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Last updated:

June 10, 1999

Eleven Retire From UW-River Falls

Eleven 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:

Judie Caflisch, Continuing Education and Extension, 16 years.

Donald A. Charpentier, psychology department, 34 years.

Michael G. Davis, health & human performance, 33 years.

Stephen Feinstein, history department, 32 years.

Lou Greub, plant & earth science, 31 years.

John B. Hamann, counseling center, 30 years.

Sam Huffman, plant & earth science, 29 years.

Joan F. Kennedy, dean's office, College of Education & Graduate Studies, 6 years.

Gerald R. Matteson, agriculture education department, 33 years.

Tom Norwood, assistant dean, College of Education & Graduate Studies, 11 years.

Nancy Parlin, sociology, former Vice Chancellor, 13 years.

Gary E. Rohde, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences, 23 years.

Here are their reflections on their academic careers, including their career highlights, contributions and the most noticeable change they've seen at UW-RF.

Caflisch arrived in 1961 as a student, and then joined the University staff in 1983. She holds two degrees from UW-RF: a bachelor's in elementary education and a master's of secondary education in supervision and instructional leadership.

Her career highlights include meeting many educators and personnel from UW sister campuses, as well as UW-RF. She received the Chancellor's Award of Excellence in 1992 for exceptional service by a support staff member.

She considers her most important accomplishment setting up collaborative educational outreach programs with other campuses and area educational agencies.

Caflisch says the most noticeable change are new policies that accompany new ideas from new people.

Charpentier joined the psychology department faculty in 1965 after earning a bachelor's degree in psychology from Hope College and a master's in general clinical psychology from Ohio University. He later earned a doctorate in social foundation of education from the George Peabody College for Teachers and a doctorate in educational psychology (social/personality) from the University of Minnesota.

His career highlights include receiving a Wisconsin Teaching Improvement Grant, being a visiting research fellow in social psychology at Harvard University, presenting at the William James Symposium during the centennial year of the American Psychological Association, and hosting at UW-RF the annual meeting of the International Society for the History of the Behavioral Sciences.

Charpentier noted that no particular event stands out over his career. Rather, he cites several contributions. These include in 1968 working with faculty to initiate a request to have the University take greater action to meet minority needs, and then serving 20 years on committees devoted to human relations. He also participated in the re-structuring of the psychology major and served on the planning committee for the psychology wing of Centennial Science Hall, and designed its behavior laboratory. Finally, Charpentier cites his work on the transition from quarters to semesters, general education courses revision, and bringing internationally known social psychologists to campus as visiting professors.

The most noticeable change to Charpentier were the psychology department's three moves to its current location, which signaled its emergence as a significant asset to UW-RF.

Davis joined UW-RF in 1966 after earning a bachelor's degree in physical education from Southern Connecticut State College and a master's in physical education at Penn State. He later earned a doctorate from Indiana University and continued his post-doctoral studies at the University of Minnesota Medical School in the department of neuroanatomy and cellular biology.

Davis acquired lengthy honors and accomplishments. Some of these include the Patty Award from Indiana University, the Recognition Award of the Society of State Directors of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, a Presidential Citation by the National Association for Sport & Physical Education, and selection as the Outstanding Faculty Member of the UW-RF College of Education & Graduate Studies.

Among the career highlights that Davis notes are those related to his teaching. Others include his contributions as chair of the department of health & human performance; College associate dean; president of the Wisconsin Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; president of the Midwest District of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; district representative to the Alliance's Board of Governors; and president of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance.

His significant accomplishments include the development of human anatomy classes, involvement in the curriculum, academic responsibility for the department's programs, overseeing the University's conversion from quarters to semesters, and serving on University committees.

The most noticeable changes are the growth of the University in size and scope. He cites more diversity, greater emphasis on quality instruction and better facilities. "Chancellor Gary Thibodeau deserves a great deal of credit for his visionary leadership and commitment to both faculty and students," Davis said.

Feinstein joined UW-RF in 1967 with a doctorate in history.

His accomplishments are substantial, with an international reputation on Soviet Jewry. Feinstein has been awarded a McKnight Grant and a Phillips Foundation Grant at the University of Minnesota for the exhibition: "Absence/Presence: The Artistic Memory of the Holocaust and Genocide." He has been honored by Israel Bonds, received sabbaticals to study in the Middle East and Israel, and was cited with the Best Teacher award by Minneapolis Adult Jewish Studies.

