Prof. Harvey J. Kaye of Democracy and Justice was tightly scheduled Thursday morning. He was due to be a studio guest on the Huffington Post’s “Huff Post Live” national morning show (his third appearance in the last month or so) during the 9 a.m. CST hour. He also revisited the Nicole Sandler talk show at 9:30am CST to talk about the Democratic debate, labor and Bernie Sanders. See details.
Faculty member Karen Dalke, Ph.D., of Sociology and Public and Environmental Affairs, contributed a film review to Animalia, the anthrozoology journal. She reviewed the 2012 film “Bestiare,” based on the classic mythical tales that use mythical creatures to convey legends or teach moral tales. See details.
UW-Green Bay’s Center for Middle East Studies and Partnerships will be joining St Norbert College’s Norman Miller Center for Peace, Justice and Public Understanding for a round-table discussion on the Syrian refugee crisis last night (Nov. 12). The event, “We Can’t Look Away: A Conversation about the World Refugee Crisis,” took place on the SNC campus. Featured panelists were Ozum Yesiltas, visiting assistant professor of political science (SNC); Robert Pyne, senior director for community engagement (SNC); David Coury, professor of Humanistic Studies and Global Studies (UWGB); and Katia Levinova, associate professor of Political Science and Global Studies (UWGB).
Humanistic Studies’ Great Books discussion series continues tonight (Tuesday, Nov. 10) with a presentation of the novel My Name is Red, a work written by the Turkish Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk. Prof. David Coury (Humanistic Studies and German) will lead the discussion, which starts at 6:30 p.m. at the downtown branch of the Brown County Public library. All events are free and open to the public.
People usually privilege the visual as a source of veracity (“seeing is believing”), but this month’s edition of the Philosophers’ Café discussion series invites Prof. Carol Emmons of UW-Green Bay’s Art and Design program to explore the question, “Does art tell the truth?” We have learned about the ancient past largely through evidence from visual culture, ranging from prehistoric cave paintings to burial goods to illustrated manuscripts. Do they convey the same message to everyone? How do we know they’re “accurate”? The discussion commences Wednesday (Nov. 11) at 7 p.m. at the Titletown Tap Room (across the parking lot from the brewery).
It will be a Big Data couple of days when the SAS team from the SAS world headquarters in Cary, N.C., comes to UW-Green Bay next spring — Thursday, May 5, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday, May 6, from 7:30 a.m. to noon, to be precise. The visitors will lead hands-on Big Data and Data Analytics workshops. SAS (Statistical Analysis System) is a software suite for advanced analytics and business intelligence, and is used at more than 75,000 sites worldwide including 93 of the top 100 Fortune 500 companies. Hands-on labs will be offered on Big Data, Text Mining, Visual Analytics and Data Mining. Associate Prof. Gaurav Bansal of the Cofrin School of Business and academic director of UWGB’s newly launched online collaborative masters in data science program, is behind the effort as local host. He says the hands-on labs require basically no prior programming experience and will be a great opportunity for UWGB students in particular, and others, to get a feel for Big Data and advanced data analytics. Industry leaders and experts are expected to take part as keynotes and panelists. Watch this space for links to speaker profiles, registration opportunities and a schedule, along with further details.
Profs. Soo Il Shin and Gaurav Bansal of the Austin E. Cofrin School of Business, along with two professors from California State University at Monterey Bay, have been invited to co-chair a conference mini-track on Social Network Analytics in Big Data Environment for the 22nd Americas Conference on Information Systems to be held in San Diego in August 2016.
Political scientist Aaron Weinschenk, assistant professor of Public and Environmental Affairs, contributed a chapter to a new book (Presidential Swing States: Why Only Ten Matter, Lexington Books, November 2015). Titled “The Badger State as a Battleground: Wisconsin Politics Past, Present, and Future,” the chapter is co-authored with Neil Kraus of UW-River Falls. It focuses on explaining why Wisconsin is seen as “up for grabs” during presidential elections. It provides a historical overview of Wisconsin politics, discusses current electoral trends and results, and speculates about what is in store for Wisconsin during the 2016 election.
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Weinschenk previews GOP debate — Speaking of swing states, Prof. Aaron Weinschenk talks about the choice of Milwaukee for the Nov. 10 Republican presidential debate with NBC-TV 26.
Prof. Susan Gallagher-Lepak is the third speaker in the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s “Last Lecture Series” line-up. Gallagher-Lepak will present, “E-learning: The Train has Left the Station,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 18.
The Last Lecture Series is part of the celebration of UWGB’s 50th Anniversary. Each month of the fall and spring semesters, a UW-Green Bay faculty is chosen to give a public presentation on a topic of his or her choice. They are to convey what lecture they would give if it was to be their last. The monthly lectures take place in the University Union’s Christie Theatre, at 2420 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay. The lectures are free and open to the public.
“Higher education has changed dramatically since UW-Green Bay began in 1965,” Gallagher-Lepak says, as to why she chose this topic. “A major transformation has been the introduction and growth of e-learning. E-Learning is ubiquitous and a desired format for many learners. It allows for anytime/anywhere learning. As a faculty member heavily involved in teaching online courses, I have a perspective to share about why I ‘jumped on the train.’ “
Her lecture will focus on several pivotal e-learning influences that have shaped her thinking and application of e-learning. The lecture will specifically address the questions:
- What is e-learning? How much e-learning is going on?
- What influences and experiences led me (and excited me) to teach online courses?
- What’s ahead for e-learning in higher education (includes some areas we need to be concerned about)
Gallagher-Lepak is both a licensed psychologist and a registered nurse for the State of Wisconsin. She has been an instructor at UW-Green Bay since 2003, and was promoted to full professor in 2015. She serves as both Chair and Director of the UWGB’s Nursing program. She earned a B.S. in Nursing from Marquette University, a Master of Science in Nursing from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Ph.D. for Rehabilitation Counseling Psychology with a minor in Educational Psychology from University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The following are the remaining Last Lectures:
- Feb. 17- Lucy Arendt, Associate Dean, College of Professional Studies, “Made to Serve: The Tragic Corruption of America’s Founding Values”
- March 23- Steve Meyer, Associate Professor, Natural and Applied Sciences, “Forget the Three T’s: Focus on the Six C’s”
- April 13- Phil Clampitt, Professor, Information and Computing Science, “The Magical Connection between Uncertainty, Innovation, and the Human Spirit.”
A sizeable campus and community audience learned more Tuesday (Nov. 3) about a hands-on history and art project that is teaching UW-Green Bay students the facts about an industrial-strength plant that shaped life in the ancient and medieval world.
“The Flax Project” was the topic of UW-Green Bay Profs. Heidi Sherman and Alison Gates in a slide-illustrated presentation offered as part of the After Thoughts series at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts.
Historian Sherman and textile artist Gates talked about their efforts since 2011 to perfect the ancient art and practice of turning flax into linen by growing a fiber crop and processing the harvest on a college campus. Although they have planted successful crops each year with teams of new students from History, Art and several other majors, it has never been easy. Especially the processing.
“In the Middle Ages, it was called ‘the agony of the flax,’” Sherman told the audience.
“Fiber is not for the weak,” Gates said. She drew a laugh when she described “scutching,” one of the steps in the process, “as basically just whacking the hell out of the fiber.”
The interdisciplinary work by Sherman and Gates grew out of earlier research at UW-Green Bay suggesting linen made from flax was a history-changing development for societies including the ancient Greeks, who used it to construct lightweight, virtually impenetrable battle armor.
Sherman described her work as “experiential archeology.” She has led student travel trips to Russia where they worked with 1,000-year-old tools and learned that the arduous task of creating linen was something that frequently demanded the communal cooperation of entire villages.
Lessons learned there only amplify the experiences students encounter in harvesting and processing the plants from UW-Green Bay’s small, central-campus plots. Students learn about “rippling” seed bolls from the fiber tips, which must be done before the flax is laid in water to rett (to soak and separate the fiber from the stem) followed by breaking the stem into short segments, scutching to extracting the fibers and “heckling” (combing) the flax before it is spun and woven for use.
Sherman says her history students — relatively few of whom will be professional, Ph.D. historians but many of whom will go on to teach K-12 history or serve as historical interpreters — will occasionally offer up a good-natured grumble if crop-pulling day is hot, or when the harvested flax fibers soaking in children’s wading pools emit powerfully pungent odors. Mostly, though, the students are big fans.
“They love this,” Sherman said. “It’s a way to learn history by getting your hands dirty.”
Gates said that, over the course of the “Flax Project,” she has been learning right alongside her Introduction to Textile students. A trained artist, she said had never much paid attention to the history of textile art created before the first decade or so of the 1900s. The quality of Sherman’s medieval scholarship on flax and linen and the people who worked those materials drew her into the topic, Gates said.
The idea of “growing our own arts supplies here on campus,” was another plus, Gates said. (It became even more appealing when the UWGB Medieval Dye Garden succeeded in growing plants historically used for their ability to yield naturally occurring red, blue and yellow dye for the linen.)
The biggest breakthrough for fiber and textile artists on campus, however, came with the acquisition of a 21st century Hollander beater. Based on a 17th century design, it’s basically an industrial blender that’s “a two-gallon version of what’s in every local paper mill,” Gates said.
As a final result, art students are honing their artisanal skills in creating high-grade linen paper and fine art from material grown at the heart of campus.
(The vivid green flax stands and their pretty blue flowers add visual interest to the decorative planters on the rooftop plaza atop the Student Services Building.)
While linen paper is being created now, production of linen fabric from the Flax Project isn’t likely any time soon, the presenters indicated in response to audience questions. The reasons involve limitations of time, resources and machinery. It was noted that the Vikings are said to have needed seven years to hand-make a single sail of linen, with eight or more “spinners” needed to feed one loom.
UW-Green Bay Dean of Professional Studies Sue Mattison introduced the presentation by noting that Sherman and Gates have presented at national and international conferences. Eva Andersson Strand, one of the world’s leading specialists on Viking-age textile production, visited UW-Green Bay last fall for workshops with faculty and students. Additionally, Mattison noted that Sherman’s hands-on experience with the Flax Project has persuaded some scholars to reexamine long-held notions about the tools and processes used to make early linen fabric.
Photos by student intern Kayla Erma, Office of Marketing and University Communication
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