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Fifteen University of Wisconsin Oshkosh faculty and staff were recognized at the Opening Day assembly, Sept. 8, at Reeve Memorial Union, for their accomplishments and contributions in moving the institution’s mission forward.

Honors conferred for the 2009-2010 academic year included Endowed Professorships, the Rosebush Professorship, Distinguished Teaching Awards, Sniffen Faculty Governance Service Award, Outstanding Service Awards, Outstanding Performance Awards and the UW System Regents Teaching Excellence Award.

The recipients are as follows:

Endowed Professorships

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.

  • Gary Adams, professor, psychology; management and human resources

In addition to developing a curriculum infused with practical skills training for his students, Gary Adams has produced a prolific volume of scholarly works. During the past five years alone, his research related to older workers and occupational stress and health has been published in more than 20 peer-reviewed journals. In addition, he has edited two books, written five book chapters and made 26 peer-reviewed conference presentations. Since joining the faculty at UW Oshkosh in 1996, he has served as an ambassador to the University through consultant work for a wide array of organizations, including major corporations, organizations and local government in the Fox Valley and beyond. Adams is affiliated with the Academy of Management, Association for Psychological Science, Center for Community Partnerships at UW Oshkosh, and Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Adams earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at UW Oshkosh, a master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology at Illinois State University, and a doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology at Central Michigan University.

  • Nadejda Kaltcheva, associate professor, physics and astronomy

Before joining UW Oshkosh’s College of Letters and Science in 2001, Nadia Kaltcheva served in professional positions in Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, and Scotland. Her accomplishments have earned her an international reputation as a research leader in astronomy, particularly for her work in using photometry to map out the spiral arms of the Milky Way in hopes of better understanding the structure and evolution of our galaxy. And while actively involved in contributions aimed at developing precise photometric techniques for the upcoming Gaia space mission, she still makes time to work with students, advise them on their independent research projects and answer questions from local stargazers. She has authored 15 papers published in refereed journals and conference proceeds, has participated in 16 presentations at scientific meetings and has directed 17 student conference presentations while a member of the UW Oshkosh faculty. She represents the University at the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium.

Kaltcheva earned a master’s degree in physics and a doctorate in astronomy at the State University of Sofia in Bulgaria.

  • David Siemers, associate professor, political science

One could call David Siemers the consummate citizen. As one of UW Oshkosh’s most dedicated representatives, he routinely and enthusiastically lends his expertise to the University and surrounding communities. Since joining the College of Letters and Science in 2001, Siemers has become a relied-upon source for regional news outlets, written newspaper commentaries and given frequent public talks, particularly during the presidential and congressional elections. He has published two books, five articles and numerous encyclopedia entries. A third book, titled Presidents and Political Thought, will be published this fall. A strong advocate for student engagement, Siemers has served as an organizer and moderator for American Democracy Project events. He has served as faculty adviser for Pi Sigma Alpha, the Political Science Student Association, the College Democrats and the Racquetball Club. Beyond the University, he is affiliated with several national disciplinary associations, a frequent conference presenter and a manuscript reviewer for major journals.

Siemers earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at St. Olaf College and a master’s degree and a doctorate in political science at UW-Madison.

Rosebush Professorship

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.

  •  Mary Ellen Wurzbach, professor, nursing

Since joining the College of Nursing faculty in 1980, Mary Ellen Wurzbach has impacted countless students with her nationally recognized expertise in ethics and end-of-life care.  Her passion for exploring moral dilemmas in nursing and the ethics of pain management has yielded 19 published articles and an award-winning chapter in the book Nursing and Health Care Ethics: A Legacy and A Vision. Her research has been cited more than 100 times in books and articles around the globe. Wurzbach has taught clinical courses in 20 different hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, day care centers and public health agencies, including every public agency in northeastern and north-central Wisconsin. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Nurses Foundation and has been involved with the American Nurses Association, the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities, the Midwest Nursing Research Society and Sigma Theta Tau International.

Wurzbach earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing and master’s degree in primary care nursing at UW Oshkosh and a doctorate in nursing at the University of Minnesota, where she recently was cited as one of the 100 distinguished alums of the School of Nursing.

Edward M. Penson Distinguished Teaching Award

Edward M. Penson Distinguished Teaching Award winners 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.

  • Brant Kedrowski, associate professor, chemistry

UW Oshkosh found a winning formula in Brant Kedrowski. The chemistry professor consistently demonstrates the ability to teach difficult topics to all level of learners through well-paced and clearly organized lectures that use real-world examples. Since joining the College of Letters and Science in 2002, Kedrowski has introduced 10 new experiments. He has become a champion of the University’s mission to provide undergraduate research opportunities, working with more than 38 students in the past seven years on specific projects for their capstone seminar course or to advance to the next phase of their careers. Kedrowski has written dozens of letters of support for students and has served as both an academic adviser for students and as faculty adviser for the UW Oshkosh Chemistry Club.

Kedrowski earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a doctorate in organic chemistry at the University of Minnesota.

  • Barry Mulholland, senior lecturer, finance and business law

Barry Mulholland brings more than 20 years of progressive business experience to the classroom — from personal finance and sales to professional recruitment and production engineering — allowing him to strike a balance between theory and practical experience. He is part of the team responsible for the development of the insurance and financial planning minor and insurance emphasis and was responsible for a financial planning for individuals course, which has become one of the most popular electives in the College of Business. He worked closely with a software vendor to bring industry-leading software into the classroom to give students a deeper understanding of the subject matter. Since joining the college full-time in 2002, he has pushed students outside of their comfort zones, challenging them to think critically about a topic.

Mulholland earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Miami and a master’s degree in business administration at UW Oshkosh. He currently is pursuing a doctorate in personal financial planning at Texas Tech University.

  • Mary Ellen Wurzbach, professor, nursing

A graduate of UW Oshkosh’s first-ever nursing class in 1966, Mary Ellen Wurzbach has seen nursing education evolve from practicing injections with oranges to engaging students through online courses and state-of-the-art distance education. She has been instrumental in launching the College of Nursing into the 21st century.

Since joining the faculty in 1980, she has integrated ethics into both the undergraduate and graduate program, including developing the original ethics in nursing and health care course in 1985. She has mentored more than 100 master-level students with their thesis and clinical papers. Her ethics and end-of-life nursing care courses reaches five UW System institutions through the BSN@Home program.

Wurzbach earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing and master’s degree in primary care nursing at UW Oshkosh and a doctorate in nursing at the University of Minnesota.

Sniffen Faculty Governance Service Award

The Barbara G. Sniffen Faculty Governance Service Award recognizes faculty members who have exceptional University service records.

  • David Jones, professor, public affairs

Shortly after joining the College of Letters and Science in 1981, David Jones volunteered to be on the College Curriculum Committee. Ever since then, he has dedicated his time and talent to a wide variety of campus governance groups, often serving concurrent terms on various committees. Through his diverse service activities, he has impacted many aspects of the University, from budgets and salaries to informational services and evaluations to curriculum and academic advising. Never shy about throwing his hat in the ring or accepting an invitation to join a committee, Jones considers it an honor to be asked to serve a second term — or a fourth term, as in the case of the Student Academic Committee. In total, he has been affiliated with 27 college, University, ad hoc and other UW Oshkosh committees. His current appointments include the Academic Policies Committee, the Faculty Senate, the Liberal Education Reform Team and the planning committee for the annual Roseanne Hoefel run/walk. He has been a member of the Social Justice Minor steering committee since its inception.

Jones earned a bachelor’s degree in government and international relations at Carleton College, a master’s degree in political science at Duke University and a doctorate in political science at the University of Kansas.

Outstanding Service Awards

UW Oshkosh has many nonteaching faculty and academic staff 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.

