May 18, 2020  |  News & Events, Provost's Monday Updates, Timely Announcements

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


The Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee was awarded a three-year accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). The program is the first to be accredited in the State of Wisconsin. This is a remarkable accomplishment and congratulations to you and your team, Dean Behrens!

Greta Minor and Paulina Lim (Psychology graduate students) received the inaugural Richard M. Warren Prize for Excellence in Psychological Research Mentorship, which honors a Department graduate student who has excelled in mentoring undergraduates in research. Congratulations, Greta and Paulina!

Marie Enderle, Carnita Lincoln, and Tiffany Polzin (undergraduate Psychology students) are the winners of the first Richard M. Warren Prize for Excellence in Psychological Research. Awards are based on faculty review of presentations by Psychology majors at the UWM Undergraduate Research Symposium and include a $100 cash award. Well done, Marie, Carnita, and Tiffany!

DeAnn Huinker (Teaching and Learning) was invited to participate in a webinar based on her work, “Catalyzing Change in Early Childhood and Elementary Mathematics: Initiating Critical Conversations.” Congratulations, DeAnn!

WUWM’s exceptional team of journalists won four regional Edward R. Murrow awards for outstanding journalism. The Murrow awards are among the highest honors in broadcast journalism. These regional winners will now be considered for national awards. Well done!

This spring, 62 students were inducted into the Eta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at UWM. See the list of inductees and read their biographies. Kudos to this very impressive group of scholars!

Kimberly Blaeser (English and American Indian Studies) received two first-place awards in the Council for Wisconsin Writers’ annual competition. She was awarded the Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award for her 2019 poetry collection, “Copper Yearning” and the Zona Gale Short Fiction Award for her story, “Vision Confidence Score.” The short story previously received an honorable mention from the “Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts” in the Rick Demarinis Short Story Contest. Congratulations, Kimberly!

Rachel Bloom-Pojar (English) was selected as a Mellon/ACLS Scholars and Society Fellow for her work with the promotores de salud and Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. The fellowship supports a residency at the organization and public humanities programming for the following year. Well done, Rachel!

Congratulations to faculty and staff who received awards from Dean Bronner and faculty members of the College of General Studies:

  • Excellence in Teaching and Advising Award: Tricia Wessel and Jack Van Treese
  • Excellence in Service Award: Gregg Jamison
  • Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarly Activity: Kirk Tyvela
  • Outstanding Staff Member Award: Candace Decker

In the News

Josh Mersky (Social Work and the Institute for Child and Family Well-Being) was featured in an article about domestic violence in The Atlantic.

Dean Alan Shoho’s (School of Education) op-ed, “Opinion: Texas should seize this chance to reinvent its schools,” co-written with colleague David DeMatthews (University of Texas at Austin), was featured in the Austin Statesman.

Dean Simon Bronner (College of General Studies) was featured in an article on virtual commencements that appeared in The New York Times.

On the Bright Side . . .

UWM American Sign Language (ASL) teachers created a video of the Panther Fight Song based on ASL’s oldest form of literature called percussion signing, a type of visual performance that involves the production of ASL to a specific beat. Rhythm is the foundation of percussion signing and usually involves a bass drum to feel the vibrations of sound while clapping provides a visual appreciation of the song. The goal is to cheer up our students and thank them for bearing with us through new changes. We also plan to use this video to greet our ASL students at the Fall Orientation.

Milwaukee Athletics

Five programs in the Milwaukee Athletics Department were honored as part of the NCAA APR Public Recognition Awards for outstanding academic achievements based on the most recent multi-year NCAA Division 1 Academic Progress Rate (APR), released May 12 by the NCAA national office: Milwaukee women’s basketball (APR of 1,000), men’s cross country (1,000), women’s cross country (1,000), women’s tennis (1,000), and men’s track and field (996).

Save the date and join the Milwaukee women’s basketball team for a day of fun on the links. The program has officially set the date for the 20th annual Golf Classic on August 28 at Silver Spring Golf Club.

Athletic trainers Chad Henneberry and Kelly Clements have been experiencing first-hand the new world that was created when COVID-19 came onto the scene in spring 2020.

