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Fourteen UW-Green Bay faculty members up for academic promotions, tenure

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The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents is set to consider promotions or tenure for 14 UW-Green Bay faculty members during its meeting June 6-7 at UW-Milwaukee.

The following faculty members are up for a promotion from assistant professor to associate professor with tenure: Adolfo Garcia, Information and Computing Science; Doreen Higgins, Social Work; Christopher Martin, Humanistic Studies; Michelle McQuade Dewhirst, Music; Janet Reilly, Nursing; Charles Rybak, Humanistic Studies; and David Severtson, Music. The Regents also will consider promoting the following individuals to the rank of full professor:

David Coury, Humanistic Studies, is chair of Humanistic Studies and also a faculty member in Modern Languages (German) and Global Studies. He joined the faculty at UW-Green Bay in 1996 after receiving a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati. Coury has published books and articles on Austrian writer Peter Handke as well as a variety of articles on contemporary German and European film and literature. His current research studies the cultural effects of globalization and reconfigurations of national and cultural identity. Most recently he has published on Turkish Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk and the Iranian-German writer Navid Kermani.

In 2010, Coury helped found the Center for Middle East Studies and Partnerships and was the principal investigator on a U.S. Department of Education Fulbright-Hays grant, which brought a group of 13 educators from around the state for a month long study and research trip to Jordan. He is also the founder of the Green Bay Film Society, a non-profit community group that for the past 12 years has organized an International Film Series at the Neville Public Museum. In his free time, he enjoys travelling, reading and going to the cinema.

Michael Draney, Natural and Applied Sciences, teaches Biology and Environmental Science courses and is a member of the graduate faculty of the Environmental Science and Policy program. Since 2007, he has conducted spider research in Panama and Costa Rica, and has led field biology travel courses there. Draney is an arachnologist interested in biogeography, community ecology and conservation of spiders, and is an expert on one of the most diverse spider families, the sheet-web spiders (Linyphiidae). He co-authored the first identification key to the 150+ genera of linyphiid spiders in North America. Most of Draney’s numerous research papers have been published in collaboration with graduate students working with him at UW-Green Bay, as well as from other institutions around the country.

Draney grew up in New Mexico, and received his B.S. in Biology from New Mexico State University. He earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in Entomology at the University of Georgia before returning to NMSU for a post-doc in 1998. He started at UW-Green Bay in fall 1999, and is also a Research Associate at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. In addition to his fascination with spiders and other invertebrates, biology and science, Draney enjoys race walking, juggling and playing mandolin and ukulele.

Kevin Fermanich, Natural and Applied Sciences, is past chair of UW-Green Bay’s Environmental Science and Policy Graduate Program, and has taught courses including Introduction to Earth Science, Hydrology, The Soil Environment, Environmental Systems, Remote Sensing and GIS and the Graduate Seminar in Environmental Science and Policy, among others. His research interests include soil processes and ground water quality; hydrology of wetlands and the fate of contaminants. Fermanich was instrumental in starting UW-Green Bay’s Environmental Management and Business Institute, and served as its interim co-director during the 2008-09 academic year. He is the project director of the Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program, a collaborative watershed education and stream-monitoring program that provides hands-on experience for teams of high school students and teachers from throughout Northeastern Wisconsin. He has taught travel courses in Costa Rica and supervised numerous research activities and graduate projects during his time at UW-Green Bay.

Fermanich began his UW-Green Bay career as an assistant professor in fall 1998, receiving a promotion to associate professor in 2004. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from UW-Stevens Point, and his Master’s of Science and Ph.D. at UW-Madison. Fermanich’s outside activities include serving as race director for the Stump Farm Trail Race and Duathlon, an annual fundraiser for the Ashwaubenon Nordic Ski Team.

Jennifer Ham, Humanistic Studies, has taught a wide array of courses on German literature, culture, cinema and translation studies, from lower-level and advanced German language classes to courses on all periods of German literature and history. Her work in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) as both a UW System Teaching Fellow and Scholar informs her teaching, which also includes directing internships in the humanities. While serving for many years as Chair of UW-Green Bay’s Modern Languages Program, Ham has presented and published on topics including turn-of-the-century schooling, theater, animal studies, Nietzsche and femininity, cabaret and German cinema.

