Public Relations

Daily Pioneer News

Friday, July 31, 2009

UWP web coordinator presents new technology to Penn State

PLATTEVILLE - During the most recent presidential election, CNN broadcast an interview with Will I. Am, front man for the Black Eyed Peas, which was thought by many to be the first "hologram" interview. University of Wisconsin-Platteville Web Coordinator Dan Frommelt was positive that the technology used was not a hologram. "They were using augmented reality," Frommelt said.

For the past six years, Frommelt has been presenting at the Penn State Webmaster Conference. The conference brings together webmasters from institutes of higher education from across the country to share ideas, technology and the latest application of techniques from their campuses.

This year, Frommelt was the closing keynote speaker. Augmented reality seemed a likely topic for the presentation due to its recent creation and endless applications. Frommelt's presentation, with samples of augmented reality, can be found at

Augmented reality uses a video display, video camera and speakers to virtually transform a "marker" into a three-dimensional display. Frommelt showed an example of the technology by creating a marker out of the UWP logo that, when placed in front of a webcam, displayed a three-dimensional image of the new engineering building.

The technology is not just a fancy new toy for computer experts to play with. The applications of augmented reality can be found in almost any field you can think of; advertising, the automotive industry and the entertainment industry.

Kaitlyn Jones and Kinsey Taylor, UWP students working with Frommelt, also went to the conference. Jones and Taylor attended the presentations and sessions offered at the conference.

Jones said that she and Taylor were able to watch Frommelt work on his presentation on augmented reality. "We were able to experiment with the technology as more information was uncovered about augmented reality," Jones said, "Students will be able to do campus tours even when they are not on campus."

Frommelt plans to attend next year's conference. "The problem is finding new technology that the other webmasters have not seen to present on." Frommelt said.

For more information regarding the conference, contact Frommelt at or (608) 342-1444.

Contact: Dan Frommelt, university web coordinator, Web Development Office, (608) 342-1444, Written by: Kyle Scherwinski, writer, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Thursday, July 30, 2009

UWP Paths to Platteville Program receives contribution from U.S. Bank

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Plattevile Paths to Platteville Program strives to provide access to higher education for low-income and at-risk students from a variety of backgrounds.

When Carlos Wiley, director of the Multicultural Educational Resource Center, created the program, the intention was to provide free transportation to the UW-Platteville campus for high school students who did not have the resources to travel to Platteville independently to tour the campus. The first year of the program had 10 participants. Of the original 10 students, three attended UW-Platteville and one graduated. Last year, over 600 students from across the tri-state area used the service of the program to tour campus.

"The Tri-State Initiative program greatly helped to expand our program," Wiley said.

Approximately 30 percent of seniors who visit UW-Platteville through the Paths to Platteville Program apply to the university.

On June 16, B'Ann Dittmar, president of U.S. Bank in Dubuque, Iowa, came to UW-Platteville and presented Wiley with a $4,000 check for the Paths to Platteville Program.

"This program is an innovative way to bring students with a variety of backgrounds from the tri-state area to get to know the University of Wisconsin-Platteville." Dittmar said, "Without this program, many of these high school students may not have the opportunity to visit the campus and the area."

U.S. Bank, through the U.S. Bancorp Foundation, made the contribution to the program.

"One of the funding priorities of the U.S. Bancorp is education. We support innovative programs, such as the Paths to Platteville Program, that help low-income and at-risk students succeed in school and prepare for post-secondary education," Dittmar said.

For more information regarding the Paths to Platteville Program, contact Wiley at (608) 342-1332 or

For more information about U.S. Bank's contribution, contact Dittmar at (563) 589-2278 or

Contact: B'Ann Dittmar, president, U.S. Bank, (563) 589-2278, Written by: Kyle Scherwinski, writer, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

UWP's Heartland Festival welcomes the Missoula Children's Theatre with performances of 'The Pied Piper'

PLATTEVILLE - The citizens of Hamelin town paid a visit to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville this weekend with performances of "The Pied Piper." The performances, facilitated by the Missoula Children's Theatre, were part of the Heartland Festival's summer line-up.

The musical was performed on Friday, July 17 and Saturday, July 18 in the Richard and Helen Brodbeck Concert Hall, located in the Center for the Arts on the UWP campus.

"The Pied Piper" musical is based on the century-old children's tale of Sara, an orphan girl, and the other citizens of Hamelin town. They turn to the mayor and his council when their town is threatened by a rat infestation. The mayor then calls upon the Pied Piper to save the town from the troublesome creatures. When the town is unable to pay the Piper, he leads the children away from Hamelin town, along with the rats.

The Missoula Children's Theatre is headquartered in Missoula, Mont. It consists of directors who travel across the United States and work with children in selected areas to practice and give performances.

The Heartland Festival pre-registered children for the Missoula Children's Theatre's "Pied Piper" performance beginning in March. Directors worked with 60 children from the communities of Baraboo, Barneveld, Belmont, Blanchardville, Boscobel, Cuba City, Dodgeville, Fennimore, La Crosse, Lancaster, Montfort, Platteville, Rewey and Spring Green.

The children, ages 6 to 18, attended rehearsals at UWP for a week before the performances. In addition to the rehearsals and workshops, the children attended a performance of Heartland Festival's, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown."

For more information, or to purchase tickets for other Heartland shows, contact the University Box Office at (608) 342-1298 or at

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

UWP graduate student teaches English language learners at Darlington Community Schools

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville currently offers students two master's degree programs in education and four education licensure programs. These programs help to hone the skills of educators by offering programs that are specifically focused on educational administration, adult-emphasis and reading.

In 2007, UWP implemented a new licensure program in English Language Learning that grew out of the demand for English as a second language teachers. Since its beginning, the program's popularity has drastically increased because of the rapid growth of the ELL population. UWP currently offers a 36-credit Master of Science in education with English as a second language emphasis program that participants can complete over five terms.

Laura Yanna, originally from Edgerton, took advantage of the specific focus of UWP's master's programs when she graduated from UWP in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. Currently, Yanna is working on her Master of Science in elementary education with a focus on English language learners while teaching kindergarten through 12th-grade ELL students at Darlington Community Schools. She began working there in the spring of 2005 and has continued her employment because of the rapidly-growing ELL population.

Yanna chose the master's program at UWP because of the flexibility it allows her when scheduling her classes and also for the one-on-one attention she receives from her professors.

"I have been impressed with the amount of time that professors are willing to spend working one-on-one with students to make sure they find success," said Yanna.

Yanna says that UWP also continues to prepare her for her job's unique demands.

"One of the most valuable lessons I have learned at UWP is to expect the unexpected," said Yanna. "In my job, there is no such thing as a typical day. Knowing that it is okay to make mistakes and that things don't always go as planned has helped me get through some trying times and become a better teacher in the long run."

In the spring of 2010, Yanna will complete her master's degree, but plans to keep teaching at the Darlington school district.

"I think that the staff at Darlington has done an incredible job of adapting to this new and diverse group of students," said Yanna. "There have been many changes as the ELL program has developed and seeing how my coworkers have responded so positively has been great motivation to stick with it."

Yanna currently resides in Mineral Point with her husband, Aaron, and their 3-year-old daughter, McGinnity, and 6-month-old son, Clayton. In her free time, Yanna enjoys reading, gardening and spending time with her family.

For more information about the master's programs at UWP, contact Sue Alborn-Yilek, coordinator of the UWP Education Office of Special Programs, at (608) 342-1248 or

UWP alumna raises puppies for the visually impaired

PLATTEVILLE - University of Wisconsin-Platteville alumna Barb Schultze raises puppies and socializes them before they are trained as guide dogs for the visually impaired. Schultze is currently working with a 9-month-old black Labrador named Slick. They go everywhere together and have since he was about 8 weeks old. They go to the grocery store, restaurants, Madison's State Street and even to the movies. In fact, Slick fell asleep at "Marley & Me."

Schultze works with the OccuPaws Guide Dog Association in Madison as a volunteer, which means that she and her husband Mark, who maintains the website, cover any costs related to Slick's care. Costs can include vaccinations, veterinary bills, food and anything else he might need.

Schultze is happy to do it. When she and her husband retired, they felt a real need to give back to the community. "You feel really good, like you've really done something," Schultze said. "How often do you get to affect someone's life like this? These dogs really change lives for people with visual impairments."

Schultze usually works with one puppy at a time, from the age of approximately 8 weeks old to 18 months old. Most of the puppies that Schultze raises come from Anthem Labradors in Harvard, Ill. Schultze said, "It can be hard to let the dogs go when it is time to turn them over to the trainer, but when you see them working as a team, it's all worth it."

Schultze attended UWP as a non-traditional student through the extended degree program after she decided to make a career change. She graduated in 1986 with a degree in finance. "I had two kids at the time and I couldn't have gotten the second degree without that program," Schultze said.

"The overall feeling that you can do it and you are not the only one going back to school who is 30, 40 or even 50 motivates you," Schultze said. Schultze's first bachelor's degree was in zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Schultze highly recommends going back to school for anyone thinking about a career change. "People used to get a job and stay in that job for many, many years and there weren't many returning adults in college," Schultze said. "But when you get a driver's license, it doesn't mean that you are necessarily a good driver yet. It's the same with an educational degree, it's a license to learn."

"The overall experience at UWP was great because it's a smaller campus and very welcoming," Schultze said.

When Slick and Schultze are out and about, the reactions are very positive. "Children ask the most questions because they are surprised to see a dog in a store," Schultze said. "It's a great opportunity for Slick to get used to kids and it's a great opportunity to teach children how to approach dogs, for instance, that they shouldn't reach out to pet a dog without first asking the owner."

One of Slick and Schultze's favorite locations to visit is the nursing home. "I give to the dog and he gives back to the residents, it's a very rewarding cycle," Schultze said.

According to Schultze, not all dogs make it as guide dogs. OccuPaws places over 50 percent of their dogs with a person, but nationwide, only 10 percent of dogs that start the program end up being placed. Their eyes and hips have to be perfect and they can't be afraid of noises or be too excitable.

One of the most important aspects of a guide dog's job is dealing with traffic. The dog has to be able to assess the situation and think. They have to be able to refuse the forward command if they see that a car is coming.

Schultze's daughter is also active in OccuPaws and both of her children are grown and live in the Madison area. Schultze resides in Cross Plains with her husband.

Contact: Barb Schultze, UWP alumna, (608) 798-4325, Written by: Barbara Weinbrenner, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Kern Family Foundation funds Project Lead The Way training for four UWP faculty

PLATTEVILLE - Four University of Wisconsin-Platteville faculty will attend Project Lead The Way instructor training this summer thanks to a $9,500 grant from the Kern Family Foundation. Frank Steck, UWP professor of industrial studies, will train to teach the Gateway to Technology program; Charles Knox, UWP assistant professor of industrial studies, will train to teach Digital Electronics; and Eric Rimel, UWP, and David Heimerdinger, UWP chair of industrial studies, will train to teach Principles of Engineering. Steck has also previously completed the Engineering Design and Development and Principles of Engineering training.

The training is part of a larger effort to expose UWP technology education students to the nationally recognized PLTW curriculum, a hands-on, project-based program that integrates science, mathematics, engineering and technology in middle and high school classrooms.

The UWP School of Education and Department of Industrial Studies have developed a unique relationship with Platteville High School in which the high school serves as a professional development school for the university's technology education majors. Under the supervision of the high school's technology education teacher, Chuck Smet, UWP students spend at least five days a week for the entire 15-week semester in a PLTW course.

UWP is one of two institutions in Wisconsin that serves as a pre-service institution, meaning that selected PLTW curriculum components are incorporated into current pre-service program. This early access to the PLTW program guarantees that technology education students will have a greater understanding of the curriculum and improved prospects of teaching the curriculum in Wisconsin schools.

"Our hope is that when a student graduates from UWP as a technology education major, that a school district will immediately snatch them up because administrators know they can teach some of the PLTW classes," Steck said.

UWP students recognize the value of this model, too.

"For pre-student teachers and student teachers, the PLTW courses are a great tool," said Dennis Haakenson, one of the first UWP technology education majors to complete pre-student teaching following the professional development school model. "Each lesson is laid out with its objectives and activities that are to be taught in the lesson."

Steck believes that PLTW will change how technology education is perceived by connecting it to the current focus on STEM education. "Technology education has had an extremely broad focus, rightly or wrongly," said Steck. "PLTW brings focus and organizes the curriculum around STEM."

The Kern Family Foundation has supported PLTW in Wisconsin since 2004. More than 20,000 students in 160 of the state's middle and high schools experienced PLTW in 2008.

For more information, contact Steck at (608) 342-1532 or

Monday, July 27, 2009

UWP Women's Center works to inform, enlighten campus

PLATTEVILLE-On the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, the Women's Center offers resources for students, faculty and staff interested in issues pertaining to women. The Women's Center is located in Gardner Hall and is comfortably furnished with oversized furniture and shelves of countless books. The books are cataloged through Karrman Library, and there are also dvd's that are free to rent.

The Women's Center's quiet atmosphere offers respite from the occasionally harried pace of life around campus. "For me, it's a home away from home," said Valerie Curlie, a non-traditional student working towards a Master's of Science degree in Counselor Education. Curlie also gave high marks to the programming put on by the Women's Center. "My awareness of diversity has greatly expanded and I've been able to develop relationships with people I would not have otherwise."

The Women's Center brings in speakers from the Platteville community and from around the country. The issues they address are not exclusive to women, explained the director of the Women's Center Patricia Foster. "Our programming focuses on or is about women, but it is not solely for women, because male or female, women impact your life." said Foster.

Last year, the Women's Center brought several speakers to campus that addressed a broad range of issues. Nancy Red, who was crowned Miss Virginia in 2003 and finished in the top ten at the Miss America pageant in 2004, gave a speech based on her New York Times best seller Body Drama. The book offers an honest, medically accurate perspective on oft-ignored women's health issues. Redd spoke in the Velzy Commons and also gave presentations in classrooms during her two-day visit to UWP.

The Women's Center also sponsored an appearance by author Christina Hollis, whose book Beyond Belief: The Discovery of My Existence details Hollis' experience as a transgendered female professional who was employed by John Deere for over 30 years. UWP students, faculty members and residents of the surrounding community also spoke on campus about issues of particular concern to women. Members of the community also volunteer their time and lead meditations, offer medical advice or talk about issues concerning women.

In the 2009-2010 academic year, the Women's Center seeks to continue bringing informative and influential speakers to the UWP campus. Retired National Football League defensive lineman Esera Tuaolo, whose nine-year career included stints with the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers, will speak about his experience of coming out as gay after his retirement from the NFL. The Women's Center also aims to bring in speakers that fit with its 2010 theme, 'Women and Politics'.

Foster hopes that the speakers help bridge the gap between men and women instead of setting up additional barriers. "We can talk about our differences, but when it comes down to it, we're more alike than different."

Foster added that the Women's Center is not just for women. "We want men to know they can utilize the Women's Center, too. It's not just a specific age group, gender or ethnicity that we are geared to."

Foster's enthusiasm and dedication to the Women's Center has not gone unnoticed. "Patricia Foster has brought in state and national presenters to speak on a variety of issues that impact women." said Carol Sue Butts, UWP Vice Chancellor. "I have always been pleased with the women's center events I have attended and am impressed to see that they are well attended by men as well as women. The ideas the Women's Center focuses on concern women but affect the family just as much and it is important to see the support from men at these events."

Anyone with questions regarding the Women's Center may contact Foster at (608) 342-1453 or

Contact: Patricia Foster, director, Women's Center, (608) 342-1453, Written by: Ryan Broege, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Friday, July 24, 2009

Students enjoy College for Kids and Middle University programs held at UWP

PLATTEVILLE -The University of Wisconsin-Platteville's College for Kids and Middle University summer programs wrapped up last week after four days of canoeing, painting, insect inspection and many more interactive activities. These programs, sponsored by the UWP Continuing Education Department, are summer academic enrichment programs that emphasize the arts, science and technology. College for Kids is designed for children kindergarten through fourth grade and the Middle University program is designed for fifth, sixth and seventh graders.

Classes for both programs were held Monday, July 6 through Thursday, July 9 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. on the UWP campus. Classes available for kindergartners included a crafts class, where students were able to work with paint, beads, glitter and other materials, and a storytelling class, where students told stories using props, puppets and multimedia effects.

A class that was a hit among the first and second graders was The Art of Ventriloquism, in which students made their own puppets, practiced keeping their lips still during a performance, learned how to tell jokes and even wrote their own skit to perform in front of the class.

Holly Allen, a fifth-grade teacher from Iowa-Grant Middle School, taught first and second graders at College for Kids this year and helped with the ventriloquism class.

"It is a fun class," Allen said. "The kids did lip and breathing exercises to help them speak without moving their lips and also learned about the allusion of ventriloquism."

The kids even left the class with a gift from Allen. While browsing at garage sales, Allen found a handful of 10-cent puppets, which she brought to class as parting gifts for her performing students.

Some first and second graders enjoyed the class, Grossology, in which students explored some of the gross aspects of science, including boogers and tooth decay.

Spencer Holverson, a first-grader from Washington, took the grossology class and a class about insects, where students explored insect habitats, studied insect anatomy and even got to venture outside to collect bugs.

"We got to go by lakes and touch a real dragonfly," said Holverson. "It was really cool."

Third and fourth grades got to explore the great outdoors with the class, Caves and Rivers. Students participating in this class went on a canoe trip on the Mississippi River and went caving in St. John's Mine in Potosi on Wednesday, July 8. Along the way, the students learned why rivers are so important and how caves are formed.

Stephanie Wilson, a home-schooled student from Edmund, participated in both the canoeing trip and cave visit. While learning about cave formations, she and her fellow students found an old Easter egg and a few spiders in the cave. She also braved the waves on the Mississippi during the canoe trip.

Dodgeville artist, Karen Fitzsimons, taught a Middle University class called Painting with Acrylics, in which fifth- through sixth-grade students learned basic drawing skills before moving outside to work on an acrylic painting of a landscape.

"It is really fun to come and teach these kids," said Fitzsimons, who also has an art studio in Dodgeville.

Seventh graders Katya Tolbert, from Cudahy, and Rachel Kocialkowski, from Gray's Lake, Ill., participated in the painting class and enjoyed trying new things, such as clay, and painting outside. Kocialkowski's younger brother, Mitchell, participated in College for Kids's ventriloquism class and had fun performing plays without moving his lips and also making the puppets out of balloons and foam.

Students who participated in either the College for Kids or Middle University programs received a free T-shirt along with class time and instruction materials.

For more information, contact the Continuing Education Office at (608) 342-1314 or

Thursday, July 23, 2009

UW faculty members receive grants supporting state's economic development

MADISON, Wis. - Eight University of Wisconsin System faculty members have received awards through the Applied Research Grant Program, a collaborative effort between UW System and the WiSys Technology Foundation, Inc., to develop commercial applications of their research.

The purpose of the Applied Research Grant program is to provide funding for projects directly enhancing the economic development of the state and to encourage faculty to apply their expertise to problems outside academia, improving connections between knowledge and practice that could potentially promote a stronger Wisconsin economy.

The winners, who will each receive awards up to $50,000 to support their research, include: Nate Bowling, UW-Stevens Point, "Development of Two-Dimensional Metallorganic Networks for Potential Application in Photovoltaics;" Junhong Chen, UW-Milwaukee, "Nanoscale Corona Discharges;" John Droske, UW-Stevens Point, "Polymers and Copolymers with Controlled Bioresorption for Biomedical Applications;" Charles Gibson, UW-Oshkosh, "High Performance Electrical Energy Storage Devices;" Cheng-Chen Huang, UW-River Falls, "Screening for Potent Attenuators of Heart Failure Progression Using a Zebrafish Heart Failure Model;" Jeri-Anne Lyons, UW-Milwaukee, "A Role for dbl-b E3 Ubiquitin Ligase in the Balance Between Tolerance and Autoimmunity;" Jennifer Miskowski, UW-La Crosse, "Development of Microscale Assays to Screen for Novel Anthelmintic Drugs;" Joseph (Tsunghsueh) Wu, UW-Platteville, "Toward Industrial-scale Fabrication of Nanowire-based Devices."

The program supports UW System's Growth Agenda for Wisconsin, by continuing to connect academic research with the private sector to transform ideas into new jobs and new businesses that will attract and employ college-educated workers.

WiSys, based in Madison, plays a key role in evaluating technology or products developed at UW System's 11 comprehensive institutions and assessing the potential economic impact of those products. WiSys also provides assistance with market studies, patent protection issues, industry or university collaboration, procuring research equipment, and legal agreement advice.

The UW System-funded Applied Research Grant program has been helping UW System researchers develop commercial applications since 1997.

For more information on the UW System, see For more information on the WiSys Technology Foundation, visit

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

UWP receives NAMA accreditation

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville National Agri-Marketing Association student chapter just completed a year of accreditation. NAMA is a non-profit organization for agri-marketers with more than 3,000 student and professional members. NAMA was formed in 1969 at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Calif. NAMA has grown to include UWP and 33 other accredited schools throughout the United States and Canada. UWP has been a member of NAMA for over 15 years.

Former UW-Platteville NAMA marketing vice president Emily Hanson said that students from UWP have acquired full-time jobs by contacts through the national organization. Hanson is a UWP alumna that graduated in 2009 with an agribusiness degree.

"In the agriculture industry, it is crucial to develop professional relationships that last a lifetime, and NAMA provides opportunities to do so," Hanson said. "NAMA is a national organization that has been around for over 50 years. As a student member, students are involved on a local, state and national level, and even international level - making connections with the Canada Agri-Marketing Association."

Each spring, NAMA holds the agri-marketing conference and trade show where attending students involved in NAMA compete against other schools by developing a marketing plan on a specific topic of the group's choice. In 2007, the UWP chapter of NAMA placed second among the 31 schools participating. This year, 11 students along with Pioneer NAMA advisor Annie Kinwa-Muzinga traveled to Atlanta to compete at the conference. The Pioneer NAMA organization made it to the semi-finals for their product development of K-9 Heartline.

"The annual competition provides a level playing field with all sizes of universities," Hanson said. UWP competed with schools like UW-Madison, the University of Florida and Iowa State University.

At the conference, UWP student Jodi Marshall, agribusiness, was awarded a scholarship and the Pioneer NAMA organization received $500 from the John Deere Foundation. The money will be used for chapter management.

For more information on NAMA contact Kinwa-Muzinga at (608) 342-1007 or

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

UWP biology students get hands-on medical practice experience at Southwest Health Center

PLATTEVILLE - This summer, five University of Wisconsin-Platteville biology/pre-medical students participated in a brand-new program through the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. The six-week program, called Rural and Urban Scholars in Community Medicine, is designed to give biology/pre-med students an idea of what it is like to practice medicine in the underserved rural or urban health areas of Wisconsin.

UWP and UW-Milwaukee were the only two UW System schools that had students participating in the program this summer. The five students selected from UWP will be given special consideration for admission to the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Students underwent a vigorous application process in March to take part in the program. Their GPA had to be at least 3.0 and they needed to have completed certain math, chemistry and biology courses. Students submitted a resume, transcripts, references and two letters of recommendation. A panel consisting of faculty and staff from the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and UWP reviewed applications, interviewed the students and made their final selections in March.

On May 26, the selected UWP students walked through the doors of Southwest Health Center in Platteville for their first day with the RUSCH program. Nikki Martinson will be entering her junior year at UWP in the biology/pre-medical program and was one of the five students selected for the program. "Our first day was very informative," said Martinson. "We had an orientation of the hospital where we met doctors and hospital staff. We started shadowing the doctors and experienced first-hand the practices we will be doing in our future careers as doctors."

According to Martinson, the students shadowed doctors in the areas of family practice, obstetrics/gynecology, internal medicine, surgery, emergency room, radiology, cardiology, allergy, urology, psychiatry and senior behavioral science. "I was very grateful to experience such a wide variety of specialties," Martinson said.

The students were also required to complete a community health improvement project. Martinson's group planned a 5K run/walk in conjunction with the Strawberry Festival, that will take place July 25 to raise money for the hospital to purchase a new digital mammography machine. The other group worked on clinical research projects through the Department of Public Health in Lancaster.

Jeff Huebschman, chair of the UWP biology department, expressed his excitement for the program. "We are thrilled about the opportunities this new program will present for our students, he said. "It prepares them for medical school and gives them an early idea of what the medical field is all about."

One item that was critical to the success of the RUSCH program was the cooperation between students and Southwest Health Center doctors and staff. "We hugely appreciated the support we received from our local physicians for the program. They helped kick off the RUSCH program in a very positive way," Huebschman said.

"The doctors took the time to explain each case to us and kept asking us if we needed more information or had any questions," Martinson said. "I looked to many of the doctors as role models and honorable physicians - the kind of doctor I would like to be someday," she added.

"The healthcare professionals and staff at Southwest Health Center, Doctors Park Physicians, Medical Associates and Maski and Maski Clinic all contributed an enormous amount of time and effort to help make these six weeks a success. I think the bar has been set very high for future groups of RUSCH students," said Alison Klein, facilitator for the RUSCH program at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

Cooperation between UWP and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health was also necessary in order for RUSCH to be a successful program. "UWP has been a phenomenal partner for RUSCH from day one," said Klein. "The level of enthusiasm on the part of Dr. Huebschman and Dr. Weber and everyone at UWP has been outstanding and the five students carried that energy with them throughout the six weeks. The students really went above and beyond even what was scheduled - spending additional time in the clinical setting or working on their community health projects," Klein added.

The RUSCH experience doesn't stop for these five UWP students now that the six-week summer program is over. They will continue learning and preparing throughout this school year by pairing up with a mentor medical student at UW-Madison, attending seminars on various medical and healthcare topics and participating in community service projects. Next summer, the students will research, experience service-learning in rural areas, undergo an extensive MCAT review and prepare for the medical school application process. Students receive a stipend of $2,100 each summer and room and board is provided for students who participate in research in Madison.

"So far, this program seems to have been extremely successful," said Wayne Weber, a pre-medical advisor and professor in the UWP biology department. "The RUSCH program is huge for our pre-med students and for UWP. It gives our students enriching clinical and community experiences before they enter medical school," Weber said.

Melissa Carr of Platteville, Robert Wengert of Stoughton, Samantha Seibel of Chicago and David Kish of Mindoro all participated in the RUSCH program. For more information on the RUSCH program, contact Weber at (608) 342-1611 or

Contact: Wayne Weber, UWP biology professor, (608) 342-1611, Written by: Anne Killian, UWP Office of Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Monday, July 20, 2009

UWP's Heartland cast brings classic Mel Brooks musical to life during opening night of 'The Producers'

PLATTEVILLE - The curtain opened on the evening of Friday, July 10 as the audience awaited the first performance of University of Wisconsin-Platteville's Heartland Festival show "The Producers." Audience members were greeted with an intricate set design and a 20-member cast of Heartland performers ready to bring the Mel Brooks musical to life.

"The Producers" is adapted from a 1968 film by Brooks with the same name. The original production opened on Broadway in 2001, starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. It won 12 Tony Awards and was turned into a film in 2005. The story concerns two theatrical producers, Max Bialystock (played by Paul Helm) and Leo Bloom (Joe Klinebriel), who scheme to get rich by producing a Broadway flop. Complications arise when the show unexpectedly turns out to be successful.

John Putnam, a UWP graduate and former Heartland performer, thought "The Producers" had an interesting combination of elements. "This show is really a throw-back to the 1950s style of big dance numbers and classic songs but the content is modern," Putnam said."The dancing, singing, acting, set design, I think, is the best the Heartland has ever done," he added.

"The Heartland Festival really pulled this performance off," said Val Wetzel, assistant director for UWP's Pioneer Student Center. "It was exciting to see the skills and abilities of local hometown stars making this performance their own."

This summer, Vivienne Elborne directed "The Producers" and "Forever Plaid" and celebrated her final night with Heartland Festival on Friday, with the opening night of "The Producers." John Hassig, director of the Heartland Festival, gave a special thanks to Elborne for her involvement with Heartland this year.

Performances of "The Producers" will take place July 26 and Aug. 9 at 2 p.m. and July 19, 22, 31 and Aug. 2 and 5 at 7:30 p.m. All performances will be held in the Center for the Arts Theatre on the UWP campus. Ticket prices are $18 for adults and $9 for UWP students with a valid ID and individuals under the age of 18. Tickets are available through the University Box Office at (608) 342-1298 or

Friday, July 17, 2009

New forensic investigation lab opens at UWP

PLATTEVILLE - The new University of Wisconsin-Platteville forensic investigation lab, which will be available for UWP criminal justice students in the fall semester, opened Wednesday, July 15. According to Aric Dutelle, lecturer for the UWP criminal justice department, the new facility will have new equipment, storage and clean-up space, and will also contribute to the development of the forensic investigation program at UWP.

Modifications to Room 1013 in Ullsvik Hall have been made in order to house the new lab. Laboratory-grade countertops, cabinetry and a sink have been installed, as well as ventilation and lab equipment hoods to assure the safety of the room. Equipment, including swab dryers, comparison microscopes and processing and fingerprint analysis equipment, has also been added to the lab. The laboratory location already had a full wall of glass windows, which will enable visitors to observe students, faculty and staff working in the lab without interference. The lab will also have a designated lecture space that will be reserved for forensic investigation classes and will accommodate up to 38 students.

"From a criminalistics and forensic investigation standpoint, this lab will finally give our students a safe and secure environment where they can apply the knowledge that they gain from their lectures," said Dutelle. "This lab will allow us to set up labs at our convenience, which will be easier for the faculty, and we will also be able to give more specialized laboratory assignments and make better usage of class time. It will be a 'less talk and more action' mentality once the lab is up and running."

The lab will also be beneficial for the Ullsvik Hall custodial staff. "When we held lab sections before, we had to use the public restrooms to clean our lab equipment," said Dutelle. "Now, with the installation of new cleaning facilities, we can clean equipment and wash hands in a proper location."

Dutelle was hired by UWP five years ago to develop courses in forensic investigation. To date, a minor program and an emphasis program have been added to the criminal justice curriculum. Dutelle has also received permission to develop a major in forensic investigation, which he hopes to see added to the UWP curriculum in the next three to four semesters.

"When we first started developing courses in forensic investigation, we didn't anticipate the popularity of the program," said Dutelle. "Both the development of new courses and the installation of new facilities, such as the laboratory, will increase recruitment of prospective students and our credibility as a program."

Dutelle says that the lab will also benefit incoming students interested in the criminal justice or forensic investigation programs because they will able to see a hands-on portion of the program in action.

Not only will students, staff and faculty benefit from this new lab, but other UWP-related programs will have the opportunity to utilize these new facilities. Each July, the UWP Department of Continuing Education hosts a forensic camp on the UWP campus, titled "From Crime Scene to Courtroom," which involves the departments of criminal justice, chemistry and political science. The high school students involved in this week-long program will be using the new forensic investigation lab in order to learn the proper methodologies associated with crime scene investigation.

The new lab will complement the recently-approved forensic investigation crime scene house, which is currently being built at the Forensic Investigation Research Facility at the UWP Pioneer Farm. The crime scene house is expected to be completed in May of 2010.

