Lawrence University News

Lawrence Awarded $150,000 Grant to Expand Student Internship Opportunities

Posted on: August 20th, 2014 by Rick Peterson
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A $150,000 Career Ready Internship grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation will support approximately 50 new, paid internships opportunities during the 2014-15 academic year for Lawrence juniors and seniors who qualify for need-based financial aid.

More Lawrence University students will graduate with a competitive edge thanks to a $150,000 Career Ready Internship grant the college has received from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation for the 2014-2015 academic year.

The grant, part of Great Lakes’ Career Ready Internship program, will support an estimated 51 new, paid internships or the conversion of currently unpaid internships into paid ones for Lawrence juniors and seniors who qualify for need-based financial aid.

This is the second internship grant Lawrence has received from Great Lakes. It was awarded a $125,000 grant for a pilot program during the 2013-14 academic year.

The grant will provide opportunities for all students to work in their field of study while still in college, not just those who can afford to go without a salary. When students are unable to participate in an internship for financial reasons, they miss out on invaluable, real-world experience that can make them more competitive in the job market after graduation.

“The Career Services team is excited to help level the playing field by offering financial assistance to students who participate in unpaid internships,” said Patricia Plutz, Lawrence’s internship coordinator. “Nonprofit organizations benefit greatly from the enthusiasm provided by our students who are eager to make a difference. Lawrence is pleased to partner with employers to provide enriching experiential learning opportunities.”

Lawrence’s current internship program provides students numerous resources for understanding, exploring and securing internships with small nonprofits, local businesses, large corporations and government agencies.

“Internships 101″ teaches students about internship search tools, resources and the support provided by Career Services. Think Globally Explore Locally site visits offer students on-site glimpses into the workplace while promoting the Fox Valley area as a microcosm of the national and global job market. Employer-led information and tabling sessions provide students with important data about different organizations, including currently or upcoming open positions.

Annual career trips to larger cities around the Midwest expose students to organizations within fields of study and help build relationships with employers, especially alumni employers. Shadowing and networking opportunities during academic breaks enable students to “jump start” an internship or test out an organization or career field before engaging in a full internship.

Lawrence is one of 40 colleges and universities across Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio and Minnesota to receive some of the $5.2 million in Career Ready Internship grant funds awarded by Great Lakes.

“Our Career Ready Internship grants provide college students real-world experience in their fields of study and a better chance at competing for jobs after graduation,” said Richard D. George, Great Lakes’ president and chief executive officer. “This program has the added benefit of developing relationships of lasting value between colleges and employers. We look forward to seeing the impact Lawrence can have on helping more students graduate ready for success in the workforce.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

About Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation
Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates helps millions of students pay for college and repay their student loans. Through Community Investments, Great Lakes leads initiatives and funds programs that help students from traditionally underserved backgrounds start and complete a two- or four-year degree or other credential.

Building Mideast Bridges: Lawrence’s Dani Glass Using Frisbee as Peace-Making Tool

Posted on: August 18th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

For most participants, the game of Ultimate Frisbee is a playful diversion, a social and recreational outlet. For Dani Glass, it has been a life-changing experience.

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Dani Glass ’15, a member of Lawrence’s Ultimate Frisbee team, has spent the past five summers as a volunteer coach/counselor at Ultimate Peace, a camp that uses the sport to build relationships among teenagers in the Middle East.

It’s hardly a surprise the senior English major at Lawrence University would gravitate to the sport. It’s practically a part of her DNA. Three members of her family have played the sport professionally, including her father, Bruce Glass. Her uncle and aunt, Mike and Nancy Glass, are members of the Ultimate Hall of Fame.

“I grew up throwing a Frisbee around, but I didn’t start playing organized Ultimate until the summer of 2009,” said Glass, a 2010 graduate of Deerfield High School in suburban Chicago.

A long-time soccer player, Glass dove headlong in the game after learning Illinois would be sending a representative team to a major youth tournament for the first time.

“My aunt said I should try out. I was like, ‘OK, I can throw a disk, I can run around a field and catch,’” said Glass. “It was a coed team and there were like 20 guys at the tryout and five girls including me. I got out onto the line and one of the guys asked, ‘are you a cutter or a handler?’ I freaked out a little bit because I had no idea what those words meant. But I wound up on the team and we eventually went to a big, national tournament in Minnesota.

