Faculty, staff standouts earn 2011 Founders Awards at UW-Green Bay

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has recognized its top faculty and staff members for 2011 with Founders Association Awards for Excellence.

The awards for excellence and their recipients are:

Teaching — Prof. Rebecca Meacham
Scholarship — Prof. Kristy Deetz
Community Outreach — Prof. William Niedzwiedz
Institutional Development — Kathy Pletcher
Academic Support — Paula Ganyard
Classified Staff — Jeff Brunner
Collaborative Achievement — Business Week series

UW-Green Bay Chancellor Thomas Harden, Founders Association President Scott Wochos and awards committee chairperson Prof. Kimberly Baker presented the awards before an audience of approximately 500 at the annual UW-Green Bay Faculty and Staff Convocation at the University Union. The Founders Association, a philanthropic organization, began the awards program in 1975.

Meacham, recipient of the teaching award, is an associate professor of Humanistic Studies who joined the UW-Green Bay faculty in 2002. She teaches creative writing, literature and women’s and gender studies courses. She also advises the Sheepshead Review student literary magazine and works closely with students as mentor and writing coach. The selection committee praised Meacham for her interdisciplinary approach, and for “taking on relevant and challenging topics in order to help students relate and make connections to contemporary literature and culture.” Students give her courses consistently high marks. Meacham is an award-winning author, having received the nationally prestigious Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction for her collection of character-driven short stories, Let’s Do.

The award for outstanding scholarship recognizes Deetz, an artist who has exhibited widely and been a frequent guest speaker and workshop leader at schools, universities and galleries. In the last three years alone, she has had 17 exhibitions across the country, and her work has been reproduced in two books. An associate professor of Arts and Visual Design at UW-Green Bay, Deetz is nationally recognized as an authority in the art of encaustic painting, which uses pigment with warm wax to create a rich textural effect. The awards citation also praised the way she incorporates philosophy, history, and art in both her classroom and studio work.

Niedzwiedz, honored in the category of community outreach, is a professor of Public and Environmental Affairs and a specialist in geographic information systems, mapping and conservation design. In his 30-year career with UW-Green Bay, he has repeatedly steered his students and classes toward community-based projects that not only enhance learning but serve the public good. Results include the mapping of bike trails in Northeast Wisconsin, development of accessibility maps for the University’s office of disability services, and numerous environmental mapping projects related to shorelines, lakes and watersheds. Singled out for special mention by the selection committee was his work on the 2010 LZ Lambeau project, a massive reunion of Vietnam Era veterans for which Niedzwiedz created a walkable, parking-lot-size map of Vietnam as a focal point for the gathering.

The recipient of this year’s award for academic staff support, Ganyard, was cited as being “extremely committed to making the University a better place for students, staff, and faculty.” She is director of the University’s David A. Cofrin Library. She joined the staff in 1997 as a library instruction and web resources librarian, and also served as institutional webmaster before her appointment as library director in 2009. She has won praise for her efforts to extend the reach and effectiveness of the Cofrin Library and its services to students and employees alike. Nominators noted she has been a forceful advocate for information technology and library services through her work on numerous institutional planning and leadership committees.

Brunner received the award in the category of classified staff support. He was recognized for his work as an interlibrary loan specialist in the Cofrin Library. One nominator referred to Brunner as a “magician extraordinaire” for his skill and efficiency in locating and obtaining rare materials for research and courses. The award presenter cited one instance in which he not only managed to track down a book’s sole existing copy in all of North America, he persuaded the institution that owned it to bend its rules and lend it to UW-Green Bay. Usage of interlibrary loan more than doubled over the last year.

The recipient of the Founders Award for institutional development, Pletcher, is recognized for service over her 35-year career. She is currently the University’s associate provost for information services, with administrative responsibility for computing, media resources and library services. Former director of the Cofrin Library, she was promoted to associate provost in 1997, and is widely credited for helping keep UW-Green Bay near the forefront in applying new technology to benefit student learning. Her expertise has been recognized at the state level as well, with appointment to boards and councils including the WiscNet board of directors and the Governor’s Council on Library and Network Technology.

The Founders Award for Excellence in Collaborative Achievement was presented to organizers of the first “Business Week” series at UW-Green Bay in February. Faculty members from UW-Green Bay’s Austin E. Cofrin School of Business, along with Career Services personnel, arranged panel discussions, a job and internship fair, an etiquette luncheon, and networking opportunities, all with the goal of introducing today’s students to current business leaders and tomorrow’s working environment. The week’s capstone was a reception, dinner and keynote presentation at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, with more than 170 attendees. Visiting executives from Hewlett-Packard and Oracle Enterprise 2.0 addressed the audience. UW-Green Bay employees sharing the Business Week recognition were faculty members Larry McGregor, Bill Lepley and David Radosevich, and Linda Peacock-Landrum, director of career services.

Recipients of the Founders Association Awards for Excellence are chosen by a committee of UW-Green Bay faculty and staff from responses to a call for nominations.


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