Category: Faculty

University convocation celebrates the international contributions of Lawrence cellist Janet Anthony

The third installment of Lawrence University’s 2016-17 convocation series will celebrate the musical and educational career of Professor of Music Janet Anthony in a rare evening presentation.

A Head shot of Lawrence University cello professor Janet Anthony.
Janet Anthony

Anthony presents “Adventures in Music Making: 20 Years of Cross-Cultural Exchange in Haiti” Friday, Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The event, free and open to the public, also will be available via a live webcast.

The program will feature performances of Haitian music, including two works composed by non-degree seeking students at Lawrence, by the Lawrence University Cello Ensemble and the Lawrence Symphony Chamber Orchestra as well as remarks by 2011 Lawrence graduate Carolyn Armstrong Desrosiers, Lawrence jazz studies program director Jose Encarnacion and Haitian journalist Fritz Valescot,

Anthony, the George and Marjorie Olsen Chandler Professor of Music, was chosen as the co-recipient of Lawrence’s annual Faculty Convocation Award, which honors a faculty member for distinguished professional work. She is the eighth faculty member so honored.

A cellist who joined the Lawrence conservatory of music faculty in 1984, Anthony has been making annual trips to Haiti since 1996 to conduct, perform and teach at music schools there.

Since making her first trip, more than 50 Lawrence students and faculty colleagues have accompanied her to teach in some of the many music programs with which she has been involved. Anthony also has assisted in bringing key Haitian music teachers and students to the United States for short-term professional development.

Following the devastating 2010 earthquake that devastated parts of the country, Anthony helped organized a benefit concert in Appleton for Haiti and collected needed supplies for the survivors, including gently used instruments. She has since performed numerous memorial concerts in Haiti, including one in 2011 on the one-year anniversary of the earthquake.

Anthony is the co-founder and current president of Building Leaders Using Music Education (BLUME)-Haiti, a Fox Cities-based nonprofit organization that works with Haitian and International partners to develop and support music education for youth and young adults in Haiti.

A photo of Lawrence University cello professor Janet Anthony playing her cello.Desrosiers, an Appleton native who has made multiple trips to Haiti with Anthony, co-produced and co-directed a documentary film — “Kenbe La” — which explores the transformational power of music programs in Haiti.

An active soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, Anthony has toured with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Austrian Radio Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of the Vienna Symphony. She also has performed or taught in Argentina, China, Curacao, Japan, Venezuela and Vietnam and, as a member of the Duo Kléber, she has performed in England, France, Italy and Bosnia Herzegovina.

A frequent performer on Wisconsin Public Radio, Anthony earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona and a master’s degree in music from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She also studied at Vienna’s famed Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst.

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 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.

 

 

 

Professors Kautsky, De Stasio, Tilghman honored at Lawrence’s 2016 commencement

Three members of the Lawrence University faculty were recognized for teaching and scholarship excellence Sunday, June 12 at the college’s 167th commencement.

Cathy-Kautsky_newsblog_616
Catherine Kautsky

Professor of Music Catherine Kautsky received the Award for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes outstanding performance in the teaching process, including the quest to ensure students reach their full development as individuals, human beings and future leaders of society.

Since first joining the faculty in 1987 — she spent six years at UW-Madison (2002-08) — Kautsky has used music to connect with other disciplines, particularly literature. She has presented lecture-recitals on topics ranging from the music of the Holocaust to French music and World War I. She also has organized performances for her students at numerous non-traditional venues, among them the Boys and Girls Club, a local soup kitchen, senior citizen centers and most recently the Oshkosh Correctional Institution.

In presenting the award, Provost and Dean of the Faculty David Burrows cited Kautsky for a “combination of insistence on excellence and your energetic, supportive nature [that] has led your students to high levels of success.”

“You let your students know they have the power to create beauty but must work vigorously to achieve that beauty,” said Burrows. “Your insistence on excellence as the gateway to beauty and enjoyment is highly distinctive.”

Kautsky’s repertoire includes Bach, Rzewski and Crumb, with a special emphasis on French music and the music of the first Viennese school. As a recitalist, soloist with orchestra or chamber musician, she has performed in venues around the world, including Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall, as well as extensively in England and France. She also has presented classes in Brazil, China, Korea and South Africa.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory, a master’s degree from the Julliard School and a doctoral degree in performance from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Bart-De-Stasio_newsblog_616
Bart De Stasio ’82

Bart De Stasio, Dennis and Charlot Nelson Singleton Professor of Biological Sciences and professor of biology, received the award for Excellence in Scholarship.

Established in 2006, the award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated sustained scholarly excellence for a number of years and whose work exemplifies the ideals of the teacher-scholar.

A specialist in predator-prey interactions, De Stasio has earned international recognition for his research on topics ranging from dormancy in aquatic organisms and its impact on ecology of lake communities to phytoplankton communities in Green Bay and Lake Michigan after the arrival of invasive species, including zebra mussels, spiny water fleas and round gobies. He has had more than 35 scientific papers and book chapters published, 19 of which were co-authored with Lawrence students.

Burrows praised De Stasio for his research on the effects of invasive species on food webs and on coral reefs in presenting him his award.

“It represents the very best qualities of the teacher-scholar model that we cherish at Lawrence,” said Burrows. “Much of your research is done in collaboration with students. These students are generating important research results while also learning to understand the world from the perspective of scientific inquiry.”

A member of the faculty since 1992, De Stasio has led Lawrence’s every-other-year marine biology trip to the Cayman Islands to study coral reefs for many years. Last summer, he spent a month in Russia collaborating with scientists on a study of Lake Baikal, examining how the lake is responding to climate change and other anthropogenic stresses.

A 1982 summa cum laude graduate of Lawrence, De Stastio earned his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Cornell University.

Ben-Tilghman_newsblog_616
Ben Tilghman ’99

Ben Tilghman, assistant professor of art history, received the Young Teacher Award in recognition of demonstrated excellence in the classroom and the promise of continued growth.

A specialist in illuminated manuscripts of the Medieval and Renaissance periods, Tilghman has developed several courses designed to connect themes of the past with concerns of the present such as “Art of the Islamic World.”

Burrows hailed Tilghman for “a combination of great passion, concern for student success and an ability to encourage discussion and argument while making students feel calm and comfortable.”

“Your devotion to the ideals of liberal learning, which you like to point out were first articulated in the Middle Ages, has led you to stress the importance of opening one’s mind to multiple perspectives on the world and to model for students the process of trying to make sense of complex materials,” said Burrows. “The ability to connect knowledge and creativity is the hallmark of a Lawrence education and is a distinctive characteristic of your success as a teacher.”

Before joining the Lawrence faculty in 2012, Tilghman taught in the art history department at George Washington University for two years. He also spent three years in the department of manuscripts and rare books at Baltimore’s Walters Art Museum.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Lawrence in 1999, a master’s degree from Williams College and his Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins 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 book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. 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.

Thank you! Lawrence honoring four retiring faculty members for 156 years of teaching experience

Records, the adage goes, are meant to be broken. But this particular milestone was not one Lawrence University philosophy professor John Dreher had any particular interest in setting.

“I wasn’t trying to beat anybody,” Dreher says almost apologetically.

John Dreher
John Dreher

As the 2015-16 academic year comes to a close, Dreher becomes the college’s longest-serving, full-time faculty member with 53 years in the classroom. He and three teaching colleagues — Merton Finkler, Nicholas Maravolo and Patricia Vilches — will be honored Sunday, June 12 at the college’s 167th commencement as retiring faculty members. Collectively they have given the college an incredible 156 combined years of service. Each will be recognized with an honorary master of arts degree, ad eundem, as part of the graduation ceremonies. Vilches will be honored in absentia.

Dreher, Lawrence’s Lee Claflin-Robert S. Ingraham Professor of Philosophy, joined the faculty in 1963 after beginning his teaching career at the University of North Carolina. His full-time teaching tenure surpasses the late Bertrand Goldgar, who taught in the Lawrence English department for 52 years.

“It doesn’t matter that much to me. Sorry,” Dreher, 81, said of his place in Lawrence annals. “I just did it year-by-year. I wasn’t saying ‘oh I’ll just hold on one more year.’”

Despite weather challenges and the occasional malady, he points with pride to having missed only two teaching days in his 53-year Lawrence career — and none in the past 48 — and credits the quality of Lawrence students for keeping his five-plus decades of teaching interesting.

“I’ve enjoyed working with some damn good students,” said Dreher, who thinks of himself as more coach than professor, “and some who didn’t know they were good. I was able to get them to dig down a little deeper. I’m proud of the good ones who got even better when I got pushy in class. They responded to the coaching. They had talent that they then developed.

