court – and class – is adjourned. By Sarah Vickery, College of Letters & Science • • • • • • •

Philadelphia (1993) Marshall (2017) Loving (2016) Kramer v. Kramer (1979) Confirmation (2016) Swing Vote (1999) Gideon’s Trumpet (1980) College of Letters & Science • UW–Milwaukee • 5

The sweet taste of succes

Alumni-owned eateries have become an essential p

A well-rounded education means you can succeed in almost any field, no matter your major. These three alums know better than most; Ellen Ghere Paulus, Cameryne Roberts, and Sabina Magyar took their humanities and social science knowledge to work in the restaurant industry, and now they’re enjoying sweet success. The Cupcake-A-Rhee Ellen Ghere Paulus has a pretty sweet ride – pun definitely intended. She is the co-owner of the Cupcake-A-Rhee, a cupcake food truck she operates with her husband, Bob Paulus. Now in their fourth season as confectioners-on-wheels, Ghere Paulus says she and her husband are “living the dream.” “We’ve always been bakers for our family events. Everyone kept saying, these are so good, you should turn them into a business,” she recounted. “So, we took all the skills that we had learned – Bob is also a UWM grad from the School of Business – and decided, let’s just try having this cupcake food truck.” It was quite the career shift. Ghere Paulus majored in anthropology at UWM and graduated with her Bachelor’s in 1988. Three years later, she earned her Master’s and put her degree to use working at UWM’s archaeological research laboratory. Though she enjoyed the job, the frequent traveling took a toll. So, she and Bob purchased a family business and worked at Paulus Printing for 21 years before the shifting printing industry prompted their decision to buy a food truck. The Cupcake-A-Rhee has been a staple in the Milwaukee food truck scene ever since. Whether they’re on the street or at a special event, Ghere Paulus says the best part about her job is making people smile – even if that special event is a funeral.

Ellen Ghere Paulus and her husband Bob show off a batch of freshly-baked cupcakes outside of their food truck. Photo courtesy of Ellen Ghere Paulus. 6 • IN FOCUS • March, 2019


part of Milwaukee community “We do, if you can believe it, a lot of funerals,” she said. “I feel honored that in a time when people are usually grieving, that they wanted to use our product to bring a little joy and happiness.” The rewards make up for the labor; Ghere Paulus says the truck is out almost daily from March to December each year, and the work day can stretch to 18 hours at times. Even so, she’s having a lot of fun. And, she says, she could not have done it without her UWM education. “While you are focused on your own degree and classes, the things that you learn from people in your classes or being a well-rounded student develop you into a person with a broader scope and more open mind,” she said. So the next time you see the powder blue Cupcake-ARhee truck around town, stop by, grab a bite, and say hi. Paulus says to try the Pink Champagne cupcake – that’s her favorite. Lulu Café and Bar

Cameryne Roberts (seated on counter) and her business partner, Sarah Jonas, smile inside of their newly-purchased restaurant space in 2001. Photo courtesy of Cameryne Roberts.

As the co-owner of Lulu Cafe and Bar in Bay View, Wisconsin, it might seem like Cameryne Roberts wouldn’t have much use for her English major or her certificate in Women’s Studies. But, she says, they’ve proven indispensable. “I do all of the writing for the restaurant for any promotional materials or menus. It’s definitely a skill that I probably wouldn’t be as good at had I not attended UWM,” she said. “Higher education is just so important to develop critical thinking in general. That has been really important in terms of running a business overall.” She would know; Lulu Cafe and Bar has been a community staple since 2001. Serving salads and sandwiches, the restaurant has become known for its signature Asian slaw and delicious burgers. Roberts, who graduated from UWM in 1992, co-owns the restaurant with her business partner, Sarah Jonas. The two met through mutual friends, and both attended Milwaukee Area Technical College to study culinary arts. Robert’s earned her associate’s degree in 1998. “I’d started cooking as a hobby a year or so before I left an unsatisfying job in the corporate world, and I really loved it,” Roberts recalled. “I had that epiphany – I don’t want to work in corporate, so why don’t I see if I like the culinary world?” The two got their start catering small events. Eventually, “Sarah’s husband decided that we needed to find a commercial kitchen because we were displacing his beer out of the fridge every weekend,” Roberts recalled with a laugh. When they found their location in Bayview, “We were super-busy the moment we opened the doors. We said, I guess catering’s out, because we just didn’t have the time.” One of the best parts of owning a restaurant has been becoming an intrinsic part of the Bay View community. “We entered into this endeavor knowing that we wanted to build a space that everyone in the community was comfortable coming to, from little old ladies to the punk kids skateboarding outside. We wanted that community feel,” she added. “Over the years, we’ve met so many people and have become really good friends. Just being able to be a part of Bay View was a really big thing for us.” College of Letters & Science • UW–Milwaukee • 7

