University of Wisconsin Oshkosh faculty and staff were recognized for their accomplishments and contributions to moving the institution’s mission forward at the annual Opening Day assembly Sept. 4 at Reeve Memorial Union.
Honors conferred for the 2012-2013 academic year included Endowed Professorships, Rosebush Professorships, Distinguished Teaching Awards, Sniffen Faculty Governance Service Award, Outstanding Service Awards, Outstanding Performance Awards and a UW System Regents Diversity Award.
The recipients are as follows:
Endowed professorships are awarded to faculty members who demonstrate outstanding research and engagement in community service. Funded by local sponsors, the awards support research projects and professional development for a four-year term.
- David Barnhill, Professor, English; Director, Environmental Studies
David Barnhill is a champion of the liberal arts education. Frequently reminding his students that “the world needs them” has been Barnhill’s message to students since he began at UW Oshkosh in 2003. Barnhill has proven himself to be a creative interdisciplinary scholar, publishing articles in ecocriticism, religious studies and Japanese literature. He published a two-volume translation of Basho’s poetry and literary prose, one of which won a Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award in 2005. Barnhill worked as the associate editor of the Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature. Under his efforts as the director of environmental studies, UW Oshkosh is now recognized as the first Fair Trade University in the country, which is a definite source of campus pride. Barnhill’s work with the Student Environmental Action Coalition earned him an outstanding faculty adviser award. Barnhill is also the past chair of the religious studies department at UW Oshkosh.
Barnhill is the recipient of the 2012 John Kerrigan Endowed Professorship.
Barnhill earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, a master’s and a doctoral degree in religious studies from Stanford University.
- Timothy Paulsen, Professor, Geology
A true teaching gem and ambassador for UW Oshkosh, Timothy Paulsen has been teaching at the University since 1999. Paulsen regularly shares his expertise in both public and scientific communities and has garnered recognition from the local media as an authority in the field of geology. He is active in research projects throughout the country—five seasons of field research in Antarctica and two seasons in the Himalayas—and has worked with a variety of national and international institutions on collaborations. Since his arrival at the University, he has published 28 refereed journal articles and has co-authored 46 abstracts at national and international conferences. Paulsen has also undertaken the leadership of the capstone field geology course, which is a six-week summer course taught in Utah and is one of the most intense educational experiences that geology students have. His knowledge and reputation in Antarctic geology has led him to serve in many leadership roles, including as the current chairperson for the ANDRILL United States Science Steering Committee and as a guest lead editor for the Geological Society of America journal, Geosphere.
Paulsen is the recipient of the 2012 Edward M. Penson Endowed Professorship.
Paulsen earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from UW–Madison and a doctorate in geology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The John McNaughton Rosebush Professorship recognizes UW Oshkosh faculty members for teaching, professional achievement and public service. Nominees are considered in a selection process by a panel representing all University governance groups.
- Pamela Gemin, Professor, English
Pamela Gemin is a teacher, writer and editor. With UW Oshkosh since 1994, Gemin has taught everything from first-year composition courses to graduate seminars and has been active in UW Oshkosh’s first-year experience programs, honors seminars and learning communities, including the Student Artist in Residence Program. She has served as a CAPP liaison and a member of the Give Students a Compass Task Force. The winner of a Teaching Excellence award from UW–Parkside, Gemin has traveled with UW Oshkosh study abroad students to New Mexico, England and Ireland. Gemin also has an energetic record of professional achievement. She has published five books, including two award-winning poetry collections, and has given several national news and radio interviews, most notably on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and Morning Edition, to discuss her University of Iowa Press poetry anthologies. Her own work has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac on NPR. Gemin is also the recipient of a Wisconsin Arts Board Literary Fellowship and multiple residency awards from the Ragdale Foundation. She has twice served as writer-in-residence at the Chautauqua Institution and has completed residencies and participated in readings and panels at colleges, conferences and community centers around the country.
Gemin earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Eastern Michigan University and a master’s degree in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
- Jennifer Szydlik, Professor, Mathematics
Jennifer Szydlik is a tireless supporter of elementary and middle school teacher preparation at UW Oshkosh. She unifies her belief that anyone can learn to love mathematics with her scholarship in mathematics education. Szydlik is the mathematics graduate program coordinator and former director of the mathematics department tutor lab. She’s also a driving force behind the Making Mathematical Connections program at UW Oshkosh. She’s recognized as a national author with McGraw-Hill Companies for a series of textbooks for prospective elementary and middle school teachers. She also has served on several University committees including the University’s Academic Policies Committee, the Committee of Committees and on the Program Review Committee. In 2010, Szydlik was the recipient of the UW System Regents Award for Teaching Excellence; in 2009 she was awarded a Distinguished Teaching Award by the Wisconsin section of the Mathematical Association of America; in 2008 she was appointed as a Wisconsin Teaching Scholar by the UW System Office of Professional and Instructional Development.
Szydlik earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from St. Cloud University and a master’s and doctorate degree in mathematics from UW–Madison.
Edward M. Penson
Distinguished Teaching Award
Edward M. Penson Distinguished Teaching Award recipients are selected based on their teaching excellence, service, professional commitment and scholarly growth. A committee of faculty, students and staff determines who will receive the honor.
- Heike Alberts, Associate Professor, Geography
A passionate and committed professor, Heike Alberts teaches a diverse load of classes at UW Oshkosh, including several “pit” classes at the introductory level where she gets students excited about geography. She believes in sharing her knowledge and experiences to help students make new discoveries and improve their skills. A faculty member since 2005, Alberts often incorporates her research findings into her classes; her work about teaching has been published in the Journal of Geography and the Journal of Geography in Higher Education. On campus, Alberts has been engaged through her involvement with the CAPP program, the College of Letters and Science Curriculum Committee, the Improvement of Instruction Committee, the International Studies Committee, and the NEW ERA Faculty Dialogue Group. Alberts is one of the founding members of the European Odyssey study abroad program and has participated in the program five times, teaching in Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris.
Alberts earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in geography and American studies from the Free University Berlin in Germany and a doctorate in geography from the University of Minnesota.
- Eric Hiatt, Professor, Geology
Connecting and engaging with students through the wonders of Earth science is the hallmark of Eric Hiatt’s teaching. He has taught eight different courses, including the geology department’s first international course, since coming to UW Oshkosh. Hiatt’s fieldwork in northern Canada, the Gulf of Alaska, Antarctica, Australia, Guyana and Brazil has provided him with experiences and materials used in his teachings. He regularly teaches in the field, including in Bermuda and the Florida Keys, and does research with students. He is an internationally recognized researcher and has published 27 research papers, many with student co-authors, in major international peer-reviewed scientific journals, co-authored 47 abstracts at national and international conferences and taught professional short courses. Hiatt teaches a popular introductory geology course, which is recorded to a podcast and downloaded by people throughout the country. He is the associate editor for the Journal of Marine and Petroleum Geology, an adjunct professor at Queen’s University in Canada and the liaison for the National Council on Undergraduate Research.
Hiatt earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis and a doctoral degree in geology from the University of Colorado.
- Tracy Slagter, Assistant Professor, Political Science
Tracy Slagter believes learning is built upon engagement with scholarship and relationships cultivated both inside and outside the classroom. Slagter has been with UW Oshkosh since 2006 and teaches a wide variety of courses in comparative politics and international relations. From 2008 to 2012, Slagter served as the faculty editor of the campus undergraduate journal, Oshkosh Scholar, and served as the campus pre-law adviser. She was also a member of the General Education Reform Leadership Team and has been active on several College of Letters and Science committees. During the 2010–2011 academic year, Slagter was named a Wisconsin Teaching Fellow by the UW System and continues to actively pursue research on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). Slagter’s disciplinary research focuses on European Union politics and international law. She is currently serving as the interim director for Quest I/First Year Experience in the University Studies Program.
Slagter earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and German language and literature from University of Minnesota-Duluth, a master’s degree in international politics from the University of Denver’s Graduate School of International Studies and a doctorate in political science from the University of Iowa.
Sniffen Faculty Governance Service Award
The Barbara G. Sniffen Faculty Governance Service Award recognizes faculty members who have exceptional University service records.
- Todd Kostman, Associate Professor, Biology and Microbiology
In his 12 years at UW Oshkosh, Todd Kostman has given of his talents through service. At the University level, he currently serves as chair of the Academic Policies Committee and as a member of the Faculty Senate, where he will be starting his fourth term. During his time on the Senate, he served on the Executive and Constitution and By-Laws committees. Over the past five years, he served on the various iterations of general education reform effort, from LERG to summer workgroups to the leadership team. Kostman currently serves on the Gateway Success Taskforce for the College of Letters and Science. At the department level, he has served on many search and screen committees, on the executive and budget committees and chaired the curriculum and scheduling committee. Kostman has been involved with countless events on campus including College Day for Kids, Odyssey, Celebration of Scholarship and Commencement. He served as the UW Oshkosh representative for the Associate’s Degree Standards working group and the Shared Learning Goals Taskforce and he is currently working on the UW System AAC&U Quality Collaboratives grant project.
Kostman earned a bachelor’s degree in botany from the University of Montana, a master’s degree in horticulture from Washington State University and a doctorate in botany from Washington State University.
Outstanding Service Award
UW Oshkosh has many nonteaching faculty and academic staff members whose contributions enhance the University’s overall academic environment and support our educational goals. The Outstanding Service Award recognizes excellence of service that touches each member of the University community.
- Victor Alatorre, Assistant Director of Residence Life – Information Technology and Budgets, Department of Residence Life
Victor Alatorre’s commitment to UW Oshkosh is evident in all he does. As the overseer of the complex Residence Life budget, he is committed to maintaining a fiscally-sound housing program and keeping housing rate increases to a minimum for students. Alatorre is often challenged to find cutting-edge solutions using technology that benefit countless departments and people across campus; he is also responsible for overseeing information technology services for the Department of Residence Life’s Management Information Office. Alatorre and his team are responsible for providing support for ResNet, Student Portal Development and campus security. Alatorre is the coordinator/mentor of the Association of Latino Men in Academia on campus and is involved with the Senate of Academic Staff as a member of the executive committee and past-president; he also serves as UW Oshkosh’s academic staff representative to the UW System.
Alatorre earned a bachelor’s degree in international business and a master’s degree in business administration from UW Oshkosh.
- Edward Clemons, Developmental Mathematics Coordinator, Mathematics
Edward Clemons has a gift for helping students succeed. Since his 2006 arrival at UW Oshkosh, Clemons has worked to develop and implement a developmental mathematics program that is community-driven and student-centered; enrollment in the program has more than doubled, which is directly helping the University’s retention efforts. Within the Developmental Mathematics Program, Clemons has built a community of teachers and learners among students taking the department from two student tutors to nearly 30. Beyond his success with the lab, Clemons is also a strong communicator with his colleagues across campus; he works to form partnerships, share information and address areas for growth. He also has collaborated with mathematics instructors and departments beyond UW Oshkosh.
Clemons earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from UW–Platteville and a master’s degree in mathematics education from UW Oshkosh.
Outstanding Performance Award
The University’s Outstanding Performance Award recognizes exemplary members of the classified staff whose activities, accomplishments and service are most deserving of acknowledgement.
- Joanne Fenrich, Human Resources Assistant, Human Resources
Dealing with complex issues is at the heart of what Joanne Fenrich does at UW Oshkosh. With a deep amount of care, Fenrich manages and coordinates the immigration program on campus. Building open and trusting relationships helps Fenrich to comfort others while leading them through a transition to a new job and the process of gaining permanent residency. Fenrich also coordinates the University’s Limited Term Employee (LTE) program. With the priority of making everyone on campus feel welcome, Fenrich works to place LTE employees in programs that match their interest and skill-set and then provides them with the appropriate tools they need to succeed. During her time at UW Oshkosh, Fenrich has acted on the Classified Staff Advisory Council, the Affirmative Action and Employee Assistance Program, and several Search and Screen committees; she also has worked in various roles in departments across campus such as the Center for Career Development, the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affair’s office and the Admissions office.
- Lisa Goetsch, Reservations Coordinator, Reeve Memorial Union
Lisa Goetsch is a dedicated professional who focuses on communication and customer service. In her role assisting campus staff, students and University guests, Goetsch can often be found helping with a smile and going the extra mile. She focuses on providing information, resources and personal attention to all events to ensure a great experience at Reeve Memorial Union; in the past year, more than 8,000 events have taken place at Reeve. One of the events Goetsch is most proud of coordinating at Reeve is the annual Men Who Cook for the Christine Ann Center fundraiser. Goetsch is a member of the Classified Staff Development and Appreciation Day planning committee, a trainer for At Your Service: Multicultural Customer Service seminars, a S.A.F.E. trainer and is co-chair of the LGBTQ Education and Advisory Council. She is also involved with students as an adviser for the Rainbow Alliance for HOPE and Alpha Xi Delta. In the Oshkosh community, Goetsch serves as a volunteer for the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry.
Goetsch earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and organizational administration from UW Oshkosh.
- Ellie Maslowski, University Service Program Associate, Dean of Students Office
It is Ellie Maslowski who helps keep the Dean of Students Office on track and balanced; she can be described as the “glue” that holds the office together. Maslowski’s can-do attitude and creativity paired with her desire for efficiency and professionalism have helped in her role as well as in managing the department’s budget. Maslowski brings a strong sense of enthusiasm and pride to campus through her role in organizing the Odyssey program, she also serves as an active leader while Odyssey occurs on campus each year. She is a positive supervisor and trainer and passes along her sense of loyalty to those she comes in contact with. An advocate for fairness and equity, Maslowski was the 2011 recipient of the Wisconsin College Personnel Association’s Support Staff Recognition Award. Not only was Maslowski a charter member of the Classified Staff Advisory Council, but she also was elected to serve as the first chair of the group. She serves on the Student Affairs Quality Circle Committee and is a volunteer for Fall Fest.
Regents Diversity Award
Each year, the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents honors individuals and programs from the UW System that foster access and success in university life for historically underrepresented populations.
- Irma Burgos, Interim Director, Center for Academic Support and Diversity
Irma Burgos’ commitment to the educational success of students of color attending UW Oshkosh spans more than two decades; she has been a persistent voice to affirm the lives, experiences and presence of multicultural populations on campus. Through her many positions at the University (adviser, counselor, career planner, tutor coordinator, program manager and now interim director) Burgos carries out responsibilities aimed at increasing the retention and graduation rates of students of color. Her dedication to the University and to the quality of education at UW Oshkosh coupled with her language and cross-cultural skills have made a profound difference to UW Oshkosh students. Burgos actively engages in research and professional development and has an in-depth knowledge of trends and issues in higher education. The Multicultural Retention Programs Tracker initiative, which Burgos developed, is an early tracking system devised to improve the retention rate of students of color considered academically and/or socially at-risk. She also is involved with mentoring through Guiding Paths to Success, the Emerging Scholars Program and the Association for Latino Men in Academia. Burgos previously received the TRIO Achievers Award, the UW System Women of Color Award and the 2011 College of Letters and Science Diversity Award.
Burgos earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Mercy College and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in counseling from UW Oshkosh.
- Chancellor’s Opening Day remarks
- Transcript: Complete Opening Day program remarks, Vice Chancellor updates and faculty and staff awards
- Video: UW Oshkosh Opening Day 2012 program