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Academic Unit Annual Summaries

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CASSH Students

College of Arts, Social Sciences, & Humanities

College Summary


College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CASSH) faculty once again were very productive in scholarship and creative activities. CASSH faculty/IAS published (or had accepted for publication) five books, 40 articles, and 40 book chapters. Our faculty/IAS also provided 133 creative performances and exhibits, and delivered 175 presentations at scholarly and professional contexts. CASSH faculty also received 13 external grants totaling $161,915. The College provided a small grants program in FY23 allocating $110,384 for 23 projects advancing faculty/IAS professional goals, college goals, and the college strategic plan. Aligned with CASSH Strategic Goal #4 (Quality Experience for Faculty, Staff, and Administrators) we supported five faculty sabbaticals during FY23- two full-year and three semester leaves. One faculty member was promoted to Professor, five to Associate Professor, and two were awarded tenure. One IAS was promoted to Teaching Professor. CASSH hosted the 21st Annual Evening of Excellence recognizing five faculty (two for teaching, one for creative activity, one for service, and one for community engagement), three IAS (two for teaching and one for service), and one University Staff with college-level awards.

Twenty-nine undergraduate and two graduate students received department-based awards for their outstanding accomplishments. The Art Department was recognized with the Inclusive Excellence Award and Emily Roraff, UWL Budget Director, received the Friend of CASSH Award. Grant Mathu (PUB) received the John E. Magerus Award as the outstanding bachelor’s degree graduate and Natasha Miller (SAA) along with Katie Gilbert (SPY) were recognized with the Graduate Student Award for Academic Achievement. Profiles of all awardees are found at CASSH faculty also were recipients of three of the seven Eagle Excellence in Teaching Award this year (Enilda Delgado in SOC/CJ, Tammy Fisher in MUS, and Tyler GabbardRocha in GCL). Tim Dale (POL/PUB) was recognized by the Student Association with the Higher Education Advocate Award. Six tenure-track faculty, two Redbook IAS, and five ADAs began positions in FY23. Three Department Chairs (Laurie Kincman in THA, Brian Knutson in Military Science, and Adam Van Liere in POL/PUB) also had their first year.

During FY23 CASSH hired eight tenure-track faculty and four Redbook IAS to begin in August 2023. Marie Moeller was renewed as CASSH Associate Dean for a five-year term. Britta Osborne started as the new CASSH Academic Services Director (ASD) in October 2022. Dr. Pete Rydberg, who begins employment on June 26, was selected as the inaugural Director of the School of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA). Three faculty (Mary Leonard in THA, Patricia Stovey in HIS, Jodi Vandenberg-Daves in RGSS) and one IAS (Joseph Van Oss in CST) retired this year. Resulting from efforts by Chancellor Gow, the Truman T. Lowe Center for the Arts officially was named on October 3, 2022, during a community-wide event.

The CASSH Dean’s Office used discretionary funds to provide nearly $263,000 for one-time equipment purchases including ~$243K for needs in the School of Visual and Performing Arts. Of these funds, $117,300 was allocated for new LED stage lighting that both saves 87% on energy costs and significantly upgrades our theatre production experience for students, instructors, and the public. A total of $55,000 was also allotted for renovating the defunct fourth-floor lounge in Wimberly Hall to make it useful and beneficial for faculty, staff, and students. Regarding College Strategic Goal #3 (Curricular Innovation), CASSH departments are participating in the newly approved minor in Communication, Writing, and Critical Thinking. SAA also was authorized to offer an online graduate certificate in Higher Education Leadership. The Department of Theatre was renamed Theatre and Dance, and a name change was approved for the Environmental Studies minor program to Sustainability and Environmental Studies.

Archaeology & Anthropology


The Department of Archaeology/Anthropology faculty remain leaders on campus in teaching, scholarship, and service. Faculty collectively published 12 peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and book reviews and presented their research at over a dozen international conferences. We also received multiple grants to support research in the amount of nearly $70,000. Faculty members continue to be actively engaged in research in the Upper Midwest, Egypt, Bolivia, Serbia, Ukraine, and Southeast Asia. Our faculty and students were recognized with prestigious awards for their work. We had a student present her research at Research in the Rotunda, in Madison and a number of students traveled to Eau Claire to present their research this year at NCUR. Notably, Dr. McAndrews was awarded the W. Carl Wimberly Founders Award by IEE, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the development of long-term excellence in international programming at UWL. Moreover, ALL our faculty received Eagle Teaching Award nominations this year. Several of our students received Undergraduate Research Grants this year, and our students were extremely active in UWL’s Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creativity, representing a 31% of all presentations by students from CASSH (10% of all presentations university-wide). All faculty members advised undergraduate research presented at the Annual Research and Creativity Day. Our program enrollments are strong with 96 majors and 39 minors, and our overall contribution to the General Education program was strong with 24 sections of 7 different GE courses.

Our faculty collectively serve in a number of prominent roles on campus and in our profession. As a smaller department, we are all directly engaged in a significant amount of department service, and we serve prominently in a number of college and university-level committees. Notable leadership roles include Institutional Review Board Director, Director of the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center, American Research Center in Egypt Board President, Wisconsin Archaeological Survey Board Secretary, Center for Hmong Studies, and SOYUZ Post-Communist Cultural Studies Secretary. We have also collectively delivered several service presentations, both locally and abroad. Dr. Christine resigned her position for a professional opportunity to serve as the Dean of Faculty at the Dean of Faculty in the School of Environmental Sustainability at Loyola University Chicago. We will be conducting a search for her replacement next academic year.



The Department of Art was recognized by the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CASSH)/Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) for its commitment to advancing the inclusive excellence initiative on campus and received the CASSH Recognition of Excellence (RoE) Award for Inclusive Excellence. Mark Manke and Deborah-Eve Lombard were also recognized for their outstanding contributions, and both were recipients of the CASSH Academic Staff RoE Award for Teaching (Manke) and Service (Lombard). The 2022-23 academic year demonstrated the Art Department’s commitment to teaching with five individual faculty members nominated for the Eagle Teaching Excellence Award. Art faculty secured approximately $30,000 in teaching/curriculum related grants. The department also received additional funding from CASSH and the University to support the much-needed replacement of outdated equipment, including a total rebuild of a soda/salt kiln in the Ceramics studio and addressing safety issues (including ventilation) through a major lab modification/renovation to the Printmaking studio that was completed last summer.

The Art Department has continued to be successful with scholarly activities this year with photo credits published in three professional journals, ten national group exhibitions, one regional solo exhibition, as well as one national and three regional conference presentations. One faculty member successfully attained a sabbatical for the spring of 2024 (Williams). The University Gallery produced seven exhibitions by students, faculty, as well as regionally and nationally known artists. In terms of personnel, the department conducted two tenure-track searches, which resulted in successful hires. Josh Doster (Sculpture) and Mark Manke (Graphic Design/Digital Media) will begin their tenure-track positions in fall 2023. We are also pleased to report the promotion of Dr. Sierra Rooney from Assistant to Associate Professor. Additionally, Eric and Susie Newhouse generously donated an original Truman Lowe work (<i>Synthesis of Pattern IV</i>, 2011) to the University in honor of the newly dedicated Lowe Center for the Arts, which is now displayed in the lobby of LCFA.

Communication Studies


The CST Department continues to thrive with a number of student and faculty accomplishments. We began the year with news that Media Studies faculty member, Dr. Wendi Bellar, was resigning to take a non-academic position. We received approval to hire and secured Dr. Irene Awino, who will join us in Fall of 2023. Dr. Dena Huisman resigned in the spring semester, also for a non-academic career. IAS member Joseph van Oss retired at the end of the academic year. We were approved to hire a Redbook IAS member, which then became two positions. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Michael Albrecht from his current role to a Redbook line and excited for Dr. Scott Makstenieks to begin in the fall.

We have a solid group of faculty and staff serving in leadership positions in the department and on campus. Dr. Brandon Anderson is serving as the CST 110 Course Director, Dr. Jessica Welsh is serving as the Director of the Public Speaking Center in the MLC, Dr. Taylor Miller is the Director of the Communication and Media Lab (CaML). In the spring semester, Dr. Ashley Edwards began working in CATL as the Inclusive Teaching Specialist and Dr. Kate Lavelle became the First Year Seminar Director. Beginning this summer, Dr. Ronda Leahy will be the newest Faculty Assistant to the Provost. Nearly all of these positions come with .50 reassignment, and while that takes a toll on our course scheduling, we are proud to have so much leadership recognition on campus.

The CST Department members were very active in publication and conference work. Two academic books were completed and one edited book is in the works. Ten additional publications came out in regional and national journals. Twelve different scholarly works were shared at regional, national, and international conferences. CST faculty members currently serve on 12 editorial boards for journals. Approximately $24,000 was secured by CST members in grants over the past year. Our active undergraduate research program continues to impress. In 2022, four students under the mentorship of three CST faculty members were published in the Journal of Undergraduate Research. In addition, several faculty members submitted their students' work to undergraduate conferences, and CST or UWL funded ten different students to attend and present their work. Dr. Taylor Miller persistently worked with constituents on campus to encourage timely progress on the media lab (CaML). The lab construction has been completed and most computer stations are set. We are eager to finally debut this state-of-the-art lab in the upcoming fall, which includes space where our first CST courses will be held.



In 2022-2023 the English department collectively taught over 200 sections of general education and upper-level English courses, published 18 peer-reviewed articles or book chapters, presented at over 30 conferences and professional development activities, served the profession as reviewers, editors and editorial board members, and served the university on over 200 department, college and university-wide committees.

Over half of our department faculty were nominated for the Eagle Teaching Excellence Award. Dr. Stephen Mann chaired the Faculty Senate. Dr. Louise Zamparutti was promoted to associate professor, and Dr. Jennifer Mohlenhoff-Baggett was promoted to teaching professor. Prof. Olivia Stoltman received the CASSH Recognition of Excellence for Instructional Academic Staff award; our department Associate Kelly Arnost received both the CASSH Recognition of Excellence for University Staff and the University Staff Excellence Award.

In 2022-2023 English continued to focus on recruiting and retaining students to our programs. We hosted two department gatherings that drew over 300 students. Our faculty continue to be dedicated to outstanding advising; a quarter of our faculty have completed the Master Advisor Certification program. We supported four paid department interns: Annika Koenen, our Hyde research intern; Maddie McNeil and Grace Lyall, our Marketing, Outreach and Communications interns; and Christina Ries, our Marketing Media intern. Our interns collaborated with professors and their supervisor Kelly Arnost to create student-facing promotional materials and videos, assist with planning department gatherings, and conduct background research on William and Yvonne Hyde, our incredibly generous benefactors who gifted the department with a $1.1 million endowment in 2022.

Our award-winning Bernard and Rita Bernatovich Jail Literacy Program is now in its eighth year, includes a roster of 10 faculty, and continues biweekly visits to the La Crosse County Jail to discuss literature with inmates and support incarcerated writers. Volume 26 of our student-edited literary and arts journal, Steam Ticket, was published this spring; English students continued to produce the university-wide creative works journal, The Catalyst. The English department faculty uphold a strong departmental tradition of outstanding teaching and advising while meeting (and often exceeding) the demands of research and service.

Environmental Studies


The newly named Sustainability & Environmental Studies Program is small but has a strong impact. Although our minors declined to 74, we are actively recruiting through visits to elective courses and community-building events. Our courses continue to offer students experiential learning and dynamic community engagement. We ran 41 field trips and hosted 79 guest speakers this year. This included upper-level courses with oral history projects and local policy initiatives as well as team-taught collaborations through the UW Freshwater Collaborative. Every capstone student had a community internship experience. We have a full time Teaching Professor and Associate Teaching Professor as well as three part-time Lecturers. As a program, we reviewed the results of our department assessment of ENV 101 from last year, and ENV 303 & 304 continued to be assessed this year.

Dr. Remsburg’s professional development highlights include publishing a co-authored article and presenting at Assessment Commons. Dr. Higgins’ professional development highlights include publishing a co-authored article, presenting at Social Justice Week, and being awarded 4 different individual grants totaling $11,000 as well as being co-PI on an ongoing, multi-year $82,000 grant with UW Madison faculty. Pertaining to service, Dr. Remsburg is internship coordinator and assessment coordinator, in addition to serving on the college’s Faculty Advisory Committee and Redbook IAS Mentoring Workgroup. Dr. Higgins is our representative on JCES and our Equity Liaison, in addition to serving on the Board of Directors for the WI Bicycle Federation. Both are actively involved as judges for different awards too. This year, our program collaborated with Geography on our contributions to the new Environmental Science major. Building on our fundraising efforts from last year, we secured a contract to host Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer on campus for spring 2024, for which Dr. Higgins is leading an interdisciplinary planning committee.

Global Cultures and Languages


IN 2022-2023 GCL focused on recruitment and retention of students after the COVID-19
pandemic, as well as strengthening experiential learning opportunities via GCL’s collaboration
with community organizations and new interdisciplinary initiatives on campus. Department
members were involved in specific task forces (as part of the GCL Retention, Recruitment and
Outreach Committee) working closely with the Office of Admissions and the Advising Office to
recruit incoming students for languages. GCL continued its support to programs such as Latinx
Parent College and other High School visits to campus, as well as the development of specifically
targeted promotional materials and social media content for languages. Several GCL faculty
completed the Master Advising training and the CATL Eagle Advantage Competencies training
and are now incorporating new teaching and advising strategies into their courses. GCL language
certificate programs (Spanish for professional purposes, Chinese and French Proficiency)
continue to be popular among students. GCL programs and faculty were recognized by the
university this year for their excellence in teaching with numerous nominations to the CASSH
Excellence Awards. In Spanish, Dr. Tyler Gabbard-Rocha won the Eagle Teaching Excellence
Award and Dr. Antonio Martín-Gómez won the CASSH Community Engagement Award.

GCL also had a positive year in faculty academic achievements with one faculty member (Morris)
receiving tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor. Tenure-track colleagues
(Martín-Gomez and Ochoa Campo) received excellent reviews. We anticipate 2 other faculty
members going up for Full in the next 2-3 years. The department lost one Lecturer in Spanish due
to low enrollments but completed a successful tenure-track search for a position in French for
Professional Purposes with the hiring of Dr. Dany Jacob (beginning Fall 2023). GCL faculty
continued to publish new scholarship and creative/artistic work and gave over 12 presentations at
different local/national/international conferences, received numerous grants (external and
internal) for teaching and research, and hosted several major cultural events (UWL Chinese Day,
Russian Culture Day, Hispanic Heritage Month, Film French Campus Series.) Dr. Victoria Calmes
travelled again to Granada, Spain with Spanish students. GCL looks forward to keep servicing
our students with more international internships and study away/abroad opportunities (currently
Dr. Martín Gómez is preparing a service-learning program to Ecuador in Spanish for professional
purposes) to strengthen our position as a pillar for internationalization at UWL in 2023-2024.

Spanish has seen a decrease in minors and majors, but an increase in the numbers of students
pursuing Spanish certificates for professional purposes, and Spanish faculty continue to work to
identify more effective recruitment methods of heritage speakers. The Spanish section held
productive meetings to revise the Spanish curriculum, particularly in regards to retroactive credits,
placement issues, dual enrollment credit with the goals of reducing graduation time for our
students. Chinese and French are seeing a slow enrollment recovery from the pandemic effects,
but are enhancing their offerings via the Collaborative Language Program. German continues to
rework its curriculum and recruitment plans. Russian continues to hold steady in enrollment, and
GCL has solidified its relation with the Hmong student community on campus. Hmong courses for
heritage speakers were offered on a more consistent basis. In addition, GCL offers Japanese and
Arabic through the Collaborative Language Program. The new hire in French will have a
significant role in CLP with the goals of increasing inter-campus offerings in FRE. In total, GCL
houses over 350 majors and minors as of spring 2023.

Dr. Rose Brougham served as interim Department Chair during the Spring 2023 (Granados on
sabbatical leave) and successfully completed the first stage of the department APR report. Under
Dr. Brougham’s leadership, the department held other productive discussions revising bylaws as
well as the GCL’s merit process. In 2022-2023, GCL also completed a new equity and Inclusion
action plan to be implemented over the next three years. GCL faculty members continued serving
in different campus advising committees and task forces. Several departmental members
continue to serve large roles in the university and beyond—Brougham with Senate, Granados
with ILLAS, Hay with Assessment. For the 2023-2024 academic year, GCL will continue to focus
on recruitment and retention with a major curriculum revision. Brougham, Granados and Xu
received a UWL Curriculum Redesign Grant to design and implement a non-language specific
new GCL 100 course on intercultural competency.



The 2022-2023 academic year contained challenges and successes for both individual faculty and the department as an entity. Continuities from previous years include: the continued delivery of meaningful and diverse classroom experiences; active scholarly endeavors by faculty; and faculty dedication to department, college, and university service. The Department of History has made great strides in the development of a new, streamlined curriculum to be implemented in the 2024-2025 academic year, as well as a new set of departmental bylaws that will be implemented in 2024. Further successes include the promotion of Dr. Penelope Hardy to the position of Associate Professor, and the awarding of sabbaticals to Dr. John Grider and Dr. Jennifer Trost. History faculty continue to be active scholars, most notably in the large number of myriad publications, most notably a monograph published in Spring 2023 by Dr. Gita Pai. Faculty have been awarded several grants, including a Fulbright for Dr. Grider, as well as those for Hear, Here North for Dr. Ariel Beaujot and for the Oral History Program, awarded to Dr. Tiffany Trimmer. Regarding faculty, Dr. Patricia Stovey retired at the end of the academic year, and Dr. Hanadi Shatara has left UWL for a position at Sacramento State.

Our majors continue to be successful in life after graduation, with many being accepted into graduate programs or finding jobs as secondary social studies teachers. Challenges do remain, especially as related to the number of our majors. The number of non-education majors has continued a downward trajectory, mirroring state and national trends for History and for the humanities writ large. Space limitations for field experiences has undone the unprecedented growth of the Broadfield Social Studies (BFSS) Program. Nonetheless, in the coming year the Department will undertake initiatives to counter these trends by revising promotional material to highlight the skills and habits of mind that ensure career readiness for our graduates.



The Department of Music’s 2022-2023 year offered 67 different courses including fall, spring and summer offerings. These courses served general education students, student-musicians in music ensembles, music and music education majors, and music/music performance minors taking lessons and completing coursework for the programs. Among the features of this coursework were our 11 senior capstone solo recitals by our majors and minors. MUS 105, the primary music appreciation course for the GE 08 category, was revised and officially approved by UWL; revisions encompassed a more inclusive by adding non-Western music, music of the African diaspora, and popular music.

The final approval from the Wisconsin Department of Instruction was awarded in May 2023 for our single licensure for music education majors. Live performances included 66+ student performances plus 50+ performances by faculty throughout the region for over 110+ performances during the academic year. Dr. Borja performed several flute and piano recitals of Mexican composers. The jazz program was featured in two UWL presentations: “A Woman’s Place is in the Groove: Centering Women Composers in the Jazz Canon” and “You Are Not Alone: New Music for Emotional Catharsis and Societal Healing.” Dr. Dies led three days of the La Crosse New Music Festival which included several performances by living composers and compositions from the last 50 years by UWL ensembles, students and faculty. Faculty also offered their expertise in music as adjudicators, clinicians, and authors/presenters for 30+ unique events. Kudos: research and scholarly/creative activity grants were awarded to several faculty members (Ailabouni, Borja, Dies, Erickson, Fisher) for a variety of music topics. CASSH Recognition of Excellence awards were bestowed to Jonathan Borja (Scholarship) and Tammy Fisher (Teaching). Dr. Fisher also received one of the Eagle Teaching Excellence Awards.



The Department of Philosophy continues to remain productive and committed to our program outcomes. The quantity of our majors (n=20) and minors (n=9) demonstrates interest in the program, but numbers are down from 29 and 14, respectively. We will continue our recruitment efforts. We published one book review, two peer review journal articles, and presented our research at 9 academic conferences. Members of the department received four grants in AY 22 totaling $13,445. These include three CASSH Small Grants, and a Faculty Research grant. Two of the CASSH small grants were focused on teaching improvement/development. Our course enrollments remain strong, and our courses play a role in a number of different programs. Our program hosted Dr. Jan Forsman (University of Iowa) to speak on the thought of philosopher Margaret Cavendish. Cavendish is a 17th Century woman and intellectual of high repute. The program functioned as an organized team to complete a CASSH Small Grant to complete a Philosophy Department Eagle Advantage statement which is posted on our website (beautification forthcoming). Dr. Schneider currently works alongside Visiting Research Scholar Ayse Ambaroglu (Turkey), on a project concerning Spinoza’s influence on the modern Masorti movement. Both Dr. Eskew and Dr. Schneider completed their second years as a assistant teaching professor and assistant professor, respectively. They both continue to excel in the areas of teaching, service, and research. Daniel Schneider and Stewart Eskew made a pitch to host the Wisconsin Philosophical Association Meeting at La Crosse during AY24, and it was accepted. Notable university and college service positions include Scholarship and Awards Committee, University Program Assessment Council, CAPS, JCE, and Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Minor Advisory Group. Graduating senior Brooke Denney received our student excellence award.

Political Science & Public Administration


The 2022-2023 academic year was a year of changes for the Political Science and Public Administration Department that built on the solid foundation provided by the work of the preceding few years. This included general revisions to all of the majors and minors housed within the Department as well as the revision of PUB 210 Contemporary Issues in Government and its addition to the General Education program. All of this work was rooted in feedback and recommendations from the most recent Academic Program Review cycle. We maintained solid enrollments across many of our programs throughout the year and we hope these changes will enable us to grow these programs in the future.

At the beginning of the spring 2023 semester, the Department had 125 political science majors and 44 political science minors; 32 public administration majors and 22 public administration minors; 95 legal studies minors. Among other highlights from the year, the Department was proud to host Kaspar Korjus, an Estonian who has done extensive work to help governments worldwide transform with the digital age. This event was sponsored by the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership. Additionally, the Department was pleased to resume taking students to Madison for a day of learning about internships, jobs, and networking at the Capitol followed by the 30th annual UWL in Madison alumni reception. This was the first trip since 2019 and it also featured the largest group of students to go on this trip. Students from the Department also traveled to Chicago and Eau Claire to present their own research at the Midwest Political Science Association annual conference and the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, respectively. Finally, the department was thrilled that one of its seniors received the College’s John E. Magerus Award.



The Psychology Department has 772 majors and 382 minors. Psychology affiliated minor enrollment includes: At-Risk Child & Youth Care Minor: 48 students, Neuroscience Minor (Interdisciplinary with Biology and Philosophy): 26 students. The Gerontology Emphasis supports 14 students. (Source: UWL WINGS Database; 6/28/23). In Fall 2023, Psychology welcomed Dr. Tanvi Thakkar as a tenure-track faculty member and Ericka Check as a full time IAS member. Dr. Kevin Zabel was promoted to Associate Professor. Dr. Grace Deason and Dr. Suthakaran Veerasamy completed post tenure reviews. Dr. Ruth Schumacher-Martinez, Dr. Jason Sumontha, and Dr. Kevin Zabel completed pre-tenure retention reviews. Psychology faculty demonstrated a commitment to high quality teaching. Dr. Katy Kortenkamp received the CASSH/VPA Recognition of Excellence Award in Teaching. Faculty engaged in teaching development and scholarship of teaching and learning.

Four faculty members (Kortenkamp, McKelley, Quartiroli, & Zabel) secured grants to fund high impact teaching practice. Several faculty members completed the UWL Eagle Advantage training and submitted grants to fund related work or integrated this work into their courses. Psychology Department faculty published three peer-reviewed journal articles (Dixon, Marshik, & Thakkar) and two book chapters (Dixon & Marshik). One faculty (Basten) co-authored a revised book on career options for Psychology majors. Many faculty presented at local, regional, and national conferences and workshops and served as reviewers for national/international journals and textbook publishers. Psychology undergraduate and graduate students also presented at numerous regional and national conferences. Faculty and students obtained internal and external grants to support scholarship endeavors. One faculty member successfully attained a semester sabbatical for the 2023-24 academic year (Srinivasan). Three faculty members obtained UWL faculty research grants (Deason, Kortenkamp, & Thakkar). Psychology department faculty were heavily involved in service to the college, university, professional organizations, and the community. Two faculty members (Sumontha & Zabel) obtained a CATL grant to support their work on the Gardner Institute CASSH committee.

Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


RGSS undertook several major projects this year. We launched and created advising messaging and protocols for the new RGSS major and minor, and Dr. Shuma Iwai, in his new tenure-track role, worked on outreach and other tasks involving the Hmong and Hmong American Studies certificate. A major project for the year involved establishing criteria for cross-listed courses for the RGSS major and minor, since there are dozens of courses (61 in total, though some were no longer being taught) that were previously approved for either ERS or WGSS.

Focusing on courses that would be offered soon, RGSS communicated with department chairs and faculty, and reviewed and approved 18 courses this year, in departments ranging from Psychology to History. We wanted to assure that the new RGSS major and minor will be taught from an intersectional perspective across disciplines. The department also approved, and shepherded through UCC, two new courses in-house that will enhance our curriculum: RGS 350 Asian American Studies in Race, Gender, and Sexuality, and RGS 353 The Disability Experience in the Contemporary World. The department also shifted towards our new GE courses for all faculty and staff, RGS 100, essentially putting everyone in new course prep mode, since Fall ’22 was the first time anyone taught this class. In addition to implementing our extensive Inclusive Excellence plan this year (detailed in our IE report), RGSS also connected with Western Technical College students and worked out an articulation agreement to facilitate entry in the RGSS major and minor from WTC students. And in June, ’22, the department staffed a table at La Crosse’s community celebration of Juneteenth. RGSS also spent considerable time with searching, staffing, and onboarding again this year.

The department conducted a tenure-track search to replace Jodi Vandenberg-Daves after her retirement at the end of Spring ’23; the department also saw the departure of our ADA in Fall ‘22, and we searched for a new ADA and onboarded Alec Lass into that role. In addition, in Fall ’22, the department onboarded a new full-time IAS member, Dr. Sana Illahe and a new part-time IAS, Blythe McConnoughy (and welcomed back Kayleigh Day); we also worked with Dr. Shuma Iwai in his new capacity in a tenure-track position, and onboarded another new tenure-track faculty member, Dr. Sona Kazemi, in Spring ’23.  



This year, the primary activity for the Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice was conducting the self-study for our academic program review which provided a focused opportunity for Department faculty to build a better unity around shared goals and activities. Among those was a continued commitment to student recruitment and retention, and the experiences we offer our 218 Sociology Majors/Minors and 152 Criminal Justice Minors. Faculty members worked to connect with and recruit students at the fall Eagle Fest, through our second annual “Meet the Professors” gathering, and during the Sociology Club’s Faculty-Student Trivia Nights. We organized career events including a social service/work professionals panel in the fall on job experiences, and how to best prepare for related careers.

Spring events included the WI DoJ Prisoner Reentry Simulation, and Benjamin Levelius, (UWL grad; American Citizens Services Chief in Milan, Italy) who gave a professional talk and spoke with students about internship and career opportunities. We have committed to hosting these and adding other panels that focus on specific career areas in the coming year. Faculty published one book, two journal articles, four magazine articles, three book chapters, a book review, gave 12 research presentations, submitted six grants, and secured $16,500 in grant funding. In addition to department service and our self-study committees, faculty served three CASSH committees, 15 UWL committees, five professional committees, and 11 community organizations. Notable leadership included Dr. Carol Miller serving as Interim Director of International & Global Studies, and Dr. Nick Bakken serving as the led the UWL Student Research & Experiential Learning program. Particularly noteworthy, Dr. Enilda Delgado was recognized with the UWL Eagle Teaching Excellence award, and Dr. Dawn Norris was in the Czech Republic this spring on a Fulbright Scholarship when she received official notice that she had been promoted to Full Professor.

Student Affairs Administration


The Department of Student Affairs Administration (SAA) in Higher Education enrolled 111 online and blended students in 4 master’s cohorts and 3+ doctoral cohorts in 2022-2023. Over 90% also enroll in the summer term, as most programs operate year-round, and our median advising load (24) remains higher than the college median (13). Our Graduate Program Manager & Writing Consultant became the final editor of university dissertations at the request of Graduate & Extended Learning, which is a credit to their work and represents a significant increase in workload, reducing time available for program management. We started this fiscal year without any administrative support but hired a new ADA in October.

With their help, SAA logged 1,400+ communications with 200+ prospective students, and hosted 30+ events serving nearly 1,000 people. SAA hired a new assistant professor in Summer 2022, bringing our ranked faculty to five for the first time, as recommended by the last Ed.D. academic program review. Unfortunately, our new hire resigned in May 2023, and we hope to fill the vacant line in the fall. Beyond our 5 ranked faculty and 1.8 FTE staff, the department also includes 18 ad hoc teaching faculty, 37 more graduate faculty on active dissertation committees, 26 graduate assistant supervisors, and 31 practicum supervisors. Our ranked faculty served our profession through 12 invited or selected regional + national presentations. We conducted significant editorial review activities for 4 academic journals, 1 book series, and 2 national conferences; and we published 3 articles. Dr. Becki Elkins was selected for the CASSH Recognition of Service Award, and a recent graduate (Dr. Andrew Ives) earned ACPA’s dissertation of the year, an honor that typically is awarded to those graduating from research-intensive institutions. Dr. Tori Svoboda was also selected for the Wisdom Award from ACPA's Commission for Women.

Theatre Art


The Department of Theatre and Dance began the year with a name change as we officially launched our dance minor and welcomed new faculty member Ashley Dobrogosz. The minor is off to a terrific start, offering multiple courses each semester, and quadrupling in size from the beginning to the end of the year. We share the sole dance studio on campus with Exercise and Sport Science and are grateful that ESS was able to do a little rearranging to make room for Ashley.  The department also welcomed theatre scholar Dr. Nicholas Barilar. His fresh take on theatre history instruction is well-received by students, and Nic wasted no time before beginning to establish collaborative relationships. He worked with the ACCESS Center for production support and a post-show discussion for his fall production Last Train to Nibroc, and by year’s end was able to fully step into the role of new student coordinator, handling communication with prospective students and arranging interviews.

Personnel was a theme this year. The department conducted a successful search for a faculty member to join us following Mary Leonard’s retirement in July, and finally hired a new Assistant Technical Director to start in August 2023. In addition to having multiple faculty members teach overload course sections this year, our Faculty Technical Director was forced to take on substantial extra work due to the open position. We ended the year with the resignation of an additional member of the department, relocating for family reasons, and hope that we will not find ourselves in an overstretched overload situation for an entire year again.

In spite of staffing challenges, the department has nearly rebounded to pre-COVID numbers of majors and minors, which is why we take our obligation to provide coursework and productions so seriously. The department invested significant time to update and overhaul several courses, and we initiated a new collaborative course with the Department of English. 2023-2024 was an exciting production year for Theatre & Dance. This included the extremely popular <i>Murder on the Orient Express</i> complete with moving train, a large-cast production of A Christmas Carol, 12 sold out performances of Dragons Love Tacos in the spring, and we ended the year with musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, featuring multiple locations and over 100 costume changes during each performance. Due to the inclusion of youth either as participants or audience members in several shows, the department spent significant effort learning and following the new youth safety protocols—which included evaluation and training for over 75 people. Beyond the formal 6-production season, Theatre & Dance presented 8 senior capstone performances, a dance showcase, an evening of scenes by the students in our directing class, and held several workshops and tours. One workshop was with alumnus Justin Schmitz, who was honored with the Rada Award by the UWL Alumni Association this fall.

CBA Students

College of Business Administration

College Summary


The College of Business Administration underwent AACSB reaccreditation with a visit from the Continuous Improvement Review Team in March of 2023. They made a positive recommendation to the CIR committee which was approved by the entire AACSB board in June 2023. This makes for continuous AACSB accreditation for the CBA going back to 1981. In preparation for the visit, the CBA also engaged in strategic planning, which included the adoption of a new Purpose statement, along with new Mission and Vision statements. The CBA continues to grow enrollment, exceeding last year’s record.

The CBA welcomed 552 students from the incoming freshman class in the fall, along with internal and external net transfers resulting in another 96 students bringing the college to a total headcount of 2441 students for the spring semester a net increase of 100 students. This enrollment level makes us the largest in our history, exceeding the enrollment levels of the mid-1980s. In order to address some of the attendant issues that arise from such rapid growth, the CBA submitted a proposal for a tuition differential for students in our class. The funds allowed the CBA to hire 2 fulltime academic advisors and 3 FTE of instructional academic staff who will begin in the fall of 2023. In addition to the challenges associated with growing enrollment, the CBA continues to manage excessive turnover among faculty and staff. We hired 3 Tenure Track faculty and 8 IAS which includes the three from the differential. We also addressed some salary equity issues in our IAS.

We continue to partner in the UW consortium MBA. Of 366 online MBA programs in the U.S., our online MBA program is ranked 9th overall and 7th for veterans in the "Best Online MBA Programs" by U.S. News & World Report.




The 2022-23 academic year began with two ACC IAS vacancies and one BLAW IAS vacancy (a TT converted to IAS). During the year one ACC TT person resigned and took a position in private industry. That TT position was converted to an IAS position for salary savings and conversion from a 3/3 load to a 4/4 load. In addition one full-time ACC IAS member decided to move to a 50% load for fall 2023 in anticipation of retirement. This left 4 ACC IAS vacancies, which were filled for the 2023-24 academic year. All four new ACC IAS, Ben Trnka, Noel Wilbur, Sandy Chapman, and Betsy Schmidt are licensed as CPAs, have professional work experience, and one has limited and three have extensive teaching experience. The number of majors is down slightly, though less than the national average. Demand for ACC majors remains strong, and there were over 40 companies and firms at the Accounting Career Fair, September 2022. There were approximately 60 paid internships during the year. The CPA exam has significant changes effective January 2024 and the department is reviewing the curriculum and updating CIM forms accordingly.



The Department of Economics taught 94 separate courses during 2022-2023 academic year. Around three-fourths of these courses serve students completing general education credits (ECO 110/120/336) as well as CBA students (ECO 110/120/230) completing core requirements. Class enrollments were strong and managed reasonably well, as the vast majority of courses had enrollments near the caps. Department members continue to improve in the classroom through a variety of means, including brining in new data sets from local firms, creating assignments to help students scaffold their learning about experiments in order to prepare them for doing their own experiments, the use of cooperative learning techniques, developing “code guides” in our technical courses, moving toward active learning exercises away from lecture, and so on. In addition, Professor Laurie Miller was awarded an Eagle Teaching Excellence Award. The department members maintained considerable research productivity, publishing 12 articles in journals and/or book chapters and presenting their scholarship at conferences and in seminars on at least 19 occasions.

Several members of the department pursued internal and/or external funding for their research, and many of these proposals were funded. Department members were also active in providing service to the profession in the form of manuscript reviews and serving in editorial roles. Likewise, a few faculty members attended faculty development seminars and other types of continuing education. In terms of service, members of the department continue to provide important leadership in the college and across campus. At the college level, our faculty are committed to the college’s assurance of learning program, the multicultural scholars program, and the MBA consortium. At the university, our faculty serve on important committees, including the following committees: GEAC, Program Assessment, search and screens for the Associate Dean of the SOE and CASSH as well as the search to fill the Vice Chancellor of Diversity and Inclusion position, International Education, IRB, IAS and Faculty Promotion, and CAPS. In terms of personnel, the department made one successful tenure-track hire during the 2022-2023 academic year: Hugo Vaca Pereira Rocha. Likewise, Lisa Vander was hired in a visiting role to help meet excess demand for our introductory courses during the next academic year.



The Finance Department continued its student growth and continues to be the largest major in the College of Business Administration. The department continues to be supported by the CBA Dean’s office, which advises all incoming first-year students, and the Economics department, which advises all second-year students. The department was able to offer additional electives by hiring adjunct instructors with professional experience to teach in their relevant areas. On the personnel front, Dr. Adam Stivers completed his first year as department chair. Dr. Stivers was the first internal chair of the department in 4 years. The department also successfully completed 4 reviews of untenured faculty members. Diana Tempski was awarded Professor of the Semester from Delta Sigma Pi. The department overhauled its curriculum by including new elective offerings (especially for the Risk, Insurance, and Financial Planning major) and allowing FIN 475 to be taken in place of FIN 485 as the capstone course. In addition to curricular reasons, these changes were made in efforts to reduce student barriers and provide more options to the large number of finance majors.

The department also made sweeping updates to its bylaws, particularly as it relates to promotion, tenure, and retention criteria. The department conducted a search for two open IAS lines. We are excited to welcome Andrew Scott and Dr. Tu Nguyen, who will both start in Fall 2023. The Gordon Spellman Fund continues to perform well and closed the year with a value over $378,000 as of May 31, 2023. The department continued to support and teach in the Integrated Core Program offered by the CBA. During Academic Year 2022-2023 the department had 12 refereed articles published or accepted by high-quality academic journals and made three refereed conference presentations. The department served on six university committees and attended over 15 faculty development workshops.

Information Systems


The IS department over the past 3 years has grown into a department offering both Information Systems and Business Analytics majors and minors, with enrollment in all IS programs continuing to show strength. For example, the number of business analytics (BA) minors has grown from 0 in Fall 2020 to 79 minors in Spring 2023. The growing BA minor and overall student, alumni and employer interest motivated the department to seek approval for a BA major. The BA major was formally approved to start in January 2023 and enrollment at the time of this report was already at 49 students. The IS department is proud of the support of the CBA and University in adapting and approving new programs to meet a growing demand by students and organizations. The department has decided to exit the Health Information Management and Technology (HIMT) collaborative program due to staffing constraints and accreditation requirements. UWL will exit the program in May 2024. In August 2022 Dr. Botong Xue was hired as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Xue brings expertise in both security and database management. The department added a communications learning objective to the IS major and will begin assessment activities in Fall 2023.

The department coordinated and promoted a Women in Technology event in partnership with the Wisconsin Women in Technology organization in February 2023. The event highlighted the career opportunities in both IS and BA. Over 30 students and faculty attended the event. Dr. Haried and Dr. Han presented at the American Society of Business and Behavioral Sciences conference in March 2023. Their paper “Understanding Navigational Heuristics on Online Source Credibility” received the IS Best Paper Award. The department continued its relationship with Kwik Trip to connect students through guest speakers, field trips and case competitions.

In April, 2023 Kwik Trip awarded $10,000 in scholarships to IS majors. Guest speakers from: Kwik Trip, Deloitte Consulting, RSM, Trane Technologies, Federated Insurance all visited IS courses to bring industry experience into the classroom.




The management department’s main efforts were, as always, serving our 448 majors, as well as the 43 Sustainable Business minors and 23 Healthcare Analytics Management minors, which are housed in the department. Additionally, the department served more than 2000 CBA students across the 4 core CBA courses it provides. Additionally, faculty in the department had 14 peer-review journal articles accepted for publication or published this academic year, as well as 14 virtual or in-person scholarly presentations. The department's primary efforts continued to be supporting students in their knowledge and skill development given the perceived post-Covid decline. Multiple faculty engaged students with client-based projects, field trips, professional speakers, and other innovative pedagogical techniques such as having students work in “learning teams”, and working with real data to support UN Development Goals. Lastly, 9 students headed off to Slovakia in May for the Global Consulting Program, the first time since being shut down in 2020 due to Covid.

Another major effort this year was hiring new colleagues, given recent departures in our department. We successfully hired one new tenure-track and two new instructional academic staff colleagues to support our department demand. The department made several curricular changes to advance the major and to update the course offerings in CIM. The department plans to begin the 2023-2024 year continuing those efforts and to strengthen the curriculum and assessment strategy as well. Lastly, the department continued its efforts to support our students and faculty this academic year. We hosted our Student Appreciation Day and also an alumni panel for the second year. We also gathered feedback from students on ways in which the department could support them during the year and implemented their suggestions to the best we could. Several students noted their appreciation of this support and activities.



Enrollment: The 2022-2023 academic year was both exciting and busy for the Marketing Department. We experienced the most robust enrollment of recent years, with 553 primary and 24 secondary majors. In 2022-2023 we offered 88 sections of courses with 963 seats of required CBA courses and 1,278 seats of upper-level Marketing courses.  

High Impact Practices: The Department continued its strong tradition of offering transformative educational experiences throughout the curriculum. Drs. Crosby, Graham, and McDermott taught faculty-led study abroad programs in London and Ireland. Dr. Nasif mentored two students in undergraduate research; one presented at NCUR. Professor Wallace served as the AMA advisor and the chapter earned a top 20 finish in the national case competition. Professor Trisler was the Sales Team coach for competitions hosted by UW-Eau Claire, University of Minnesota, and Florida State University and earned some of the highest places in the history of our program. In addition, numerous courses did client-based work for local businesses.  

Community Engagement: The Department engaged with the community in and out of the classroom. We hosted the 10th Annual UWL Sales competition, with 27 students competing in front of 14 industry professionals. In addition, 114 students in the Sales elective completed role-plays with 28 industry professionals. MKT 323, part of the CBA Kwik Trip Integrated Core Program, had 57 CBA students working on four different project charters this year. We also had 38 students complete internships for credit. We continued our work towards achieving excellence through equity and diversity. Nese Nasif was awarded a Margins of Excellence grant.  

Faculty and Staff: In people-related news, congrats to Professor Eklund and Trisler, who were nominated for the Eagle Excellence teaching award. And Professors Graham, Malampallayil, Nasif, Trisler, Wallace, and Wang were nominated for the Eagle Excellence Advising Award. Professor Trisler also won the inaugural CBA Excellence in Service Award. Congratulations as well to Dr. Nese Nasif on her promotion and tenure. Department members had seven publications, three additional articles, and eleven conference presentations. Several department members served in leadership roles across College, University, and Community committees. We will welcome several “new” faculty members for the upcoming year. Andreas Eklund will transition into a tenure track position for 23-24, and we welcome Aaron Koepke as a teaching professor. We will also be welcoming an additional teaching professor and hiring for a tenure-track position.   

Summary of Departmental Activities from the Past Year Specific to Graduate Programs: The department is working with UW Extended Campus and UWL Graduate & Extended Learning to design a collaborative Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing. Course development of the three UWL courses has begun, and the program will launch in the upcoming year. The department continues to contribute to the online MBA Consortium program as needed. 

CSH Students

College Summary

College of Science and Health overview


Despite many challenges faced by the College of Science and Health (CSH) emerging out of COVID-19, there were still a number of noteworthy accomplishments during the 2022-2023 academic year while addressing those difficulties. The College worked together to address two major challenges: declining student enrollment and high level of vacancy in faculty positions. Student enrollment in CSH has declined another year from 4,750 in AY 2021-22 to 4,614 in AY 2022-23. The College worked to reverse this trend by continuing to provide the high quality of educational experience and creating new attractive programs to students. Although the number of Dean’s Distinguished Fellowships decreased from 23 in summer 2021 to 19 in summer 2023 because of the decrease in financial support by private donors to the UWL Foundation, the College started the CSH Summer Graduate Research Fellowship program and has awarded 8 fellowships in summer 2023.

The First Year Research Exposure (FYRE) program, an academic diversity initiative in CSH, has served 15 students in AY 2022-23 and served 141 first-year students of color since 2012; 77% of the students have graduated or are still enrolled in programs of undergraduate study. The faculty submitted 25 research proposals, and 10 were competitively awarded for more than $460,000 in extramural funding, 14 proposals are pending (as of May 3, 2023). These activities helped support more than 200 students that were mentored in independent research projects. Working with the university, the College improved the teaching/research laboratory facilities. Those improvements include creation of a virtual anatomy/physiology teaching lab equipped with three Anatomage tables (3D anatomy & virtual dissection platform) in the Department of Health Professions and purchase of a confocal imaging system from Leica Microsystems for the physical and biological science departments. In collaboration with Student Affairs, the College started a pilot project to improve student success among first and second year students by providing supplementary instructional support for Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, and Statistics courses with high DFW rates. Also, the College, in collaboration with faculty, initiated and supported development of new academic programs in response to new opportunities for student employment after graduation and changes in student demand. These efforts include creation of new undergraduate major programs in Environmental Science, Data Science, Food & Nutrition Science, Pharmacology, and Engineering Physics, and reactivation of once suspended Master’s Program in Public Health as an on-line program.

College-sponsored seminars, science shows, service programs in physical education and exercise for children and adults, and clinics in adaptive physical education, physical therapy and occupational therapy are examples of the many engagement activities that provided continuing education and service to the La Crosse community. Providing support to faculty has been a top priority of the college as the number of vacant positions during this academic year remained very high, adding greater workload stress to existing faculty. Twenty-one new faculty and instructional staff were recruited for the academic year 2022-2023 to replace personnel who retired or resigned and unfilled positions from previous years. As a result, the College increase the startup fund award from $259,267 in FY 2023 to $701,103 for FY 2024. Also, aligned with CSH Strategic Plan 2021 (Pilar: Investing in Our People) the College supported five faculty sabbaticals (five semester leaves) in FY 2023. Four faculty members were promoted to full Professor, four to Associate Professor, and six were awarded tenure. One IAS was promoted to Clinical Professor and two to Clinical Associate Professor.



Scholarly productivity in undergraduate and graduate research was high in 2022-2023. 17 external educational, research, and service grants were submitted, and new funding from external grants exceeded $420,000. Biology faculty authored 13 peer-reviewed publications or book chapters, including SOTL publications. 9 more papers have already been submitted in 2023 and are under review. In addition, faculty and staff, along with undergraduate or graduate co-authors, made more than 55 presentations at regional, national, and international science conferences. Service to the university, professional societies and the La Crosse community continued as a strong component of Department activities. Of special note, Dr. Tisha King-Heiden is currently serving as the president of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) North America.

Three new faculty were welcomed to the department, Dr. Cord Brundage, Dr. Jaspreet Kaur, and Dr. Adam Schneider. Over 60% of the department’s instructors were nominated by students for teaching excellence awards. Outreach initiatives included providing guidance and expertise for citizen scientists through the Driftless Area BioBlitz initiative, anatomy lab tours for hundreds of area high school students (13 area school districts toured in May alone), and expanded collaboration with local environmental agencies and employers (USGS, UMESC, FWS).  The department and university partnered with the Gundersen Research Foundation to purchase a new confocal microscope. The microscope has already benefited research programs in chemistry and biochemistry, microbiology, and biology here on campus, as well as serving research programs associated with Gundersen Lutheran Hospital and Clinics. During the fall semester the department experienced the passing of internationally renowned mycologist Dr. Tom Volk. In addition to his expertise in mycology, Dr. Volk was known for his kindness and philanthropy. He will be missed.

Chemistry & Biochemistry


The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry faculty and staff continued their excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. In total the department received 58 UWL Eagle Teaching Excellence Award nominations, which included 15 of 24 instructional staff. Our faculty and students have earned the following awards: (1) CATL/SoTL grants, (2) UWL faculty research grants, (3) 5 extramural grants, (4) 3 DDF's . Our students earned 5 URC awards with 4 differing faculty members. To expand our student-centered mission the department developed web-content focused upon future, current and former students. The department continued to refine promotional materials in the form of (1) “bookmarks” focused upon alumni career paths, (2) START materials for incoming students, (3) major and minor course requirements.

Computer Science


The department made significant curricular changes to its undergraduate CS major with the intent of obtaining ABET accreditation. Two new course requirements were added to the major: CS 364, Database Management Systems and either CS 354 Analysis of Algorithm Complexity or CS 453 Introduction to the Theory of Computation. The department has done significant work generating the documentation required for the ABET "Readiness Review" and plans to submit in the fall 2023. Due to the creation of the new CPE program, the Embedded Systems emphasis was suspended. The CPE program expects to see its first graduates in the coming year and the department will move toward ABET accreditation for that program next year also.

The department collaborated with UWEX and UW Parkside to develop a new graduate certificate program entitled "Emerging Technologies in FinTech." The first course for this program will be offered in the fall 23 semester. The department sought to elevate the visibility of its Computer Engineering program by adopting a new departmental name. The department now goes by Computer Science & Computer Engineering. Three department members, the ADA and two faculty, retired this year. They collectively had 85 years of experience at UWL and their retirement presents both opportunities and challenges.

The department hired strong individuals for the ADA position and one of the faculty lines. We expect to open a tenure track search in the fall of 23 as replacement for the remaining faculty. The summers migration from our previous osX-based departmental lab to a Linux-based system went very smoothly. The department continued to expand its computing resources and services by purchasing 4 servers for research and teaching, migrating from an aging Eucalyptus cluster to OpenStack, along with ongoing maintenance.

Exercise and Sports Science


The Department of Exercise and Sport Science offers three undergraduate (Exercise Science, Physical, Adapted, and School Health Education, and Sport Management) and three graduate degree programs (Athletic Training, Clinical Exercise Physiology, and Physical Education Teaching) as well as a concentration area (Coaching Competitive Athletics concentration) that can be added to a degree. ESS Department is excited to start the Exercise Science (ES) and Master of Athletic Training (AT) program. This dual degree option (ES/AT) enables a student to receive both a Bachelor of Science degree in ESS: Exercise Science Pre-Professional Track and a Master of Science in Athletic Training degree from UW-La Crosse. Students typically complete the undergraduate requirements in three years followed by 23 months in the Athletic Training graduate program. The Department also successfully completed three academic program reviews: Clinical Exercise Physiology, Exercise Science, and Sport Management. The scientific output from the Human Performance Laboratory (HPL) is exceptional, despite being in the temporary lab space this year. Of the 238 research projects being presented in Research & Creativity Symposium on May 5, 2023, ESS Department accounts for 14% of them (34). Of those 34 research projects, 25 come directly from out Human Performance Lab group, 20 of which are undergraduate research projects!

Geography & Earth Science


The Department of Geography and Environmental Science provides a high-quality educational experience and engages in scholarship and service. Teaching Innovation Grants were awarded for increasing big geospatial data analysis in GIS courses and for enhancing a transportation course with topics on sustainability and social equity. Three instructors were nominated for Eagle Teaching Excellence Awards. A faculty member was awarded a grant to develop a study abroad program in Nepal and another completed a scoping trip for a new study abroad program in the Yukon. Faculty coauthored 3 peer-reviewed publications or book chapters and were PIs on 5 research grants. They also gave 11 research-related presentations, including 3 co-authored with undergraduate students.

A faculty member led 2 students on a research trip mapping a glacier in the Himalaya Mountains of Nepal. Geography faculty mentored 10 undergraduate research students, including 2 that received a Dean’s Distinguished Fellowships and 6 that received an Undergraduate Research Grant. Presentations at the 2023 UWL Research and Creativity Symposium were given by 6 geography students and 3 students presented at the National Conference on Undergraduate Education. The Department changed its name from “Geography and Earth Science” to “Geography and Environmental Science” to better reflect our focus. Several course titles, descriptions, and requirements were updated to reflect their content and increase accessibility. The Department completed its Academic Program Review and received positive feedback. The Department is developing a cross-disciplinary Environmental Science major and the Notice of Intent has been approved. Efforts to heighten our visibility and attract new majors included updating the website, submitting articles to the Campus Connection and the CSH Newsletter that highlight our current and former students, and participating in outreach events such. As a result, the number of majors and student credit hours taught has held steady.

Health Professions


The Health Professions (HP) Department consists of 4 graduate programs: Medical Dosimetry (Med Dos), Occupational Therapy (OT), Physical Therapy (PT) and Physician Assistant (PA), and 4 undergraduate programs: Nuclear Medicine Technology (NMT), Radiation Therapy (RT), Radiologic Technology (RAD) and Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS). Two undergraduate courses (HP 106 Intro Health Care Careers and HP 250 Medical Terms) are offered for credit with the La Crosse School District. Demand for HP Programs is consistently strong with high numbers of qualified applicants. Student outcomes are excellent with board exam pass rates and scores above the national average, and students typically obtain jobs within 6 months of graduation. The department had two IAS faculty earn promotions and conducted 3 successful searches.

There are multiple open searches in PA and PT with recent and pending retirements. HP prides itself on faculty/student service, research, and outreach activities. Faculty scholarship has incorporated students (19 faculty/student publications and over 50 faculty/student peer reviewed oral or poster presentations at international/national/state conferences). Students from multiple programs attended national conferences, many presenting original research and some winning awards from national organizations (including three top places in the Med Dos student competition). La Crosse Institute of Movement Science (LIMS) researchers (PT) maintain active research partnerships with Gundersen Health System Sports PT residency program and the Mayo Clinic Health System. Clinical education coordinators enabled 812 student clinical placements at over 283 different clinical sites across the US in a challenging health care and educational environment. The faculty sustained our service-learning activities that involved over 800 HP students in health and wellness, health screenings, course related clinical experiences, interprofessional education or research. Additionally, HP faculty joined the new Health Science Interprofessional Research Center, increasing future opportunity for service, scholarship and outreach activities.

The department also added the first service dog on campus.

Mathematics & Statistics


The Department of Mathematics and Statistics has been very productive in the 2022-2023 academic year, despite the continued impact of the global pandemic and staff shortages. The department taught over 250 sections of courses spanning our mathematics, statistics, and data science programs, including 146 sections of general education courses and 13 sections of independent study. In addition, the department faculty have conducted 17 projects with undergraduate students. The department successfully updated the Applied Math emphasis to better serve the needs of students. In addition, the department has created the new interdisciplinary minor Communication, Writing, and Critical Reasoning conjunction with the departments of Communication Studies and English. The department is also in the process of creating a new major in Data Science.

The department members published 18 articles in peer-reviewed journals, as well as submitted an additional 26 articles during the year. Not only is this a significant number of publications with the department being down 4 faculty, but the caliber of these journals is quite high. In addition, department members presented 27 talks at conferences and meetings. The department faculty have applied for over $2M in grant funding during the year. Internal grants for $5000 were submitted and fully funded. Externally, over $2M of grant funding was applied for, with over $75,000 secured. Lastly, the department is very active in the university, having representation on many important committees including Faculty Senate, Joint Planning & Budget, Joint Promotion Committee, International Education, General Education Assessment, Academic Planning, Academic Program Review, Promotion, Tenure, and Salary, International Education, and CAPS. Faculty members have also filled important roles in administration, including Faculty Assistant to the Provost, CSH DEI Fellow, and STEP director.



In 22/23, the Department graduated 42 students with BS degrees in Microbiology or Clinical Lab Sciences. This is down from 60 in 21/22 and the five-year average of 53 graduates per year. The number of total Microbiology and Clinical Lab Science majors was 151, down from a five-year average of 214. The Department also had our undergraduate programs proceed through the Academic Program Review process, with external reviewers visiting in Fall 2022. Paul Schweiger was granted tenure, and Michael Lazzari was promoted to Clinical Professor. Two members of the Department, Bernadette Taylor (Assoc Prof) and Annie Mach (lab manager) retired in Jan 2023. After two failed searches, replacement personnel were successfully hired. The Department was focused on recruitment and retention this past year, involving an active Departmental Recruitment and Retention Committee. Among action steps, the Department took over control of two monitors on the fourth floor of PSSC, developing and displaying informational slides on the Departmental majors and minor.

The Department also developed a “Microbiology ambassadors” program in which our upper-level students went back to their respective high schools to present on UWL, Microbiology and CLS careers, and the majors offered by our Department. The Microbiology research labs were active. Faculty mentored 14 graduate, and 25 undergraduate students. Thirteen undergraduate and graduate students presented at local, regional and national meetings, giving a total of 29 poster and oral presentations. At the North Central Branch of the American Society for Microbiology meeting (Nov-22) our UG student Ky Ariano was awarded 1<sup>st</sup> place in the UG oral presentation competition Additionally, Grad student Madison Moore won 1<sup>st</sup> place in the poster competition at the WiSys SPARK meeting. Faculty had six papers published and continued work on three external grants. Remarkably, faculty (mainly Xinhui Li, Paul Schweiger and Bill Schwan) reviewed 52 manuscripts.



The Physics Department continues to advance our curriculum to benefit students at UWL. In 2022-2023 we offered six unique physics and astronomy laboratory classes for general education credit. To make these classes accessible to all students, high-impact teaching practices were used such as “choose your own option” assignments, integrated lecture and laboratory classes, and interactive group activities. In its 20<sup>th</sup> year, the Distinguished Lecture Series in Physics brought Arthur B. McDonald, the 2015 Nobel Laureate in Physics, to campus for lectures and interactions with students, faculty, and the public.

The Physics Department continued its strong focus on undergraduate student research and began to support students in the second year with sophomore fellowships. Fourteen students from physics and three students from other departments worked with six physics faculty members on various research projects during the semester as Eagle Apprentices, as paid interns, or for course credit. During the summer our students were funded by faculty research grants or competitive College grants. Students presented their research at national physics and astronomy conferences and at local/regional conferences. Our undergraduate students have multiple opportunities to continue their education after UWL. Six students transferred to physics/engineering dual-degree programs at partner institutions and four students continued to graduate school in physics and astrophysics.

The physics faculty continue to excel in their respective fields serving on state and national committees, refereeing journal articles, and receiving competitive external funding. This year our faculty gave fourteen presentations, published four papers in refereed publications, (all with undergraduate student co-authors), wrote two book chapters, and granted one patent. In July 2023, long-time faculty member and former department chair, Gubbi Sudhakaran, will retire.

Public Health & Community Health Education


The Department went through numerous changes and updates in the 2022-2023 academic year. A new Department chair started in June 2023. In the Fall, our Department approved new Bylaws, worked in year two of our Strategic Plan, and work through the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) Accreditation Interim Report due January 5, 2023. We internally restructured our Departmental Committees: Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (JEDI): Strategic Planning, PTR and added Merit to this Committee; Assessment Committee; Sunshine Committee; Appeals Committee; and an Advisory Committee. We elected Directorships: Director of Assessment (Gilmore), Undergraduate Director (Pember), Graduate Director MPH Cedergren). Whitey and Rees will continue with Academic Directors of HWM and HCA programs respectively. The 2022-2023 Promotion, Tenure, Retention, and Merit (PTRM) Committee consisted of Dr. Gary Gilmore, Dr. Karen Skemp, and Dr. Michele Pettit (Chair). The committee worked closely with Dr. Keely Rees, Chair of the Department of Public Health and Community Health Education, to coordinate teaching observations of the following faculty/instructional academic staff: Dr. Anders Cedergren, Angela Gelatt, Jean Nagel, Audrey Seitz, Dr. Karen Skemp, Katie Wagoner, and Dr. Emily Whitney. The committee also prepared a letter of support for the tenure and promotion to Associate Professor for Dr. Sarah Pember. Dr. Sarah Pember was successfully tenured and promoted to Associate Professor.

Faculty published 2 journal articles, 5 book chapters, and a textbook published fall 2022, additionally 4 grant submissions were made. Four faculty have articles in for current submissions. Furthermore, 6 undergraduate students were mentored for undergraduate research projects by 3 of our faculty members. Eight faculty presented over 24 local, regional, and national presentations with collaborators within and outside the Department. Four faculty received UWL Eagle Teaching Excellence Award nominations and remain strong leaders in our classrooms and Dr. Keely Rees received the 2023 Eagle Teaching Excellence Award. We celebrated 10 years of service for Dr. Anders Cedergren, Katie Wagoner (IAS) and our Department Associate, Sandra Vinney.

Our student organization, Eta Sigma Gamma, trained an additional 30 students in Peer Talk: A Community of Care Training to be mental health advocates. We had 4 High School PATCH Teen Providers attend and 7 Eta Sigma Gamma students from the Minnesota State University at Mankato attend the training as well in March 2023. Our Beta Phi Chapter conducted over 900 hours of service throughout the year in the community and campus. Lila Tully was our NCHEC Undergraduate Major of the Year at the Annual Eta Sigma Gamma Business Meeting. We had two instructional academic staff joining us in Fall of 2022, one resignation in Spring 2023 and we held a successful search for a tenure-track position and will have Dr. Angela Geraci join us in Fall 2023.

Our Master of Public Health (MPH) was deactivated in Fall 2019. In the Summer of 2022, the Department presented to the Dean’s Council a proposal to reactivate the degree and with a change in modality to online. We appointed a new Graduate Director in August 2023, and spent the academic year navigating the new proposed MPH through research, planning, and all University committees starting in January 2023. The MPH was fully approved by Faculty Senate in May and Budget Approval in June. We will develop courses in Summer 2023, marketing and application will go live Summer 2023 with first cohort to begin in January 2024. The Department oversees the Healthcare Administration collaborative degree program for UWL campus. We are in collaboration with Stout, Parkside, Stevens Point, and Platteville. This academic year there were 15 graduates (8 December, 3 May, 4 Summer) from UWL campus. Dr. Keely Rees serves as the Academic Director and advises between ~65 graduates per term. The Collaboratives met in Madison June 5-6, 2023 and celebrated the successes of the program. Our Certificate of Senior Living & Services Leadership continues to grow at a steady pace with 8 current students from UWL in the program.

Recreation Management & Therapeutic Recreation


Both programs received formal accreditation from COAPRT, with specific mention of the exceptional attention to effective assessment as well as the on-going commitment to student excellence by the faculty and students. RM & TR faculty received 5 Community Engaged Learning awards for the academic year to support community projects in Meetings, Conventions & Event Planning, TR Facilitation Techniques, Program Planning in RM, Innovative TR Activities, and Intro to TR. The TR Program completed a year-long Curriculum Redesign Grant emphasizing integration of HIPs, developing a broader bank of community partners, and setting up alignment with upcoming change in external accreditation standards. RM received a Curriculum Redesign Grant for the upcoming year.

The Tourism Research Institute, in collaboration with REC 351 students, completed the Polk County Project. 2 successful REXPOs provided a wealth of interactions for over 800 students in REC 150 (Leisure, Quality of Life & Well Being) with recreation professionals. Kate Evans was awarded the prestigious Wisconsin Teaching Fellows and Scholars Award for developing an expanded focus on JEDI in REC 150. The RMTR Well-Being Room was designed, created, and implemented providing in-house reduced stress testing space and provide a student, staff, & faculty health & wellness space (inc. nature images, tools for improving well-being, and ambient lighting). Jenn Taylor created the first student-led community participants (AARP) Walk with an Eagle program. Tara DeLong successfully completed training to co-handle the University's first Service Dog which will be part of TR & OT collaboration through the Health Science Interprofessional Research Center.

