More than two dozen people were honored for their many years of service to UW-Milwaukee at the annual Fall Awards ceremony Wednesday at the Zelazo Center.
Here are capsules of each winner:
Ernest Spaights Plaza Awards
Robert C. Greenstreet, professor and dean emeritus of the School of Architecture & Urban Planning
Dates of service: 1981-2019
Bob Greenstreet, architect, professor and dean, helped shape UWM’s School of Architecture & Urban Planning as well as the built environment of the city.
As dean from 1990-2019, he put a focus on collaboration between the school and Milwaukee, introducing innovative programs that benefited both.
With funding from the Marcus Corporation, Greenstreet set up the Marcus Prize, which brought rising stars in the international architectural world to Milwaukee to work with students and faculty.
The school’s Community Design Solutions, which Greenstreet established, provides communities, agencies and civic groups with design expertise.
Greenstreet collaborated closely with the city on architectural issues, serving on the Milwaukee Plan Commission as well as director of planning and design. He also worked on historic preservation efforts that helped Milwaukee retain its unique character.
Among many local committees he served on was the Milwaukee Art Museum team that made the bold choice of young, innovative architect Santiago Calatrava to design the museum’s world-famous addition.
Numerous graduates of UWM’s architecture program remain in the city, helping shape the city into the future.
Greenstreet, who earned his doctorate from Oxford Brookes University, continued to research and teach throughout his career, focusing on the role of law in the built environment.
He served the university as interim chancellor (2003-2004) and as interim dean of the Peck School of the Arts (1999-2001).
Among his numerous awards were the national ACSA (Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture) distinguished professor award and the Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education from the ACSA and the AIA (American Institute of Architects).
David Harold Petering, distinguished professor emeritus of chemistry and biochemistry
Dates of service: 1971-2021
Colleagues describe David Petering as a critical leader in helping the university reach the highest national ranking of Research 1 in 2015.
His own research made a major contribution to this status. Petering’s studies focused on the biochemical effects of toxic heavy metals in the environment, metal-containing drugs and essential trace metals on biological systems.
With his students and collaborators, Petering published 196 papers in journals and 48 papers in books and monographs, including 38 invited reviews. A 2020 Stanford University study ranked him among the top 2% of researchers in his field.
A tireless supporter of broader UWM research efforts, Petering served for 29 years as director and principal investigator of two major interinstitutional centers of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Working with Jeanne Hewitt (UWM School of Nursing), Jerry Resler of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and Mayor Tom Barrett, Dr. Petering led the successful effort to establish the school of public health at UWM.
He collaborated with Professors James Cook and Guilherme Indig in the formation of the Milwaukee Institute for Drug Discovery, an interdepartmental center focused on discovering new chemical therapies for major diseases.
In 1996, Petering established an environmental health science program for middle and high school students, funded by a series of National Institutes of Health grants. This program, involving a number of UWM faculty and staff, has provided tens of thousands of students in the Milwaukee area, many of them low income and underrepresented, with the opportunity to do scientific inquiry in the classroom.
UWM Advisor of the Year
Gabriela Dorantes, senior advisor and multicultural student success coordinator, Roberto Hernandez Center
Every day she works in the Roberto Hernandez Center, Gabriela Dorantes epitomizes the idea of student-centric service. As a senior advisor, success coach and success coaching coordinator for the Multicultural Student Centers, she strives to improve systems and positively impact the lives of the students seeking her guidance. She’s responsible for helping more than 1,000 Latinx students every year and draws on her personal experience as a first-generation college graduate to help students meet whatever challenges they face.
Dorantes is also a problem-solver, and in the past year, she’s leveraged individual research with collaborative workshops to develop better ways to foster student success. The true measure of her work shines through in every student who benefits from her dedication. “I feel like I owe Gabriela so much,” one student wrote in support of Dorantes. “She pushed this kid that clearly had things he needed to iron out, but she saw potential that he could not see in himself. That is what makes Gabriela Dorantes a great advisor!”
