UW-Green Bay announces Founders Awards recipients

Pictured here are the winners of the 2009-10 Founders Awards for Excellence — from left, Clif Ganyard, Greg Davis, Denise Scheberle, Brenda Amenson-Hill, and Donna Van Straten. Michael Kraft was not present to accept his award.

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has recognized its top faculty and staff members for 2010 with Founders Association Awards for Excellence.

The awards for excellence and their recipients are:
Teaching — Prof. Clif Ganyard;  Institutional Development — Prof. Greg Davis; Community Outreach — Prof. Denise Scheberle;  Academic Support — Brenda Amenson-Hill; Classified Staff — Donna Van Straten; and Scholarship — Prof. Michael Kraft.

UW-Green Bay Chancellor Thomas Harden, Founders Association President Scott Wochos and awards committee chairman Prof. Michael Hencheck 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.

Ganyard, recipient of the teaching award, is an associate professor of Humanistic Studies and history who joined the UW-Green Bay faculty in 2004. His areas of specialization include modern European, German and Japanese history and culture, Western civilization and European intellectual history. His award citation praised his “ability to present complex information and concepts with clarity and creativity while challenging students with demanding requirements and sophisticated material.” Nominators cited his success in engaging students to think critically and ask questions, and his willingness to explore their specific interests while ensuring that the material’s critical points are addressed.

The recipient of the Founders Award for institutional development, Davis, is recognized for service over his 23-year career in numerous faculty leadership positions and on various University governance groups. He is currently the chairperson of one of the University’s largest academic programs, Natural and Applied Sciences, and he also chairs the disciplinary program in mathematics, his own area of study. He has held the top elected positions in faculty government as chairperson of the University Committee and speaker of the Faculty Senate. He has also helped shape policy and practice through service to groups responsible for University research, graduate education, student conduct, faculty promotions, instructional development and general education. Colleagues praised his leadership and contributions to institutional development while also maintaining an active teaching schedule.

Scheberle, a political scientist and professor with the Public and Environmental Affairs academic unit, is a previous Founders Award recipient, in 1998 for teaching. Her award this time, for community outreach, recognizes her “passion for making a difference in the community.” Scheberle, currently a commissioner with the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District, has been particularly active on regional issues related to public policy and natural resources. In addition to her service to the GBMSD, she has contributed to citizen education efforts and public advisory committees related to the Lower Green Bay and Fox River Remedial Action Plan. Her interests range from a citizens advisory board in the city of De Pere to issues that cross international boundaries with her membership on the International Joint Commission, the organization created by U.S.-Canadian treaty to monitor water use in the Great Lakes basin. Scheberle joined the UW-Green Bay faculty in 1992.

The recipient of the Founders’ Award for Academic Support, Amenson-Hill, is dean of students. The award citation commented on her tireless dedication to facilitating student success and championing opportunities for gaining leadership experience and learning both inside and outside the classroom. Amenson serves as co-director of the University’s retention-boosting FOCUS program, which goes beyond opening-week orientation for new freshmen to include support throughout a student’s first year. She has also been instrumental in shaping the University’s new Common Theme initiative, which each year brings people together from across campus for a series of events and activities focusing on a specific theme. (This past year’s theme was sustainability.) She joined the UW-Green Bay staff in 1998 as director of student life.

Van Straten, this year’s recipient of the classified staff award, works in an office-manager capacity as the dean’s assistant in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Her responsibilities include work in a supporting role on budgets, personnel issues and other administrative activities. “She is described time and time again by those who have worked with her,” the award citation said, “as the very epitome of professionalism and efficiency.” Van Straten accepted her current position at UW-Green Bay in 2004 after serving previously with the two-year UW Colleges campus in Manitowoc and at Fox Valley Technical College.

The award for Kraft, a political scientist and professor of Public and Environmental Affairs, is the second of his career at UW-Green Bay, which began in 1977. He received the award in the same category, outstanding scholarship, in 1986. Colleagues praise his work as having “defined U.S. environmental policy research for the past three decades.” In the past two years alone, Kraft has published or re-published editions of five books — which include texts used nationwide — published two independent articles, and presented three papers at professional meetings. In addition, he is the author of newspaper opinion columns distributed nationally by the McClatchy-Tribune News Service, in which he shares his expertise on political science and environmental policy, on issues including hazardous waste disposal, new energy technologies and the effectiveness of EPA policies.

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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