June 21, 2021  |  News & Events, Provost's Monday Updates, Timely Announcements

Good morning, colleagues. Here is this week’s update from Academic Affairs. I will be taking a summer break in July, and my next Update will be on July 26.


UWM’s actuarial science program (housed in the Department of Mathematical Sciences) under the leadership of Professors Vytaras Brazauskas, Panos Skordi, and Wei Wei has again earned the Society of Actuaries’ designation as Center of Actuarial Excellence. The achievement puts the program among the top 10% of all accredited actuarial programs in the world. This is a wonderful achievement and congratulations to Vytaras, Panos, Wei, and all in the actuarial science program!

C21 director Richard Grusin gave a keynote lecture, “Pandemic Mediations,” at the European Network for Cinema and Media Studies (NECS) 2021 virtual conference on June 8, and his lecture was published in English and Italian at Fata Morgana. Well done again, Richard!

Robert DeVita (Lubar School of Business) will be the kickoff speaker for the Annual Conference of the American College of Healthcare Executives (Wisconsin Chapter) on September 21 at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, WI. His topic is titled, “On Leadership Resiliency: Lessons Learned During the Pandemic.“ Congratulations, Bob!

Maria Novotny’s (English) article, “Rhetorical Curation of Patient Art: How Community Literacy Scholars Can Contribute to Healthcare Professions,” was recently published in the Community Literacy Journal (15.2). The piece overviews an infertility patient art exhibit and professional development event hosted at a pharmaceutical company and details how attendees increased their emotional literacies by engaging with the content of the exhibit. Well done, Maria!

Bettina Arnold’s (Anthropology) Adjunct Curator status at the Milwaukee Public Museum has been renewed for another five years, through 2026. Congratulations, Bettina!

The Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, Department of Social Work has been awarded a $1.8+ million, four-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to administer the Youth-Oriented Substance Abuse and Trauma Counseling II: Focus on Integrated Care and Technology (YOSAT II) project. YOSAT II will train a diverse pool of Master of Social Work (MSW) students in high quality, youth-oriented substance use and trauma counseling. MSW students accepted into the program will receive a $10,000 fellowship to complete YOSAT II. $1.1+ million of the total project award is dedicated to MSW student support costs. Project co-Principal Investigators are Drs. Lisa Berger and Dimitri Topitzes, joined by co-Investigators Drs. Ai Bo and Linda Britz, Amy Kirby, and Jeanne Wagner. MSW students interested in program participation may contact Amy Kirby at kirby@uwm.edu or Lisa Berger at lberger@uwm.edu. Kudos to Lisa, Dimitri, Ai, Linda, Amy, and Jeanne!

In the News 

Amanda Simanek (Zilber School of Public Health) was interviewed about COVID-19 for several different articles, which you can read at the following online outlets: USA TodayMarthastewart.com, and the Post-Crescent.

John Torinus, chairman of Serigraph, and a member of the board of directors of the UWM Research Foundation, wrote an opinion piece in this week’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about how increased investment in UWM would help Milwaukee and Wisconsin.

Enrollment Management Position Announcement 

The Division of Enrollment Management is excited to invite applications for the Executive Director of Recruitment, Marketing, and Admissions (executive director). Reporting to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management, the Executive Director leads the undergraduate recruitment, marketing, and admissions functions within the Division of Enrollment Management and Student Success, directly supervising a team of five assistant directors and a team of 41 professionals with an operating budget of $4 million. As a critical leader in the division, the executive director will drive annual enrollment plans for new freshman and transfer cohorts that are established in collaboration with campus partners.

Please share this position announcement with your teams and networks. A resume with an accompanying cover letter specifically outlining the required and preferred qualifications may be submitted via the search firm Spelman Johnson. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Michel Frendian at mrf@spelmanjohnson.com.

Milwaukee Athletics 

Head coach Susie Johnson announced the complete schedule for the upcoming 2021 Milwaukee volleyball season on June 16. The Panthers will host 11 matches, opening the year with the Panther Invitational at the Klotsche Center.

The Milwaukee men’s basketball team is set to compete in the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off this November! The event will welcome four more teams to Southwest Florida as part of the tournament schedule this season, expanding on its originally announced four-team field that was announced in March. The Panthers will be joined by Bowling Green, Southern Utah, and Yale.

The Week  


I start the week with the Coronavirus Management Team (CMT) Leadership meeting, followed by my weekly meeting with Robin Van Harpen, and a Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin UWM Executive Quarterly Briefing. Then, I have the Chancellor’s Cabinet meeting, my weekly staff meeting, and my weekly check-in with Dev Venugopalan and Laura Pedrick.


In the morning, I have my biweekly meeting with Paul Klajbor, my monthly meeting with Dave Clark, and I’ll attend the UW System virtual Chancellors and Provosts Summit. In the afternoon, I have my one-on-one meeting with the Chancellor and end the day with a meeting with Laura Pedrick.


I have my standing meeting with Jennifer Abele, Sue Weslow, and Chancellor Mone, my monthly meetings with Nancy Frank and Student Association Leadership, a Moraine Park Technical College Deans discussion, and a meeting on DEI Recruitment and Selection Protocol.


I start the day with another CMT Leadership meeting, followed by a meeting on international recruitment, and a 2030 Leadership meeting.


Today, I have the UW System Provosts Council meeting and I’ll attend to administrative tasks.


Full Moon Hike 

Join UWM Planetarium Director Jean Creighton and Milwaukee’s Urban Ecology Center for a guided full Moon hike through Riverside Park on Wednesday, June 23. While enjoying the full Moon above, you’ll learn about our nearest celestial neighbor and more from an expert astronomer.

Summer Virtual Series 

In collaboration with the International Youth Library (Germany) and UWM’s Translation & Interpreting Studies, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) will offer a summer virtual series featuring six acclaimed Latin American children’s and young adult writers and illustrators, moderated by international children’s book specialists who know their work well.

Doors Open Milwaukee 

Consider participating in Doors Open Milwaukee this fall! This event will take place both virtually and in-person this September. It is a great way for UWM units to get involved as a community partner and show off the great work, research, and opportunities available at UWM! Read all the details in the campus announcement and complete the forms available there by August 3 to participate. Contact Alyssa Conrardy (ambc@uwm.edu), UWM Community Relations Manager, to ensure you get on the UWM Doors Open map, and with any questions about UWM’s involvement in the event.

Healing Workshop 

We expect that the transition into Fall 2021 and beyond will be marked by myriad emotions and feelings—grief, excitement, fear—all from what has been an extremely challenging 12+ months. As part of the campus healing and community building work led by Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, and Global Inclusion and Engagement, we are offering a workshop to help staff and students build trauma informed programs and courses. Dr. Dimitri Topitzes, Jason Katte, and Adam Jussel are leading the workshops, so if you are interested, please contact Adam at jussel@uwm.edu. We can make the workshop work for your team – it is highly interactive!

UWM Libraries Annual Report 

The UWM Libraries 2020-21 Annual Report is now available.


I think it’s going to be Germany who will raise the Euro Cup this year.

Take care,


Johannes Britz

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs