Lawrence faculty members promoted, granted tenure

Three members of the Lawrence University faculty have been granted tenure appointments and a fourth has been promoted to the rank of full professor by the college’s Board of Trustees.

Kurt Krebsbach has been promoted from associate professor to full professor of computer science. Celia Barnes in the English department, Alison Guenther-Pal in the German department and Copeland Woodruff, director of opera studies and associate professor of music, have been granted tenure. Barnes and Guenther-Pal also were promoted from assistant to associate professor.

“I’m delighted to welcome a new faculty member to the elevated rank of professor and to congratulate our three newest tenured colleagues,” said Catherine Gunther Kodat, provost and dean of the faculty. “Lawrence sets a high bar for faculty achievement, requiring demonstrated excellence in teaching, scholarship, creative activity and service. These faculty have enhanced our community immeasurably, introducing our students to new ideas and fresh perspectives on long established truths and enriching the intellectual and artistic life of the university. I look forward to working with them for many years to come.”

Kurt Kresbach
Kurt Krebsbach ’84

Krebsbach, whose research interests include artificial intelligence, multi-agent systems and functional programming, returned to Lawrence in 2002 as a faculty member, having earned his bachelor’s degree from Lawrence as the university’s first mathematics-computer science major.

He has made research presentations and technical reports at more than three dozen professional conferences in his career. A member of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence since 1987, Krebsbach spent time in 2009 at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland as a Masters of Informatics Scholar.

Prior to joining the faculty, Krebsbach spent seven years as an artificial intelligence researcher at Honeywell Laboratories in Minneapolis. He also taught two years in the math and computer science department at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.

After graduating from Lawrence, Krebsbach earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in computer science at the University of Minnesota.

Celia Barnes
Celia Barnes

Barnes joined the Lawrence English department faculty in 2010 as a visiting assistant professor before receiving a tenure-track appointment the following year. Her scholarship focuses on how18th-century writers conceived of their own place in literary history. She is particularly interested in re-examining the familiar image of the professional author who writes alone and always with an eye to publication into one where writers and readers are actively and sociably engaged in an interactive process of creating text.

In addition to teaching courses such as “British Writers,” Revolutionary 18th Century” and “Gender and Enlightenment,” Barnes has collaborated with colleagues to team-teach the interdisciplinary English/physics course “Newtonian Lit: Chronicles of a Clockwork Universe” and the English/philosophy course “Enlightenment Selves.”

Barnes directed an elementary composition program at Indiana University and spent a year on the faculty at California Lutheran University before coming to Lawrence. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from The College of William and Mary with a bachelor’s degree in English and earned a Ph.D. in English with a concentration in 18th-century British Literature from Indiana University.

Alison Gunther-Pal
Alison Gunther-Pal

Guenther-Pal began her career at Lawrence in 2007, first with a three-year appointment in German and film studies through the university’s Postdoctoral Fellows program, then as visiting assistant professor and finally as a tenure track assistant professor. In addition to teaching in the German and film studies programs, she also teaches courses in gender studies.

Her scholarship interests span German cinema, 20th-century German culture, feminist film theory, queer theory and popular culture, especially stardom and fandom. Her primary research focuses on the representation of homosexuality and queerness in cinematic, scientific, lay and literary texts during the Konrad Adenauer era of post-World War II Germany.

Guenther-Pal was honored with Lawrence’s Young Teacher Award in recognition of “demonstrated excellence in the classroom and the promise of continued growth” in 2017 and was the 2015-16 recipient of the university’s Mortar Board Award for Faculty Excellence.

She studied in Germany at the University of Göttingen and the Free University of Berlin before earning a bachelor’s degree in biology and the University of California, Santa Cruz. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Germanic studies from the University of Minnesota.

Copeland Woodruff
Copeland Woodruff

Woodruff was named Lawrence’s first director of opera studies in 2014 after spending six years as co-director of opera activities at the University of Memphis. In addition to directing Lawrence’s annual main stage opera production, Woodruff has launched a series of “micro-operas” that examine socially relevant issues and are performed at non-traditional locales. His first, “Expressions of Acceptance,” featured 13 short operas simultaneously staged throughout the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, including stairwells, bathrooms, the bar areas and even elevators. The production tied for third place in the 2015-16 National Opera Association’s Division 1 Best Opera Production competition.

