Kersten honored with Frankenthal Professorship at UW-Green Bay
History Prof. Andrew Kersten has been selected to hold the Frankenthal Professorship at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay for a five-year term through 2014. The honor was announced at the University’s annual mid-year convocation of faculty and staff on Jan. 19.Named professorships are created through private gifts that support the study and research of a faculty member who has an outstanding record of scholarly accomplishment. The annual stipend associated with this particular professorship is for five years, but the recipient retains the title for life. Stipends are typically applied to research expenses or special projects benefitting students or service to the community.
The Frankenthal Professorship was established in 1980 in honor of the late Siegfried W. Frankenthal of Green Bay by members of the Frankenthal family. The first named professorship at UW-Green Bay, it is open to faculty members from every field of study.
Kersten joined the UW-Green Bay faculty in 1997 after earning his Ph.D. in United States history from the University of Cincinnati. A full professor with the Social Change and Development academic unit, he 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. He was part of a larger editorial and publishing team that shared the 2006 Founders Award for collaborative achievement on the Voyageur local history magazine.
His primary areas of interest are U.S. labor history and the relationships between average workers and the federal government. He has written extensively on the experiences of workers in the 20th century. His books include Race, Jobs, and the War (2000), an investigation of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Fair Employment Practice Committee; Labor’s Home Front: The American Federation of Labor and World War II (2006); A. Philip Randolph: A Life in the Vanguard (2007); and Politics and Progress: The American State and Society since the Civil War, which he co-edited.
Kersten’s community involvement includes service on the editorial board of Voyageur, as a member of the National Railroad Museum board of directors, and to the Friends of the Cofrin Library organization. He has received numerous grants to support the teaching of history at UW-Green Bay and throughout the region, headed by a 2002 award of $822,000 from the U.S. Department of Education to create the highly successful Teaching American History project for students in Northeastern Wisconsin.
Kersten received a ceremonial medallion along with the title “Frankenthal Professor” at the mid-year convocation. He succeeds music Prof. Cheryl Grosso as current holder of the professorship. He is the seventh UW-Green Bay faculty member (and second Kersten) to be awarded the title. His father, Prof. Emeritus Frederick I. Kersten, was a philosophy and humanities scholar who held the Frankenthal Professorship from 1984 through 1988.
The Frankenthal Professorship is one of eight named professorships at UW-Green Bay.