For more information about the new forensic science investigation lab or crime scene house, contact Dutelle at (608) 342-1596 or

Contact: Aric Dutelle, lecturer, UWP Department of Criminal Justice, (608) 342-1596, Written by: Morgan Spitzer, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Thursday, July 16, 2009

UWP hosts racial disparities workshop

PLATTEVILLE- The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Racial Disparities in Criminal Justice and Education Task Force is working to address disparities among graduation and incarceration rates and will offer insight, perspective and ideas during a three-day workshop. The workshop, titled "Incarceration Rates Up, Graduation Rates Down; Reverse the Trend," will be held at the Pioneer Student Center on the UWP campus from Thursday, July 23 to Saturday, July 25.

The workshop's stated mission is to "Address racial disparities in the areas of criminal justice and education in Wisconsin for the purpose of decreasing the rates of incarceration and increasing educational achievement." Over the course of the weekend, attendees will work within a team framework, where individuals can share problems and concerns, discuss ideas and innovative methods for creating and maintaining change within schools and communities, and develop an action plan to work towards a solution.

In addition to group break-out sessions and discussions, two keynote speakers will also present at the workshop. Anne Sulton is an attorney based in Milwaukee but with experience litigating cases across America. Sulton has experience litigating civil-rights cases, holds a doctoral degree in criminology and criminal justice and received the William Robert Ming Advocacy Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 2007. Sulton has given dozens of keynote speeches and has appeared on CNN and the McNeil Lehrer News Hour, among many other television and radio appearances.

Eugene Kane, the second keynote speaker, writes a regular metro column for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He is a native of Philadelphia, PA, and a graduate of Temple University. Kane is a former John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University. Kane began his career at the Milwaukee Journal as a general assignment reporter, feature writer and columnist until the paper merged with the Milwaukee Sentinel in 1995. He is a former co-host of the public television series "Black Noveau," and former journalism lecturer at UW-Milwaukee and Marquette University.

The workshop begins at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 23 and concludes at 12:40 p.m. on Saturday, July 25. A registration fee, due before Saturday, July 18, of $150 covers meals and snacks as well as the keynote speaker fees. Lodging is not included in the cost, but is available in Platteville. Attendees may also stay in Southwest Hall, the residential suites on the UWP campus, for $70 per person for the two nights. Anyone with further questions may contact the UWP Continuing Education Office toll-free at 1-888-281-9472, (608) 342-1314 or Additional information, including a full schedule of events and an online registration form may be found at

Contact: UWP Continuing Education Office, (608) 342-1314, Written by: Ryan Broege, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

UWP professor and student team find new use for old microscopes

PLATTEVILLE - When the University of Wisconsin-Platteville replaced a few older microscopes with new ones a few years ago, Amanda Trewin, UWP associate professor of biology, did not want to see the old microscopes thrown out.

"The older microscopes were still functional," said Trewin. "Because these types of microscopes are less tricky to learn how to correctly use than the binocular microscopes used in our college classrooms, I thought that these monocular microscopes were perfect for using with younger students."

With that motivation, Trewin and other faculty and staff in the science department at UWP jointly wrote a proposal for a grant to fund activities that focused on microscope learning for elementary and middle school-aged students. Using opportunity grant funds allocated through the UWP Foundation, Trewin has established a program with 20 microscopes that can be borrowed by elementary and middle schools. The program also lends out supporting materials, such as lamps, surge protectors and slides. The program also provides the schools that participate in this program with instructional guides and several kid-friendly activities. Trewin and her colleagues have been developing these activities, but they recently received help from a UWP student who was interested in the project.

Amber Schneller, a Platteville native and a junior majoring in biology with an emphasis in cytotechnology, recently took an independent study in biology under Trewin that allowed her to develop many microscope activities for the program.

"I have always wanted to work with children and I also have a focused interest in microscopes," said Schneller. "This project has allowed me to pursue and develop both of my interests. I was able to work extensively with the microscopes, and I was able to learn different techniques and explore new topics on types of microscopes that I haven't worked with before."

Schneller worked throughout the semester gathering materials and ideas for the project. She had to generate a new microscope-related topic every two weeks. By the end of the semester, she had created microscope activities for younger children that focused on bug parts and spices, a murder mystery involving blood samples and two activities that required identifying food and body parts.

"I think my experience with kids helped me out the most with this project because I was able to judge how in-depth and interactive the activities should be," said Schneller. "Knowing how children would react to some topics also helped me to pick the cool 'eww' topics that I knew younger children would enjoy."

Even though there are many activities that have already been established, Trewin is still looking to expand and improve the microscope program in the years to come.

"Although Amber did a great job developing activities for this project, it is still not finished," said Trewin. "I will continue to expand on the activities and would be thrilled if more undergraduate students would express interest in helping with the development of this project."

Area schools can borrow the microscopes and assisting materials for several weeks at a time. Trewin has already introduced the projects in several surrounding schools, but hopes that the teachers themselves will eventually lead the activities. Trewin has also used the microscope project several times with children at the College for Kids program that is held at UWP.

Trewin and Schneller are excited to have been instrumental in developing a fun and interactive program that introduces children to science at a young age.

"I think young students will benefit from the experiences in science they will get when they participate in this program," said Trewin. "I want these young students to enjoy and understand the processes of science so that they will have a greater interest in pursuing science and math classes at the high school and college levels."

Anyone interested in participating in developing more kid-friendly microscope activities or borrowing microscopes can contact Trewin at (608) 342-1527 or

Contact: Amanda Trewin, UWP associate professor of biology, (608) 342-1527,; Amber Schneller, UWP biology student, (608) 330-1011, Written by: Morgan Spitzer, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

UWP Heartland's 'Godspell Jr.' features cast of local middle and high school talent

PLATTEVILLE - In March, auditions were held on the University of Wisconsin-Platteville campus for the Heartland Festival's production of "Godspell Jr." Area middle and high school students auditioned for roles in the bible-based musical. Four months later, the 27-member cast and crew have started preparations for performances of "Godspell Jr., which will be held on Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25.

Directing "Godspell Jr." is Ann Farrelly, UWP theater department faculty member. The musical director for the show is Lori Hillery-Hassig, K-12 music instructor in the Cuba City school district.

"Godspell Jr." is based on the gospel of St. Matthew and is a celebration of the life and teachings of Jesus, from his baptism to his death on the cross. It has been produced thousands of times since it was written in 1970. "With a nation at war, and a generation attempting to make sense of that war, 'Godspell' offered a message of peace and hope," said Farrelly.

According to Farrelly, "Godspell Jr." creates an entertaining and powerful story of a teacher who implores his friends to "love one another", "judge not lest you be judged," and "be the light of the world."

The musical will be held in the Richard and Helen Brodbeck Concert Hall in the Center for the Arts, located on the UWP campus. All performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for UWP students with a valid ID or individuals under the age of 18. Tickets are available through the University Box Office at (608) 342-1298 or at

Contact: John Hassig, director, UWP Performing and Visual Arts, Programs and Facilities, (608) 342-1267, Written by: Anne Killian, UWP Office of Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Monday, July 13, 2009

UWP Office of Study Abroad first in state to use new study abroad software

PLATTEVILLE - One of the goals of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Institute for Study Abroad Programs is to expand opportunities for students, faculty, staff and administrators to collaborate internationally. The office staff is helping to meet this goal by implementing new software to streamline the process of studying abroad for interested students.

Beginning this fall, the ISAP will offer StudioAbroad, a software designed to help study abroad offices run more efficiently while easily providing information to students, staff, administrators and parents. UWP is the first university in the state to use this software and hopes the idea will spread to other private and state institutions.

With this software, ISAP can create a new website, keep program brochures up to date, accept applications online and create queries and reporting capabilities about students or programs. It has specific user-friendly features to make the online application process more manageable for students.

"The idea is to go paperless or as close to it as possible," said Russ Braby, assistant director of ISAP.

Braby mentioned other highlights of the program that will be available in the future. "We are especially interested in the increased search functionality of the software," said Braby. "If a student needs a fine arts general education credit, he or she can search through the software to find which abroad programs offer that specific credit."

Other features of the program are security and risk management functions. Students will enter their cell phone number, or the number they can be reached at while abroad, into the software. In the case of an emergency, a text message will be sent automatically to the students' cell phone requesting them to report back that they are safe.

For more information on the StudioAbroad software or programs ISAP offers, contact Braby at (608) 342-1010 or

Friday, July 10, 2009

UWP alumni and friends invited on Nashville tour in November

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Alumni Association invites all alumni and friends on a tour of Nashville, Tenn., from Sunday, Nov. 8 through Friday, Nov. 13. Guests will take motorcoach transportation from Platteville, through Illinois and Kentucky to Nashville, to see the sights and attend the 43rd annual Country Music Association award show.

Tour guests will depart Platteville on Sunday, Nov. 8 and pick up travelers en route to the first overnight stay in Mt. Vernon, Ill. Upon arrival, guests can visit a local winery for a tour and sampling before dinner and hotel check-in.

After breakfast on Monday morning, guests will check out of the hotel and continue to travel south, arriving in Nashville for a three-night stay.

On Tuesday, guests will participate in a Nashville City Tour, including a self-guided tour of Ryman Auditorium, known as the "Carnegie Hall of the South." Next, the Wildhorse Saloon will be visited, complete with a lunch buffet and backstage tour. The group will return to the hotel to rest and freshen up for the night's activities.

Evening activities include dinner and a trip to Ryman Auditorium for a performance at the Grand Ole Opry. What began as a simple radio broadcast in 1925 today is a live entertainment phenomenon. Dedicated to honoring country music's rich history and dynamic present, the Grand Ole Opry showcases a mix of country legends and the contemporary chart-toppers who have followed in their footsteps.

Wednesday, after breakfast at the hotel, guests will spend a free day on their own at Opry Mills Mall. Before the CMAs, guests will board a riverboat for a dinner cruise along the Cumberland River. After that, the motorcoach will take them to the CMAs to enjoy a star-studded night of country music.

The CMA award show has been honoring country music artists since its start in 1967. It is described as "country music's biggest night," and will air live on November 11. Nearly 35 million viewers tuned in last year to watch the event.

The next morning, tour attendees will have breakfast then check out of the hotel and depart to the Country Music Capital. The final overnight location will be at the Eagle Creek Resort in Findlay, Ill. On Friday, guests will be homeward bound, departing for Platteville from Findlay.

"We wanted to offer a domestic trip that had a unique niche to it," said Kim Schmelz, UWP director of Alumni Services. "Being able to see the CMA's live is a once in a lifetime opportunity for most and we thought it would be something our alumni would really enjoy."

The price of the tour includes admission to the 43rd annual CMA award show, Nashville city tour with guide, Ryman Auditorium visit, Wildhorse Saloon lunch and tour, Grand Ole Opry, riverboat cruise and dinner, round-trip motorcoach transportation, five nights hotel accommodations, round-trip luggage handling, four breakfasts, one lunch and three dinners, a tri-state travel tour director, and taxes and gratuities on the above attractions, accommodations and included meals.

The cost of this tour is $1,539 for a single room, $1,275 per person for two to a room, $1,209 per person for three to a room and $1,175 per person for four to a room. This means that the average cost per night for a person staying in a room for four would be $235.

For more information on this event, visit AluMnation at or call 1-800-UWPALUM. To make your reservations, contact Tri-State Travel at 1-800-779-4869.

Written by: Anne Killian, UWP Office of Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Thursday, July 09, 2009

UWP Athletic Department spreads Pioneer spirit to Jamaica

PLATTEVILLE - Last month, Mark Molesworth, University of Wisconsin-Platteville athletic director, helped deliver school supplies in a drive spearheaded by the Pioneer Student-Athlete Advisory Council.

For the second year, UWP student athletes collected supplies to help Cave Valley Basic School in Jamaica, a school of 4 to 6 year olds. The two-room school is near Negril towards Montego Bay, located in the hills on very bumpy, windy roads, Molesworth said.

The reality of the unique partnership between UWP and the Cave Valley Basic School in Jamaica hit home for Molesworth when discussing the computer in the classroom.

"The Cave Valley principal mentioned the school could really use a printer but couldn't afford it, and I'm thinking 'they're only about $50, and they can't afford that?'" said Molesworth. "For us, it's so easy to go to a store and pick up a printer. For them, it's a monumental task. It certainly keeps things in perspective. They're missing so many things we take for granted."

Mark and his wife Beth Molesworth make a least one week-long trip a year to Jamaica, and they have gotten to know the locals very well.

"On our trips down there, various people had talked about bringing school supplies with them each time they came down," Molesworth said. "I saw pictures of the schools and how rudimentary or primitive they were. Two years ago, I talked with PSAAC about the project, and the kids were all like, 'yea, let's do this.'"

In 2008, the student athletes collected 22 boxes of items, and this year, they loaded up 115 pounds of school supplies. Molesworth said considerable work was done to get through the red tape. The shipments needed to be approved by the Jamaica Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Education. The packages took almost a month to clear customs be delivered.

"All of the students and staff were so thankful and beside themselves," said Molesworth.

Among the items the Pioneer athletic director brought with him this year was a picture of PSAAC holding both the Jamaican flag and a flag with the UWP athletic logo, helping bring the groups closer together.

"For PSAAC and myself, to see what a huge impact this has, because the school has so little, makes it very rewarding," Molesworth said. "Beth and I have been there many times and it was nice to give something back to those people who have been so nice to us over the years."

Community service plays a vital role in the experiences of Pioneer student athletes. UWP was awarded the inaugural National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators Community Service Award in 2001 and all Pioneer teams do various service projects throughout the year.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

UWP chapter of Society of Automotive Engineers competes in design competitions

PLATTEVILLE- The University of Wisconsin-Platteville chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers provides students with the opportunity to participate in engineering design competitions that test their knowledge of engineering and manufacturing principles.

UW-Platteville SAE boasts approximately 70 members and the club assists with annual events within the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science such as the Engineering Expo and the Girl Scouts' Science and Technology Day. The primary focus of UW-Platteville SAE is the annual design competitions. They participate in the Clean Snowmobile, Mini Baja and Formula competitions against teams from around the world. Team members work on their respective projects throughout the school year, designing and building the projects leading up to the competitions and retooling promptly after to prepare for next year's competition.

"If it's not homework, we're working on the snowmobile," said Cindy Kurek, a member of the Clean Snowmobile Team and SAE social coordinator.

The team competed in the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge, which was hosted by Michigan Technological University, from March 16-21. According to the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge website, teams must reengineer an existing snowmobile to reduce emissions and noise. The intent of the CSC is to develop a snowmobile that could be used in national parks and other environmentally sensitive areas. The competition stipulates that snowmobiles must be able to travel 100 miles without refueling, reach 45 mph on a smooth trail, and travel 500 feet in under 12 seconds. In 2009, snowmobiles had to be flex-fuel capable, which means that engines must run on a fuel mixture ranging anywhere from 10 to 85 percent ethanol.

In addition to meeting design specifications, teams are required to determine and justify what a reasonable manufacturer's suggested retail price would be for their machine. When arriving at a final MSRP, teams are to assume that at least 5,000 of their sleds would be manufactured and additional costs incurred in mass production of their models must be included. The CSC team made a number of alterations to their base machine, a 2008 Ski Doo Rev-XP, that pushed the final value of the machine to just over $13,000. For the 2009 competition, the team installed a secondary fuel mapping system that overrode the stock mapping system but allowed for all other stock features to continue functioning. Another alteration to the original snowmobile was the installation of a General Motors flex-fuel sensor that determined the alcohol content of the fuel to create more effective combustion. The team also installed an auxiliary catalytic converter that improved emissions from the two-stroke engine.

Kurek asserted that the competition itself offered learning experiences outside of constructing the snowmobile. "At the competition, there's a lot of professional development, such as meeting with sponsors and judges from the industry," explained Kurek. "We have to act in a professional manner."

At the 2009 competition, UWP's snowmobile finished seventh overall out of 14 teams. Highlights from the competition include a successful cold start, in which the snowmobile is cold-soaked overnight and must start within 20 seconds and drive 100 feet without stalling. UWP also had the second-lightest sled at the competition and took second place in the acceleration portion of the contest. In preparation for the 2010 competition, the team is continuing development of the flex-fuel system and working to improve results in the emissions event.

