October 18, 2021  |  News & Events, Provost's Updates, Timely Announcements

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


Lucy Mkandawire-Valhmu (Nursing) and collaborators received a new NIH R01 entitled, “Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Help Seeking of American Indian and Black Women Experiencing Intimate Partner Violence.” This is a four-year R01 from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, with a total award of more than $2.3M. UWM collaborators include Anne Dressel, Pennie Kako, Jennifer Kibicho, and Diane Shadewald (Nursing); Amanda Simanek and Lorraine Halinka-Malcoe (Public Health); James Topitzes (Social Work); and Leah Rouse (Education). Congratulations, Lucy and colleagues!

Dr. Mkandawire-Valhmu was also recently inducted as a Fellow to the American Academy of Nursing (AAN). She is one of 2900 fellows worldwide who are experts and leaders in education, management, practice, and research. Well done, Lucy!

Michele Polfuss (Nursing) was awarded a competitive supplement to her existing five-year NIH R01. The two-year supplement is entitled, “Energy Expenditure and Weight-Related Behaviors in Youth with Down Syndrome,” and is funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for more than $1.48M, with a third year of supplemental funding likely. Well done, Michele!

Murad Taani (Nursing) received a gift from Ovation Communities, subsidized by the Jewish Home and Care Center Foundation, to support his work for a five-year professorship as the Ovation Jewish Home Joint Research Professor in Aging. Congratulations, Murad!

Simon Bronner’s (Dean and Distinguished Professor, College of General Studies) article, “The (Re)Cognition of Folklore: A History and Philosophy,” was published in Western Folklore 80 (Summer/Fall 2021): 271-312. The article was part of a special issue, Mind, Cognition, and StructureCongratulations, Simon!

David Petering (Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Chemistry and Biochemistry) and Craig Berg (Teaching and Learning) were recently awarded a five-year Science Education Partnership grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences entitled, “Learning and Discovery in Experimental Environmental Health Science: On the Path from Data to Knowledge,” extending the program to years 25-30. This is extraordinary, David and Craig. Well done!

Christopher Olson’s (PhD candidate in English) book, co-edited with Malynnda Johnson (Indiana State University and UWM alum), earned Honorable Mention in the category of Best Edited Collection at the Midwest Popular Culture Association book awards ceremony on October 8. The book, “Normalizing Mental Illness and Neurodiversity in Entertainment Media,” was published by Routledge earlier this year, and Ali Gattoni (Communication) was also a contributor to the book. Congratulations Christopher, Malynnda, and Ali!

Philip Chang (Physics), PI, and Co-PIs Ryo Amano (Mechanical Engineering), Mahsa Dabagh (Biomedical Engineering), and Clark Evans (Atmospheric Science) received a two-year, $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to support the creation of a science and engineering high-performance scientific computing cluster at UWM. Well done, Philip, Ryo, Mahsa, and Clark!

Kudos to UWM’s Concert Chorale, who grandly accompanied Andrea Bocelli at his concert this past Wednesday at the Fiserv Forum and received a roaring ovation from the nearly sold-out crowd!

In the News

Nancy Bird-Soto (Spanish and Portuguese) discussed the UWM Manfred Olson Planetarium Program Series, “Culturas Celestiales,” in which she is one of the presenters, in her interview on WUWM’s Lake Effect that aired Thursday, October 7.

Matt Friedel (Information Studies) was featured in an article in The Cap Times regarding a tech panel on Artificial Intelligence (AI) that took place in Madison on October 7.

Milwaukee Athletics

The Milwaukee Panthers have announced the full roster of the Athletic Board for the new 2021-22 school year. The Athletic Board develops and reviews university policies relative to intercollegiate athletics, in conjunction with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee faculty, administration, students, alumni, and controlling regulations, and oversees the implementation of such policies.

Catch up on all the exciting things happening in Milwaukee Athletics by reading the latest issue of The Roar Report. This fall issue is highlighted with a feature story on the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin Center, which got underway with the groundbreaking ceremony taking place in late August.

The Milwaukee Athletic Department looks forward to welcoming fans to all home Panther athletics events this winter. Consistent with the decision made by the university in August, there will be no limit on the capacity of our venues. However, in accordance with the CDC, Milwaukee Public Health Department recommendations, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus policies, masks will be required for all spectators, regardless of vaccination status, at UWM Panther Arena, the Klotsche Center, and Elite Sport Clubs: River Glen during the 2021-22 season.

The Week


I start the week with my standing meeting with Robin Van Harpen, followed by a Freshwater Collaborative UWM Executive briefing. Then I present updates at the Academic Staff Committee meeting, attend the Chancellor’s Executive Cabinet meeting, I have my weekly check-in with Dave Clark and Kay Eilers, my weekly staff meeting, and an FY23 Divisional Budget meeting with Lubar School of Business.


In the morning, I have a Coronavirus Management Team (CMT) Leadership meeting, an M3 Update with Chancellor Mone, and FY23 Divisional Budget meetings with College of Nursing and Peck School of the Arts. In the afternoon, I have the UC meeting, an Electa Quinney Institute update with Margaret Noodin, my standing meeting with Chia Vang, my one-on-one with the Chancellor, and an FY23 Divisional Budget meeting with School of Freshwater Sciences.


Today, I have the Deans Morning Meeting, an executive update from the Milwaukee Anchor Collaborative, a meeting with the School of Freshwater Sciences an SSEA (Senate Subcommittee on the Evaluation of Administrators) meeting with Sue Cashin and Kathleen Wheatley, my bi-weekly meeting with Paul Klajbor, a DEI Recruitment and Selection Protocol meeting, and a follow-up meeting with Barbara Owens and Kay Eilers.


In the morning I’ll provide welcome remarks for Regent Karen Walsh’s campus visit, I have a fall stakeholders update on the Space Optimization Project, I’ll make welcome remarks for the Paranet Group Executive Meeting, I have a wrap-up meeting with Regent Walsh, and my one-on-one with Nicole Oswald. In the afternoon, I have a Campus Budget Planning meeting, I’ll attend the Faculty Senate meeting, my one-on-one with Kevin Hartman, and the monthly Space Planning meeting.


Today, I’ll attend the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare All-School meeting, the Finance and Administrative Affairs Friday Affairs meeting, the October Associate Deans meeting, and an Enrollment Management Deep Dive meeting. Then I have FY23 Divisional Budget meetings with Helen Bader School of Social Welfare and School of Architecture and Urban Planning.


Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Event Planning

For guidance or consultation on event planning, please contact eoc-large-events@uwm.edu. The EOC Large Events group can provide information on planning issues related to COVID-19, from food service to testing-related matters. Additionally, we can advise on spatial set-up of the event and pedestrian traffic flows.

An Insider’s View of UWM’s Panther Athletics – UWMAA Mobile Master Chat
Join UWM Director of Athletics Amanda Braun and Panther Men’s Basketball Coach Pat Baldwin this Wednesday, October 20 at 10 a.m. to get an insider’s look at the inner workings of UWM’s renowned Panther Athletics program – and learn why collegiate athletics is so much more than just playing the games! Advance registration is required to obtain the viewing link for this free, online event.

Eastside Town Hall

Join Senator Chris Larson on Monday, October 25 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. for the Fall 2021 series of 7th District Town Hall meetings. This one is at the UW-Milwaukee Student Union, room 191, and is co-hosted by State Representative Jonathan Brostoff. All meetings will be recorded for those unable to attend in person, but due to technical and staffing limitations, a full virtual participation option cannot be guaranteed. RSVP and submit a question.

Social Justice Focus on Housing: Eviction Crisis

Attorney Raphael Ramos, Director of the Eviction Defense Project, will discuss his work to keep people housed on Wednesday, October 27, from 12-1 p.m. This online event is presented by the Helen Bader School’s Social Justice Committee as part of their ongoing focus on housing. Registration.

Graduate School Virtual Open House

The Graduate School looks forward to hosting our Graduate School Virtual Open House on Thursday, October 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. CDT through CareerEco. Prospective graduate students can meet with UWM faculty, staff, and in some cases, current graduate students from our over 150 master’s, doctoral and graduate certificate programs with both online and on-campus options. BONUS: The Graduate School will pay the application fee for all applicants who register for, attend the virtual Open House, and begin their application on or after October 28, 2021. Please see the Graduate School Open House website for complete details.

Teaching and Learning Symposium

Submit a proposal and register for the 7th Annual Teaching and Learning Symposium, which will be held virtually on January 13, 2022.


T20 world cupCSK won IPL, and a webcam worth a look.

Take care,


Johannes Britz

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs