World Music Series welcomes Pedrito Martinez Group

Cuban-born percussionist Pedro Pablo “Pedrito” Martinez and his international bandmates bring their unique blend of Latin jazz, timba, gospel, guaguanco, blues and classical music to Lawrence University’s Warch Campus Center Wednesday, April 11 at 8 p.m. in a Lawrence World Music concert.

Tickets, at $10 adults; $5 for seniors/students are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

Pedro "Pedrito" MartinezKnown for both his beautiful voice and his exceptional percussion skills, Martinez will be joined by Cuban pianist and vocalist Ariacne Trujillo, Venezuelan-born bassist Alvaro Benavides and Peruvian-born percussionist Jhair Sala. They have performed together since Martinez formed the group in 2005.

Winner of the 2000 Thelonius Monk Award for Afro-Latin hand percussion, Martinez has recorded or performed with such diverse musical luminaries as Wynton Marsailis, Bruce Springsteen, Paquito D’Rivera and Sting.

The group’s self-titled debut album earned a Grammy Award nomination and was among NPR’s “Favorite Album” in 2013. Their second album, 2016’s “Habana Dreams,” was the top choice in NPR’s Jazz Critic Top Jazz Albums that 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.

Sexual exploitation focus of Scarff lecture series address

International attorney Nancy Hendry, who is spending part of the spring term at Lawrence University as the 2017-2018 Distinguished Visiting Scarff Professor, examines the issues of sexual exploitation in a Scarff lecture series address.

Nancy Hendry
Nancy Hendry

Hendry presents “When the Bribe Isn’t Money: Gender, Corruption and Sextortion” Wednesday, April 18 at 7 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

The senior advisor for the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ), Hendry works to address gender inequality, improve access to justice and promote global leadership of women within the judiciary. She has specific interest in abuse of power for purposes of sexual exploitation and the relationship between gender inequality and corruption.

The IAWJ is credited with coining the term “sextortion” to describe a pervasive, but often ignored, form of sexual exploitation and corruption that occurs when people in positions of authority – government officials, judges, educators, law enforcement personnel or employers – seek to extort sexual favors in exchange for something within their power to grant or withhold.  It is essentially a form of corruption in which sex, rather than money, is the currency of the bribe.

According to Henry, sextortion is a global problem with far-reaching implications for gender equity, democratic governance, economic development, peace and security. Women around the world confront sextortion in virtually all aspects of life, hindering their access to government services, education, employment, justice, and the marketplace. Because sextortion receives scant attention, this gendered aspect of corruption masks its disproportionate impact on women’s lives and the attendant human and social costs.

Hendry has extensive international experience, managing programs on sextortion in the Philippines, Tanzania, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Morocco. On behalf of IAWJ, she has developed a sextortion toolkit; led sextortion training workshops for judges and anti-corruption stakeholders; and spoken about sextortion in forums around the world, including International Anti-corruption Conferences in Malaysia and Panama, the World Bank Law, Justice and Development Week and UN Commission on the Status of Women annual meeting.

The Scarff Visiting Professorship was established in 1989. It brings public servants, professional leaders and scholars to campus to provide broad perspectives on the central issues of the day through classroom courses and public lectures.

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.

Award-winning attorneys Bill Baer, Nancy Hendry share 2017-18 Distinguished Scarff Professorship

For the first time in its 29-year history, two people will jointly hold Lawrence University’s Distinguished Visiting Scarff Professorship.

Award-winning attorneys Bill Baer, a 1972 Lawrence graduate, and his wife, Nancy Hendry, will share the Scarff Professor appointment April 16-26. Each will give a public lecture as well as guest teach several classes in the government and economics departments.

Hendry presents “When the Bribe Isn’t Money: Gender, Corruption and Sextortion” Wednesday, April 18 at 7 p.m. Baer delivers the address “Net Neutrality, Burger King and Regulating the Internet” Tuesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. Both talks in the Wriston Art Center auditorium are free and open to the public.

Bill Baer
Bill Baer ’72

A member of Lawrence’s Board of Trustees (2001-12; 2017-), Baer spent four years in the U.S. Department of Justice under President Obama. He served as assistant attorney general in charge of the antitrust division from 2013-2016 and one year as acting associate attorney general, the number three position in the department.

During Baer’s tenure as assistant attorney general, the antitrust division brought and won more civil and criminal enforcement cases than at any point in its history. Among the actions were challenges and threatened challenges to proposed mergers in health insurance, airlines, beer and wireless carriers; criminal price-fixing prosecutions against financial institutions, online retailers and auto parts manufacturers; a successful lawsuit against Apple and book publishers for thwarting competition for online book sales.

While at the Justice Department, Baer also was involved in policy work related to merger enforcement guidelines, net neutrality, the relationship between intellectual property rights and antitrust and between U.S. trade policy and antitrust enforcement. He worked closely with colleagues in Europe, China, Japan and elsewhere on antitrust enforcement.

Prior to his time in the Justice Department, Baer worked at the Federal Trade Commission on two separate occasions: in the late 1970’s under President Carter and again from 1995-1999 as director of the Bureau of Competition. He is the only person to lead antitrust enforcement at both the FTC and the Justice Department.

Baer is currently a partner at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Arnold & Porter, where he has spent 34 years in three different stints, leading the antitrust division. He has twice been named the best competition lawyer in the world by Global Competition Review and was honored in 2010 by The National Law Journal as one of “The Decade’s Most Influential Lawyers.”

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in government from Lawrence, Baer earned his J.D. from Stanford Law School.

Nancy Hendry
Nancy Hendry

As the senior advisor for the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ), Hendry works to address gender inequality, improve access to justice and promote global leadership of women within the judiciary. She has specific interest in abuse of power for purposes of sexual exploitation and the relationship between gender inequality and corruption.

The IAWJ coined the term “sextortion” to describe a pervasive form of sexual exploitation and corruption that occurs when people in positions of authority – government officials, judges, educators, law enforcement personnel or employers – seek to extort sexual favors in exchange for something within their power to grant or withhold. Sextortion, in essence, is a form of corruption in which sex, rather than money, is the currency of the bribe.

Hendry has extensive international experience, managing programs on sextortion in the Philippines, Tanzania, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Morocco. On behalf of IAWJ, she has developed a sextortion toolkit; led sextortion training workshops for judges and anti-corruption stakeholders; and spoken about sextortion in forums around the world, including International Anti-corruption Conferences in Malaysia and Panama, the World Bank Law, Justice and Development Week and UN Commission on the Status of Women annual meeting.

A Peace Corp volunteer in the early 1970s in Senegal, Hendry returned to the Peace Corps in 1996, serving as the organization’s general counsel until 2001. She traveled the world meeting with foreign officials to negotiate formal agreements for volunteers to work in those countries.

Hendry spent 14 years (1981-95) as vice president and deputy general counsel of the Public Broadcasting Service, providing legal counsel on matters ranging from business planning for new ventures to first amendment issues and acquisition of the public television satellite replacement system to regulatory proceedings.

During her career Hendry also has done legal work with the U.S. Department of Education, the law firm of Wald, Harkrader and Ross and the Children’s Law Center, for which she was recognized by the Washington, D.C. Bar Association as its Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year.

She earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and her law degree at Stanford, where she met Baer.

The Scarff Visiting Professorship was established in 1989 by Edward and Nancy Scarff in memory of their son, Stephen, a 1975 Lawrence graduate who died in an automobile accident in 1984.  It brings public servants, professional leaders and scholars to campus to provide broad perspectives on the central issues of the day through classroom courses and public lectures.

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 student entrepreneurs take top prize at $50,000 The Pitch competition for second straight year

Two for two!

For the second year in a row, a team of Lawrence University budding entrepreneurs wowed the judges to earn first-place honors in the second annual northeast Wisconsin The Pitch competition held April 11 at Fox Cities Stadium.

the winning members of team WellBell holding their first-place check
Lawrence University students (left to right) Ayomide Akinyosoye, Nikki Payne, Alfiza Urmanova and Alejandra Alarcon were all smiles after winning The Pitch competition and the first-place prize of $10,000 in cash and $15,000 in in-kind professional startup assistance. (Photo by Max Hermans)

While a trio of Lawrence hockey players won the inaugural Pitch event in 2017, it was the ladies turn to shine in the spotlight this time.

A team of four international students — Ayomide Akinyosoye, Lagos, Nigeria, Alejandra Alarcon, Quito, Ecuador, Nikki Payne, Bangkok, Thailand, and Alfiza Urmanova, Arsk, Russia — overcame a technological hiccup to win the first-place prize of $10,000 in cash and $15,000 in in-kind professional startup assistance.

Despite a computer glitch that prevented their visuals from being shown during their presentation, the four junior economics majors didn’t miss a beat in confidently touting the importance and benefits of their idea, WellBell, an innovative wristband device with an S.O.S button that can be used to send notifications for help or medical assistance. The team sees potential markets for WellBell in health areas as well for social emergencies, such as sexual assaults or shootings.

“I just knew we were going to win,” said an ebullient Alarcon.

Payne was a bit less confident, but equally happy.

