Public Relations

Daily Pioneer News

Monday, February 28, 2005

Youth explore math, science and technology at UWP

PLATTEVILLE - Rocks, minerals, chemistry, engineering, TV production, veterinary science and industrial technology were among the topics of exploration for middle school girls during "Pioneering Your Future" at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville on Saturday, Feb. 19.

Held at UWP since 1998, "Pioneering Your Future" is a conference that allows sixth through eighth grade girls from Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa to learn more about careers in math, science and technology. Among the 50 students in attendance, some of the career aspirations included engineer, lawyer and pharmacist.

"Girls have perceptions about non-traditional fields, we want to shed those perceptions by allowing them to explore some areas of interest in science and technology," said Tammy Salmon-Stephens director of the UWP Women in Engineering Program.

The empowerment of women in math, science and technology is doubly emphasized because the event is hosted by a volunteer committee of 12 women from faculty, academic staff and classified positions on the UWP campus. "We all believe in the mission here, that is why it is important to us to keep this event going," stated committee member Helen Reynolds-Hadorn.

Additionally, female students majoring in math, science or technology at UWP volunteered to function as group leaders at the event. This allowed girls attending the event to come in contact with female role models who could answer any questions they had about college.

UWP civil engineering student Mali Butteris, from Westby, served as one of the group leaders. Butteris herself is living proof that events like "Pioneering Your Future" make a difference because she formed an interest in becoming a civil engineer after attending a similar event at UWP while still in high school.

Women invented windshield wipers, the automatic dishwasher, Kevlar and whiteout. The list may just keep on growing as girls learn more about careers in math, science and technology through programs like this one.

"Pioneering Your Future" will take place during the third week of February 2006 for those interested in attending. Individuals and group delegations are welcome. For more information contact Kari Dreessens of UWP Advising and Career Services at (608) 342-1922 or

Contacts: Kari Dreessens, advisor, UWP Advising & Career Services, (608) 342-1922,

Prepared by: Jessica Groshek, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Research Poster Day recognizes researchers

PLATTEVILLE - On March 3, researchers from across the University of Wisconsin-Platteville's campus will be honored for their achievements and commitment at UWP's Research Poster Day. The event will take place in the Velzy Commons in the Ullsvik Center on the UWP campus from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Researchers, consisting of faculty, staff and students at UWP, will present their work in poster displays throughout the commons, where people will be able to travel around to different tables and view each display.

Research Poster Day presents an opportunity for researchers to not only be recognized for their efforts, but also functions as a way of communication between departments and researchers. Displays may include photographs, slide shows, videotapes, presentation manuscripts, computer displays, published articles or equipment demonstrations.

Research Poster Day is sponsored by the Academic and Institutional Research Committee and UWP's Office of Sponsored Programs. Faculty, staff and students are all invited to this free event.

Contact: Kathryn Lomax, Sponsored Programs Director, (608) 342-1456

Prepared by: Kym Bliven, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Friday, February 25, 2005

Pioneer Players and Music Theater present 'Oklahoma!'

PLATTEVILLE - Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" will be presented by the University of Wisconsin-Platteville's Pioneer Players and Music Theater groups March 2-6 at the Center for the Arts. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m., except for the Sunday matinee on March 6, which will begin at 2 p.m. This first collaboration between music composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein is set in the Indian territory of the American West at the turn of the century and centers on the rivalry between Curly, a cowboy, and Jud, a hired farmhand, as they vie for the affections of the main character, Laurey. It features such classics as "Oh What A Beautiful Morning," "People Will Say We're In Love" and "The Surrey With The Fringe On Top."

The producer and music director is Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk who is in her first year as UWP director of music theater. She says she has been excited by the interest among students - some 70 students auditioned - and by the commitment they have shown during rehearsals. "We have a strong cast of leading roles and chorus members, and they have been fabulously prepared since day one," she said.

Stage director Mike O'Brien, associate professor of theater at UWP, says he is looking forward to a great performance from the ensemble cast of 22 students.

"They are amazingly talented," he said.

Other key members of the production team are Bob Demaree, director of choral activities, and conductor Barry Ellis, professor of band.

Tickets are $5 for students; $6 for faculty, staff and seniors; and $7 for general adult admission. Admission is open to the public, and tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance. Anyone interested in purchasing a ticket in advance or learning more about the production may call the Center for the Arts at (608) 342-1298.

Contact: Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk, director, Music Theater, (608) 342-1085,

Prepared by; Evelyn Martens, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

UW System to survey impacts of student alcohol, drug use

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin System will conduct a survey of undergraduates this month to better understand the impacts of alcohol and other drug use by UW students.

The UW System Alcohol and Other Drug Use Survey will be conducted online each year at UW System campuses to find trends in alcohol and drug use, student perceptions of use, and consequences of use. The process will assure anonymity for the respondents.

The results will help university administrators determine what kinds of campus health programming and services are most beneficial for students. "We hope this survey encourages students to be open about their experiences, thoughts and observations about alcohol and drug use," said UW-Stevens Point Chancellor Linda Bunnell, chair of a system wide AODA committee. "The services we provide on campus can be best improved if we are able to understand the points of view of a variety of students."

The survey is voluntary and will be conducted through a campus-based website.

Beginning the week of Feb. 21, a random sample of students at each of the larger UW campuses will be invited to participate in the survey via e-mail from campus administrators. All students from campuses with fewer than 6,000 students will be invited to participate.

Students who elect to participate will receive an instant analysis of the impacts of their own alcohol use, including an estimate of their average peak blood-alcohol concentration, and how their level of use compares to students nationally.

The survey is part of a system wide Board of Regents directive to assess the levels of student alcohol and drug abuse, and the effectiveness of AODA programs.

Contact: Roger Meyer, (608) 342-1865

Formatted by: Diana Brunton, UWP Public Relations,, (608) 342-1194

Thursday, February 24, 2005

UWP helps raise $5,000 to help fight hunger

Cutline: A total of more than $1,200 was given to three Platteville food pantries stemming from the October CROP Walk fund-raising event. Pictured are: Dennis Cooley, UW-Platteville Foundation; Rolita Rateike-Miller, Southwest Community Action Program; Cindy Martens, Platteville Food Pantry; Nancy Weigel, SHARE; and Linda Thomas, Platteville CROP Walk committee.

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville helped raise nearly $5,000 to fight world hunger this past fall partnering with area churches during the annual CROP (Communities Reaching Out to People) Walk fundraising event. More than $1,200 was raised for three local charitable organizations. Checks were presented Feb. 9 to the Southwest Community Action Program, the SHARE program and the Platteville Food Pantry.

A total of 132 participants collected pledges and walked the Crop Walk circuit to raise money back in October. A quarter of raised funds go to the local food pantries while the remaining funds are sent to a Church World Service, a national group that helps fight hunger. Funds are used to supply seeds and tools to grow crops, provide training and help improve water systems.

"They distribute funds to agencies in 80 different countries, including the U.S., to help people help themselves," said Platteville CROP Walk committee treasurer Linda Thomas.

The event has been hosted in Platteville for at least 25 years, Thomas said. UW-Platteville partnered with St. Augustine's, United Methodist, First Congregational, Trinity Episcopal, and First English churches in Platteville in support of the CROP Walk this year.

The participation of the UWP football team, which began in 2001, has been a major boon to the event. Thomas said annual funds raised have doubled since the football team began their involvement. This year, around 90 football players, coaches and friends participated. Other UWP groups that participated included the UWP Foundation, the Alpha Phi Omega co-ed service fraternity and UWP Students for Peace and Justice.

Platteville's CROP Walk event is held annually the day following UWP Homecoming, and Thomas looks forward to a successful event again later this fall.

"I just hope even more people get involved," Thomas said. "It doesn't take long, and it's really worth the time it takes to collect pledges and walk the route."

Contact: Linda Thomas, treasurer, Platteville CROP Walk committee, 608-348-7530

Prepared by: Dan Lehnherr, UWP Public Relations, 608-342-1194,

'Blues' production receives two Kennedy Center awards

PLATTEVILLE-The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts created a special award for the cast of "Blues for Mister Charlie" which the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneer Players, in collaboration with the Department of Fine Arts and Black Student Union, produced last November. The center's American College Theatre Festival presented a certificate to John McCaslin-Doyle, director of theater studies, honoring meritorious achievement for ensemble acting. Amy Fite, assistant director for the production, also received a citation for outstanding assistant director.

Skelly Warren, associate professor of theater arts at UW-Parkside, authored the evaluation upon which the award was based, and it was at his urging that the Kennedy Center decided to create this special honor. "I left the theater with a great deal of respect for the work of this company, and with the feeling that the work they did will influence them as much in their daily lives, as it will advance them in their theatrical careers. Dr. McCaslin-Doyle has achieved a great deal educationally, theatrically and culturally for all the members of this production and for the community of Platteville," Warren wrote.

McCaslin-Doyle was pleased that Fite, a senior theater major, was also cited.

"An assistant director often sits quietly through rehearsals, sometimes for weeks, and then is placed by the director into tasks that have various levels of difficulty. Many students do not have the patience or devotion to see the work through to the end, or to work consistently on the director's concept for the piece, but Amy Fite did demonstrate strengths in all areas," he said.

Though an award from the Kennedy Center is a very rare honor, it will probably not come as a surprise to many who saw the performance. Positive reviews poured into the chancellor and McCaslin-Doyle's office, ranging from parents of prospective students applauding the campus' commitment to diversity, to UWP students and employees thanking the cast for a "great theater experience."

Rich Egley, director of Student Services, who was tapped to play the part of white supremacist and Klu Klux Klan leader Reverend Phelps, said he walked away from the production with a new appreciation of the work and dedication involved in stage production.

