Category: Faculty

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 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.

 

 

Professor Rob Neilson adds artistic flair to new Fox Cities Exhibition Center

When the city of Appleton threw a grand-opening party Jan. 11 for its new $31.9 million downtown exhibition center, Lawrence University art professor Rob Neilson’s talents were one of the building’s star attractions.

Rob Neilson with "You Are Here" sculpture
Rob Neilson stands under his sculpture “You Are Here,” which hangs from the ceiling.

Three projects of Neilson’s — “You Are Here,” “We Are Here” and “Community Caryatids,” a series of 10 I-beams representing each of the local municipalities contributing financially to the center — provide an artistic connection between the 30,000-square-foot facility, the people and communities who built it and the visitors it will serve.

Neilson proved he’s not only highly creative, he also can work fast. From the time he was first selected for the art commission from among three finalists to the completion of all three projects: 10 months.

“I’ve done projects that are three, four years, but this was very quick and a lot of work,” said Neilson, the Frederick R. Layton Professor of Art at Lawrence. “I was teaching at the same time.”

Two of the projects are designed to complement each other.  “You Are Here” is a 12-foot–by-13-foot sculpture project suspended from the ceiling of the ground-level floor. It features a cutout of the state of Wisconsin with a giant red pushpin inserted where the Fox Cities would be on the map. “We Are Here” is a series of 10 oversized portraits each comprised of 1,000 individual headshots shot last summer and fall of citizens from throughout the Fox Cities.

“The sculpture project was where I started. I was thinking about what is this exhibition center, what is our community trying to do?,” Neilson explained. “They’re trying to get people to the Fox Cities, get people to come and stay. It’s about travel, destination, the history of this place and how geography and landscape has shaped this community.

“So, I was really thinking about how to do a three-dimensional representation of all those ideas; the river, history, paper, travel, destination. That all just came together in a way that I’m used to working, thinking, developing ideas.”

Rob Neilson with portrait project "We Are Here"
Rob Neilson chats with guests in front of his “We Are Here” portrait project at the grand opening of the Fox Cities Exhibition Center.

Neilson was presented with a second opportunity to propose something for a space on the lower level and the photography portrait piece “was a natural.”

“Of course, if you’re doing ‘You Are Here,’ you have to do ‘We Are Here,’” said Neilson. “I had done the sculpture about the history, the paper industry, the river, travel and destination. The other thing that the Fox Cities does so well is community. It was natural going to one project from the other.”

As a sculptor, the portrait project was a giant step outside of Neilson’s experience with a rather steep learning curve.

“My photography skills up until this point were limited to what I needed to know to take a photo of the sculptures I make,” said Neilson with a laugh. “I had to figure out how I wanted to do this, the lighting, what was the right aperture. I needed these all to be consistent so it could become one big piece.”

“The project really was me in the community, talking with people, meeting with people, people collaborating with us, telling us how happy they were. That was meaningful in a way I wasn’t prepared for and it was a great surprise.
— Rob Neilson

Despite his self-admitted photographic limitations, the bigger challenge, he discovered, was a game plan for actually taking 10,000 individual head shots in a very compressed time frame.

“How do I get images, how do I get people engaged, the logistics of it all was the thing that was keeping me up nights,” said Neilson, who found himself taking pictures seven days a week, including many days that stretched to 12-plus hours.

Saturday morning downtown Appleton farmer’s market crowds provided Neilson with plenty of potential, if not sometimes leery, subjects.

“The first time we went out on Oct. 21, people didn’t quite understand what we were doing. Given the setting, people assumed we were there to sell something. I can’t tell you how many times we had to say, before they even got to ask, ‘100% free!’ That was the line.

“Once we started rolling, once people understood what we were doing, we didn’t have to sell the idea every single time. It bloomed rapidly,” added Neilson, who said every person who had their picture taken wound up in one of the final portraits.

While he doesn’t like to name favorites among his many public art works, Neilson said the photography project is one that will stay with him forever.

Rob Neilson next to pillars project
Rob Neilson on his “Community Caryatids” project: “This sounds ridiculous, but they look exactly like I designed them.”

“The project really was me in the community, talking with people, meeting with people, people collaborating with us, telling us how happy they were,” he said. “That was meaningful in a way I wasn’t prepared for and it was a great surprise.

“It’s profound when it’s something in the place I’ve been living for 15 years. It’s the only home my kids know. This is our hometown. This is where we live. I go through those photos and I know these are my neighbors, my friends, people I work with, people I’ve met, people I interacted with. I don’t know how many opportunities we get to experience that kind of thing in our lives. But I’m fortunate to have had that opportunity and I will never forget that.”

The center’s third project was the result of a bit of happenstance. While attending a meeting about ways Miron Construction, the building’s general contractor, could recognize the communities involved with its construction, Neilson was asked if he had any ideas.

“I just stood up and said what it was on top of my head. You need columns, you need pillars, something that is holding this place up, figuratively and literally.”

Crowd at Expo Center grand opening
Rob Neilson’s “We Are Here” photography project dominates the south wall of the main floor of the expo center.

The finished product is a series of 10, 10-foot tall I-beams, each with the name of one of the communities cut into the flange of the I-beam,

“It’s supposed to be figuratively holding this place up, the 10 communities,” Neilson explained. “This sounds ridiculous, but they look exactly like I designed them.”

Appleton is home to several other public art projects by Neilson, including engraved manhole covers depicting some aspect of compassion. He also has done projects in Los Angeles, Charlotte., N.C., and for the Long Beach Transit Authority. The Expo Center projects were capstone of very happily busy year for Neilson.

“It was a big year for me. I had more shows last year than I’d ever had. More exhibitions than I’d ever had in a single year my whole professional life. I did more talks on public art, had been in more newspapers, magazines and on television than I’d ever been by far in a single year. It was some of the hardest work I’ve done and it was great.”

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.

Pianist Catherine Kautsky chronicles Paris in the time of composer Claude Debussy in new book

While she is more accustomed to “hearing” thoughts take shape than she is to seeing them emerge on the printed page, Lawrence University Professor of Music Catherine Kautsky has turned a fascination with the intimate interactions between music and social history into her first book.

Catherine Kautsky
Catherine Kautsky

In “Debussy’s Paris: Portraits of the Belle Époque” (2017, Rowman & Littlefield), Kautsky paints a vivid picture of Paris during the period between the end of the Franco-Prussian war (1871) and World War I (1914), the period commonly referred to as the “Belle Époque,” and ventures into the war years as well.

Kautsky treats readers to a tour of Paris through her detailed descriptions of the city’s passions, vices and obsessions, and then reflects on how French composer Claude Debussy’s piano music (1862-1918) mirrors the city. She explores how some of his key works reveal not only the most appealing facets of Paris but also the more disquieting aspects of the period, including minstrel shows with racist overtones, colonization which entailed brutal domination, and nationalism rife with hostility.

In its review, Booklist called “Debussy’s Paris” a “fascinating fusion of music, literature and social history. [Kautsky’s] graceful and erudite prose is embellished with period illustrations and bolstered by a carefully selected bibliography. A treat for music lovers, Francophiles and anyone who appreciates the arts.”

The seeds of the book were first sown more than 20 years ago during an academic sabbatical year Kautsky spent in Paris during the mid-1990s. Two years later, while serving as director of Lawrence’s London Center, Kautsky met two renowned Debussy scholars whose interests resonated with her own and inspired further research.

“When I returned to the United States, I started writing a number of articles on the connections between Debussy’s piano music and literature,” said Kautsky, who is in her 25th year teaching piano in the Lawrence Conservatory of Music. “At that point I was hooked on Debussy, though I certainly wasn’t yet envisioning a book.

“[Kautsky’s] graceful and erudite prose is embellished with period illustrations and bolstered by a carefully selected bibliography. A treat for music lovers, Francophiles and anyone who appreciates the arts.”
— Booklist

“I was totally fascinated by the intersections of Debussy’s music with many other aspects of French life at the turn of the century,” she added. “I noticed that while people had written a lot about commonalities between the music and impressionist and symbolist art, there was less about all the ways Debussy draws on literature — from poetry, to journalism, to fairy tales—and even less on how his titles give constant clues to the social history of fin-de-siècle Paris.”

Cover of the book Debussy's ParisThe book deals with historical and political issues in Debussy’s Paris, many of which remain all-too-relevant in America today. For instance, a seemingly benign and entertaining genre like the cakewalk emanates from blatantly racist minstrel shows, and the book includes a number of disturbing “cakewalk’ cartoons from Debussy’s day which echo the genesis of our own racism in assumptions about “dark” Africa. Similarly, the French nationalism which drew Debussy in before WWI —encouraging France and Germany to engage in years of bloodshed—parallels “America First” slogans proliferating in our own times. And the colonialism which featured the exoticism of Arab nations and neighbors while simultaneously demeaning their primitive ways, is highly topical as we examine the role of Moslem culture in Western nations.

“My book is not about placing personal blame on Debussy for any of these ‘isms,’” Kautsky explains. “Rather it’s about the ways in which a composer, often unwittingly, illustrates his times and beliefs through his music. Debussy makes the task of drawing inferences infinitely easier, for he furnishes us with titles every step of the way. By looking at those titles, we learn about the literature, the art and the politics that gripped France in 1900.

“I’ve loved putting together the strands of politics, art, and literature as diverse as Proust and Peter Pan,” she added. “Hearing music in the abstract is more than enough, but hearing it as the composer must have heard it—through the prism of his own life experiences—adds another dimension that I’ve found irresistible.”

The recipient of Lawrence’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2016, Kautsky earned a bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory, a master’s degree from the Juilliard School and a doctorate degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

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

 

Historian Jerald Podair named national semifinalist for PEN America literary award

The story behind the building of Dodger Stadium written by Lawrence University historian Jerald Podair has been named one of 10 semifinalists for a 2018 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing.

Historian Jerald Podair
Jerald Podair

In “City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles” (2017, Princeton University Press), Podair explores one of the earliest owner-city new ballpark negotiations and the subsequent economic and cultural impact. He wrote the book to provide a window into the complex choices cities face as they seek to balance the values of entertainment and culture against those of fiscal responsibility, of private gain against public good.

The PEN America awards honors writers and translators whose exceptional literary works were published in 2017. Categories include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, biography, essays, science writing, sports writing and translation. The winner in the sports-writing category receives a $5,000 prize.

Finalists in each category will be announced in January with winners celebrated at the 2018 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony Feb. 20 at New York University’s Skirball Center.

“I’m not planning on any victory speeches, but as they say at the Oscars, it’s nice to be nominated,” said Podair, Robert S. French Professor of American Studies and professor of history.

Other semifinalists include “The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse” by Tom Verducci, “Sting Like a Bee: Muhammad Ali vs. the United States of America, 1966–1971” by Leigh Montville and “Iron Ambition: My Life with Cus D’Amato” by Mike Tyson & Larry “Ratso” Sloman.

For more than 90 years, PEN America has united writers to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible to create literature, convey information and ideas and to make it possible for everyone to access the views, ideas and literatures of 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 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.

University convocation celebrates the international contributions of Lawrence cellist Janet Anthony

The third installment of Lawrence University’s 2016-17 convocation series will celebrate the musical and educational career of Professor of Music Janet Anthony in a rare evening presentation.

A Head shot of Lawrence University cello professor Janet Anthony.
Janet Anthony

Anthony presents “Adventures in Music Making: 20 Years of Cross-Cultural Exchange in Haiti” Friday, Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The event, free and open to the public, also will be available via a live webcast.

The program will feature performances of Haitian music, including two works composed by non-degree seeking students at Lawrence, by the Lawrence University Cello Ensemble and the Lawrence Symphony Chamber Orchestra as well as remarks by 2011 Lawrence graduate Carolyn Armstrong Desrosiers, Lawrence jazz studies program director Jose Encarnacion and Haitian journalist Fritz Valescot,

Anthony, the George and Marjorie Olsen Chandler Professor of Music, was chosen as the co-recipient of Lawrence’s annual Faculty Convocation Award, which honors a faculty member for distinguished professional work. She is the eighth faculty member so honored.

A cellist who joined the Lawrence conservatory of music faculty in 1984, Anthony has been making annual trips to Haiti since 1996 to conduct, perform and teach at music schools there.

Since making her first trip, more than 50 Lawrence students and faculty colleagues have accompanied her to teach in some of the many music programs with which she has been involved. Anthony also has assisted in bringing key Haitian music teachers and students to the United States for short-term professional development.

Following the devastating 2010 earthquake that devastated parts of the country, Anthony helped organized a benefit concert in Appleton for Haiti and collected needed supplies for the survivors, including gently used instruments. She has since performed numerous memorial concerts in Haiti, including one in 2011 on the one-year anniversary of the earthquake.

Anthony is the co-founder and current president of Building Leaders Using Music Education (BLUME)-Haiti, a Fox Cities-based nonprofit organization that works with Haitian and International partners to develop and support music education for youth and young adults in Haiti.

A photo of Lawrence University cello professor Janet Anthony playing her cello.Desrosiers, an Appleton native who has made multiple trips to Haiti with Anthony, co-produced and co-directed a documentary film — “Kenbe La” — which explores the transformational power of music programs in Haiti.

An active soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, Anthony has toured with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Austrian Radio Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of the Vienna Symphony. She also has performed or taught in Argentina, China, Curacao, Japan, Venezuela and Vietnam and, as a member of the Duo Kléber, she has performed in England, France, Italy and Bosnia Herzegovina.

A frequent performer on Wisconsin Public Radio, Anthony earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona and a master’s degree in music from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She also studied at Vienna’s famed Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst.

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.

 

 

 

Professors Kautsky, De Stasio, Tilghman honored at Lawrence’s 2016 commencement

Three members of the Lawrence University faculty were recognized for teaching and scholarship excellence Sunday, June 12 at the college’s 167th commencement.

Cathy-Kautsky_newsblog_616
Catherine Kautsky

Professor of Music Catherine Kautsky received the Award for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes outstanding performance in the teaching process, including the quest to ensure students reach their full development as individuals, human beings and future leaders of society.

Since first joining the faculty in 1987 — she spent six years at UW-Madison (2002-08) — Kautsky has used music to connect with other disciplines, particularly literature. She has presented lecture-recitals on topics ranging from the music of the Holocaust to French music and World War I. She also has organized performances for her students at numerous non-traditional venues, among them the Boys and Girls Club, a local soup kitchen, senior citizen centers and most recently the Oshkosh Correctional Institution.

In presenting the award, Provost and Dean of the Faculty David Burrows cited Kautsky for a “combination of insistence on excellence and your energetic, supportive nature [that] has led your students to high levels of success.”

“You let your students know they have the power to create beauty but must work vigorously to achieve that beauty,” said Burrows. “Your insistence on excellence as the gateway to beauty and enjoyment is highly distinctive.”

Kautsky’s repertoire includes Bach, Rzewski and Crumb, with a special emphasis on French music and the music of the first Viennese school. As a recitalist, soloist with orchestra or chamber musician, she has performed in venues around the world, including Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall, as well as extensively in England and France. She also has presented classes in Brazil, China, Korea and South Africa.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory, a master’s degree from the Julliard School and a doctoral degree in performance from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Bart-De-Stasio_newsblog_616
Bart De Stasio ’82

Bart De Stasio, Dennis and Charlot Nelson Singleton Professor of Biological Sciences and professor of biology, received the award for Excellence in Scholarship.

Established in 2006, the award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated sustained scholarly excellence for a number of years and whose work exemplifies the ideals of the teacher-scholar.

A specialist in predator-prey interactions, De Stasio has earned international recognition for his research on topics ranging from dormancy in aquatic organisms and its impact on ecology of lake communities to phytoplankton communities in Green Bay and Lake Michigan after the arrival of invasive species, including zebra mussels, spiny water fleas and round gobies. He has had more than 35 scientific papers and book chapters published, 19 of which were co-authored with Lawrence students.

Burrows praised De Stasio for his research on the effects of invasive species on food webs and on coral reefs in presenting him his award.

“It represents the very best qualities of the teacher-scholar model that we cherish at Lawrence,” said Burrows. “Much of your research is done in collaboration with students. These students are generating important research results while also learning to understand the world from the perspective of scientific inquiry.”

A member of the faculty since 1992, De Stasio has led Lawrence’s every-other-year marine biology trip to the Cayman Islands to study coral reefs for many years. Last summer, he spent a month in Russia collaborating with scientists on a study of Lake Baikal, examining how the lake is responding to climate change and other anthropogenic stresses.

A 1982 summa cum laude graduate of Lawrence, De Stastio earned his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Cornell University.

Ben-Tilghman_newsblog_616
Ben Tilghman ’99

Ben Tilghman, assistant professor of art history, received the Young Teacher Award in recognition of demonstrated excellence in the classroom and the promise of continued growth.

A specialist in illuminated manuscripts of the Medieval and Renaissance periods, Tilghman has developed several courses designed to connect themes of the past with concerns of the present such as “Art of the Islamic World.”

Burrows hailed Tilghman for “a combination of great passion, concern for student success and an ability to encourage discussion and argument while making students feel calm and comfortable.”

“Your devotion to the ideals of liberal learning, which you like to point out were first articulated in the Middle Ages, has led you to stress the importance of opening one’s mind to multiple perspectives on the world and to model for students the process of trying to make sense of complex materials,” said Burrows. “The ability to connect knowledge and creativity is the hallmark of a Lawrence education and is a distinctive characteristic of your success as a teacher.”

Before joining the Lawrence faculty in 2012, Tilghman taught in the art history department at George Washington University for two years. He also spent three years in the department of manuscripts and rare books at Baltimore’s Walters Art Museum.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Lawrence in 1999, a master’s degree from Williams College and his Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins 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” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. 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.

Thank you! Lawrence honoring four retiring faculty members for 156 years of teaching experience

Records, the adage goes, are meant to be broken. But this particular milestone was not one Lawrence University philosophy professor John Dreher had any particular interest in setting.

“I wasn’t trying to beat anybody,” Dreher says almost apologetically.

John Dreher
John Dreher

As the 2015-16 academic year comes to a close, Dreher becomes the college’s longest-serving, full-time faculty member with 53 years in the classroom. He and three teaching colleagues — Merton Finkler, Nicholas Maravolo and Patricia Vilches — will be honored Sunday, June 12 at the college’s 167th commencement as retiring faculty members. Collectively they have given the college an incredible 156 combined years of service. Each will be recognized with an honorary master of arts degree, ad eundem, as part of the graduation ceremonies. Vilches will be honored in absentia.

Dreher, Lawrence’s Lee Claflin-Robert S. Ingraham Professor of Philosophy, joined the faculty in 1963 after beginning his teaching career at the University of North Carolina. His full-time teaching tenure surpasses the late Bertrand Goldgar, who taught in the Lawrence English department for 52 years.

“It doesn’t matter that much to me. Sorry,” Dreher, 81, said of his place in Lawrence annals. “I just did it year-by-year. I wasn’t saying ‘oh I’ll just hold on one more year.’”

Despite weather challenges and the occasional malady, he points with pride to having missed only two teaching days in his 53-year Lawrence career — and none in the past 48 — and credits the quality of Lawrence students for keeping his five-plus decades of teaching interesting.

“I’ve enjoyed working with some damn good students,” said Dreher, who thinks of himself as more coach than professor, “and some who didn’t know they were good. I was able to get them to dig down a little deeper. I’m proud of the good ones who got even better when I got pushy in class. They responded to the coaching. They had talent that they then developed.

“I’m getting emails, phone calls, letters from folks who graduated 40, 30, 20, 10 years ago saying ‘you know what, you made a big difference.’ That’s called psychic income. I love it.”
— John Dreher

“Lawrence has students who don’t specialize in some one thing. When I teach a philosophy class I’m not doing narrow philosophy. I’m not teaching future philosophy professors, although some turn out to be. I like working with people who are going to be bankers, lawyers, CEOs, fourth-grade teachers. I like helping people get broad backgrounds,” added Dreher, whose own undergraduate degree was in English, not philosophy. “In some of my courses I read stuff by economists and short story writers. I like to do the broad stuff, which is why I like teaching at a liberal arts college.”

John Dreher_newsblog_fullA native of Jersey City, N. J., Dreher has twice been awarded the college’s Babcock Award, which recognizes “outstanding service to students.” He received the University Award for Excellence in Teaching 1989 and the Freshman Studies Teaching award in 2002. On three different occasions (1982–83; 1986–87; 1993–95) he directed the college’s signature Freshman Studies program.

He looks back fondly on the freedom he received from the administration over the years.

“I had the feeling I could use my own judgment to do what I think was best for my students and my classes and nobody was looking over my shoulder,” said Dreher, whose scholarship interests include environmental ethics, applied ethics and the history of philosophy. “They trusted me to do my job and to do it right. I really appreciated that.”

While retiring from full-time teaching, Dreher won’t be leaving the classroom entirely. He’s scheduled to teach one of his favorite courses, environmental ethics, Winter Term each of the next three years.

“I cannot go cold turkey on something I’ve been throwing myself into this whole time,” said Dreher, whose daily workout regimen has been slowed a bit by recent double knee replacement surgery.

With his reduced teaching load, Dreher is looking forward to having more time to tend to the two large gardens at his rural Black Creek home, attend more Lawrence concerts, travel to Europe and volunteer with local environmental groups.

In the meantime, he’s enjoying hearing from former students.

“I’m getting emails, phone calls, letters from folks who graduated 40, 30, 20, 10 years ago saying ‘you know what, you made a big difference.’ That’s called psychic income. I love it.”

Marty-Finkler_newsblog_retire
Merton Finkler

Since joining the faculty in 1979, Finkler, the John R. Kimberly Distinguished Professor in the American Economic System and Professor of Economics, has left his mark on the college through new courses as well as new programs.

He was instrumental in launching Lawrence’s thriving innovation and entrepreneurship program and was among the leaders in developing the university’s popular interdisciplinary Sustainable China Program, which has evolved from other initiatives that began in 2003.

“I’ve been to China nine times and I haven’t paid for one of them,” Finkler, 68, says with a smile. He admits his Chinese is “still not good enough to cause trouble. I know a number of words, but I really can’t hold a conversation with anybody.”

The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program began in 2008 and Finkler was among the faculty members who helped write its initial curriculum.

“The I & E program has received university-wide interest, which I think is critical to its success,” said Finkler, who spent three years on the faculty at the University of Minnesota before coming to Lawrence.

“Lawrence gave me not just every opportunity, but every encouragement… I’m not sure what other venue I could have had with that kind of opportunity.”
     –– Merton Finkler

During his tenure, Finkler established himself as an expert in the field of healthcare. He has taught courses on health policy and economics and co-chaired two statewide conferences that generated healthcare policy directives for the Wisconsin legislature. He has served on the Wisconsin Governor’s Task Force on Funding of Academic Medical Centers as well as on the state’s Data Expert Advisory Group on Public Health. He also conducted a pair of research projects on the costliness of healthcare in Wisconsin for the Greater Milwaukee Business Group on Health.

“It’s been a nice way to apply a variety of different skills to a substantive topic that people care about,” Finkler said of his healthcare interests. “The challenges are not going to go away, the demographics ensure that we have to figure out a better way to use our healthcare resources or we’re going to get eaten alive financially.”Marty-Finkler_newsblog_office

He was awarded a Robert Wood Johnson faculty fellowship in healthcare finance that enabled him to spend extended time at Johns Hopkins University as well as a year in-residence at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in California. And for eight years, he was a partner in a local healthcare-focused consulting firm.

“That experience enabled me to make contacts with various stakeholders in the healthcare industry,” Finkler said of his side business venture. “It was valuable in that I saw the various perspectives people provided in delivery of healthcare services. That certainly enriched my background, my experience and my understanding of the character of financing and delivery system problems and what has to be addressed if anything is to change.”

Following Dreher’s lead, Finkler won’t completely abandon the classroom. He is slated to teach a hybrid class on financial investing this fall.

“I’d like to continue to teach one or two courses each year and fill in the gaps where need be, but that depends on departmental needs and the God of budgets,” said Finkler, who grew up in San Bernadino, Calif.

He does plan to keep his hand in the healthcare field in retirement. He’s in the embryonic stage of a joint project in Marathon County to help develop a community health business partnership focused on improving the public’s health while containing costs.

In reflecting on his 37 years at Lawrence, Finkler sys he is grateful for the support he received to do what he wanted within the realm of the university’s mission.

“I had the opportunity to essentially learn how to teach and take that particular skill set and use it in my consulting work. Then I could bring examples and experts from the real world to class to talk seriously about health policy. The synergies are huge and Lawrence gave me not just every opportunity, but every encouragement to go ahead and do that. I’m not sure what other venue I could have had with that kind of opportunity.”

Nick-Maravolo_newsblog-retire
Nicholas Maravolo

Maravolo, professor of biology, is a member of Lawrence’s elite 50-year club. Since joining the Lawrence faculty in 1966, his half century of teaching does not surprise him.

“I knew when I got here it was exactly the kind of place I wanted to be at,” Maravolo, 75, says without hesitation.

Mentoring has been at the heart of Maravolo’s career. He was the founder of Lawrence’s pre-medical advisory committee and its guiding force for decades.

“Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of students who have successfully made it into medical school and dental school and they still keep in touch with me. That’s certainly something I’m proud of,” said Maravolo, who grew up on the south side of Chicago and earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from the nearby University of Chicago.

Not only do those former students stay in touch, they take care of him. When Maravolo found himself in the hospital for an extended stay several months ago, four of the doctors treating him were his former students.

“My greatest satisfaction is from mentoring hundreds of students, getting them into their professional track and just keeping them on track when they got disillusioned.”
     — Nicholas Maravolo

In 2010, Maravolo oversaw the launch of the LU-R1 program, which paired current students with Lawrence alumni scientists working at major institutions and organizations around the country for summer research opportunities.

“I looked at LUR1 not as a job, but as an honor that was offered to our best science students,” said Maravolo. “What I tried to do was match the student’s personality and interests with the interests and personality of the alumni that I know. It’s the same philosophy I had in structuring advice I gave to the pre-medical students. It wasn’t cookie cutter advice, it was more about who are you and what’s going to make you shine in the light of your professional interest?”

Maravolo is known affectionately to generations of students simply as “Doc,” an informal version of doctor, which his students didn’t like calling him early in his career. His title eventually morphed into the shortened salutation.

“I kind of liked it and felt comfortable with it,” said Maravolo. “It takes that frightening dimension away from the more formal ‘doctor.’”

Maravolo-newsblog_groupTutorials have been one of the hallmarks of Maravolo’s tenure and he has taught so many of them students often refer to him as “the tutorial king.”

“Tutorials are more about teaching the student to have a proprietary interest in their education, something they’re going to carry with them for the rest of their life,” said Maravolo, who points with pride that three quarters of the students who do a tutorial with him are from disciplines other than biology. “I learn as well from most of the tutorials I teach. I’m going to miss doing those.”

As the college’s resident botany expert, Maravolo has established himself as Lawrence’s s wine guru. One of his most popular classes over the years — “The Science of Wine” — grew out of a conversation one evening over dinner at a restaurant with students who were working in his laboratory. One suggested he teach a class on beer. The suds idea was nixed, but a course examining the microbiology, the horticulture and the health benefits of wine did emerge.

Beyond the campus, numerous organizations have been the beneficiaries of Maravolo’s expertise. He has served on the board of the Mosquito Hill Nature Center, where he helped drive in the stakes for the original building. He served on the organizing board for the Memorial Park Arboretum and Gardens and has been a consultant to the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. He traveled the state as a member of the State of Wisconsin Scientific Areas Preservation Committee and served as chairman of the education committee for the Botanical Society of America.

Among all his professional accomplishments though, it always comes back to the students.

“My greatest satisfaction is from mentoring hundreds of students, getting them into their professional track and just keeping them on track when they got disillusioned.”

Patti-Vilches_newsblog_retire
Patricia Vilches

Vilches, professor of Spanish and Italian, was the beneficiary of good timing.

A year after she joined the faculty in 2000 as a visiting professor to replace a departing member of the Spanish department, Lawrence approved a program in Italian language. Having completed her Ph.D. in romance languages and literatures from the University of Chicago a few years earlier, Vilches was the perfect fit to help launch the new program. She spent a second year teaching both languages before being appointed to a tenure track appointment in 2002.

“Lawrence provided a unique opportunity for me to teach Spanish and Italian,” said Vilches, whose Spanish phonetics course famously became a rite of passage for many students. “I was ready and eager to teach both languages when given the chance.”

Born in Viña del Mar, Chile, Vilches came to the United States as a 17-year old exchange student with the Youth for Understanding program. She lived in La Grange, Ill., for a year with a host American family while attending Lyons Township High School.

“I have met a few graduates from Lyons Township since I began teaching at Lawrence,” she said proudly.

She spent eight years teaching Spanish and Italian at the University of Evansville before winding up at Lawrence, in part because her husband, Gerald Seaman, was hired as associate dean of the faculty.

“I will miss my wonderful students, my wonderful colleagues, the theatre productions and those fabulous student senior recitals.”
     — Patricia Vilches

At Lawrence, she became known for her rigorous courses, her long exams and her lengthy comments on student papers.

“I’m proud to have helped students perfect their abilities in Spanish and Italian,” said Vilches. “Students knew they would be challenged and would sometimes face frustrations, but I think they also realized that my courses rewarded them in subtle and concrete ways. My goal was for the students to immerse themselves in the subject and dedicate time and effort to what I presented in the classroom. I like to think students appreciated what I did for them as their teacher.”Patti-Vilches_group_newsblog

For the past two years, Vilches has been on leave from Lawrence, living in England, where her husband is principal and CEO of Harlaxton College. Her time in the UK largely has been spent finishing a book about Chilean novelist Alberto Blest Gana.

While teaching is not in her immediate future plans, she is looking forward to editing a scholarly volume on singer, songwriter, poet and artist Violeta Parra, one of the most important public figures in 20th-century Chile, in time for the 100th anniversary celebration of Parra’s birth in 2017.

“I will miss my wonderful students, my wonderful colleagues, the theatre productions and those fabulous student senior recitals,” Vilches says of her 16 years at Lawrence. “I’ve built some enduring friendships and because of those friends, part of me will always be there.”

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” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. 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.

 

Annual Honors Convocation features philosophy professor John Dreher

John-Dreher_honors-convo_newsblog
John Dreher

John Dreher, Lee Claflin-Robert S. Ingraham Professor of Philosophy at Lawrence University, discusses the motivation of modern day spin doctors in the college’s annual Honors Convocation.

Dreher presents “21st Century Merchants of Doubt: Where Is Plato When We Need Him?” Tuesday, May 24 at 11:10 a.m in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The event is free and open to the public and also will be webcast live.

The Honors Convocation publicly recognizes students and faculty recipients of awards and prizes for excellence in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences, languages and music as well as demonstrated excellence in athletics and service to others.

Dreher was chosen as the 2016 speaker as the recipient of Lawrence’s annual Faculty Convocation Award, which honors a faculty member for distinguished professional work. He is the seventh faculty member so honored.

In their 2010 book “Merchants of Doubt,” historians Naomi Oreskes and Eric Conway detail how a group of high-level scientists with extensive political connections, effectively organized campaigns designed to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific truths on issues ranging from the connections between smoking and lung cancer to links tying coal emissions to acid rain.

Dreher will discuss how Plato challenged similar “doubt merchants” of his day nearly 2,500 years ago and how the same factors that drove those ancient sellers of doubts motivate today’s spin doctors, the motivation of modern day spin doctors in the college’s annual Honors Convocation.namely their view of the place of individuals within society.

A member of the Lawrence faculty since 1963, Dreher is a two-time recipient of the college’s Babcock Award “for outstanding service to students,” the University Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Freshman Studies Teaching award. He served as the chair of Lawrence’s philosophy department most years from 1968- 2011 and directed the college’s signature Freshman Studies program on three occasions (1982–83; 1986–87; 1993–95).

A native of New Jersey, Dreher’s scholarship interests include environmental ethics, applied ethics and the history of philosophy.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from St. Peter’s College, a master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University 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” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Environmental law professor discusses renewable energy strategies, challenges in presentation

Integrating cleaner energy into the existing infrastructure and strategies for new facilities to incorporate renewable energy will be explored in a Lawrence University science hall/economics colloquium.

Elizabeth Wilson
Elizabeth Wilson

Elizabeth Wilson, professor of energy and environmental policy and law at the University of Minnesota, presents “Remaking Energy: Creating Sustainable Electricity Systems” Monday, May 16 at 4:30 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium. The talk is free and open to the public.

Wilson’s research focuses on the implementation of energy and environmental policies and laws. She studies how institutions support and thwart energy system transitions, focusing on the interplay between technology innovation, policy creation and institutional decision making.

Her most recent research has examined how energy policy stakeholders view the opportunities and challenges of decision-making within Regional Transmission Organizations and creating smart grids. RTOs currently manage the transmission planning, electricity markets and grid operations for more than 70 percent of North America.

Wilson was awarded a 2015 an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship that will support research in Denmark, Germany and Spain of their energy systems, which include high levels of renewable resources as well as nuclear policies and electric grid architectures different than the United States.

She is the co-author of the 2015 book “Smart Grid (R)Evolution: Electric Power Struggles” and the 2014 book “Energy Law and Policy.”

A former employee of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Wilson spent a year as a visiting scholar in China at Beijing’s Tsinghua University and also has worked in Belgium, Burundi and Tanzania. She earned a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in engineering and public policy.

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” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. 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.