Prof. Andrew Kersten bids farewell

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Longtime faculty member and academic administrator Andrew Kersten took part in his final commencement at UW-Green Bay last Saturday (above) before spending this week getting things in order for his move west and a new opportunity at the University of Idaho.

Kersten will begin his duties in late June as dean for the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences, the largest academic division at the University of Idaho with nearly 4,100 students in 11 departments.

At UW-Green Bay, Kersten was UW-Green Bay’s associate provost for academic affairs and director of graduate studies. He has been a member of the faculty and taught history here since 1997, and is one of only two professors in UW-Green Bay history to be a four-time recipient of the Founders Association Award for Excellence. He earned the award in the category of community outreach in fall 2009, for scholarship in 2008 and for teaching in 2007, and shared the 2006 Founders Award for collaborative achievement on the Voyageur local history magazine.

In a May 2005 feature in Inside UW-Green Bay, the University’s alumni magazine, it was noted that Andrew Kersten represented the second generation of UW-Green Bay’s first family of professors.

“My parents were consummate professionals, indefatigable scholars, incredible teachers, caring student mentors, and devoted to the University and community,” he said at the time. “I learned from both of them the importance and joys of teaching and research.”

Andrew, born the year before his father and mother came to UW-Green Bay, joined the faculty five years after his father retired. Frederick Kersten had taught philosophy and humanities courses. He received the Frankenthal Professorship and the Founders Association Award for excellence in scholarship. Andrew’s mother, Raquel, was a gifted teacher. She, too, was a recipient of a Founders Association award and numerous honors. She is warmly remembered as the face of UW-Green Bay’s dynamic Spanish and Latin American literature program during the institution’s first two decades. She passed away in October 1988, at the age of 59. Fred Kersten died in 2012 at the age of 81.

“I am living a very rare academic life: teaching in the town where I grew up,” Andrew said in the 2005 interview for Inside. “Although my career and my parents’ careers are quite different, I do feel that I am carrying on a proud UW-Green Bay tradition. It makes my on-campus life all the more special.”