The Week


I start the week with my daily Crisis Management Team (CMT) Leadership meeting, followed by my weekly meeting with Robin Van Harpen and a meeting on the system-wide water initiative. I will then join the Academic Staff Committee meeting to provide an update from Academic Affairs, followed by the Chancellor’s Cabinet meeting, a CMT Coronavirus Crisis Management meeting, my standing meeting with Dave Clark and Kay Eilers, my weekly staff meeting, and my daily meeting with Dev Venugopalan and Laura Pedrick.


In the morning, I have another CMT Leadership meeting, my one-on-one with Mark Harris, an M3 meeting with Chancellor Mone, a UW System webinar on the “blueprint” document that President Cross released earlier, and my standing meeting with Pat Borger. In the afternoon, I meet with the University Committee, I have my weekly meeting with the Chancellor, then the Chancellor and I will meet with Think Tank 2030 Co-Chairs Jennifer Doering and Kris O’Connor, and I have my daily meeting with Dev and Laura.


Today, I once again have the CMT Leadership meeting, followed by my one-on-one with Dave Clark, meetings with the deans and with my direct reports, and a Campus Space Planning meeting. I will attend the weekly system-wide Provost Council meeting and end the day with my daily meeting with Dev and Laura.


In the morning, I have another CMT Leadership meeting, a College of General Studies/Restructuring meeting, an Executive Cabinet Check-in, and a Campus Budget Planning meeting. In the afternoon, I have a Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute Core Team meeting and my daily “end-of-day” meeting with Dev and Laura.


Today, I am taking a vacation day.


Director of Counseling Services Open Forum

Carrie Fleider, a finalist for the Director of Counseling Services position, will be interviewing virtually on Thursday, May 21. Please consider attending the Open Forum at 10:30 a.m. More information.

American Federation of Teachers National Event

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) event on higher education funding is scheduled for Friday, May 22 at 11 a.m. CST.  It will be presided over by the AFT’s President, Randi Weingarten, and Jeff Sommers (UWM African and African Diaspora Studies), who organized the event, is also one of the participants. All are welcome to attend via registration at this link.

Iron Monocle – the All-UWM Rock Band

Join Iron Monocle – an all-UWM rock band – for a Zoom meeting with “live” tunes (recorded separately while sheltering) and mandatory audience heckling. It’s all to help raise money for the UWM Food Pantry and the Chancellor’s Student Success Fund. The band will be at on Saturday, May 23 at 7 p.m. If you donate, you can get Iron Monocle swag! More information.

Service Learning

The Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research is holding a Virtual Service Learning Town Hall meeting on Thursday, June 4 at 12 p.m. During this time, we’ll discuss plans for service learning this fall, incorporating service into online or distance learning, and leave much of the time for an open discussion and brainstorming. More information.


Earn a digital badge by completing CETL’s Online and Blended Teaching Program available in two online formats: asynchronous (takes three hours) and synchronous (six one-hour webinars).

Union Event Services

Due to campus being closed until July 31, reservations through Union Event Services will not open until August 1. That date may change as campus determines restrictions for August 2020 and beyond. The best way to make requests for large spaces and/or reserve small meeting rooms is through the EMS Web APP. Over the next few months, we will be making adjustments to the room capacities available based on federal, state, and campus recommendations for social distancing.

Academic Staff Distinguished Prefix
Academic Staff are encouraged to learn more about the Distinguished Prefix. Promotion to the rank of Distinguished is reserved for a small number of Academic Staff (typically at the senior level or top level of their title series) whose accomplishments are evidenced by widespread peer recognition, both on campus and beyond. Explore the Policies and Procedures to see if you are eligible to apply. For any questions, please reach out to a member of the 2019-20 Distinguished Prefix Review Committee.

Remote Labs

Need a computer lab for your online course this summer or fall? Remote Labs can bring your department’s physical computer lab online so that students can access it from anywhere. This allows students to access specialized software for their classes that may not be available on their own personal computers. More information on reserving a remote computer lab.



Take care,


Johannes Britz
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs