March 8, 2021  |  News & Events, Provost's Updates, Timely Announcements

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

Town Hall

This week’s virtual town hall meeting for faculty and staff is on Tuesday from 9-10 a.m. Chancellor Mone will discuss planning for a fully operational fall ’21, share 2030 implementation updates, and more. Campus leaders will share related updates and will be available to answer questions.
Update on Two Academic Initiatives
  • Moon Shot for Equity 
    The Moon Shot for Equity is a UWM partnership with EAB, MATC, UW-Parkside, and Carthage College aimed at closing equity gaps to graduation by 2030. Launched in October 2020, it involves 15 evidence-based best practices proven to close equity gaps, embeds change management and equity-mindedness trainings, and deploys technology to support strategies. Four best practices have been prioritized for engagement: hold reform, transfer pathways, retention grants, and developing a coordinated care network. Teams are being formed to address these strategies. Visit the website or reach out to Phyllis King ( or Vicki Turner ( for more information.
  • M
    M3, a partnership with MPS and MATC, is working to increase the retention, graduation, and career success of our students. A professional development institute was held on February 16 where close to 500 math, science, and English faculty and teachers from MPS, MATC, and UWM came together to learn from Dr. Sarah MacDonald (CETL) on “Teaching for Equity and Inclusion in a Virtual Environment.” Breakout sessions proceeded to foster curriculum alignment and share effective teaching practices among the institutions.


Daniel Agterberg’s (Physics) collaborative paper, “Weyl Superconductivity in UTe2,” was accepted and will appear in the journal Science in about a month. Congratulations, Dan!

Theodore Lentz (Social Welfare) received a sub-award through Indiana University from the Joyce Foundation to examine outcomes for 440 Indianapolis youth on probation for gun offenses. The purpose of the project is to contribute to the evidence-based knowledge on reducing gun violence recidivism and violent injury or death among youth. Well done, Theodore!

Daria Mueller (PhD candidate, Social Welfare) is the lead author of a recently published study titled, “A mutual process of healing self and healing community: A qualitative study of coping with and healing from stress, adversity, and trauma among diverse residents of a midwestern city.” Associate Professor David Pate and Professor Dimitri Topitzes co-authored the paper. Congratulations, Daria, David, and Dimitri!

The Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research, along with the UWM community, collected 164 books and $110 that has been delivered to the Milwaukee House of Corrections for its Literacy Link program. Well done!

Russell Cuhel (Freshwater Sciences) received the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) Ramón Margalef Award for Excellence in Education in recognition of his outstanding 27-year leadership in training, mentoring, and providing professional development opportunities that have promoted a diverse undergraduate presence within the aquatic sciences. Congratulations, Russel!

Farah Nourin (Engineering PhD student) was invited to join U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm for a U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) roundtable on Strengthening America’s Manufacturing and Industrial Workforce to be held today at 2 p.m. (ET). Farah, whose advisor is Mechanical Engineering Professor Ryo Amano, is a member of the UWM-led DoE Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) and is the only IAC student chosen to join the panel of energy leaders from across the nation. Well done on this great honor, Farah!

Wendy Huddleston’s (Rehabilitation Sciences and Technology) article, “Distinct saccade planning and endogenous visuospatial attention maps in parietal cortex: A basis for functional differences in sensory and motor attention,” was published in the journal CortexCongratulations, Wendy!

Marissa Jablonski (Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin) has been named a National Academy of Engineering 2021 Gilbreth Lecturer. Well done, Marissa!

Kimberly Blaeser (English and American Indian Studies) has work featured in “StAnza 2021: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival” hosted from St. Andrews, Scotland. Blaeser’s poems, “Ikwe-niimi: Dancing Resistance,” “Minobimaadizi,” and “Refractions” appear in text and/or via video recording as a part of the digital installation “A Plague of Poems,” curated by Hugh McMillan. The festival runs through March 14, with digital installations available through March 31. Congratulations, Kim!

In the News

Chris Cantwell (History) was featured in a story on WISN12 news about the history of the 1918 flu in Milwaukee and what it can teach us about the coronavirus pandemic today.

Microsoft published an article, “University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee supports staff, faculty, and students with Microsoft Teams Calling,” detailing UWM’s Teams implementation process and shedding light on the efforts to bring Teams Calling to UWM as well as the investment we made into an effective remote work environment.

Milwaukee Athletics

The postseason continues for the men’s and women’s basketball teams as both have advanced to Indianapolis to compete in the semifinals of the Horizon League Championship. The women are set to play today at 1 p.m. against IUPUI, while the men will tip-off against Cleveland State at 5:30 p.m.

The Milwaukee men’s and women’s track and field teams each brought home a second-place finish at the Horizon League Championships last week.

The Week


I start the week with the Coronavirus Management Team (CMT) Leadership meeting, followed by a brief check-in with Chancellor Mone, Mark Harris, and Kathy Dolan regarding 2030, my weekly meeting with Robin Van Harpen, my one-on-one with Trudy Turner, an Enterprise Risk Management Exercise with the Chancellor’s Executive Cabinet, my weekly staff meeting, and my weekly check-in with Dev Venugopalan and Laura Pedrick.


In the morning, I’ll join Chancellor Mone and other campus leaders for the Faculty and Staff Town Hall, then I have my monthly meetings with Purush Papatla and Brett Peters, and my one-on-one with Kyla Esguerra. In the afternoon, I have my monthly meetings with Scott Emmons and Marija Gajdardziska-Josifovska, my weekly meeting with Chancellor Mone, and I’ll provide an Academic Affairs update to the Academic Staff Senate.


Today, I have the Deans Morning Meeting, my monthly meetings with Tina Freiburger and Simon Bronner, and my standing meeting with Jennifer Abele, Sue Weslow, and Chancellor Mone. I’ll also attend a conversation with Tom Luljak’s department, and I have a meeting with John Reisel to discuss a mentoring program for assistant professors.


In the morning, I have another CMT Leadership meeting, I’ll attend the APBC meeting, followed by a Campus Budget Planning meeting, and my standing meeting with Tom Luljak, Dave Clark, and Kay Eilers. In the afternoon, I have my monthly update with Mark Harris and Dietmar Wolfram, my standing meeting with Jennifer Abele, one-on-ones with Kaushal Chari and Jen Doll, and my biweekly meeting with Paul Klajbor.


Today, I have the bi-monthly UW System Provost Council meeting and I’ll attend to administrative matters and have meetings with my direct reports.


Athletic Training Month

March is Athletic Training Month! This month, athletic trainers across America are being recognized for their commitment to helping people prevent injuries, stay healthy, active, and most recently, leading the way to establishing COVID-19 protocols. Athletic trainers are essential to health care! More information.

LACUSL Speaker Series

Please join us for the next LACUSL Speaker Series event, “Living ‘A Part Apart’: Brazilian Migrants in Toronto, Canada,” with Falina Enriquez (UW-Madison), on Monday, March 8 at 2 p.m. Please register in advance.

COVID-19 Vaccination and American Minority History

The Inclusive Excellence Center, Black Student Cultural Center, and Zilber School of Public Health will present this virtual exploration of fears around vaccination within multicultural communities on March 10 at 3 p.m.

CLACS Virtual Talk

Reyna Grande, author of the bestselling memoir, “The Distance Between Us,” talks about her life and work on Wednesday, March 10 at 4:30 p.m. Please register in advance.

The Long 2020

C21’s lecture series continues on Friday, March 12 at 3:30 p.m. with Adia Benton (Northwestern) and Jonathan Flatley (Wayne State) in conversation about racial justice, policing, field epidemiology, and activism.

Planetarium Show

UWM Planetarium’s popular virtual Northern Lights program will take place on Friday, March 12 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 13 at 2 p.m. More information.

World Water Day Celebration

Margaret Noodin (Letters and Science) will join Stacie Sheldon, Lacey Meyers, and Willow Lovecky ( for a special event to celebrate World Water Day. Melissa Scanlan (Center for Water Policy) will provide an introduction. The virtual event, “Mapping the Connections among Indigenous People,” takes place Wednesday, March 17 at 3 p.m.

German-American Studies

On Thursday, March 25 at 6 p.m., the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies at UW-Madison is sponsoring a live, virtual lecture by Simon Bronner (Dean of the College of General Studies and Distinguished Professor) entitled, “From Farm to Farmer’s Market: Amish Folk Society in the Age of Fast Capitalism.” The presentation is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Email Antje Petty ( to receive the link.

Make a Difference Day

On Saturday, April 17, UWM students, faculty, and staff will help clean up neighborhoods and winterize the homes of local older adults from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. You can sign up as an individual or with a group. Your family members may also participate! Contact Zack Garrity ( with questions.


Changes coming to the PAWS login screen on March 14.


It was this week, a year ago, that we decided to extend Spring Break by one week and to convert almost all our classes to online instruction due to COVID-19.

Take care,


Johannes Britz

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs