A Newsletter for Alumni and Friends
of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls
In this issue:
Dr. Dean Van Galen to Become 18th UWRF Chancellor
“Dr. Van Galen, a Wisconsin native and UW alumnus, will begin as the 18th UWRF Chancellor on June 1, 2009. Dr. Van Galen brings to this role a unique professional background, as both a faculty member in chemistry and a highly successful advancement executive,” UW System President Kevin Reilly said. “That’s a rare combination of capabilities, and I’m confident that he is well prepared to advance the academic reputation of UW-River Falls, as well as its core role in helping a rapidly growing part of Wisconsin pursue its future. Our UW institutions are engines for economic growth, and Dean knows how to make that engine run at peak performance.”
Since 2003, Van Galen has provided leadership for alumni relations, development, marketing communications, and the University of West Florida Foundation. He previously served as vice president for advancement at Truman State University in Missouri. Van Galen began his academic career in 1987 at Truman State University as a chemistry professor, earning honors as Educator of the Year in 1988-89.
“My goal will be to work with the campus and community to build on the university's strong student-centered tradition and vibrant strategic plan,” said Van Galen. “There are many aspects of UW-River Falls that I find exciting, including its deep commitment to student engagement, sustainability, global literacy, and building an inclusive campus that is connected to the entire St. Croix Valley region. It will be my job to support and enhance these efforts, to build relationships beyond the campus, and be certain that the good news from UW-River Falls is heard throughout the region and the state of Wisconsin."
"On a personal note, my wife, Mary, and I are both Wisconsin natives and are looking forward to ‘coming home’ and becoming part of the River Falls community,” said Van Galen.
He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from UW-Whitewater. After earning a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Kansas State University, he worked as a post-doctoral research associate at the University of California, Berkeley.
David Swensen, '75, Named to Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board
David Swensen, Yale's chief investment officer (CIO) and 1975 UWRF alumnus, has been named by President Barack Obama to the newly established Economic Recovery Advisory Board.
Modeled on the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, created by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the new board will offer independent advice to Obama as he formulates and implements his plans for economic recovery. The board members will meet regularly and provide advice directly to the President and his economic team on the programs to jump-start economic growth and facilitate economic stability.
Members of the board, notes the White House announcement, "are distinguished citizens outside the government who are qualified on the basis of achievement, experience, independence and integrity."
Swensen, who holds a Yale Ph.D., has earned wide acclaim for his success in managing the University's endowment — realizing an average annual return of 16.3% over the last decade. Prior to joining Yale in 1985, Swensen spent six years on Wall Street as senior vice president at Lehman Brothers, specializing in the firm's swap activities, and as an associate in Corporate Finance for Salomon Brothers, where his work focused on developing new financial technologies. He has authored "Pioneering Portfolio Management: An Unconventional Approach to Institutional Investment" and "Unconventional Success: A Fundamental Approach to Personal Investment," both published by The Free Press.
UWRF Women's Hockey Team Skates to Final Four
The UWRF women’s hockey team earned fourth place honors at the NCAA tournament held at Middlebury, Vt., in March. Head coach Joe Cranston, a 1990 UWRF alumnus, was the runner-up for this year's American Hockey Coaches Association Coach of the Year award.
Cranston, in his 10th year with the Falcons, led the team to a 20-7-3 overall record and a berth in the NCAA National Championships. The 20 wins tied a school record for victories in a season.
Cranston has led the Falcons to more overall and NCHA wins than any other current coach in the league and his teams have won more NCHA playoff games than any other active NCHA coach.
He has coached the Falcons to nine straight winning seasons. Seven times players he has coached have been named All-Americans. Forty-six of his players have earned All-NCHA recognition and 34 players have earned NCHA All-Academic honors.
UWRF Alumni Directory
The UWRF Alumni Office has partnered with Harris Directories to publish a UWRF alumni directory. During the last several months, Harris has been contacting alumni in order to obtain their current information and publish it in the 2009 UWRF alumni directory. Harris is in the final stages prior to printing. Only those who pre-ordered a publication will obtain the newest edition. The UWRF Alumni Relations office would like to thank the thousands of alumni across the globe who participated, providing the Alumni Relations office with their most up to date information.
In (and Out) of the Classroom
UWRF Students and Faculty Travel to Bangalore, India, Over J-Term 2009
A J-term trip to India provided a wonderful opportunity for students in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. Two professors and eight students went on the trip. From touring religious temples and studying at Indian universities to riding on auto rickshaws and climbing around waterfalls, these world travelers agreed they enjoyed every aspect of the trip.
“It was an experience that I will never forget and it is something that you can't experience without going over there,” said Michael Larson, an agricultural engineering technology major from Ashland. Dan Volkert, an agricultural studies major from Hammond, agreed. “Telling someone what it is like with words or pictures doesn't do it justice. One has to experience it for themselves.”
In their first city, Myasore, students attended classes, learning about a new concept of India's agriculture. After class students went on site-seeing trips, including waterfalls and water gardens. They also toured rural agricultural areas and industries, mainly related to paddy, sugarcane, spices and plantation crop production.
In Bangalore, students said their days also included class and outdoor farm visits. Local farmers gave them tours of their operations and the students learned information that one would never be able to gain if sitting in a regular classroom.
“The farmers were very honored to talk to the students,” said Steve Carlson, professor of crop and soil science. “They were proud of what they had.”