We graduated our fourth cohort in the Therapeutic Recreation Dual Degree program. The student capstone programs of evidence-based curricula are now being housed on the website and are open-source for practitioners. They are receiving strong support from the professional community for their usefulness and theoretical grounding. Students presented their work with and to undergraduates in the field as part of the experience as well as presenting their curricula at the 5th Annual Great Lakes Recreational Therapy Student Conference in Bradford Woods, Indiana. We graduated our third cohort in the Recreation Management Professional Degree online Masters program. Student capstone projects addressed their own agency's ongoing challenges mirroring those seen nationwide such as building community resiliency through recreation, building efficacy and awareness of parks & recreation benefits, and enhancing recreation programs and services that meet unique and pressing needs of communities.

SoE Students

School of Education

Yearly Overview


The School of Education (SOE) received another successful annual accreditation review by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) in October 2022. Nearly all educator preparation majors began implementing newly approved licensure programs. The following statement from DPI demonstrates the unwavering commitment to robust expectations in educator preparation at UWL, “SOE leadership have taken the opportunity to demonstrate compliance while also sharing unique aspects of some of the approved licensure program areas…UWL is one of just a few entities to implement a plan to submit new licensure program reports across all areas. This initiative helps keep programs current to trends identified by national organizations and their respective preparation standards.” The profession remains in an educator shortage and needs qualified graduates who are career ready to serve our children, families, and communities to lead Wisconsin and beyond.

The enrollment in SOE programs remains strong. Due to the high interest in studying education at UWL, we had to implement a competitive admissions process for some programs. Students report that they want to study education at UWL because they work closely with faculty, staff, and school partners. Our programs require a significant number of hours in schools working alongside educators and learners. This results in building upon the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for a successful pedagogical foundation that leads to a lifelong career in education. We partner with hundreds of educators each semester who mentor our teacher candidates. In response to local school needs, the School of Education has new licenses available in special education and teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) through the Institute for Professional Studies (IPSE). IPSE is ranked #1 in Wisconsin and #6 nationally on the Best Accredited Colleges' list for the best online Master's in Reading and Literacy programs.

We are the only Wisconsin program to be nationally ranked in the of the top 50 programs. Finally, the SOE has been busy planning two new faculty led travel studies (Luxembourg and Puerto Rico), allowing education majors the opportunity to travel abroad and earn credits toward their degree. These two are in addition to our existing travel study opportunities in China and Japan. Students studying education at UWL are excited to expand their global and international experiences through one of these opportunities.

Department of Education Studies


In 22-23, DES introduced six classes for two recently approved majors: Early Childhood Education (ECE: birth through grade 3) and Special Education (SPE: K -grade 12). In terms of personnel, three new tenure-track faculty members joined DES, and five searches for new faculty and one new administrative assistant were conducted. Three of the four faculty searches were successful, as was the administrative assistant search. The searches were a department-wide effort, with 8/15 faculty serving as search co-chairs and all but three DES members serving on at least one search committee. Performance evaluations occurred for 15 DES lecturers. Additionally, non-contract or contract reviews occurred for seven non-tenured faculty and one Redbooked teaching professor.

Regarding teaching awards, at least four DES instructors were nominated, and one DES member received the Provost's Eagle Teaching Excellence Award. DES continued to support all UWL teacher education programs by delivering Foundations/General Education courses required for all teacher education majors: EDS 203 (11 sections; 315 students) and EDS 206 (14 sections; 407 students). DES faculty also supported over 304 teacher candidates in their Field I, Field II, and SPE placements and served as liaisons for 14 PDS sites and one new High School site for those seeking a K-12 SPE teaching license.

Two new international field placement options for the Elementary Middle Education (EME)/Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL; Puerto Rico, beginning January 2024) or EME/SPE majors (Luxembourg, Europe, starting May 2024) were also approved. Additional collaborations with community members occurred, including partnering with La Crosse's BGC and placing over 100 UWL students as Reading Buddies in BGC's after-school programs. Also noteworthy were the updates to DES' literacy program (EDS 308, 318, and 418, and a new ACT 44 plan), which occurred partially in response to Foundation of Reading Assessment (FoRT) updates.

Institute for Professional Studies in Education

Institute for Professional Studies in Education

In 22-23 the IPSE Team continues to meet the needs of teachers and school districts in IPSE offers graduate programs for teachers in the areas of Educational Leadership, Learning Community, Reading, Special Education, and TESOL. There are 5 master’s Degree programs including Educational Leadership, Educational Leadership/Director of Instruction, Learning Community, Reading Teacher, Reading Teacher/Reading Specialist, and Reading Specialist. The five certificate programs offered are Educational Leadership, Professional Learning Community, Reading Teacher, Special Education, and Teaching English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL). In addition, IPSE has two add-on licensure programs, Director of Instruction and Reading Specialist. Curricular oversight for IPSE programs is provided by the Department of Educational Studies (DES).

Success Stories: The IPSE Team continues to meet the needs of teachers and school districts in WI.
The IPSE Team worked collaboratively and continued to generate revenue. The Educational Leadership and Reading programs were nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report as Best Online Graduate programs. In addition, the Reading programs were ranked #6 in Best Accredited Colleges. IPSE Admin Team members participated in a variety of professional development opportunities. Markos attended two virtual conferences, 10 virtual workshops and participated in 8 Webinars. Two reading instructors, Harlan and Ender participated in LETRS training. Yehle participated in 19 PD activities. George attended 24 webinars. Holm participated in 3 virtual conferences, and 4 other PD activities. The entire IPSE Admin Team participated in 46 weekly PD activities in Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice. For the first time since COVID, our IPSE Team met for February Retreat.

Update on New Programs/ Initiatives – IPSE collaborated with the Special Education faculty to develop a Special Education Certificate program to start Spring 2024. Academic staff worked on reviewing the infusion of DEI into curriculum. IPSE reviewed and revised all courses in Educational Leadership, Learning Community, and Reading to be in alignment with DPI standards. The EDL and DOI New Licensure Program Reports (NLPRs) were completed and submitted on June 30, 2023.

Changes to Existing Programs/Initiatives
In Fall 2023, IPSE traveled to Taliesin to discuss the possibility of collaborating. Our teams worked on reviewing the infusion of DEI into curriculum. IPSE reviewed and revised all courses in Educational Leadership, Learning Community, and Reading to be in alignment with DPI standards. The EDL and DOI New Licensure Program Reports (NLPRs) were completed and submitted on June 30, 2023.

Existing Programs Redesigned
The Director of Instruction and Educational Leadership programs were redesigned based on Wisconsin and national standards.

IPSE currently has 18 IAS and academic staff, with 5 having doctoral degrees. The Admin Team consists of Alyssa Harlan, Ann Yehle, Cindy George, Jennifer Holm, Nick Anton, and Patricia Markos. IPSE added 4 new Lecturers.

Jennifer Holm and Dr. Pat Markos regularly attended the CESA #4 SIS Meetings for Directors of Instruction. In addition, Jennifer Holm is a member of the La Crosse School District Rebuilding Learning Committee. Learners in the Culturally Responsive Adventure Education program were able to immerse themselves in Wisconsin culture. One of them noted: “The one thing that made the biggest impact on me while pursuing my degree was being immersed in all of our cultural experiences and learning about diverse, equitable, and unique ways to help my students and make an impact on my community. This program helped to open my eyes to the things I need to change within my teaching and what I can do to best support every student in my classroom. Learners in Educational Leadership and Reading programs participate in Practicum experiences in their WI school districts.

Murphy Students

Murphy Library

Yearly Overview


During AY22-23, members of Murphy Library (ML) remained active and engaged with UWL and the local community. Personnel changes for ML were significantly impact during this year for both university staff and librarians. The following is list of those leaving and joining: Marc Manke resigned and Shealyn McMahon was hired (Outreach & Instruction - Library Assistant III); Ingrid Iverson retired and Sean Hurtubise was hired (Administrative Supervisor – Academic Staff); Rebecca Strandlie resigned and Lauren Klitzke was hired (Collection Development/Curriculum Center - Library Assistant III); Mark Beckerjeck resigned and Sam Steingraber was hired (E-Resources & Acquisitions - Library Assistant III); and Katherine Fish resigned and Madan Mahan was hired (E-Resources & Acquisitions - Librarian). Other notable personnel/”Investing In Our People” updates, Mike Olson completed his graduate degree and will be transitioning from academic staff to a faculty role effective July 1st in the Discovery and Metadata unit. As a result of this change, Nikki Pegarsch, presently an LTE, will transition to a Library Assistant III position in the Digital Collections unit. Further tweaks to address Special Collections and Area Research Center workloads brought Michael Current’s assistance. A proposal to reorganize/merge Reference and Instruction services is underway due to this. ML is also in the second year of a two-year supervisory re-alignment pilot and feedback about this pilot will be collected during the fall semester. The library is adjusting to the student employee wage rate increase effective July 1 that requires a welcomed wage increase but no overall budgetary increase. Additional unease is warranted for the ability to offer competitive hourly wages for our university staff, as we have hired four such Library Assistant III’s. Larger than normal resource budget increases for electronic resources (used to be in 3% range) are also being noted, which negatively impacts the library’s overall ability to purchase resources for curricular needs. Progress on the library’s basement has been slow, but the west-side demolition and eventual relocation of government document items appears to be on track for fall semester. Room 153 (Baby ICE) was cleared of materials in me to be use for students studying for Spring semester finals. The iPad self-checkout kiosk died and removed from the public area. Fortunately, the Provost provided end of year fiscal support to purchase a more popular and in-demand laptop self-checkout kiosk. Other: the library provided endowment funding to continue a project to bring more color and creativity into the interior spaces and a partnership with the Art Department brought eight new student paintings into our library (Advancing Transformational Education pillar)! To date, the Hyde donation has not been turned over as the accumulated earnings are negatively performing due to a poor investment market and a downturn in the economy.

Library Department


Over this academic year, the members of the Library Department were highly engaged in another active year of contributions to librarianship, scholarship, and service. Librarians met with 3,010 students in 129 classroom instruction sessions, in addition to the nearly 1,700 recorded instances of librarians individually assisting students, faculty, staff, and members of the community with their information research needs. At the same time, collection development work resulted in the purchase of 1,215 print books, 153 electronic books, and 56 streaming videos. Additionally, multiple large book donations have added hundreds of titles.

