May 12, 2023  |  News & Events, Provost's Updates, Timely Announcements

Good morning, colleagues. Here is this week’s update from Academic Affairs.
2030 Feature of the Week
The Redesigning Research Infrastructure team provided an update to the Faculty Senate this week. The Research sub-group has also made minor revisions to their report, which can be found on the 2030 website.
Enrollment Management Feature of the Week
UWM’s two Upward Bound (UB) programs, Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math & Science, are federally funded early intervention programs for high school students. They are designed to help address widening disparities in academic achievement and underrepresentation of disadvantaged groups in higher education. The programs introduce, prepare, and assist low-income high school students in gaining the learning skills and experiences that will prepare them to succeed in college. UB and UBMS are part of a pipeline of precollege programs, starting in middle school, that compose a cross-programming collaboration strategy that ensures underrepresented students are nurtured in a community learning environment with the attitudes and practices that support a college going culture. Learn more here and here.
UWM at Washington County Work Group
In response to the Washington County Higher Education Task Force report that recommends merging our Washington County campus with Moraine Park Technical College’s West Bend campus, a work group has been created with executive sponsorship from the Chancellor and Provost. It will reflect on the task force recommendation and consider options at our Washington County campus. The group is expected to report back September 1. Here is the charge and membership.
Distinguished Professors
On March 8, the UWM Distinguished Professors nominated three colleagues to join their ranks. Chancellor Mone and I wholeheartedly agree with their recommendations. The newly appointed Distinguished Professors are:

  • Patrick Brady (Physics), an international scholar of general relativity, with more than 270 publications, has had a strong and transformational impact on the field. His h-index is 34, he has a strong record of mentoring students, and has attracted more than $30M in NSF funding.
  • Martha Carlin (History), a scholar of medieval and early modern England, has combined three strong areas of expertise: language skills in Latin and Middle English, archeological skills, and archival skills. She is an international expert on medieval London whose works are the standards in her field.
  • Sandra McLellan (Freshwater Sciences), a scholar of environmental and public health microbiology with combined expertise in microbiology, aquatic environments, and human waste, is making major impacts on public health. She is a very productive scholar, with an h-index of 47, and more than $15M in funding.

Congratulations to WUWM for winning twelve awards at the 2022 Wisconsin Broadcast Association Annual Awards Gala, including:

  • Four first place awards for: Best Feature, Best Coverage of Pandemic Recovery, Best Use of Audio in Radio News, and Best Election Coverage
  • Five second place awards for: Best Continuing Coverage, Best News Writing, Best Website, Best Web Story, and Best Original Digital Content
  • Three third place awards for: Best Feature, Best Web Story, and Best Use of Social Media.

Art for All, a student organization, has completed work on their vibrant mural located by the Union parking garage and PSOA loading dock. The project has been two years in the making and is the result of the collaborative effort of more than 25 students from various majors and backgrounds, supported by advisor and mentor katie martin-meurer (Art & Design) and other faculty members. Well done, katie and student artists!
Marquis Mayes’s (Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres) film, “Black Strings,” featuring alum Alida LaCross (BFA, Music Education), won the Best Documentary Short Competition Jury Award at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival. The film follows The Black Strings Triage Ensemble, a group of Black and Latinx musicians in Milwaukee, as it performs at crime scenes in the immediate aftermath of tragic events. It is available to stream on PBS. Congratulations, Marquis and Alida!
Gabriela Dorantes (Roberto Hernandez Center) was named 2022’s Advisor of the Year at the May ACN (Advisors & Coaches Network) meeting. Gaby worked throughout the year collaborating with colleagues in the Multicultural Student Centers on a vision for success coaching for UWM’s BIPOC students. Her nomination materials included a letter from a student who credits Gaby with helping turn things around after an academic suspension. The student writes, “I feel like I owe Gabriela so much. She pushed this kid that clearly had things he needed to iron out, but she saw potential that he could not see in himself.” Thanks for all you do for our students, Gaby, and well done!
In April the UWM chapter of Tau Beta Pi, Wisconsin Gamma initiated 13 UWM students into the engineering honor society in a joint initiation ceremony with Marquette University and Milwaukee School of Engineering. See the list of inductees. Congratulations!
Carolyn Esswein (Urban Planning) presented at the Women Developing Wisconsin Conference on May 4, where she joined a panel to discuss the ongoing development of more than $200M in the Bronzeville District, which originated from a 2013 Community Design Solutions (CDS) Charette. Three SARUP graduate students (Gizem Demirkol Cakal, Fouzia Kamal Emon, and Tess Richard) participated in the poster session to showcase their urban design and CDS projects. Well done, Carolyn, Gizem, Fouzia, and Tess!
Kevin Muse (Foreign Languages and Literature) spent spring break doing research in the library of the American Academy in Rome. From March 30 to April 1, he participated in an international conference on the topic of luxury in ancient Rome (“Luxuria: Il peccato capitale dei Romani”), sponsored by the University of Rome “La Sapienza,” where he presented an invited paper on the allegorical figure of Prodigality entitled “Ἀσωτία at the Crossroads.” Well done, Kevin!
UWM’s Black Lives Matter: A Global Comparative Study in the UK faculty-led study abroad program, developed through the collective efforts of the dedicated teams at CIE Study Abroad, the Department of Global Studies, and CEA CAPA Education Abroad, has been selected as a finalist for the GoAbroad Innovation Awards in the category of Innovative Study Abroad Program! This remarkable program, led by David Pate (Social Work) and Portia Cobb (Film), reflects an unwavering commitment to fostering inclusive conversations and addressing important social issues. The engagement and enthusiasm of students who participated in the first iteration of the program this past UWinteriM contributed to its impact and success. Congratulations, David, Portia, and all who are involved and participated!
Robin Pickering-Iazzi (French, Italian and Comparative Literature) was hosted by the New Jersey City University Center for the Arts on April 19 for a public discussion about her translation of the non-fiction novel, “Tina, Mafia Soldier.” Well done, Robin!
In the News
Robin Pickering-Iazzi also participated in a video interview about her published translation of the non-fiction novel, “Tina, Mafia Soldier,” on The Italian Radio Hour of the Istituto Mondo Italiano, now available on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and similar platforms.
Milwaukee Athletics
The Milwaukee Athletic Department recently held its annual awards show, the Golden Panthers, honoring the achievements of its student-athletes from the past year. The event was hosted by Scott Warras inside the UWM Union Ballroom, with student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and other university personnel on hand to recognize the outstanding performances and achievements in the classroom, community, and in their sport of competition.
Join head coach Bart Lundy and the Milwaukee men’s basketball team for a day of socializing and golf at the 2023 MKE Men’s Basketball Golf Outing on August 3 at Kettle Hills Golf Course. The event begins with registration at 8am followed by a shotgun scramble at 9:30am. The event concludes with a cocktail hour and remarks from Coach Lundy at 3:30pm.
The Week in Retrospect
I began the week with multiple sessions related to the Higher Learning Commission’s site visit, that culminated with the exit meeting on Tuesday. The visit went very well, and I want to thank all that participated in the sessions – that engagement was really important for UWM.  The Chancellor’s Study Break was held on Monday evening in the Library, and I joined the Chancellor along with Vice Chancellor Kelly Haag, Vice Chancellor Liv Hwang, and Library Director Michael Doylen in serving the busy students free coffee, cocoa, and treats. On Tuesday I joined the Ombuds Council meeting and offered thanks to Nadya Fouad for her outstanding service leading the group for many years. I also attended the Faculty Senate meeting and provided updates. It was back to the Faculty Senate again on Thursday for a visit by UW System President Jay Rothman. I also met with the Academic Staff Committee leads and topped off the day with a fine event celebrating our military and veteran graduates of 2023. I end the week catching up with the University Committee Chair Mark Schwartz and connecting with Student Association leadership.

  • Outstanding Women of Color
    UW System is requesting nominations for Outstanding Women of Color in Education and P.B. Poorman Award for Outstanding Achievement on Behalf of LGBTQ+ People. UWM will select one honoree for each award to be forwarded to UW System administration. All nominations must be emailed to Vice Chancellor Chia Vang ( by 4:30pm on Friday, May 19.
  • Data Collection on Experiential Learning Placements
    To fulfill UW System reporting mandates and maintain students’ access to out-of-state learning placements, the Office of Assessment and Institutional Research (OAIR) is currently collecting information on all experiential learning placements that began in 2022. Many thanks to instructors who have received a data request email for completing the survey by May 19.
  • DEI Champions Award
    The Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is inviting nominations for the new UWM DEI Champion Award. All employees are eligible. Nominations are due May 22.
  • UWM Union CLOSED for the Summer
    Beginning Monday, May 22, the UWM Union will be closed to the public. The closure will allow the renovation projects to stay on track with the intended timeline. Resources and services affected by the building closure will be relocated virtually or to a temporary location on campus. Please contact Union departments directly for more information about specific relocations and office hours. The fully renovated Union will reopen in August 2023.
  • Temporary Relocation
    Beginning June 5, the Accessibility Resource Center will be TEMPORARILY housed on the 6th floor of the NWQB, rooms 6472 and 6478. Visit them in the NWQB for accommodations, accessibility resources, and testing until July 31, when they return to their home base in Mitchell Hall 115.
  • 2023-24 CLACS Faculty Fellows
    The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) announces its 2023-24 Faculty Fellows theme: Building Bridges, Pushing Boundaries. Fellows may explore the theme from any disciplinary, interpretive, creative, or analytic point of view. More information.

Campus Events

  • Appreciation and Reaccreditation Celebration
    A reminder to join us for the Appreciation and Reaccreditation Celebration taking place next week! Help us recognize the efforts of everyone across campus who contributed to the Higher Learning Commission Reaccreditation, and also Vice Provost Dev Venugopalan, who will be retiring this summer. Join us on Wednesday, May 17 from 1:30 – 3:30pm in the Library 4th Floor Conference Center. A brief program will begin at 2pm followed by coffee and cake.
  • Mentoring Graduate Students: Foundations of a Mentoring Agreement
    On Thursday, June 1 at 1pm, those who mentor graduate students are invited to attend a virtual Community of Practice session to discuss the variety of forms of mentoring agreements and start to brainstorm about the skills and knowledge we would like to develop to enhance our mentoring of graduate students.
  • 2023 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
    The Helen Bader Office of Applied Gerontology presents its annual Elder Abuse Awareness Day event, entitled, “Vulnerability and Older Adults: Ethical Considerations,” on Thursday, June 8 from 9 – 11:30am. More information.

Something Different
It is that time of year again. Check out these lovely birds migrating through our neighborhoods the next few weeks.
Take care,
Scott Gronert
Interim Provost