Another option for SAE members at UWP is to join the Formula team, which designs, fabricates and races a Formula-style race car. Teams are to assume their vehicle is for the non-professional, weekend competition racing market.

The Formula competition consists of both static and dynamic events. Evaluations of the car's design, cost feasibility and marketability fall under the static events. Dynamic events test the car's acceleration, cornering ability, endurance and handling.

The UWP Formula team made significant changes for the 2009 competition, including a nod to the growing movement towards environmentally sound practices. "A lot of people might think racing is a waste of fuel, so with that in mind we wanted to go down the environmentally-friendly route as far as the race car and see what kind of doors that could open," explained Flatley.

The 2009 Formula car, like the clean snowmobile, runs on E85 ethanol. Formula teams have the option of using a traditional unleaded fuel, but the team opted for the ethanol option, which required additional modifications. "There were new challenges and new parts," explained Tom Flatley, captain of the UWP Formula team. "Some of the changes included the implementation of higher-compression pistons and a re-designed camshaft."

The 2009 competition was held at the Michigan International Speedway, with this year's competition held from May 13-16. The team finished 73rd out of 120 teams in this year's competition.

A third option for members of SAE is to join the Mini Baja team at UWP. The SAE Mini Baja competition challenges students to design, fabricate and race a miniature Baja-style off-road vehicle. Like the CSC and Formula car challenges, cost, design and reliability figure into judging just as much as the car's performance. Each Mini Baja vehicle is powered by a 10-horsepower Intek Model 20 engine donated by Briggs and Stratton. The common engine among all competitors challenges students to work under an engineering design constraint, similar to what they may encounter in the professional field after graduation.

UWP's Mini Baja team traveled to the MGA Automotive Research facility in Burlington from Thursday, June 11 to Sunday, June 14 for the 2008-2009 competition. Brendan Behrens, president of SAE and captain of the Mini Baja team, said the team made some significant alterations for the competition in June.

"To reduce vehicle weight, we primarily analyzed the chassis design because the majority of the vehicle's weight can be attributed to that area," explained Behrens, who added that classroom knowledge plays a pivotal role in the vehicle's design. "Throughout the design process, we utilize a lot of engineering knowledge that we have learned in class, such as principles in material mechanics and Finite Element Analysis to design a chassis that is both light and effective."

The Mini Baja team finished in 35th place out of 120 teams at the June competition.

The SAE chapter at UW-Platteville also has new facilities in the recently opened Engineering Hall. The new building offers SAE the use of a chassis dynamometer, which is used to measure a vehicle's engine torque and horsepower, a two-post hoist for vehicles, a fully ventilated welding area and a full-size automotive-grade paint booth. Kyle Droessler, vice president of SAE and co-captain of the Mini Baja team, said "The new engineering building's facilities provide the team with new opportunities and make us more competitive against the bigger schools."

In addition to upgraded facilities, UW-Platteville SAE also recently purchased an 18-foot-long enclosed aluminum trailer, thanks to a sponsorship from R&R Trailers.

As president of SAE, Behrens feels that SAE provides him with an extra advantage as an engineering student at UWP. "Whenever I'm in interviews and I mention SAE, they know I have practical experience" he explained. "SAE gives me the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge relative to a real-life engineering project."

Anyone with further questions regarding SAE or its involvement at SAE competitions may contact Behrens at or Kunz at (608) 342-1341 or

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Forensic laboratory house to bring UWP campus and community together

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville has approval from the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents and the Wisconsin Building Commission to break ground on a forensic laboratory house, the first of its kind in the midwest. The house will be built on the UWP Pioneer Farm and used for UWP criminal justice students and community law enforcement agents to learn about forensic investigation in a realistic, hands-on environment.

The house will also create opportunities for UWP students in the building construction management program. The Wisconsin Building Commission granted UWP permission to have the forensic laboratory house built by building construction management students as part of their final senior project. BCM students will continue to learn after the house is complete by using monitoring equipment to measure humidity levels and other relevant data throughout the year.

"The best part about this new facility is that it will increase practical application for both criminal justice and BCM students, and other individuals who use it," said Aric Dutelle, UWP criminal justice lecturer. "They will apply what they are learning in the classroom to realistic situations, going beyond the textbook."

After BCM students design and build the three-bedroom, 1,500 square-foot house, it will be set up like an actual residence. One of the bedrooms will be equipped with closed-circuit television so instructors can observe and record how students investigate burglaries, homicides and other domestic-based crimes. According to Dutelle, the television will allow instructors to monitor and control different crime scene scenarios. Instructors can observe students and provide more effective feedback.

"The community will also benefit from the forensic research house because local law enforcement agencies will be able to use the house for night crime scene training," said Dutelle.

Doug McKinley, Platteville chief of police, wrote a letter in support of the proposed construction of the forensic laboratory house. "I believe the house is going to be a valuable training resource, especially in our part of the state where quality law enforcement facilities are few and far between," said McKinley.

"UWP students, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Law Enforcement Academy attendees and area law enforcement personnel will benefit by using the forensic research house for scenario-based training to simulate actual crime scenes. The facility will add a new level of realism to our training," McKinley added.

The house will be built by the fall of 2010 with construction beginning this summer. For more information, contact Dutelle at (608) 342-1596 or

Contact: Aric Dutelle, UWP criminal justice department, (608) 342-1596, Written by: Anne Killian, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Monday, July 06, 2009

UWP recognizes donors at annual brunch

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Foundation had much to celebrate on Sunday, June 28 at the annual Donor Recognition Brunch. It was a time to recognize the past, present and future of UWP as alumni and friends gathered to honor supporters who have played a major role in funding the various scholarships, capital projects, development funds and other initiatives at UWP. Those present at the dinner were just a few of the more than 10,000 current donors who support UWP.

Guests were welcomed by Dennis Cooley, executive director of the UWP Foundation, who described this year as "One of the best years ever for the UWP Foundation," thanks to the support of UWP alumni and friends and the hard work of UWP's development officers. As Cooley introduced Chancellor David Markee to speak, he acknowledged that it was the chancellor's final address at the annual donor event.

Markee thanked those present at the brunch. "It is a great honor to have you here," Markee said. "I am pleased with the support and participation in projects that have allowed the university to grow and am excited about the leadership we have on campus."

The growth of the university is made possible in part by the strong enrollment numbers-1,600 new freshmen are coming to UWP this year, making the total number of students at UWP over 8,000. Markee explained the importance of the Tri-State Initiative to this growth and noted the development of new programs at UWP: MEMS/nanotechnology, forensic investigation, renewable energy systems, social and environmental justice and the Pioneer Academic Center for Community Engagement. The Confucius Institute, Engineering Hall, reconstruction of Williams Fieldhouse and the expansion of the Pioneer Farm have also furthered the growth of UWP, according to Markee. "Ottensman and Boebel halls are next on the project list," Markee added.

After Markee spoke, a student group from the Engineers without Borders program at UWP gave a presentation on the group's work in African villages near Ghana. They have been traveling to Africa every year since 2007, addressing infrastructure needs and teaching the villagers how to fix problem areas themselves. The group has donated 500 pounds of textbooks, medical supplies and soccer balls to the villages.

Four individuals were honored as distinguished service award recipients. This award is given to those who have significantly served UWP and its mission. Recipients of this award have enhanced UWP's reputation by substantially contributing time and/or gifts for its benefit or have influenced others to develop a similar relationship with the university. During the brunch, Roman and Joan Borkovec, Lloyd Linden and Linda Pauls Fleming were recognized with this honor.

The brunch was concluded with a comment from Cooley, "Every year we get stronger, Chancellor Markee always found ways and opportunities for UWP to grow." For more information on the donor brunch, contact Nina Elskamp of the UWP Foundation at (608) 342-1182 or

Contact: Nina Elskamp, UWP Foundation, (608) 342-1182, Written by: Anne Killian, UWP Office of Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Thursday, July 02, 2009

UWP's Heartland Festival presents 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown'

PLATTEVILLE- The University of Wisconsin-Platteville's Heartland Festival brought the Peanuts comic strip to life on Friday, June 19 with the opening night of the musical comedy, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." The comedy, which opened on Broadway in 1999, is a fresh approach to the comic strip by Charles M. Schulz and incorporates song and dance routines into cut-and-pasted scenes of the actual comic strip. Sally Brown, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder and Snoopy all joined Charlie Brown in the revival version presented at the Heartland Festival.

