Tag: leadership

Two Lawrence alumni named Future 15 Young Professionals

A pair of Lawrence University graduates are among this year’s Fox Cities Future 15 honorees.

Marty O’Donnell and Jake Woodford, 2008 and 2013 Lawrence graduates, respectively, were selected from among 25 semifinalist who were chosen from an initial pool of dozens of nominees.

The Future 15 awards are part of the Pulse Young Professionals, a program of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and the Fox Cities Regional Partnership, in collaboration with The Post-Crescent. All of the honorees will be recognized March 1 at the Young Professional Awards banquet at the Outer Edge in downtown Appleton.

The program recognizes young business and community leaders for their efforts in work, civic and charitable causes. Future 15 recipients are chosen based on their dedication, strong sense of vision for the Fox Cities and understanding of the importance of volunteering and giving back.

“Having Marty and Jake selected for this year’s Future 15 speaks highly of Lawrence and the Fox Valley. It’s a positive reinforcement of how many of our alumni remain in the Fox Cities after graduating and make a positive difference in the community,” said Mark Breseman, associate vice president of alumni and constituency engagement. “Our current students and alumni continue to make an impact through so many different ways. Many of them make the transition from volunteering, performing and competing to providing enthusiasm, new insights and entrepreneurial mindsets to their chosen profession.”

Marty O'Donnell
Marty O’Donnell ’08

O’Donnell is the conductor of the Lawrence Academy of Music Symphonic Band, a position he’s held since 2015. He also teaches band at Gerritts Middle School in the Kimberly Area School District. As a cooperating teacher for Lawrence student teachers, O’Donnell has hosted music education practicum students and rehearsal techniques classes with his middle school bands.

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, O’Donnell has served as director of the Neenah Community Band since 2010 and he is the co-founder, president, treasurer and guest conductor of VENTO Winds, a professional-level, audition-only adult wind band based in Northeast Wisconsin.

A talented trombonist, O’Donnell has performed with more than a dozen ensembles in the Fox Valley as well as the College Band Directors National Association Honors Band, the Wisconsin National Band Association Collegiate All-Star Band and the United States Navy Band.

Woodford serves as assistant to Lawrence President Mark Burstein as well as secretary to the university’s Board of Trustees. He coordinates the activities and communications of the Board, manages major institutional projects, conducts research and analysis, as well as facilitation, plans and implements university initiatives, supports collaborations between Lawrence and local/regional government and manages the university’s real estate.

Jake Woodford
Jake Woodford ’13

An Appleton native, Woodford joined the Burstein administration in 2013 shortly after earning a degree in government from Lawrence. He has since led a number of significant institutional projects, including a comprehensive review of the university’s parking infrastructure, policies and procedures; negotiated a 305-acre conservation easement for Bjorklunden, Lawrence’s “northern campus” in Door County; co-chaired the writing of the university’s current strategic plan; and led the relocation of historic house on the university campus to the City Park Historic District.

Active in the greater community as well, Woodford serves as Lawrence representative to the city of Appleton’s Downtown Mobility Study planning process, recently completed a two-year term on the board of directors of the Rotary Club of Appleton, is a member of the board of directors of the Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust and is a commissioner on the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Appleton.

O’Donnell and Woodford are the 12th and 13th Lawrence graduates and/or employees who have been recognized since the Future 15 program was launched in 2011. Past honorees are:

  • 2017— Fanny Lau ’14; Elyse Lucas ’10; Paris Wicker ’08; Oliver Zorrow ’10
  • 2016 —Jamie Cartwright ’14; Carolyn Armstrong Deorosiers ’10; Jennifer Dieter ’03; Josh Dukelow ’02
  • 2015— Nathan Litt ’08
  • 2014 —Monica Rico, associate professor of history
  • 2013 — Korey Krueger, ’95

For this year’s program, past Future 15 winners narrowed the original pool of nominations to 25 semifinalists. Nomination forms with information about the candidates — excluding their names and personal details — were rated by community leaders, accounting for 90 percent of the decision. The final 10 percent was determined by votes collected online by The Post-Crescent.

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 names Catherine Gunther Kodat new provost, dean of the faculty

Lawrence University President Mark Burstein has announced the appointment of Catherine Gunther Kodat as provost and dean of the faculty.  She also will join the Lawrence English department as a tenured professor.

A photo of Lawrence University provost and dean of the faculty and english professor Catherine Gunther Kodat.
Catherine Gunther Kodat will join the Lawrence administration as provost and dean of the faculty July 1.

A scholar of 20th-century English literature and American studies, author and former newspaper reporter, Kodat is currently the dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and professor of English at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore. Kodat will officially join the Lawrence administration on July 1, 2017.

Kodat will succeed David Burrows, who announced in March he will return to the faculty at the end of the 2016-17 academic year. Burrows joined the administration in 2005 and will remain with the university, teaching in Lawrence’s psychology department and leading efforts to enhance pedagogy.

As Lawrence’s chief academic officer, Kodat will share responsibilities for long-range financial planning, enhancing the campus’ intellectual climate, recruiting, retaining and supporting faculty, strengthening instruction and research, fostering curricular innovation and promoting campus inclusivity.

In announcing her appointment, Burstein called Kodat’s academic background, accomplishments and interests “a perfect fit” for Lawrence.

“Katie’s interest in Lawrence drew early attention from the search committee and our interactions with her only increased our desire to have her join us,” said Burstein. “From the beginning, it was clearly a difficult task to find someone who had the temperament, experience and love of the liberal arts to carry forward the very successful tenure of Dave Burrrows. I think we have found such a person in Katie.”

Kodat joined the Lewis & Clark administration from the University of the Arts, a visual and performing arts institution in Philadelphia, where she served as acting provost and dean of the school of arts and sciences.

Prior to Lewis & Clark, Kodat spent 17 years at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., where she rose from assistant to full professor, chaired the English and creative writing department and served as director of the American studies program. She was recognized with Hamilton’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2008. She also has taught at Boston University, Boston College and Tufts University.

“Katie brings so much to the table: a deep appreciation and love of the arts, a strong commitment to scholarship and teaching, and tremendous warmth and humor.”
     — Tim Spurgin, chair of the search committee

She is the author of the 2015 book “Don’t Act, Just Dance: The Metapolitics of Cold War Culture” and more than two dozen published scholarly articles, book chapters and reviews.

Before beginning her academic career, Kodat was a metro reporter and dance critic for the Baltimore Sun in the 1980s.

Kodat said the job description was one of the things that first attracted her to Lawrence.

“The posting said Lawrence was looking for ‘a leader with a strong vision and a humane, personal touch,’” said Kodat. “Most of these job descriptions sound a lot like one another, but that line was unique. It caught my attention and told me something about Lawrence that certainly was consistent with my view of the world.”

“The prospect of joining an intellectual community where music plays such a central role, both academically and in the everyday life of the campus, is tremendously exciting to me,” Kodat added.

She began her undergraduate career as a piano performance major at the Peabody Institute before earning a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in English at the University of Baltimore. She earned a master’s and doctorate degree in English from Boston University.

“Katie brings so much to the table: a deep appreciation and love of the arts, a strong commitment to scholarship and teaching, and tremendous warmth and humor,” said Tim Spurgin, Bonnie Glidden Buchanan Professor of English Literature and associate professor of English, who chaired the search committee. “She has held senior leadership positions at two distinguished institutions, working on everything from budgets to curricular review and reform. All of this, combined with her early experience as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun, will serve as excellent preparation for her work here.”

Kodat’s husband, Alexander, is a senior product architect and software engineer at Rocket Software. They are the parents of triplets: Axel, a 2015 graduate of Swarthmore College; Dexter, a 2015 graduate of Occidental College; and Madeleine, a senior at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  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.

 

Three new members join Lawrence’s Board of Trustees

Three new members have been elected to the Lawrence University Board of Trustees.

Shelley Davis, Dr. Richard Fessler and Andrew Wong will each serve a three-year term beginning July 1.

“I look forward to welcoming our new trustees to the Lawrence University Board,” said Susie Stillman Kane, recently elected board chair and board member since 2002. “Collectively they represent depth, breadth and diversity of expertise from the non-profit and philanthropic sectors, global management consulting, and the field of neurosurgery. As we navigate these challenging times in higher education, we are more keenly aware than ever before just how crucial it is to recruit new members with diverse perspectives and experience to enhance our board work and strategic planning.”

Shelley-Davis_newsblog
Shelley Davis, ’92

Shelley Davis ’92, Chicago, Ill.
A leader in Chicago’s philanthropic and nonprofit sectors who is devoted to promoting equal opportunities and a higher quality of life for low-income communities, Davis has been responsible for evaluating and recommending more than $25 million in grants to nonprofit groups involved in everything from policy advocacy and community organizing to human services and the arts.

She was named the first executive director of the Forest Preserve Foundation, which supports the protection and restoration of native habitats within the forest preserve district of Cook County in 2013, a position she still holds today.

Davis also serves as vice chair of the board of directors of Chicago’s Albert Pick Fund, a nonprofit corporation organized in 1947 as a general-purpose private foundation, and has spent the past three years as the commissioner of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission.

She previously has served as vice president of programs and advocacy for the Chicago Foundation for Women, where she directed $6 million dollars in grants to organizations focused on violence against women, access to health care and economic security. As an advisor to the Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment, she raised more than $750,000 and launched a program to help low-income women in Chicago and New York become entrepreneurs. She also has held leadership positions with the Joyce Foundation, the Ford Foundation and with Chicago Women in Trades.

Since 2010, Davis has served as a lecturer with the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, specializing in non-profit advocacy, philanthropy and social policies impacting low income families.