“I picked it up pretty easily, having played soccer for so many years,” added Glass, the starting goalie on Lawrence’s women’s soccer team and a cutter on the college’s Ultimate Frisbee team.

The sport took on an entirely different meaning for Glass after she discovered camp Ultimate Peace, a non-profit initiative launched by a former teammate of her uncle’s. Conducted in Israel, the camp uses Ultimate Frisbee as an instrument to help teenagers in the region build relationships that hopefully will lead to a more peaceful Middle East.

In the summer of 2010, Glass traveled to Israel with her mother, three cousins, her uncle and aunt to participate in the first week-long Ultimate Peace camp near Haifa. It attracted more than 120 Arab-Israeli, Jewish-Israeli and Palestinian teenagers.

A unique aspect of Ultimate Frisbee is that it is played without official referees. Known as “the spirit of the game” — an elevated level of sportsmanship — it is instead governed by the 14 players on the field, making it an ideal vehicle for bonding disparate groups.

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Mnar Taha (left) and Haya Hijaze (center) were two of the participants Lawrence senior Dani Glass worked with at this summer’s Ultimate Peace camp in Israel.

“Spirit encompasses five values: mutual respect, integrity, fun, non-violence and friendship,”  explained Glass, who runs drills and helps coach scrimmages at the camps. “Through spirit, we provide kids the opportunity to get to know each other and form friendships that have proven to be important, meaningful and lasting for them.”

Operating on a “no politics” rule, the camps strive to get each group to learn more about the other’s culture through conversation, but not debate public policy or geography.

“By eating together, practicing in the hot sun, hanging out at the pool, doing some non-Frisbee things, the kids really get to know each other,” said Glass, who will serve next year as co-president of Lawrence’s chapter of Hillel, the largest Jewish campus organization in the world. “That’s an incredible thing to see. They all come from places with so much conflict and prejudice and then they get to camp, they get to know each other and a lot of that starts to melt away.”

Five years in, Ultimate Peace is indeed serving as a bridge. Glass beams with stories of Jewish girls who want to visit their Arab friends’ houses to experience Ramadan and Arab girls who want to see what Jewish holidays are like.

“I don’t know how to describe the impact it has had on my life. It has changed my life more than I could have ever imagined. To see these kids 100 percent focused on creating a community of trust in each other is overwhelming. In the face of all this conflict, it is so refreshing to see their efforts in making a positive change.”
Dani Glass ’15

“We have two girls, an Arab-Israeli and Jewish-Israeli, talking about how they’re going to stand up at each other’s weddings,” said Glass, one of about 30 American coaches who work the camps each summer. “To see that transformation happen and to be part of it is just the most gratifying thing I could ever imagine.”

Reflecting on her involvement with Ultimate Peace turns Glass emotional. The term “life changing” is used repeatedly. The experience has shaped her entire philosophy of life.

“I don’t know how to describe the impact it has had on my life,” said Glass, who returned earlier this summer from her fifth straight trip to Ultimate Peace. “It has changed my life more than I could have ever imagined. To see these kids 100 percent focused on creating a community of trust in each other is overwhelming. In the face of all this conflict, it is so refreshing to see their efforts in making a positive change.”

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Muhammed Yassen was one of the friends Lawrence senior Dani Glass made at this summer’s Ultimate Peace Camp.

“I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the question, ‘what do you know for sure?’  There are not very many things I can say ‘I know that 100 percent to be true,’ but I do know for sure that the most important things in my life are showing simple kindness, showing gratitude and choosing to matter.

“Ultimate Peace has helped me to get there, to understand the role that those things can play in my life and can play in other peoples’ lives if I enact them, if I embody them. It’s given me the chance to step out of the constraints I’ve lived under. Every year with Ultimate Peace, I’ve stepped out of those constraints even more.”

With her college graduation less than a year away, Glass sees Ultimate Peace playing a role in the direction her career takes.

“What I’ve seen in the kids who speak more than their native language is that language is a very empowering thing. I’ve wanted to be a high school English or literature teacher for as long as I can remember.