Memmbers of team WellBell giving their pitch presentation
Photo by Max Hermans

“What?!? Are you serious?” Payne said was her initial reaction. “I was really surprised. There were great teams out there and we saw some great products they came up with. I thought, ‘I don’t know, I don’t think we’re going to win’ and then when they called our name it was like, ‘okay…guys we did it.’”

Urmanova is credited with conceiving the idea for WellBell this past January. She says the next step is to create a prototype.

“This prize money will help us with beta testing,” explained Urmanova. “Once we test the product, we’ll be able to launch it. For now, we need to see if the market is ready for it. This is something that hasn’t been done before, but it’s very simple and not too complicated. We have a plan on how we want to manufacture it, so within two, three years, it’s possible it will be on the market.”

Modeled after the television show “Shark Tank,” The Pitch featured 10 teams of student entrepreneurs presenting their business idea to a panel of judges and a room full of business leaders and mentors. Each presenter is given five minutes to pitch their product or idea and then answer questions from the judges.

The competition featured two teams each from St. Norbert and Ripon colleges, UW-Green Bay and UW-Oshkosh as well as Lawrence, the only competing institution without a business program.

“I was really proud of the young ladies. Their power point didn’t work and yet they gave one heck of a presentation,” said Gary Vaughan, coordinator of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program at Lawrence University. “Women and entrepreneurship go together. There’s no reason why we can’t have more women pitching at events like this. For Lawrence to do this two years in a row against the quality of the other schools we have, it’s awesome.”

“It’s not just the (innovation and entrepreneurship) program, but the whole university and how we prepare our young people, how they present themselves, the confidence they show on stage.”
— Gary Vaughan

Vaughan says Lawrence’s success in the first two Pitch events transcends just the university’s innovation and entrepreneurship program.

“It’s not just the program, but the whole university and how we prepare our young people, how they present themselves, the confidence they show on stage,” said Vaughan.

“It’s the liberal arts foundation they have that we’re building from. The I & E program kind of complements all the other majors on campus. That’s one of our competitive advantages. We’re fining-tuning all the other majors in the way we’re teaching our students how to think entrepreneurially. That entrepreneurial mindset adds value to all of the majors at Lawrence.”

As for the prospects of WellBell, Vaughan thinks it has a future.

“It’s simple and it’s a contemporary solution to some of our challenges in society today,” said Vaughan. “With the prize money they have and the in-kind support, they’ll be able to do a prototype that will work. What we’re talking about with WellBell is your loved one’s security.”

Akinyosoye says Lawrence’s second straight winning Pitch speaks volumes about the importance of having innovative minds.

“It pushes you beyond the boundaries of the classroom and pushes your mind to explore things you didn’t think were possible,” said Akinyosoye. “Coming up with this (WellBell) was just a conversation in a room a few months ago and today it’s possible that it’s going to be a product in the future. The sky is just the beginning.”

“The future is female,” Alarcon added proudly, “and the future is now.”

Brian Minorer making his pitch presentation
Lawrence junior Brian Mironer made a presentation for “Guido,” his innovative way to teach music using a specialized glove and novel curriculum. Photo by Max Hermans

Brian Mironer, a junior from Edina, Minn., who won the on-campus LaunchLU pitch competition April 7, also represented Lawrence at The Pitch. During his presentation on “Guido,” his innovative way to teach music using a specialized glove and novel curriculum, Mironer had the judging panel singing “Do-Ra-Mi.”

Dayne Rusch from UW-Oshkosh was awarded $17,000 in cash and in-kind support as the second-place finisher for “Pyxsee,” an app that allows parents to monitor or limit their children’s time on social media. Sam Hunt of UW-Green Bay was award third place and $10,000 in cash and in-kind support for PrecisionLAG, a device attached to the grip end of a golf club to help the golfer make proper contact with the ball.

The Pitch competition features the best entrepreneurial ideas from college students in northeast Wisconsin, each of whom qualified through preliminary on-campus pitch competitions at their respective institutions.

The winners were chosen by a panel of five judges representing Nicolet Bank, Gulfsteam Aerospace, gener8tor, a startup accelerator, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause and Winnebago Seed Fund.

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 Pitch: Lawrence student entrepreneurs competing in $50,000 contest

“We’ve got a target on our back.”

That’s how Gary Vaughan, coordinator of Lawrence University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program and lecturer of economics, handicapped the second annual The Pitch competition, which begins at 1 p.m. Wednesday April 11 at Fox Cities Stadium. That’s because the Lawrence team of 2017 graduates Ryan Eardley, Felix Henriksson and Mattias Soederqvist won the inaugural competition with their idea for Tracr, a forensic accounting software product. They claimed the first-place prize of $10,000 in cash and an additional $15,000 in professional services.

