Every year the College of General Studies awards various faculty and staff for their work during that academic year. The awards are: Excellence in Research and Scholarly Activity, Excellence in Teaching, Outstanding Staff, Excellence in Service, and Outstanding Instructional Academic Staff. We are proud to announce the winners this year below!
Excellence in Research and Scholarly Activity Award: Professor Ellyn Lem
Ellyn Lem is a Professor English at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Waukesha where she has taught a variety of literature and writing courses since 2003. Gray Matters is Lem’s second book, her first being a co-written monograph, The Work-Family Debate in Popular Culture with philosophy professor Tim Dunn. She often writes articles and gives talks on popular culture topics at academic conferences and for local organizations, including community reads. On campus, Lem also serves as the director of the Honors program and the advisor to student veterans.
Almost an “empty-nester” with one son about to finish college and the other about to start, Ellyn keeps busy with regular treks to the Y, the public library and the farmers’ market, often on her bike.
Excellence in Teaching Award: Professor Stephan Scholz
Professor Scholz is an Associate Professor of Sociology with a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College and a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. He teaches classes in environmental sociology, criminology, and criminal justice, and has conducted research on labor market recruitment in the manufacturing sector, sustainable development and climate change, and the efficacy of treatment alternatives and drug courts in Wisconsin. As a teacher he hopes to spark in his students at least one “Aha!” moment in which they connect the dots between their lives and the wider social structures in which they find themselves. Professor Scholz feels passionate about teaching the substantive content of sociology, but also tries to convey an appreciation for theoretical insight and methodological rigor. He wants students to feel empowered by their own ability to generate insights and engage in systematic analysis. His students in the College of General Studies are engaged, thoughtful and insightful. His colleagues are dedicated to their craft, genuinely care for their students, and want to see them succeed. They both keep him on his toes and motivate him to keep working on his own pedagogy.
Outstanding Staff Award: Kristin Schneider
Kristin Schneider is the Senior Instructional Specialist for Biology and Chemistry. Ms. Schneider earned a B.A. in Chemistry & Mathematics from Alverno College in Milwaukee, WI. After graduation, she stayed in the Milwaukee area working as a chemist in the brewing and food color industries for 30 years prior to joining UWM.
In the fall of 2017, Ms. Schneider joined the staff of UWM at Waukesha as Lab Manager for both the Biology and Chemistry departments. Her focus is preparing chemicals, supplies and equipment needed for students performing hand-on experiments. She also ensures smooth and efficient lab function by maintaining equipment, monitoring inventory and ordering supplies. She has written and implemented lab specific chemical hygiene plans and monitors safety compliance of teaching labs, preparation areas, chemical storage and hazardous waste accumulation. The most rewarding part of the job is tending plants in the greenhouse, commons corridor and a few of the outdoor planting beds.
Ms. Schneider also serves our country in the U.S. Army Reserve. She has been a member of the 484th Army band for 29 years. She plays both flute and bassoon and holds the rank of Master Sergeant.
Excellence in Service Award: Professor Ron Gulotta
Ron Gulotta is an associate professor of Sociology in the College of General Studies of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Gulotta has been a professor in the UW System for 20 years, previously serving the UW Colleges, and has previously served as an Assistant Professor at Murray State University in Kentucky. Dr. Gulotta received his BA degree from Marquette University and his MSW from UW-Milwaukee, prior to completing his Ph.D. in sociology from Loyola University of Chicago, with research focus on juvenile delinquency and interruptions to deviant careers. He has also engaged in research about career selection and about impacts of Covid restrictions upon the studies and lives of college students.
During his 20 plus years serving the faculties of UW-Waukesha of the former UW Colleges and of UWM, Dr. Gulotta has served as a campus steering committee member and chair, a faculty representative to the UW-Waukesha Foundation, a faculty senator for over 10 years, and a member and chair of other campus committees. Ron Gulotta has also been a leader of numerous campus program initiatives and innovations, both in the classroom and in services to students. Ron Gulotta is also a former recipient of the campus Kaplan Award.
Outstanding Instructional Academic Staff Award: Quintin Bendixen
Quintin Bendixen is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Waukesha in the fields of Geology, Geography, and Sustainability with an interest in how humans interact with the natural world. Research interests include modern and ancient climate change(s) in the polar and temperate regions as they relate to mass extinction events. Research locations include the polar regions of Antarctica and Greenland as well as the Western Interior of the U.S..