Lawrence University News

Jazz Legend Pat Metheny Plays Lawrence Memorial Chapel March 15

Posted on: March 9th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

Nearly 30 years after his first appearance at Lawrence University, legendary jazz guitarist Pat Metheny returns to campus — with his touring band Unity Group — Saturday, March 15 for an 8 p.m. Lawrence Jazz Series concert in the Memorial Chapel.

Tickets for Pat Metheny Unity Group, at $30 adults, $15 students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749 or online.

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Chris Potter, saxophone; Giulio Carmassi, multi-instrumentalist; Ben Williams, bassist; Antonio Sanchez, percussion; Pat Metheny, guitar.

Metheny first performed at Lawrence in the fall of 1984, two years after he won the first of his 20 Grammy Awards. His most recent Grammy was awarded in 2013 for best jazz instrumental album with Unity Band. During a four-decade career, Metheny has enjoyed near unparalleled success. His impressive resume includes:

35 Grammy award nominations in 12 different categories.

• 20 Grammy Awards, with wins in an amazing 10 different categories, the only musician ever to earn a Grammy in that many categories. He also won an unprecedented seven Grammys in a row for seven consecutive Pat Metheny Group recordings. Founded in 1977, the Pat Metheny Group has won a total of 10 Grammy Awards.

3 Gold Records — “Secret Story,” 1992;  “Letter From Home,” 1989; and “Still Life (Talking)” 1987.

42 recordings totaling with 20 million records sold worldwide.

Three-time “Guitarist of the Year” Award winner (2009, ’10 and ’11) in DownBeat Magazine’s Readers Poll.

Inducted into the DownBeat Hall of Fame in November, 2013.

2014 Goya Award — Spain’s equivalent of the Academy Awards — for Best Soundtrack for the film “Living is Easy with Eyes Closed.”

“One of the greatest musicians on the planet”

“I have always loved the music of Pat Metheny, which has always simultaneously surprised me and left me with a feeling of familiarity,” said Steve Peplin, adjunct professor of jazz guitar in the Lawrence Conservatory of Music. “Pat has taught us that the true medium of the musician/composer isn’t just sound, but the human spirit. Aside from being the heavyweight champ of jazz guitar, he has changed the sound of the guitar several times as a sound innovator.

“Pat is a great composer who always manages to create the thing we really want: the feeling. I have never once heard Pat without being moved,” Peplin added. “To hear Pat with the masters in the Unity band is…should be…illegal.”

The Unity Band, which will join Metheny on the Chapel stage, features its own line-up of stellar musicians:  saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist Ben Williams; percussionist Antonio Sanchez, and multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi, who plays everything from piano and keyboards to woodwinds and brass, guitar, bass and drums.

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Pat Metheny

Metheny has called his collaborations with Unity Band “life changing.”

“With Guilio added to the core four of us,” said Metheny, “with Chris Potter, in addition to being one of the most exciting soloists in jazz on any instrument and one of the most versatile woodwind players in history, he also happens to be a killer piano player and very good guitarist, with Ben Williams being equally great on both acoustic and electric basses, and with Antonio Sanchez, one of the greatest drummers in the world right now, just about anything will be possible.”

Internationally renowned musician and composer John Zorn calls Metheny “a living legend—one of those rare lights in the universe. His incredible facility and dedication, indefatigable energy and focus, imagination, and never-ending curiosity have distinguished him as truly one of the greatest musicians on the planet.”

In 2013, Metheny collaborated with Zorn on “Tap: The Book of Angels, Volume 20,” for Zorn’s ambitious project “Masada Book Two.” The album, a tour de force showcase of Metheny’s versatility, features him playing guitars, bass, bandoneón, electronics, flugelhorn, keyboards, orchestrionics, percussion, sitar, tiples and others.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Conservatory, Theatre Arts Dept. Presents Kurt Weill’s American Opera “Street Scene”

Posted on: March 3rd, 2014 by Rick Peterson

Just weeks after a staging of Elmer Rice’s play version of “Street Scene,” a day-long snapshot of life in a “mean” quarter of New York City, the Lawrence University Conservatory presents the opera of the same story with music by Kurt Weill and lyrics by poet Langston Hughes.

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Seniors Jon Stombres (left) portrays Sam Kaplan, a poetic Jewish neighbor of the Maurrants, Lauren Koeritzer (center) plays Jennie Hildebrand, a teenage daughter of a single mother, Michael Uselmann (red shirt) plays Daniel Buchanan, a nervous neighbor waiting for his pregnant wife to go into labor, and Daniel Vinitsky (seated right) portrays Harry Easter, Rose Maurrant’s sleazy boss, in Kurt Weill’s opera “Street Scene.”

Performances in Stansbury Theatre of the Music-Drama Center will be at 7:30 p.m. March 6-7-8 and with a 3 p.m. matinee performance Sunday, March 9. Tickets, at $10 for adults and $5 for seniors/students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

Assistant Professor of Music History Erica Scheinberg will provide a brief introduction to Weill and “Street Scene” beginning at 6:45 p.m. prior to each performance.

SEE A REVIEW OF THE OPERA

Premiering in 1947, the opera was Weill’s embrace of the American musical style, combining opera, popular song, Broadway and jazz.

“Having fled Nazi Germany, his goal was to create a new kind of opera that reflected the diversity of his adopted country,” said Bonnie Koestner, vocal coach of the production.

The opera’s diversity is also reflected in the double-cast production that features 60 actors onstage, accompanied by the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Octavio Más-Arocas.

“Our audience will be astonished by the depth of talent in both casts and will immediately connect with Weill’s rich and tuneful score,” Koestner added.

Like the play, the opera, follows the Maurrant family — Anna, unhappily married to the brutish stagehand Frank, and their two children, Rose and Willie — and their neighbors through an exceptionally hot 24-hour period in the summer of 1929. Anna, who is having an affair with Sankey, the neighborhood milkman, is the subject of much gossip among the others living in the brownstone where the entire production is set, while Rose navigates a romance with her Jewish neighbor Sam Kaplan.

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Senior Graycie Gardner portrays Rose Maurrant, a young woman navigating a romance with her Jewish neighbor, in Lawrence’s production of the opera “Street Scene.”

Professor Timothy X. Troy, who is directing the opera, noted the uniqueness of presenting back-to-back productions based on the same story.

“Producing both works allows us and our audiences to explore the whole process of adaptation,” he said. “Rice, Langston Hughes and Weill joined their efforts to reimagine the play as an opera. They chose core themes, explored relationships, and developed the context of the play’s action supported with orchestra and song. We hope our audience’s will take advantage of this truly unique opportunity. Anyone who attended the play first, now seeing the opera will provide the unusual experience of thinking like the composer and librettist.”

The performance is funded in part by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc., New York, N.Y.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Unexpected Gift Nets Lawrence Conservatory a New Steinway Grand Piano

Posted on: February 27th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

The Lawrence Conservatory keyboard department recently received a welcome surprise: a sizeable and unexpected gift earmarked for the purchase of a new Steinway D Concert Grand Piano. The gift came courtesy of the generosity of 1958 Lawrence graduate Kim Hiett Jordan.

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Members of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music keyboard department — Michael Mizrahi, Anthony Padilla and Catherine Kautsky — show off their new Steinway D Concert Grand Piano.

Choosing a concert-quality piano, though, isn’t as simple as ordering the right model number from the Steinway catalog. Three members of the conservatory’s keyboard department —  faculty members Catherine Kautsky, Michael Mizrahi and Anthony Padilla — all traveled to New York City to do some hands-on work selecting just the right instrument. The trio was accompanied by a representative from Appleton’s Heid Music, an authorized Steinway dealer. Leaving nothing to chance, the piano faculty recruited additional expertise from renowned concert pianist Richard Goode, who has performed several times as a guest artist at Lawrence.

“We eventually narrowed it down to two beautiful instruments after playing two roomfuls of Steinway D’s,” explained Kautsky, current chair of the department. “We were privileged to have both Richard Goode and his technician along with us to help us make the choice. In the end, the decision was completely unanimous. The instrument we chose is wonderfully flexible and has a beautiful, warm sound that is large enough to fill the largest of halls.