Three Lawrence students presenting their idea at the 2017 The Pitch competition
Lawrence students Mattias Soederqvist (left), Ryan Eardley and Felix Henriksson presented the winning pitch at last year’s inaugural The Pitch competition from among eight presenters.

The stakes are even higher this year, with a total of $50,000 in prize money and professional startup assistance on the line, up from $40,000 last year.

Budding entrepreneurs from Lawrence, Ripon College, St. Norbert, UW-Green Bay and UW-Oshkosh will present their ideas Wednesday, April 11 to a panel of judges in front of an audience of area students, community members, business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors at the Fox Cities Stadium beginning at 1 p.m.

Representing Lawrence will be Brian Mirone, a junior from Edina, Minn., and Alejandra Alarcon, a junior from Quito, Ecuador, Nikki Payne, a junior from Bangkok, Thailand and Alfiza Urmanova, a junior from Arsk, Russia.

Mirone was the first-place winner of Lawrence’s own on-campus pitch contest held April 7 and received the winning prize of $3,000 cash and in-kind services from Lawrence alumni for “Guido,” his innovative way to teach music using a specialized glove and innovative curriculum. The three-member, all-female team of Alarcon, Payne and Alfiza Urmanova, earned second-place honors for their creation “WellBell,” an innovative wristband device used for emergencies and wellness alerts.

“It’s different pitching on campus than it is pitching at the Timber Rattlers Stadium,” said Vaughan, who noted both teams will be working with Lawrence alumni mentors Greg Linnemanstons and Irene Strohbeen as well as community volunteers David Calle and Brad Cebulski to fine-tune their pitch before the big event.

“On campus, we have three judges and maybe 20 or 30 people in the room. For The Pitch competition, you have the Timber Rattlers stadium as the backdrop, you’ve got five or more judges and you have maybe 200 people sitting in front of you. It’s a whole different experience pitching in front of that number of people. That’s part of the variable our students have to overcome if they want to be the champs this year.”

Many of the comments Vaughan heard at last year’s The Pitch competition were complimentary on how “professional” the Lawrence students were and how they really knew how to pitch the judges in their presentations, which Vaughan credits to the entire I & E program.

“In almost every course in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the students are getting up in front of their peers, in front of other people and they’re pitching,” said Vaughan. “We’ve got a good program here and everybody knows it outside of the university. Our students know they’re going to have to up their game.

“We were probably the best kept secret up until last year,” Vaughan added. “Now, the secret is out and the pressure is on us because everyone will be gunning for us. That’s okay, I’m good with that. Our students will step up to the challenge and see what happens.”

Judging this year’s The Pitch competition will be Mike Daniels, representatives from Nicolet National Bank, gBETA Northeast Wisconsin, Winnebago Seed Fund, Gulf Stream Aerospace and Baker-Tilly.

Christian Jensen ’92 examines post-Cold War populism in Povolny series lecture

The rise of extremist populism in the world’s established democracies, especially in Europe, will be the focus of a Lawrence University Povolny Lecture Series in International Studies address.

Christian Jensen
Christian Jensen ’92

Christian Jensen, assistant professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, presents “Shedding Light More Light on Post-Cold War Populism, its Consequences and Institutional Context” Monday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Jensen will frame his remarks around three people with connections to Lawrence: former President Nathan Pusey and two former government professors, Mojmir Povolny and William Riker.

In the decades since the end of the Cold Ward, a wave of populism has swept both over both sides of the Atlantic, although Jensen says populism’s appeal in wealthy, industrialized democracies is inconsistent.  It varies significantly from country to country in both its electoral success and the political consequences of that success.

While the rise populist extremism in Europe may be alarming, Jensen says it’s not new. He argues that institutions governing elections and government formation significantly constrain the prospects for extremist parties and those institutions perform best in their roles limiting extremism when principled leaders take stands against populism.

A 1992 Lawrence graduate, Jensen is a scholar of democratic institutions and political parties, with particular expertise on the politics of the European Union. He joined the political science department at UNLV in 2012 after seven years teaching at the University of Iowa. He also has spent time in Germany as a visiting scholar at the University of Mannheim and the University of Duisburg-Essen.

He earned a master’s degree at American University and a Ph.D. at UCLA.

Jensen’s appearance is part of the Povolny Lecture Series in International Studies. The Povolny Lecture Series, named in honor of long-time Lawrence government professor Mojmir Povolny, promotes interest and discussion on issues of moral significance and ethical dimensions

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 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.