“But in the past couple years I’ve realized that what I really want to do is teach English abroad. I’ve looked into a few programs, including some in the Middle East. It’s always been a life goal to learn conversational Hebrew. It’d be nice to pick up some Arabic, too. If I could teach there and work there, I could conduct practices and clinics and see these kids all year because just once every year isn’t enough.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence Chapter of Mortar Board Cited with National Awards

Posted on: August 14th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

Lawrence University’s chapter of Mortar Board National Honor Society was honored at the organization’s recent national conference in Atlanta, Ga., as one of the most outstanding in the nation.

Mortar Board LogoFrom among 230 chapters around the country, Lawrence’s Iota Chapter was presented the Most Improved Chapter Award and the Golden Torch Award. The awards were based on chapter accomplishments over the course of the past year. Senior Kevin Killian, current Iota chapter president, represented Lawrence at the national conference.

The Most Improved Award honors a chapter that achieved success in re-establishing and reinvigorating programming and membership, including operations, community service and visibility. Recipients are chosen from chapters first nominated by a committee.

The Golden Torch Award reflects exceptional chapters that exceed minimum standards throughout the academic year, including tangible achievements on campus and in the community. Selections are based on devotion to Mortar Board’s key ideals of scholarship, leadership and service.

Kevin Killain with MB award_newsblog_edited-1

Senior Kevin Killian, current president of Lawrence’s chapter of Mortar Board National Honor Society, proudly displays the “Most Improved Chapter Award” presented to LU at the recent national conference in Atlanta.

The chapter’s accomplishments included:

an average GPA of 3.8 among its members.

volunteer partnerships with Saving Paws, a local animal shelter, and the Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley, including a sushi-making night with the Hmong Youth Pride and Empowerment group (HYPE)

a “Reading is Leading” initiative that benefits the Fox Valley Literacy Coalition

a “dorm-storm” book drive, exchanging old books for free candy at the residence halls

assisting with major campus events, including the inauguration of Lawrence’s 16th president, Mark Burstein, and a reception for members of the freshmen class who completed Lawrence’s signature academic program, “Freshman Studies.”

“Being recognized with these two awards is a very proud moment for our organization, especially after a year of making major strides in our operations, campus programming and community outreach,” said chapter past president Tara Jensen, who graduated in June. “None of the Iota chapter’s accomplishments would have been possible without the help of campus advisor Linda Fuerst, so we owe her our thanks for this recognition as well.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Art Professor Benjamin Rinehart Featured in Large-Scale Printmaking Exhibition

Posted on: August 8th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

Lawrence University art professor Benjamin Rinehart is one of 41 printmakers whose large-scale relief prints will be exhibited Aug. 9-17 at Manitowoc’s Rahr-West Art Museum.

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Benjamin Rinehart’s large-scale print “Full Melt” will be part of an exhibition Aug. 9-17 at Manitowoc’s Rahr-West Art Museum.

Most artists created a large — 60” x 36” — relief print July 21-25 during a public printmaking event in Manitowoc that attracted artists from around the country and included the use of a city-owned steamroller.

Following the exhibition at the Rahr-West Art Museum, the prints will be showcased at the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum in Two Rivers through the end of October. Additional venues are being scheduled both nationally and internationally.

A member of the Lawrence faculty since 2006, Rinehart specializes in socially-charged images with an emphasis on printmaking, book constructions, painting and drawing. His work is included in numerous public and private collections and has been exhibited both nationally and internationally.

Prior to Lawrence, Rinehart taught at Pratt Institute, Rutgers/Mason Gross School of the Arts, Long Island University, Fordham University, FIT, and Manhattan Graphics Center. He also has served as a visiting artist at institutions around the country, including the Center for Book Arts, Pyramid Atlantic, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Brookfield Craft Center and the John Michael Kohler Art Center. He is the author of the book “Creating Books & Boxes.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Mile of Music: Lawrence has Deep Connections to Appleton Festival

Posted on: August 4th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

When the “Mile 2″ version of Appleton’s four-day Mile of Music festival rolls into town Aug. 7, Lawrence University’s fingerprints will be ever present.

Mile of Music Logo-2014 copyThe follow-up to 2013’s inaugural original hand-crafted artisan music festival builds on the success of its debut with more than 200 artists — bands and solo performers — delivering more than 600 live performances Aug. 7-10 at 60 venues along College Avenue and the Fox River.

For the second year in a row, the Lawrence Memorial Chapel will host several of the festival’s headline acts, including  folk/bluegrass guitar picker Christopher Gold and Nashville singer/songwriter Adriel Denae.  Performances also will be held in Lawrence’s Stansbury Theatre and the Viking Room in Memorial Hall.

The Milk Carton Kids, which had been slated for a Friday night show at the Lawrence Memorial Chapel have had to cancel. However, in their place at 10:25 p.m., Mile of Music organizers have formed an outlaw-themed performance hosted by festival co-founder Cory Chisel. Joining Chisel for the roundtable performance are new additions Langhorne Slim and Ruby Amanfu.

Beyond merely hosting events, numerous artists whose musical roots can be traced to Lawrence will be among the festival’s performers. And an extensive series of hands-on, participatory music education events, featuring more than 30 workshops and demonstrations, will be led by 1987 Lawrence graduate Leila Ramagopal Pertl, the festival’s music education curator.

With the support of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, Pertl has assembled an expert team of 10 area music teachers and music education students, all with ties to Lawrence, who will conduct sessions ranging from Balinese gamelan to Brazilian samba, each focused on releasing each participant’s inner musician.

“This is one of the only music festivals in the nation where music education is a central part of the mission,” said Brian Pertl, dean of the conservatory of music, who will conduct a didjeridu workshop as part of the festival. “The music education team has created all sorts of opportunities for everybody to transcend the role of passive listener and embrace the role of active music maker. This perfectly aligns with the core mission of our conservatory, so we can’t wait for the fun to begin.”

Among the festival’s scheduled performers with Lawrence roots are:

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The Involuntary String Band will be one of eight artists with ties to Lawrence that will be performing during the second Mile of Music festival.

The four-member Involuntary String Band, features Martha McDonnell ’14 on fiddle, Davey Harrison ’13 on mandolin, Ilan Blanck ’16 on guitar and banjo and Nick Allen ’14 on bass. McDonnell just finished a 38-show run as a hand-selected member of the pit orchestra for the world premiere run of Sting’s new musical “The Last Ship,” which opened June 10 at Chicago’s Bank of America Theatre.  Saturday, Aug. 9, 4:30-5:20 p.m., X-TRA 920 – VIP Priority;  Saturday, Aug. 9, 7:40-8:30 p.m., Deja Vu – VIP Priority.

Fatbook, a former student band that won two DownBeat “best college/blues/pop/rock group” awards in 2009 and ’10. Currently based in Chicago, the band features three Lawrence graduates: founder Harjinder Singh ’11, guitar/lead vocals; Evan Jacobson ’08, trombone; and Reed Flygt ’08, drums. Friday, Aug. 8, 2:40-3:30 p.m., Deja Vu – VIP Priority; Friday Aug. 8, 6:50-7:40 p.m., Luna Lounge – VIP Priority.

Jana Nyberg Group, a five-member jazz/pop/soul band out of Minneapolis/St. Paul managed by Adam Meckler ’07, who also plays trumpet in the group. Friday, Aug. 8, 1:30-2:20 p.m., Deja Vu – VIP Priority; Saturday, Aug. 9, 4:40 -5:30 p.m., Skyline Comedy/Music Club – VIP Priority.

Bright Kind, a four-member band featuring Alex Bunke ’09 on drums and Eric Klosterman ’10  on keyboards. Their self-titled first album was just released in late July. Friday, Aug. 8, 5:40-6:30 p.m., Luna Lounge – VIP Priority.

Oshkosh-based singer/songwriter Ross Catterton ’08, a multi-instrument musician who plays saxophone, guitar, piano and drums. Saturday, Aug. 9, 4-4:50 p.m., Frank’s Pizza Palace; Sunday, Aug. 10, 2:30-3:20 p.m., McGuinness Irish Pub.

Fresh off a two-week tour of New England and Toronto, Holy Sheboygan! returns to Mile of Music. The seven-piece folk/trash band features an all-Lawrence line-up: Julia Blair ’11, viola/accordion/lead vocals; Cameron Carrus ’13, bass; Ben DeCorsey ’10, guitar/mandolin; Jeff Edenberg ’10 horn/glockenspiel/recorder/saw; Cary Foxx ’12, bass clarinet/tenor saxophone; Rachel Graber ’13, “recycled percussion” (tire rim/chip bucket/keg); and Liam O’Brien ’10, guitar/lead vocals. Saturday, Aug. 9, 1:50-2:40 p.m., The Bar – VIP Priority.

“The music education team has created all sorts of opportunities for everybody to transcend the role of passive listener and embrace the role of active music maker.
       — Brian Pertl, dean of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music

 The six-member, all Lawrence student/alumni Porky’s Groove Machine makes its Mile of Music debut. The self-described nerd fund band features: Matthew Lowe, ’14 trombone/vocals; Casey Frensz, ’14, saxophone/vocals; Marshall Yoes, ’15, trumpet/vocals; Nick Allen, ’14 bass;  Ilan Blanck ’16, guitar; and Patrick Marschke, ‘13, drums. Saturday, Aug. 9, 6-6:50 p.m., Lawrence Viking Room.

 The Appleton-based, bro-pop quartet The Crowe Brothers features 2011 Lawrence graduate Jake Crowe, guitar/bass/saxophone/vocals, and his three younger brothers: Luke, guitar/vocals;   Ryley, vocals/drums; and Antone, guitar/bass/vocals.  Thursday, Aug. 7, 7:50-8:40 p.m., Emmett’s – VIP Priority.

Kiddy/Wompus, a three-member gypsy, roadhouse blues band out of Marquette, Mich., is led by 2014 Lawrence graduate Alexis Mahler, violin/cello/vocals. Saturday, Aug. 9, 12-12:50 p.m., Emmett’s – VIP Priority.

Lawrence’s connection with the festival includes 2008 Lawrence graduate Nathan Litt, who has the Herculean task of orchestrating the festival as project coordinator with Willems Marketing, one of the co-organizers of Mile of Music.

“Once again, Lawrence has stepped up as a key partner,” said Litt. “There is a good representation of Lawrence-connected artists performing during the festival. We’ll take advantage of several university venues and the university’s collaboration on the music education aspect is something that really sets Mile of Music apart from many other festivals across the country. I can’t wait to see how our partnership with Lawrence continues to evolve. There is a lot of potential for the future and that’s a good thing.

Litt says the festival’s lack of household names should not be confused for lack of talent.

“We’re really excited about the artist lineup for Mile 2,” said Litt. “Many of the artists and bands performing are just on the cusp of exploding and making it on the national scene.  I’m confident attendees will be blown away by the quality and diversity of musical styles. By the end of the festival, people are definitely going leave as new fans of artists or groups they’ve never heard of before. That’s exactly what we’re all about—providing a platform for music fans to discover and explore incredible original music from emerging artists.”

Read more about this year’s Mile of Music festival.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

 

Lawrence Wins International Percussion Ensemble Competition

Posted on: July 31st, 2014 by Rick Peterson
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The Lawrence University Percussion Ensemble won the 2014 Percussive Arts Society’s World Percussion Ensemble Competition and will be a featured performer at the PAS international convention in November.

The Lawrence University Percussion Ensemble (LUPÉ) will be among the featured performers at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention this November in Indianapolis, Ind., after winning the organization’s 2014 International World Percussion Ensemble Competition.

LUPÉ — comprising the Sambistas, a Brazilian drumming corps, Kinkaviwo, a Ghanaian drum and dance group and Tambotoke´, an Afro-Cuban group — was selected the winner from among submitted video tapes. The annual PAS-sponsored World Percussion Competition is open to high school and college/university ensembles performing non-Western percussion-based music. Lawrence’s submission was from its March 2014 concert in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

It is the second time LUPE has won a PAS international competition under the direction of Professor of Music Dane Richeson. LUPE won the 1995 PAS collegiate percussion ensemble competition and performed at its international conference in Phoenix that year.

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Professor of Music Dane Richeson

“I am so proud of my students and am honored to be recognized by the Percussive Arts Society for the second time,” said Richeson, who has directed Lawrence’s percussion studio since 1984. “Winning the World Percussion Ensemble Competition is a testament to the dedication and hard work our students put into learning these music traditions from Brazil, Ghana and Cuba. Many of the student directors of our ensembles have received grants to travel to these countries and study with master musicians similar to the ones I have had opportunities to study with during my sabbaticals there. It fills me with pride to see our students embrace this music as if it was from their own culture.”

The Percussive Arts Society International Convention is the world’s largest percussion event, featuring more than 120 concerts, clinics, master classes, labs, workshops, panels and presentations. Lawrence will perform at the convention with winners in other categories of PAS-sponsored competitions, including ensembles from the University of Kentucky, Oklahoma State University and Yale University.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Wriston Galleries Summer Exhibition Series Features Thomas, Margaret Dietrich Paintings

Posted on: July 26th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

The work of former Lawrence University art professor Thomas Dietrich and his wife, Margaret Rappe Dietrich, opens Lawrence’s Wriston Art Center Galleries new summer exhibition series Wednesday, July 30.

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Thomas Dietrich’s “Fox River Mill” will be among the paintings featured in the new Wriston Art Center Galleries summer exhibition series.

The series is designed to engage the Fox Valley community in a conversation about artworks and artists of the Midwest. The inaugural exhibition runs through August 17.

An Appleton native, Tom Dietrich was a professor of art and later artist-in-residence at Lawrence from 1944-74. During a career spanning seven decades, Dietrich was best known for his watercolor paintings of the people, paper mills, bridges and landscapes of the Fox Valley. He died in 1998.

Margaret Dietrich grew up in Chicago and graduated from Lawrence in 1936. Like her husband, the Fox Cities were a favorite subject matter. She frequently captured Appleton’s Lutz and Pierce parks, as well as other local scenery, through her oil and watercolor paintings.

Beyond the 45 works exhibited at the Wriston Galleries, a map will be available that identifies other Fox Cities locations where the Dietrichs’ work can be seen, including the History Museum at the Castle and the Paper Discovery Center.

The Wriston Art Center galleries are free and open to the public Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday from noon – 4 p.m. The galleries are closed on Mondays. For more information on the exhibition, call 920-832-6890.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence Receives $2.5 Million Gift to Endow Elementary Education Program

Posted on: July 24th, 2014 by Rick Peterson
John&Sally-Mielke_newsblog

John and Sally Mielke

The Mielke family’s dedication to improving education in the Fox Cities is legendary.

Three generations of Mielkes have contributed time, talent, passion, vision and philanthropy to growing and sustaining educational programs and organizations that are almost too numerous to count.

Mielkes have taught — and still do — in public schools, trained future nurses and led education policy through extensive school board service. Dr. John and Sally Mielke helped create the Brain to Five initiative, an education series focused on early childhood development, and are among the driving forces behind the collaborative Community Early Learning Center that will launch later this year.

Their legacy grows with a $2.5 million gift from the Mielke Family Foundation in partnership with John, Sally and the Mielke family, to expand Lawrence University’s current teacher education program to include elementary teacher education beginning in the fall of 2015.

In honor of the family’s extraordinary investment in education studies and teacher training, the education program at Lawrence will be named the Mielke Family Department of Education.

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President Mark Burstein

“Lawrence is honored to join the Mielke Family Foundation in this venture,” said Lawrence University president Mark Burstein. “This extraordinary investment will create an innovative educational path for excellent elementary teachers, open new doors for Lawrence students, and underscore the Fox Cities’ reputation as a family-friendly community where education is a shared priority. We are deeply thankful for the Mielke’s continued support of Lawrence.”

“Our family is privileged to call Appleton our hometown, where children are treasured and education is valued, starting at birth,” said John Mielke. “We thank Lawrence for what it adds to the educational community in Appleton.”

Lawrence’s education program currently offers teacher certification in grades 5-12 in computer science, English, math, social studies, and theatre arts and K-12 certification in art, music, foreign language and English as a Second Language. Approximately 10-12 percent of Lawrence graduates complete teacher certification. The teacher education program also is open to graduates of other colleges and universities.