"I never understood before this the amount of time, effort and perspiration involved in such a production. This is a play that is rarely performed by any group, let alone a college troupe. It is extremely gratifying to see the dedication of the cast and director recognized at the national level, and it is a great reflection on the quality of the experiences available to the students and to the public at UWP," he said. Some of the cast who received special mention in the citation were Carl Wesley as Reverend Meridian Henry, Zakiya Catlin as Juanita, Latisha Snelling as Mother Henry, Stephanie Bussan as Josephine Britten, Duane Mahone as the rebel and prodigal son Richard, Roger Jones as Papa D., and Jonathan Fischer as the inept white lawyer.

The choruses and townsfolk in this 30 plus member ensemble were also lauded. "You should all be proud of your work," Warren wrote.

Contact: John McCaslin-Doyle, Director of Theatre Studies, (608) 342-1034,

Prepared by: Evelyn Martens, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Exploration Day brings Milwaukee students to UWP

Christina Curras, chair of the College of Engineering Math and Science Minority Education Committee, prepares to test the safety restraints designed for an egg by visiting students from Milwaukee public schools during the EMS Exploration Day.

PLATTEVILLE - A chorus of enthusiastic voices chants the final countdown to the Egg Crash Test. As the wooden transport vehicle carrying their precious eggs named "Bill" "Bob" and "The E" roll down the steeply positioned plank, the crowd suddenly grows silent. A split second later, cheers erupt when it is determined that the egg survived. Participating in the Egg Crash Test was only one of the activities over 50 visiting sixth, seventh and eighth grade students from Milwaukee public schools participated in while attending the University of Wisconsin-Platteville's Engineering, Math and Science (EMS) Exploration Day.

During the two-day event, sponsored by the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science Minority Education Committee (EMS MEC) and the Multicultural Educational Resource Center (MERC), the intent of the Exploration Day was to introduce students to and get them excited about engineering, math and science related activities. Arriving on Feb. 13, the students worked with Carlos Wiley, director of MERC, participated in social interaction activities and went bowling. On Feb. 14, the group met at 9:15 a.m. in the Ullsvik Center for their first activity, the Egg Crash Test. Students designed a restraint system so their egg could travel safely in a "car." With 25 minutes and creative juices flowing, students used materials such as two rubber bands, three nails, one straw and a balloon to design and build the safety devices.

Tammy Salmon-Stephens, director of the Women in Engineering Programs, prepares to test the safety restraints designed for an egg by visiting students from Milwaukee public schools during the EMS Exploration Day.

After a tour of campus and lunch at Glenview Commons, the students reconvened for a final activity in the Ullsvik Center. Entitled, "Tallest Tower," students investigated the engineering design process while working within cost constraints. They had to build a tower capable of supporting a certain load, while the design efficiency was calculated according to the cost per inch of height of their structure.

As a UWP freshman chemistry student, Sarah Maliborski "volunteered to help during the day because of previous experiences doing similar activities with fourth grade students. They are so fun to work with and enthusiastic. Seeing them become interested in science and math is encouraging and makes me want to continue to educate younger students in these topics."

Added Sam Owusu Ababio of the civil engineering department, "After giving them some direction and helping inspire these children to explore science and math, it's fun to see them be creative and learn and grow through these activities using basic engineering skills."

A number of faculty, staff and students were involved in helping make Exploration Day possible including Tammy Salmon-Stephens, director of Women in Engineering Programs; Ruth Joyce, director of Student Recruitment; Wiley; Max Anderson, professor of civil and environmental engineering; Osama Jadaan, professor of general engineering; Jim Almquist, professor of general engineering; Owusu Ababio; Donna Gavin, professor of computer science and software engineering; and students from the American Society of Civil Engineering, Tau Beta Pi, the Society of Women Engineers and Chi Epsilon.

Contact: Christina Curras, EMS MEC chair, (608) 342-1541,

Prepared by: Rachael Lehr, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

UW-Platteville announces study abroad program in Fiji

PLATTEVILLE - Thinking of the Fiji Islands may evoke an image of a lush, tropical vacation getaway rather than a classroom, but beginning in July 2005, students from around the United States can experience both through the University of Wisconsin-Platteville's newest study abroad program. Students seeking a unique living and learning experience may want to consider a semester of study at The University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji, the premier institution of higher education in the Pacific Region and an international center of excellence for teaching, researching and consulting on all aspects of Pacific life.

UWP will be the first four-year accredited institution to offer a semester program in this South Pacific island nation, which provides an excellent setting to study tropical, marine and terrestrial ecosystems in the context of a multicultural society. USP offers internationally recognized undergraduate and postgraduate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, including accounting, agriculture, banking and finance, computing science, counseling and social services, engineering, environmental management, journalism, public administration and management, science, teaching, and tourism.

Why did UWP pursue Fiji? "We have established ourselves in some Western countries, but this is one of our first programs in a developing nation," explained Donna Anderson, UWP Study Abroad program director. "In the past, when students have traveled through Fiji on their way to or from New Zealand or Australia, many have been excited by what they've seen there and commented that they would like an opportunity to study at USP," she said.

The Study Abroad staff has put together a diverse curriculum for this 18-week program which will include two required courses and an additional two to three courses (eight-12 credits) from a wide range of disciplines. A sampling of course possibilities for the fall include: Law of the Sea; Fijian Language Studies; Introduction to Hindi; Resource and Environmental Economics; and Society, Culture, and Change in the Pacific. The curriculum designers hope to ensure that students are not simply taking courses identical to those available on their home campuses but are taking maximum advantage of the special location and unique expertise of the USP faculty. And just as the curriculum is specially designed to maximize students' experiences in Fiji, so, too, living with a Fijian family is an integral and equally important aspect of this intercultural experience. "Students will live with a family for the first half of the semester, then move into independent living quarters for the second half, so they'll be able to experience life from both perspectives," said Anderson. "Our coordinator in Suva will act as the 'glue' for the program and will assist students in getting adjusted to home and school life, as well as teach a Cross Cultural Understanding course and coordinate excursions and cultural visits," she explained.

The indigenous culture of Fiji is a complex blend of influences shaped by Polynesian, Melanesian and some Micronesian peoples who used Fiji as a meeting place for about 3,500 years. During the British colonial period, Indians were brought over as indentured servants, but stayed on after the indenture system was abolished, and many went on to become independent farmers and business owners.

Today, Indo-Fijians comprise 44 percent of the population while indigenous Fijians account for about 51 percent, and sometimes these groups experience great political and cultural tension. "This is an excellent opportunity for people to study how groups with deeply felt differences live and work side by side," said Anderson.

Viet Ha, assistant director for the Study Abroad program, did much of the research about Fiji when the department was weighing its options for a new program. "This is a relatively new country and I think it will be interesting from a political and sociological perspective for students trying to make sense of post-colonialism. Ninety-eight percent of the economy is run by Indian Fijians who have a much more intense attitude about business and making money than the indigenous population. On the other hand, Indian Fijians are not allowed to own land - the land is either owned by the government or by 12 to13 native tribes. It will be interesting to study how these groups work out there differences and learn to govern together," he said.

Fiji is a land of diversity and contrasts: the thriving modern city of Suva contrasts dramatically with the very rural surrounding areas. Christian churches, Hindu temples, Islamic mosques exist alongside one another; tall modern buildings are balanced by traditional Fijian houses, quaint wooden bungalows, and rich colonial architecture. Although the official language is English, most citizens also speak Fiji Hindi, Urdu, or one of the many Fijian dialects.

"There is so much to see and do there. Students will love watching a 'kava' ceremony. It is considered a high honor to be invited to someone's home to participate," Anderson explained. Kava is a drink made from the waka root and is a prime feature of Fijian official ceremonies. When guests are invited, they are expected to bring a bundle of waka and make a brief speech about the purpose of their visit.

There will also be excursions to authentic rural villages and natural attractions, as well as outings to city attractions such as museums and the USP Oceania Fine Arts Center," said Anderson. Plays, concerts, exhibits, and performances are also ongoing throughout the year.

At least one student from UWP has already applied. Maggie Putnam, a senior majoring in geography, says she is interested in broadening her understanding of other cultures.

"The physical and cultural setting would allow me the opportunity to witness life from another point of view. Understanding cultures from other perspectives is something that has become more important as globalization advances and the distinctiveness of nations subside," she said.

For information about costs, application deadlines and academic requirements, contact Anderson, director, UWP Study Abroad programs, at (608) 342-1726 or go to If you would like to learn more about the University of the South Pacific, go to

Prepared by: Evelyn Martens, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Contact: Donna Anderson, Director, Study Abroad, (608) 342-1726,

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Chancellor speaks with students during Roundtable

PLATTEVILLE - At least once a semester University of Wisconsin-Platteville Chancellor David Markee addresses student concerns in an open forum environment. This spring, the Chancellor's Roundtable was held on Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 10:30 a.m. in the University rooms of the Pioneer Student Center. "This event allows members of the university to address relevant issues on our campus in a constructive atmosphere. It's an opportunity for people to ask key administrators and student leaders about issues that they are concerned with," said Alan Halfen, vice-president of Student Senate.

Some of those key administrators in attendance on Tuesday included Chancellor Markee; Linda Mulroy-Bowden, associate director of student housing; Rich Egley, assistant to the assistant chancellor for student affairs; John Krogman, assistant vice chancellor for information services; Mick Viney, assistant chancellor for student affairs; Duane Ford, dean of the College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture; Rich Shultz, dean of the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science; Mittie Nimocks, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Education; and Jim Mueller, director of dining services and university centers. Also present for the discussion were Barb Daus, assistant to the chancellor; Carlos Wiley, director of the Multicultural Educational Resource Center; and Mark Molesworth, director for athletics.

For the first 20 minutes of the forum Chancellor Markee provided a short presentation about ongoing campus improvements and those students may expect to see in the future. Between 2005 and 2007 there will be five major projects in the works at UWP including the construction of a new engineering building and residence hall, additions to Glenview Commons, adding locker rooms and storage facilities to Ralph E. Davis stadium and remodeling the Ullsvik Center.

"Not only will these additions compliment our growing institution, they will help identify other facilities needed for continued academic and student growth," said Markee.

The remainder of the hour-long event included discussion on the Tri-State Initiative, finishing the agriculture initiative, junior and senior students not being allowed to live in the residence halls, faculty growth within each college, Plan 2008, parking, smoking, and recycling and environmental impacts of a growing campus community.

"The parking concerns are being addressed," said Halfen. "City council and residents of Platteville want to work with the campus regarding this issue so it is important that students attend city council meetings so we can work together and the students' voices can be heard."

"With the addition of newly constructed buildings, significant green space will be conserved to maintain UWP's current one-third ratio," commented Markee when questioned about the environmental impact of more students on campus. UWP has over 330 acres of land, not including the Pioneer Farm, "M" and surrounding fields.

Addressing Plan 2008 and faculty hiring, Shultz answered, "We are already a progressive campus compared to most when it comes to hiring minorities. In each college the faculty search committees are aware of the influence having a diverse faculty has on the student body. Not only do faculty members help students academically, they prepare them for life outside southwestern Wisconsin."

A second spring Chancellor's Roundtable will be scheduled for later this semester.

Contact: Alan Halfen, Vice-President Student Senate, (608) 342-1495,

Prepared by: Rachael Lehr, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Eastwood to speak on women's movement

PLATTEVILLE - By 1920, women in the United States had won the right to vote. This gain, however, overcame only one of numerous obstacles that women had yet to win in their fight for equality. By the 1960s, another women's movement was initiated in response to gender discrimination in the United States.

On March 1, on the University of Wisconsin-Platteville campus, Mary Eastwood will be speaking about the early second wave of the women's movement. One of the early members of this movement, Eastwood will be discussing how it started, including early actions of the movement and specific court cases. In addition, Eastwood will highlight the changes that have taken place since the movement's birth.

Eastwood became actively involved in the women's suffrage movement in the 1960s when she wrote a paper focusing on gender discrimination in employment. Betty Friedan, author of "The Feminine Mystique," a novel written on the women's movement, ended up reading the paper. Impressed with Eastwood's work, Friedan contacted her. In 1965 and 1966, Eastwood and Friedan met with a group of women of varying backgrounds and talents to discuss women's rights. In the summer of 1966, the National Organization of Women (NOW) was formed, with the intent of gaining equality for women throughout the United States.

Eastwood's presentation will be held in the Nohr Art Gallery, located in the Ullsvik Center, from 7 to 9 p.m. This free event is open to all, and refreshments will be served.

Contact: Mary Eastwood. Co-founder of National Organization of Women

Prepared by: Kym Bliven, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Monday, February 21, 2005

Rountree Ensemble to play for UWP

PLATTEVILLE - On Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m., the Rountree Ensemble will be performing in the Richard and Helen Brodbeck Concert Hall in the Center for the Arts, which is located on the University of Wisconsin-Platteville campus.

The concert will feature clarinetist and artistic director John Marco. Apart from being a UW-Platteville professor, Marco is also the principle clarinetist for the Dubuque Symphony, and has been playing professionally for over 40 years.

The Rountree Ensemble, a professional group of talented musicians from the UWP campus and the Platteville area, will be performing works by Mozart, Weber, Stravinsky and Shapira.

Cost of the concert is $10 for general admission, while senior citizens and those under 18 years of age are $5. UWP students may attend for free. For additional information on the concert or ticket prices, contact the university box office at (608) 342-1298.

Prepared by: Kym Bliven, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

McWorthy to assist with tri-state recruiting

PLATTEVILLE-Mandy McWorthy, a recent University of Wisconsin-Platteville graduate, began working this month to assist in recruiting students for the university's Tri-State Initiative. She will focus on the Chicago suburbs and central Illinois, areas that have not been actively explored by UWP in the past.

The UW System Board of Regents approved the Tri-State Initiative last February as part of the state's plan to address possible future workplace shortfalls in several disciplines. Because of its location and strong programs in math, science and technology, UW-Platteville is in a unique position to recruit students from Iowa and Illinois and attract students who may fill those shortfalls. Students recruited under the initiative will pay in-state tuition plus a $4,000 premium, and the university will use the additional money generated to pay for new faculty, support and academic buildings.

McWorthy graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in English education in May 2004 and had been substitute teaching while she researched potential educational employers. When the opportunity to work with the recruiting office arose, she thought she might be able to use her many years of UWP campus life experiences to promote the university to potential students. "I had a great experience here, and I think I can take that with me when I'm meeting with students and guidance counselors. People seem to connect at that level, being able to hear what campus life is like. I had already worked at the Visitor's Center, which is like on-site recruiting, and I really enjoyed that. This will be similar in many ways, and I'm looking forward to it," she said.

In fact, McWorthy can talk about a wide variety of work experiences at UWP. In addition to working as a student catering manager, for which she won the Spring 2004 Outstanding Student Employee award, she also held part-time jobs at the library and housing.

"I can very honestly tell students that there are many good job opportunities on campus," she said.

As an accomplished flute and piccolo player, she was heavily involved in UWP music programs, such as symphony and marching band. She was also involved in a wide variety of intramural sports.

McWorthy came to admire UW-Platteville when she was still attending Thompson High School in Thompson, Ill. Her band teacher, UWP alumnus Michael Bartels, took his students, including McWorthy and her sister, Melissa, to band camp at UWP every year they were in high school, and both sisters knew they wanted to attend college there from an early age. One might take that as evidence that former UW-Platteville students do make great recruiters.

Recruitment manager Ruth Joyce agrees.

"Mandy's experience as an alumnus of UW-Platteville and as a tour guide accent her ability to play this important role. We're all very excited to have her on board," said Joyce.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Tri-State Initiative can go to or call the Admissions Office at (608) 342-1127.

Contact: Ruth Joyce, recruitment manager, Office of Student Recruitment, (608) 342-1068,

Prepared by: Evelyn Martens, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Friday, February 18, 2005

UWP Pioneer Farm hosts research symposium

PLATTEVILLE-Agricultural and environmental enthusiasts from the state will convene on March 11 at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville's Ullsvik Center for the anticipated first annual Pioneer Farm research symposium: "Collaboration in Agriculture and Environment."

The day-long symposium will feature researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, and University of Wisconsin-Madison and Stevens Point who will present results from research studies at Pioneer Farm. Presentation topics will focus on nutrient management, agricultural runoff, socio-economics, agricultural effects on streams, and the role of the Wisconsin Agricultural Stewardship Initiative (WASI).

WASI will also be coordinating a videoconference on hypoxia by Jim Harsdorf, former DATCP secretary, the night before the symposium at Pioneer Farm's distinguished Agriculture Technology Center. "Hypoxia is an exciting topic and I'm happy Jim is available and willing to provide us with the national perspective," said Tom Hunt, Pioneer Farm director of research and outreach. With assistance from UW-Extension, the presentation will be broadcast at various vocational technical college sites throughout the state. There will also be a panel of producers from the tri-state area. The videoconference will be from 8 to 9:30 p.m. on March 10 and is open to the public.

More information and registration for the symposium and videoconference can be located at or by calling Pioneer Farm at 608-342-1850. A limited number of walk-ins will be allowed the day of the symposium.

Pioneer Farm is one of three components of the WASI. The WASI is a statewide collaboration between producers, government and the University of Wisconsin System to evaluate best management practices in Wisconsin and form policies based on practices that will enhance the environment and produce a profit.

Prepared by: Leeann Lonsdorf, communications and outreach coordinator, UWP Pioneer Farm,

Formatted by: Diana Brunton, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Kerr and Zierath discuss geography and gender

PLATTEVILLE-According to Robert Kerr, associate professor of geography for the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, many American men learn early as young boys on the playground that one of the biggest insults they can hurl at one another is "You play ball like a girl."

Kerr and David Zierath, professor of sociology, made a presentation to a group of about 150 people at the UWP Ullsvik Center on Feb. 2. Drawing on extensive research in the field, Kerr discussed the role of geography in gender issues, and made the case that the physical environment is not simply backdrop for how gender issues play out in society.

Kerr drew on his own research as well, in discussing how geography affects, and is affected by gender.

He has been researching border-crossing patterns between Detroit, Mich., and Windsor, Ontario, for a number of years. In Detroit, the legal drinking age is 21, but it is 19 in Windsor, so every weekend there is a vast crossing over for the 19-21 demographic. A lot of the social interaction takes place outdoors, much like a street party. And the street, as Kerr explained, has historically been male territory.

"Women are dressed scantily and incredibly done up, but men tend to be dressed down," he said. "It's obvious that many of the women are very uncomfortable in the clothes they feel compelled to wear as they walk through the streets of Windsor. So what perpetuates this? Most women don't think it's a particularly desirable situation, but it's male-dominated geography. The street belongs to men," he explained.

Zierath was the discussant after Kerr's talk and spoke about the fact that women, in some societies and in some ways, are starting to take control of the landscape. "Women are starting to grasp their own exclusive spaces. Consider the 'women's only' gym phenomenon. Perhaps this is a marker of the growth of power of women in society," he said.

Many in the audience found the topic new and thought provoking.

"This was different from many of the lectures and discussions I've been to. It gave me a sort of global view. It's a different way of thinking about gender issues, and I enjoyed it very much," said UWP chemistry major, Heather Robers.

Benjamin Riker, an early elementary education major at UWP, also found the topic refreshing.

"I guess I never considered the correlation between gender and geography until tonight. I found the presentation very persuasive," he said. So, what's the future of "gendered spaces"?

Well, as Kerr pointed out, a well-known beer billboard still proclaims that "being a man is thirsty work," and that sort of depiction on the American landscape is not likely to change overnight.

This was the fourth presentation in the UWP Liberal Art and Education College Faculty Forum Series. Anyone interested in learning more about the forum can explore the website at

Contact: Mittie Nimocks, dean, Liberal Arts and Education College, (608) 342-1151,

Prepared by: Evelyn Martens, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Faculty Forum will review history of sexual assault

PLATTEVILLE-The University of Wisconsin-Platteville College of Liberal Arts and Education will host a faculty forum on March 3 to discuss the topic "Primroses to Pop Tarts: One Hundred Years of Proving Rape." The forum is the fifth in the LA&E "Ideas for a New Century" series for 2004-2005.

Kathryn Winz, professor of criminal justice, will conduct the presentation,and Laura Wendorff, associate professor of English and director of the UWP Women's Studies program, will help to facilitate discussion afterwards. Among the main points they will address is how the definition and prosecution of rape has changed over the past century, with emphasis on the changes which took place in the 1970s regarding how much information could be explored on the witness stand about the personal background of the victim. They will also address the development of sexual touching as a crime and the legal issues involved when intoxication is a factor in sexual assault.

The presentation will be held in the Nohr Gallery at the Ullsvik Center from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Admission is free, and the public is invited. Refreshments will be served following the discussion.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Bills to perform in March

PLATTEVILLE-The Bills, a Canadian acoustic quintet, will perform at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville's Center for the Arts on Tuesday, March 1.

The Bills are the recent winners of the 2003 Western Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Roots Release of the Year. The group has been influenced by music from all corners of the globe, but their mix of old-time, Celtic, Caribbean, Eastern-European and mariachi music merge into an original style all their own. The Bills current release, "Let em Run," has been nominated for a 2005 Juno Award (the Canadian Grammy) in the Roots and Traditional Album of the Year - Group category.

Since forming in 1996, The Bills have toured theatres and festivals from Copenhagen to California, thrilling audiences with their breathtaking musical explorations and their natural flair for spontaneous humor and theatrics. Whether entertaining an intimate theatre audience or a festival crowd of 10,000, these five gifted multi-instrumentalists are masters at bridging the gulf between stage and audience, welcoming everyone into the good-time global atmosphere they create with their array of acoustic instruments.

A pre-show dinner will be hosted in the Velzy Commons of the Ullsvik Center at 6 p.m. Dinner tickets are $13, and must be purchased three days in advance. At 7:05 p.m. a free pre-show discussion will be held in the CFA. Ticket prices for the performance are as follows: UWP student, $5; children, $10; senior citizen, $15; UWP faculty and staff, $15; and general admission, $17.

All Performing Arts Series performances begin at 8 p.m. and tickets are available through the university box office in the Center for the Arts. The university box office is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and can be reached by calling 608-342-1298. It is located in the lobby of the Center for the Arts on the UWP campus on West Main Street. More information on the Performing Arts Series can be found at

Contact: John Hassig, director, Performing and Visual Arts, (608) 342-1267,

Prepared by: Evelyn Martens, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Society of Physics Students wins national award

PLATTEVILLE- For the seventh year in a row, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Society of Physics Students has been named an Outstanding SPS chapter for the year by the national organization. This honor was received for 2003-04. Fewer than 10 percent of SPS chapters on campuses around the country - about one per state - are awarded this honor.

"The selection is based on the depth and breadth of SPS activities conducted by your chapter in such areas as physics research, public service outreach, physics tutoring programs, hosting and representation at physics meetings, and providing social interaction for chapter members," wrote Gary White, national SPS director, in a letter to UWP Society of Physics Students advisor Jerome Wilson.

A sample of events from the past year include outings to a fusion reactor and nuclear power plant, "Physics is Fun" workshops, and presentations by SPS students to elementary schools and civic groups. Pizza parties also made it on the SPS agenda, on occasion.

UW-Platteville's current SPS vice president Debbie Cottrill attributes the award in large part to the efforts of past president Justin Reeder, a 2004 UWP graduate.

"Justin had a vision and he planned a lot of events which were very successful. The current president, Eric Erdman, and the rest of the leadership are trying to keep his ideas moving," she said.

Wilson has been the SPS advisor for the past seven years, and also credits his predecessor with building a strong organization.

"Previous to this, Dr. Fred Domann advised the club and received the Outstanding Chapter award nine times between 1984 and 1996 and Outstanding Chapter advisor in 1992. So, I had a good club with good traditions when I took over," he said. Wilson also noted that SPS is not just for physics majors, and that the membership has included a wide variety of engineering and science education majors.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Society of Physics Students may contact Wilson or go to

Prepared by: Evelyn Martens, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Contact: Jerome Wilson, advisor, Society of Physics Students, (608) 342-1397,

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

NASA historian to speak on alien life

PLATTEVILLE - The implications of possible extraterrestrial life will be the topic covered by NASA's chief historian in lectures at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Feb. 24 and 25. An expert in astrobiology, Steven J. Dick will talk about incorporating possible extraterrestrial life into human understanding of cosmic evolution.

Dick feels that astronomy faces a "choice between two grand world views: a purely physical universe, in which cosmic evolution commonly ends in planets, stars and galaxies, and a biological universe, in which cosmic evolution routinely results in life, mind and intelligence."

Dick's visit is part of The Harlow Shapley Visiting Lectureships in Astronomy Series. The lecture is funded by The Harlow Shapley Visiting Lectureships Endowment Fund and is sponsored by the American Astronomical Society. UWP professor Marlann Patterson secured Dick's visit through an application process.

Patterson said Dick's visit is "a rare opportunity for UWP students and area citizens to meet with someone of his background and position." Indeed, Dick has an impressive background, which includes a doctoral degree in the history and philosophy of science, over 100 publications, and serving on a panel that examined the implications of possible life in the Mars rock. Dick will present two lectures, one to the public and one to UWP students. The public lecture is 4 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 24 in Room 222 of UWP's Ottensman Hall. The student lecture will take place at 9 a.m. the following day in the same location. For more information call the UWP Department of Chemistry and Engineering Physics at (608) 342-1651.

Contact: Marlann Patterson, assistant professor, UWP Department of Chemistry and Engineering Physics, (608) 342-1949,

Prepared by: Jessica Groshek, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

9/11 survivor to speak at UWP

PLATTEVILLE-Where were you on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001? Sujo John went to work at the World Trade Center, just like any other business day. He was in his office on the 81st floor of Tower Number One when American Airlines Flight Number 11 struck the floors directly above his with a full tank of gas.

John will share his miraculous, life-altering testimony in the Velzy Commons of the Ullsvik Center on the University of Wisconsin-Platteville campus, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. This event is sponsored by Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and is free of charge. Anyone interested in learning more about this event may contact Ben Wood at or (608) 348-6651.

Prepared by: Ben Wood, president, Christian Intervarsity Christian Fellowship,

Formatted by: Evelyn Martens, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Monday, February 14, 2005

Co-founder of Ben & Jerry's to speak at UWP

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville is pleased to announce that Jerry Greenfield will be the Pioneer Distinguished Lecturer for spring 2005. With business partner Ben Cohen, Greenfield co-founded Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc., a $12,000 investment between friends, which has since grown into a $160 million ice cream empire.

Born in Brooklyn in 1951, Greenfield met Cohen in junior high. Upon graduating high school with a National Merit Scholarship, he enrolled in Oberlin College in Ohio to study pre-med. During college, Greenfield took his first job in the ice cream industry as a "scooper" in the cafeteria.

After graduating, he applied to medical school but was never accepted. Instead, Greenfield went to work as a lab technician in New York, performing experiments to analyze oxidative phosphorylation in beef heart mitochondria. After a year of work, he reapplied to medical school and was again rejected. In 1976, Greenfield moved in with Cohen in Saratoga Springs, New York. Here, they decided to pursue their dreams of starting a food business together. They both received an A in a $5 Penn State correspondence course in ice cream making and set up the first Ben & Jerry's ice cream parlor in Burlington, VT. Opening on May 5, 1978, Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc. manufactured ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet, all made from fresh Vermont milk and cream.

Greenfield originally made all the ice cream for the shop. Today Ben & Jerry's is known for its rich and unusual flavors including "Cherry Garcia" named for Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, the first ice cream named for a rock legend. They also produced "One Sweet Whirled" in 2002 as partners with the Dave Matthews Band in a campaign to fight global warming. To mark their one-year anniversary, Ben & Jerry's held the first ever Free Cone Day giving away free scoops of ice cream all day long. In 1999, on their 21st anniversary, Ben & Jerry's scoop shops gave away over 550,000 free cones.

In 1983, Ben & Jerry's ice cream was used to build the world's largest ice cream sundae which weighed 27,102 pounds and received national recognition. With more than 80 Ben & Jerry's scoop shops open in 18 states, Greenfield and Cohen were named U.S. Small Business Persons of the Year in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan.

In 1997, Greenfield and Cohen introduced their book, "Double Dip," to the country with a book tour across America. The book is a reflection of the start-up and growth of their business with personal thoughts on the future of Ben & Jerry's.

