August 12, 2022  |  News & Events, Provost's Updates, Timely Announcements

Good morning, colleagues. Here is this week’s update from Academic Affairs. As everyone begins returning to campus, I will resume weekly updates. Please submit your entries one week in advance.


Iris Xie (Information Studies, PI) and Wonchan Choi (Information Studies, Co-PI) were recently awarded the National Leadership Applied Research Grant for $695,631 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The three-year project entitled, “Universal Accessibility and Usability of Digital Libraries in the Mobile Environment: Developing design guidelines to support blind and visually impaired users,” based on a series of studies, will help policymakers, researchers, and practitioners understand DL design problems and enable developers to enhance DLs for universal access. Congratulations, Iris and Wonchan!

Nicholas Fleisher (Linguistics) was appointed to a three-year term on the American Association of University Professors’ Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure (AAUP Committee A). Well done, Nicholas!

Elexius Passante (McLellan Lab, Freshwater Sciences) published her master’s research in the esteemed journal, Science of the Total Environment. Her research demonstrated that halophilic bacteria in freshwater sediment may give an integrated measure of the longer-term impacts from chloride pollution. Congratulations, Elexius!

Ryo Amano (Mechanical Engineering) received a $375K grant to identify and generate new technologies that will be recommended for Wisconsin manufacturing industries and water/wastewater treatment facilities and will partner with several energy advisory sectors in the state.

Congratulations to our Center for International Education (CIE) and Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) for each receiving a Title VI National Resource Center (NRC) Grant from the Department of Education.

  • The CIE award provides $980K over four years and UWM is one of 40 U.S. institutions of higher learning to receive the NRC designation and funding. With this grant, the Global Studies, School of Education, Languages, and Institute of World Affairs will be able to continue supporting the teaching and learning of foreign languages and area studies for UWM, MPS, and the broader Milwaukee community. CIE has been funded through an NRC grant since 2014. Special thanks to the project leaders for dedicating many hours over the winter break to put together a successful proposal!
  • CLACS funding will total $654,309 over the four years and includes $180K for Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships in critical languages for undergraduate and graduate students (Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Indigenous languages of the Americas) and $474,309 NRC funding in support of teaching, research, and public engagement, including K-16 educator professional development.

In the News

Sarah Terry’s (Pathway Advising) interview on parents’ preparing their kids for college was published in MKE Lifestyle.

Jane Hereth (Social Welfare) was interviewed by WUWM about her report that found LGBTQ+ people are three times more likely to be incarcerated than the general population. The Safety and Justice Challenge report was commissioned by the MacArthur Foundation.

Bernard Zinck (Music) was recently featured on the French radio broadcast, Passion Musique, to discuss his new chamber music festival, Musiques et Vignes en Confluence.

Milwaukee Athletics

Join the Milwaukee baseball team, supporters, and fellow alumni on the course for the 16th Annual Golf Outing on Saturday, October 8 at Ironwood Golf Course. This year’s event will begin at 11 a.m. with a shotgun start at the course in Sussex. The cost is $125 per person, or $450 for a foursome and includes greens fees, golf cart, dinner, and prizes.

Ben Walker has been hired as an assistant coach for the Milwaukee men’s basketball team, head coach Bart Lundy announced this week. Walker most recently was at Tennessee State, serving as an assistant coach from 2018-2022. The veteran coach, who is originally from the Milwaukee area, brings over 20 years of experience at the NCAA Division I and junior college levels to the Panther bench.

The Week in Retrospect

Last week began with a visit with the CETL team. This summer, the leadership is transitioning from Diane Reddy to Sarah Riforgiate. The visit reminded me how critical that team is to UWM and how much they do beyond what we see and expect. Diane has so ably led the team and I am confident that Sarah will continue to build on the success of the CETL team. Later in the week, I had an update on the Financial Services Transformation Project, which is aimed at finding gaps in service and optimizing financial services across UWM. I also met with leadership at the Medical College of Wisconsin and explored more options for UWM students to progress into medical, pharmacy, and physician assistant programs at MCW. The major highlight of the week was attending the UR@UWM summer poster session, which is the culminating event of a summer research program for incoming freshmen. It has always been a great event, but the energy this year was especially high. If our incoming freshmen bring this kind of excitement to campus this fall, it will bode well for a much more vibrant environment this year. This week, we had a visit from the EAB Moon Shot for Equity leadership team and heard about considerable progress that has been made with our partners, MATC, Parkside, and Carthage. I also provided an update to the Academic Staff Senate on the summer activities in Academic Affairs. To end the week, I have a debriefing session with Stephen Schmid about the Scenario Planning Work Group meeting that he will lead earlier in the day focused on the fall semester.


Semester Memo
My Fall 2022 start-of-semester memo is available online.

Fall COVID-19 Guidance Documents
In preparation for the Fall 2022 semester, Academic Affairs has updated several COVID-19 guidance documents:

  • COVID-19 Syllabus Statements (PDF, Word)
  • Guidelines for Considering a Change in Instructional Modality (PDF)

For more information regarding the fall semester, please visit the Academic Affairs Covid page and UWM’s FAQ pages. Updates will be posted to those pages through August.

Apply for SURF Awards by August 15
The UWM Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) invites application for fall or academic year support for research collaborations with undergraduate students by August 15. Faculty/academic staff and students may co-apply for SURF awards to provide an hourly wage for the students to work as a research assistant. SURF students take part in professional development throughout the year and participate in the Undergraduate Research Symposium in April.Application and more information.

Seeking Input on UWM Census Results Report
Neighborhood Housing is looking for input from the campus community on what information and data assessments you’d like to see included in our report and presentation to campus this fall. Please complete the survey by August 15.

Phishing Attacks @ UWM
New phishing attacks have been targeting UWM accounts.

Book Club Discussions
Everyone is welcome to join a series of book club discussions this fall on Claude M. Steele’s, “Whistling Vivaldi: How stereotypes affect us and what we can do.” Beginning September 21, we meet alternate Wednesdays at 9 a.m. Teams link and more information.

Sign Up for Panther Prowl
Join the UWM Alumni Association for the 18th annual Panther Prowl on Saturday, October 8 at 10 a.m. All proceeds support student scholarships, helping UWM students stay on the path to graduation. Information and registration.

Campus Events

Workshop on Service Learning
Join us for the Identity, Community, and Service Learning workshop and local bus field trip on Thursday, August 25. The workshop will address how to implement community-based learning high impact practices and why social identities matter in teaching and learning. During the afternoon bus field trip, we’ll visit Milwaukee neighborhoods and meet local community activists and organizations. Information and registration.

Stars ‘n S’mores
Join the UWM Planetarium for our popular outdoor event, Stars ‘n S’mores on Thursday, September 1 at 8 p.m. Enjoy eating delicious s’mores and relax outside while gazing at summer constellations through our telescopes. S’mores kits are free (one per person while supplies last). We will also offer free planetarium shows every 15-20 minutes.

Constellations of the Zodiac: Virgo
On Friday, September 2, delve into the astronomy and mythology behind the zodiac and learn how to find your zodiac constellation in the night sky. In this live, interactive show, we will explore the stories and science of the zodiac constellations with a focus on what makes this month’s constellation, Virgo, unique.

Take care,

Scott Gronert
Interim Provost