Ham is the author and coeditor of two books, “Elastizität: The Poetics of Space, Character and Movement in Frank Wedekind’s Theater” and “Animal Acts: Configuring the Human in Western History,” as well as numerous articles. She is working on a third anthology of interdisciplinary essays on the historical borders of educational theory and concepts of German nationhood, provisionally titled “Schooling Desire: Modern Pedagogies and Nation-Building in Germany 1871-1949.” Committed to improving global understanding, Ham has also introduced countless UW-Green Bay students to life in Germany and Switzerland through numerous travel courses to Western Europe. She is also this year’s recipient of the UW-Green Bay Founder’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Ham will be on research leave during the 2013-14 school year at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.

Derek S. Jeffreys, Humanistic Studies, received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Divinity School. After teaching in Thailand and California, he came to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in 2000. He developed the first Religious Studies program UW-Green Bay, where he is also a member of the Philosophy Discipline. Jeffreys’ research explores ethics and violence. In addition to writing numerous articles, Jeffreys is author of three books: “Defending Human Dignity: John Paul II and Political Realism” (2004); “Spirituality and the Ethics of Torture” (2008), and “Spirituality in Dark Places: the Ethics of Solitary Confinement” (2013). He teaches courses that focus on religion and science, the philosophy of religion, Buddhism, the Renaissance, medieval philosophy and ethics and politics. Jeffreys loves to speak Italian, and has organized student travel courses to Florence, Italy. In 2009, he received UW-Green Bay’s Founders Award for Excellence in Teaching. Jeffreys gives numerous public lectures on and off campus. He also volunteers at the Green Bay Correctional Institution, where he offers inmates lectures on philosophy.

John F. Katers, Natural and Applied Sciences (Engineering), and member of the graduate faculty in Environmental Science and Policy, teaches courses on pollution control, pollution prevention, waste management, renewable energy and resource management. His research has been in these same areas, where he has been able to consistently obtain research funding for his work, supporting more than 30 graduate student thesis projects and numerous other undergraduate research projects. Most notably, Katers has worked on anaerobic digestion systems for dairy farms, where Wisconsin is a national leader, and on solid waste and recycling issues in Wisconsin, with Katers being the current Chair of the Brown County Solid Waste Board. Katers is also the director of the University’s Environmental Management and Business Institute (EMBI) and serves as the academic director of the newly created on-line M.S. program in Sustainable Management.

Katers has been at UW-Green Bay since 1995, working for the University of Wisconsin Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center as a recycling specialist before joining the Natural and Applied Sciences faculty in 1999. He holds a B.S. in Environmental Science and Business Administration and an M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from UW-Green Bay and a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Marquette University. Katers has received numerous awards for community service, including the UW-Green Bay Founders Award for Community Outreach and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Green Bay Southwest High School. He was also named a Wisconsin Idea Fellow by the University of Wisconsin System in recognition of his outstanding public service and outreach to business and industry. More recently, he was awarded a Fulbright Specialist position that will allow him to travel to Chile to work collaboratively on sustainability issues with the Universidad del Desarrollo in Santiago.

In his free time, Katers enjoys golf and bowling, where he is the author of eight 300 games. He also coaches youth bowling and baseball, but everything else stops when the Packers play.

Sarah Meredith-Livingston, Music, has mentored and taught many students and singers who are teaching, singing and enrolled in graduate programs in Wisconsin, as well as throughout the Midwest and in Europe. She has performed, served as an international adjudicator and taught masterclasses throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest, as well as in Europe and Brazil. Meredith-Livingston was the recipient of the Collaborative Fulbright award for 1989-90, in Germany; and the Teaching/Performing Fulbright at the University of Sao Paulo-Ribeirao Preto, Brazil, in July 2011. She has secured two return invitations and has brought UW-Green Bay faculty and students to the university in Brazil.

In 2001-02, Meredith-Livingston received the International Rotary Stipend for University Professors, and she taught and performed at the Academy of Music in Bratislava, Slovakia. She has served as faculty coordinator for the Office of International Education, and since 1991 has raised funds and organized travel courses for students and faculty to perform and/or study in Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Brazil. Meredith-Livingston is the founder and director of the Czech/Slovak International Voice Competition semi-finals, which in September will be held for the sixth time at UW-Green Bay. In 2002, she made the initial UW-Green Bay contact with the Romualdo Del Bianco-Life Beyond Tourism Foundation, which in 2013 gifted the University with a 550-lb. Leonardo Da Vinci bust — the only one of its kind in the United States. Meredith-Livingston received an award from the Foundation for promotion of international collaboration between music faculty and students.

Meredith-Livingston lives in rural Sturgeon Bay with her husband, Jay and black lab, Gauge, and has three adult children. Her hobbies include nurturing the flowers and trees in her yard.

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