Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dean of Students Office

In response to campus climate issues that surfaced last spring, Jodi Thesing-Ritter, associate dean of students, will take on new responsibilities in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusivity. She will direct the university's Blugold Beginnings program, which she started, and will work closely with the Office of Multicultural Affairs and other diversity initiatives on campus.

Thesing-Ritter also will continue to serve as coordinator of the Civil Rights Pilgrimage and will provide outreach and support to multicultural and low-income students. She also will lend her passion and expertise to the Inclusivity Team and will work with Christopher Jorgensen, director of the Women's and LGBTQ Resource Center, in the creation of Dialogue Circles in response to student requests for added attention to diversity issues. Thesing-Ritter's office will be located in the Blugold Beginnings/Office of Multicultural Affairs suite on the first floor of Centennial Hall.

Kat Kane will join the Dean of Students Office in the role of student assistance coordinator to assume Thesing-Ritter's role with students of concern. Kane will provide intervention and support for students whose behavior has raised concern, and will work in collaboration with university and community partners to coordinate care for impacted students. Student assistance is an interdisciplinary developmental model that enhances student progress toward degree, academic success and retention by actively engaging them in utilizing resources to overcome challenges.

For the past three years Kane has served as director of operations and residence life at a large, private student housing property. She previously held positions as residence life coordinator, judicial hearing officer and residence hall director. Kane holds a bachelor's degree from UW-Eau Claire and a master's degree from the University of North Dakota.

Administration and Finance

Kristen Hendrickson has been named university budget and resource planning director at UW-Eau Claire, effective Sept. 2. Hendrickson will advise and support the university across a full range of budget and planning topics, including the development and implementation of a budget process supported by budget modeling that will consider alternative scenarios of enrollment, state appropriation, other resources and expenditures. She also will work with colleges as well as administrative and auxiliary units to develop reports and data reporting tools.

Hendrickson most recently served as director of planning, research and policy analysis at Illinois State University. She previously held positions as budget officer at UW-River Falls and as a budget and policy analyst for the UW System. Hendrickson, who holds a bachelor's degree from Florida State University and a master's degree from the University of South Florida, currently is pursuing a doctorate at Illinois State University.


Dr. Matt Waters' article "Darius the First, the Ninth King" was published in "Excavating an Empire: Achaemenid Persia in Longue DurĂ©e," ed. T. Daryaee, A. Mousavi and K. Rezakhani, Mazda Publishers, Costa Mesa, Calif., 2014, pages 63-70.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Academic Skills Center

An excerpt from Patti See's blog, "Our Long Goodbye: One Family's Experiences with Alzheimer's," was published as "A Daughter Discovers that Her Mom has Alzheimer's" in the July 2014 issue (Vol. 8, Issue 9) of "Complete Wellbeing," India's "best magazine on wellbeing" with a circulation of 30,000 readers.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Music and Theatre Arts

Dr. Dale Taylor (emeritus) presented a web-based seminar titled "Not Magic, Not a Miracle: Brain & Music 101" to members of the Wisconsin Music & Memory Initiative Aug. 7. Invited guests included caregivers in Utah as well as Dan Cohen, the national founder of the Music & Memory program. Taylor serves on the Music & Memory Advisory Council for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.


Dr. David Lewis has been invited back to Kazan Federal University in Russia in October to present a plenary lecture titled "Klaus at Kazan: The Discovery of Ruthenium" at the 26th International Chugaev Conference on Coordination Chemistry. This will be the third time that Lewis has presented plenary lectures at conferences in Russia, having presented a talk titled "Kazan — the Cradle of Russian Organic Chemistry" at the International Arbuzov Prize Award Conference at Kazan Federal University in November 2013 and the opening plenary lecture, "Pioneering Russian Contributions to Organic Chemistry," at the Ural Scientific Forum at the Ural Federal University (named for Boris Yeltsin) in Ekaterinburg in June 2014. Lewis is recognized internationally as an expert on the history of organic chemistry in Russia.