  • Marc Nylen, director, Gruenhagen Conference Center

Pride and loyalty drive Marc Nylen’s dedication to serving his alma mater as assistant director of Residence Life and director of Gruenhagen Conference Center. Since joining the University in 1991 as the assistant director of North Scott Hall, he has held a number of positions at UW Oshkosh. In his current role, he manages and directs the operation of the conference center, which generates more than $1.7 million in revenue annually. He has a reputation as a dynamic, passionate and innovative leader and supervisor to five full-time employees and 60 student staff members. He is an active member of the Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau Hospitality Marketing Group.

Nylen earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a master’s in education-counseling with an emphasis in student development, both from UW Oshkosh. He also completed a study abroad program in Spain and a certificate program in Spanish language and literature in Guatemala.

  • Jenna Graff, director, Office of International Education

First joining the University as an ESL instructor in 1990, Jenna Graff has helped to bring the world to UW Oshkosh and UW Oshkosh students to the world. She has served as coordinator of the Teachers of Japanese Internship Program for the College of Letters and Science and as coordinator of international programs for the College of Business. Graff has led the Office of International Education since its inception in October 2002.

Under her direction, study abroad programs have grown from 14 to 53, and study abroad students have increased from 167 to approximately 400. She also oversees international student services, the National Student Exchange program and English Language Support Services.

Graff earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a master’s degree in educational leadership with an emphasis in English as a second language at UW Oshkosh.

  • Gregory Wypiszynski, director, Graduate Studies

As the “face” of UW Oshkosh’s Office of Graduate Studies, Greg Wypiszynski makes sure prospective students, applicants and current students receive excellent support. In serving the 1,300 graduate students who enroll each fall, he provides invaluable assistance for applicants and students as they navigate the sometimes daunting steps from admission through enrollment, including international student applicants, who must tackle immigration processing.

Wypiszynski has been involved with numerous University committees and teams, including the Enrollment Management Team, PeopleSoft Implementation Team and Senate of Academic Staff, and has volunteered for an impressive number of community activities.

Wypiszynski earned a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and personnel management from UW-Whitewater and a master’s degree in educational leadership 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.

  • Sabrina Johnson, human resources assistant, Human Resources

One dean describes Sabrina Johnson’s knowledge of her area as encyclopedic. Johnson prides herself as someone who puts forth her best effort in everything she does, showing a great deal of commitment and care for the entire campus community. She eagerly takes on new duties in order to broaden her knowledge and bring about positive change at the University. Her unfailing cheerfulness, consideration, dedicated service and professionalism make her a model employee.

During her 11 years at the University, she has served on the Classified Staff Advisory Council and the STAR Award Committee and chaired the Classified Staff Grant Program. Johnson is a 2003 recipient of the University’s STAR Award.


  • L. Holly Lawryk, executive staff assistant, Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor

Holly Lawryk’s 28 years of experience in various University departments almost equals the number of offices that she works with in her current position as executive staff assistant in the Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor. In her role as office manager, Lawryk provides administrative support to, mentors staff members, manages complex budgets, and coordinates reporting for UW System and the Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor. She also plays a critical role in planning the annual University Honors and Awards event.

Lawryk’s tireless service reaches far across the University, such as her efforts to help new program staff establish offices, including the First Year Experience, Women’s Center and LGBTQ Resource Center. She is a charter member of the Classified Staff Advisory Council.


  • Leanne Monroe, University Services Associate 2, Athletics

Beyond athletic department administrative needs, Leanne Monroe is responsible for maintaining eligibility and participation for more than 500 athletes in 21 sports each year. She also oversees the hiring, training and supervising of Athletics Department student employees.

Monroe dedicates extra time to national and post-season events, including the NCAA Division III World Series Championships for the past 10 years, the Outdoor Track and Field National Championships and many other WIAC and NCAA events. She also helped organize the Brick Project charting for donors who purchased bricks for the walkway at Titan Stadium. She has served on several committees for the Classified Staff Advisory Council and received the University’s STAR Award in 2005.