In 2016, his “Straight from the Hip,” was performed at The Draw, a local art gallery. The production examined the issue of gun presence and gun awareness in the community through a series of nine mini-vignettes. His 2017 production, “Is That a Fact,” explored facts, and possibly, their alternative-fact counterparts.

Woodruff’s 2016 mainstage production, “The Beggar’s Opera,” was awarded first-place honors in by the National Opera Association. Under his direction, Lawrence also was recognized in 2015 with first-place honors in the undergraduate division of the Collegiate Opera Scenes competition and earned second-place honors in the NOA’s Best Opera Production competition for “The Tender Land.”

He earned a both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in vocal performance from the University of South Carolina and a master’s degree in stage directing for opera from Indiana 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.”  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.

 

 

State teacher association honoring two Lawrence alumnae with educator awards

Two educators, both of whom graduated from Lawrence University, will be recognized by the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (WACTE).

Leila Pertl, a performing arts teacher at Appleton Public Montessori has been named one of the 2018 winners of WACTE’s Pre-Service Educator Mentor Award. Tierney Duffy, a K-8 Spanish teacher at Murray Language Academy in the Chicago School District is the recipient of an Early Career Educator Award.

Both will be be honored at an awards ceremony April 8 in Madison as well as on Sunday, May 6 at the home of Lawrence University President Mark Burstein.

Leila Pertl
Leila Pertl ’87

Pertl and Duffy were selected for the awards by faculty of Lawrence’s college and conservatory teacher education program. Each Wisconsin college or university that belongs to WACTE was invited to select a recipient for each award.

The Mentor Award recognizes an outstanding educator who has demonstrated a sustained pattern of mentoring pre-service educators for at least five years.

A 1987 Lawrence graduate, Pertl has enjoyed a teaching career spanning more than 30 years in several states, including the past five at at Appleton Public Montessori. In her current position, she has been instrumental in helping Lawrence conservatory students decide whether to pursue a career as a music educator.

Stewart Purkey, Bee Connell Mielke Professor of Education and associate professor of education at Lawrence, praised Pertl for her mantra: music is a birthright.

“That has become the conservatory’s unofficial motto and should be the nation’s,” said Purkey. “Leila’s energy and passion for teaching is electrifying and her bold, creative approach is contagious.

“All the students she has shepherded into the teaching profession would agree with a recent graduate who said Leila ‘was the catalyst that made me believe in the power and positive change that music teaching can do,’” Purkey added. “We’re honored to recognize her with this year’s Pre-Service Educator Award.”

In addition to her work at Appleton Montessori, Pertl teaches harp at the Lawrence Academy of Music and has served as the music education curator of Mile of Music since the festival was launched in 2013.

Tierney Duffy
Tierney Duffy ’16

The Early Career Educator Award honors outstanding educators within the first three years of their professional career.

Duffy, a 2016 Lawrence graduate with a major in Spanish, also coaches softball and cheerleading and advises the student council at Murray Language Academy, where she began her teaching career last fall.

Purkey described Duffy as a “caring, welcoming and encouraging teacher.”

“Tierney demonstrates respect for her students by challenging them academically as she responds to their lives and needs and nurtures their growth as people,” said Purkey.

He noted Civil Rights activist and educator Mary McLeod Bethune once famously said, “Our children must never lose their zeal for building a better world.”

“To that I would add, nor must our teachers,” added Purkey. “Because we believe Tierney is such a teacher, we are honored to name her the recipient of the Early Career Educator Award.”

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.

The Realm of Unity: Lawrence International Cabaret celebrates the richness of diversity

More than 120 students from around the world will share the richness of their diverse heritage April 7-8 in two family-friendly performances of Lawrence University’s 42nd annual International Cabaret.

A singer and a guitar player
Songs from the students’ homeland are always part of the International Cabaret performance.

