University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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May 14, 2004


Arts & Sciences Establishes New Scholarship, Service Awards

The UW-River Falls College of Arts and Sciences introduced two new awards for scholarship and service at its annual awards ceremony April 27.

Awards for scholarship, research and creative activities were given to Nick Karolides, English department; Mark Berglund, biology department; and Ed Peterson, history department. The service awards are presented for university, community and professional service. Recipients include: Wes Chapin, political science department, Brad Caskey, psychology department, and James Pratt, speech communication and theater arts department.

Portraits of the recipients along with past and current recipients of teaching and advising awards are on permanent display at a new awards wall in the Kleinpell Fine Arts Building.

"Clearly, there are many individuals who contribute in countless ways to the work of this College," said Dean Gorden Hedahl at the awards ceremony and wall dedication. "This wall only marks the beginning of our attempts to celebrate the work of the many people who help to make this campus an outstanding place for our students, colleagues and visitors."

Since 1985, the College has given awards for excellence in teaching, selected by recent graduates and announced in the fall. Since 2002, the College has also given awards for excellence in advising, selected by current students and awarded each spring.

"Across the country and across the campus, faculty’s traditional responsibilities have included the areas of teaching, advising, scholarship and service," said Hedahl. So in 2004, the college created the new awards to recognize the scholarship and service areas of faculty responsibility. "The awards are new--but faculty in arts and sciences have contributed significantly in these areas for a long time," said Hedahl. Faculty are eligible to receive an award in either category once in a 10-year period as the awards are intended to recognize sustained achievement, rather than accomplishments in a single year.

Bergland has more than 30 professional publications, including articles, monographs and published computer software. He has also obtained grants, including four consecutive grants from the National Science Foundation for 15 years of support, totaling $828,000. His nomination letter notes: His consecutive grants "speak to the innovative nature of his project-- he has numerous publications in high-quality science education and educational research journals. Through dozens of presentations and workshops, biology educators around the world have been exposed to the Case-It software. The impact of this project on science education worldwide has been well documented."

Brad Caskey has coordinated annual food and clothing drives for Psi Chi (psychology honorary organization) and the Psychology Society. He has also coordinated an annual Adopt a Family program for the department to donate items for needy local families. Caskey has an impressive list of presentations for local high schools, youth groups, professional associations, nursing homes, churches and parenting programs. He has served as a science fair judge and worked with youth groups and as a volunteer tutor. He is the board president for the River Falls United Way. For all of his contributions, he was nominated as a Community Champion by the River Falls Chamber of Commerce last year. He serves as a great example of the ways in which the faculty at the University extend their expertise and talents into the community and region

. Chapin began working for the University when he was an undergraduate, serving in numerous capacities including student government chair and campus representative at several statewide meetings. As a faculty member, he has been active in a number of faculty committees and organizations, including Faculty Senate and other campus committees. His most significant contributions have come in the area of international education. According to one letter of nomination: "When he began his duties [as coordinator of the international studies minor] the program had a nearly unworkable curriculum, no budget and only six students. It has grown to more than 90 students. The curriculum has been reworked and improved, and the program is on its way to becoming an interdisciplinary major." Chapin has organized several successful conferences on globalization and serves as the advisor to the International Strategy Organization and the International Relations Club. That group has won several top awards at the Model United Nations competitions in the Midwest over the past four years.

Karolides has published a dozen books and countless articles and has given many presentations around the country. Karolides’ scholarship has focused on a number of issues including English education, reader response theory, the frontier, and numerous topics regarding censorship. He completed the prodigious task of editing the second edition of the "Encyclopedia of Censorship." He has been honored by a number of professional organizations. A nominator said: "Nick has not only pursued scholarship for himself—scholarship that pushes the field forward—but has motivated the scholarship of many others at this institution. I can think of nine English faculty who have publications due to his work." Peterson is receiving multiple awards this spring in his 50th year at this institution. His nominator said: "The focus of Peterson’s prolific scholarship has been totalitarian states and the limitations of state power. He has focused especially on Europe, particularly in Germany before and after World War Two. Through eight books, numerous articles, scholarly papers, book reviews and professional presentations, Peterson has produced an extraordinary body of scholarship. He is acknowledged as a significant scholar on both sides of the Atlantic, and his extensive work provides us with meaningful understanding of power in the 20th century—its abuses and its limitations."

James Pratt has made vital contributions to two national associations in his discipline as well as several regional and state associations. One nominator wrote: "The American Forensics Association, the International Listening Association and the Wisconsin Communication Association would be very different organizations were it not for Jim's contributions." In these organizations, Pratt has held positions such president, secretary, executive secretary, executive director and conference organizer for international events for this organizations. Colleagues and fellow officers from around the country have honored his work over the past 30 years.


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