January 11, 2021  |  News & Events, Provost's Updates, Timely Announcements

Good morning, colleagues, and welcome to 2021! Here is this week’s update from Academic Affairs.

State of the University – January 27

This is just a reminder that on January 27, the Chancellor and other campus leaders will provide updates on UWM, UW System, and State budgets; COVID-19; and successes, challenges, and 2030 planning and work.


As an update to a December Kudos entry, I’d like to congratulate all 59 UWM scientists who were listed in the top 2% of the world’s scientists by a recent Stanford University study ranking global scientists, based on citations for research. Kudos to all who made the list!

Kimberly Blaeser (English and American Indian Studies) is among the twelve poets selected by the Academy of American Poets to serve as guest editors for their Poem-a-Day Series in 2021. She will curate a month of poems that will be featured in November 2021. Congratulations, Kim!

Kay Wells (Art History) was awarded the SECAC Award for Excellence in Scholarly Research and Publication for her book, Weaving Modernism: Postwar Tapestry between Paris and New York, published by Yale University Press in 2019. Well done, Kay!

AkkeeNeel Talsma (Nursing) received an award from the Mary and Ted Kellner Entrepreneurship Fund and has been designated a “Keller Entrepreneurship Fellow,” which will allow her to continue her work fostering entrepreneurship at UWM with the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center and to support her curriculum innovations in the College of Nursing. Congratulations, AkkeNeel!

The AggregateThe Honors College Newsletter was awarded 2nd place in the National Collegiate Honors Council’s (NCHC) annual student newsletter competition. Read the Fall issue here and back issues here. Well done!

Lingqian (Ivy) Hu (Urban Planning), Jie Yu (Civil Engineering), and Robert Schneider (Urban Planning) received an NSF award. Their project, “User-Centered Mobility Solutions (UCMS): A New Vision to Connect Jobs and the Labor Force,” aims to provide mobility solutions to connect workers in the city of Milwaukee with jobs in suburban Menomonee Falls by integrating new mobility technologies (e.g., Uber, Lyft, Via). Congratulations, Ivy, Jie, and Robert!

In the News

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services Wastewater Surveillance Dashboard is now live. Sandra McLellan’s (Freshwater Sciences) lab is generating the data for 12 of the facilities (Milwaukee, Green Bay, Racine, and surrounding counties).

Amanda Simanek (Zilber School of Public Health) was interviewed by Fox 6 about her work with the “Dear Pandemic” social media-based COVID-19 science communication campaign.

Milwaukee Athletics

Continuing with the health and safety of student athletes, staff, and supporters in mind, the Milwaukee Athletic Department has announced it will extend its directive and not host spectators for any sporting events through at least January 15 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Milwaukee track and field team released its 2021 indoor schedule. The Panthers are set to host two meets this year and participate in five total regular season meets prior to the Horizon League Championships.

The Week

I start the week with the Coronavirus Management Team Leadership meeting, followed by my standing meeting with Robin Van Harpen, a meeting with Sue Weslow and Kay Eilers regarding enrollment management, my weekly staff meeting, and a final planning meeting for the Freshwater Collaborative event on Friday.

In the morning, I have a meeting with Center for Water Policy Director Melissa Scanlan, and my one-on-ones with Kyla Esguerra and Paul Klajbor. In the afternoon, I have an Enterprise Directions Council meeting and my weekly meeting with Chancellor Mone. Unfortunately, I will therefore miss the Academic Staff Senate meeting.

Today, I have one-on-ones with Deans Tina Freiburger, Simon Bronner, and Kaushal Chari, my monthly meeting with Mark Harris and Dietmar Wolfram, my standing meeting with Joely Urdan, my monthly meeting with Jen Doll (Jen is currently the Acting Dean of CHS in the absence of Tim Behrens), a Moon Shot for Equity check-in, and a Campus Budget Planning meeting.

In the morning, I have a Coronavirus Management Team Leadership meeting, I’ll make opening remarks at the Teaching and Learning Symposium, then I’ll attend the Academic Planning and Budget Committee meeting, I have my standing meeting with Tom Luljak, Dave Clark, and Kay Eilers, and my one-on-one with Trudy Turner. In the afternoon, I have my monthly meeting with Purush Papatla and I will attend to administrative tasks.

Today I will focus on administrative tasks and meetings with direct reports, followed by a 3-hour long planning meeting regarding the Freshwater Collaborative. This meeting will be attended, among others, by all the Provosts from the System.



Antiracism Retreat
The UWM Honors College is inviting faculty who have taught for Honors or would like to do so in the future to participate in an Honors College teaching retreat focused on antiracist pedagogy. The retreat is part of our Chancellor’s grant in the “Toward an Antiracist Campus Action Grants” program. The retreat will take place on January 15 from 10 a.m. to noon Central Time on Zoom. The event features Associate Dean Margaret Noodin, Associate Vice Chancellor Chia Vang, and Associate Professor Wilkistar Otieno of CEAS.
Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89531360342?pwd=NWY1a3ladG1OMXRyV2tKZEoxbGdsZz09
Meeting ID: 895 3136 0342
Passcode: 634892

School of Architecture and Urban Planning Virtual Lecture
The School of Architecture and Urban Planning and ARCHNET, a registered student organization of doctoral students, are hosting a public virtual lecture entitled “The Environment is NOT Neutral: Poor Fit and Health Vulnerabilities,” by Dr. Lynne Dearborn, on January 15, at 3 p.m. Registration is required. More information and registration.

Invitation to Apply
CLACS invites applications for its 2020-21 Faculty Fellows program on the theme: Latin America and the Caribbean in Times of Crisis. Fellows will contribute scholarly exchanges on the selected topic and will co-plan engagement activities. Application deadline is January 15.

Milwaukee Engineering Research Conference
UWM faculty receive complimentary admission to the College of Engineering and Applied Science’s Milwaukee Engineering Research Conference. When registering, use promo code UWMCEAS. The virtual event will be held in four, two-hour sessions—one each Friday in February—and will explore the latest technological advances, in academia and industry, in water, energy, manufacturing, and health.

OAIR Workshop
The Office of Assessment and Institutional Research (OAIR) will host its first workshop of 2021, “Undergraduate Best Practices at UWM: Insights from the 2020 National Survey of Student Engagement,” on Tuesday, February 9 at 10 a.m. via Microsoft Teams. Please RSVP.


The Economist’s country of the year is . . . and India secured a remarkable draw in the third test match against Australia.

Take care,


Johannes Britz
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs