NYC environmental justice advocate Peggy Shepard to be honored at Lawrence’s 169th commencement

As a strong supporter of community-based efforts, Peggy Shepard believes if you want to find a solution to a problem, go directly to the people most affected.

Shepard, the executive director of the New York City-based organization WE ACT For Environmental Justice, will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree Sunday, June 10 by Lawrence University and serve as the principal speaker during its 169th commencement ceremonies at begin at 10 a.m. on the Main Hall green.

Peggy Shepard
Peggy Shepard, executive director of New York City-based WE ACT For Environmental Justice, will receive an honorary degree June 10 at Lawrence’s 169th commencement.

This will be Shepard’s second honorary degree, having previously been recognized by Smith College in 2010.

A total of 335 bachelor degrees are expected to be awarded to the class of 2018. Seventeen graduates are earning both a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of music degree.

A live webcast of the commencement ceremony will be available at go.lawrence.edu/livestream.

A baccalaureate service will be conducted Saturday, June 9 at 11 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. David McGlynn, associate professor of English, will deliver the main address, “Two Words.”  The baccalaureate service and commencement exercise are both free and open to the public.

Six retiring faculty members — Janet Anthony, James DeCorsey, Nick Keelan, Carol Lawton, Howard Niblock and Dirck Vorenkamp — representing 191 years of teaching experience will be recognized with honorary master of arts degrees, ad eundem.

In addition to Shepard, Lawrence President Mark Burstein, Board of Trustees Chair Susan Stillman Kane and senior Hitkarsh Kumar from Chandigarh, India, also will address the graduates.

Shepard’s initiation into environmental justice started in the mid-1980s over a sewage treatment plant in West Harlem, from which the odors and emissions were making people sick. A research report released at the time talked about environmental racism and how the primary predictor of where toxic sites are typically located were communities of color and low-income.

“That’s when I began to understand the environmental impact and that we were being disproportionately impacted by those issues,” said Shepard.

“That really gave us some of the thinking and research behind what was going on, behind what we saw happening in our community around air quality and housing.”

Shepard co-founded WE ACT in 1998 and three years later, was among 1,000 delegates who met in Washington, D.C., where they developed 17 principles of environmental justice.

“Our mandate was to go back home and develop a grass-roots space of support,” said Shepard. “We didn’t want to have a centralized movement where you had one person or celebrity speaking for everyone. We all spoke for ourselves individually and it was about a movement.”

A graduating student in cap and gown with a flower on her mortar boardFor young people interested in pursuing an environmental-related career, Shepard encourages them to test drive opportunities with different organizations to see what area would best suit their interests and talents.

“I’m on the board of the Environmental Defense Fund and we talk about environmental groups that have different approaches,” said Shepard. “Some have a justice approach, some have a policy approach, some have a business approach or a legal approach. If they’re really interested in these issues, they should try volunteering or interning, or getting a fellowship at these organizations so they really understand the differences.”

A former journalist, Shepard’s efforts to affect environmental protection and health policy have been recognized with numerous honors.

She was the recipient of the Heinz Award for the Environment in recognition of her “courageous advocacy and determined leadership in combating environmental injustice in urban America.” In 2008, she received the Jane Jacobs Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rockefeller Foundation for her activism to build healthier communities by engaging residents in environmental and land-use decision. The National Audubon Society presented Shepard its Rachel Carson Award, which recognizes female environmental leaders and promotes women’s roles in the environmental movement.

Her passion for environmental health and justice extends beyond WE ACT. Shepard is a former chair of the EPA’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council. She has worked with the National Institutes of Health, serving on its National Children’s Study Advisory Committee and its National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council.

A graduate of Howard University, Shepard has contributed her expertise to numerous non-profit boards, including the Environmental Defense Fund, New York League of Conservation Voters and the News Corporation Diversity Council, among others. She’s also served as a member of the New York City Mayor’s Sustainability Advisory Board and the New York City Waterfront Management Advisory Board.

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.

 

Seniors William Gill, Elena Hudacek awarded Fulbright teaching grants to Germany, Colombia

Previous trips abroad on off-campus study programs served as motivation for two Lawrence University seniors to apply for the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program.

William Gill, a German and government major from Bloomington, Ill., and Elena Hudacek, a linguistics and Spanish major from Lexington, Mass., were both rewarded with Fulbright Fellowships and will spend the majority of their first post-graduation year abroad as English language teaching assistants and cultural ambassadors, courtesy of the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Beginning in September, Gill will make his third trip to Germany while Hudacek travels to Colombia for the fist time. While neither yet knows their official assignment, they will spend 10 months working in a school as a teacher’s aide. As part of the program, each also is expected to devote 10-15 hours per week on a social/volunteer project related to their personal, career, and/or educational interests.

Will Gill
Will Gill ’18

Gill’s first exposure to Germany came as a sophomore at Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam when he participated in a three-week exchange program established by Wayland Academy and a school in Germany. After graduating, Gill took a “gap year” before attending Lawrence.