A 1992 graduate of Lawrence, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Davis also a earned her master’s degree in urban planning and policy, and urban, community and economic development from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1998.

Dr.-Richard-Fessler_newsblog
Dr. Richard Fessler ’74

Dr. Richard Fessler ’74, Winnetka, Ill.
An internationally acclaimed researcher, surgeon and professor of neurosurgery at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center, Fessler is widely considered the father of minimally invasive spine surgery. He is credited with developing many of the surgical techniques being used today.

Fessler was the first surgeon in the United States to perform human embryonic spinal cord transplantation and among the first to perform minimally invasive scoliosis surgery. He twice performed microdiscectomy surgery on NFL quarterback Peyton Manning.

Prior to joining Rush Medical Center, Fessler spent six years (2007-2013) as vice chair of neurosurgery at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and was the medical director of the Neuro Spine Intensive Care Unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He also has served as chief of neurosurgery at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics.

Routinely listed in “Best Doctors of America,” Fessler founded and directed the Institute for Spine Care at the Chicago Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroresearch.

After graduating from Lawrence in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Fessler earned a master’s degree in experimental psychology from North Dakota State University and doctorate degrees in pharmacology, physiology and medicine from the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine.

Fessler was recognized with Lawrence’s Lucia Russell Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award in 2014.

Andrew-Wong_newsblog2
Andrew Wong ’06

Andrew Wong, ’06, Chicago, Ill.
Wong is an associate in the Chicago office of McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm that serves leading businesses, governments, non-governmental organizations and not-for-profits. He is Lawrence’s second Recent Graduate Trustee, a position established in 2014 exclusively for Lawrence alumni within 2-10 years of graduation. He will serve one non-renewable term.

Wong earned a bachelor’s degree in history summa cum laude from Lawrence in 2006 and an MBA in 2014 from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

After earning Academic All-American, all-conference and team most valuable player honors as a shortstop at Lawrence, Wong played professional minor league baseball for five years throughout the United States. He also served as a player and coach in Australia, South Africa and Europe. While in South Africa, he used his passion for baseball as a tool for social change by helping to build an intramural youth baseball program in a low-income township in Cape Town.

Prior to earning his MBA, he spent two years as an intellectual property paralegal with Foley and Lardner LLP.

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 2015 and 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.

Outgoing Lawrence University board chair receives surprise honor: $1M scholarship fund named in his honor

Terry Franke_newsblog
Terry Franke ’68

As parting gifts go, Terry Franke could not have asked for a more meaningful one.

Franke, the outgoing chair of Lawrence University’s Board of Trustees, received a surprise going away present at the board’s recent Spring meeting: The establishment of the Terry and Mary Franke Scholarship Fund, courtesy of a $1 million gift from an anonymous donor given “in recognition of the amazing job he has done in the past four and a half years as the chairman of the Lawrence board.”

The $1 million gift will go toward Lawrence’s focused student scholarship campaign —  “Full Speed to Full Need” — launched last September with a gift of $25 million, the largest in school history. Lawrence alumni and friends since have contributed an additional $21.5 million in matching gifts for a total of $46.5 million toward a goal of $50 million. The funds will be used exclusively for endowed scholarships to help meet students’ demonstrated financial need.

“Terry Franke has led the Lawrence Board of Trustees during a time of immense growth and significant change for the university. I cannot think of a better way to acknowledge his service to his alma mater than this wonderful gift to establish the Terry and Mary Franke Scholarship fund,” said Mark Burstein, university president.

Susan-Stillman-Kane_newsblog
Susan Stillman Kane ’72

Franke, a 1968 Lawrence graduate, has served on Lawrence’s Board of Trustees for 16 years, including as chair since January, 2011. He spent most of his career at Hewitt Associates, where he was a senior partner. More recently he has served as a senior consultant for Productive Strategies, Inc., a management and marketing consulting firm based in Northfield, Ill.

The end of Franke’s term as chair brings new leadership to the board. Susan Stillman Kane, an Oshkosh native who graduated from Lawrence in 1972, succeeds Franke as chair of the board. She has been a member of the board since 2002. During her tenure she has served in numerous leadership positions. Kane’s mother, Elizabeth Stillman, was a 1933 graduate of Milwaukee-Downer College, which merged with Lawrence College in 1964.

“It is a testament to the strength of the Lawrence community that after Terry’s incredibly successful tenure that the Board is fortunate to have someone as talented as Susie Stillman Kane to assume its leadership as the incoming chair,” said Burstein.

Kane, who resides in Swampscott, Mass., is a long-time dedicated community volunteer.  She spent 23 years on the board, including several years as board president, of the Citizens’ Scholarship Foundation of Marblehead, Inc., which provides scholarships for high school seniors and college students from the community. She also has served as an elected town meeting member in Swampscott.

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 2015 and 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.