Lawrence University News

Happy 50th! Lawrence celebrates a not-so-trivial birthday

Posted on: January 21st, 2015 by Rick Peterson
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Channeling their 1960s “Mad Men” era roots, 2015 Grand Trivia Master Weronika Gajowniczek (center) and her fellow trivia masters will oversee the 50th edition of the nation’s longest-running salute to all things trivial Jan. 23-25. Photo by Nathan Lawrence ’15

Can anything that survives for half a century really still be considered “trivial?”

A year older than the Super Bowl and tougher than the Seattle Seahawk’s defense, the Lawrence University Great Midwest Trivia Contest — the country’s oldest ongoing salute to all-things insignificant — celebrates its 50th birthday Jan. 23-25.

After 2,450 hours of competition and more than 18,000 questions since then-Lawrence senior J.B. deRosset first asked “Who was Superman’s father?” back in 1966, Lawrence’s 50-hour intellectual scavenger hunt has established itself as the game’s granddaddy, asking students and others to ponder the offbeat and obscure long before minutia ever became en vogue.

“Going into that first contest, I don’t think any of us contemplated this happening a second time,” said deRosset, who will travel from the warmth of Miami to chilly Cheeseland this weekend to help commemorate the contest’s milestone moment. “My mind was on being draft eligible for Vietnam, raging hormones and where to go to graduate school.”

Following tradition, the 50th edition of the contest kicks off at precisely 37 seconds after 10 p.m., Friday, Jan. 23 and runs continuously through midnight Sunday, Jan. 25. As it has since 2006, the contest will be webcast worldwide on the Internet at wlfmradio.com.

“Trivia is like a 50-hour super bug…you don’t want to eat, you can’t sleep and the whole weekend is pretty much a weird fever dream.”
– Weronika Gajowniczek, 2015 Grand Trivia Master

Senior Weronika Gajowniczek, who presides over the weekend’s craziness as this year’s Grand Trivia Master, says trivia can “infect” players a little like the flu.

“Trivia is like a 50-hour super bug,” said Gajowniczek, who served as one of the contest’s 12 trivia masters the past two years before being chosen as the grand master this year. “You don’t want to eat, you can’t sleep and the whole weekend is pretty much a weird fever dream.

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A small army of trivia masters and other student volunteers will man the phones in the WLFM studios, collecting answers and tallying team point totals during Lawrence’s 50-hour Great Midwest Trivia Contest.

“Most people don’t just play trivia, they live trivia,” added Gajowniczek, who spent 16 straight hours answering phones at trivia headquarters as a freshman. “For that one weekend in January, you forget about everything else — homework, sleeping, eating, hygiene, your sanity. Nothing becomes more important than answering those arbitrary questions.”

Aah yes, the questions. Written by the trivia masters, the goal is to make them as “unGoggleable” as possible. The result is such brain teasers as On how many episodes of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” has the game Party Quirks been played? (129) or Who is immortalized on a blanket as Altoona Area High School’s top football player of 1965? (Dick Bard).

“You just dedicate your weekend to frantically searching in the weirdest corners of the internet,” said Gajowniczek, one of only a handful of women to oversee the contest in its long history.

In addition to the usual array of wacky questions and theme hours — Death and Destruction, Meowour (a segment devoted to felines) and, in tribute to Gajowniczek’s heritage, an all Polish-related set of questions — this year’s 50th edition will feature a tip of the hat to its 49 predecessors. Once each hour, Gajowniczek said they will ask a throwback question taken from the archives of the previous contests.

“Since there is 50 hours and 50 years, it works perfectly, so we’ll base a question off every year.”

Last year’s contest had 19 on-campus teams and 57 off-campus teams battling wits and busy signals for the loosest definition of the word “prizes.” Gajowniczek promises a return to more traditional prizes this year.

“The last few years, the trivia masters would just find something in the studio and give it out as a prize and mostly it was just things no one would keep,” said Gajowniczek. “We definitely want to bring back the tradition of the prizes, make them more memorable keepsakes, commemorative. I’m not promising anything special, but nothing like a jar full of cream cheese, like last year.”

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J.B. deRosset ’66

For all of its silliness, the contest actually grew out of a serious academic endeavor, one for which deRosset was bypassed. After not being asked to join a select group of students and faculty for an off-campus academic trip then known as “Encampment” to the general student populace and “Entrapment” to its detractors, deRosset came up with an alternative to the academic retreat: a contest on the campus’ radio station for “the trivial minds left behind.”

“My junior year set it up,” recalled deRosset, an attorney. “I had accumulated some extra credits from an off-campus program at Argonne National Labs and arrived my senior year with little stress and plenty of time and brain space for some creativity. It has kept going because it went so well the first year and my partner in crime, Dave Pfleger ,was ready, willing and able to do it again. With two contests under the Lawrence belt, it had the momentum to keep on truckin’. I know it takes a lot time for the students to put this together. More power to them for keeping the tradition alive.”

Again per tradition, Lawrence President Mark Burstein will have the privilege of blowing out the first birthday candle’ as it were by asking the  50th contest’s first question, which, also by tradition, is always the final question — the Super Garruda — from the previous year’s contest.

No team was able to add 100 points to its total last year by answering the 2014 Super Garruda: In the final resting place of Copernicus there are pillars with graffiti scratched into them. One of these pillars has graffiti that reads “EM is cool” and “DW is ok.” What does the only music-genre related graffiti on that pillar say?”

Come 10:00.37 Friday night, every self-respecting trivia team will know the answer is “Punks is not Death.”

Attention Lawrence alumni: If you’re making a pilgrimage to Appleton this weekend for your annual trivia fix, we’d like to chat with you. We’re hoping to connect with several LU grads about the contest for a story in the alumni magazine. Send a note to Communications@lawrence.edu and tell us where you’ll be on Saturday and how we can reach you. Thanks.

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.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrentians Honor Dr. King’s Call to Service With Community Engagement

Posted on: January 20th, 2015 by Rick Peterson
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Junior Isabell Dammann, Portland, Ore., joined other members of Greenfire in creating hats from old sweaters to donate to local shelters as part of a day of service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On the day set aside to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Lawrence University students put the civil rights leader’s call to service into action. With no classes scheduled for the day, more than 250 Lawrence students provided their time and talents to 16 Fox Cities organizations throughout the community.

Volunteer activities ranged from making housewarming gifts for residents of newly built Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity houses to staging a winter carnival for residents of Brewster Village to helping organize donations at Harbor House, the local domestic abuse shelter.

Other organizations that benefited from the community engagement efforts of Lawrence students included the Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley, Riverview Gardens, Bethesda Thrift Store, Fox Valley Warming Shelter, Homeless Connections, COTS, St. Joseph Food Program, St. Elizabeth Hospital and SLUG, among others.

Additionally, another 50 student leaders provided their talents to the community through music performances, swing dancing, physical activity and art instruction.

The day began with a student/staff/faculty discussion of education equality in public schools centered around the documentary film “Waiting for Superman.”

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Otter Pinske (center), a sophomore from Minneapolis, Minn., was among several students who shared stories of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with area youth at the Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Cities.

“While it’s a privilege to serve with hardworking non-profit leaders, students were encouraged to think about the necessary services these organizations provide and to dream of a day where everyone has the resources necessary to meet their universal human rights,” said Kristi Hill, Lawrence’s director of volunteer and community service programs.

See other stories about Lawrence’s engagement in the community on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday from Fox 11, NBC-26 and WFRV-TV.

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.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Fulfilling the Dream of Opportunity: Annual Community Celebration Honors Life, Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted on: January 17th, 2015 by Rick Peterson

Author and educator Gloria Ladson-Billings will draw parallels between the current youth activism that has emerged across the country and the efforts of Martin Luther King Jr. to confront injustice Monday, Jan. 19 at 6:30 p.m in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel as part of the 24th annual community celebration of the American civil rights leader. The event is free and open to the public. A sign language interpreter will be present and a reception follows the program.

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UW-Madison professor Gloria Ladson-Billings will deliver the keynote address at the 24th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.

As this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration keynote speaker, Ladson-Billings, the Kellner Family Chair of Urban Education at UW-Madison, presents “More than a Dreamer: Restoring the Radical Tradition of Martin Luther King Jr.”

The event’s program includes music by Lawrence senior Brienne Colston and the Kimberly High School Choir. Four area students will read their winning submissions from the annual Martin Luther King essay contest. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Fulfilling the Dream of Opportunity.”

The annual commemoration of Dr. King’s life and legacy is jointly presented by Lawrence and the organization Celebrate Diversity Fox Cities (formerly known as Toward Community: Unity in Diversity), with the support of The Post-Crescent, numerous Fox Valley organizations, churches and individuals.

Ladson-Billings says society too often sanitizes and romanticizes its heroes.

“In the case of Martin Luther King Jr., we have fallen in love with the notion of him as a dreamer,” she said. “But King was a man of action and recognized the need to confront injustice not merely dream about its eradication someday.”

A scholar on the pedagogical practices of teachers who work successfully with African American students, Ladson-Billings also conducts research on Critical Race Theory applications to education. She is the author of the books “The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children” and “Crossing Over to Canaan: The Journey of New Teachers in Diverse Classrooms.”

A long-standing member of the NAACP and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Ladson-Billlings’ work as an educator has been recognized with numerous awards, including election to the National Academy of Education, the American Anthropological Association’s George and Louise Spindler Award for ongoing contributions in educational anthropology and an honorary degree from Sweden’s Umeå University.

“Reflecting on this year’s theme, fulfilling the dream of opportunity, I can’t help but wonder if this dream will ever be fulfilled,” said Pa Lee Moua, Lawrence’s assistant dean of students for multicultural affairs. “Unfortunately even today, opportunities are not equal for everyone. Individually, and as a society, we all play a part. In the words of Dr. King, ‘In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.’ Change will only happen if we step up, speak up and move forward together. There is no ‘Us’ and ‘Them.’ We complete our communities.”

…King was a man of action and recognized the need to confront
injustice not merely dream about its eradication someday.”
– Gloria Ladson-Billings

“During these trying times, we must remember the dream of Dr. King is far from complete,” said Kathy Flores, chair of the MLK Planning Committee and diversity coordinator for the city of Appleton. “We must continue to remember his legacy by not only honoring him, but continuing the work amidst the struggle for many. As we sing ‘Lift Every Voice,’ the Black National Anthem at this year’s celebration, I hope everyone is moved by the words ‘Let us march on till victory is won.’”

The celebration will recognize three community members.

Nicholas Hoffman, chief curator at the History Museum at the Castle, will receive the annual Jane LaChapelle McCarty-MLK Community Leader Award, which honors an individual who has brought different people in the community together in the spirit of Dr. King. Hoffmann has curated exhibitions on those forgotten in history, including immigrants in “Food: Who We Are, What We Eat,” minorities in “Progressive Appleton” and most recently the history of local African Americans in “Stone of Hope: Black Experiences in the Fox Cities.”

Part of the “Stone of Hope” exhibition will be on display in Shattuck Hall 163 following the program.

•  Amy Xiong, English Language Learner teacher at Kaukauna High School and co-advisor of the KHS Diversity Club, will be the first recipient of the newly established Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Educator Award, which honors individuals who educate people in the spirit of Dr. King. Xiong was chosen for her dedication in going above and beyond her assigned duties to ensure all students are given equal, and a wide range of diverse, educational opportunities.

Rev. Roger Bertschausen, senior minister at Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and founder of the annual MLK Celebration, will be recognized for his 25 years of service with a special legacy award. Bertschausen is relocating to St. Louis later this year.

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.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Milwaukee artist Jason Yi opens new Wriston Art Center Galleries exhibition

Posted on: January 14th, 2015 by Rick Peterson
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Jason Yi’s installation “Terraform” is featured in the Kohler Gallery.

Milwaukee-based multi-media artist Jason S. Yi discusses his work Friday, Jan. 16 at 6 p.m. in the opening lecture of Lawrence University’s Wriston Art Center Galleries newest exhibition, which runs through March 15. A reception follows Yi’s remarks. Both events are free and open to the public.

Yi is  featured in the Kohler Gallery with his sculpture installation “Terraform.” Through large-scale, site-specific sculptures and installations, Yi transforms everyday materials into massive architectural and topographic forms, juxtaposing natural and man-made environments.

The Hoffmaster Gallery showcases Sarah Gross’ installation “Continental Drift.” Gross, who is serving as Uihelin Fellow of Studio Art at Lawrence, uses repetition and pattern to create an installation that references architecture and ceramic history. Her hand-made brick/tile hybrids “hover” above the gallery floor, creating interlacing paths for the eye to track.

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Sarah Gross’ installation “Continental Drift” is featured in the Hoffmaster Gallery.

“Wisconsin Wolf Stories,” shown in the Leech Gallery, highlights the work of 20 Lawrence students from Professor of Biology Jodi Sedlock’s environmental studies symposium “Art and Biodiversity Conservation.” Through various media, including video, photography and hand-drawn pieces, students explore the human-wolf interaction in Wisconsin and how wolves have impacted the state’s environment.

The Quirk Print Gallery also features student work focused on the influences of Greek, Roman and Byzantine portraiture coins from Lawrence’s own Ottilia Buerger Collection of Ancient and Byzantine Coins.

Wriston Art Center hours are Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday noon – 4 p.m; closed Mondays.

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.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

World Music Series Welcomes Ivory Coast’s Dobet Gnahoré

Posted on: January 10th, 2015 by Rick Peterson
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Dobet Gnahoré

The multi-talented Dobet Gnahoré brings her charismatic stage presence,  powerful voice and appealing melodies to Stansbury Theatre in the Music-Drama Center Wednesday, Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. for the second concert in Lawrence University’s 2014-15 World Music Series.

Tickets for the performance, at $10 for adults, $5 for seniors/students (free for Lawrence students/faculty/staff) are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

A singer, dancer and percussionist, Gnahoré is widely regarded as one of contemporary African music’s most exciting talents, performing repertoire that ranges from delicate ballads to upbeat African grooves. The daughter of Ivory Coast master percussionist Boni Gnahoré, she is a former member of the Tché Tché dance company.

Gnahoré’s discography includes six albums, with her latest 2014’s “Na Drê,” a disc dedicated to the unity of women and Africa.

She toured widely throughout Europe in 2014 and comes to Appleton following three performances in St. Paul, Minn.

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.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

McCarthy Named Vikings’ New Head Football Coach

Posted on: January 6th, 2015 by Rick Peterson

Rob McCarthy is the new head football coach at Lawrence University, Director of Athletics Mike Szkodzinski announced today.

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Head Football Coach Rob McCarthy

McCarthy, the defensive line coach at Carleton College and former long-time defensive coordinator at St. Olaf College, becomes the 28th head coach in Lawrence’s 122-year football history. A native of Deer River, Minn., McCarthy brings 25 years of coaching experience to Lawrence.

“I just think it’s a great, great opportunity,” McCarthy said of coming to Lawrence. “During my visits, I found a great excitement for football and a passion for excellence among the administration, faculty and alumni. That made me really want to be part of Lawrence’s rich football tradition.”

McCarthy said his first priority will be to build the Lawrence football family, and he wants to see greater depth in the program.

“No. 1, we want to build a football family where “I” is replaced by “we”, “team” is replaced by “family.” We will provide Lawrence student-athletes with a great experience. Winning will be a byproduct of doing things the right way,” McCarthy said.

“In addition, recruiting will be a priority. We have to get the numbers up to provide a quality experience. We want to recruit young men who want excellence in their lives, both in academics and athletics. We will recruit the top student-athletes from the Fox Valley, the state of Wisconsin and the country.”

Lawrence President Mark Burstein praised McCarthy’s commitment to the student and the student-athlete.

“One of the distinctive aspects of Rob’s candidacy was his strong support of students’ interest to pursue more than one passion or – as we like to say – ‘multi-interested students,'” Burstein said. “To reinforce this commitment, Rob has served through most of his career as the assistant men’s and women’s track coach where his student athletes have had significant success.”

“During my visits, I found a great excitement for football and a passion for excellence among
the administration, faculty and alumni. That made me really want to be part of
Lawrence’s rich football tradition.”

— Head Coach Rob McCarthy

Szkodzinski said McCarthy emerged from a talented group of candidates to be the next leader of Lawrence’s football program. A committee consisting of Lawrence administrators, faculty, students, trustees and alumni-athletes considered more than 100 applicants identified in a national search.

“We are very excited to welcome Rob to our staff as the next head football coach,” Szkodzinski said. “The applicant pool was tremendously competitive and Coach McCarthy distinguished himself as one of the top recruiters in our pool.”

Szkodzinski added that bringing McCarthy to Lawrence serves the best interests of the program and will keep the team moving forward. With the hiring of the McCarthy and the renovation of the Banta Bowl taking place this year, Szkodzinski reiterated the administration’s commitment to football and the Department of Athletics as a whole.

“Rob’s connections throughout the Midwest, Florida and nationally will serve our program well,” Szkodzinski said. “Not only will he be able to attract tremendous student-athletes to Lawrence, as he has at other excellent institutions, his experience as a coordinator led us to believe that he has the tools to help us succeed on the field as well. We know Coach McCarthy will be an asset to the entire department and look forward to watching our program move back toward the top of the Midwest Conference.”

This past fall was McCarthy’s first at Carleton after spending the previous 12 seasons at St. Olaf College. While at St. Olaf, McCarthy was part of a coaching staff that put together the best 12-year record in school history with a 73-47 mark. McCarthy was responsible for bringing a number of stellar players to St. Olaf, including one (Horace Gant Jr.) that went on to play in the NFL, a number of All-Americans and many All-West Region and first-team All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference picks.

“The applicant pool was tremendously competitive and Coach McCarthy distinguished
himself as one of the top recruiters in our pool.”

— Director of Athletics Mike Szkodzinski

McCarthy served in a variety of roles, most notably as defensive coordinator, for the Oles. He also worked as the special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator for St. Olaf, which won eight games in four different seasons during that 12-year span.

McCarthy began his coaching career at Concordia (Minn.) College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1989 with a double major in English and speech, communications and theater arts. A standout defensive lineman for the Cobbers, McCarthy earned All-MIAC honors and helped his team to conference championships in 1986 and 1988.

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Rob McCarthy and Mike Szkodzinski attend a press conference announcing McCarthy’s appointment as Lawrence’s new head football coach.

After serving as an assistant coach at Concordia for the 1989 season, McCarthy moved to the University of St. Thomas (Minn.) in 1990. He served with the Tommies for five seasons and helped them win the MIAC championship in 1990. McCarthy then coached at Northwestern (Minn.) College and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire over the next five seasons. He helped Northwestern win the 1995 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference title and was part of the UW-Eau Claire team that took the 1998 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship.

McCarthy earned a master of science of education degree in learning disabilities from UW-Eau Claire in 2000. He then returned to coach for one season at St. Thomas and one season at Pensacola (Fla.) High School before moving to St. Olaf.

After coaching for most of his career in Minnesota, McCarthy said Lawrence provided him exactly the opportunity he was seeking, both for himself and his family. McCarthy and his wife, Angie, have three children.

“It’s a great place to raise a family,” McCarthy said. “I wasn’t just going to leave. It needed to be the right program. When this came up and everyone raved about Appleton and Lawrence, we knew this was the one.”

Lawrence has been playing varsity football since 1893 and ranks third in Midwest Conference history with 16 league championships. The Vikings have won 496 games during their storied history, and that includes the distinction of being the first Midwest Conference team to host, and win, a NCAA Division III playoff game.

Lawrence has nearly 450 All-Midwest Conference selections since the league began choosing teams back in 1937. The Vikings have 66 All-America selections, starting with Claude Radtke in 1949. Lawrence also is the only school in the Midwest Conference to have a player, Scott Reppert in 2003, selected for the College Football Hall of Fame.

Watch a video of a press conference introducing Coach McCarthy. (Note: The press conference actually begins at the 15:50 mark of the vide0.)

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.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence Professors Lindemann, Shimon Named Wisconsin’s 2014 Artists of the Year

Posted on: December 29th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

Photographers Julie Lindemann and John Shimon, associate professors of art, have been named Wisconsin’s Artists of the Year for 2014 by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel art critic Mary Louise Schumacher.

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Photographers John Shimon and Julie Lindemann were named Wisconsin Artists of the Year for 2014 by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s art critic.

Among their contributions to the state art scene was their installation “We Go From Where We Know” at the John Michal Kohler Arts Center as part of it’s “Connecting Communities” program.

Centered around a 1949 Nash automobile filled with hand-cast concrete corncobs, the project explored the idiosyncrasies of Wisconsin as place.

Their work has been featured in more than 90 solo and group exhibitions in venues ranging from the Art Institute of Chicago to the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego and their photographs are part of 15 permanent collections, including the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Wisconsin State Historical Society.

Lindemann and Shimon also have authored five books and catalogs of their work, the most successful of which is their artistic tribute to the aluminum Christmas tree, many of which were produced in their adopted hometown of Manitowoc.

The book, “Season’s Gleamings,” generated national attention when it was published in 2004, resulting in stories in the New York Times and USA Today and featured segments on CNN and “CBS Sunday Morning.”

They have collaborated professionally as artists for 30 years and have shared a classroom as teaching partners for 27 years. They first joined the Lawrence faculty in 2000 as visiting instructors and five years later were given a tenure-track appointment.

They were recognized at 2012’s commencement ceremonies with Lawrence’s faculty award for Excellence in Creative Activity.

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.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence Poet Melissa Range Awarded National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship

Posted on: December 17th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

Lawrence University poet Melissa Range has been named one of 36 national recipients of a $25,000 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Creative Writing. She was selected from among 1,634 applications.

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Melissa Range

The highly competitive fellowship is designed to allow published writers to set aside time for writing, research, travel and career advancement.

Range, who joined the Lawrence faculty in September as an assistant professor of English, plans to use her fellowship to complete research for the third poetry collection she is writing, which will focus on the abolitionist movement. Her work frequently employs metaphor and features a musical style with an emphasis on the way words sound.

“Professor Range is a creative young poet of remarkable talent,” said David Burrows, provost and dean of the faculty. “The quality of her work, both published and unpublished, is outstanding. We are extremely proud of her success in obtaining this most prestigious fellowship.”

She previously has been recognized for her writing with the 2010 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize and was the recipient of the 2013 teaching award for creative writing at the University of Missouri, where she earned her Ph.D. in English and creative writing.

Range, who first began writing poetry as college junior, has conducted more than a dozen invited poetry readings and is the author of the book “Horse and Rider: Poems,” which centers on violence and power in religion and the natural world. Her collection “Scriptorium” uses sonnets to explore themes of belief and doubt inspired by medieval and religious art.

Since its founding in 1965 by Congress, the NEA has awarded more than $5 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities.

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.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Community Service Lands Lawrence University on President’s National Honor Roll

Posted on: December 9th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

For the eighth consecutive year, Lawrence University has been named to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

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Helping build hoop houses at Riverview Gardens was among the student volunteer service hours that helped Lawrence earn its eighth straight spot on the President’s Higher Education National Community Service Honor Roll.

Lawrence is one of only two Wisconsin institutions to be cited every year by the Washington, D.C.-based Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) since it launched the honor roll program in 2006 in response to the thousands of college students who traveled across the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.

Nine hundred Lawrence students contributed 17,777 hours to community volunteer and service-learning programs in collaboration with a wide variety of valued partnerships throughout the Fox Cities during this year’s reporting period, including 138 students who devoted 20 hours or more per term.

The President’s Honor Roll program recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities on a broad range of issues. Honorees are chosen on the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service.

“Community service provides ways to better understand ourselves,” said President Mark Burstein, “and involvement in the wider community enhances our learning environment. I am proud of the work and dedication our students display and pleased they have once again been nationally recognized for their efforts. At Lawrence, service continues to be not only altruism, but also part of the transformative educational experience that we strive to provide for our students.”

Among the initiatives for which Lawrence was cited:

• Question, Persuade, Refer Suicide Prevention Training. The training program benefited not only the campus, but the greater community. Lawrence collectively trained one master trainer, 51 instructors and 510 gatekeepers. Instructors and gatekeepers reported intervening within days of learning QPR skills to connect distressed community members to immediate crisis intervention services.