“I’d been thinking about taking a gap year for a long time before going to college, but I didn’t really want to pay for a program,” said Gill. “So, I asked the school in Germany that partnered with Wayland if they’d hire me for the year just to work. They accepted me.”

He wound up serving as a supervisor at a boarding school section of a large day school in the town of Elze, routinely working 80-hour weeks.

“I was a little out of place,” Gill recalled. “I didn’t really speak much German at that time. I worked really hard, dealt with a lot of difficult stuff, did a lot of informal teaching and assisting. My German improved though, living in a small town where no one really spoke English. That really helped me with the language and the cultural side of things.”

After enrolling at Lawrence, he returned to Germany in the fall of 2017 on a study-abroad program, but extended his stay by applying for a fellowship with the German Academic Exchange Institute. He received the scholarship, allowing him to spend an additional five months in Berlin, conducting independent research that he turned into the thesis “National Myth-building and Reunification for the Nachwende Generation,” which he presented at this year’s Harrison Symposium.

Brent Peterson, professor of German and Gill’s academic advisor, called the Fulbright “a justly deserved award.”

“Will has been one of the strongest German students we have ever had at Lawrence,” said Peterson. “He spent six months in Berlin interviewing members of the young people’s branch of a party that was founded by members of the old Socialist Unity Party after the fall of the Berlin Wall. His research was financed by a grant that is usually reserved for graduate students working on a Ph.D. That grant and resultant research was instrumental in the completion of his Senior Capstone Project.”

Gill is looking forward to his return trip to Germany, this time to a yet-to-be determined destination somewhere in the western state of Nordrhein-Westfalen, a part of the country he has yet to visit. He sees his role as a Fulbright Fellow as one more unique learning experience.

“There’s still so much for me to learn, said Gill, a fourth-generation Lawrentian and the 10th member of his family to attend Lawrence. “But I have an advantage because I don’t have to make it over the first hurdle. As a Fulbright recipient, I feel like I’m in a position to focus less on myself and more on other people. I can relate comfortably to people in Germany, culturally, linguistically and personally because I’ve spent so much time there.”

“Will has been one of the strongest German students we have ever had at Lawrence. [The Fulbright is] a justly deserved award.”
— Brent Peterson, professor of German

As for post-Fulbright life, Gill says graduate school is a possibility, but he is open to different opportunities.

“I love film, but I also love writing and a lot of other things,” he said. “Until there’s a program that really fits with my interests, I’m not going back to school yet. I think opportunities present themselves in weird ways sometimes. You’ve got to be open and have that flexibility to follow that thing if it presents itself. That’s how some of the coolest things I’ve ever done happen to me.”

Elena Hudacek
Elena Hudacek ’18

The National University of Colombia in Bogota will be Hudacek’s Fulbright assignment, where she will co-teach undergraduate English classes and lead conversation circles.

“I was lucky enough to study abroad in Spain last year and knew that I wanted to teach in a Spanish-speaking country after graduation,” said Hudacek, whose lone previous encounter with South America was a trip to Peru. “Having studied in Europe during my term abroad, I decided I wanted to live in Latin America and experience a different side of Hispanic culture. I chose Colombia because it’s known for having clear Spanish and friendly people. I also liked that I was guaranteed placement in a university, since that’s the teaching context I was most interested in. Plus, I’m just obsessed with Colombian music.”

With her academic background in linguistics and Spanish, Hudacek says her Fulbright experience can serve as a good test run of sorts for future career considerations.

“Elena brings insight, enthusiasm and skills honed through years of exceptional work with Spanish and Waseda students at Lawrence to English language learners in Bogota. I have no doubt that Elena and her students will be transformed by this incredible experience.”
—  Madera Allan, associate professor of Spanish

“I’ve worked a lot at Lawrence with international students as a mentor and a tutor, and I’ve really enjoyed that role,” said Hudacek, who first began studying Spanish in third grade. “It allows me to use my linguistics knowledge in a very practical way. I’m hoping that through this experience I can see whether or not I have a future teaching English Language Learners at the university level. Even if I decide it’s not the best fit for me, I will still gain leadership experience, become more independent, and further develop my Spanish skills.”

Beyond teaching, Fulbright fellows are unofficial goodwill ambassadors for the United States, a role Hudacek embraces. Her time in Europe exposed the many misconceptions people have of the United States.

“At Lawrence, I’ve spent a lot of time with international students, especially those that are part of the Waseda program. Part of my role as a Waseda mentor is being a U.S.-Wisconsin-Lawrence ambassador to those students. I’ve had some experience navigating U.S. culture with people from a different background than mine, discussing culturally-sensitive and sometimes controversial topics. I feel pretty comfortable in that role. I want to paint a picture of the United States that is diverse and complex, one that moves beyond stereotypes and generalizations.”

