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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Letters and Science awarded teaching awards during Opening Day festivities on Sept. 4 at Reeve Memorial Union.

The awards are as follows:

The College of Letters and Science Diversity Leadership Awards honor University members who have demonstrated leadership in and promotion of an improved campus climate around diversity. In particular, we seek to spotlight community members who have taken an active role in creating change in one or more of the following four ways:

  • Promoting the recruitment and/or retention of diverse students, faculty and staff;
  • Educating the University community about challenges and issues faced by people traditionally marginalized from and within education;
  • Affirming the lives, experiences, and presence of diverse students, staff, and faculty within the University;
  • Advocating to ensure an environment of safety, equity, and respect for people of diverse races, ethnicities, religions, abilities, ages, classes, sexualities, sexes and genders.

Alejandro Mendoza, Undergraduate Advising Resource Center

Mendoza was nominated by Lisa Szromba, Assistant Director of Advising, Undergraduate Advising Resource Center.

An excerpt from his nomination letter follows:

“Alejandro Mendoza has taken a leadership role in three student organizations with the specific mission of serving multicultural students. He is the co-adviser for the Association for Latino Men in Academia where, in addition to leading the group officially, he also serves as a role model of success to our Latino male students. He is currently working to propose a mentoring program for members of the organization. Alejandro also assists with the Student Organization of Latinos; even though he is not officially in the adviser position of the organization, he has made it a priority to attend all meetings and even lead the group of students to Chicago to attend the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute. Finally, Alejandro serves as the program adviser to the Omega Delta Phi Colony, “a multicultural service/social fraternity that aims at graduating its members while giving back to the community.””

Patricia VanderLoop, College of Nursing  

VanderLoop was nominated by Rebecca Cleveland, Assistant Director, Student Academic Affairs, College of Nursing.

An excerpt from her nomination letter follows:

“Patricia VanderLoop is well known in our College for her exceptional work and has been selected by students as a distinguished instructor. She has developed and currently teaches the theory course, Nursing 215: Health Practices with Diverse Populations. She was instrumental in the development of the first international clinical course in the College of Nursing. She has consistently taught in the international clinical from 2007-2012 in India and Peru. She teaches in the Wisconsin Youth in Nursing Pre-College Program for disadvantaged high school students each summer. In addition to teaching in the classroom, she coordinates an in-depth hospital tour of various departments to maximize their exposure to career opportunities in health care. This pre-college program also serves as a recruitment strategy.”

The Community Engagement Award honors those faculty and academic staff members who embody the “Wisconsin Idea” by being extensively involved in collaborative community relationships. The award recognizes extraordinary public service on behalf of UW Oshkosh to local communities involving assistance, research and outreach to businesses, municipalities, and nonprofit organizations.  The individual receiving this award has made impressive contributions to improving the quality of life and economy in Wisconsin.  Likewise, the individual has engaged students in community collaborative projects as a part of classroom learning, research activities, or internship opportunities throughout the community.

Maureen Muldoon, Department of Geology

According to her geology colleague and department chair, Dr. William Mode, Dr. Maureen Muldoon is “the embodiment of the Wisconsin Idea.”  She has garnered a fine reputation for her research on groundwater movement in carbonate fractured rocks in Wisconsin and consequently, she is in demand for her expertise – which she shares generously.  Maureen believes strongly in public engagement and she models it for her students in her courses as well.  Bill cites examples in which students’ coursework included meaningful service projects involving groundwater contamination.  In each case, they reported the results of their work to municipal organizations that had previously sought Maureen’s advice.  Likewise, her research activities are directly applicable to societal concerns and they regularly involve her students.  Bill notes that “they benefit in many ways, but especially by seeing the importance of such research for the public welfare.”

The Global Education Award recognizes faculty and academic staff members who demonstrate extraordinary innovation and leadership in supporting global learning among our students. We understand global education to encompass learning that helps students explore what it means to be responsible citizens in today’s global context. This award acknowledges faculty and staff members who have enhanced global learning in one or more of the following ways:

  • by situating study abroad as a vehicle for global learning within the broader goals of   liberal education;
  • by infusing global issues and concerns in courses on campus that help students understand the diverse world in which we live;
  • by helping students become more knowledgeable about the issues and challenges facing our global community, through the promotion of intercultural interaction on campus.

Douglas Haynes, Department of English 

In his nomination of Mr. Douglas Haynes, Dr. Ronald Rindo describes his Department of English colleague as working “tirelessly to expand our students’ awareness of the larger world around them.”  In addition to the global focus of the readings and writing assignments in his classroom, Douglas has led study tours to Nicaragua that not only educate, but also inspire.  Students on these tours live with families in a poor community in Nicaragua, learning firsthand about the complex relationship between environmental degradation, poverty and globalization.  In Ron’s words: “It is rare to find a colleague with such focus of purpose, such holism in his pursuits—Douglas’ efforts to strengthen students’ global learning experiences through many venues are an asset to this university.”

The Excellence in Mentoring Award recognizes faculty and academic staff members who demonstrate exceptional leadership and innovation in advising and mentoring students in one or more of the following ways:

  • by inspiring innovative research as well as high academic achievement among students;
  • by providing students with unique opportunities such as internships and collaborative  research that increase their potential of transitioning successfully to a career;
  • by offering outstanding support to students which increases their professional and  personal development;
  • by seeking to increase the retention rate of students and to promote their sense of  inclusion.

Crystal Mueller, Department of English

As senior lecturer in the Department of English, director of the Remedial English Program and director of the University Writing Center, Dr. Crystal Mueller has established a solid reputation as a proactive advocate for student success.  In their nomination of Crystal for this award, three members of the Undergraduate Advising Resource Center have attested to her above-and-beyond dedication to mentoring students.  They cite examples of her diligence in challenging students and her unwavering commitment to connecting them with the various resources that promote their success.  In their words, Crystal is “an exceptional teacher and mentor who is making a difference.”

The College of Letters and Science submitted this announcement. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to contribute calendar items, campus announcements and other good news to UW Oshkosh Today.