Representing more than 30 countries, Lawrence students showcase their native cultures through dance, music and fashion in performances Saturday, April 7 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 9 at 3 p.m. in Stansbury Theatre of the Music-Drama Center. A free reception follows Sunday’s performance in the Warch Campus Center.

This year’s theme for Cabaret, “The Realm of Unity: United in our Difference.”

Tickets, at $10 for adults, $5 for students/children (age four and under are free), are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749. In addition to its normal hours, the box office will be open one hour prior to Sunday’s performance.

Junior Binita Rajbhandari, president of the student organization Lawrence International, which organizes the annual Cabaret, says it is the students’ differences that actually unite them.

“The world sires a myriad of cultures,” said Rajbhandari. “We are from different backgrounds and are all different, yet we are all the same in this regard. Lawrence International believes that, while we are diverse, we should also be united because of our differences. Cabaret is possible because of our differences in backgrounds, strengths and roles.

Rajbhandari calls Cabaret “a must-see event.”

International Cabaret fashion show (China)
A fashion show showcasing traditional garb from the students’ home country is a popular feature of the annual International Cabaret.

“Students put an enormous amount of work into this in order to share their cultures with others,” she said. “It’s surreal to see how much dedication each student has to share their culture and at the same time learn something about a new culture.”

This year’s Cabaret features 15 acts and two fashion shows of colorful, traditional dress. Among the performances will be a traditional Greek folklore dance, an acoustic rendition of a modern Nepalese rock song, a Mariachi band, a Croatian song, a Jordanian version of an Eastern Arab dance, both a traditional and a modern Japanese dance, a popular love song from Ecuadorian folklore and the always popular, high-energy series of South Korean K-pop dances.

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.

 

Science “evangelist” Ainissa Ramirez delivers “Technology’s Unexpected Consequences” convocation

Self-proclaimed science “evangelist” Ainissa Ramirez preaches a gospel focused on the importance of improving the public’s understanding of science.

Ainissa Ramirez
Ainissa Ramirez considers herself a science “evangelist.”

Ramirez shares her message in the Lawrence University convocation “Technology’s Unexpected Consequences” Tuesday, April 3 at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. She will conduct a question-and-answer-session following her remarks. Both events are free and open to the public.

Through books, TED Talks, online videos and the podcast “Science Underground,” Ramirez makes her case for science education reform, arguing for greater emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking rather than memorization.

According to Ramirez, “STEM is like a training camp for key skills like encouraging curiosity and patience and making friends with failure. Most of the jobs of the 21st century will require people to be comfortable with science and math, not only the content and information, but the mindset that comes from these fields, such as trial-and-error and the skill of asking good questions.”

Ramirez, who earned a bachelor’s degree at Brown University and a Ph.D. at Stanford University, spent eight years on the faculty at Yale University, where she taught mechanical engineering and materials science and created a science lecture series for kids called “Science Saturdays.” She also spent time as a visiting professor at MIT.

Named one of the world’s 100 Top Young Innovators by Technology Review for her contributions to transforming technology, Ramirez holds six patents and is the author of co-author of three books, including “Save Our Science: How to Inspire a New Generation of Scientists.” Her most recent book, 2013’s “Newton’s Football: The Science Behind America’s Game,” uses football as a model to examine science topics ranging from chaos theory to concussions, in an entertaining,  big-think way.

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.

New Wriston Art Center exhibition features work by Anna Campbell, Benjamin Rinehart and Zina Mussmann

Sculptor Anna Campbell opens Lawrence University’s Wriston Art Center Galleries’ latest exhibition with a discussion of her show “Apparatus for a Dream Sequence” Thursday, March 29 at 6 p.m. A reception follows Campbell’s remarks. Both are free and open to the public. The new exhibition runs through May 6.

Artist Anna Campbell's "chosenname"
Anna Campbell’s “chosenname” is part of her “Apparatus of a Dream Sequence” exhibition.

An associate professor of art and design at Grand Valley State University, Campbell employs props, scaffold and trusswork in her work to explore social constructions, lived experience, and the labor of constructing a utopian future. Through brilliantly varnished marquetry and faceted, gilded cordial glasses, she gestures toward a luxurious and comfortable social space. Her show’s title refers to the diverse terms that generations of LGBT and other marginalized people have used to mark the labor of making and naming home.

“Campbell’s installations are both sensorially enticing and intentionally subversive,” said Beth Zinsli, director and curator of the Wriston Art Center Galleries. “They’re designed to make the viewer think carefully about language, names, pleasure, labor, comfort and to question their assumptions about those ideas.”

The pop-up book "Team Ramey"
Benjamin Rinehart’s “Team Ramey” will be among the pieces featured in the exhibition “Art of the Book.”

The exhibition “Art of the Book” features works from Lawrence’s own Seeley G. Mudd Library’s Art of the Book collection. Started in 2011, the collection features 63 titles, with several new ones added year year. Among the numerous artists included in the exhibition is Lawrence Associate Professor of Art Benjamin Rinehart and his pop-up book “Team Ramey.”

Painter Zina Mussmann, a faculty member at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design whose work has been exhibited regionally and nationally, presents “Unto Itself: New work by Zina Mussmann.”  Referring to the ways micro and macroscopic scientific images awake a new type of existential anxiety, “Unto Itself” features more than two dozen drawings, including watercolor, gouache, ink and graphite on white paper, from Mussmann’s 2016 series “Automata.”

Art drawing "Automata"
Automata #6, mixed media on Paper will be part of the “Unto Itself: New work by Zina Mussmann” exhibition.

According to Mussman, “science has revealed systems that are autopoetic, existing within us on the tiniest of scales and all around us in seemingly infinite space and time. The drawings in this series purposefully reveal and conceal the structure of these systems; they are not faithful representations, rather they beg the question of what is still unseen. What is still hidden from us in the ether? And how will that continue to challenge human primacy?”

The Wriston Art Center is open Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday noon – 4 p.m.; closed Mondays. Free and open to the public.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the 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.

 

Virtuoso percussionist Colin Currie performs at Lawrence March 30

Embracing new music at its highest level, Scotland native Colin Currie brings his dynamic percussion talents to the Lawrence Memorial Chapel Friday, March 30 at 8 p.m. in the third concert of Lawrence University’s 2017-18 Artist Series.

Tickets for the performance, at $25-30 for adults, $20-25 for seniors, $18-20 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

Colin Curie with mallets
Percussion virtuoso Colin Currie performs March 30 in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

A percussion virtuoso, Currie has established himself as the soloist of choice for many of today’s foremost composers, especially the innovative Stephen Reich, the father of minimalism.  He has had the honor of performing premieres of works by nearly 20 contemporary composers.

Music professor Dane Richeson, who directs Lawrence’s percussion studio, calls Currie “one of the leading percussion soloists in the world.”

“Colin has truly championed the expansion of new compositions for contemporary percussion soloist and ensemble,” said Richeson. “Colin, along with Evelyn Glennie, are the most widely known and successful solo percussion artists in the world of contemporary music. It’s exciting and an honor to have him perform at Lawrence.”

Growing up, Currie played principal timpani and percussion with both the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and the European Union Youth Orchestra. He has been recognized with the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist Award in 2000 and its Instrumentalist Award in 2015, was a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist between 2003-2005 and received a Bortletti Buitoni Trust Award, which honors performers of exceptional quality and musicianship, in 2005.

Currie launched his own eponymous record label last fall and released its first recording, Steve Reich’s “Drumming,” earlier this month.

He has held an appointment as a visiting professor of solo percussion at London’s Royal Academy of Music, is an Artist-in-Association at London’s Southbank Centre and is in the final year of a three-year Artist-in-Residence appointment with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra.

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.

 

Creating Play Around the World: Senior Eli Cauley awarded $30,000 fellowship for “wanderjahr”

While growing up in New York City, Eli Cauley lived in a home without a television. Unlike many kids his age, he wasn’t raised with an X-Box or PlayStation at the ready.

But that never stopped his passion for playing and making games.