“Elena brings insight, enthusiasm and skills honed through years of exceptional work with Spanish and Waseda students at Lawrence to English language learners in Bogota,” said Madera Allan, associate professor of Spanish and Hudacek’s academic advisor. “I have no doubt that Elena and her students will be transformed by this incredible experience.”

Graduate school is in Hudacek’s future, but her immediate plans after her Fulbright ends are to teach English in Japan “for some experience in a different setting.”

“I recognize that a level of English proficiency is necessary for a lot of people,” she said. “It allows them educational and professional opportunities they might not have otherwise.”

The Fulbright Program is designed to build relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries that are needed to solve global challenges. Celebrating the 72nd anniversary of its establishment in 1946, the program operates in more than 160 countries worldwide. Fulbright recipients are among more than 50,000 individuals participating in U.S. Department of State exchange programs each 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 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.

 

Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan summer destinations for three students awarded U.S. State Department Critical Language Scholarships

Strengthening their foreign language skills will be on the top of three Lawrence University students’ to-do lists this summer thanks to the U.S. Department of State.

Senior Mikaela, Stillwater, Minn., and juniors Jonathan Rubin, Marblehead, Mass., and Heidi Arnold, Oswego, Ill., each have been awarded a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) for an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program.

Marget and Rubin both will travel to Malang, Indonesia on the island of Java for eight weeks of language instruction in Bahasa Indonesian and structured cultural enrichment experiences. Arnold will spend most of her summer living with a host family in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, as part of a Russian language program.

Launched in 2006 by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the CLS program is designed to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages that are critical to national security and economic prosperity.

Marget, Rubin and Arnold were among 580 CLS recipients for 2018 selected from 6,000 applicants nationally. Since 2010, seven Lawrence students have received Critical Language Scholarships.

Mikeala Marget
Mikeala Marget ’18

For Marget, a cello performance major, the CLS will provide a return trip to Indonesia. A member of Lawrence’s gamelan ensemble — Gamelan Cahaya Asri — she spent two weeks in Bali learning the Balinese rebab, a string instrument somewhat similar to the cello.

“I did a whole project on that instrument, the social context within Bali and how the instrument functions within the musical ensemble. That really inspired me to learn the Indonesian language and come back,” said Marget, who described her CLS selection as “utter surprise.”

While she picked up pieces of Balinese during her first visit, Bahasa Indonesian is the country’s national language, which is what she will be studying this summer.

“It will be helpful to have been there before and knowing at least Balinese culture a bit,” said Marget. “I haven’t had much time to really get dig into Bahasa Indonesian yet, so I’m really excited to get there and learn.”

Marget, who will graduate June 10, hopes to eventually pursue graduate studies in ethnomusicology.

“Having a basis in a language I’ve been studying would be really helpful, not only for grad school applications, but also for personal development so that I can communicate better with the people I will be working with musically. I’ve done a lot with the Indonesian music and   having the language skills to be able to further study Indonesian music would be amazing. I’m really excited to be able to make more connections with people across the world.”

Sonja Downing, associate professor of ethnomusicology at Lawrence, who has worked closely with her, said she was “thrilled” Marget will be able to continue studying the Indonesian language,

“Mikeala’s important study on the under-researched Balinese rebab this past year for her Senior Experience and honors project, including ethnographic research and taking lessons during a to Bali, along with her experiences playing in the Balinese gamelan ensemble has sparked her interest in Balinese music and musical instruments, as well as in the field of ethnomusicology,” said Downing. “I expect this CLS opportunity to deepen her scholarly and musical questions and engagement with Indonesian performing arts and culture.”

Jonathan Rubin
Jonathan Rubin ’19

Rubin, a religious studies major, will join Marget in Malang on the same program. His focus on learning Bahasa Indonesian is to enhance his interests in studying how religion and globalization have shaped the country.

“I’m interested in how theological belief systems and moral paradigms are derived from religious texts, and how they’ve changed and developed over time,” said Rubin, who spent last fall studying abroad in Pune, India. “Indonesia is a perfect place to study this. It’s the world’s largest Muslim majority country, but the first Muslim there was Chinese. Beyond Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Animism and Hinduism all have established some roots there. That’s a lot of ideas coming into one place.”

While Marget had some prior exposure to the language, Rubin has been preparing for his summer in Java by self-teaching himself Bahasa Indonesian with the help of online programs.

“It’s just a beginner program because so few people outside the country speak Indonesian,” said Rubin, who began his language study just a few months ago. “When I took I took my OPI (oral proficiency interview) over the phone, I did well enough that the woman said she was surprised I had only taught myself.”

Rubin’s long-range goals are to earn a doctorate in theology and globalization and he sees being able to read Indonesian as huge advantage.

“Indonesia is one of these areas where I’m studying this specific sociological function of theology. I’m interested in the way the whole idea of religion and the way we apply theology, which is one of the largest existing literarily canon of all time, and how we apply that today, has changed because of globalization and how interconnected the world has become. I hope I can write about the language and globalization as really a history of applied theology someday.”

Martyn Smith, associate professor of religious studies, praised Rubin as “one of the most ambitious students” he has seen in his 12 years on the Lawrence faculty.

“He has taken advantage of many opportunities to travel and learn by seeing the world,” said Smith, citing trips to Dearborn, Mich., to see immigrant communities, visit mosques and speak with religious leaders, Morocco and Sierra Leone, Jamaica, and his study-abroad term in India. “The courses he has taken in religious studies and other disciplines have all tended toward expanding his view of the world and global challenges. The CLS grant will allow him to continue what he has been doing: to get a global perspective on the challenges that now face us.”

Heidi Arnold
Heidi Arnold ’19

Arnold, a German and Russian major, also will be heading to Asia, but considerably farther north. She will spend eight weeks in the Kyrgyzstan capital of Bishkek, a city of nearly one million near the border of Kazakhstan.

Her choice of majors may have been influenced by her upbringing: she grew up with a German father and a Russian mother, who graduated from Lawrence herself.

“They were always speaking other languages when they didn’t want me to know what was going on,” said Arnold of her life at home. “It sparked my interest. Now I love the language (Russian) and the culture. I want to get better at it so I can read books, understand the movies fully and speak fluently.”

Arnold’s scholarship is evidence of persistence. She applied for a CLS as a sophomore but went unrewarded. She applied again and this time was among the 2018 recipients.

“It’s so important when you study a foreign language to get practical experience with native speakers,” Arnold said of her retry.

While she still has one more year at Lawrence ahead of her, Arnold is contemplating career paths.

“I’ve considered becoming an immigration lawyer in some capacity or maybe working with international law in some way,” said Arnold. “I would like to have a few years of practical experience, maybe working for the State Department or another government agency. Or an NGO, that would also work.”

Peter John Thomas, one of Arnold’s Russian professors, says she has “an ear for new lexicon and usage.”

“For as long as I have known her, Heidi has planned to use her skills in Russian, Ukrainian, and German to research the cultural milieu of ‘Russia Abroad,’ especially the diaspora community in Germany following the Russian Revolution,” said Thomas, associate professor of Russian studies. “This program offers her an excellent opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge she needs to pursue her research.”

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.

Six new members elected to Lawrence University’s Board of Trustees

Six new members were elected to Lawrence University’s Board of Trustees at its recent May meeting.

Sidney Ayabe, Honolulu, Hawaii; Dean DuMonthier, Riverwoods, Ill.; Dennis Klaeser, Glenview, Ill.; Barbara Lawton, Madison; and Ambassador Christopher Murray, Brussells, Belgium, have all been elected as term trustees for three-year renewable terms.

Bao Ha, Silver Spring, Md., was elected a Recent Graduate Trustee, a position established in 2014 exclusively for Lawrence alumni within 2-10 years of graduation. He will serve one non-renewable, three-year term. Each joins the board effective July 1.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to welcome these six new members to our board,” said Susan Stillman Kane, current board chair, whose term as chair ends July 1. “This new trustee class brings an impressive range of professional experience from the legal, financial, corporate, and investment worlds as well as long-standing service in state government and foreign service. Their collective diverse perspectives will help to strengthen all aspects of our work.”

David Blowers, president of national services at the Northern Trust Company in Chicago and a 1982 Lawrence graduate, will replace Kane as chair of the board July 1. Cory Nettles, founder and managing director of Generation Growth Capital, Inc., in Milwaukee, and a 1992 Lawrence graduate, will become vice chair of the board.

Sidney Ayabe

Sidney Ayabe
Sidney Ayabe ’67

A 1967 Lawrence graduate, Ayabe is a retired attorney having spent 25 years as the managing partner of the law firm Ayabe, Chong, Nishimoto, Sia & Nakamura. Previously, he served as Hawaii’s deputy attorney general from 1970-72. He was elected president of the Hawaii State Bar Association in 1995. He has served on four Federal Merit Selection Panels, served on the Hawaii State Judicial Selection Commission for six years, including two as its chairperson and serves on the boards of the Mediation Center of the Pacific and Volunteer Legal Services of Hawaii.

Ayabe is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Board of Trial Advocates and has been recognized in “Best Lawyers in America,” “Chambers & Partners” and “Super Lawyers.”

After earning his bachelor’s degree in government from Lawrence, Ayabe earned his law degree at the University of Iowa in 1970.

Dean DuMonthier, CFA

Dean DuMonthier
Dean DuMonthier ’88

Originally from Sheboygan, DuMonthier has extensive experience in the investment field, currently serving as managing director and portfolio manager for international equities with Minneapolis-based Winslow Capital Management. Prior experience includes a senior vice president position in global quantitative equities at Neuberger Berman, LLC, a New York-based, employee-owned investment firm with more than $270 billion in client assets.