Today, Greenfield is officially the vice-chair of the board and director of mobile promotions. He, along with Cohen, is very active in Businesses For Social Responsibility, a group that promotes an alternative business model based on socially responsible business practices.

Greenfield will be speaking at UWP on Wednesday, March 9 beginning at 11 a.m. in Williams Fieldhouse. Chancellor David Markee cancelled all UWP classes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on this day so all students, faculty, staff and community members may attend Greenfield's presentation.

Contact: Amanda Halderson, CPR, (608) 342-1497,

Prepared by: Rachael Lehr, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Riedle selected to be new psychology chair

PLATTEVILLE- Joan Riedle has been selected to fill the position of chair of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville's Department of Psychology. Riedle will replace outgoing chair, Patricia Bromley, for the remainder of the three-year term set to expire in the summer of 2006.

Riedle, who previously chaired the department from 1994-2000, has been teaching at UWP since 1981. Her presentations and published works include "Engaging Students in a Required Course on Diversity: Psychology of Women," at the UW System Critical Connections Conference in February 2004; "Using Group Interaction to Assess Courses," at the Council of Teachers of Undergraduate Psychology Symposium in May 2001; and "Violence Towards Women at Home and at Work: Changing Responses," at the 15th annual conference of the Wisconsin Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies and the 14th annual conference of UW System Women's Studies Consortium in October 1999.

She has taught courses in gender studies, social psychology, psychology of women, research methods and general psychology and has served as a coordinator of the annual UWP undergraduate psychology conference for a number of years. She is the advisor for the UWP Psychology Club and won the LAE Advising Award for 2003-04.

Riedle says advising is one of her favorite duties as it keeps her connected to the students. "It is the best way I have of getting to know them personally. It might sound cliché, but working one-on-one with students truly is the most satisfying part of my work," she said. "I get the pleasure of working with people who are committed to making a difference in other people's lives, and that's very satisfying."

Riedle helped to bring a community service component to the Psychology Club activities. UW-Platteville students volunteer at Platteville Middle School and Heartland Health Center, and students are helping with a survey for St. Mary and St. Augustine parishes.

"Doing so helps to support UWP's growing focus on service learning and community involvement," she said.

It was a narrow margin of four miles that brought Riedle to UWP. Upon completing her doctorate degree at the University of New Mexico, she was determined to move closer to her family in South Bend, Ind. With South Bend as the center of her job search, she drew a circle on a map with a 300-mile radius around it, and Platteville came in just under the goal, at 296 miles. She has made her home here ever since and lives in Platteville with her husband, Rock, and youngest daughter, Grace. Her older daughter, Roxanne, is a junior at UW-La Crosse.

Prepared by: Evelyn Martens, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Contact: Mittie Nimocks, dean, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-1151,

Friday, February 11, 2005

Students attend national convention

PLATTEVILLE - Over the winter break, several University of Wisconsin-Platteville students left their friends and families to travel to Denver, Colo., to attend the 38th Biannual Alpha Phi Omega National Convention.

The convention took place from Tuesday, Dec. 27 until Friday, Dec. 30. Alpha Phi Omega is a national co-ed service fraternity that has existed in the United States since 1925. This year, three University of Wisconsin-Platteville members attended the convention: Bob Menard, Daryl Fischer and Kevin Ketter.

Menard attended a three-hour leadership workshop that was geared towards improving social and time management skills, but much of his time during the four-day convention was spent in legislative discussions. There, members discussed finances and elected new leadership to serve on the national level for the next two years. The convention itself was large, with people from across the country and the Philippines participating.

"It was great. There were around 1,500 of us, I believe, which meant that we pretty much owned the hotel that hosted the convention," Menard jokes. "You could wander around from room to room and go right in and introduce yourself .... I met people from Virginia, Texas, Maine, New York ....You ended up getting very little sleep because you'd spend all day at the workshops and round tables learning new skills, but when you got back to your rooms in the evening, you just wanted to meet new people and hang out with the people you met during the workshops. Pretty much everybody ended up staying one more day after the last day of the convention, so on New Year's Day we ended up going different places...some went to an art museum in Denver, then there was the Denver Zoo, too ... I know a few guys that went skiing in the mountains."

Fischer, a senior, explains: "I think one of the most important things I took from attending the convention was observing how the national president and past national presidents ran the meetings. Interacting with other chapters sparked ideas for me and showed me new ways to deal with problems and other conflicts that arise. You meet people from chapters that are two, three or almost 10 times bigger than yours ... and you realize the problems you are facing are the same problems they are facing. It is great to network with these groups with various backgrounds and experiences to see how they handle things."

The convention ended with an awards banquet and several speeches given by members of the board of directors, in addition to speeches given by the new president and vice president. Togo West, former secretary of the Army and a brother of Alpha Phi Omega, gave a final inspirational ending speech that concluded the night and the convention.

Menard is a senior majoring in electrical engineering at UW-Platteville, and expects to graduate in 2006. His parents are Bob and Teresa Menard of Crystal Lake, Ill.

Fischer is currently majoring in communication technologies with a double emphasis in broadcast and journalism, along with a minor in political science, and expects to graduate in May 2006. His parents are Franklin and Elaine Fischer of Prairie du Chien.

The students' enthusiasm for Alpha Phi Omega is likewise marked by their attempts to revive an Alpha Phi Omega chapter in Platteville, which they hope to fully achieve this February.

Prepared by: Kym Bliven, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Contact: Bob Menard, UWP Student, (608) 213-7554, or Daryl Fischer, UWP Student, (608) 732-0769,

New York City singer stops in Platteville

PLATTEVILLE-If you find yourself in a room where outbursts of laughter alternate with sudden mournful silence, you might well be at a Sam Shaber show. WXPN-fm in Philadelphia says Shaber is "Stark, raving, great!" calls her "a riveting performer," and voted her Top Female Performer.

Touring from her native New York City to Seattle and back again and again, Shaber has won awards in the John Lennon, Billboard, and USA Songwriting Competitions for her driving melodies, smart lyrics, and soaring voice. Recently, she also won the ear of Columbia recording artist/producer Shawn Mullins ("Lullabye"), and the two set about making her latest album, eighty numbered streets, released in 2003. The first single, "All of This," about the simplicity and complexity of life in New York City, reached number one on the Quiznos Subs National In-Store Playlist. Shaber reacted to this odd honor with "Well, you never know what you're gonna get."

Daughter of late-screenwriter David Shaber (Warriors, Nighthawks) and artist Alice Shaber, Sam uses her observer's eye in songs like "Bare," about the crowded nature of being on the road, "Simon Says," about the importance of personal responsibility in the wake of September 11, and "Rain and Sunshine," about the loss of a close friend in a car accident on her first tour. Her sharp wit also resonates in songs such as "When the Roses Run Dry" ("A cynic's love song," Shaber explains on stage), "Tempting," about an apparently fabulous one-night stand, and the album's leading track, "Eldorado," a song about family and appreciating what you have: It's kinda silly/How something as big as New York City/Can be invisible when you're staring at your feet, Shaber sings in "a voice that can snap easily from a hoarse wail to a skyscraping falsetto" (acoustic guitar).

From dancing to Sgt. Pepper in her parent's living room when she was three to lip-synching to Hungry Like the Wolf in front of the mirror at age 12, Shaber has come a long way. In her live show, she brings her audience right along with her.

Shaber will be performing on Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. in the Pioneer Haus Brew Pub on the UWP campus.

Acoustic Wednesdays, held in the Pioneer Haus Brew Pub, showcases acoustic solo performers and small ensemble groups from around the United States. Concerts are free of charge with food and beverages available from the Pioneer Haus. For more information contact the Performing and Visual Arts Office at 608-342-1707 or visit Acoustic Wednesdays online at

Prepared by: John Hassig, director of Performing and Visual Arts, 608-342-1267,

Formatted by: Diana Brunton, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Thursday, February 10, 2005

UWP Heartland Festival announces season and auditions

PLATTEVILLE-The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Heartland Festival, UWP's summer arts festival, has announced its 2005 season of productions. This season marks the fifth outing for the annual arts festival. "I am so excited about our upcoming season," reports John Hassig, executive director of the festival and director of Performing and Visual Arts, Programs and Facilities at UWP. "We have something for everyone - fantasy, spectacle, comedy and great music."

The productions for 2005 include the main stage performance in the Brodbeck Concert Hall of the musical "Peter Pan." The show centers on Wendy Darling who mesmerizes her brothers every night with bedtime tales of swordplay, swashbuckling and the fearsome Captain Hook. But the children become the heroes of an even greater story, when Peter Pan flies into their nursery one night and leads them over moonlit rooftops through a galaxy of stars and to the lush jungles of Neverland. Wendy and her brothers join Peter and the Lost Boys in an exhilarating life - free of grown-up rules - while also facing the inevitable showdown with Hook and his pirate gang. "Peter Pan" opens July 8 and runs through July 31.

"Peter Pan will be our big production of the summer," continued Hassig, "get ready to be amazed! We have hired the same designer from our production of "Annie" from last summer, which I think was beautiful. His preliminary designs for "Peter Pan" are amazing and we have hired a company out of Las Vegas to handle the flying sequences. This company handles flying for Broadway and national tours. They are currently handling the flight for the TONY Award winning show "Wicked" which is on Broadway right now."