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Dr. Jim Phillips and his research students presented posters at the 13th annual MERCURY (Molecular Education and Research Consortium in Undergraduate computational chemistry) Conference July 24-26 at Bucknell University. One poster, titled "A Low-Temperature Spectroscopy and Computational Study of CH3CN-HCl" was presented by Anna Waller and Nicole Weiss. Another, titled "Structural and Energetic Properties of FCH2CN-BCl3 and ClCH2CN-BCl3 via Low-Temperature IR Spectroscopy and Computations" was presented by John Lanska, Nicolas Hora and Anna Waller. Phillips has been a member of the MERCURY consortium for three years, which has acquired funding for computing resources for member institutions via grants from the National Science Foundation.

Phillips also had two research articles published earlier this summer. Both were written during the previous academic year, during which he was on sabbatical for the fall semester. The first of these, titled "Structural and Energetic Properties of Acetonitrile−Group IV (A & B) Halide Complexes," was published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry A, (DOI: 10.1021/jp4115207) and was co-authored by several former UW-Eau Claire research students: Heather Helminiak, currently a teacher at Chippewa Falls High School; Robin Knauf, a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Samuel Danforth, a graduate student at Western Washington University.
The other paper, titled "Quantum Chemical and Matrix-IR Characterization of CH3CN–BCl3: A Complex With Two Distinct Minima Along the B–N Bond Potential" was published in Physical Chemistry-Chemical Physics, (DOI: 10.1039/c4cp01495b) and was co-authored by former UW-Eau Claire students John Wrass and Kaitlin Bloomgren as well as Dr. Chris Cramer (University of Minnesota) and his former student Daniel Sadowsky. PCCP, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, is the highest-impact journal in physical chemistry that emphasizes basic research.   

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

McIntyre Library

Dr. Janice Bogstad organized and chaired a session titled "Science Fiction in the STEM Classroom" and presented the paper "Climate Change Science Fiction for K-12 STEM Teaching" at the third STEM Education Conference: STEM Education and Our Planet, Making Connections Across Contexts, July 12-15 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

Financial Aid

Kathleen Sahlhoff has been appointed by Gov. Walker to serve on the Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB), which is responsible for the management and oversight of the state's student financial aid system for Wisconsin residents attending institutions of higher education. The board, an independent policymaking board composed of 11 members, administers student financial aid programs, tuition reciprocity agreements and tuition capitation contracts. Sahlhoff's term runs through May 1, 2016.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Geospatial Education Initiative holds first business summit July 29

The first Geospatial Education Initiative business summit will be held July 29 at UW-Eau Claire, during which faculty and geospatial business partners will engage in discussions to progress toward the goals of the GEI to develop and promote the skills needed for today’s students entering the geospatial workforce.

The summit will run from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in the Centennial Room of Davies Center.

In June, the GEI received a three-year $418,869 grant from the Growth Agenda for Wisconsin Grants Program. (Read the full story.)

In particular, this year’s GEI business summit will seek input from the GEI’s business partners on core learning outcomes from the Geospatial Technology Competency Model of the Employment and Training Administration. The input will help UW-Eau Claire faculty in developing a comprehensive geospatial major, said Dr. Christina Hupy, associate professor of geography and GEI project lead.

Geospatial business partners participating in the business summit will be Paul Braun of Continental Mapping Consultants Inc., Sun Prairie; Adam Derringer of Ayres Associates Inc., Madison; Brian Welde of Mapper; Mike Neil and Tyler Patterson of C.H. Robinson, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.; and Mike Kramer of Liberty Mutual Insurance, Wausau.

UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff participants will be Martin Goettl, Dr. Christina Hupy, Dr. Joe Hupy, Aaron Schroeder (student), Dr. Ryan Weichelt and Dr. Cyril Wilson, geography and anthropology; Dr. Jean Pratt, information systems; and Dr. Peter Bui and Dr. Chris Johnson, computer science.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Psychology/Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

Dr. Michael Axelrod, associate professor of psychology, is the new Institutional Review Board chair, overseeing implementation of policies and procedures that protect the rights and welfare of human subjects participating in university research projects. More information.