He also spent six years as a partner and portfolio manager with Copia Capital, a Chicago-based market-neutral hedge fund.  Earlier in his career he served as an equity research analyst and portfolio manager with Strong Capital Management and started his career out of Lawrence with Hewitt Associates as an institutional investment consultant.

A 1988 Lawrence graduate with a degree in economics, DuMonthier also earned an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He also earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Dennis Klaeser

Dennis Klaeser
Dennis Klaeser ’80

Klaeser brings decades of executive banking expertise to the board, especially in strategic planning, investor relations, acquisition transactions, restructuring and divestures. He currently is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Chemical Financial Corporation and Chemical Bank. Chemical Financial is the largest banking company headquartered in Michigan with assets of more than $19 billion and more than 200 banking offices in Michigan, northeast Ohio and northern Indiana.

Prior to Chemical Financial, Klaeser served as chief financial officer and an executive managing director of Talmer Bancorp, Inc. for six years. He also has held positions as a senior bank analyst with Raymond James Financial; chief financial officer of PrivateBancorp, Inc.; managing director and head of the Financial Institutions Group for Andersen Corporate Finance, a division of Arthur Andersen; and investment banker at EVEREN Securities.

Klaeser, who graduated from Lawrence in 1980 with a degree in sociology, participated in the 3-2 program with the University of Chicago, earning a master’s in social service from the University of Chicago in addition to his bachelor’s degree from Lawrence. He also earned a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago and his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Barbara Lawton

Barbara Lawton
Barbara Lawton ’87

A long-time public servant, Lawton was the first woman elected lieutenant governor in Wisconsin, serving from 2003-2011. As lieutenant governor, she promoted economic development, the creation of a “Green Economy Agenda” and the “Wisconsin Women = Prosperity,” a plan to increase leadership, economic, and educational opportunities for Wisconsin women.

She chaired the Wisconsin Arts Board (2003-13), chaired the National Lieutenant Governors Association, and served on the National Leadership Council of the American Association of Colleges and Universities and the Advisory Board of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Public Diplomacy Collaborative. Since leaving public office, Lawton focused on campaign finance reform, serving as president and CEO of Americans for Campaign Reform and co-founding Issue One, launching their bipartisan ReFormers Caucus.

Lawton serves on the Advisory Board for the national Millennial Action Project and for the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service. A native of Green Bay, Lawton was a founder of the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and the Green Bay Area Multicultural Center.

Lawton was a non-traditional student when she attended Lawrence, graduating in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish. She then earned a master’s degree in Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Lawrence recognized her in 2009 with an honorary doctorate of laws degree. She also earned an honorary doctorate of fine arts from the Milwaukee Institute of Arts and Design.

Ambassador Christopher Murray

Ambassador Christopher Murray
Ambassador Christopher Murray ’75

Ambassador (ret.) Murray enjoyed a distinguished 40-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service. His most recent assignment was as the Political Advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander for NATO Forces in Europe, from which he retired in 2016.  He spent the preceding three years, from 2010 to 2013, as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Congo.

During his career Murray held a variety of leadership appointments, among them deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels; deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon and the U.S. embassy in Algiers, Algeria; and chief of the political section of the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria.

In addition to his work abroad, Murray held several positions with the Department of State in Washington, D.C., among them director of the Office of Nonproliferation Policy, deputy director of European Regional Affairs and political officer in the European Bureau’s Office of NATO Affairs.

Fluent in Arabic, Dutch and French, Murray earned a bachelor’s degree in government from Lawrence in 1975 as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a J.D. degree from Cornell Law School in 1980. He was recognized in 2015 with Lawrence’s Lucia Russell Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award and spent the spring of 2017 on campus as the university’s Distinguished Scarff Visiting Professor.

Bao Ha

Bao Ha
Bao Ha ’07

Ha is finishing up his last year in Northrop Grumman’s Future Technical Leaders (FTL) Program, a three-year professional development program which selects top M.S./Ph.D. candidates in targeted science and engineering disciplines. He has worked across the United States solving challenging technical problems on both large and small programs. His diverse roles — data scientist, systems engineer, agile product owner — across year-long rotations provided experience and training in software, systems and algorithms.

A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Ha graduated magna cum laude from Lawrence in 2007 with degrees in mathematics and physics. He earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in applied physics at the California Institute of Technology, where he reproduced solar eruptions in the laboratory to extract insights into the driving forces behind space weather.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works by student art majors featured in new Wriston Art Center Galleries exhibition

The creative talents of 12 Lawrence University student art majors will be showcased in the annual Senior Major Exhibition opening Friday, May 25 in the Wriston Art Center Galleries. The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, runs through July 1.A postcard promoting the 2018 Senior Art Show

Media in the exhibition include paintings, prints, photographs, ceramics, installations, and sculptures in various materials including wood, plaster, steel and 3D-printed PLA plastic.

“Several of this year’s senior art majors have merged their multidisciplinary interests and their studio practices,” said Beth Zinsli, director and curator of the Wriston galleries.  “Their works featured in the exhibition explore mathematical theorems, the history of science and invention, biodegradable plastics, the visualization of psychological and emotional states, and 3D printer programming.

An oil painting of Mme. C.J. Walker by Lawrence senior Aedan R. Gardill
Aedan Gardill’s oil painting “Innovating a Legacy: Mme. C.J. Walker” will be among the works in the 2018 Senior Art Show in the Wriston Art Center Galleries.

“Other students’ works delve deeply into the idea of memory and identity, examining the continued significance of childhood experiences like transnational adoption or the death of a loved one as they transition through college and into adulthood,” Zinsli added. “Sculpture in a variety of media is quite dominant this year, but there are excellent examples of photography, painting, printmaking, and mixed media pieces as well.”

The student exhibitors include: Eryn Blagg, Omaha, Neb.; Natalie Cash, Elgin, Ill.; Molly Froman, San Francisco, Calif.; Aedan Gardill, Waunakee; Susie Hendrix, Appleton; Emily Hunt, Aurora, N.Y.; Kori Looker, Weyauwega; Jake Ryan, Medford, Ore.; Penn Ryan, Madison; Elizabeth Utter-Limon, Milwaukee; Lizzy Weekes, Milton; and Rachael Wuensch, Reedsburg.

Wriston Art Center hours are Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday-Sunday noon – 4 p.m. The galleries are closed Mondays. For more information, call 920-832-6621.

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.

 

Lawrence, Mielke Family Foundation partnering on new community initiative

The latest chapter in the long-running partnership between Lawrence University and the Mielke Family Foundation will be written this summer with the launch of the new John and Sally Mielke Community Collaboration Program.

The program is based on the Mielkes’ deep commitment to enhancing the quality of life in the Fox Valley region and Lawrence’s commitment to effective and ethical action in the contemporary world.

John and Sally Mielke
John and Sally Mielke

The John & Sally Mielke Generation II fund, an endowment within the Mielke Family Foundation, is committed to funding this collaboration that brings Lawrence faculty and students, the non-profit agencies, and community leaders together in cooperative undertakings.

By combining research and scholarship with local expertise and knowledge, the program aims to develop new approaches to issues that will improve quality of life in the Fox Cities. Lawrence students engaged in community-based learning and research will gain practical experience while learning first-hand how research can be developed and applied in partnership with people directly affected by the issues.

Ideally, the collaborations will not only make a real impact here in our community, but will generate new models for effective and ethical university-community action that could be adopted in other places.

“Partnership is an important value for John and Sally Mielke and for the university,” said Lawrence President Mark Burstein. “This extraordinary gift from the Mielkes will support advanced research on societal issues that face the Fox Cities. All parties hope this initiative will ensure our community remains a leader for generations to come.”

The program will focus on a single theme at a time and be dedicated to making a meaningful impact. Each theme is expected to last multiple years. Tools for addressing any theme could include Lawrence courses involving field work, or other community-engaged elements; research, assessment and evaluation; internships for Lawrence students at community agencies and workshops or training for community members.

While themes and specific activities will evolve over the life of the program, each undertaking will be guided by four essential components:

  • It will be led by Lawrence University, with advice and consultation from the Mielke Family Foundation or its representatives.
  • It is collaborative in nature, bringing Lawrence faculty and students together with the Fox Cities community to address issues of importance to the community.
  • It is for the benefit of the Fox Cities community.
  • It will provide distinctive unique opportunities for Lawrence faculty and students to assist the Fox Cities through research and service.

John and Sally Mielke noted that “the history of Lawrence University and Appleton is strongly intertwined. This initiative gives strength to the continuing effort of collaboration which is so beneficial to both.”

In honor of the Mielkes, the program’s initial thematic focus will be early childhood — from birth, or possibly even prenatal, through young childhood. The importance of early childhood experiences as preparation for future successful lives is a long-standing passion of John and Sally Mielke.

Partnership is an important value for John and Sally Mielke and for the university. This extraordinary gift from the Mielkes will support advanced research on societal issues that face the Fox Cities.”
—Lawrence President Mark Burstein.

Activities associated with the first initiative might include a course on early childhood development that includes field work on community projects, paid internships in local agencies for Lawrence students and outreach events such as seminars for in-service teachers or workshops for area families, other influencers or stakeholders in early childhood development.

Beth Haines
Beth Haines

Beth Haines, professor of psychology at Lawrence, whose intellectual interests include developmental psychology, has been named the program’s initial director.

Haines played a leadership role in helping launch the Community Early Learning Center (CELC) in downtown Appleton in 2014, a project also supported by the passion, time and generosity of the Mielkes. She serves as the chair of the center’s research committee and created and oversees an ongoing assessment plan.

“The John and Sally Mielke Community Collaboration Program will provide many opportunities to truly have an impact on community needs,” said Haines. “We’ve already begun to enrich and expand our community-based work on early childhood. The CELC is embarking on a project to bring a mindfulness-based Kindness Curriculum to early childhood programs in the community.”

Approximately 30 students are currently participating in a training course taught by Haines and Kathy Immel, associate professor of psychology at UW-Fox Valley, to enable a large-scale assessment of the impact of the Kindness Curriculum at the CELC and the University Children’s Center in the 2018-19 school year.

“The Community Collaboration program will allow us to engage more students in this project,” explained Haines. “We’ve invited a Lawrence education student to attend the intensive training on the Kindness Curriculum for teachers and we hope to hire a recent Lawrence graduate to help with project coordination.”

An assessment of the curriculum will be conducted after which it will be shared broadly with the local community and beyond. Lawrence students also will support the Mindful Parenting classes offered to area parents whose children are experiencing the curriculum in their preschool and 4K classrooms as well as others.

Lawrence faculty members Stephanie Burdick-Shepherd, assistant professor of education, and Daniell DiFrancesca, postdoctoral fellow of education, plan to offer a lab connected to their Children’s Literature or Reading Foundations course for students interested in literacy and community to conduct readings of the mindfulness books from the curriculum at the Appleton Public Library or the Building for Kids, expanding both Lawrence student involvement as well as the wider Appleton community.

“We also hope to use the collaboration program funds for student internships to support local screening efforts to identify young children’s mental health and developmental needs,” said Haines.

Plans are being made to host a public screening of the upcoming Mr. Roger’s movie in conjunction with a public forum on the way children’s television programming has influenced education, parenting and the moral life of the American family.

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.

 

Walk, Talk, Ignore the Clock: English class inspires first community walk

In this “hurry-hurry, rush-rush world,” where everyone seemingly only communicates via social media, Lawrence University is offering an opportunity to hit the pause, or at least the slow-down, button.

On Thursday, May 24, beginning at 4:30 p.m., the university will host its first Community City Walk for any interested members of the Lawrence and Appleton communities. The walk is an outgrowth of the Spring Term class “The Meaning of Life” taught by Associate Professor of English David McGlynn.

It’s not a march. It’s not a protest. It’s not a fun run,” said McGlynn. “It’s an opportunity for people of all stripes to come together and simply walk, talk and ignore the clock. We want this to be a casual, leisurely stroll around the neighborhoods surrounding the campus as well as through the central business district so folks can talk to each other and connect on a deeper level while enjoying the fresh air. It’s really a ‘community bonding event’ designed to help people get to know each other better in the hope of creating connections.”

The walk will start in front of Main Hall and end approximately at 6 p.m. on the Boldt Plaza in front of the Warch Campus Center. Free ice cream will be provides and, without the need to climb a mountain and consult with a sage guru, the meaning of life will be revealed.

David McGlynn
David McGlynn

McGlynn’s “The Meaning of Life” class is full of conversations about community, connecting with other people and finding purpose in life. The class has had engaged conversations with several prominent members of the Lawrence and Appleton communities.

“There is a long tradition of ‘city walking’ in the Western tradition,” said McGlynn. “Numerous writers and thinkers have examined how walking enlivens the mind, lifts the mood, connects us to our bodies, environments and communities, and structures activities ranging from religious pilgrimages to political marches.”

McGlynn has led members of the class on walks this spring in an attempt to move students beyond the campus perimeter, to help foster conversation and to allow those students who haven’t felt safe in town to explore the area in a relaxed and protected setting. McGlynn called the those walks “rewarding and enriching experiences for everyone involved.

“We believe a large gathering of the Lawrence community peacefully ambling through the streets — simply walking and talking — will make a tremendous statement about the college’s place in the city, the diverse make-up of our community and our desire to break through the bubble that too often separates Lawrence from Appleton,” he added.

Senior Arianna Cohen, who has taken two classes with McGlynn, including his “Meaning of Life Class,” said he would often talk about how important taking a walk was to him.

“He encouraged us to go out and take walks without bringing our phones so we could enjoy the world around us,” said Cohen. “The Lawrence Bubble is a real thing and Professor McGlynn wants to open the students’ eyes to all that Appleton has to offer.”

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.

Kenneth Bozeman examines the role of voice in annual Honors Convocation

Music professor Kenneth Bozeman examines the role voice plays in forming connections, relationships and social structures in Lawrence University’s annual Honors Convocation.

Ken Bozeman
Kenneth Bozeman

Bozeman, the Frank C. Shattuck Professor of Music, presents “Voice, the Muscle of the Soul: Finding Yourself Through Finding Your Voice,” Tuesday, May 22 at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The event is free and open to the public and also will be available via live webcast at livestream.com/LawrenceUniversity.

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

According to Bozeman, a person’s voice is a kind of audible fingerprint, helping define who we are and of who we perceive ourselves to be.  Beginning with the first breath immediately after birth, humans are hard-wired to express feelings and needs primarily through voice. It is strongly associated with personal identity. The process of developing one’s voice and the ability to express one’s deepest feelings and convictions through voice is a process of self-discovery and self-formation.