His accomplishments at UW-RF include serving seven years as history department chair, 16 years as the state director for the University of Wisconsin Soviet Seminar that took over 4,000 Wisconsinites to the Soviet Union, and five years coordinating the state China Seminar. In addition to these activities, Feinstein was a prolific writer, authoring or editing dozens of books, book sections or scholarly articles on varied topics addressing the history, cultural, political or social issues of the Soviet Union, Soviet Jewry, Israel, and the Holocaust.

Feinstein also cites his opportunities to teach courses in Russian and Middle Eastern history, which were crucial public policy issues since the 1970s, and introducing courses on the Holocaust beginning in 1975.

He has seen many changes at the University, including a shift from interest in history as a formal discipline to a broad field social studies area. That did not lead to a better program, and Feinstein feels that student quality declined because of a lack of academic curiosity, peer competition and reading interests. He said that has improved in recent years.

Feinstein adds that close student-teacher relationships have been eroded over the past 15 years through increases in teaching loads because of bureaucratic and financial guidelines. Those teaching loads make it more difficult for faculty to maintain currency in their disciplines and to travel. Tight funding and state policy directives to make higher education self-supporting makes it difficult for UW-RF to find the resources to continue international travel experiences for educational purposes and to bring noted speakers to campus.

"While I believe UW-RF offers the opportunity for a good education, bold initiatives by other universities have left us at a disadvantage."

In retirement, Feinstein will direct the new Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota and hopes to continue opportunities for Holocaust studies for students at UW-RF.

Greub joined UW-RF in 1968, with a bachelor's degree in agriculture education from UW-RF, a master's in agronomy and a doctorate in plant physiology, both from Iowa State University.

His career highlights include teaching courses in forage crop production, for which Wisconsin is a national leader. Greub also initiated several courses, including one in integrated pest management. He also cites three decades working with the internship program, supervising over 400 student interns with dozens of employers. A particular honor was being the Wisconsin Forage Council's Outstanding Educator of the Year, and sharing in the department's recognition by the Board of Regents as the outstanding academic department in the 26-campus University of Wisconsin System. Finally, Greub was recognized as the CAFES Outstanding Faculty Member in 1998.

His most significant accomplishments include teaching courses critical to the success of agriculture in Wisconsin and the Midwest at a university and college with an international reputation for its programs in agriculture. He adds, "I'd like to think that I have helped in a significant way in meeting one of humankind's most basic needs: the production of food."

The most noticeable change has been the introduction and evolution of computer technology.

Hamann joined the University in 1968 and holds a doctorate in psychology counseling guidance from the University of Northern Colorado.

His career as a psychologist in the counseling center allowed him to provide a wide range of services to students. He also had the opportunity to broaden his international perspective through 17 years working with international students and watching them develop during their stays. Hamann also noted his opportunity to lead three Soviet seminars during the communist regime and immediately following its collapse was a personally broadening experience. Another area was the chance to coordinate programs for challenged students to further their skills and accomplish their goals.

He adds, "Counseling students was my most enjoyable experience. Seeing students learn to solve their problems, change their characteristics that hinder them and building the character necessary to enter the world of work was rewarding." Another consideration were the five years he spent directing Career Services, providing them with the skills to enter the job market.

Hamann's most significant accomplishment was receiving a million dollar grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education to broaden Career Services internships for students and see it implemented throughout the University.

"The most noticeable change was what students talked about over the years. In the late '60s, students struggled with the definition of themselves and their places in the world. They discussed their philosophy and searched for the meaning of themselves. Into the 90s, students search for how they would work, and what skill they needed. They struggled increasingly with a changing support system of home and community."

Huffman joined the University in 1970, with a bachelor's degree, two master's degrees and a doctorate from Indiana University.

His career highlights include development numerous geological field experiences to various parts of the United States and the world; chairing the plant & earth science department for 17 years; serving as a UW Extension groundwater specialist aiding citizens at large; and working with dedicated, excellent students.

His most significant accomplishments included "watching students mature as they moved through the program and found rewarding jobs; and assisting the department grow and mature into one of the finest on campus."

