Prof. Gregory Aldrete receives UW System’s highest teaching honor

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents honored UW-Green Bay Frankenthal Professor of History and Humanistic Studies, Gregory S. Aldrete, April 10 for his outstanding achievements in teaching. Aldrete received the 2015 Regents Teaching Excellence Award, UW System’s highest recognition for members of its faculty and academic staff.

Prof. Gregory Aldrete
Prof. Gregory S. Aldrete

Aldrete started teaching at UW-Green Bay in 1995 and since has been awarded several distinguished titles for his contributions in teaching and research. In 2012, he was selected as Wisconsin Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for the Advancement of Education (CASE). In 2010, he was selected as the recipient of the American Philological Association Award for Excellence in Teaching at the College Level (the national teaching award given annually by the professional association of classics professors). Aldrete was selected to hold the Frankenthal Professorship at UW-Green Bay through 2017, and he received the UW-Green Bay Founders Association Awards for Excellence in the categories of teaching (2003) and scholarship (2006).

In addition to his role as professor, Aldrete has excelled in the field of research. His research has been honored with a number of prestigious fellowships, among them, two year NEH Humanities Fellowships, and the Solmsen Fellowship at the Institute for Research in the Humanities in Madison. The Archaeological Institute of America, the professional association of archaeologists, selected him as one of two Joukowsky National Lecturers for 2014-15, an honor which included a lecture tour of 14 universities across the United States. Additionally, he was chosen as a fellow of two NEH seminars held at the American Academy in Rome, was a participant in an NEH Institute at UCLA, and was a visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome.

His interest of all things ancient Rome makes its way to his classroom and beyond. He regularly teaches eight different courses of approximately 450 students per year, as well as numerous independent studies. His teaching methods include analyzing primary documents, holding debates, role-playing and other hands-on activities.

Recently, Aldrete developed an innovative interdisciplinary course on military history in which students learn through “living history.” An example was the multi-year Linothorax Project, in which his students helped him re-create the lightweight linen armor that Alexander the Great wore during his conquests. Their testing firmly established that linen armor would have provided superior protection and a major tactical advantage for Alexander’s forces. Aldrete’s published results of that research garnered international attention on Public Radio International, U.S. News and World Report, Der Spielgel, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Military History, Ancient Warfare Magazine, the Canadian network History Television, and in internet stories in more than two dozen languages and countries around the world.

Recently, he has begun making video lecture courses with The Teaching Company/The Great Courses, and his offerings include: A History of the Ancient World: A Global Perspective, Decisive Battles of World History, and History’s Great Military Blunders and the Lessons they Teach (forthcoming).

Aldrete has written and recorded dozens of video lectures for The Teaching Company, with the first series entitled, “The History of the Ancient World: A Global Perspective.” Aldrete gives frequent public lectures, including local venues as well as, recently, Iowa State University, Boston University, and the University of Manitoba in Canada. His students frequently comment on his depth of knowledge and passion for the subject of history and for teaching.

His interdisciplinary scholarship spans fields including History, Archaeology, Art History, Military History, and Philology.   Among the books he has written are: Gestures and Acclamations in Ancient Rome (1999); Floods of the Tiber in Ancient Rome (2007); Daily Life in the Roman City: Rome, Pompeii, and Ostia (2009); The Long Shadow of Antiquity: What Have the Greeks and Romans Done For Us? (2012, with Alicia Aldrete); The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life I: The Ancient World (editor, 2004); and Reconstructing Ancient Linen Body Armor: Unraveling the Linothorax Mystery (2013, with S. Bartell and A. Aldrete).

Aldrete joins other esteemed UW-Green Bay faculty who have recently received the UW System Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award: Clifton Ganyard, Humanistic Studies (2014) and Regan A.R. Gurung, Human Development (2011). The UW-Green Bay Professional Program in Education received the UW System department of the year honors in 2011.

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Aldrete published in leading Roman history journal

Historian Gregory S. Aldrete, professor of Humanistic Studies, recently had two articles published, including one in the most prestigious journal in the field of Roman history. That article, “Hammers, Axes, Bulls, and Blood: Some Practical Aspects of Roman Animal Sacrifice,” appeared in The Journal of Roman Studies 104, 2014. In the article, Aldrete notes that sacrifice was a central component of ancient Roman religion, but scholars have tended to focus on the symbolic aspects of these rituals, without addressing the practical challenges involved in killing large, potentially unruly animals. He draws upon ancient sculpture, comparative historical sources, and animal physiology to argue that the standard, semi-sanitized interpretations don’t capture what must have been the real nature of these public rituals. Aldrete’s second article, “The Linothorax Project,” with Scott Bartell and Alicia Aldrete, appeared in the February 2015 edition (Vol. 13, Issue 1) of The Virtual Costumer Magazine, the journal of the International Costumer’s Guild.

Aldrete continues national lecture tour; wraps up next month at Cornell
UW-Green Bay Prof. Gregory S. Aldrete spent spring break on the road as part of the Archaeological Institute of America’s distinguished lecturer series. He spoke at Florida State University in Tallahassee on “Hammers, Axes, Bulls, and Blood: Practical Aspects of Roman Animal Sacrifice”; and at both the University of South Florida in Tampa and the University of Central Florida in Orlando on “Floods of the Tiber in Ancient Rome.” Aldrete is one of two Joukowsky National Lecturers this year selected and sponsored by the AIA, the professional organization of archaeologist and publishers of Archaeology Magazine. As part of its outreach activities to the public, the AIA picks two scholars to be Joukowsky lecturers and sends them around the country giving public lectures. During the fall semester, Aldrete presented a dozen Joukowsky lectures in Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois, California, and Oregon. Next month he will conclude his series with a lecture at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

Ortiz speaks at Universidad de Ovideo, in Spain

Prof. Cristina Ortiz of Humanistic Studies was an invited speaker at the 4th Annual Humanities Symposium held at the Universidad de Oviedo (Spain), where she presented her latest research. During her visit she was also asked to teach a graduate course in the European Master of Gender Studies program entitled “Nation, gender and literature.” Her invitation was sponsored through an Erasmus Mundus grant from the European Union.

Fermanich a featured presenter at Great Lakes water conference

Water quality and runoff expert Kevin Fermanich, professor of Natural and Applied Sciences, will co-present with Prof. Val Klump of UW-Milwaukee later this week at a major regional conference on the Great Lakes. Their topic is “Lake Michigan’s Green Bay: Why the Dead Zone? What is Needed to Prevent it?” Fermanich has been a key contributor to watershed runoff studies in the Green Bay area, examining phosphorous loading and the resulting low-oxygen conditions that yield so-called “dead zones.” Other case studies will look at Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay and Toledo’s Lake Erie drinking water problems, among other topics. The conference is the second Great Lakes Science-Policy Confluence Conference presented by The Environmental Law & Policy Center in collaboration with Loyola University and Northwestern University’s Institute for Sustainability and Energy.

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He’s also a panelist at Green Bay ‘Phosphorus Summit’ — U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble and DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp are convening a “Phosphorus Summit” to take place from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 1, at the Neville Public Museum in downtown Green Bay. UW-Green Bay Prof. Kevin Fermanich is an invited panelist on the topic of curbing nonpoint pollution. Also taking part will be dairy industry and turfgrass representatives, agency water quality specialists and a representative of NEW Water.

Nice NYT essay on teaching in Wisconsin

The Log is non-partisan, but we do admire good writing. A faculty member and historian at UW-Milwaukee penned a very nicely structured essay for the New York Times in which she civilly points out that today’s generation of students continues to value and, indeed, profit from a liberal arts education. The Wisconsin Idea is still relevant, she writes.

Gurung, Furlong weigh in for story on ‘more work’ comments

Prof. Regan A.R. Gurung and Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences Scott Furlong responded Friday (Jan. 30) to Gov. Walker’s suggestion last week that UW System faculty members should work more, speaking with reporter Alexa Santos for a story on NBC 26. “There’s only a certain extent to which we can do more,” Gurung said. “Many may not realize that in order to teach really well, we have to do a bunch of things. Faculty don’t only just teach; many of us serve in the community.” Added Furlong: “You’re working all the time. … and many faculty (feel) guilty if they’re not working, they always feel like they’ve got to do something else.” Full story.

UW-Green Bay Lawton Gallery to present faculty exhibit Feb. 5-26

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Lawton Gallery will present “Under Construction: Seven Views,” an exhibit of works by UW-Green Bay Art faculty, Feb. 5-26 at the gallery in Theatre Hall on campus, 2420 Nicolet Drive. An opening reception will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, with artists’ talks beginning at 5 p.m.

The show will feature works in a variety of media by Art faculty members Carol Emmons, Toni Damkoehler, Kristy Deetz, Barbara Gossen, Jason Houge, Stephen Perkins and Christine Style. The exhibit includes two installations (Emmons, Perkins), prints by Style, paintings by Deetz, photographs by Houge and digital prints and drawings by Damkoehler.

Located in Room 230 of Theatre Hall, the Lawton Gallery is open from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday during fall and spring semesters. All gallery events are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Curator of Art Stephen Perkins at (920) 465-2916 or via email at or visit the Lawton Gallery website, You can also find “Lawton Gallery” on Facebook.


Riddle award to cap busy regional theatre festival for UW-Green Bay

Prof. Laura Riddle
Prof. Laura Riddle
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Prof. Laura Riddle will be honored with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s most prestigious regional award Saturday, Jan. 10 during the KCACTF Region III Festival at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Riddle, professor of Theatre and Dance, will be one of three regional educators to receive the Kennedy Center Gold Medallion, considered one of the great honors in theatre education. Each year, the eight KCACTF regions honor individuals or organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to the teaching and production of theatre and who have dedicated their time, artistry and enthusiasm to the annual theatre festival. Honorees have demonstrated a strong commitment to the values and goals of KCACTF and to excellence in educational theatre, according to the organization.

“It is a great honor to be recognized for my service to the American College Theatre Festival,” Riddle said. “I have the highest regard for this organization’s mission to recognize and encourage quality, creativity and innovation in college theatre. ACTF has given me and so many others the opportunity to learn from and work with artists who share their considerable talents and inspire us to do our best work.”

Riddle is chair of Theatre and Dance at UW-Green Bay, where she teaches acting, improvisation and voice for the actor. Since coming to Green Bay in 1993, she has directed more than 30 productions and served as dialect, voice and acting coach for many others. She has continued to direct and act professionally and also works as a voice actor. She began service as an associate respondent for KCACTF Region III in 1987, and has served several terms on the Region III Selection Committee, beginning in 1989. Riddle has presented numerous workshops at past festivals, served as Wisconsin State Chair and was recognized with the Wisconsin State Service Award in 2011. UW-Green Bay hosted the Region III festival in 1994 and 1995. Riddle has directed four productions invited to perform at the Region III festival, including Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls and Red Herring. In 1997, On the Verge received Awards of Excellence from the KCACTF National Team for directing, acting, scenic, costume, lighting, sound designs, and stage management. In 2014, Avenue Q was honored by the region with UW-Green Bay’s fifth Golden Handtruck award for technical excellence, and was cited by the national KCACTF team for achievement in musical theatre.

Riddle received a B.A. in Theatre from Indiana State University, an M.A. in Arts Administration from Goucher College, and an M.F.A. from The Theatre School- DePaul University. She has studied at Chicago’s Second City, the School at Steppenwolf and with Paul Sills and Uta Hagan.

The Jan. 10 awards presentation will cap a busy KCACTF regional for UW-Green Bay Theatre and Dance, which will participate in numerous festival events. Seven cast members from the University’s fall 2014 production of Spring Awakening will perform that musical’s opening number during a new event showcasing musical theatre scenes. Only one school from each state in the KCACTF region was selected for the showcase, which will take place at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 9. The featured UW-Green Bay cast members are Stephanie Frank, Katie Junek, Andrea Kuhlow, Cherran Dea Rasmovicz, Erin Sunisa, Amy Vannieuwenhoven and Ashley Wisneski. Spring Awakening was directed by Associate Prof. John Mariano, with musical direction by Assistant Prof. Courtney Sherman and choreography by lecturer Denise Carlson-Gardner.

In addition to the musical performance, several UW-Green Bay students or recent alumni have been nominated to participate in the festival’s Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship competition. They are Ashley Wisneski, nominated for Uncommon Women and Others (scene partner Andy Delaurelle); Mariah Himmelwright, nominated for Uncommon Women and Others (scene partner Andy Delaurelle); Erin Sunisa, nominated for Spring Awakening (scene partner Amy Vannieuwenhoven); and Stephanie Frank, nominated for Spring Awakening (scene partner Cherran Dea Rasmovicz).

Others participating in festival events include Associate Prof. Kaoime Malloy, who will present “Out of the Kit Makeup Effects,” a workshop on stage makeup; and student Cherran Dea Rasmovicz, who has entered a costume design into the regional design competition.

UW-Green Bay has a rich and successful history at the regional theatre festival. The University’s Fall 2013 production of Avenue Q, The Musical was a hit when performed during last year’s KCACTF regional, earning a rousing standing ovation as well as the Golden Handtruck Award for excellence in technical execution of the production. Other past invites for full productions are Almost, Maine (2011); The Balkan Women (2009); 
Red Herring (2006); The Christmas Schooner (2004); 
Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls (2002); 
On the Verge (1999); 
Camp Meeting (1993); 
In Circles (1991); 
Children of a Lesser God (1985); and Trojan Women (1981).

More information about UW-Green Bay Theatre and Dance is available at


Profs. Burns, Wheat selected for UW System teaching program

Congratulations to Associate Prof. Kathleen Burns of Human Development and Assistant Prof. Elizabeth Wheat of Public and Environmental Affairs upon their selection as participants in the 2015-16 UW System Wisconsin Teaching Fellows and Scholars program. Burns and Wheat were chosen UW-Green Bay’s designees through a competitive selection process. Each will receive a stipend and S&E support from the UW System’s Office of Professional and Instructional Development. Each participant will take part in program events throughout the year including a “faculty college” in May, and to undertake a significant project related to the scholarship of teaching and learning, to be shared publically at the conclusion of the year. The selections of Burns and Wheat were announced by UW-Green Bay faculty OPID representatives Jennifer Lanter and Regan Gurung.

Reminder: Common Theme proposals due Dec. 1

The Dec. 1 deadline to submit proposals for the 2015-16 academic year Common Theme is nearing, and the committee wants to hear from you. This year, they’re particularly interested in a theme that will help the University celebrate “50 Years of Excellence.” The theme should lend itself to interdisciplinary analysis and conversation; be of high academic caliber and conducive to scholarly dialogue; should lend itself to collaborative links across the campus (student affairs, academic affairs and community engagement); and be accessible, yet potentially engaging, for students and the community. You can find past Common Theme topics on the Common Theme website. Proposals are due on or before Monday, Dec. 1, and should be submitted to Donna Ritch, Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. If you have any questions regarding the Common Theme proposals, please contact Ritch or Dean of Students Brenda Amenson-Hill.