  • Marlene Zdanovec, office manager, University Books & More

Marlene Zdanovec describes her work as a golden opportunity to meet others’ needs, while colleagues see her sunshine attitude as the standard for customer service. During her 20-plus years with the bookstore, Zdanovec has processed worldwide textbook shipments and worked with Kimberly-Clark and the College of Business to establish an innovative way to deliver textbooks.

She has chaired the Quality Circle for the Division of Student Affairs for the past six years and has served in various capacities on the Classified Staff Advisory Council. She received a UW Oshkosh Employee Suggestion Award and a STAR Award in 2002.



Regents Teaching Excellence Award

Each year, the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents honors two teachers from the UW System for career achievements in teaching with this $5,000 award.

  • R. Douglas Heil, professor, communication

While not an actor, Doug Heil is no stranger to the spotlight. Since he joined the UW Oshkosh faculty in 1987, he was awarded the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1999 and the TRISS endowed professorship in 2001. His book Prime-Time Authorship was published in 2002, and his essays and creative works have appeared in a variety of journals. Heil has produced several short films, including The Story of the Cat, which has won more than 10 awards and aired on Cinemax, HBO and Showtime. He also has written a musical, from which seven songs have received citations in songwriting competitions. In the classroom, he teaches narrative scriptwriting and film production, encouraging his students to pursue their passions while simultaneously preparing for a Plan B, C and D.

Heil earned a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric at the University of Illinois and a Master of Fine Arts at Northwestern University.

Edward M. Penson Faculty Awards

In addition, the deans conferred Edward M. Penson Faculty Awards — which recognize faculty members who have made a significant contribution that might otherwise go unrecognized — to the following individuals:

  • Heike Alberts, geography
  • Roxana Huebscher, nursing
  • Kevin McGee, economics
  • Leigh Ann Mrotek-Grozek, kinesiology
  • Stephen Rose, curriculum and instruction
  • Stacey Skoning, special education
  • Stephanie Stewart, nursing
  • Stephen Szydlik, mathematics


The following promotions also went into effect for 2009-2010:


To Professor

  • Bruce Atwell, music
  • Michael Beeth, College of Education and Human Services
  • Nancy Burnett, economics
  • Sheldon Cooper, biology and microbiology
  • Gueorgui Gueorguiev, computer science
  • Richard Masters, art
  • Stephen Richards, public affairs
  • Dana Vaughan, Biology and Microbiology
  • Elizabeth Wade-Sirabian, foreign language and literature

To Associate Professor

  • Heike Alberts, geography

To Associate Professor and Tenure

  • Rocio Cortes, foreign language and literature
  • Mamadou Coulibaly, geography
  • Leona Dempsey, nursing
  • David Dilkes, biology and microbiology
  • Lisa Dorn, biology and microbiology
  • Suzanne Fondrie, curriculum and instruction
  • Elena Gonzalez-Muntaner, foreign language and literature
  • M. Ryan Haley, economics
  • Larry Herzberg, philosophy
  • Karl Loewenstein, history
  • Troy Perkins, communication


  • Scott Beyer, finance and business law
  • Wing Huen, computer science
  • Peter Westort, accounting

Academic Staff Promotions

  • Jacque Bollinger
  • Domenic Bruni
  • Jeanette DeDiemar
  • Patrick Ebel
  • Robert Hinrichs
  • Kelly Jo Hudson
  • Jeff LaVake
  • Jessica Pondell
  • Bonnie Schmidt
  • Karlin Stukenberg
  • Sara Suwalski
  • Abigail Sylvia
  • Houa Xiong
  • Laly Yahyawi-Valenzuela

Classified Staff Promotions

  • Sarah Bradway
  • Robert Clancy
  • Kirsten Hebert
  • Ricky Johnson
  • Michelle Loker
  • Traci Luft
  • Evelyn Meuret
  • Scott Olson
  • Amy Rogge
  • Jennifer Whalen
  • Nicole Zedler

Professional Productivity Award Recipients

  • Carl Chapman
  • Janet Hagen
  • R. Douglas Heil
  • Stephen Huffman
  • Ava McCall
  • Susan McFadden
  • William Wacholtz
  • Lenore Wineberg

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