DEI Champion of the Year
Becky Freer, associate dean of students
Becky Freer has focused her career on advocacy for students who have historically been excluded from higher education. As associate dean of students, she oversees the case management and student support operations, has launched UWM’s emergency grant efforts, and has helped the Student Association launch the Food Pantry. She also teaches Leadership in Multicultural Organizations in the School of Education and leads workshops on building inclusive campus environments.
Freer has played a crucial role in advancing inclusion strategies as part of UWM’s 2030 Action Plan. With the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, she has developed resources and tools to support units across campus in creating and implementing action plans. Taking an asset mindset toward students, she looks for ways universities can adapt to better meet students’ needs. “She has established a well-deserved reputation among students, faculty and staff,” wrote Jeremy Page, assistant dean of student services, “as an advocate for the agency of all members of the campus community.”
Joanne Lazirko Award for the Innovative Use of Learning Technology
Ann Raddant, senior teaching faculty, Biological Sciences
Ann Raddant’s first experience with teaching came as a peer tutor when she was in college, and her love for the profession has grown from there. Now a senior teaching faculty member in biological sciences, Raddant leverages technology to improve her students’ learning experiences. She boldly uses a flipped format in a large enrollment course, which involves providing video lectures for students to view before class. This allows classroom and lab time to be spent doing active learning activities that facilitate deeper understanding of course content and help her students develop critical thinking skills in the discipline.
She’s also built more effective quizzes in Canvas that generate analytics to get a better sense of how well her students are understanding materials. “Ann demonstrates a willingness to try new approaches, fail, and revise until her goals are achieved,” wrote Connie Schroeder of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. “Not surprising, she has been described as a ‘trailblazer’ by her colleagues and as having ‘contagious enthusiasm’ with an infectious passion for teaching.”
UWM University Staff Outstanding Service Awards
Kurt Hennemann, HR compliance officer
For over two decades, Kurt Hennemann has provided top-tier human resources guidance and service to UWM’s employees. In his role as HR compliance officer and disabilities in employment coordinator, he’s often called upon to distill complex issues into actionable advice and recommendations. His encyclopedic, up-to-date knowledge of HR policy and practices makes him a go-to expert when personnel questions arise. He’s particularly well-versed in ADA and FMLA compliance, and his membership on the Behavior Intervention Team is particularly valuable for the HR perspective that he brings campus safety efforts.
“Kurt finds the right balance of protecting the institution while being fair, equitable and compassionate to the employees of UWM,” wrote Craig Wesley, assistant dean of administrative services and personnel in the College of Letters & Science. And his colleagues are quick to note how his sense of humor, consistent professionalism and grace under pressure are always appreciated.
Chie Kakigi, main office supervisor, Center for International Education
Chie Kakagi is a trusted resource for hundreds of UWM’s international and domestic students. As the main office supervisor for the Center for International Education, she’s often the first person students encounter whenever they have a question or a specific need, and if she can’t address an issue personally, she makes sure to find someone who can. This has been particularly important since the pandemic, as calls into the office have dramatically increased, as has the need for a friendly, comforting and knowledgeable voice on the receiving end of the line.
Kakagi has also taken on an increased support role for immigration and study abroad staff, and she plays a key role in event planning and execution, such as international student orientations. “Chie is fondly referred to by some of the staff as the lifeblood of our department,” wrote Lauren Rado, SEVIS coordinator in the Center for International Education. “Her efforts, presence and work make an exceptional impact on our department, UWM and the students.”
Glenn Morgan, customer service supervisor, Transportation Services
As a customer service supervisor in transportation services, Glenn Morgan brings a consistently friendly and helpful voice to address the daily issues that come up with campus parking. Construction across campus has made this a more complex task than usual, but Morgan assists employees, students and the general public with navigating through their questions and concerns. In a post-pandemic environment, he’s been particularly helpful in troubleshooting an oft-changing transportation landscape. This is true whether the issue at hand deals with daily parking challenges, accommodating the needs of important campus visitors, or arranging parking for larger special events. His unfailingly calm demeanor is important when interacting with people who often come to him frustrated, and he patiently walks them through whatever process is needed to address their issues. “His positivity and helpfulness are great,” wrote Louisa Eastman, office manager for the Secretary of the University. “You know that no matter the issue, if he is there, you can get it done.”
Adrian Robar, recycling motor vehicle operator, Office of Sustainability
Adrian Robar’s dedicated behind-the-scenes work is a prime example of why UWM is such a leader when it comes to sustainability. Robar is a recycling motor vehicle operator in the Office of Sustainability, making him an indispensable link in the chain of activity that leads to a more environmentally friendly UWM. His duties involve collecting, sorting and hauling recyclables, as well as training new employees, including students, on proper use of equipment. He’s also stepped up by taking on extra work when the department has found itself shorthanded, and he’s a willing partner when other departments around UWM need a helping hand.
Robar is universally described as cheerful and kind, and he’s always on the lookout for how to make UWM’s already-great surplus and recycling programs even better. He’s helped reimagine UWM’s recycling program logistics by working with Environmental Services and Housing staff to improve collection location and processes. “We should be grateful that we have an employee who cares so much about recycling,” writes Beth Lobner, facilities associate director in University Housing, “and is willing to go above and beyond to ensure everything he does succeeds.”
UWM Academic Staff Outstanding Performance & Service Awards
Paul Engevold, supervisor, Biological Sciences Greenhouse
For more than a decade, Paul Engevold has dedicated himself to making UWM’s Biological Sciences Greenhouse facility an invaluable resource for instruction, research and community engagement. As the facility’s manager, he ensures that it’s always ready to help educate more than 1,800 students every year while also mentoring many undergraduate and graduate students who are conducting research in the facility. He puts extra care into setting up exhibits featuring various plants that are tailored toward specific lessons. He’s often the greenhouse’s community ambassador, such as when he hosted more than 800 greenhouse visitors during a recent Doors Open Milwaukee event.
Engevold serves on several UWM committees and has hosted workshops for UWM’s College for Kids, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and other organizations, and he recently became the acting director of UWM’s Saukville Field Station. “UWM is fortunate to have such a talented and dedicated greenhouse manager, with a commitment to develop and maintain one of the finest academic greenhouse centers in the nation,” wrote Gyaneshwar Prasad, Biological Sciences department chair.
Frank Holger Foersterling, supervisor, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Laboratory
UWM’s nuclear magnetic resonance facility is a state-of-the-art laboratory that’s home to spectroscopic instrumentation, which is crucial to chemistry and biochemistry instruction and research. Frank Holger Foersterling manages and operates the lab, and for more than 25 years he’s been a skilled and trusted mentor for everyone who uses these powerful tools. His duties include adjusting and maintaining instruments worth several hundred thousand dollars, and they’re used by more than 100 students each year.
Industry partners rely on his expertise to support analytical programs and contracted work. He also teaches, does committee service and regularly publishes work with colleagues. “Researchers highly respect his expertise, and his affable, patient and professional manner is greatly appreciated,” wrote Nicholas Silvaggi, professor and assistant chair in the chemistry and biochemistry department. “Holger has truly excelled in his duties, going above and beyond expectations.”
UWM Academic Staff Outstanding Teaching Awards
Dan Schuchart, teaching faculty III, Department of Dance
Dan Schuchart teaches a wide range of classes for the Department of Dance. Maria Gillespie, recent dance chair, shared that Schuchart’s immense experience and talent allow him to instruct in a broad scope that integrates dance technique, creative practices and theoretical, research-driven work. Schuchart teaches required courses for both the dance major and minor as well as arts GERs that attract students from across the university.
“Teaching classes that involve dancers and non-majors can be challenging,” one student wrote, “but he was able to work effectively with both groups.”
When the pandemic hit, he took the opportunity to re-evaluate course instruction, and as a result has helped expand the Dance Department’s ongoing offerings in online, asynchronous classes.
Schuchart serves on the department’s undergraduate admissions team and helps facilitate outreach and recruiting activities. He is the faculty representative for the American College Dance Association and served as conference manager three times when UWM hosted the event, most recently in 2022, which brought 350-plus attendees and 26 universities to campus.
Schuchart is also active in the local dance community. He is artistic director of Wild Space Dance Company and collaborates with many others.
“Dan excels at making learning about movement accessible,” wrote one student.
UWM Faculty Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award
Peter W. Lenz, teaching associate professor, psychology
Peter Lenz touches the lives of hundreds of students taking psychology classes every semester. “Every student who majors in psychology will take a class with Pete before they graduate and many of our minors as well,” wrote Deborah Hannula, associate chair of the department, in a nomination letter. As a research methods instructor, Lenz helps students develop the scientific writing and critical thinking skills that are vital for more advanced coursework not only in the major, but also in other university courses and, eventually, in professional settings.
In addition to teaching, Lenz has led an effort to align the research methods coursework in both online and in-person classes so that the curriculum, learning outcomes and overall student experience are well-matched however the student takes the class. He has also developed a professional development component of the class, helping students develop CVs and bringing in outside speakers to talk about the different opportunities available in the field.
One student credited Lenz for helping him get involved in on-campus research and other opportunities. “He has taken my snowball of interest in psychology, and with a gentle shove in the right direction turned it into a boulder of fascination and determination.”
UWM Faculty Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Awards
Daniel Burkholder, associate professor, Department of Dance
Daniel Burkholder balances creative play with academic structure and rigor in his teaching, according to Maria Gillespie, chair of the Dance Department. He encourages student participation in research, serving as a SURF mentor to help students gain professional development as they experience the creative process. Recently two students spent a semester with him experimenting with various approaches to creating choreography in virtual reality.
Burkholder works with students to incorporate new media and projections into choreography and performances. He also brings innovative dance into the community. His work, “Scenic Route-MKE,” was set outside throughout different Milwaukee locations, attracting audiences to improvised performances in natural settings. In the summer of 2022, Burkholder led 12 UWM students in a two-week study abroad in Paris at the Camping International Dance Festival. Students explored explore international dance and met dance students from outside the U.S.
Before joining UWM in 2011, Burkholder had invested 20 years in innovative dancemaking, teaching, research and community engagement as the artistic director of the Washington, D.C., based dance company The Playground. A graduate of UWM’s master’s program, Burkholder was honored with a GOLD (Graduate of the Last Decade) award in 2018.
Katherine Du, assistant professor of marketing, Lubar College of Business
Katherine Du’s nomination letters came from students who are taking what they’ve learned in her marketing course outside of the classroom.
One student mentioned that she had noticed behaviors in a store that made her think about something she had learned in Du’s Consumer Behavior class. “When I mentioned it to Dr. Du, she told me I wasn’t the first student who had mentioned observing something outside of class. This just shows how impactful her lessons are to her students.”
Several students commented on how Du helped them make the transition back to in-person classes. “Like many students, I faced challenges adjusting to in-person courses after the peak of the pandemic,” one student wrote. “Professor Du discreetly took note of this, made sure to personally notify me of the major assignments that were on horizon, and reinforced her availability to ensure that I was prepared.”
Her teaching combines research-supported academics with real-world events, and encouraged lively in-class discussion, including even the quietest students. “I don’t often get excited to go to class, one student wrote, but I was always excited to come to this one.”
Rebecca Neumann, professor, Department of Economics
In addition to other courses, Rebecca Neumann teaches two of the Economics Department’s largest sections of introductory economics. She strives in these gateway classes to encourage those who may be “afraid” of economics to succeed, said Kundan Kishor, department chair, in his nomination letter.
Neumann approaches economics by encouraging students to connect the subject with their everyday lives and current events. For example, a cookie auction helps students understand the demand curve. Music is sometimes part of the mix – Playing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones at the start of class kicks off a discussion on opportunity cost, scarcity and needs versus wants.
Her innovative use of technology keeps both online and in-person students engaged as active class participants. Students credit Neumann’s passion and enthusiasm for the subject with sparking their interest in economics. One student from Economics 325 wrote: “This was the first economics course that I actually liked and found interesting. You are a great professor. Thanks for a good semester. I don’t dread economics as much as I used to now.”
Stephane Scholz, associate professor of sociology, College of General Studies
Stephane Scholz uses an inclusive classroom approach that brings in student input on important topics, making sure students feel valued and heard in the classroom, wrote colleagues who nominated him.
He is continually working to improve his teaching. He completed the Association of College and University Educators course on effective teaching practices, a semester-long graduate-level course, and brought what he learned back to his classes. He brought what he learned about effective course design, promoting active learning and evaluating student learning back to the courses he teaches.
In a unit on climate change, for example, students read about the international environmental treaty efforts such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement. The students took the part of different participants, and were encouraged to think about global economic inequalities and link those issues with environmental outcomes in terms of policy.
Student surveys reflect their appreciation. Students wrote that every bit of information he provided helped them understand and educate themselves on relevant issues. “It was great class, really opened the mind to the issues we face in today’s world,” one student wrote.
UWM Faculty Distinguished University Service Award
Kristene Surerus, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry
Kristene Surerus has helped shape the UWM campus. After distinguishing herself as a researcher, teacher and department chair in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, she added another level of service to the university helping campus planners make the best use of the university’s classrooms and buildings. In 2015, she became special assistant to the provost for space planning.
This effort involved helping make informed decisions about the university’s spaces. In this role, she works with campus planners to update classrooms and develop new active learning spaces. She helped with the new nursing simulation center and the redesign of spaces in the Northwest Quadrant. Her work informs long-range planning for space usage on campus.
Surerus’s academic background gives her a unique perspective, wrote Karen Wolfert, campus architect and planner in a nomination letter.
“She has a diplomatic approach to complex situations and strives for resolutions that improve the campus for students, faculty and staff. Her broad understanding of UWM includes academic, program development, teaching, research, and budget areas. Because of this, she can offer alternatives that others don’t even know could be possible.”
UWM Distinguished Public Service Awards
Clark Evans, professor and Atmospheric Science program chair, School of Freshwater Sciences
Clark Evans personifies a scientist whose professional activities contribute to the public good and enhance UWM’s reputation. Evans, a professor in the atmospheric science program, uses meteorological models to better understand and improve our ability to predict high-impact weather events like hurricanes and severe thunderstorms.
In addition to his academic research, Evans is a science communicator who shares knowledge and forecasts of high-impact weather events with general audiences. He has created his own website to share hurricane model forecasts with the public. This site has been used by several major media outlets, including the New York Times and Reuters, when storms threaten the U.S.
He is also the faculty adviser for The Climate Consensus, a student organization that aims to promote dialog between scientists and the community about climate change by inspiring future scientists to conduct outreach to their communities. He is also generous with his time, serving as a commissioner for the American Meteorological Society’s Scientific and Technological Activities Commission, a Trustee of Grafton, Wisconsin, and on other scientific boards.
Ilya Avdeev, director of innovation, Lubar Entrepreneurship Center
As director of innovation at the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center and cofounder of the I-Corps Site of Southeastern Wisconsin, Ilya Avdeev builds pathways for students, alumni and community members to engage in entrepreneurship.
He also uses his expertise in design thinking to spur innovation outside the boundaries of campus. The list of Avdeev’s contributions during his 14-year tenure at UWM includes his empowering Milwaukee Public School teachers become creative curriculum designers, helping neurodivergent K-12 students develop their skills and talents, and partnering with health care educators at the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Kern Institute to improve health care outcomes.
