July 15, 2022  |  News & Events, Provost's Updates, Timely Announcements

Good afternoon, colleagues. Here is this week’s update from Academic Affairs. My next update will be on Friday, July 29. The submission deadline is July 22.

Interim Leadership Positions

  • Mark Harris, Professor of Geosciences and Vice Provost for Research, will serve as the Interim Dean of the College of Health Sciences. Dr. Harris earned his PhD from Johns Hopkins University and previously served as the Interim Dean for the School of Freshwater Sciences and the School of Information Studies.
  • Prior to her appointment as Interim Dean for the School of Architecture and Urban Planning (SARUP), Mo Zell served as Senior Associate Dean and Chair of the Architecture Department. She earned her Master of Architecture from Yale University and has been on the faculty at UWM since 2008.
  • Rebecca Klaper will serve as Interim Dean of the School of Freshwater Sciences. Dr. Klaper earned her PhD in Entomology from the University of Georgia and has served as Vice Dean, Professor, and Founding Director of the Great Lakes Genomics Center during her 19 years on campus.
  • In addition to her role as Dean of the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare and Interim Dean of the School of Education, Tina Freiburger will also serve as the Interim Dean of the School of Information Studies. Dr. Freiburger earned her PhD in Criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and joined the faculty at UWM in 2007. Prior to being named Dean, she also served as chair of the Department of Criminal Justice.

New Leadership at the Electa Quinney Institute

Mark Freeland began his new role as Director of the Electa Quinney Institute last month. Dr. Freeland is Bear Clan and a member of the Bahweting community in Northern Michigan (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe Chippewa). He earned his PhD in Religious and Theological Studies from the Iliff School of Theology and the University of Denver joint doctoral program. He comes to us from South Dakota University, where he was the Co-coordinator of the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program. Welcome to UWM, Mark!


Maria Novotny’s (English) article, “Amplifying Rhetorics of Reproductive Justice within Rhetorics of Health and Medicine,” was published in the Rhetoric of Health and Medicine journal. The piece offers multivocal perspectives about the role of rhetoric and its potential in addressing reproductive justice in health and medicine. Well done, Maria!

Tanya Joosten (Academic Affairs) was listed among EdTech’s 30 Higher Education IT Influencers to Follow in 2022, recognizing people who use their platforms to propel universities forward. Congratulations, Tanya!

Jill Neuendorf (Translation & Interpreting grad student) won first place in the third annual International Film Translation Contest, “Babylon V,” organized by several state libraries and an independent film studio on May 21 in Russia. Jill wrote English subtitles for the Russian documentary film, “The Right to Life,” about Goray Manor Park in Pskov Region, Russia and the people who seek to preserve the former manor and the 200-year-old trees found on the grounds. Well done, Jill!

In the News

Jane Hereth (Social Welfare) authored a report finding that LGBTQ people are more likely than straight people to end up in prison. The report underscores the unequal treatment experienced by LGBTQ individuals, who are often overlooked in criminal legal reform efforts.

Jean Creighton (Director, Manfred Olson Planetarium) was interviewed about the 25th anniversary of the Pathfinder landing on Mars (July 4, 1997).

Natalie Derr’s (2021 Peck graduate) public art is being featured on bus stops in Milwaukee. The project was covered by Milwaukee Journal SentinelUrban Milwaukee, and CBS Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Athletics

Patrick Baldwin, Jr. of the Milwaukee men’s basketball team was selected by the Golden State Warriors with the 28th pick in the first round of the 2022 National Basketball Association Draft held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY on June 23. He is the first Panther to be drafted into the NBA since 1991!

Milwaukee placed 174 student athletes on the 2022 Horizon League Spring Academic Honor Roll. The Panthers have now led the Horizon League six times in the past eight semesters, with the 174 student athletes marking the second most for one semester in school history.

Catch up on all the exciting things happening in Milwaukee Athletics by reading the latest issue of The Roar Report. Featured in the summer issue is a story on the 50-year anniversary of Title IX, giving readers a glimpse into the past with former staff members who were part of history in women’s athletics within the department.

The Week in Retrospect

After a week of vacation, much of this week has been catching up with members of the Provost’s Office team along with these other meetings. On Monday, EAB representatives were on campus making a number of presentations related to enrollment management. A focus of the afternoon meeting was using scholarships in the most efficient way to build a desired freshman class. We will continue working with EAB to optimize our enrollment management practices. On Tuesday, the Chancellor’s Enrollment Management Action Team (CEMAT) met to debrief on the EAB visit and review the current strategies to build our re-enrollment numbers. I participated in the summer Town Hall on Wednesday, along with Chancellor Mone and Senior Vice Chancellor Van Harpen. The virtual Town Hall covered a variety of topics and had 670 attendees. You will find the recording here, if you missed it. I started Thursday with Provosts from Green Bay and River Falls in a planning meeting for the Provost’s Retreat, which will occur on August 17 in Green Bay. A focus will be on the process of new program development across the UW campuses. I followed that with a discussion of UWM’s developing climate action and resilience plan, which is aimed at transitioning to a net-zero emission campus. I will finish the week with the biweekly UW System Provost meeting. Hope all are enjoying the fine summer weather and hope you have a lovely weekend.


Sad News

I share with you sad news from the College of Nursing. Professor Emerit Carol Mattson Porth passed away on July 6. She was born in Eau Claire, WI where she graduated as an RN from Luther Hospital. She went on to earn her BSN, two masters degrees, and a PhD in Physiology from the Medical College of Wisconsin.


We share our condolences with Professor Porth’s family and the many others whose lives she touched. For additional information, please see Dr. Porth’s obituary. The family will greet friends on Sunday, July 17 from 12-1 p.m. at Feerick Funeral Home, 2025 E. Capitol Drive, Shorewood. A service honoring Carol’s life will take place at 1 p.m., followed by a reception.

Support for Undergraduate Research Fellows (SURF) Program

The UWM Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) invites applications 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 award to provide an hourly wage for the student 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 materials and more information.

Campus Events

Sign Up for the DIY River Clean Up

The UWM community, in its commitment to the well-being of people and places in southeastern Wisconsin and beyond, will host a DIY River Clean Up this summer. Individuals and families are encouraged to participate, spending an hour or two exploring the banks of the Milwaukee River and collecting any garbage along the way on the days that work best for them this summer. Supplies to participate in the event are available, including latex gloves, garbage bags, and garbage pickers. Participants will be given supply pick-up instructions once they register. More information here or contact zgarrity@uwm.edu.

Identity, Community, and 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. More information & sign up here.


Take care,


Scott GronertInterim ProvostUniversity of Wisconsin – Milwaukee