Librarians shared their research in several settings, including, Cipkowski's publication, "The Case for Context in Journal Evaluations in Serials Review; Current's publication, "Tracking Student Learning Outcome Engagement at the Reference Desk to Facilitate Assessment" in Reference Services Review; Humrickhouse's chapter, "Integrating Information Literacy into the General Education Curriculum: Developing self-actualized and critical students through a process of transformative learning;" and presentations by Mindel at the Mississippi River Research Consortium Annual Meeting; by Godden at the Midwest Archaeological Conference 2022 Annual Meeting; by Wyman at the Library Marketing and Communications Conference; by Pfitzinger at the Access Services in Libraries 2022 conference, and by Holford at the Fostering Dialogue: Teaching Children’s Literature and Culture conference.

Service remains another area of strength among the Department, having a thorough mixture of committee memberships at levels including department, college, university, system, state, and beyond. Over $8,200 in grants were awarded in support of initiatives including, art in the conservation projects, technology needs, and professional development. Also noteworthy, the department hired a new member, Madan Mohan, to serve as the E-Resources & Acquisitions Librarian, and it is eager to welcome the first "grow your own" librarian, Mike Olson, beginning July 1, 2023.

Murphy Learning Center

Murphy Learning Center

MLC’s Public Speaking Center has a new director, Jessica Welsh (replaced Kate Lavelle). Changes implemented by CSH necessitated an updated workflow related to departmental tutor recruitment and hiring. Additional funding provided by Student Affairs and CBA allowed supplemental instruction to be provided to special sections of seven courses (BIO105, BIO203, CHM103, CHM104, MTH160, PHY103, and STAT145). 



The UWL strategic plan pillar of “investing in our people” – in the form of recruiting and onboarding new colleagues - was a major focus for the year in Graduate & Extended Learning. We welcomed two new Coordinators, a new Graduate Program Specialist, and a new Operations Manager. We also celebrated the contributions of faculty and staff partners across campus, at the second-annual Friend of Graduate & Extended Learning award ceremony. All of our major conferences were held in person this year; in a noteworthy double-header, we supported back-to-back conferences for both the Western and Midwestern Associations of Graduate Schools this spring, in Portland and Chicago.

In terms of local community engagement, we were honored to support campus faculty in hosting the Synmycanthrosium (“together-fungus-people-place”) in memory of Dr. Tom Volk, a UWL biology professor who passed away in fall 2022. We also hosted two speakers on campus in September for Public Health Insights, with support from the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership. Finally, we are helping promote campus engagement with K-12 students, taking on a supporting role in youth policy compliance for Academic Affairs. Many of our activities align with the goal of advancing transformational education at UWL. We completed several projects to facilitate the growth of our Concurrent Enrollment program. We also launched the new School Psychology Online graduate program, supported by grant funds from the WI Department of Public Instruction.

We continued to move towards the launch of four new collaborative graduate certificates, in Digital Marketing and Financial Technology. Finally, we completed approvals for a new online version of the UWL Master of Public Health in Community Health Education. We are now laying the groundwork for recruiting the first students, slated to start classes in January 2024.

Cyber Security

Cybersecurity: Dr. Jennifer Butler Modaff continues to serve as the Academic Director of the online Master's program in Cybersecurity. The program graduated their first cohort in the spring. A recent Campus Connection article highlighted the program's success and included a profile on one of the first grads, a former La Crosse police officer. The program is unique in that it not only focuses on the technical side of Cybersecurity, but also the human side. The two courses offered through UWL have been offered semi-regularly and taught by three CST professors.

Health Professions


The Health Professions (HP) Department has four graduate programs: Medical Dosimetry (Med Dos), Occupational Therapy (OT), Physician Assistant (PA) and Physical Therapy (PT). All graduate programs are accredited, continue to attract a strong and competitive applicant pool, have high pass rates (above national average) on terminal/board certification exams and produce excellent employment prospects for graduates. Exceptional faculty/student research has resulted in 19 journal publications, 48 graduate student thesis projects, and over 50 presentations at international/national/state professional meetings. La Crosse Institute of Movement Science (LIMS) researchers (PT) maintain active research partnerships with Gundersen Health System Sports PT residency program and the Mayo Clinic Health System. Many programs have faculty mentored research that engages graduate students in contemporary research of high impact in their respective fields.

New this year, the PA program developed a group of 15 thesis projects incorporating case-based quasi-systematic reviews that were presented in poster form. Service-learning opportunities engage HP students in many unique faculty mentored-programs within the greater La Crosse community. Faculty-mentored OT and PT students have served over 200 clients through the OT adult and pediatric clinics, health, and wellness activities (Community based projects and work with UWL ROTC program), and PT’s Exercise Program for Program for People with Neurological Disorders (EXPAND). Clinical internships, both regionally and nationally, foster exceptional professional learning opportunities so students are ready to practice in their chosen field. Faculty involvement in the Health Science Interprofessional Research Center and Dr. Wags service dog program will provide unique opportunities to grow the department’s community engagement in the coming years.

Information Technology Management


The Information Technology Management Master’s program has added additional certificate options for students to pursue. Overall, the ITM program continues to grow at a slow but steady pace. Two department members continue to teach in the program and there are no plans to hire an additional instructor at this time.



See IPSE under SOE.

Mathematics & Statistics


Enrollments in both the Data Science and Applied Statistics masters programs are increasing. The Applied Statistics program is working with Admissions to promote the program to international students; the first international student from India will be joining the program in the fall 2023. The Data Science program is involving students in research in conjunction with Mayo Clinic.



Students: Three students graduated in 2022/23: Micro: Francesca Scala, Colin McAllister Clinical Micro: Abby Multerer

Recruiting and Application/Admission statistics: We had 17 (10 complete) applicants to Clin Micro track and 10 (5 complete) to Micro track. Last year we had 6 (4 complete) applicants to Clin Mic track, and 27 (10 complete) to Micro track. Of the 10 complete applicants to Clinical Micro track, we sent 4 offers for admission and all 4 accepted. One late applicant chose to defer and reapply for Fall 2024 admission. The incoming students are: Julia Gall, Elizabeth Pardoe, Shadia Escorcia Cure, Hailey Dyce. We accepted 3 applicants to the Micro MS program and 3 elected to attend UWL. The 3 incoming Micro grad students are: Gwendolyn Olson, Erika Gonzalez, Sagun Rai.

Other Updates: Four GAs were awarded to incoming students. Two second year students will continue their Microbiology – Lab Prep Assistant GAs (Mason Stenzel, Shahina Sultana). Two incoming F2023 cohort students received Microbiology – Lab Prep Assistant GAs (Elizabeth Pardoe, Julia Gall). Two incoming F2023 cohort students received Microbiology – Lab Instructor GAs (Gwendolyn Olson, Hailey Dyce). One continuing Dual Degree student (Nu Ortiz) was awarded a second year of their Diversity GA for the AY22-23 year. In AY22-23, there were two F2021 cohort students (Hannah Willingham, Tayler Farrington) and one F2021 Dual Degree student (Nu Ortiz) were awarded AOP (Advanced Opportunity Program) grants. One F2021 Dual Degree student (Nu Ortiz) was awarded a continuation of their AOP award for AY23-24. One F2023 cohort student (Erika Gonzalez) received an AOP (Advanced Opportunity Program) grant for AY23-24.

School Psychology


School Psychology Program (F2F): Faculty welcomed Ericka Check as a limited-term Lecturer in School Psychology while Joci Newton continues to serve as Chair of the Psychology Department. Rob Dixon took a leave of absence for 2022-2023 academic year. Jess Slack taught one program course as an adjunct faculty member in Fall 2022 to help cover Rob’s teaching responsibilities. Faculty engaged in collaborative work in Fall 2022 with Melissa Maier from Metropolitan State University. Program faculty submitted a response to conditions report to the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Program Accreditation Board in September 2022, addressing feedback provided by the Board when the program was granted conditional accreditation in February 2021. In February 2023, the program learned that the Board had granted it continued conditional accreditation through February 2025. In Spring 2023, faculty worked on revising program assessments in response to the February 2023 Board feedback and planning for collecting data using the revised assessments during the 2023-2024 academic year in preparation for submitting another response to conditions report in September 2024. We started Fall 2022 with 34 students across three cohorts. All 12 first-year students successfully completed their first semester of practicum in Spring 2023 and recently submitted research proposals to NASP. Twelve second-year students completed their on-campus coursework in spring 2023 and will be starting their full-time internship positions in Fall 2023. The 10 interns completed their internships in May 2023 and officially graduated with their Educational Specialist degrees. We conducted admissions for our on-campus program in March 2023 to recruit our Fall 2023 cohort. We offered 19 students the opportunity to study at UWL and 13 accepted. We continue to be challenged to find quality supervisors in districts within a reasonable proximity to La Crosse. This is especially true with recent and ongoing resignations/retirements in local school districts. We have brainstormed some new and progressive solutions to our supervision issue and plan to implement them in the coming year.

Online School Psychology Program: In the inaugural year of the School Psychology online graduate program, five new adjunct faculty (Jean Gatz, Chris Weins, Loren Houle, Anthony Adamowski, Dana McConnell) completed the UWL CATL online instructor training and taught courses in the program. Another cohort of adjunct faculty (n=6) completed the UWL CATL online instructor training in Spring 2023 to teach in the 2023-24 academic year. The program started in July 2022 with 15 students. One student subsequently withdrew to pursue other professional opportunities. The School Psychology online program admissions committee reviewed 22 applications and aim to have 12 students starting in July 2023. Interest in the program continues to be strong within the state and we are fielding calls of interest from neighboring states. Program leadership recently reconfigured DPI Grant money to offer limited financial assistance to students in the program. Projections indicate that the program will be self-supporting during the 2023-24 academic year.

Software Engineering


The UWL MSE program provides students with excellent experience and skill in the software industry. The program heavily relies on both active learning through experiential project-based work along with academic work in cutting-edge topics in the field. As with our undergraduate program, our graduates command some of the highest average starting salaries across the campus and enjoy rewarding careers within the largest and most successful companies in the country. Our 5-year MSE program continues to attract strong students due to the high value it provides to graduates. Given the decline in participation from SCUN university, the department sought to develop contract programs with several other international universities. The department intends to work towards completion of these programs. The MSE program director retired from UWL and has been replaced by Dr. Mao Zheng.