Alumni sweep Milwaukee’s food scene The Village Cheese Shop Sabina Magyar’s shop is a reflection of her: Firmly grounded in Wisconsin traditions with deep respect for her European roots. Magyar owns the Village Cheese Shop, a retail store and eatery in the heart of downtown Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Offering wide selections of cheeses and wines, along with specialty items like cured meats, honeys, jams, crackers, and pastas (all things that complement a good cheese board), the shop also hosts special events like fondue nights and cheese classes. Magyar’s European heritage comes courtesy of her German mother and Hungarian father, and she grew up hearing both of those languages at home. After graduating from UWM in 1991, where she majored in communication and minored in German, Magyar spent the next years of her life living in New York City. She later moved to Hungary, where she spent time living and visiting with her extended family. It was in Hungary - and later living in Italy and Romania - that Magyar got her exposure to European wine and cheese culture, as well as on her subsequent travels through Europe. “It all kind of relates,” she said. “My parents were old-world European. Everything came from the garden. … From that culture, I knew I wanted to do something with food. Food, wine, culture – it’s all connected to me.”

Sabina Magyar showcases her selection of cheeses displayed at The Village Cheese Shop in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Photo courtesy of Sabina Magyar.

When she eventually returned home to Wisconsin, with its own rich traditions in dairy and cheese, opening her own cheese shop was the logical next step. The doors opened in 2017, and since then, everything in the shop is cut to order to ensure quality. Magyar’s selection is based on the best in artisan cheese and rarer cheeses she works hard to acquire. Right now, she’s enamored with a Belgian gouda that took four months to procure. Her other current favorite is a Wisconsin bourbon cheddar called “Nighthawk.” “We focus on local products from Wisconsin and the Midwest, but we always have products from Europe.” Magyar says with a touch of pride in her voice. “It’s kind of like me – a local girl with European roots.” Like Paulus and Roberts, Magyar says she owes a lot to her UWM education. “I blossomed at UWM. There were so many things I wanted to learn, and there were so many classes that were inspiring to me. It encouraged me to be broad.” By Sarah Vickery, College of Letters & Science

8 • IN FOCUS • March, 2019

Researchers zero in on cancer that killed John McCain Hope for treating the kind of brain cancer that took the life of U.S. Sen. John McCain lies with a compound, identified by researchers at UWM and the Medical College of Wisconsin, that slows the growth of this aggressive cancer, called glioblastoma, in animal testing. But in finding the compound, UWM chemist Shama Mirza admits, luck was on the researchers’ side. They weren’t expecting to uncover a potential new treatment option for a cancer with a median survival period of 15 months. They began, instead, with a more modest objective: They wanted to predict which patients would benefit from chemotherapy and radiation treatment and which would not. Mirza, who joined the UWM faculty in 2016, first encountered glioblastoma while working at the Medical College of Wisconsin. There, she was on a team that supported oncologists as they treated patients.

UWM chemist Shama Mirza says that a compound that shows promise in slowing glioblastoma could go to human trials in a few years. (UWM Photo)

Team members noticed that some patients developed resistance to treatment, and, once that happened, their tumors reappeared more aggressively than before and they died much sooner. “Knowing who would benefit from the treatments and who would not – that is the guessing game we are playing now,” says Mirza, an assistant professor of chemistry who also directs the Shimadzu Laboratory for Advanced and Applied Analytical Chemistry at UWM. The information would help physicians better advise patients on treatment decisions. Using mass spectrometry, the researchers, including Kathleen Schmainda and Christopher Chitambar at the Medical College, scanned 600 proteins, looking for ones involved in the progression of glioblastoma, particularly one that would act as a biomarker for the more treatmentresistant version of the disease. Identifying a protein biomarker is an important step in drug development. “Proteins are the ultimate drug targets because they are responsible for so many life processes,”

Mirza said. Their search turned up a protein with far greater promise than being an indicator of drug resistance because it is involved in the cancer’s growth. Armed with a target, the researchers’ next step was to search hundreds of existing compounds for those that block the protein, something current treatment does not do effectively. And they found a match. The compound they are now testing to fight glioblastoma has been used in Japan since the 1980s to treat colorectal cancer. Better still, the compound crosses the blood-brain barrier, which had been a major obstacle in improving glioblastoma treatment. Mirza estimates the animal testing will continue for at least several more years before they can apply for human trials. “But,” she says, “if the results of human trials agree with our current findings, it’s going to be huge for these patients.” By Laura Otto, University Relations

College of Letters & Science • UW–Milwaukee • 9

MMTP provides MPS teachers the tools for success Unlike most teachers, Kevin Schiebenes is excited that his students are experimenting with nicotine – and pesticides, caffeine, alcohol, and lead. Schiebenes is an environmental sciences teacher at Alexander Hamilton High School, where he’s in the middle of teaching a brandnew Environmental Health course. The class examines the effects of different contaminants on various fauna’s behavior, embryonic development, and learning and memory. “We started out looking at nicotine and talking about the increase of vaping and the perception that it can be safer than cigarettes,” Schiebenes said. “We used that as a jumping- off point to investigate the effects of nicotine on development and seeing how it actually affects the growing embryo of a zebrafish.” (If you’re curious, it leads to increased mortality rates in zebrafish embryos, and those that survive are often born with deformities.) “It’s the first year of this course and it’s going really well,” Schiebenes added. “The students have a lot of time to explore the topics. We focused on investigative skills. We look at background research a lot more.” The course was designed that way, with the help of the UWM’s Milwaukee Master Teacher Partnership.

Badges and microcredentials MMTP is a collaboration between UWM’s School of Education, the university’s science faculty, and the Milwaukee Public Schools system. Designed to help MPS math and science high school teachers improve various aspects of their classroom practice, the 10 • IN FOCUS • February, 2019

Mike Steele from UWM’s School of Education, one of the co-principal investigators who runs the MMTP program, works with a group of Milwaukee Public Schools teachers at an MMTP training session. UWM Photo.

project allows educators to focus on earning “badges,” or microcredentials, related various aspects of pedagogy and math and science content. They cover everything from fostering student engagement to curriculum development. “The microcredentials our team developed discuss a variety of instructional practices in the context of math and science instruction. MMTP participants then take these practices into their classroom, implementing and strategically analyzing an instructional unit they designed,” explained UWM assistant professor of chemistry Anja Blecking. She’s one of the co-principal investigators of MMTP, tasked with helping the 24 participating math and science MPS teachers achieve their badges. That involves meeting with all of the teachers periodically throughout the year to discuss new research, working with small groups of teachers who are working toward the same microcredential, and meeting one-onone to help educators implement their new strategies in the classroom. “Right now, I’m working with science teachers on a microcredential that

focuses on the implementation of inquiry-based lessons. Research supports the effectiveness of student-centered practices which, as a consequence, requires teachers to rethink their role in the classroom,” Blecking said. “We need to let students develop a sense of ownership in their learning.” That’s one of Schiebenes’ goals for the new Environmental Health class. The idea for the course grew out of another UWM program for science teachers called Wisconsin Inquirybased Science Teacher Education program. Schiebenes enjoyed working with similar course modules in WInSTEP, but wanted to give students more time to explore and experiment on their own. How fortunate, then, that he was working on his curriculum development badge and could receive guidance from UWM faculty to link the four WInSTEP modules into a new science class. Now, Alexander Hamilton High School offers three sections of the class, and Rufus King High School also offers one section.

“The students hopefully become independent inquirers of the world where they can ask their own questions, tell the Anja Blecking teacher what resources they need, justify the parameters of their experiment, conduct their experiment and make meaning of it, and explain how it fits in to what we already know about the world,” Schiebenes said.

yielded results for both the participating teachers and their students. “The overall goal is, of course, to increase positive student outcome. Better prepared, more confident teachers have a positive effect on student learning,” Blecking said. “It’s sometimes not easy, though, to measure changes in student outcome, especially with (classes changing) each year. But every year we videotape program participants in the classroom, and we do see improvement in their practices, and also in student engagement and learning.”

look for new and exciting ways of delivering content and evaluating myself to ensure I’m doing it in the best way possible,” he said. Many of the educators have presented research they completed for their microcredentialing at national conferences. Blecking accompanied science teacher Cynthia Blaser to the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education this summer so she could present her research, for instance.

The benefits of a partnership

For Schiebenes, the program has helped him refine and evolve his own teaching methods.

“MMTP is a true collaboration,” Blecking said. “It is a researchbased professional development program that empowers MPS teachers and students.”

The MMTP is three years into its five years of funding, and it’s already

“It caused me to be more reflective of my practice and refine my skills, and

By Sarah Vickery, College of Letters & Science

Meet some of Letters & Science’s undergraduate researchers Michael Esson is a senior working with associate professor of Psychology Krista Lisdahl on “Aerobic Fitness and Cognitive Functioning in Adolescents and Young Adults,” part of an NIH/NIDA-funded 5-year adolescent brain and cognitive development study.

Hugo Ljungbäck, an international student from Sweden, has been spearheading a project to preserve and restore a long-forgotten film archive that includes early cinema gems like Alfred Hitchcock and Charlie Chaplin films.

Kristen Leer is also working with Lisdahl to study connections between youth and their exposure to substance abuse. She also researches the impact of the opioid epidemic on Milwaukee and its youths.

Biological Sciences major Jennifer Wendlick researches the process of cell development in the brains of embryonic zebrafish. Altering zebrafish DNA during early growth stages allows Wendlick to relate her findings to the development of human brain diseases. Psychology and molecular and cell biology major Sarah Philippi has been working with Psychology professor Karyn Frick, focusing on the neurobiology of learning and memory. Her results could have implications for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease. College of Letters & Science • UW–Milwaukee • 11

Student returns to Tanzania with Fulbright fellowship Allison Kotowicz’s journey to discover the world took a detour when she was an undergraduate at Beloit College. She wanted to study overseas, but somewhere English was spoken. At a study abroad fair, she started talking to a counselor who told her about an anthropology program in Tanzania, which interested her. “I’d always wanted to go to Africa, but thought I’d never be able to do it,” Kotowicz said. “I fell in love with the country and the people. My mom has a very vivid memory of my calling home and telling her ‘I feel like I’m home. I feel like I belong here.’”

now an advisor for UWM’s McNair program. “The McNair program, both at Beloit and UWM and the AOP program has helped me in so many ways throughout this journey by fostering a love of research and by giving me the tools that I need,” she said. “For scholars who are just starting their graduate school journey, I can speak to that because I’ve been going through it. To be able to give back to that program is a great opportunity.” She is also looking forward to giving back to the people of Tanzania who welcomed her during her first trip and the nine visits that have followed. For three summers, she led other students in service trips. “They’re been kind enough to host me in their homes for several months at a time. The first time when I did my master’s thesis, I spent eight months living with a family, who at the time knew very little about me. Now I consider them a part of my extended family. They’ve given me so much. How can I repay them in return?” She will be working with Dr. Huruma Sigalla at the University of Dar es Salaam and research collaborator Jacob Galahenga at Mzumbe University. “Every time I go to Tanzania my connections grow. It’s very much like a second home to me.”

“I fell in love with the country and the people” during an undergrad trip to Tanzania, said UWM grad student Allison Kotowicz. “My mom has a very vivid memory of my calling home and telling her ‘I feel like I’m home. I feel like I belong here.’”

She will be heading to Tanzania in August 2019 as a Fulbright-Hays doctoral dissertation research abroad fellow, the only graduate student from UWM to receive this prestigious award in recent years. Her fieldwork is on conservation, tourism, and development, with a specific focus on the Maasai people of Tanzania and how they are preserving their identity in the 21st century. Kotowicz came to UWM for graduate school because of the strong anthropology program, and decided to make Tanzania her total focus. She is thankful she’s come so far in her academic career as a first-generation student from a family that offered plenty of non-economic support but was not able to help her financially. As an undergraduate, she was part of the McNair program. Then at UWM, she took part in the graduate school’s AOP Fellowship Program, designed to assist underrepresented and low-income students. She is 12 • IN FOCUS • March, 2019

Her eventual goal is to have a career in academia, but also to be able to spend time in Tanzania.

“I want my work to have an impact, not just writing and publishing, but to give back to the communities. My ultimate goal is to set up a community center for the Maasai to allow visitors to come and learn about the culture. I want to merge academia and applied research to make a difference.” By Kathy Quirk, University Relations

Spotlight on the

UWM Planetarium The UWM Planetarium kicked off Black History Month with the show “Stars, Stories and Rhythms of Africa” on Feb. 6. The evening started with Planetarium Director Jean Creighton showing audiences constellations from different parts of the African continent. “Many people don’t realize that the African continent is so long that the night sky in Morocco looks very different than the night sky in South Africa,” said Creighton. During the presentation, storyteller Kavon CortezJones talked about the Big Bang that created the universe and the earth, as well as how people poured out of Africa and spread across the whole planet. Audiences got to see both Orion and the Southern Cross as they stargazed. In between the two planetarium shows, Africa Alive Drum and Dance performed dances from Senegal and Guinea. The event was sponsored by UWM Sociocultural Programming, the Planetarium Club, and the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies.

Above: Members of Africa Alive Drum and Dance perform a dance during a break between Planetarium shows. Right: Planetarium director Jean Creighton adjusts the projector as she prepares to start the “Stars, Stories and Rhythms of Africa” Planetarium show. Photos courtesy of the Planetarium.

College of Letters & Science • UW–Milwaukee • 13

March 2019

Upcoming Events Sun






March 6 - April 4

Gallery exhibit: Distorted Norms. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Thursday. Emile H. Mathis Gallery. Free and open to the public. German expressionist prints.

Gallery exhibit: Face. Off. Faceoff. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Thursday. Emile H. Mathis Gallery. Free and open to the public. Mapping African representations in Western art museums.

































March 6

The Ulster Connections to Creek Country and Native America 1700-1800. 7 p.m. Greene Hall. Lecture by Bryan Rindfleisch, Marquette University. Sponsored by the Ctr. for Celtic Studies.

Planetarium Show: Paradise at the Planetarium. 7 p.m. Manfred Olson Planetarium. Take a simulated trip to the tropics for indoor stargazing. Free.

March 7

March 10

Comanches in Media Borderlands. 5:30 p.m. Zelazo 250. Presented by Dustin Tahmakera, University of Illinois.

March 8 - 29

Science Bag: Are Humans Solar Powered? 7 p.m. Physics 137. UWM Chemistry professor Andy Pacheco reveals what keeps us alive and kicking. Free and open to the public. Show runs Fridays at 7 p.m. from March 8-29 with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. March 10.

March 8

The Translation Industry: An Inside Perspective. 1 p.m. Curtin 124. Peter Argondizzo, founder of Argo Translation. Neuroscience Seminar: A View from the Synapse – New insights into Parkinson’s Disease. 2 p.m. Lapham N101. Jennifer Morgan, Marine Biological Laboratory. Power and Gendered Labor in the Academy: A HalfDay Symposium. 2 p.m. Curtin 175. Keynote by Carol Stabile, University of Oregon. Sponsored by Ctr. for 21st Century Studies. Geography Colloquium: Autumn phenology derived from field observations, satellite data and carbon flux measurements in a northern mixed forest. 3 p.m. AGS Library. Bailu Zhao, UWM.

14 • IN FOCUS • March, 2019

Science Bag: Are Humans Solar Powered? 2 p.m. Physics 137. UWM Chemistry professor Andy Pacheco reveals what keeps us alive and kicking. Free and open to the public.

March 11

Geosciences Colloquium: Groundwater Impacts on Ecosystem Functions and Detecting Shallow Groundwater from Top Soil. 4 p.m. Lapham N101. Mehmet Soylu, UW-Madison.

March 12

Celts on Campus. 11 a.m. Union Concourse. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Irish dance, soda bread, cookies, and Irish phrases.

March 15

Neuroscience Symposium: Research presentations. 11 a.m. KEN 1150. Geography’s Harold and Florence Mayer Lecture: The complexities of climate change – Examples from agriculture and natural resources. 3 p.m. AGS Library. Julie Winkler, Michigan State University.

March 27

Women’s & Gender Studies Brown Bag: In Memory of Clara Sereni, Revival of Women’s Venue. Noon. Curtin 535B. Simonetta Milli Konewko, UWM.

March 28

To the Moon: The Greatest Engineering Adventure Ever Undertaken. 5:30 p.m. Manfred Olson Planetarium. Mechanical engineering professor Nathan Salowitz discusses the moon landings.

Alumni Accomplishments Emily Rock (’12, MA History and Certificate in Museum Studies) joined the staff of the Oshkosh Public Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, as its registrar. She brings with her six years of experience working at the History Museum at the Castle in Appleton, Wisconsin. Bridget Esser (’07, BA History) was appointed to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development where she will serve as a legislative liaison. Having previously worked as communications director for State Senator Mark Miller, Esser has experience working in, and connections to, Wisconsin government. Susan Barnett (’11, MA Art History) is the Yellowstone Art Museum’s new curator, located in Billings, Montana. She will oversee the nearly 10,000 items in the YAM’s permanent collection, which is the largest in the region. Barnett was previously the curator of the Erie Art Museum.

Phoebe Devitt (’08, BS Biology) received a glowing write-up in her hometown newspaper. She’s returned to practice medicine in her rural community of Soldier’s Grove, Wisconsin, at the very same hospital where she was born. She specialized in general practice with a particular emphasis on care in rural communities during her medical training. Christi Clancy (’11, PhD English) accepted a two-book publishing deal with St. Martin’s Publishing House. Her debut novel, The Second Home, is due to be released in the spring of 2020. Clancy is an assistant visiting professor of English at Beloit College.

Susan Barnett

Alvaro Niño de Guzman, Jr. (’16, BA Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies) and his father plan to open a new counter-service restaurant called Tua Pasta this coming spring. The Miwaukee Journal Sentinel said the concept plans to bring quality pasta to a fast-food concept.

Howard Schoenfeld (’68, BA History) was included as a member of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Wisconsin as announced by the National Trial Lawyers Association. Shoenfeld has been included as a member for the past 13 years and is a litigator at DeWitt LLP.

Howard Schoenfeld

Upcoming Events March 29

The Beastly Conference. 11 a.m. Honors House 196. A discussion of the academic and creative works of students and faculty from different backgrounds and disciplines. Geography Colloquium: New urban tourism, disadvantaged neighborhoods and the challenge of gentrification – Neighborhood change in two South Korean Cities. 3 p.m. AGS Library. Minji Kim, UWM. The World of Statues: Mobility, Whiteness and the Infrastructures of Race. 3:30 p.m. Curtin 175. Nicholas Mirzoeff, New York University. Planetarium Show: Arabian Nights. 7 p.m. Manfred Olson Planetarium. Tickets are $5. Open to the public.

People in Print Widong Li, Qingniao Zhou, Yong Gao, Yonghua Jiang, Yuanjie Huang, Zengnan Mo, Yiming Zou (Mathematical Sciences), and Yanling Hu. 2019. eQTL analysis from colocalization of 2739 GWAS loci detects associated genes across 14 human cancers. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 426: 240-246. Nolan Kopkin (African and African Diaspora Studies). 2019. Where and when police use deadly force: A countylevel longitudinal analysis of fatalities involving interaction with law enforcement. Journal of Economics, Race, and Policy. Online first. Mark McBride (Biological Sciences). 2019. Bacteroidetes gliding motility and the type IX secretion system. Microbiology Spectrum, 7(1).

College of Letters & Science • UW–Milwaukee • 15

In the Media and Around the Community Pokemon Go isn’t just a fun game where participants use their cell phones to capture virtual creatures; it’s also a way to connect people to their neighborhoods, Jihyun Kim (’12, PhD Communication) said in a UCF Today article detailing the results of his new research into the game.

President Trump may not have received funding for his proposed wall on the U.S./ Mexico border, but he has changed American perceptions regarding “migrants” and “refugees,” Rachel Buff (History) opined in The Washington Post. (

Bettina Arnold and PhD candidate Josh Driscoll (both Anthropology) were invited speakers at the University of Hohenheim in Germany in the European Research Cpuncil PLANTCULT Workshop “Ancient Beer: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Identification in the Archaeological Record,” in February. Their talks were entitled, respectively, “Tapping into the Past: Experimental Brewing, Community Partnerships and Public Education,” and “Strategic Drinking: The Shelf-life and Socio-political Importance of Early Iron Age WestCentral European Beer.”

Partisanship tends to win out over sexism as people vote for their own parties regardless of the sex of their candidate, according to Kathy Dolan (Political Science), who was quoted in The New York Times in an article covering the many women running in the Democratic Presidential Primary race.

Rachel Buff (History) was a speaker at a public program titled, “Immigration Policies – DACA and Keeping Families Together,” on March 2. The panel was sponsored by the League of Women Voters. Nicholas Fleisher (Linguistics) is the chair of an American Association of University Professors committee investigating the termination of an English professor at Nunez Community College, Inside Higher Ed reported.

Nigel Rothfels

A piece discussing a captive bear published on quotes Nigel Rothfels (History) regarding the history of using live bears as human entertainment. ( Rothfels also went on WUWM to talk about UWM’s recognition as a top university for undergraduate research. Rothfels is the UWM Director of Undergraduate Research.

A proposed question regrading citizenship on the 2020 U.S. Census has Margo Anderson (emeritus History) worried that the government could be looking to create a population registry, which is legally dubious, according to Esquire made an odd choice when it ran an article on a white male from West Bend, Wisconsin, as the first in its series on the experiences of American young people, Elana Levine (Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies) told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

16 • IN FOCUS • March, 2019

How do you talk to your kids about race and racism? Erin Winkler (African and African Diaspora Studies) provided some tips on

Though she is not mentioned by name, The New York Times drew on research by graduate student Eva Igler (Psychology) for an op-ed asking why society tends to dismiss women’s physical pain. William Holahan (emeritus Economics) touted the benefits of a national “smart grid” in an editorial for the Tampa Bay Times. Karyn Frick (Psychology) studies how estrogens are linked to Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia, WUWM Radio reported in a piece exploring dementia research in Wisconsin. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts is concerned with protecting the legitimacy of the highest court in the land, Sara Benesh (Political Science) told the Pacific Standard Magazine.

Laurels, Accolades, and Grants Mark Schwartz (Geography) has been included in the 2019 Class of American Association of Geographers (AAG) Fellows. The honors will be officially conferred at the Awards Luncheon on Sunday, April 7, as part of the Annual Meeting of the AAG in Washington, DC. The American Association of Geographers also honored Schwartz with its Climate Specialty Group Lifetime Achievement Award. Jasmine Alinder (History) and graduate student Patrick Hall (History) won an Honorable Mention in the 2019 National Council on Public History Outstanding Public History Project Award for their documentary, “The Orange Story.” ( View the documentary at Graduate student Susan Borchardt (Geography) was named the Wisconsin Land Information Association’s 2018 Damon Anderson Memorial Scholarship Winner. The scholarship supports students working toward a degree related to land information. As a winner, Borchardt also receives a one-year student membership in the WLIA and will be recognized at the organization’s annual conference.

Nan Kim (History) recently joined the editorial boards of both the academic quarterly Critical Asian Studies and Public History and Museum, a semi-annual publication of the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History. Her November 2018 article about long-term dissent movements, “The Color of Dissent and a Vital Politics of Fragility in South Korea,” was featured on the cover of The Journal of Asian Studies.

Trudy Turner (Anthropology) received a National Science Foundation grant to organize a workshop on advancing data management and sharing practices in the anthropological sciences. The workshop took place February 8 and 9 at the UWM Downtown Conference Center. Participants included primatologists, paleontologists, and skeletal and human biologists. Kay Wells (Art History) was awarded a prestigious competitive research stipend from the Rockefeller Archive Center in Sleepy Hollow, New York, to research John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s patronage of Colonial Williamsburg and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller’s collection of folk art. This research is part of her new book project, Uncanny Revivals: Designing Early America during the Rise of Fascism.

Kay Wells

William Halloran (emeritus English) has published “The Life and Letters of William Sharp and “Fiona Macleod.”” Sharp (1855-1905) was a Scottish poet, novelist, biographer and editor who in 1893 began to write critically and commercially successful books under the name Fiona Macleod. This was far more than just a pseudonym: he corresponded as Macleod, enlisting his sister to provide the handwriting and address, and for more than a decade “Fiona Macleod” duped not only the general public but such literary luminaries as William Butler Yeats and, in America, E. C. Stedman. The PDF is available for free download at

Join us for the March Science Bag! What keeps us alive and kicking? We will start with a brief summary of the concepts of potential and kinetic energies, and then see how we extract potential energy from the food we eat, by reacting it with the oxygen we breathe in a controlled manner. Humans eat plants or animals, but even the animals we eat grow by eating plants. We will see that plants extract potential energy from sunlight, thus establishing a chain in which the potential energy that keeps us alive is the same energy extracted from sunlight by plants. This show is free and family-friendly. Presented by Andy Pacheco.

Are Humans Solar Powered?

Shows run 7 p.m. Fridays, March 8, 15, 22, and 29; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 10, all in the UWM Physics Building, Rm. 137. College of Letters & Science • UW–Milwaukee • 17