The international smash musical comedy "Nunsense" centers on The Little Sisters of Hoboken who operate Mount Saint Helen's School in Hoboken, N.J. The nuns face a dilemma when their cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, accidentally poisons 52 of the sisters with tainted vichyssoise. The remaining sisters hold a talent show fundraiser to give them a proper burial. Featured songs include "Nunsense is Habit Forming," "So You Want to be a Nun," "Tackle That Temptation With A Timestep" and "Holier than Thou." "Nunsense" opens June 17 and runs through July 31.

An additional small musical will be produced which will be announced soon. The festival will continue its repertory schedule with productions running on a rotating basis through July 31. "We had a lot of compliments from people who travel during the summer and often missed a performance. Now if a person happened to be out of town for two weekends this summer, that they would still be able to see all of our performances," says Hassig. Travelers now have the option of spending a weekend in Platteville and being able to see three different performances in two days, which is a very exciting concept for Hassig. "There are so many great things going on in Platteville in the summer its exciting for us to be a part of it."

Auditions for all three productions will be held at the CFA on Feb. 14 and 15 from 6-10 p.m. "There are a lot of parts available for these shows so we hope people will audition," added Hassig. Auditioners are asked to prepare a short selection of a musical theatre song (an accompanist will be provided but bring the sheet music) and a short comic reading. Cuttings from the script will be available but the directors prefer a prepared reading. Interested performers can schedule an audition by calling 608-342-1707 or sending an e-mail to No dance will be required. More audition details are available on the Heartland website at

The Heartland Festival will begin on June 17 and run through July 31. For the most up-to-date information including ticket prices, visit the Heartland Festival website at

Prepared by: John Hassig, CFA director of Performing and Visual Arts, 608-342-1267,

Formatted by: Diana Brunton, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Chamber Choir to visit Mississippi

PLATTEVILLE-That busload of singers you hear headed south is the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Chamber Choir as it prepares to visit Mississippi Valley State University in central Mississippi from Feb. 16-20.

The 50-member choir is participating in the partnership program established to promote student exchanges, student study tours, student teaching and faculty exchanges between UWP and MVSU.

During their stay, they will sing at an event sponsored by the university, as well as events at two local high schools, one middle school, and one community center. Performances of the choir's repertoire will include 10 to 12 selections and last approximately 40 minutes each. The UWP choir will also have an opportunity to perform with the MVSU choir and interact with members at rehearsals and before and after performances.

Other outings on the itinerary include a stop at the Ground Zero Blues Club and Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Miss. On the return trip, the group will stop in Memphis to visit the Civil Rights Museum and a revivalist church, time permitting.

Robert Demaree, UWP director of Choral Activities, sees the trip as a way for students to expand their horizons.

"Many of our students have not had the opportunity to travel much. I think this will be a significant experience for them," he said. "This is also a great way for us to build relationships between our schools."

Elizabeth Martin, a music education major and second alto in the choir is one of the few students who have already visited the area.

"I went two years ago with the jazz band, and we had a great time. We played at Greenwood Middle School, and the kids were very enthusiastic, so I decided to go back," she said.

Laura Anderson, Liberal Arts and Education College coordinator for the MVSU program, will accompany the group and believes it will be an important experience for students of music.

"I think that this is a wonderful opportunity for our students to experience the richness of the musical traditions and history of the Mississippi Delta region," she said.

Anyone interested in learning more about the MSVU partnership program may visit the website at

Contact: Robert Demaree, director, Choral Activities, (608) 342-1446,

Prepared by: Evelyn Martens, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Former UWP professor publishes Christian book

PLATTEVILLE - Ralph Bjork can't move his legs. He needs help just to use the bathroom. These days, the former University of Wisconsin-Platteville professor lives his life through the confines of a wheelchair. It is through his Christian faith that he endures.

Bjork authored a book about that faith, "God's Name is Jesus," which was published through Advantage Books in January.

"God's Name is Jesus" is a 16-year labor of love for a man who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) as many years ago. Bjork still lives in Platteville, and it was here 16 years ago that he noticed the first signs of MS. An avid runner, one day he was out jogging when his foot went limp. His life would never be the same.

Doctors told him he had a progressive form of MS. His condition deteriorated; soon thereafter, he couldn't run at all. Bjork began to delve further into his Christian faith, and amassed writings that started to take book form. The product is "God's Name is Jesus," an examination of the Christian belief of Jesus of Nazareth as a divine being.

The journey from conception to publication was a long one. As the disease progressed, Bjork's condition worsened. Everyday tasks became more and more difficult. In 2001, he couldn't teach anymore, and left his post at UW-Platteville. At one time, the professor of computer science could type 70 words a minute; now, a single word can take as long as a full minute. With limited mobility in his right hand, Bjork uses a computer mouse and an on-screen keyboard to select characters one-by-one.

"It's frustrating," Bjork said. "Many times I think my mind can go a hundred miles an hour, but I can't use my hands."

Over those 16 years, Bjork wrote three editions of the book. Over the last four years, he went through the painstaking process of contacting a myriad of publishers, only to have his book summarily rejected. He then submitted his manuscript to Writer's Edge, a screening service that reviews Christian-oriented books. The organization recommended "God's Name is Jesus" to publishers, and soon thereafter Advantage Books, a print-on-demand publisher based in Longwood, Fla., agreed to publish the title.

"I'm pretty thankful. I'd been praying about that for four to five years," Bjork said.

Additions and a different typesetting style pushed the book from its original 250 pages to 400. Bjork worked with graphic designers and editors over-the-phone to develop a new cover for the book and determine the appearance of the text.

"I'm pretty happy with the job they did," Bjork said. "The book is basically the same [as the first three editions], but I added quite a bit here and there."

One addition is a reoccurring narrative written by Ralph's wife Kathy. She tells of her experiences giving up her job as a nurse to take care of Ralph fulltime. She assists with everything from eating to washing. A pulley system built by UWP students helps Kathy move Ralph out of his wheelchair and into bed each night.

"Things that we take for granted become major obstacles," Kathy said.

"God's Name is Jesus" was first available through Advantage Books in January. The book had previously been available in a self-published version; Ralph Bjork would give many copies to friends and family for free. He hopes people can use the book to study Christianity to help find peace in their own lives.

"People have felt really good about using the book to strengthen their faith," he said.

When family and friends asked Bjork in the past if he was going to write another book, he was always reluctant to respond because he never considered "God's Name is Jesus" finished. With a copy of the fourth edition proudly in his hands, Ralph said he's interested in writing a book incorporating the Christian idea of creation with scientific information about physics and light.

As for the disease, Bjork doesn't feel sorry for himself. "It's made me stronger. I have a lot to be thankful for," he said.

"God's Name is Jesus" is available now. To order, visit Advantage Book online ( or contact by phone, 1-888-383-3110.

Prepared by: Dan Lehnherr, UWP Public Relations, 608-342-1194,

Rafters Restaurant to host UWP reception

PLATTEVILLE- The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Office of Student Recruitment, the Alumni Services Office, and alumni will co-host a reception on Wednesday, Feb. 16 at the Rafters Restaurant in Lena, Ill., from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The Rafters is owned by Gary Vehmeier, a UWP alumnus, whose son, Ross, currently attends UWP.

Current and future students from Lena and the surrounding area will have an opportunity to meet UWP alumni working in the area and hear, first-hand, about careers they can pursue with a degree from UW-Platteville.

Potential students will also learn about the advantages of attending UWP under the newly effective Tri-State Initiative. The UW System Board of Regents approved the initiative last February as part of the state's plan to address possible future workplace shortfalls in several disciplines.

Because of its location and strong programs in math, science and technology, UW-Platteville is in a unique position to recruit students from Iowa and Illinois and attract students who may fill those shortfalls. Students recruited under the initiative will pay in-state tuition plus a $4,000 premium, and the university will use the additional money generated to pay for new faculty, support and academic buildings.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Rafters event or the Tri-State initiative should contact Kim Hoeger, admissions advisor, at (608) 342-1127 or visit the website at

Prepared by: Evelyn Martens, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Contact: Kim Hoeger, Office of Student Recruitment, (608) 342-1127,

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

UWP hosts first ever Ebony Weekend

PLATTEVILLE - Since the early 1970s, Black Student Union (BSU) members at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville have recognized black history month with a formal dance and dinner called Ebony Ball. Breaking from tradition, UW-Platteville's BSU will host the first ever Ebony Weekend from Feb. 18 thru 20.

"Usually we have a lot of family and friends who come to Platteville for Ebony Ball. This year, we wanted to not only bring new faces to UWP, but we want to keep them here for an entire weekend and show them the campus. Events like Ebony Weekend help bring new students and their families to UWP and helps build a future for BSU alumni," said Carl Wesley, BSU president.

Events begin on Friday evening with a rib dinner and will be followed by the annual Apollo Night talent show. Apollo Night will begin at 7 p.m. in the Velzy Commons of the Ullsvik Center. The winner will be awarded a $500 cash prize. Following Apollo Night is an Old School Party from 9:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. at Pioneer Lanes.

Commented Wesley, "We would like about 20 acts for Apollo Night, but right now we have only five from UWP. Capturing the essence of original Apollo Night shows where stars like Steve Wonder started, it's a great time for people to show off their talents."

Saturday begins at 10:30 a.m. in the Velzy Commons with a brunch. Dr. Conrad Worrill, the chairman of the National Black United Front (NBUF), will be giving a presentation at noon in the Nohr Art Gallery. As chairman of NBUF, Worrill has led a campaign against the United States government charging them with genocide and numerous human rights violations. To advance the concept of African independence Worrill has combined his skills as a scholar and activist by participating in numerous local, national and international issues affecting African people.

Following Worrill's presentation there will be break out sessions from 1 to 3 p.m. where attendees can find out more about topics such as contemporary African American dance, the evolution of Black music, the fate of the African American community and the African American athlete. The sessions will be held in classrooms in Doudna Hall. After the break out sessions there is an opportunity to participate in a relaxation therapy exercise or for recreational time at the Pioneer Activity Center.

On Saturday evening, Ebony Ball begins at 6 p.m. in the Velzy Commons. Formal attire is required and there will be a best dressed contest, as well as a dance. The evening will also feature comedian Damon Williams, whose presentation will begin at 8:30 p.m. in the Velzy Commons. From 11:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. a Hip-Hop dance will be held at Pioneer Lanes.

Williams has hosted several episodes of Showtime at the Apollo and has performed as the opening act in the Kings of Comedy Tour. He has also had the pleasure of working with stars Aretha Franklin, Pattie Labelle, Ray Charles, Harry Belafonte, Chris Rock and Little Richard. Williams is currently on a Black Comedy Tour of over 30 colleges and universities. Sunday morning brings another brunch beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the Velzy Commons, speaker Belinda Cronin, as well as a black history performance by BSU members which begins at noon. The final event of the weekend is a spoken word performance by UW-Milwaukee student, Adebisi Agoro, beginning at 1 p.m. in the Nohr Art Gallery.

A native of Milwaukee, Agoro recently released a debut book of poetry entitled, "A Psalm for the Ghetto: From My Block to Yours." The poems cover intense topics and controversial views on life in America shared by young black men. With strong and powerful messages, Agoro is not only an activist for political issues but is also an advocate for social justice.

The cost for the entire weekend and access to all events is $60. Tickets are also available for each individual event. Individual event admission is as follows: Rib dinner, $7; Apollo Night, $7; Old School Party, $6; Saturday brunch, $9; Ebony Ball dinner, $20; comedian Damon Williams, $10; Hip-Hop dance, $6; Sunday brunch, $9; and performance by BSU members, $6. Ebony Weekend events are open to all students, faculty, staff and community members. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact the Multicultural Educational Resource Center office at (608) 342-1332.

"Ebony Weekend is going to be huge. We currently have 44 paid tickets for UW-Parkside students, as well as a good number of paid tickets from UW-Superior, Whitewater, Milwaukee, Waukesha and MATC. Overall, I would expect over 300 people to attend for the entire weekend and a lot more to attend individual events," said Wesley.

Contact: Carl Wesley, BSU President,

Prepared by: Rachael Lehr, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

UWP scholarship established in honor of teaching family

PLATTEVILLE - The McGuire family is a family of educators. For 20 years, matriarch Felicita McGuire taught in a number of Southwest Wisconsin schools; her three children, all UWP alumni, have amassed a combined total of nearly 90 years of teaching over the course of their careers.

Although Felicita McGuire died in 1989, her presence is still felt at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. The Felicita McGuire Family Scholarship has been established at the UWP School of Education to assist dedicated students who exhibit financial need.

McGuire taught at schools in Rib Lake, Calamine and Belmont after earning a degree in elementary education in 1931 from what was then the State Teachers College-Platteville. In the 1960s, she returned to UW-Platteville and earned her master's degree in education, specializing in remedial reading. She retired from teaching in 1974.

"She was a very dedicated teacher. She loved teaching. She always worked for the children. That was the most important thing to her," daughter Mary (McGuire) Holak said.

Raising three children alone after the death of her husband, Felicita McGuire wanted her children to get an education. All three - Jim, Francis and Mary - followed in their mother's footsteps, becoming teachers after earning degrees from UW-Platteville.

"Our mom always told us that was something no one could ever take away from us. We knew our mom enjoyed teaching so much," Holak said. "She always wanted us to have an education ... She kept encouraging us to go on. I can't say enough because I'm so thankful that I did."

Holak taught for 25 years primarily at an elementary school in West Aurora, Ill. Jim McGuire spent his career teaching English in the same school district. Francis McGuire taught for 38 years in schools in Southcentral Wisconsin and at air force and naval bases in the Philippines, England and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. All of their spouses are teachers as well.

"We always said we were lucky. [Being a teacher,] you don't get the best pay, but you enjoy what you're doing," Holak said. "There are a lot of people who say they don't like their job, but - all three of us - we've always said we enjoyed what we were doing."

Felicita's nephew Everett Burgess helped originate the scholarship. He had helped establish another scholarship at UWP when his mother, Catherine Burgess, Felicita's sister, died last year. The Felicita McGuire scholarship is supported by funds from the Catherine Burgess estate.

"Catherine was so proud of my mom, because she raised all three of us pretty much by herself," Holak said.

The Felicita McGuire Family Scholarship will be offered annually to one student in the UWP School of Education who exhibits financial need. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA to be eligible. The first scholarship will be awarded in fall 2005.

"The big thing to remember is, 'every little thing helps.' We're just so happy we'll be able to help someone else out," Holak said.

Contact: Alma Valencia, University Relations, 608-342-1031,

Prepared by: Dan Lehnherr, UWP Public Relations, 608-342-1194,

Monday, February 07, 2005

Liberace Foundation helps fund international musicians at UWP

PLATTEVILLE - As part of the International Student Project, students from South America - including Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Paraguay and Venezuela - competed for positions to study at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. The students will stay at UWP for a year starting in September 2005, learning and sharing their knowledge with the local community orchestra.

"For the time being, we've selected two students," Benjamin Shapira, UWP's orchestra director, explains. "Both are wonderful cellists, and both are extraordinarily talented." Shapira, who visited Argentina over the winter break for three days, is extremely enthusiastic about the students' arrival. "They have enormous potential ... I hope that their addition will practically revolutionize the already excellent music and orchestra program we have on campus."

Mittie Nimocks, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Education at UWP, agrees. "We strive to bring greater diversity into the program by bringing these students in from different countries and different cultural backgrounds ... these are world class musicians, and bringing them in will not only supplement the program we have, but also help us to maintain the high quality of the strings program we have here at the UWP."

Dan Fairchild, the Fine Arts chair at UWP, remembers the very beginnings of the strings program at UWP, and is impressed with the changes and improvements made over the years. "I think that, number one, bringing that caliber of musician on top of what we already have will push the limits of those we have at UWP ... it'll also spread the word that our strings program is well and alive. It's a win-win situation. I sincerely hope that this will be an ongoing project. It'd be absolutely great if we could grow to hosting four or even more international students per year."

Shapira's trip to Argentina was covered by the Chancellor's Opportunity Fund. The scholarships of the international students are being funded by a grant from the Liberace Foundation, and are supplemented by UWP Foundation resources. Shapira hopes to receive further support from Liberace and UWP to continue with the project in future years.

The Liberace Foundation, started in 1976 by the famous pianist Wladziu Valentino Liberace, was created for the sole purpose of offering and funding scholarships for schools and universities. Since it's creation, the Liberace Foundation has awarded over 4.5 million dollars to various students and music programs across the nation.

Prepared by: Kym Bliven, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Contact: Benjamin Shapira, Orchestra Director, (608) 342-1021,

Putnam brings life experiences to UWP

PLATTEVILLE - As part of the Stockbridge-Munsee community of the Mohican Nation near Green Bay, University of Wisconsin-Platteville student Maggie Putnam has led an extraordinary life. She was the top student in her graduating class of 28 people and is working towards her college degree.

During her senior year in high school, Putnam studied for half of the year in the small town of Lorrach, Germany, near Basel, Switzerland. The other half of the year was spent studying in Köln, Germany.

Returning to the United States, Putnam attended the Nicolet Bible Institute on Silver Birch Ranch near White Lake. During the summer she interned at Broken Arrow Bible Ranch in Vanderwagen, New Mexico, as part of the United Indian Missionary Organization. After her internship, she attended another bible institute in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where they focused on the science of creation. Part of the curriculum included backpacking field trips to Mount St. Helens and Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. In the spring of 2003, Putnam came to UWP to study geography.

She chose UWP for its variety of interesting majors and small, safe campus atmosphere. While studying at UWP, she has been involved in German Club, Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity and InterTribal Council. During the summer of 2004, with professor Rich Waugh's western fieldtrips class, Putnam visited portions of the United States including Great Basin, Arches and Yosemite National Parks; Moab and Salt Lake City, Utah; and Mono Lake, Calif.

All of Putnam's experiences from traveling to leadership opportunities have made her a stronger person for the future. She is a junior majoring in geography with a German minor. After graduation, Putnam would like to go back to her reservation, help with the College Bound Program and work in land management. She is the daughter of Joe and Rosie Putnam from Bowler.

Contact: Maggie Putnam, UWP student,

Prepared by: Rachael Lehr, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Friday, February 04, 2005

Center for the Arts presents Ensemble Amarcord

PLATTEVILLE-The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Center for the Arts presents Ensemble Amarcord on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. A pre-show dinner with a European/French theme will be held in the Velzy Commons at 6 p.m., and a free pre-show discussion will be held in the Center for the Arts at 7:05 p.m.

The group is an a cappella quintet whose music varies from selections from the Middle Ages to contemporary. Sample songs include "Good Vibrations," "O salutaris hostia," and "Tenebrae." Amarcord uses humor, charm and elegance to cover many different subjects and styles of music, and the group is considered to be among Europe's best a cappella quintets.

Admission is open to the public, and ticket prices for the event are as follows: general admission, $16; UWP faculty and staff, $14; senior citizen, $14; children, $10; and UWP student, $5. For more information, call the CFA at (608) 342-1298 or 1-800-362-5515, or go to the website at

Contact: John Hassig, executive director, Center for the Arts, (608) 342-1298,

Prepared by: Evelyn Martens, Public Relations, (608) 342-1615,

Student to research food at University of Wisconsin-Platteville

PLATTEVILLE - Ben Wood, a student at UWP, is a firm advocate of recycling...but not of paper, plastic, or soda cans. Instead, he is a firm advocate of something that does not usually come to mind when one thinks of the word 'recycle': food.

Wood, of Platteville, was recently offered a $2,500 undergraduate research grant for his proposal, "Food Waste Reuse and Reduction," from the University of Wisconsin Solid Waste Research Program. He found out about the grant through a professor who had received the information from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. To apply for the grant, each student had to fill out a series of forms, and direct their attentions towards solid waste management in their community or university.

Over the course of the spring 2005 semester, Wood will be taking a look at the Pioneer Student Center and determining how much food prepared for the day is unused. Like most places where food is served, the PSC does not want to fall short of food for the students, so they tend to plan slightly over what they'll need for the day. Wood will attempt to come up with alternatives as to what should be done with the excess food.

If his project is a success, Wood says he'd like to discover a generic process for saving the excess food, and send the idea along to other universities in the state to adopt similar policies.

Contact: Ben Wood, (608) 348-6651,

Prepared by: Kym Bliven, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Liberal Arts and Education College names new assistant dean

PLATTEVILLE-The University of Wisconsin-Platteville announced that its new assistant dean for the Liberal Arts and Education College will be Laura Anderson, associate professor of French and Spanish at UWP since 1996. She is replacing outgoing assistant dean Patricia Bromley, associate professor of psychology.

In addition to her role as assistant dean, Anderson also serves as the International Coordinator for LAE, as well as college coordinator for the Mississippi Valley State University Partnership program.

Anderson received her doctorate in twentieth century French literature from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1991. She became assistant professor of French and, eventually, chair of the Department of Languages at Arkansas State University where she served from 1990 through 1996.

Since coming to UWP, Anderson has published numerous articles and conducted many text reviews in publications such as "Mais oui," "Architextes: An Elementary Reader in French," and "Entretiens: Cours de conversation." She is a member of the UW French Placement Test Development Committee which authored the University of Wisconsin System Foreign Language Placement Test for French. The test has been published and nationally marketed by the UW Center for Placement Testing in Madison. Her work here has also included several presentations to the Wisconsin Association of Foreign Language Teachers and The Missouri Philological Association.

Anderson serves in numerous student advisor roles for students interested in International Studies and those studying foreign languages, but a wider range of students may recognize her from her role as co-coordinator of the annual winter carnival celebration - Fasching and Carnaval - which Anderson helped to establish. She is also advisor to the French Club, which was reactivated in 1997 because of her efforts.

In addition to teaching, advising and other professional activities, Anderson also serves on several university committees.

"Laura has been very active in faculty governance and has worked with curriculum issues. She has chaired the commencement committee for many years and clearly has the skills and experience in planning large events. She is extremely organized and professional and will represent the college and this office very well. I'm delighted that she applied and has accepted this appointment," said LAE Dean Mittie Nimocks.

Contact: Mittie Nimocks, dean, Liberal Arts and Education College, (608) 342-1151,

Prepared by: Evelyn Martens, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

UWP to host spring Career Fair

PLATTEVILLE-The University of Wisconsin-Platteville will host its annual spring Career Fair on Tuesday, Feb. 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Velzy Commons in the Ullsvik Center.

Approximately 60 employers are registered for this event, which gives students an opportunity to meet with various employers and learn about co-ops, internships, and full- and part-time jobs. It also allows student to learn generally about companies and industries and what hiring needs are projected for the future.

The Career Fair is free and no student registration is required. All faculty and staff are invited to attend an employer luncheon from 11:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m. in the Nohr Gallery in the Ullsvik Center, and should R.S.V.P. to the Career Center at (608) 342-1183 by 4:15 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 11. The cost is $9 per person.

Contact: Diana Trendt, assistant director, Career Center, (608) 342-1183,

Prepared by: Evelyn Martens, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Center for the Arts presents "Two Gentlemen of Verona"

PLATTEVILLE-The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Center for the Arts presents William Shakespeare's "Two Gentlemen of Verona" on Thursday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. A pre-show dinner will be held in the Velzy Commons at 6 p.m., and a free pre-show discussion will be held in the Center for the Arts at 7:05 p.m.

Shakespeare's comedy about the bonds of friendship and fidelity will be performed by the Acting Company which has performed more than 100 plays for over two million people around the world. The Acting Company was formed in 1972, and was a 2003 Tony honoree for Excellence in Theater.

Admission is open to the public, and ticket prices for the play are as follows: general admission, $19; UWP faculty and staff, $17; senior citizen, $17; children, $11; and UWP student, $6. For more information, call the CFA at (608) 342-1298 or 1-800-362-5515, or go to the website at

Contact: John Hassig, executive director, Center for the Arts, (608) 342-1298,

Prepared by: Evelyn Martens, Public Relations, (608) 342-1615,

Ullsvik Center construction project in planning stages

PLATTEVILLE - As the University of Wisconsin-Platteville prepares for future growth, a renovation and addition project at the school's Ullsvik Center will increase the building's size, making way for administrative offices and additional classrooms.

The Ullsvik Center construction project is currently in the planning stages. Officials expect an architectural firm to be selected shortly to design plans, and construction could begin as soon as fall 2005.

"It's a 15 to 18 month project once we start," said Jim Valaskey, director, UWP Facilities Management.

The Ullsvik Center, named for former chancellor Bjarne Ullsvik, was constructed in 1959. Additions in 1965 and 1989 expanded the building, which functioned as the school's student center. The new Pioneer Student Center was constructed in 2002, and today the Ullsvik Center serves as the university's Visitor Center and as a home to University Advancement and Alumni Services, the UWP Career Center, the Harry and Laura Nohr Art Gallery, the Admissions Office and Student Recruitment Offices. The building also features banquet area spaces, catering facilities and meeting rooms.

The construction project, budgeted at $23.1 million, will allow for 11 additional classrooms, additional faculty offices and space for a number of university operations. It's anticipated several administrative and support departments currently located in Brigham Hall will move to the renovated Ullsvik Center, including the offices of the chancellor and provost. The Ullsvik Center will still serve as the Visitor Center, and other support departments that interact with the public are expected to move to the renovated building.

Plans call for the demolition of the 1959-portion of the building, and a multi-level addition there, on the Ullsvik Center's west side, will increase the building's total space from roughly 100,000 to 138,000 square feet. "It would cost as much to renovate it as to demolish it," said Jim Valaskey, director, UWP Facilities Management.

Under current plans, the newer portions of the building will remain, but existing mechanical and electrical systems there will be renovated, especially in the kitchen areas. The construction project is approved for design only at this time, and can't be approved at the state level until an architect is picked and a portion of the design is complete.

The Ullsvik Center construction project comes on the heels of a major renovation of historic Ullrich Hall, the oldest building on campus, which re-opened as the home of computer science and software engineering Jan. 18. Projects to construct a second engineering building and two additional residence halls are also in the planning stages as the university prepares for future space needs.

Contact: Jim Valaskey, director, UWP Facilities Management, 608-342-1177,

Prepared by: Dan Lehnherr, UWP Public Relations, 608-342-1194,

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Jamaican graduate student braves the cold to study at UWP

PLATTEVILLE-Stephaney Carter was working as a guidance counselor at Nazareth All Age School in Manchester, Jamaica, last January when she met a group of University of Wisconsin-Platteville education students who were visiting the area as part of an international exchange program. She was so impressed with the strategies the students were using to help third and fourth graders to read that she decided to learn more about UWP and the programs it offers. That is how she earned the distinction of becoming UWP's first Jamaican graduate student.

Carter chose to attend UW-Platteville to pursue a master's degree in counselor education because "it had the depth I was looking for," she said. She plans to return to Jamaica after she completes her degree and will either resume her job at the Nazareth school or try to obtain a position at the Ministry of Education where she hopes to impact the future of children's education.

She was the recipient of the Outstanding Guidance Counselor award in 2002-03, just one year after she had begun working for the Nazareth School.

The Jamaican Ministry of Education awarded the prize because of her effective parent education program, getting parents more involved with their children's education and the people who have an impact on their children. Walter Iselin, director of Clinical Experiences, and Gwendolyn Coe, a professor in the Teacher Education department, were part of the original team of UW-Platteville faculty and students who went to Jamaica in January 2004.

"She really impressed me when we were in Jamaica," said Coe. "She was doing great work in her school, which is a rural, high poverty area. While she was there, attendance improved and there was more parent involvement. I've also been impressed with her since she's been here. She's a great asset to our school," she said.

As a presenter at the National Association for the Education of the Young conference in Los Angeles in November 2004, Carter continued her advocacy for Jamaican children and their parents. Her topic, "Educational Challenges and Needs in Rural Jamaica from a Global Perspective," helped audiences understand the specific challenges Jamaican children face.

Iselin believes that Carter's success will be a springboard for other potential Jamaican students. "She's done an outstanding job here, academically and otherwise. As she progresses and shares her experience with her friends and colleagues, I believe we'll see more students from Jamaica interested in our programs," he said. He also noted that Carter was recently awarded a $600 scholarship from the Platteville Women's Education Association.

Though she is appreciative of the awards and commendations, Carter remains focused on her commitment to helping to improve the educational experience of Jamaican children.

"I think the main thing Jamaican children can learn from my experience is that I was able to get here, not because I was rich, but because I stayed focused on what I wanted. Whatever I do next, I know I will be working with children, and that is the message I want to share with them," she said.

Prepared by: Evelyn Martens, Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Contact: Walter Iselin, director, Clinical Experiences, (608) 342-1271,

UWP...What College Should Be