Self-Agency in Youth (SAY) Program. Using a two-pronged approach of support groups and a tutoring/mentoring initiative, the SAY Program helps teens gain ownership over their post-high school futures. Beautiful You African American Girls’ Group and Hmong Youth Pride and Empowerment (HYPE) are two branches of SAY and one of several collaborations between Lawrence and the Boys & Girls Club of the Fox Valley. With backgrounds and challenges similar to those faced by the teenagers, the Lawrence student volunteers turned their own experiences as a refugee or a first generation college student into a source of knowledge to help high school students in need of mentoring, reassurance and support.

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Student volunteers helped sort clothes at Appleton’s Bethesda Thrift Shop at Lawrence’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

• Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Nearly 500 students participated in activities under the theme of  “learn, serve and celebrate.” Activities included a “Read and Reflect: A Lunch Discussion” event on the book “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting in the Cafeteria,” six student-led on-campus volunteer opportunities and the presentation of a specially developed curriculum on tolerance to more than 650 area youth at seven after-school sites of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley. Members of the Lawrence community ended the day by joining Fox Cities leaders to listen to Rev. Wanda Washington speak on “How to Build a Just World” at the annual MLK celebration hosted by Lawrence.

“It is a source of pride for everyone at Lawrence who values the college’s contributions to the vitality of the greater Appleton and global communities, that we have been recognized, once again, by the Corporation for National and Community Service for our achievements in community service,” said Mark Jenike, Pieper Family Professor of Servant Leadership and director of the college’s Office for Engaged Learning. “At Lawrence, community engagement, enabled by strong partnerships, is one of the most important ways in which we pursue our mission of preparing students for lives of achievement, responsible and meaningful citizenship, lifelong learning and personal fulfillment.”

The CNCS compiles the President’s Community Service Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.

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.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Lawrence Physicist Receiving National Service Honor

Posted on: December 3rd, 2014 by Rick Peterson
David-Cook_newsblog

David Cook

David Cook, Philetus E. Sawyer Professor of Science and professor emeritus of physics, will be honored Jan. 3-5, 2015 during the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) national conference in San Diego, Calif.

The ATTP will recognize Cook with its Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service. He has served as AAPT vice president (2008), president-elect (2009), president (2010) and past president (2011). He currently serves as chair of the AAPT’s meetings committee. He is the only Lawrence faculty member to serve as president of the AAPT, the country’s premier national organization and authority on physics and physical science education.

“I am both honored and humbled to be chosen for this recognition by the professional organization that has contributed substantially to my own growth since the beginning of my teaching career in the late 1960s,” Cook said of his distinguished service award.

Cook retired in 2008 after 43 years of teaching in the Lawrence physics department. He was elected a Fellow in the American Physical Society for his contributions to physics education in America in 2013, joining his long-time department colleague Professor Emeritus John Brandenberger as the only two physicists at Lawrence ever recognized as a Fellow by the APS.

“Professor Cook is a pioneer in developing an effective physics curriculum for liberal learning students,” said David Burrows, provost and dean of the faculty at Lawrence. “His methods have helped build an extremely strong physics program that has prepared many students for success in graduate programs and helped start them on distinguished careers. His work provides a wonderful model for colleagues at other institutions. We are extremely proud of his accomplishments.”

Cook’s AAPT service includes more than 40 years of meeting attendance and leadership on at least eight committees. While serving on the AAPT Executive Board, he generated detailed manuals for members of the presidential chain, and he took on the task of formatting and indexing the 250-page Executive Board Handbook compiled over several years by the Governance Review Committee.

One of his most important service legacies is PAC Tools. Cook was the impetus and leader of the advisory group that worked with staff to develop AAPT’s online program for planning meetings from abstract submission through the paper sort, to export into the final meeting program.

During his four-plus decade teaching career at Lawrence, Cook taught nearly every undergraduate physics course while leading the development and incorporation of computers into the physics curriculum. Beginning in 1985, he designed and built Lawrence’s computational physics laboratory with the support of more than $1 million in grants from the National Science Foundation, Research Corporation, the W. M. Keck Foundation and other sources.

He is the author of two textbooks, “The Theory of the Electromagnetic Field,” one of the first to introduce computer-based numerical approaches alongside traditional approaches and “Computation and Problem Solving in Undergraduate Physics.”

He was recognized with Lawrence’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 1990.

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.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.