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Last updated: Saturday, 14-Mar-2009 19:10:32 Central Daylight Time

August 18, 2000


Ten Retire from UW-RF

By Rachel Weddig
UW-RF News Bureau

Ten faculty and staff members with nearly 300 years of service to UW-River Falls have retired from the University over the past academic year.

Those retiring, their departments, and their years of service are:

Mary Augustine, Chalmer Davee Library, 32 years.

Ila June Brown-Pratt, music department, 31 years.

Lyle Hall, chemistry department, 35 years.

Jerry Halvorson, communicative disorders, 32 years.

John Hudson, biology department, 31 years.

Gerald Nolte, agricultural economics, 30 years.

Neal Prochnow, Outreach coordinator, 36 years.

John Shepherd, physics department, 31 years.

Tom Tschetter, accounting department, 13 years.

Pete Vadlamudi, mathematics department, 36 years.

Here are their reflections on their academic careers, including their career highlights, contributions, and the most noticeable changes theyıve seen at UW-RF.

Augustine arrived in 1968 and served as University bookstore cashier and later bookstore manager. When the bookstore became privatized and was leased to Follette Book Company, she became head of interlibrary loan at Chalmer Davee Library.

Her career highlights include joining the Wisconsin Library Association, and becoming chair-elect of the interlibrary loan table in 1998 and chair in 1999. Another highlight for Augustine occurred when UW-RF English Professor Nicholas Karolides included her in the dedication of one of his books with the reference librarians who had helped him with research. She also received this years Chancellorıs Award of Excellence for exceptional service by a professional support staff member.

Brown-Pratt joined the music department faculty in 1969 after serving as the coordinator of music for Bloomington, Ill. public schools. She received her masterıs degree in education from Illinois Wesleyan University.

A retirement reception has been scheduled for Brown-Pratt for 3 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 28, in the lobby of the Kleinpell Fine Arts Building.

Her career highlights include receiving a sabbatical in 1995 to live and conduct research in Trinidad. This led to presentations at four international conferences and triggered the development of an international network of professional colleagues.

She has been named Outstanding Teacher of the Year for the College of Arts and Sciences. She has also received many grants for research and professional activity.

She considers her most significant contribution to the University as implementing and developing the interdisciplinary aesthetic education center program and minor.

The most noticeable change for Brown-Pratt is the dwindling of a community atmosphere between faculty and students.

Hall joined the chemistry staff in 1965 with a doctorate from the University of Iowa in physical chemistry.

His career highlights involve overseas teaching. He has taught classes in India, South Africa, Australia, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica. Other highlights include his participation in the American Chemical Society. He was an executive committee member of the Minnesota chapter of ACS and was involved with ACS international programs from 1988-2000.

His most significant accomplishments to UW-RF include forming an In-Service Institute for High School Teachers from 1969-1972. These institutes established strong relationships between high school teachers and UW-RF and have helped attract some excellent students to the University.

Hall has also written proposals and received grants for different activities including technology, teaching and curriculum and recruitment.

He found that three aspects of the University have changed during his time at UW-RF. First, the physical expansion of the campus and increases in the number of studnets; .a substantial increase inthe chemistry department of instrumentation; and an increase in the number of women taking chemistry classes. He noted he recently had a chemistry laboratory section with some 19 female students, and only one male student.

Halvorson joined UW-RF in 1968 with a doctorate in speech science, pathology, and audiology from the University of Minnesota.

He has a long list of career highlights that include writing and publishing "Dakota Memory," a book combining his vocational and avocational interests, and "Abandoned" Now Stutter My Orphan," which is a fact-based novel exposing a research experiment gone awry. Halverson is responsible for developing the only program for the study and treatment of communication apprehension in the Upper Midwest. He also has developed a long-standing program for stuttering therapy and research at the University. Halvorson is also a member of the UW-RF athletic hall of fame.

The most noticeable changes for Halvorson include physical changes such as the location of the Ramer Field track. He said when he first set foot on the track it was located at Rodli Commons. Also, the students ate in the South Hall cafeteria, located in the present football office.

Another change Halvorson has seen is in the different attitudes the students have had during the years. He mentioned the students going through the apathetic/fun Elvis Presley-era. Then, the students took on a more rebellious Vietnam-era attitude and questioned the relevance of everything. In the 1980s the students seemed to maintain some loyalty to the University motto, "Where the Free Spirit Prevails," and during the 1990s, Halvorson saw the students having a more career-oriented perspective.

Hudson joined the faculty in 1969. He received his doctorate in zoology from the University of Minnesota.

His career highlights include serving as biology department chair from 1976-1980. He also has helped guide numerous graduate students during the 1970s and 1980s in their theses and research projects.

He considers serving as biology department chair as his most significant contribution to UW-RF. During his time as chair there were several new hires, including three of the four current long-time biology staff members.

The most noticeable change for Hudson is the increase in the availability of student support services and the development of information technology on campus.

Prochnow joined the faculty in 1964 as a professor of physics, and later become the dean of the College of Arts & Sciences for 10 years, and outreach coordinator for two years.

His career highlights include many awards. He twice has received the CAS Outstanding Teacher Award for science and mathematics in 1986 and 1998. He was presented the teacher's award for excellence in teaching physics at the college level from the Wisconsin Association of Physics Teachers in 1995.

Prochnow has worked with faculty to develop an interdisciplinary undergraduate program--marketing communications; seven programs in two colleges are involved in this program. He also created the School of Business and Economics, which combined three departments previously within the College of Arts & Sciences.

He considers teaching and working with students his most significant achievement to UW-RF.

The most noticeable change for Prochnow is how business moves much faster than when he started here. He mentioned he didnıt have a phone in his office and had to share a typewriter. He also said there weren't any secretaries or computers when he first joined the staff.

Nolte joined the agricultural faculty in 1970 with a doctorate in agricultural economics from the University of Minnesota.

Shepherd came to UW-RF in 1969, with a doctorate in physics.

His career highlights include two patents with 3M in an optical device in 1978 and 1979. He was also Outstanding Faculty Member of the year in 1997 for math and sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences.

He feels setting up the advanced lab in the physics department is his most significant contribution to UW-RF. He also is responsible for the design and completion of the Swensen Sundial located on the Kleinpell Fine Arts Building.

The most noticeable changes for Shepherd are how faculty socialize less than in past years; technology advancements; and the tremendous increase in computer usage.

Tschetter joined the accounting faculty in 1987. He received his MBA from the University of Vermillion, South Dakota, in 1964.

Vadlamudi joined the faculty in 1964 with a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Minnesota.

He highlighted the good rapport he has formed with his students as one of his achievements.

His accomplishments include being a member of the highly qualified, hard-working mathematics department, which works as a team to make sure students succeed.

The most noticeable change for Vadlamudi is the increase in UW-RFıs enrollment through the years. When he first joined staff he remembers the student population at 2,400, which has risen to 5,800. He also mentioned the growing faculty and the increase in faculty research.


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