The show began with the entire company coming to the stage to sing "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." The cast then broke down and performed many memorable scenes from the Peanuts comic strip, such as Charlie Brown and his team losing a baseball game, complete with helpful tips from Lucy; Snoopy attacking the Red Baron; Linus' blanket and Lucy's psychological advice booth where Charlie Brown frequented quite often. The show ended with the entire cast singing about happiness.

After the show, the cast members remained on stage for a short talkback during which they answered questions about the show from members of the audience. Following the talkback, the audience was invited to the lobby to meet the cast members and enjoy a piece of Dairy Queen ice cream cake - an opening night tradition.

The audience for opening night included both adults and children of all ages. Barb LeGrande, a resident of Platteville who has attended many performances on the UWP campus, brought her three grandchildren to see the musical.

"I thought it would be a fun experience," said LeGrande. "Musicals like 'Charlie Brown' are not only entertaining, but they expand knowledge. In the car, my grandchildren were asking, 'Who is Charlie Brown?' This musical was a fun way for them to be exposed to new things."

Bryan Kerian, a UWP theater student and an ensemble cast member of "The Producers," a Heartland Festival show premiering on Friday, July 10, also came to see the show and support his fellow castmates.

"The cast of the musical brought a blend of humor to it that everyone was able to enjoy," said Kerian.

Not just the audience members, but the actors in the musical equally enjoyed the performance.

"Our nerves were running high," said Jillian Kates, an Ohio native who played Sally Brown in the play. "We've been rehearsing together and laughing at our own jokes that we thought were getting old. We had such an excellent audience for opening night and they helped the performance ."

The director and musical director, Paul Helm, and the cast also had fun using their creative juices to make additions to the original "Charlie Brown" material. They added a reference to the musical "Wicked," added a James Bond move to the rabbit-chasing scene and also paid tribute to the Platteville Dairy Queen, a sponsor of the UWP Heartland Festival, by adding the Dairy Queen logo in the play.

"The opening of 'Charlie Brown' was excellent. Great cast, great music, beautiful lights, set and costumes - a great evening for the whole family to enjoy. Schulz had many life lessons in his work that continue to ring true. People should not miss this show," said John Hassig, director of UWP Performing and Visual Arts, Programs and Facilities.

There will be more opportunities to see Charlie Brown and the gang this summer. Shows will be held on July 11 and 25 and Aug. 2 and 8 at 2 p.m.; July 5, 21 and 29 and Aug. 4 at 7:30 p.m.; and July 18 at 10 a.m. Ticket prices are $18 for adults and $9 for UWP students with a valid ID and individuals under the age of 18. Tickets are available through the University Box Office at (608) 342-1298 or at

Contact: John Hassig, director, UWP Performing and Visual Arts, Programs and Facilities, (608) 342-1267, Written by: Morgan Spitzer, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

UWP implements new classes in English department

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville English Department recently approved four new classes that will be offered beginning in the fall semester. One of the classes will be a course in postcolonial literature and the other three will be courses in gay studies.

Amanda Tucker, assistant professor of English for the UWP Humanities Department, will be teaching the postcolonial literature class. Students attending this class will be reading postcolonial literature, which is defined as writing from countries and locations that were once under the domain of European imperialism, such as Australia and Ireland. More typically, postcolonial literature describes writing from Africa, the Caribbean and South Asia. Students will be reading works from all of these places.

Although the course curriculum is subject to change, students taking the postcolonial literature class will be reading Nobel Prize-winning writers like Derek Walcott and Wole Soyinka. Writers such as Jamaica Kincaid, Bharati Mukherjee and Brian Friel are also on the syllabus for the class.

The UWP English Department hired Tucker in 2008 with the expectation that she would develop classes in the area of postcolonial literature. The department has wanted to offer courses in this subject for several years, not only because of the great range of countries, traditions and values that the literature teaches, but also because of the subject's growing importance and popularity. In October, Tucker began the approval process, and the University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee accepted the class in April.

"The literature course exposes students to some absolutely fantastic writers and texts that are commonly left out of American, British and even world literature classes," said Tucker. "Also, this course offers a broad understanding of international relations through literature. We will be reading writers who are preoccupied with questions about the construction of race and culture, the distribution of power and the possibility of social equality. Ultimately, this course aims to make students more conscientious and informed global citizens, which is a necessity for everyone in our contemporary movement."

Beginning this fall, the post-colonial literature class will be offered in the fall semester of every year.

Tucker is currently working on a book manuscript that looks at the intersection between the Irish and postcolonial studies, particularly as it relates to immigration and diaspora. The project examines a range of writers, some of who participated in Europe's imperial endeavors, but more commonly worked against them. She has been doing archival research in Ireland, namely Belfast and Dublin, for the manuscript. Tucker also has published essays and forthcoming essays on transnational feminism and cosmopolitanism in modern and contemporary Irish literature.

J. Keith Hale, assistant professor for the UWP English Department, will be introducing two gay studies classes to UWP this fall and a third in the spring. Student interest prompted the English department to approach Hale, who has extensive background in this area, about developing courses in this area.

"More than 30 colleges and universities in the United States offer gay studies minors and another 16 offer certificates in gay studies. Hundreds more offer courses of the topic," said Hale. "Until now, UWP has not offered any courses in gay studies, and after discussing the issue with my colleagues, I decided to propose three courses instead of just one with the eventual goal of offering a certificate program in gay studies. The English department strongly supports adding the courses not only to better serve our current students, but also to make our course offerings more attractive to potential students."

One of the new courses is an introduction to gay studies that focuses on the treatment of same-sex relationships in cultures around the globe and throughout history. The course will also cover contemporary issues and popular culture, including gay and lesbian cinema.

The second course that is offered is an upper-level class in gay and lesbian literature for young adults. The class has the same structure as other young adult literature classes, but will focus on books written about gay teenagers or teenagers that have homosexual family members or friends.

"Many gay and lesbian issues come up in pubic schools today, yet few teachers have any training on how to handle these issues," said Hale. "My hope is that future teachers who take this course will have a better understanding of the problems faced by gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning and other students who are facing anti-gay bullying. When teachers understand the problems, they are better able to offer the assistance that could keep some kids alive through the bullying that occurs in secondary schools."

The last class offered will be another upper-level course in gay and lesbian literature. This class will focus on classical homosexual-themed works, such as the "Calamus" poems by Walt Whitman, that are often overlooked in other literature courses. It will also focus on contemporary works, such as "Brokeback Mountain" by Annie Proulx.

Two of the classes, Introduction to Gay Studies and Lesbian Literature for Young Adults, will be offered every fall semester beginning in the fall. Beginning this spring, Gay and Lesbian Literature will be offered every spring semester.

Hale has published four books on various aspects of gay studies. He has edited a collection of letters by a poet that had been sealed for 80 years because of their homosexual themes. That edition, titled "Friends & Apostles," was published by Yale University Press. Hale has also published an account of homosexuality in Turkey and the Balkans titled, "In the Land of Alexander," and a book about gays in the military called "Tom Allegiances." His fourth book is a novel titled "Clicking Beat on the Brink of Nada." Hale has also published essays on Dickens, Rumi, Sa'di, Hafiz, David Garnett and gay Philippine literature, as well as an interview with Bono.

Anyone interested in learning more about the new classes at UWP may contact Tucker at (608) 342-6104 or, or Hale at (608) 342-1946 or

Contact: Amanda Tucker, assistant professor of English, UWP Humanities Department, (608) 342-6104,; Keith Hale, assistant professor of English, UWP Humanities Department, (608) 342-1946, Written by: Morgan Spitzer, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

UWP...What College Should Be