Eli Cauley
Eli Cauley ’18

“When people ask me about games, I immediately perk up. I love playing and I especially love creating them,” said the Lawrence University senior. “But if I’m asked ‘what do you like playing?,’ I trip. I don’t really play ‘Grand Theft Auto’ or the newest ‘Call of Duty,’ not even ‘Skyrim.’ They haven’t held my attention lately.

“The names of the games I’ve been playing recently probably wouldn’t mean much to most people,” he added. “I enjoy playing more intimate games, ones often developed by small teams or even just one creator whose personality can be felt in the game.”

What Cauley most enjoys is the process of creating ingenious games and then sharing them with others to play. With a fertile imagination, an insightful mind and computer software as his tools, Cauley has designed some 30 games — 17 of which are available online — under the pseudonym “crawlspace.”

“Not all of them have the interactive systems people have come to expect. Many of them are neither winnable nor losable. But I hope to open people’s perspective of what games can be and do,” said Cauley, who traces his game-making interests to elementary school, where he would scribble elaborate simulations of medieval kingdoms for his friends to play in.

Following his graduation from Lawrence this June, Cauley will spend a year pursuing his passion for games and exploring the world’s gaming community as one of 40 national recipients of a $30,000 Watson Fellowship for a wanderjahr of independent travel and exploration. Beginning this August, Cauley’s 12-month itinerary includes stops in England, the Netherlands and Japan.

Last summer, Cauley attended a virtual reality workshop at New York University, a Game Developers of Color Exposition in Harlem and spent time at an outdoor arcade gallery where he played a historical fiction time travel game about Walt Whitman.

“What I experienced that summer was just a small taste of the diversity and richness of video games and their developers that exists around the world,” said Cauley, Lawrence’s 73nd Watson Fellow since the program’s inception in 1969. “For my Watson project, I hope to follow this thread around the world, exploring the exciting and diverse game makers who exist outside the traditional game development world.”

He will begin is exploration in London, where he will spend time with two open communities: the London Game Space, a roving community of game developers who co-work in various spaces around the city; and Video Brains, an organization dedicated to fostering intellectually engaged conversations about video games and game development. He’s also hoping to meet Stephen Lavelle — aka Increpare — a prolific game developer with hundreds of published games to his credit of varying sizes touching upon a diverse range of unorthodox subjects.

“If I could have coffee with Stephen Lavelle, just for an afternoon, that would be amazing,” said Cauley, a linguistics major at Lawrence with a 3.94 grade point average. “His games are why I create games.”

“Eli’s games are innovative, thought-provoking, deceptively simple and great fun to play. He’s extremely intelligent and self-motivated. He’s also a very kind, thoughtful person who wants to help make a better, more inclusive, more equitable world.
       — Lavayna Proctor

From December to April, Cauley will live in the Netherlands, home to a growing community of independent game developers thanks to the launch of the Dutch Game Garden in 2008.

“They offer very practical services surrounding the business end of being a game developer, but the part of the Game Garden that interests me is their bottom-up grassroots effort to create at thriving, diverse community of developers. I plan on attending their open game jams, hack-a-thon inspired game-making events and other community-based events,” said Cauley.

The final three months of his project will be spent in Japan, primarily in Tokyo, home to a large indie games festival, and Kyoto, where he’s attend BitSummit, a games’ festival organized by the Japanese Independent Games Aggregate. He also plans to visit Fukushima and hopes to attend their yearly Fukushima game jam.

“In past years the game jam has centered around themes of ‘rise’ and ‘rebirth’ in the wake of the tragic disaster,” said Cauley. “The jam provides a unique space to learn how games might participate in a community’s process of healing.”

Lavanya Proctor, assistant professor of anthropology and Cauley’s academic advisor, said he “has always been very passionate about creating games.”

“Eli’s games are innovative, thought-provoking, deceptively simple and great fun to play,” said Proctor. “He’s extremely intelligent and self-motivated. He’s also a very kind, thoughtful person who wants to help make a better, more inclusive, more equitable world.

“His Watson project aims to help him do that, channeling his love for creating games and his passion for learning into his goal of helping build equity,” she added. “This fellowship will help Eli learn from diverse and independent creators, enriching his creativity and deepening his commitment to inclusivity. I’m very proud of him.”

Cauley says his career at Lawrence has produced some self-induced conflict. He’s been a diligent student, excited about his studies, classes and professors. He’s also been an autodidact, spending every sliver of his free time studying the complicated tools required to navigate a modern game engine — coding, animation rigging, homebrew plug-ins, physics systems and countless bug fixes.

“I’ve been the game maker desperately trying to figure out where games fit into my life. I’ve wondered if my games were just an amusing past time or creations full of inside jokes I showed to my friends for quick laughs. Did games fit into my academic life when I wrote a literary critique of a Chekhov short story in the form of an interactive essay game or were they a vehicle to return to art and tap into a creative energy I hadn’t felt since my childhood? I rejected every hypothesis because each was only half true. None provided the satisfaction I started to see in the games I was creating.”

As his skills became more sophisticated and his mind ran flush with ideas, Cauley began making games as art, eulogy, therapy, birthday gifts, educational devices, love letters, apologies, games to deliver a literary critique or explore family dynamics or simulate theoretical physics.

Icons of games created by Eli Cauley
Two of the games created by Cauley include Ben Tortilla Simulator Alpha 1.0 (left), in which you make and eat a tortilla, and Blue Flashes, a visual novel.

“The medium is so woefully underexplored and it so desperately needs diverse voices to breathe life into its unexplored corners,” said Cauley.  “As I travel, learn, collaborate and create, there are so many questions I want to explore: who makes games, why do they make games, what can be a game, what kinds of things can be made into a game. These are the questions that keep me up at night.”

Cauley was selected for the Watson Fellowship from among 149 finalists nominated by 40 leading liberal art colleges. This year’s 50th class of Watson Fellows hail from 17 states and eight countries and collectively will visit 67 countries as they pursue their projects.

More than 2,700 students have been awarded Watson Fellowships, providing opportunities to test their aspirations, abilities and perseverance through a personal project that is cultivated on an international scale. Watson Fellows have gone on to become international leaders in their fields including CEOs of major corporations, college presidents, MacArthur grant recipients, Pulitzer Prize winners, diplomats, artists, lawyers, doctors, faculty, journalists, and many renowned researchers and innovators.

The fellowship was established by the children of Thomas J. Watson, Sr., the founder of International Business Machines Corp., and his wife, Jeannette, to honor their parents’ long-standing interest in education and world affairs.

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.

 

Historian Monica Rico honored by Outagamie County Historical Society

Monica Rico’s work as a public history practitioner has been recognized by the Outagamie County Historical Society.

Associate Professor of History at Lawrence University, Rico has been named the 2018 recipient of the historical society’s annual Lillian F. Mackesy Historian of the Year Award, which honors outstanding contributions to Outagamie County history.

Monica Rico
Monica Rico

She was cited for a pair of public presentations she made in 2017 on the history of environmentalism in the Fox Valley, one to the local community and one to the Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust. She also was recognized for her nearly decade-long service to the Outagamie County Historical Society.

“Beyond doing good history, Monica lead and nurtured the History Museum at the Castle through a time of critical change,” said Matt Carpenter, the History Museum’s executive director. “During her nine years of dedicated service to the board, including seven as board president, Monica made practical decisions and orchestrated consensus that lead to greater financial stability, more meaningful community engagement as well as creative and daring interpretive offerings.”

During Rico’s tenure as board president, the History Museum received numerous state and national awards, including being named one of 15 finalists earlier this month for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the country’s most prestigious museum award. National Medal winners will be announced later this spring with representatives from winning institutions honored May 24 at ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Established in 1976 by the Outagamie County Historical Society, the award is named in honor of Lillian Mackesy, a former columnist and editor for The Post Crescent, whose columns included: “Looking Back 100 Years,” “Historically Speaking” and “Remember When?”

Mackesy, the award’s first recipient, was devoted to the preservation and promotion of the region’s historical heritage. Her personal collection forms the core of the History Museum’s research files and photograph collection.

Rico joined the Lawrence faculty in 2001. Her scholarship interests include early America, the American West, gender and environment. The author of the book “Nature’s Noblemen: Transatlantic Masculinities and the Nineteenth Century American West.” She was recognized in 2014 with Lawrence’s Award for Excellence in Creative Activity.

Rico is the third Lawrence faculty member in four years to be honored with the Mackesy Historian of the Year Award. Antoinette Powell, associate professor and music librarian, was recognized in 2015 and anthropologist Peter Peregrine was recognized in 2016.

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 Academy of Music Girl Choir spring concert presents “Elements”

The Lawrence Academy of Music Girl Choir program explores “Elements” in its annual spring concerts Saturday, March 24. Two performances, featuring 300 singers in seven choirs representing grades 3-12, will be staged at 2 and 7 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

Tickets, at $12 for adults, $8 for students and seniors are available online at go.lawrence.edu/buytickets or at the Lawrence Box Office in the Music-Drama Center one hour before the show.

Group girl choir photo
Seven different choirs will perform as part of the Lawrence Academy of Music’s Girl Choir annual spring concerts.

The 90-minute program examines multiple elements — of music, of the natural world and of life.

“In constructing this concert, I encouraged our teachers to think beyond the words,” said Karen Bruno, director of the Academy of Music and conductor of the Bel Canto choir. “They guided their singers to consider questions such as: how did the composer use music to depict a particular element? What elements of music are most impactful in this particular piece? Do elemental emotions exist? If so, how do they manifest during a musical performance?”

Selections for “Elements” include two settings of the poem “Windy Nights” by Robert Louis Stevenson, Gustav Holst’s “Homeland,” a Filipino children’s song, the traditional Scottish farewell song “The Parting Glass,” and a song built on Sami (Norwegian) yoik that was used in the Disney movie “Frozen.”

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.

Environmental justice advocate to receive honorary degree at 2018 commencement

One of the country’s leading environmental advocates and a pioneer in advancing environmental justice in urban communities will be recognized by Lawrence University with an honorary degree June 10 at its 169th commencement.

Peggy Shepard
Peggy Shepard

Peggy Shepard, executive director of the New York City-based organization WE ACT For Environmental Justice, will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree and serve as the principal commencement speaker.

Since its founding in 1988, Shepard has nurtured and guided WE ACT from a grassroots organization of West Harlem volunteers into a professionally-staffed advocacy organization that works to ensure the rights to clean air, water and soil extends to people of all communities.

“I experienced Peggy’s passion for improving public health and her strong commitment to environmental justice for members of the Harlem community through an extended negotiation close to 15 years ago,” said Lawrence President Mark Burstein. “Her strong commitment to important human values and her willingness to negotiate and compromise to achieve her objectives serve as a wonderful example for our graduating class and for all of us in the Lawrence community. I look forward to welcoming her to Appleton this June. “

Shepard has been at the forefront of developing community-academic research partnerships to improve children’s environmental health. Through WE ACT, she has established cooperative partnerships with physicians and scientists at leading medical institutions, law schools, labor unions and diverse environmental, public health and urban constituencies.

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

She was the recipient of the Heinz Award for the Environment in 2002 in recognition of her “courageous advocacy and determined leadership in combating environmental injustice in urban America.” Named in honor of former U.S. Senator John Heinz, the Heinz awards celebrate recognize the extraordinary achievements of individuals in the areas of greatest importance to him.

In 2008, she was presented 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 in 2004 presented Shepard its Rachel Carson Award, which recognizes female environmental leaders and promotes women’s roles in the environmental movement.

Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health honored Shepard with its Dean’s Distinguished Service Award in 2004.

“Her strong commitment to important human values and her willingness to negotiate and compromise to achieve her objectives serve as a wonderful example for our graduating class and for all of us in the Lawrence community.
— Lawrence President Mark Burstein

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.

Lawrence’s honorary degree will be Shepard’s second. She was previously recognized by Smith College in 2010.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the 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.