“I’m getting emails, phone calls, letters from folks who graduated 40, 30, 20, 10 years ago saying ‘you know what, you made a big difference.’ That’s called psychic income. I love it.”
— John Dreher

“Lawrence has students who don’t specialize in some one thing. When I teach a philosophy class I’m not doing narrow philosophy. I’m not teaching future philosophy professors, although some turn out to be. I like working with people who are going to be bankers, lawyers, CEOs, fourth-grade teachers. I like helping people get broad backgrounds,” added Dreher, whose own undergraduate degree was in English, not philosophy. “In some of my courses I read stuff by economists and short story writers. I like to do the broad stuff, which is why I like teaching at a liberal arts college.”

John Dreher_newsblog_fullA native of Jersey City, N. J., Dreher has twice been awarded the college’s Babcock Award, which recognizes “outstanding service to students.” He received the University Award for Excellence in Teaching 1989 and the Freshman Studies Teaching award in 2002. On three different occasions (1982–83; 1986–87; 1993–95) he directed the college’s signature Freshman Studies program.

He looks back fondly on the freedom he received from the administration over the years.

“I had the feeling I could use my own judgment to do what I think was best for my students and my classes and nobody was looking over my shoulder,” said Dreher, whose scholarship interests include environmental ethics, applied ethics and the history of philosophy. “They trusted me to do my job and to do it right. I really appreciated that.”

While retiring from full-time teaching, Dreher won’t be leaving the classroom entirely. He’s scheduled to teach one of his favorite courses, environmental ethics, Winter Term each of the next three years.

“I cannot go cold turkey on something I’ve been throwing myself into this whole time,” said Dreher, whose daily workout regimen has been slowed a bit by recent double knee replacement surgery.

With his reduced teaching load, Dreher is looking forward to having more time to tend to the two large gardens at his rural Black Creek home, attend more Lawrence concerts, travel to Europe and volunteer with local environmental groups.

In the meantime, he’s enjoying hearing from former students.

“I’m getting emails, phone calls, letters from folks who graduated 40, 30, 20, 10 years ago saying ‘you know what, you made a big difference.’ That’s called psychic income. I love it.”

Marty-Finkler_newsblog_retire
Merton Finkler

Since joining the faculty in 1979, Finkler, the John R. Kimberly Distinguished Professor in the American Economic System and Professor of Economics, has left his mark on the college through new courses as well as new programs.

He was instrumental in launching Lawrence’s thriving innovation and entrepreneurship program and was among the leaders in developing the university’s popular interdisciplinary Sustainable China Program, which has evolved from other initiatives that began in 2003.

“I’ve been to China nine times and I haven’t paid for one of them,” Finkler, 68, says with a smile. He admits his Chinese is “still not good enough to cause trouble. I know a number of words, but I really can’t hold a conversation with anybody.”

The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program began in 2008 and Finkler was among the faculty members who helped write its initial curriculum.

“The I & E program has received university-wide interest, which I think is critical to its success,” said Finkler, who spent three years on the faculty at the University of Minnesota before coming to Lawrence.

“Lawrence gave me not just every opportunity, but every encouragement… I’m not sure what other venue I could have had with that kind of opportunity.”
     –– Merton Finkler

During his tenure, Finkler established himself as an expert in the field of healthcare. He has taught courses on health policy and economics and co-chaired two statewide conferences that generated healthcare policy directives for the Wisconsin legislature. He has served on the Wisconsin Governor’s Task Force on Funding of Academic Medical Centers as well as on the state’s Data Expert Advisory Group on Public Health. He also conducted a pair of research projects on the costliness of healthcare in Wisconsin for the Greater Milwaukee Business Group on Health.

“It’s been a nice way to apply a variety of different skills to a substantive topic that people care about,” Finkler said of his healthcare interests. “The challenges are not going to go away, the demographics ensure that we have to figure out a better way to use our healthcare resources or we’re going to get eaten alive financially.”Marty-Finkler_newsblog_office

He was awarded a Robert Wood Johnson faculty fellowship in healthcare finance that enabled him to spend extended time at Johns Hopkins University as well as a year in-residence at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in California. And for eight years, he was a partner in a local healthcare-focused consulting firm.

“That experience enabled me to make contacts with various stakeholders in the healthcare industry,” Finkler said of his side business venture. “It was valuable in that I saw the various perspectives people provided in delivery of healthcare services. That certainly enriched my background, my experience and my understanding of the character of financing and delivery system problems and what has to be addressed if anything is to change.”

Following Dreher’s lead, Finkler won’t completely abandon the classroom. He is slated to teach a hybrid class on financial investing this fall.

“I’d like to continue to teach one or two courses each year and fill in the gaps where need be, but that depends on departmental needs and the God of budgets,” said Finkler, who grew up in San Bernadino, Calif.

He does plan to keep his hand in the healthcare field in retirement. He’s in the embryonic stage of a joint project in Marathon County to help develop a community health business partnership focused on improving the public’s health while containing costs.

In reflecting on his 37 years at Lawrence, Finkler sys he is grateful for the support he received to do what he wanted within the realm of the university’s mission.

“I had the opportunity to essentially learn how to teach and take that particular skill set and use it in my consulting work. Then I could bring examples and experts from the real world to class to talk seriously about health policy. The synergies are huge and Lawrence gave me not just every opportunity, but every encouragement to go ahead and do that. I’m not sure what other venue I could have had with that kind of opportunity.”

Nick-Maravolo_newsblog-retire
Nicholas Maravolo

Maravolo, professor of biology, is a member of Lawrence’s elite 50-year club. Since joining the Lawrence faculty in 1966, his half century of teaching does not surprise him.

“I knew when I got here it was exactly the kind of place I wanted to be at,” Maravolo, 75, says without hesitation.

Mentoring has been at the heart of Maravolo’s career. He was the founder of Lawrence’s pre-medical advisory committee and its guiding force for decades.

“Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of students who have successfully made it into medical school and dental school and they still keep in touch with me. That’s certainly something I’m proud of,” said Maravolo, who grew up on the south side of Chicago and earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from the nearby University of Chicago.

Not only do those former students stay in touch, they take care of him. When Maravolo found himself in the hospital for an extended stay several months ago, four of the doctors treating him were his former students.

“My greatest satisfaction is from mentoring hundreds of students, getting them into their professional track and just keeping them on track when they got disillusioned.”
     — Nicholas Maravolo

In 2010, Maravolo oversaw the launch of the LU-R1 program, which paired current students with Lawrence alumni scientists working at major institutions and organizations around the country for summer research opportunities.

“I looked at LUR1 not as a job, but as an honor that was offered to our best science students,” said Maravolo. “What I tried to do was match the student’s personality and interests with the interests and personality of the alumni that I know. It’s the same philosophy I had in structuring advice I gave to the pre-medical students. It wasn’t cookie cutter advice, it was more about who are you and what’s going to make you shine in the light of your professional interest?”

Maravolo is known affectionately to generations of students simply as “Doc,” an informal version of doctor, which his students didn’t like calling him early in his career. His title eventually morphed into the shortened salutation.

“I kind of liked it and felt comfortable with it,” said Maravolo. “It takes that frightening dimension away from the more formal ‘doctor.’”

Maravolo-newsblog_groupTutorials have been one of the hallmarks of Maravolo’s tenure and he has taught so many of them students often refer to him as “the tutorial king.”

“Tutorials are more about teaching the student to have a proprietary interest in their education, something they’re going to carry with them for the rest of their life,” said Maravolo, who points with pride that three quarters of the students who do a tutorial with him are from disciplines other than biology. “I learn as well from most of the tutorials I teach. I’m going to miss doing those.”

As the college’s resident botany expert, Maravolo has established himself as Lawrence’s s wine guru. One of his most popular classes over the years — “The Science of Wine” — grew out of a conversation one evening over dinner at a restaurant with students who were working in his laboratory. One suggested he teach a class on beer. The suds idea was nixed, but a course examining the microbiology, the horticulture and the health benefits of wine did emerge.

Beyond the campus, numerous organizations have been the beneficiaries of Maravolo’s expertise. He has served on the board of the Mosquito Hill Nature Center, where he helped drive in the stakes for the original building. He served on the organizing board for the Memorial Park Arboretum and Gardens and has been a consultant to the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. He traveled the state as a member of the State of Wisconsin Scientific Areas Preservation Committee and served as chairman of the education committee for the Botanical Society of America.

Among all his professional accomplishments though, it always comes back to the students.

“My greatest satisfaction is from mentoring hundreds of students, getting them into their professional track and just keeping them on track when they got disillusioned.”

Patti-Vilches_newsblog_retire
Patricia Vilches

Vilches, professor of Spanish and Italian, was the beneficiary of good timing.

A year after she joined the faculty in 2000 as a visiting professor to replace a departing member of the Spanish department, Lawrence approved a program in Italian language. Having completed her Ph.D. in romance languages and literatures from the University of Chicago a few years earlier, Vilches was the perfect fit to help launch the new program. She spent a second year teaching both languages before being appointed to a tenure track appointment in 2002.

“Lawrence provided a unique opportunity for me to teach Spanish and Italian,” said Vilches, whose Spanish phonetics course famously became a rite of passage for many students. “I was ready and eager to teach both languages when given the chance.”

Born in Viña del Mar, Chile, Vilches came to the United States as a 17-year old exchange student with the Youth for Understanding program. She lived in La Grange, Ill., for a year with a host American family while attending Lyons Township High School.

“I have met a few graduates from Lyons Township since I began teaching at Lawrence,” she said proudly.

She spent eight years teaching Spanish and Italian at the University of Evansville before winding up at Lawrence, in part because her husband, Gerald Seaman, was hired as associate dean of the faculty.

“I will miss my wonderful students, my wonderful colleagues, the theatre productions and those fabulous student senior recitals.”
     — Patricia Vilches

At Lawrence, she became known for her rigorous courses, her long exams and her lengthy comments on student papers.

“I’m proud to have helped students perfect their abilities in Spanish and Italian,” said Vilches. “Students knew they would be challenged and would sometimes face frustrations, but I think they also realized that my courses rewarded them in subtle and concrete ways. My goal was for the students to immerse themselves in the subject and dedicate time and effort to what I presented in the classroom. I like to think students appreciated what I did for them as their teacher.”Patti-Vilches_group_newsblog

For the past two years, Vilches has been on leave from Lawrence, living in England, where her husband is principal and CEO of Harlaxton College. Her time in the UK largely has been spent finishing a book about Chilean novelist Alberto Blest Gana.

While teaching is not in her immediate future plans, she is looking forward to editing a scholarly volume on singer, songwriter, poet and artist Violeta Parra, one of the most important public figures in 20th-century Chile, in time for the 100th anniversary celebration of Parra’s birth in 2017.

“I will miss my wonderful students, my wonderful colleagues, the theatre productions and those fabulous student senior recitals,” Vilches says of her 16 years at Lawrence. “I’ve built some enduring friendships and because of those friends, part of me will always be there.”

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 book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. 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.

 

Annual Honors Convocation features philosophy professor John Dreher

John-Dreher_honors-convo_newsblog
John Dreher

John Dreher, Lee Claflin-Robert S. Ingraham Professor of Philosophy at Lawrence University, discusses the motivation of modern day spin doctors in the college’s annual Honors Convocation.

Dreher presents “21st Century Merchants of Doubt: Where Is Plato When We Need Him?” Tuesday, May 24 at 11:10 a.m in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The event is free and open to the public and also will be webcast live.

The Honors Convocation publicly recognizes students and faculty recipients of awards and prizes for excellence in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences, languages and music as well as demonstrated excellence in athletics and service to others.

Dreher was chosen as the 2016 speaker as the recipient of Lawrence’s annual Faculty Convocation Award, which honors a faculty member for distinguished professional work. He is the seventh faculty member so honored.

In their 2010 book “Merchants of Doubt,” historians Naomi Oreskes and Eric Conway detail how a group of high-level scientists with extensive political connections, effectively organized campaigns designed to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific truths on issues ranging from the connections between smoking and lung cancer to links tying coal emissions to acid rain.

Dreher will discuss how Plato challenged similar “doubt merchants” of his day nearly 2,500 years ago and how the same factors that drove those ancient sellers of doubts motivate today’s spin doctors, the motivation of modern day spin doctors in the college’s annual Honors Convocation.namely their view of the place of individuals within society.

A member of the Lawrence faculty since 1963, Dreher is a two-time recipient of the college’s Babcock Award “for outstanding service to students,” the University Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Freshman Studies Teaching award. He served as the chair of Lawrence’s philosophy department most years from 1968- 2011 and directed the college’s signature Freshman Studies program on three occasions (1982–83; 1986–87; 1993–95).

A native of New Jersey, Dreher’s scholarship interests include environmental ethics, applied ethics and the history of philosophy.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from St. Peter’s College, a master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Chicago.

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 book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. 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.

Environmental law professor discusses renewable energy strategies, challenges in presentation

Integrating cleaner energy into the existing infrastructure and strategies for new facilities to incorporate renewable energy will be explored in a Lawrence University science hall/economics colloquium.

Elizabeth Wilson
Elizabeth Wilson

Elizabeth Wilson, professor of energy and environmental policy and law at the University of Minnesota, presents “Remaking Energy: Creating Sustainable Electricity Systems” Monday, May 16 at 4:30 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium. The talk is free and open to the public.

Wilson’s research focuses on the implementation of energy and environmental policies and laws. She studies how institutions support and thwart energy system transitions, focusing on the interplay between technology innovation, policy creation and institutional decision making.

Her most recent research has examined how energy policy stakeholders view the opportunities and challenges of decision-making within Regional Transmission Organizations and creating smart grids. RTOs currently manage the transmission planning, electricity markets and grid operations for more than 70 percent of North America.

Wilson was awarded a 2015 an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship that will support research in Denmark, Germany and Spain of their energy systems, which include high levels of renewable resources as well as nuclear policies and electric grid architectures different than the United States.

She is the co-author of the 2015 book “Smart Grid (R)Evolution: Electric Power Struggles” and the 2014 book “Energy Law and Policy.”

A former employee of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Wilson spent a year as a visiting scholar in China at Beijing’s Tsinghua University and also has worked in Belgium, Burundi and Tanzania. She earned a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in engineering and public policy.

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 book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. 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.

Annual Harrison Symposium highlights student research in the humanities, social sciences

Twenty-eight presentations on topics ranging from the performance of Indonesian shadow puppetry to the role of churches in the lives of North Korean refugees will be addressed Saturday, May 14 during Lawrence University’s 19th annual Richard A. Harrison Symposium.Harrison Symposium 2016_newsblog

The symposium highlights exceptional student research in the humanities and social sciences, beginning at 9:15 a.m. in various locations throughout Main Hall. A complete schedule of presentations, times and locations can be found here.

The symposium features series of 20-minute presentations arranged by topic or field. Each series is moderated by a Lawrence faculty member and includes a 10-minute question-and-answer session following the presentations. Symposium participants present their work in the format used for professional meetings of humanities and social sciences scholars.

First conducted in 1996, the symposium honors former Lawrence Dean of the Faculty Richard Harrison, who died unexpectedly the following year. The symposium was renamed in his honor to recognize his vision of highlighting excellent student scholarship.

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 book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. 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 welcomes former IRC, Columbia president as Visiting Scarff Professor

The former president of the International Rescue Committee will spend 10 days at Lawrence University beginning May 8 as the college’s Visiting Scarff Professor of International Affairs for 2015-16.

George Rupp spent 11 years (2002-2013) as president of the IRC, a NewGeorge-Rupp_newsblog York City-based non-profit organization that responds to humanitarian crises around the world. As president, he oversaw the agency’s relief and rehabilitation operations in 25 countries as well as refugee resettlement and assistance programs throughout the United States.

During his Scarff appointment, Rupp will guest lecture in several government department classes. He also will deliver a free, public address, “Passionate Conviction and Inclusive Community,” Tuesday, May 10 at 8 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium.

The author of six books, Rupp’s public lecture will be based in part on his most recent book, 2015’s “Beyond Individualism: The Challenge of Inclusive Communities,” in which he Rupp pushes modern individualism to recognize the role of communal practice in the world. He advocates for new solutions to global challenges ranging from conflicts in the developing world and income inequality to climate change and mass migration.

An ordained Presbyterian minister with bachelor’s degrees from Princeton University and Yale University and a Ph.D. in religion from Harvard University, Rupp led two of the country’s premier institutions. Prior to heading the IRC, he served as president of Columbia University for nine years (1993-2002) after serving as Rice University’s president from 1985-1993.

Rupp, a native of New Jersey, began his academic career at the University of Redlands in California before returning to Harvard as a theology professor in the divinity school. He later spent two years in the late 1970s at UW-Green Bay as professor of humanistic studies and dean of academic affairs before returning again to Harvard as dean of the divinity school.

Since leaving the IRC, Rupp has served as senior fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and was elected chair of the International Baccalaureate Organization in 2015.

Besides “Beyond Individualism: The Challenge of Inclusive Communities,” Rupp is the author of “Christologies and Cultures: Toward a Typology of Worldviews,” “Beyond Existentialism and Zen: Religion in a Pluralistic World,” “’Culture Protestantism’: German Liberal Theology at the Turn of the 20th Century,” “Commitment and Community,” and “Globalization Challenged: Conviction, Conflict, Community.”

Rupp joins a long list of distinguished scholars and notable public servants who have previously held the Scarff professorship, among them William Sloane Coffin, Jr., former chaplain at Yale University, noted civil rights advocate and peace activist, Takakazu Kuriyama, former Japanese ambassador to the U.S., Russ Feingold, former U.S. Senator from Wisconsin and Alexander Wilde, senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and former director of the Washington Office of Latin America (WOLA).

The Scarff Memorial Visiting Professorship was established in 1989 by Edward and Nancy Scarff in memory of their son, Stephen, a member of the Lawrence class of 1975, who died in an automobile accident in 1984. It is designed to bring civic leaders and scholars to Lawrence to provide broad perspectives on the central issues of the day.

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 book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. 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 students, faculty perform Steve Reich’s “Music for Eighteen Musicians”

In celebration of the piece’s 40th anniversary, Lawrence University musicians will give a rare performance to the day of Steve Reich’s seminal minimalist work “Music for Eighteen Musicians” Sunday, April 24 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The performance, part of Lawrence’s New Music Series, is free and open to the public.

Since its premiere in New York City on April 24, 1976, this hour-long work has enchanted and mesmerized listeners. It combines subtly shifting sonorities against a background pulse that came to define Reich’s sound during the 1970s and influenced a generation of composers.Music-for-18-musicians_newsblog

David Bowie included the piece in a list of his 25 all-time favorite albums, describing it as “Balinese gamelan music cross-dressing as minimalism.”

Instead of a traditional conductor, the piece utilizes audible and visual prompts that come mostly from the vibraphone and the bass clarinet but also other instruments as the piece progresses. This not only cues the ensemble but also teaches the audience to actively listen for the next stage of the performance.

Because of the sheer musical forces required to play the piece  — four grand pianos played by six pianists and five marimba players — “Music for Eighteen Musicians” is rarely performed. When it is, the result is a musical landscape that creates a dreamlike effect and an unexpectedly joyous experience for the audience.

Despite its very mechanical structure, the piece has continued to have a profound emotional impact on audiences for four decades.

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 book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. 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.

Mentoring Maven: Former Lawrence professor named recipient of community volunteer award

Mary-Poulson_newsblog
Mary Poulson

A born mentor, making a difference in people’s lives has been part of Mary Poulson’s modus operandi for most of her 85 years of life.

The long-time Lawrence University faculty member and barrier-breaking coach will be recognized Tuesday, April 19 as the 2016 recipient of the Paul and Elaine Groth Mentoring Award. The award is sponsored by the Mielke Family Foundation.

Poulson will be one of eight community award winners honored for their outstanding efforts at the annual “Celebrating Our Volunteers” dinner at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in downtown Appleton. The event, sponsored by The Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, Inc. and Post-Crescent Media, has saluted deserving area individuals for their volunteerism since 1998.

The Paul and Elaine Groth Mentoring Award recognizes an individual or group that has served as a mentor in the community over time and has, by example, made meaningful contributions to the quality of life in the Fox Cities.

Poulson was among 21 Milwaukee-Downer College faculty members who joined the Lawrence community in 1964 following the consolidation of the two institutions. During her 29-year career at Lawrence, she mentored thousands of students as a professor of physical education and coach of three sports, helping them discover themselves and find their niche in life.

When she first moved to Appleton, Poulson planned to stay just a year while exploring other options.

“Within weeks of settling in I realized what a special place Appleton was,” said Poulson. “During my 52 years here, friends, teachers and colleagues have provided me with many opportunities to share the fullness of life with others.”

A nationally ranked fencer in her own right, Mary Poulson coached Lawrence's men's and women's fencing team and helped it gain varsity status during her tenure.
A nationally ranked fencer in her own right, Mary Poulson coached Lawrence’s men’s and women’s fencing team for more than 20 years and helped it gain varsity status during her tenure.

At Lawrence, Poulson became the first woman coach of any sport in the Midwest Conference. A consummate multitasker, she coached women’s tennis —  Lawrence’s first varsity sport for women — men’s tennis and was the driving force behind the move from club status to varsity status of the men’s and women’s fencing teams, which she coached until her retirement in 1993.

In retirement, Poulson’s, and her late husband, John’s, own personal curiosities led to the creation of the Noonhour Philosophers, a free community speaker’s program held weekly at Trinity Lutheran Church in downtown Appleton. For more than 20 years, Poulson has organized and coordinated the program, arranging presenters spanning the spectrum to share their experiences and explore interesting and topical issues.

Patricia Boldt, a 1948 Lawrence graduate who nominated Poulson for the mentoring award, described the Noonhour Philosophers as “a welcoming institution that has made the Fox Cities a more interesting place to live.”

“She is a genius in finding both obscure and obvious presenters,” wrote Boldt.

In addition to running the Noonhour Philosophers program, Poulson has been active in the area’s annual Crop Walk for Hunger and with Leaven, a community based non-profit organization that works with volunteers to assist people in crisis who have basic needs that cannot be met elsewhere.

“All of these opportunities have helped me realize how blessed I’ve been and how generously Appleton residents share their blessings in all areas of life,” said Poulson. “I’m a behind-the-scenes sort of person, so it’s quite humbling to be recognized with the Paul and Elaine Groth Mentoring Award. I am extremely grateful to the Mielke Family Foundation and all those who make these awards possible.”

Poulson is the third Lawrentian to be honored with one of the community volunteer awards. Lynn Hagee, director of special projects at Lawrence, and Rick Bjella, former choral director at Lawrence and artistic director of the White Heron Chorale (now newVoices), received the Hanns Kretzschmar Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2014 and 2006, respectively.

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 book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. 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.

Melissa Range wins National Poetry Series competition

Lawrence University Assistant Professor of English Melissa Range has been named one of five national winners in the annual Open Competition sponsored by the National Poetry Series.

Melissa-Range_newsblog2
Melissa Range

Range was selected for her second collection of poems entitled “Scriptorium,” which was selected for the award by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith. The award includes a $10,000 prize. “Scriptorium” will be published next fall by Beacon Press.

“Scriptorium,” which Range started in 2006 and completed earlier this year, takes its name from the medieval scriptorium, where monks would create illuminated manuscripts and other written works. Range’s “Scriptorium” explores the relationship between standardized, official languages and vernacular languages, particularly as they play out in religious settings. It features poems about medieval art, poetry and theology, as well as poems about the Appalachian slang of Range’s upbringing.

“It’s both humbling and incredibly affirming to be chosen for the National Poetry Series, particularly by judge Tracy Smith, a poet whose work I admire,” said Range, who joined the Lawrence faculty in 2014. “The journey from a jumble of poems to a book of poems is arduous and takes a great amount of time, from writing it, revising it, figuring out how it fits together, what its arc is, what it’s trying to say. Even when you’ve finished a book, there’s no guarantee it will be published. Publication is a gift and one for which I’m extremely grateful.”

This is the second major award Range has received in the past year. Last December, she was named one of 36 national recipients of a $25,000 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Creative Writing.

“Melissa is an extraordinarily talented creative artist,” said David Burrows, provost and dean of the faculty. “She has helped make our writing and poetry program extremely strong. We are very proud of her achievement as the winner of this award.”

Range earned her Ph.D. in English and creative writing from the University of Missouri. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing from the University of Tennessee, her master’s degree in creative writing from Old Dominion University and also holds a master of theological studies from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.

She previously has been recognized for her creative writing for poetry with the 2011 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize and the University of Missouri’s teaching award for creative writing in 2013.

Her first book of poetry, “Horse and Rider: Poems,” centers on violence and power in religion and the natural world.

Based in Princeton, N.J., the nonprofit National Poetry Series was founded in 1978 to promote “excellence in contemporary poetry” by publishing five poetry books annually through its Open Competition. Previous notable winners of the prize include Terrance Hayes, Adrian Matejka, Marie Howe and Eleni Sikelianos.

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 book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. 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.