A member of the faculty since 1977, Bozeman began his career teaching teaching voice science and pedagogy. He is the author of two books, “Practical Vocal Acoustics: Pedagogic Applications for Teachers and  Singers”  and “Kinesthetic Voice Pedagogy: Motivating Acoustic Efficiency.” He was awarded the Van Lawrence Fellowship by the Voice Foundation in 1994 for his interest in voice science and pedagogy and serves as the chair of the editorial board of the Journal of Singing.

He has been recognized with both of Lawrence’s teaching honors, the Young Teacher Award in 1980 and the Excellence in Teaching Award in 1996.

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.

 

Religious studies professor Constance Kassor awarded NEH grant for Buddhist text translation

With the support of a $6,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities, Lawrence University’s Constance Kassor will put her expertise in classical Tibetan language to use this summer.

Beginning July 1, Kassor, an assistant professor of religious studies at Lawrence, will spend two months in Kathmandu, Nepal, working on a translation of the 15th-century Tibetan Buddhist text “Synopsis of the Middle Way.” It’s a project Kassor first began tackling in 2014.

Constance Kassor
Constance Kassor

The “Synopsis” is an encyclopedic, 459-page treatise, composed by the influential philosopher Gorampa Sonam Senge (1429-89), considered the most significant philosopher in a minority sect of Tibetan Buddhism known as Sakya. Gorampa is renowned for arguing against his philosophical rival Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), founder of what later came to be known as the Gelug sect.

“Gorampa is best remembered for his harsh, vehement criticism against the Gelug sect, which is the school the Dalai Lama belongs to,” explained Kassor, who joined the Lawrence faculty in 2016. “He criticized that school very negatively in his philosophical writings. His criticism was considered so harsh that the 5th Dalai Lama banned all of his texts in Tibet. From the 17th century until about 1925, Gorampa’s texts were only studied secretly in remote areas of eastern Tibet. In the 1920s, the 13th Dalai Lama gave permission for this text to be brought out again to the world. Now, his work is experiencing a revival.”

Despite renewed interest in Gorampa’s views, only two of his complete extant works have been translated into English. The vast majority of English-language scholarship on Tibetan philosophy consists of texts written from within the dominant Gelug sect while comparatively little English-language scholarship focuses on the Sakya and other minority traditions.

While in Nepal, Kassor will collaborate with Ven. Dr. Ngawang Jorden, a Tibetan monk and the principal of the International Buddhist Academy, which is part school, part monastic institution, part leadership center.

The text Kassor is translating was written in classical Tibetan, which is different from modern spoken Tibetan.

“They are about as different as English and Latin,” said Kassor, who is fluent in modern Tibetan. “Jorden is a monk who has lived most of his life in India, but got his Ph.D. from Harvard. “He’s fluent in English and I am pretty good in classical Tibetan, so we make a good working team.”

Four years into the translation project, Kassor estimates she’s about three-quarters finished.

“My goal for the summer in the time I’m going to spend with Jorden is to work on a couple of the most difficult passages with him. I hope to have the entire text translated in another two years.”

Kassor said she has received preliminary interest from several publishers for her translation once its completed.

“The issues raised by Gorampa and his interlocutors in this text will be of interest to scholars of Buddhist and Western philosophical traditions,” said Kassor, “as well as to a broader audience interested in questions concerning the nature of knowledge and the mind more generally.”

Established in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) promotes excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history by awarding grants for top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers.

NEH grants typically go to cultural institutions as well as to individual scholars. The grants are designed to strengthen teaching and learning in schools and colleges; facilitate research and original scholarship; provide opportunities for lifelong learning; preserve and provide access to cultural and educational resources; and strengthen the institutional base of the humanities.

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.

Gamelan ensembles close World Music Series

Lawrence University’s own 15-member Balinese gamelan ensemble —Gamelan Cahaya Asri — closes the college’s 2017-18 World Music Series with a performance Sunday, May 20 at 3 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The concert is free and open to the public.

members of the Lawrence gamelan ensembleJoining Gamelan Cahaya Asri will be the 14-member community gamelan — Gamelan Sekar Kemuda — which includes players as young as 13 and as old as 82. A children’s gamelan of 11 students aged 5-10 years old, also will perform.

The concert will include a performance by Chicago-based Balinese dancer Claire Fassnacht. A 2013 Lawrence graduate, Fassnacht leads gamelan and dance workshops, private lessons and cultural lectures. She has performed as a musician and dancer with several gamelan ensembles in the U.S. and Bali, Indonesia. From 2015-17, she was a dancer and musician with MIT’s Gamelan Galak Tika in Boston.

Featuring metallophones, gongs, drums and bamboo flutes from Indonesia, the concert will include meditative traditional ceremonial pieces and vibrant contemporary works by Balinese composers.

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.