July 8, 2019  |  News & Events, Provost's Monday Updates

Good morning, colleagues. Here is this week’s update from Academic Affairs.


Michele Polfus (Nursing) received an R01 grant of more than $3.6M from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health to study, “Body Composition and Energy Expenditure in Youth with Spina Bifida.” This five-year, multi-site study partners with four pediatric spinal bifida programs at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and the Children’s Hospital of Alabama. Congratulations, Michele!

Katherine Riebbe, Linda Xiong, and Alexandria Sedar (Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding students) were recently selected as one of the top six teams for their work on decolonizing agriculture in the Amazon at the Map the System 2019 competition at the University of Oxford. Well done, Katherine, Linda, and Alexandria!

Furrow, the undergraduate literary magazine sponsored by the Department of English at UWM, won the National Program Directors’ Prize for Content from the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, the foremost organization of academic and creative writing programs in the United States. Much credit goes to Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing, Valerie Laken, who is the magazine’s faculty advisor and who teaches the annual Furrow course through which much of the work is done. Furrow now attracts submissions from hundreds of undergraduate writers around the country and beyond. This is a high honor indeed!

The Department of English hosted the Midwest Summer Seminar of the Association of Departments of English on June 19-22. The seminar, organized by English Department Chair Gregory Jay and English Director of Graduate Studies Jane Gallop, brought together more than 75 department chairs and other English administrators in meetings at the Pfister hotel on such topics as digital composition, undergraduate research, diversifying the humanities, and curricular innovation. Featured on the program were faculty from the department including Richard Grusin, Stuart Moulthrop, Margaret Noodin, and Jason Puskar. Well done!

Liam Callanan’s (English) novel, Paris by the Book, was selected as the best book by an author with a Wisconsin connection by the Wisconsin Library Association Literary Awards Committee. Paris by the Book will be included on Outstanding Achievement lists that will be circulated to libraries throughout Wisconsin. Congratulations once again, Liam!

Milwaukee Athletics

The Horizon League “Raise Your Sights” award winners have been announced for the 2018-19 academic year, an honor given annually to the top academic male and female team in the Horizon League, based on GPA from the current academic year. Top academic male and female teams from each Horizon League institution were also recognized by the league, with Milwaukee Women’s Tennis (3.79 GPA) and Men’s Cross Country (3.37 GPA) honored for the Panthers.

Catch up on all the exciting things happening in Milwaukee Athletics by reading the latest issue of The Roar Report. This issue contains updates on each in-season Panther sports program as well as a feature story on Senior Student-Athletes of the Year Kelli Swenson (women’s soccer) and Peter Andrew (men’s track and field), both of whom were also named academic All-American members as well.

Peter Andrew of the Milwaukee track and field team was named a member of the 2019 Google Cloud Academic All-American Division 1 Team for track and field, announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on June 27. He is the third Academic All-American in the department for the 2018-19 school year.

Milwaukee placed 124 student-athletes on the 2019 Horizon League Spring Academic Honor Roll. The Panthers’ total number of honorees nearly topped the Horizon League again (they took the lead in the fall), just behind frontrunner Oakland (144). Women’s track and field/cross country led the way for Milwaukee with 24 members; men’s track and field/cross country was second for the Panthers with 15.

From Enrollment Management

The Division of Enrollment Management invites applications for the position of University Registrar in the Registrar’s Office. The University Registrar has the overall responsibility for directing the administration and management of the Registrar’s Office. Applicants must apply online. Interested parties may also contact the Search and Screen Committee Chair Bob Meyer at (414) 367-7419 or meyer@uwm.edu.

In the News

Vonnie Quest (UWM Art alum) is participating in a 6-week artist-in-residence program at Duke University’s Power Plant Gallery and was interviewed for People of Duke Arts, where he provided an amazing testimonial about the power of his experience at UWM!

The Week


The week begins with my standing meeting with Robin Van Harpen, followed by my monthly meeting with Purush Papatla (Purush is a professor in the Lubar School of Business and also the newly appointed co-director of the Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute), a teleconference with the Provost of  UW Green Bay regarding Electrical Engineering (Dean Peters will join me), my weekly staff meeting, and a Clinical and Translational Science Institute Board of Directors meeting.


In the morning, I have standing meetings with Tom Luljak, Brett Peters, and Nancy Nelson. In the afternoon, I have my regular meeting with Peter Sands and will give my monthly presentation to the Academic Staff Senate.


I will spend most of the day in Madison attending the UW System Provosts meeting. Agenda items include the following: System Shared Services, Digital Learning Environment discussion, and an update on Student Success.

Thursday – Friday

The Board of Regents meets and we have a delegation from Hessen, Germany visiting Milwaukee. On Friday, there is a Receiving Institutions meeting, as well as a monthly Connected Systems Institute budget meeting.


Moving from D2L to Canvas

Interested in your own session with CETL staff to move your course content from D2L to Canvas? One-on-one appointments are available in July. Please register and take Canvas Basics, then select your D2L-to Canvas VIP Migration Session.

Common Reading Experience

The WUWM “I’m an American” series by Teran Powell has been selected as UWM’s 2019 Common Reading Experience text. “I’m an American” spotlights perspectives otherwise overshadowed in the national conversations surrounding civility and tolerance. Access the series and interviews on WUWM’s website. Faculty are encouraged to sign up to facilitate a CRE discussion during Panther Academic Welcome.

Mission Possible

Sign up to facilitate Mission Possible for the Class of 2023! Host two 90-minute workshops on academic skill building for groups of 25-35 students. Panther Academic Welcome is hosted the afternoon of Friday, August 30. Training will be provided in advance.

Panther Prowl – Early Bird Registration Ends July 15!

Don’t miss out on the savings. Register today for the 15th Annual Panther Prowl 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, October 12! Early birds save 20% on registration when signing up by July 15. Adults are just $28 with this deal. Register now or learn more.

Habitat for Humanity Door County Service Trip

This July, we will be taking a group of volunteers to Door County to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. Volunteers will be working on a home build throughout the week while also having time to participate in outdoor recreational activities. We will leave for the trip on Monday, July 22 and return late on Thursday, July 25. Service days will be Tuesday, July 23 and Thursday, July 25. Lodging, transportation, and most meals will be provided. For more information, please contact zgarrity@uwm.edu.

TA Orientation

Department Chairs, please encourage your incoming teaching assistants to register and attend the New TA Orientation on Monday, August 19 in Lubar N140 from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.


They did it in 1991, 1999, 2015 and now AGAIN. What a game to have watched on Sunday morning.

Take care,


Johannes Britz
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs