June 1, 2021  |  News & Events, Provost's Updates, Timely Announcements

Good morning, colleagues. Here is this week’s update from Academic Affairs. We have an unusually long list of kudos today. As you read about these notable activities, I hope you share my pride in the extraordinary work that’s been accomplished during a year of many challenges!


Colleen Glambos (Social Welfare) was awarded a grant from Bader Philanthropies entitled, “Enabling Access to Support Exploring Virtual Interventions and other Resources for African American Caregivers of Older Adults.” Congratulations, Colleen!

Amy Watson (Social Welfare) was invited to participate in the Sozosei Foundation’s Solutions Lab meeting, which gathered leadership from healthcare, specifically those who have expertise in providing care to people with serious mental illness, along with researchers and other experts in the field, to identify three actionable, evidence-driven, scalable solutions to ensure a future where mental illness is not treated as a crime. Well done, Amy!

Congratulations to the UWM National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) Chapter for receiving the national distinction of GOLD honors! This is an impressive accomplishment considering limitations of the pandemic, stay-at-home orders, and virtual academic programs this year!

Bettina Arnold (Anthropology) gave an invited lecture at the University of Cambridge’s McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research via Zoom on May 17. Well done, Bettina!

Jennifer Deroche (Letter and Science) received the 2021 ACN Advisor of the Year award from the UWM Advisors and Counselors Network. The award recognizes the hard work of those whose primary job responsibility is advising/counseling students. Congratulations, Jennifer!

Jin Li (Civil and Environmental Engineering) was accepted to the 2021-22 class of fellows in the Executive Leadership in Academic Technology, Engineering, and Science (ELATES at Drexel) Program, beginning in July. ELATES prepares female faculty in academic engineering, computer science, and other STEM fields for institutional leadership roles. Well done, Jin!

George Hanson (Electrical Engineering) received UWM’s first NATO grant (from the alliance’s Science for Peace and Security Programme). The goal of the $404,000 international collaborative research project is to expand the capabilities of radar and lidar using the quantum properties of light. Congratulations, George!

Mo Zell (Architecture) was selected as a winner of the 2021 Milwaukee Business Journal Women of Influence Award, which recognizes the remarkable businesswomen in the greater Milwaukee area. Brava, Mo!

Melinda Kavanaugh and Megan Howard’s (Social Welfare) graphic novel has been translated into German, French, and Italian. The novel helps children and teens understand ALS, what role they play as caregivers, and how to talk about these issues. Well done, Melinda and Megan!

Jacki Willenborg (Communication PhD candidate) has been appointed to the National Communication Association’s (NCA) Mental Health and Communication Task Force. Congratulations, Jacki!

David Pacifico (Art History) co-edited a special edition of the Journal of Archaeology and Education dedicated to teaching and learning online. David’s introductory chapter (co-authored with Rebecca Robertson of Humboldt State) introduces the main themes of the volume: connection and community in online courses. David’s individual chapter reports on archaeological research he conducts with UWM students online using satellite imagery. Well done, David!

Meg Muthupandiyan’s (Arts and Humanities) new volume of illuminated poems has been published by Finishing Line Press. The illustrated journal of contemplative poetry is titled, “Forty Days in the Wilderness, Wandering,” and is set for release on September 3. Congratulations, Meg!

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and the Graduate School are pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 UWM Teaching Fellow Award: Austin Harris (Atmospheric Science), Iruoma Ezumba (Communication), Lauren Clark (Linguistics), Leah Johnson (Chemistry), Theresa Beaumier (Sociology), and Vijaya Tamla Rai (Sociology). Kudos to this year’s awardees!

In the News

Russell Cuhel (Freshwater Sciences) was featured in this WISN12 story on the effects of the drought on Lake Michigan.

Vice Chancellor Tom Luljak spoke with UWM’s Center for Water Policy Director Melissa Scanlan on UWM Today.

Milwaukee Athletics

Congratulations to Ari Miller of the Milwaukee volleyball team, who was named to this year’s Horizon League All-Academic Team. She joins Gaby Schwartz and Haley Johnson of women’s soccer and Paolo Gratton of the men’s soccer team as members of the prestigious academic squads named so far this spring.

The next episode of the “Panthers Sports Report, presented by the Milwaukee Brewing Company,” featuring Milwaukee women’s basketball head coach Kyle Rechlicz, is now available on the Black & Gold Network YouTube channel. Panther fans can review the impressive season that recently concluded by viewing the show, hosted by Matt Menzl, shot on location at Milwaukee Brewing Company in the Arena District.

The Golden Panther Awards, Milwaukee Athletic Department’s annual awards show, was held May 24 and honored the achievements of student athletes from the 2020-21 school year. Hosted by track and field student athlete Luke Rapisarda, the Panthers celebrated with a virtual show for the second straight year.

Leadership Update

Peck School of the Arts: Kevin Hartman has been appointed as the interim dean of the Peck School. Congratulations on your appointment, Kevin. I am looking forward to working with you. Kevin will start his duties on September 1. Dean Scott Emmons has decided to “retire” as the dean after more than a decade in this role and will return to his faculty position. Scott, thank you for the wonderful work you have done over so many years—not only as dean, but also as associate dean, and twice as interim dean of the school. You certainly made a huge difference!

Graduate School: Jason Puskar will act as interim dean of the Graduate School following Dean Marija Gajdardziska-Josifovska’s announcement that she will also “retire” as dean as of September 1. As is the case with Scott, Marjia will return to her home department (Physics) to continue her career here at UWM as a faculty member. Marija has been the dean for more than seven years. Thank you for your absolute dedication to graduate education, Marjia. You did a remarkable job and I really appreciate you. Jason, thank you for your willingness to take on the role of interim dean and I am also looking forward working with you!

School of Freshwater Sciences: Mark Harris has been appointed as the interim dean of SFS following the retirement of Dean Val Klump. Thank you, Mark, for your willingness to also take on this important role on campus. I also want to express my gratitude to Val for not only doing such a great job as dean of SFS, but also for your more than 40 years of dedicated service to UWM and the community. You will certainly be missed! Since Tim Grundl (the current associate dean in SFS) has also announced his retirement, I am pleased to announce that Rebecca Klaper will serve as the senior associate dean of SFS. Tim, thank you for all the work that you have done in the school. You and Val were a great team to work with. I am looking forward to working with both Mark and Rebecca.

The Week


I start the week with a Coronavirus Management Team (CMT) Leadership meeting, followed by a Campus Budget Planning meeting, my monthly meeting with Val Klump and Tim Grundl, my one-on-one with Brett Peters, the Chancellor’s Executive Cabinet meeting, a rehearsal of the Chancellor’s presentation for the June Board of Regents meeting, my weekly staff meeting, and my one-on-one with Chancellor Mone.


In the morning, I have my standing meeting with Jennifer Abele, my one-on-one with Tom Luljak, my monthly meeting with Tina Freiburger, my bi-weekly meeting with Mark Harris, and my one-on-one with Simon Bronner. In the afternoon, I have the UW System Provosts Council Pre-Board meeting.

Thursday – Friday

We are hosting the June Board of Regents meeting.


2021 LGBTQ+ Champion of the Year

The Chancellor’s Advisory Committee for LGBTQ+ Advocacy is calling for nominations for the 2021 LGBTQ+ Champion of the year. Nominations must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, June 30. Eligibility criteria and nomination form.

University Technology


Two bees open a Fanta bottle!

Take care,


Johannes Britz
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs