Sculptor Rob Neilson, associate professor of art and Frederick R. Layton Professor of Art, was among 13 “creatives” spotlighted in the March edition of Fox Cities Magazine for helping define “the Fox Cities’ new wave of artistic ambition.”
Best known for his public art, including last year’s “compassionate manhole covers,” which can be found in the sidewalks along College Ave. in downtown Appleton and on the Lawrence campus, Neilson was featured in a story examining community artists, creators and innovators who represent the potential the Fox Cities has “to make its mark on the creative world map.”
Lawrence also received a Pride of CASE V Bronze Award in the Best Collaborative Program category for its Lawrence Scholars program.
The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) honors institutions and individuals for outstanding achievement in the concept and execution of advancement programs and communications.
Produced by Rachel Crowl, web content and new media coordinator at Lawrence, the compassionate manhole video follows the project from idea phase, through the casting process at Neenah Foundry to installation on the sidewalks in downtown Appleton and on the Lawrence campus.
The 12 custom-made manhole covers feature a different design depicting some aspect of each student’s own personal definition of compassion. The public art project was inspired by the community-wide Compassion Project, in which 10,000 Appleton school children used 6-by-6-inch ceramic tiles to create drawings and paintings of what compassion means to them.
“Rachel has done an exceptional job in bringing our video series to the next level,” said Cal Husmann, vice president for development, alumni relations and communications. “Her work has an artistic quality that helps tell Lawrence stories with an aesthetically pleasing style, while also being creative, authentic and often fun. We are so pleased that her work has been recognized in this fashion. She deserves it.”
The Lawrence Scholars program was launched in 2008 to connect Lawrence alumni working in various business-related fields — banking, marketing, international finance, entrepreneurship and investment management, among others — with students for career counseling and networking opportunities. Alumni return to campus throughout the academic year for day-long “summits” with students to share their expertise and experience.
Originally focused only on business, the scholars program has been so successful it has expanded into other careers, engaging alumni who are involved in law, medicine, arts and entertainment, government, international relations and environmental fields.
“The Lawrence Scholars in Business program has made an incredible impact on our students by expanding their understanding of career possibilities, while also providing a network for them to embark on their career search,” said Husmann. “It’s been extremely gratifying seeing so many of our alumni enthusiastically giving back to the college through this innovative program.”
In addition to weekend summits with alumni, the Lawrence Scholars program sponsors a trip to Chicago each spring for students to meet with alumni working in major businesses there. The program also offers two $5,000 student scholarships for a career development summer internship with Lawrence alumni.
Since it began, more than 100 Lawrence alumni and more than 600 students have participated in the Lawrence Scholars program.
Winners of the Pride of CASE V Awards will be recognized Dec. 11-13 at the 37th annual CASE V conference in Chicago. District V includes institutions in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio.
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in 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 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.