“One tries to find a piano that both feels good under the hands and sounds wonderful to the listener,” Kautsky added. “We think we’ve succeeded extraordinarily well on both counts.”

The magnificent new instrument has taken up residency in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. It will be available to be played by students, faculty and a roster of distinguished visiting artists and enjoyed by audience members for years to come.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Trivial Differences: Lawrence Participates in National Study on Success of Test Score Submitters vs. Non-Submitters

Posted on: February 25th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

Lawrence University was one of 33 college and universities in the country that participated in a national study that found no significant difference in the success rates of students who submit standardized test scores for admission to colleges and those who don’t.

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Ken Anselment, dean of admissions and financial aid

Lawrence has been test optional — it does not require student to submit ACT or SAT scores as part of their application — since the start of the 2006-07 academic year.

The study, “Defining Promise: Optional Standardized Testing Policies in American College and University Admissions,” was conducted by Principal Investigator William C. Hiss, former vice president and dean of admissions at Bates College.

Hiss’ research found in the study of colleges with test optional admission policies there were no significant differences in either cumulative GPA or graduation rates between submitters and non-submitters.

“Since we went test-optional, about 75 percent of our applicants have submitted their standardized test results for our admission review. The rest have not,” said Ken Anselment, dean of admissions and financial aid at Lawrence. “The admission rates for both groups have been the same, and, more important, the achievements of the students once they arrive at Lawrence also have been similarly successful.”

The study, which examined the records of 123,000 students, found the differences between test score submitters and non-submitters were .05 point of a grade point average, 2.88 vs. 2.83, respectively, and the graduation rate for submitters was only 0.6 of one percent higher than non-submitters.

“By any standard, these are trivial differences,” Hiss said in his report.

Lawrence was one of 20 private colleges and universities in the study, which also included data from six public universities, five minority-serving institutions and two arts institutions. The schools in the study had enrollments ranging from 350 students to 50,000 and were located in 22 U.S. states and territories.

“We have long known that there are more important predictors for success in college than standardized test results,” said Anselment. “And this national study provides significant proof that that is, indeed, true.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Faculty Approves Curriculum Changes for Neuroscience, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Posted on: February 20th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

Driven by faculty interest, Lawrence University students soon will have options for a new major, a new minor and a new interdisciplinary area of study.

At its recent February meeting, the faculty approved proposals to create a major and a minor in neuroscience, while also formally creating an interdisciplinary area in innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E). The changes will be effective beginning with the start of the 2014-15 academic year.

“These curricular changes, originated by the faculty, will significantly enhance interdisciplinary options for our students,” said President Mark Burstein. “Neuroscience is increasingly emerging as one of the most dynamic research areas and important fields of study of our time. In today’s global marketplace, where graduates are likely to change careers multiple times during the course of their professional life, an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset and approach can serve as powerful catalysts when combined with any course of study.”

Neuroscience_newsblog-2The Century of the Brain

Neuroscience, the study of the brain and the nervous system, was first added to the Lawrence curriculum as an interdisciplinary area in 1980. Since then, neuroscience as a field of study has experienced tremendous growth and recognition. In the past 10 years, the field has seen significant breakthroughs in non-invasive brain imaging, computational modeling and experimental visualization techniques that have contributed greatly to the understanding of how brains function.

Inherently interdisciplinary, neuroscience integrates psychology, biology and chemistry in the study of brain development, learning and memory, sensation and perception, neurological and psychological disorders as well as the molecules, cells and genes responsible for nervous system functioning.

There are currently 16 students who have declared a concentration in the neuroscience interdisciplinary area, which is taught by Bruce Hetzler, professor psychology, Nancy Wall, associate professor of biology, Lori Hilt and Judith Humphries, assistant professors of psychology and biology, respectively.

“This is going to be the century of the brain,” said Wall. “Earlier this year, President Obama announced the creation of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative, which certainly speaks to the growing prominence of neuroscience today.

“After two years of discussions on developing it as a major, we’re all very excited to be moving forward with it,” Wall added. “This change will be especially beneficial for students who want to pursue graduate studies in the field.”

Promoting Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Lawrence faculty from a variety of disciplines and divisions first introduced innovation and entrepreneurship courses six years ago as a way to enable students to further pursue their passion through innovative and entrepreneurial ventures both in coursework and co-curricular activities.

Rabbit-Gallery-logo_werblogAmong the latter were the development of The Rabbit Gallery, a temporary art gallery that showcased an empty storefront in downtown Appleton, the Greyfell Theater Company,  which launched last December in Door County with the performance of four, original 10-minute plays written by students, and Flickey, a kiosk-based movie distribution system that allows consumers to download movies to a flash drive for playback on a computer or television, among others.

Multidisciplinary by nature, the I&E curriculum has been developed by the faculty of six departments — the conservatory of music, economics, government, physics, studio art and theatre arts — with several courses involving instructors from multiple departments.

Much of the curriculum was developed by a core of nine faculty members: John Brandenberger, physics; Marty Finkler, economics; Adam Galambos, economics; Rob Neilson, studio art; Brian Pertl, dean of the conservatory; Ben Rinehart, art history; Claudena Skran, government; Tim Troy, theatre arts; and Gary Vaughan, economics.

“The new interdisciplinary area in I&E will present a coherent collection of courses to students interested in adding an I&E component to their liberal education,” said Adam Galambos, associate professor of economics. “It also will promote interdisciplinary collaboration among students and faculty and enable students to show on their transcripts that they have completed a coherent I&E curriculum.”

One unique aspect of the program is an advisory committee of a dozen committed alumni who have helped faculty develop a program that fits with Lawrence’s mission and culture.

“I&E means different things to different people, but at Lawrence, we think of it in broadly conceived terms that mesh well with the liberal arts,” Galambos added. “Our graduates who embrace innovative and entrepreneurial attitudes will be better equipped to create fulfilling lives for themselves, lives that extend their liberal arts experience.”

During the 2013-14 academic year, more than 10 percent of the student body — 160 students — have enrolled in an I&E course.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Play “Street Scene” Comes to Stansbury Theatre Feb. 20-22

Posted on: February 18th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

Four performances of Lawrence University’s production of Elmer Rice’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Street Scene” will be staged Feb. 20-22 in Stansbury Theatre of the Music-Drama Center.

Performances are at 8 p.m. each day with an additional 3 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Feb. 22. Tickets, at $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors (free to LU faculty staff and students), are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

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Jenny Angeli ’15 (Anna Maurant) and Matt Johnson ’16 (Lippo Fiorentino) rehearse a scene from “Street Scene.”

Set entirely on a front stoop and surrounding street in New York City, the play follows a neighborhood through one 24-hour period in the summer of 1929. At the center of the story is the Maurrant family: Anna Maurrant, a woman struggling with infidelity; her abusive husband, Frank; and their daughter, Rose, and son, Willie. More than 30 other characters make their way into the plot, which addresses themes of despair, love and dreams among the diverse inhabitants of the neighborhood.

Director Kathy Privatt, Lawrence professor of theatre arts, says the play’s setting is critical to its action.

“Elmer Rice is absolutely giving us a slice of neighborhood life in a section of the city he describes as a ‘mean quarter,’” said Privatt. “Think of a melting pot of ethnicities all crammed in an apartment house together before the Crash.”

The close quarters heighten tension in the many complex relationships the play reveals, questioning the verbal conflict to which audiences are often exposed while watching theatre.

“The play is really a snapshot of how we communicate, and how often we don’t, even though we’re talking, talking, talking,” Privatt added.

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Isabel Hemley ’16 portrays Rose Maurant and Jacob Dalton ’17 plays her father, Frank Maurant, in the upcoming production of “Street Scene.”

In a particularly collaborative effort that underscores the symbiotic relationship between the theatre arts department and the conservatory of music, the play will be staged mere weeks prior to Lawrence’s production of Kurt Weill’s opera adaptation of “Street Scene” March 6-8.

“We thrive on collaboration,” said Privatt. “The sum really is greater than the parts and this dual production project lets us collaborate and creatively ‘feed’ each other in fabulous ways.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Student Documentary Examines Outagamie County’s Mental Health Court

Posted on: February 17th, 2014 by Rick Peterson
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Rose Broll ’14

An internship helped turn Rose Broll into a documentary filmmaker. Her largely single-handed cinematic endeavor,  “Outagamie County Mental Health Court: From Incarceration to Inspiration,” receives a public screening Thursday, Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. at Riverview Gardens, 1101 S. Oneida St., Appleton.

The 55-minute film examines the new court’s mission, the prevalence of mental health’s role in crime and celebrates its first graduate, who completed the program last August. It features interviews with program participants, police and parole officers, judges and mental health counselors.

Following the screening, Broll, Outagamie County judges Gregory Gill, Jr. and Dee Dyer, and other members of the court team, will participant in a panel discussion about the court’s mission. The screening and discussion is sponsored by NAMI Fox Valley. To register, contact Kate Kirchner, 920-832-5474 or katherine.kirchner@outagamie.org.

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A documentary film by Lawrence senior Rose Broll examines the mission of the Outagamie County Mental Health Court, one of only two in the state.

Following an internship with the court, in which she worked with program participants on art projects, Broll, a senior psychology major from Minneapolis, was asked to create a film about the court and its operations. She spent six months working on the documentary interviewing various people associated with the program and editing her footage. The film includes music performed by some of the program’s participants.

Started in July, 2012, the Mental Health Court, one of only two in Wisconsin, deals with non-violent criminals with mental health issues. It is designed to decriminalize mental illness and connect participants with community resources. Court offenders typically require one year to complete the program, which includes a treatment plan, 100 percent sobriety and some form of community service.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Music Professor Steven Jordheim Named Director of New Retention, Graduation Initiative

Posted on: February 13th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

Lawrence University Provost David Burrows has announced the appointment of Professor of Music Steven Jordheim as project director of a new initiative designed to substantially increase the college’s retention and graduation rates, especially among at-risk student groups.

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Steven Jordheim

Jordheim will coordinate the implementation of an integrated network of academic support systems designed to help each student overcome obstacles and achieve their educational goals.

The program will be supported by a five-year, $2.1 million grant Lawrence has received from the U.S. Department of Education’s Title III Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP).

“I am thrilled that Professor Jordheim has agreed to serve as the director of this program,” said Burrows. “The work of helping all of our students successfully complete a Lawrence education is extremely important to us, and Steve will do a wonderful job with the program’s initiatives. He has a passion for helping students succeed, experience in retention programs and great organizational skills. We were fortunate to have several well-qualified applicants for this position; Steve’s combination of qualities made him a fine choice to lead these initiatives.”

A Broad Support Plan

Over the next five years, the SIP grant will support:

• Additional staff positions for the Center for Teaching & Learning and Student Academic Services that will substantially increase the hours of each term of one-on-one and small group academic skills development, as well as ESL services.

 A retention management system will be launched with new software to coordinate faster, more targeted connections to students who would benefit from supportive, individualized outreach by a network of faculty and staff.

 New bridge programs will develop core skills and better prepare incoming students for college.

  New and advanced training for faculty advisors to equip them with tools to provide better, more culturally competent academic advising and mentoring.

  The CORE peer mentoring program launched in the fall of 2013, will be expanded to serve all freshmen, matching each Freshman Studies section with two upper-division peer mentors. The CORE mentors will help first-year students make Connections, receive ongoing Orientation, identify and utilize campus Resources and develop realistic Expectations about academics and student life.

“This is an important moment for Lawrence. The Title III grant enables us to launch a comprehensive set of initiatives to foster success of our students throughout their years of study at Lawrence and through the completion of their degrees,” said Jordheim, who has taught saxophone and music pedagogy in the Lawrence Conservatory of Music since 1981.  “The many and complex issues affecting student retention figure prominently in my work as a studio teacher each year. The new programs and positions created and the enhancements to existing programs and services will ensure greater numbers of our students fulfill their potential in their undergraduate study.

“I welcome the opportunity to collaborate with faculty, staff and students in the effort to increase student success and degree completion at Lawrence,” Jordheim added.

Nancy Truesdell, vice president for student affairs and dean of students cited Jordheim’s service over the years on numerous committees and task forces focused on issues of retention, graduation rate and support for students both in and outside the classroom, lab and studio that make him a great fit to direct the SIP initiative.

“Steve is a passionate spokesperson for doing all we can to ensure that Lawrence students can set and reach their goals,” said Truesdell. “I feel certain he will do an excellent job working closely with faculty and staff to shed new light on an important set of issues that many colleges face. His leadership will allow us to take full advantage of the grant to assist students as they thrive at Lawrence.”

The DOE grant includes up to $427,000 in endowment funds for ongoing support of the program, contingent upon Lawrence matching those funds through gifts and grants from other sources. Lawrence is seeking $575,000 in matching funds from private donors to create a $1 million fund to sustain the program.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Town/Gown Partnership: Lawrence University Makes Former Bank Available to Assist Refugee Resettlement

Posted on: February 10th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

It hasn’t taken Lawrence University officials long to find a use for the long-vacant former bank building the college recently purchased.

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Lawrence will use the recently acquired former North Shore Bank building on College Ave. as a collection point for community donations to assist with an influx of refugees who are resettling in the Fox Cities.

Lawrence has entered into a partnership with World Relief Fox Valley, the Fox Cities Kiwanis and the city of Appleton to use the former North Shore Bank building, 320 E. College Ave., as a donation collection point for an expected 75 refugees who will be relocating to Appleton in the coming year.

Under terms of an agreement signed Monday (2/10) afternoon, Lawrence will loan the 10,800-square-foot, two-story office building to World Relief Fox Valley free-of-charge for six months or until the first week of August 2014.

“Partnering with these three organizations on this important initiative is a wonderful opportunity to put our newest addition to campus to good use,” said Jacob Woodford, assistant to Lawrence President Mark Burstein. “We were fortunate that the timing was right. Lawrence University is proud to have a hand in welcoming new residents to the Fox Cities.”

The Fox Cities Kiwanis, who directed a community-wide collection 10 years ago for the Hmong refugee resettlement, will again lead a furniture drive. Fox Valley residents will be able to donate a variety of “apartment type” furnishings, ranging from couches, lamps and chairs to night stands, dressers and kitchen tables. The community collection will assist a contingent of 135 refugees from Congo, Iraq and Myanmar who are expected to arrive in the Fox Valley over the course of the next eight to nine months. In addition to those refugees resettling in Appleton, others are resettling in Neenah and Menasha.

Three collection times have been established for anyone wishing to make a donation: Saturday, Feb. 22 and Saturday March 1 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. both days; and Tuesday, March 4 from 4 p.m.- 7 p.m. Donations can be dropped off at the back door facing the alley.

“We are really excited that Lawrence has given us the opportunity to make this happen.” said Jean Long Manteufel, a long-time Kiwanis member who is coordinating the organization’s refugee collection efforts. “What better way to welcome our new neighbors, than to provide them with all the furniture that they need to start life in their new country? The added benefit is that the donations come from the community itself. That really says ‘Welcome.’”

Kathy Flores, diversity coordinator for the city of Appleton, saluted Lawrence and Kiwanis for their cooperation in providing space for the refugee donation drive.

“This spirit of generosity and collaboration really highlights what makes Appleton and the Fox Cities a great place to live,” said Flores. “It is because of efforts like this that I feel confident Appleton will be a very welcome home for our new community members who have already started arriving. We look forward to working with this compassionate community as they respond to the need for donations.”

The Oshkosh-based World Relief Fox Valley is coordinating the refugees’ resettlement to the area. According to its website, the organization assists refugees with a thorough orientation to life in America as well as a host of vital services, including providing furniture and basic household items, arranging medical visits, helping with the acquisition of refugee benefits, enrolling in ESL classes and assisting with job skill and employment services.

“We are very grateful to Lawrence University for opening up doors for us to be able to use the building,” said Myriam Mwizerwa, World Relief Fox Valley director. “We collect donation items in order to be able to furnish apartments for refugees and to be able to provide all the necessities that they will need when they first arrive. Storage space is vital to our work and to those in the community who want to help the vulnerable by providing goods that are necessary.”

Lawrence purchased the building in late December 2013. It has been unoccupied for nearly three years since North Shore Bank ceased operations in it.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Three Faculty Members Granted Tenure, Promoted to Associate Professor

Posted on: February 5th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

Three members of the Lawrence University faculty, each with extensive interdisciplinary experience, great success as teachers and active programs of scholarship or creative activity, have been promoted to the rank of associate professor and granted tenure appointments.

Based on recommendations by the faculty Committee on Tenure, Promotion, Reappointment and Equal Employment Opportunity, and President Mark Burstein, tenure and promotion for political scientist Jason Brozek, biochemist Kimberly Dickson and composer Asha Srinivasan were granted by the college’s Board of Trustees at its recent winter meeting.

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Jason Brozek

JASON BROZEK
Brozek joined the government department in 2008 as an assistant professor and Stephen Edward Scarff Professor of International Affairs as a specialist in international security, conflict bargaining and international law.

His scholarship spans the theoretical and the practical, with a focus on global conflicts that result from freshwater shortage. He has written briefing papers for policy makers that analyze the issue and also has developed a theoretical measure that can assess the severity of conflicts among nations caused by shortages of freshwater.

“Professor Brozek is widely praised as an extraordinarily effective teacher,” said Provost David Burrows. “His students admire him for his enthusiasm and his support for their intellectual development. His classroom is a place where students are encouraged to participate and exchange ideas. Many state that he is one of the very best professors they have experienced at Lawrence.

“Jason also has provided great leadership for the environmental studies program on campus and has been a caring adviser to students interested in the program,” Burrows added. “Additionally he has taken on responsibility for fostering global learning through his work in bringing to campus distinguished visitors under the Stephen Edward Scarff International Affairs program.”

Brozek earned a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in political science from Wayne State College and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Kimberly Dickson

KIMBERLY DICKSON
Dickson, who first taught Freshman Studies at Lawrence in 1998, joined the Lawrence faculty in the biochemistry program in 2007.

As a biochemist, Dickson’s scholarship focuses on protein structure and function, particularly angiogenin, a protein that stimulates blood vessel growth and plays a role in supporting the growth and metastasis of tumors.

According to Burrows, she is highly regarded by experts in the field of microbiology for the care and precision with which she does her work.

“Professor Dickson’s students speak passionately about her teaching,” said Burrows. “They believe that she cares both for the material and for them. They especially like her encouragement to develop expertise about important issues.”

Dickson, who taught at Macalester College for two years before coming to Lawrence, earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Smith College, a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Asha Srinivasan

ASHA SRINIVASAN
An award-winning composer, Srinivasan joined the conservatory of music in 2008. She writes for a broad array of instrumentation, including large ensemble, chamber and electroacoustic media.  Her music has been selected for performance at the 2010 International Computer Music Conference and has been released on the “Music from SEAMUS volume 22” CD.

Srinivasan was one of eight composers nationally selected as a resident composer for the 2012 Mizzou New Music Initiative in Columbia, Mo.  Her composition “Dviraag” received the first-place prize at the 2011 Thailand International Composition Festival from among 100 entries.

“Professor Ssrinivasan’s students are ecstatic about the new dimensions in music that she brings to Lawrence,”Burrows noted. “Her studio is a source of great inspiration and creativity. In the classroom and in the studio, she is described as a wonderful teacher who enriches the quality of the conservatory experience.”

Srinivasan earned a bachelor’s degree from Goucher College, a master’s degree in computer music composition and music theory pedagogy from the Peabody Conservatory and a D.M.A. in composition from the University of Maryland.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.