His recent collaborative work with MCW is a great example of the many community-facing projects involving critical issues that Avdeev has volunteered for or initiated. Under his leadership, more than 150 stakeholders participated in the design of a mobile clinic for underserved populations. UWM engineering students developed a full-scale clinic prototype that was used for multiple design sprints at UWM and MCW. The ideas generated will inform the build of the mobile clinic this year and next.
UWM Research in the Humanities Award
Blain Neufeld, professor of philosophy, College of Letters & Science
Through his powerful and innovative work, Blain Neufeld has achieved an international reputation in political philosophy. Neufeld modifies, extends and defends John Rawls’ theory of political justice, the most important such theory for modern liberal democracies to have appeared in at least a century.
In his 2022 book, “Public Reason and Political Autonomy,” Neufeld offers an innovative interpretation and defense of public reason, an important and controversial notion in the context of Rawls’ political liberalism. The idea of public reason is that the rules by which we govern our collective lives in a modern democratic liberal society be justifiable to all who are bound by those rules.
Central to his interpretation and defense of public reason is shared political autonomy, an ideal, he says, that binds together free, equal and diverse citizens who nonetheless are committed to governing their lives together politically. Neufeld argues in the book that the ideal of political autonomy does better than the alternatives in justifying the idea of public reason and answering key objections to political liberalism.
Nigel Rothfels, professor of history, College of Letters & Science
Nigel Rothfels is a historian and leading authority on animal studies and zoo history. His research, which is both inter- and transdisciplinary, has been broadly acclaimed, garnering him international attention and grant funding.
Rothfels’ work demonstrates the vitality of a humanities approach to biological and ecological questions. Most recently, he is co-principal investigator with an international array of scientists and humanists that aims to expand our understanding of the captive management of wild animals, a space where human and animal lives intersect.
Rothfels wrote about animals in captivity in his first book, “Savages and Beasts: The Birth of the Modern Zoo.” His most recent monograph, “Elephant Trails: A History of Animals and Cultures,” traces the history of elephant-human interactions and how elephants are a part of how people make sense of their world.Rothfels has written 25 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, co-authored a book about elephants and zoos, and edited a book series in animal studies. He has been the recipient of major national humanities awards in the United States and Australia.
UWM Office of Research Senior Research Awards
John Berges, professor, Biological Sciences
John Berges’ research tackles questions in aquatic ecology and cell biology of aquatic organisms, using a broad range of biophysical, biochemical and molecular tools. Focusing primarily on phytoplankton, Berges’ work characterizes responses of algae to environmental stresses. This work has implications for understanding climate change and harmful algal blooms. Berges’ lab was involved in the first genome sequencing of two marine phytoplankton.
He has studied topics ranging from algal nitrate metabolism to the “programmed cell death” in phytoplankton, a complex process that scientists are only beginning to understand. He has investigated other challenges facing the Great Lakes, including invasive zooplankton. Berges has been funded throughout his career from U.S. state and federal agencies and the U.K.’s Natural Environment Research Council. In 2018, he was elected a fellow of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, the major professional organization in his field.
Berges also strives for excellence in teaching. He is a fellow of the U.K. Higher Education Academy and in 2015 received a UWM Faculty Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award.
Hobart Davies, professor of psychology, College of Letters & Science
For more than three decades W. Hobart Davies has conducted research designed to help children experiencing both acute and chronic health conditions, and the providers who care for these youth and their families. Davies has made impactful research contributions to many areas of pediatric psychology, including pain and pain dismissal by providers, feeding concerns, gastroenterology, pediatric intensive care, emergency medicine and traumas such as experiencing child abuse or community violence.
Within each of these domains, Davies’ work has informed providers and families about best practices. In the domain of pediatric pain, for example, Davies’ research has examined how providers manage pain in youth, how a child’s pain impacts family dynamics, how parents attempt to manage a child’s pain, and how psychological interventions for pain management in youth are developed. He has been the recipient of numerous grants, has served on the editorial board of five different journals in pediatric psychology, and is a past recipient of the National Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Laodong Guo, professor, School of Freshwater Sciences
Laodong Guo’s research spans the field of aquatic biogeochemistry – from the cycling of natural organic matter and phosphorus to the environmental behavior of emerging contaminants, such as microplastics and per- and polyfluoroalkyl, or PFAS, substances. A major scientific contribution has been his work on the remobilization of organic carbon from the Arctic permafrost and the biogeochemical response to environment change in northern, high-latitude regions, which is the fastest-warming region of the globe.
More recently, Guo has launched studies into the fate and transformation of microplastics and PFAS in aquatic environments. His research group combines field studies and control laboratory experiments in their studies to provide an improved understanding of formation pathways of nanoplastics and the interactions between PFAS and natural organic matter in the environment.
Guo is the most published member of the school’s faculty each year, with well over 200 publications and more than 14,000 citations. He has been rated as the best earth scientist at UWM in 2023 by Research.com, which used data compiled from OpenAlex and CrossRef in December 2022.
UWM Foundation Research Recognition Awards
Filipe Alberto, associate professor, Biological Sciences
Filipe Alberto is widely recognized as a leading scholar in the field of seascape genetics. His innovative research addresses fundamental questions about evolutionary processes in marine ecosystems and critical applications needed to tackle the global need for increased renewable energy and food production.
As the principal investigator for multiple federal grants totaling more than $4 million, Alberto has engaged in an ambitious program to characterize the genomes of giant kelp and bull kelp. He is using his findings to breed fast-growing kelp lineages for biofuel production. This is possible through his important breakthroughs in propagating the microscopic gametophytic stage of kelp and the data he has collected to select for kelp lineages best suited to local growing conditions.
Through his remarkable efforts he is continually propagating the largest collection of kelp biodiversity in North America, which he grows in his research laboratory at UWM, according to his nominators. Alberto’s work has fundamentally changed our understanding of the ecology and genetics of these ecosystem-building species, and how they adapt to environmental change.
Kelsey Autin, associate professor of Educational Psychology, School of Education
Kelsey Autin’s work has garnered considerable national and international attention in the field of vocational psychology because of her innovative research on the theory of “decent work.” The International Labour Organization defines decent work as “productive work for people in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.”
“Dr. Autin has utilized sophisticated methodological and statistical designs to contribute empirically based knowledge of the predictors, mediators, moderators and outcomes of decent work,” wrote one of her nominators. “Her contributions have provided the tools necessary to further research in this area. Multiple citations and prolific use of her measures are specific indicators of the value of her work in the generation of new knowledge.”
Autin has published 49 peer-reviewed articles and five book chapters. Her publication record is comparable to more experienced scholars in the field, her nominators said. Last year, she served as co-chair for the Society for Vocational Psychology, the primary professional organization for the field, and in 2021 was the recipient of that society’s Early Career Award.
Roshan D’Souza, associate professor of mechanical engineering
Roshan D’Souza leads groundbreaking research to enhance blood flow imaging, with the ultimate goal of deepening our understanding of hemodynamics and its impact on cardiovascular diseases. His team employs cutting-edge technologies, such as physics-informed neural networks, to improve MRI-based blood flow images for clinical use.
In 2016, D’Souza shifted his focus to medical image processing for cardiologic and neurologic vascular diseases, overcoming challenges to secure $1.4 million in recent National Science Foundation grants. Since joining UWM in 2009, he has received five NSF awards and served as a vital site principal investigator for an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health.
Furthermore, D’Souza has established collaborations with esteemed institutions, including the University of Utah, Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School and the Medical College of Wisconsin, augmenting his impressive achievements.