Among the most noticeable changes, Huffman cites the predominance of technology supporting education, the many new buildings on campus and growth in the department and CAFES.

Kennedy joined the University in 1993. She holds a bachelor's in elementary education from Marion College, a master's in education administration from St. Thomas College and a doctorate in education administration from the University of Minnesota.

Her career highlights include twice being nominated for teacher of the year and receiving honorable mention; recognition by the Minnesota Council of Social Studies for developing curriculum on economics for elementary students; and receiving a Woman of Color award from the University of Wisconsin System.

Kennedy's most significant accomplishment came in the student teaching office that provided the means for students to be placed as student teachers in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The most noticeable change has been the reduction in the number of persons of color on campus. "I feel every effort should be made to recruit and maintain qualified people of color in all areas across campus."

Matteson arrived in 1966 and holds a bachelor's degree in agriculture education from UW-Platteville, and a master's and doctorate from UW-Madison.

His career highlights include receiving the Outstanding Teacher Award for CAFES; serving 18 years as assistant dean; initiating the Ag Ed Society; initiating Alpha Tau Alpha; designing an agricultural literacy course for K-8 teachers offered in four locations in Wisconsin with 340 teachers completing the course; and initiating parliamentary procedure workshops in Oshkosh, Marshfield and UW-RF. Through three decades he also supervised over 600 internships and provided academic and personal counseling for thousands of students.

Matteson also cites his 30 years in the Wisconsin National Guard, where he retired with the rank of brigadier general.

His most significant accomplishments were course development, initiating two student organizations, and parliamentary procedure judging and workshops, which included judging 20-30 districts with 8-10 sections, providing the judges and writing abilities questions for all levels.

Matteson cites three changes: the increase in female enrollment in the department, college and University; increased technology; and greater diversity of careers in the field of agriculture.

Norwood arrived in 1988 and holds a bachelor's in art & English and a master's in education administration from Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., and a doctorate in administration of higher education from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

His career highlights include participating in the ArtsWest Juried Competition in Eau Claire; recognition as the Black Achiever of the Year Award by the St. Paul YMCA in 1992; commissioning by UW-RF to paint "Celebration of Diversity"; receiving a second place award for watercolors at the Second Annual North Carolina Miniature Competition; selection for the Invitational Miniature Exhibition in Jamestown, N.D., and publishing the book "Contemporary Nebraska Art & Artists."

His most significant contribution was working with undergraduate and graduate students from the beginning to completion of their certification and degree programs.

Norwood says the most noticeable change has been the increased interest in the use of technology for instructional and communication purposes.

Parlin joined the University in 1986 with sociology degrees including a bachelor's from the College of St. Catherine, a master's from St. Louis University, and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota.

Her career highlights include 6.5 years as Vice Chancellor and seven years as a faculty member.

The most noticeable change to Parlin were the improvements following the renovation of the Chalmer Davee Library.

Rohde was a student from 1956-1960, earning a bachelor's degree in agricultural education, and joined the faculty in 1966 after earning master's and doctorate degree in agricultural economics from UW-Madison.

His career highlights included serving 18 years as dean of CAFES, responsible for 14 academic majors taught by 66 faculty members to 1,350 students. For six years Rohde left the University to serve as secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. There he oversaw an agency with 800 employees with numerous influences on agriculture and policy, which included leading trade missions to the Far East and South America and participating in federal policy conferences and White House briefings on agriculture.

Rohde has received numerous awards, including the Cooperative Builder Award from the Wisconsin Federation of Cooperatives, serving on the boards of directors of Northwest Farm Credit Services, the Cooperative Foundation of St. Paul, and the Wisconsin Rural Leadership Program. He served on the Governor's Task Force on Biotechnology and co-chaired the Governor's Commission on Agriculture in Wisconsin. Rohde also was the recipient of a UW-RF Distinguished Teacher Award.

His most significant contributions included providing leadership for academic programs and general development of the College; initiating its name change to reflect its offerings; and developing dairy initiatives including the dairy science major, Dairy Teaching Center and dairy outreach program; developing the Ag. Alumni Association; recruiting outstanding faculty and staff; and assisting in the development of a strong image and reputation for CAFES.

The most noticeable changes were increases in enrollment, new building and facilities, growth in the numbers of faculty and staff, and the visibility and strength of the agriculture, food and environmental science programs.

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