“This extraordinary investment will create an innovative educational path for excellent elementary teachers, open new doors for Lawrence students, and underscore the Fox Cities’ reputation as a family-friendly community where education is a shared priority.”
   — President Mark Burstein

The new offerings in elementary education will increase the reach of Lawrence’s existing teacher education program, whose graduates are highly regarded by the principals in whose schools they work and by the parents of the students they teach. The expansion will feature a distinctive apprenticeship-based program of pre-K-6 teacher preparation.

Based on an emerging best-practice model, students pursuing teacher certification for pre-K-through grade 6 will spend an entire academic year in a local host school under the guidance of a cooperating teacher. As apprentice teachers, the Lawrence students will receive weekly, on-site, subject-specific methods instruction from master teachers.

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Stewart Purkey

“We believe this will become not only a signature program for Lawrence, but also a lighthouse program for Wisconsin,” said Stewart Purkey, the Bee Connell Mielke Professor of Education at Lawrence. “We are exceptionally pleased and proud that the Appleton Area School District has agreed to work with us as a partner in establishing it and we look forward to working closely with the district elementary teachers who will guide and shepherd our students.

“Not only is this wonderful news for Lawrence and our students, many of whom have expressed great interest in teaching elementary school but were not able to do so through our current program, but we think this is also good news for the elementary schools in which our graduates will teach,” Purkey added. “We believe Lawrence’s liberal arts based approach to teacher education is exactly the sort of background that will produce outstanding and effective elementary school teachers.”

Graduates of Lawrence’s present teacher education program have an in-depth major in an academic discipline, the breadth of knowledge gained from taking courses across the liberal arts and sciences and the focused professional knowledge in the art and craft of teaching. This will also be the case for Lawrence students in the elementary education program.

The Mielke Family Department of Education is the latest of numerous educational collaborations between Lawrence and the Mielke Family Foundation. Previously, the foundation has supported:
the establishment of the Bee Connell Mielke Professor of Education in 1996, the first endowed professorship in the college’s education department.

the establishment of the Edward F. Mielke Professorship in Ethics, Medicine Science and Society in 1987.

the Mielke Summer Institute in the Liberal Arts, an initiative launched in 1996 that brings 25 area teachers to Bjorkunden, Lawrence’s northern campus in Door County, for a week-long, for-credit professional development program.

The Mielke Family Foundation was established in 1963 by the late Dr. Edward Mielke and Bee Mielke and later supplemented through bequests from his sisters, Ruth Mielke and Sarah Mielke, 1914 and 1916 Lawrence graduates, respectively.

The foundation received the inaugural Lawrence University Collaboration in Action award in 2010.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

A Teachers’ Teacher: Lawrence Mourns the Passing of Professor Kenneth Sager

Posted on: July 22nd, 2014 by Rick Peterson

Professor Emeritus Kenneth Sager, the face of Lawrence University’s education department for nearly four decades, died peacefully Friday, July 18 at the age of 96.

Ken Sager_newsblog

Professor Emeritus Ken Sager taught in the education department at Lawrence from 1963-2001.

Sager graduated from Lawrence in 1939 and later returned to his alma mater, where he spent 38 years as a teacher and mentor in the college’s education department.  He passed away just days before Lawrence announced a $2.5 million gift that will expand the education department to include a distinctive apprenticeship-based program of pre-K-6 teacher preparation, a development he would have heartily applauded.

A funeral service is scheduled Thursday, July 24 at 11 a.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 200 Commercial St., Neenah. Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until time of service. Interment will be at Appleton’s Riverside Cemetery.

An Appleton native who spent all but a few years in his hometown, Sager was involved in education on multiple fronts nearly his entire adult life. Prior to joining the Lawrence education department in 1963, he spent 19 years in the classroom of his prep alma mater, Appleton Senior High School (now Appleton West), where he taught history, speech, psychology, philosophy and political science.

He earned a bachelor of arts degree in history in 1939 from Lawrence, where he played cello in the symphony. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, he was certified to teach English and history upon his graduation.

He earned a master’s degree in American history from the University of Wisconsin, but spent two years working at Pettibone-Peabody Company, Appleton’s pre-eminent dry goods store at the time, before embarking on a teaching career that spanned 59 years.

He began his teaching career in 1942 when a position opened up at Appleton High School after a teacher decided he would rather grow Christmas trees than continue working in the classroom. “He wanted to grow Christmas trees, I decided to grow people,” Sager once explained of his somewhat serendipitous entry into the education field.

After “officially” retiring from Lawrence in 2001 at the age of 83, Sager continued to teach speech courses until the age of 90. When asked about his long teaching tenure, Sager remarked, “If you like cheese, eat it!”

He devoted his life to improving education and his efforts extended beyond the classroom. He served 39 years on the Appleton Board of Education — one of only four people in the state with that lengthy of a tenure among Wisconsin’s 426 school districts at the time of his departure from the board (2003).

In addition to the Appleton Board of Education, Sager served as a trustee of the Upper Midwest Regional Education Laboratory, the Hazel Duling Scholarship Fund, was a member of the Committee for Career Education in Wisconsin Public Schools and was involved for many years with Appleton’s “A Better Chance” program.

His long career of service was recognized with numerous honors, among them induction into the Appleton West Hall of Fame in 2004 and the “Most Wonderful Person Award” from the Appleton Women’s Club in 1992. Upon his retirement from the board in 2003, the Appleton School Board voted to name the learning center at the Classical School “The Ken Sager Center” in recognition of his many years of dedicated service.

A music lover, Sager sang in local choirs and variously directed choirs at four area churches for more than 50 years. He collaborated with several area historians in co-authoring the book “Land of the Fox,” a history of Outagamie County.

Sager is survived by two daughters, Kristene and Ann, both of Appleton, a sister-in-law Marion Leisering, Appleton, his wife’s relatives Mary Kay Smith and her family and thousands of former students.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Music For All: Grant Helps Lawrence Launch New Community Outreach Project

Posted on: July 19th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

An Arts and Culture grant from unrestricted funds within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region will enable Lawrence University to launch a new program to bring classical chamber music to children and populations who ordinarily do not participate.

The $16,700 grant will support the “Music for All: Connecting Musicians and Community” project, which will be directed by Lawrence Conservatory of Music faculty members Michael Mizrahi and Erin Lesser.

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Michael Mizrahi, assistant professor of music

Working with three community partners — Riverview Gardens, the Fox Valley Warming Shelter and Appleton’s Jefferson Elementary School — Lawrence faculty and students will stage a series of classical music performances beginning this fall using interactive techniques to create deep, artistic connections in settings where such music is rarely heard.

The project will bring members of the New York City-based Decoda chamber music group to campus to help Lawrence students and faculty learn interactive performance methods, write scripts, create entry points into musical works and engage non-traditional audiences.

“I see this project as part of a musical renaissance in Appleton and beyond.”
    — Brian Pertl, dean of the conservatory of music

“We believe communities are made stronger through positive interaction and shared experiences,” said Mizrahi, a pianist who joined the Lawrence faculty in 2009 and also a member of Decoda. “We also believe that music has the power to connect people, transcend social barriers and provide meaningful emotional experiences. This project will facilitate active participation, conversation, engaged learning and meaningful connections among classical musicians and non-traditional audiences.”

The three community partners were targeted for the project because they represent diverse populations, including young children, “at-risk” teens, people experiencing homelessness, adults in job training programs and community garden members.

Approximately 1,000 individuals from FVWS and RVG, along with 200 students from Jefferson Elementary School, will benefit from increased access to live musical performance and interactive learning with this project.

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Brian Pertl, dean of the conservatory of music

Brian Pertl, dean of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music, sees the Music for All: Connecting Musicians and Community” initiative meshing perfectly with the conservatory’s core belief that music is for everyone and it can change lives in profound ways.

“This projects puts our philosophy into action so our students can figure out how best to give an audience entrance points into the music and then go out and actively engage the community in the wonder and beauty of the music,” said Pertl. “Music, and particularly classical music, should not be treated like some revered museum piece to be passively stared at through a dusty glass case. This project allows our faculty and students to find new ways to actively engage audiences from schools to warming shelters to concert halls in a meaningful, moving dialogue with the music. I see this project as part of a musical renaissance in Appleton and beyond.”

Approximately a dozen concerts are planned at the three partner sites during the 2014-15 academic year, most of which will be free and open to the public.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.