Wisconsin Public Radio
Sexual Assault Awareness Month On Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The West Side"
Eau Claire, Wis. - April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, as well as Child Abuse and Neglect Awareness Month. These issues, how they are being dealt with in western Wisconsin, and how they have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, will be the focus on this week’s edition of “The West Side” at 10 a.m. Friday, April 9 on The Ideas Network stations of Wisconsin Public Radio: 88.3/Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7/River Falls.
Host Clara Neupert welcomes Katelyn Wonderlin, mobile sexual assault victim advocate at the Bolton Refugee House in Eau Claire, to the program. Dr. Jennifer Eddy, executive director of the Family Resource Center in Eau Claire and Brook Berg, Family Engagement and Relationships Outreach Program Manager for UW-Madison’s Division of Extension, also stop by to talk about steps being taken in western Wisconsin to curb family violence and encourage positive parenting.
“The West Side” is broadcast each Friday at 10 a.m. on The Ideas Network stations 88.3/Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7/River Falls and live streamed at wrfw887.com/listen-live.html. Listeners may call in with questions and comments during the program at (800) 228-5615, or email the show at email@example.com. Archives of “The West Side” are available at wpr.org/programs/west-side.
Musician Geoffrey Keezer And Reporter Phil Rucker On Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Spectrum West”
Eau Claire, Wis. - Pianist and Eau Claire native Geoffrey Keezer joins host Al Ross at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 8 on The Ideas Network stations 88.3/Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7/River Falls.
Keezer and vocalist Gillian Margot will talk with Ross about their upcoming appearance on the Pablo Streams Spring Series April 15th.
Washington Post correspondent Phil Rucker joins the program to preview his presentation, Lessons From Reporting In The Age Of Trump, part of the 2021 virtual Ann Devroy Memorial Forum at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
UW-Eau Claire Event Production Coordinator Tyler Edmondson also stops by to discuss this year’s Viennese Ball. The annual event, which began in 1973, will take place virtually this year over the dates of April 8 and 10.
Western Wisconsin’s Mayo Clinic Health System is in the process of completing a project documenting stories of resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Todd Wright, chair of the Healing Arts Committee, and Sara Martinek, a Mayo patient experience specialist, stop by to talk about the Healing Reflections Mural project.
“Spectrum West” is a weekly program exploring the music, arts and humanities in western Wisconsin. The show is broadcast at 10 a.m. Thursdays on The Ideas Network stations 88.3/Menomonie/Eau Claire and 88.7/River Falls and streamed live at wrfw887.com/listen-live. It’s also heard at 7 p.m. Fridays on NPR News & Music stations 89.7/Eau Claire and 90.7/Menomonie. Archives of “Spectrum West” are available at wpr.org/programs/spectrum-west-al-ross.
UW-Eau Claire Graduate Clara Neupert New Host For Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The West Side"
Eau Claire, Wis. - Clara Neupert is the new interim host of “The West Side” on Wisconsin Public Radio. She takes over for Dean Kallenbach, who is retiring. “The West Side” airs at 10 a.m. Fridays on The Ideas Network stations of Wisconsin Public Radio: 88.3/Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7/River Falls.
Neupert earned a Bachelors of Arts in Journalism and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. During her time at UW-Eau Claire, Neupert served as section editor at the school’s newspaper, “The Spectator,” and was also a program host on the student program Blugold Radio Sunday on 89.7 WUEC. Neupert also served as the summer journalism intern at Wisconsin Public Radio in Eau Claire in 2019, where she helped produce the weekly edition of “The West Side.” “I feel very lucky for all the experiences I was given at UW-Eau Claire. All of my coursework and internships introduced and connected me to western Wisconsin,” Neupert said, “As new host of ‘The West Side,’ I am excited to continue producing the terrific journalism that Dean and others before him so thoughtfully accomplished."
Neupert worked as an Ann Devroy Fellow at the Washington Post in Washington D.C, where she produced a segment on the “The Post Reports” podcast and edited the “Cape Up” podcast. Returning to Wisconsin, Neupert worked with News414 as part of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, also known as Wisconsin Watch, where she covered how Milwaukee Police responded to Black Lives Matter protests. She also worked with the Miami Herald last spring to collect data about COVID-19 cases linked to cruise ships.
“I’m thrilled to see Clara step into ‘The West Side’ as our new host,” Kallenbach said, “I’m very excited to see what Clara does with the show, I’ll be listening!”
“The West Side” is broadcast each Friday at 10 a.m. on The Ideas Network stations 88.3/Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7/River Falls and live streamed at wrfw887.com/listen-live.html. Listeners may call in with questions and comments during the program at (800) 228-5615, or email the show at firstname.lastname@example.org. Archives of “The West Side” are available at wpr.org/programs/west-side.
About Wisconsin Public Radio
For over 100 years, Wisconsin Public Radio has served the people of Wisconsin with quality news, music, talk and entertainment. On air, online and in the community - we work for Wisconsin. WPR is a service of the Educational Communications Board and University of Wisconsin-Madison. Listen, learn more and donate at www.wpr.org.
COVID-19 vaccination appointments available for Saturday, April 10 in Ladysmith
Ladysmith – Appointments for COVID-19 vaccination are available for this Saturday, April 10, at the Prevea Community COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at Prevea Ladysmith Health Center.
The vaccine that will be available on April 10 in Ladysmith is the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine, which requires one dose for maximum protection against COVID-19.
While people aged 16 and older are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in Wisconsin per the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine is recommended only for people aged 18 and older.
The Pfizer vaccine is approved for those aged 16 and older and can be accessed at other Prevea Community COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic locations across Wisconsin. Please visit www.prevea.com/vaccine to learn which vaccines are provided at each location.
How to make an appointment
The fastest way to get an appointment scheduled is with MyPrevea; all available appointments will be current in MyPrevea. Visit www.myprevea.com to set up an account at no cost. You do not have to be a Prevea patient to make an appointment or to sign up for a MyPrevea account. MyPrevea is also available as an app on any smartphone or other device. If you do not have access or are unable to use the internet, please call 1 (833) 344-4373.
Having trouble, or still have questions?
Visit www.prevea.com/vaccine for information on Prevea Community COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic locations, how to create a MyPrevea account, how to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination and more.
The Prevea Ladysmith Health Center will continue to provide other health care services as regularly scheduled, as it also hosts the community COVID-19 vaccination clinic.
Prevea Health also currently operates community COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Chippewa Falls at Jacob’s Well Church; in Green Bay at UW-Green Bay; in Sheboygan at UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus; in Manitowoc at UW-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus; at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls; and in Marinette at UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus Fieldhouse. Again, appointments are required at all locations and appointment availability is dependent on available vaccine supply provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
About Prevea Health
Founded in Green Bay, Wis. in 1996, Prevea Health is a health care organization that provides high-quality, primary and specialty health care in 80+ locations across Northern, Eastern and Western Wisconsin in clinic and hospital settings. It is partnered with six Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) hospitals across Wisconsin to provide patients a system of highly-coordinated care, close to home: HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay; HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan; HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls; HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire; and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls. For more information, visit www.prevea.com.
Marco Hires Chief Marketing Officer, Announces Executive Promotions
ST. CLOUD, MINN., April 6, 2021 — Marco announced today a series of executive promotions and the addition of Dawn Zimmerman as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer.
In this newly created role, Zimmerman oversees marketing and communications, learning and development, and the company’s overall corporate strategy initiatives, brand and culture. She has been working with Marco in a consulting role since 2007. Zimmerman brings experience as a strategist and business owner to Marco. Learn more about Zimmerman.
Marco also promoted these current employees to new positions:
These leaders are part of Marco’s executive team, who will lead the company through continued growth and expansion, as well as build on Marco’s reputation as a destination workplace. View the full executive leadership team.
Marco is one of the top business technology providers in the country with offices in 12 states and serving customers nationally. Marco specializes in business IT services, copier/printer solutions and managed and cloud services. Their technology experts break down complex solutions into simple terms to position your business for success. Learn more at marconet.com.
Wisconsin Farm Technology Days 2021 Is On Like Donkey Kong!
Tickets for the show will go on sale by June. Local hotels are booking rooms at special rates now.
Attendee anticipation for the show is high across the region, and the Committee is planning for strong attendance.
More than 350 exhibitors from across the Midwest and Canada have already committed to the 2021 show. Innovation Square will feature an incredibly diverse array of area farms including Huntsinger Farms, Superior Fresh, the largest aquaponics grower of greens and salmon in the US, Chippewa Valley Bean the world’s premiere kidney bean grower and processor and its home farm, Doane Farm, award-winning Marieke Gouda cheese company and its home Penterman Dairy Farm, and Ferguson’s Orchards, one of the largest apple growers and agritourism businesses in the Midwest.
Local favorite singer/songwriter Chris Kroeze will provide an intimate acoustic performance for attendees each day of the show. Kroeze has also generously contributed a private concert for a winner of the show Raffle, the proceeds of which will benefit the local community. Raffle tickets will be available in June.
“Farm Tech Days Eau Claire is officially on,” said Gintner. “The program committees have put together an amazing range of interesting and entertaining sessions – there’s something for everyone!”
The Committee has been in close communication with Eau Claire County officials to ensure that the show operates safely and has the appropriate safety protocols in place. Final details will be decided by the end of June.
The Executive Committee has decided not to hold expanded evening hours during the show.
“We are working with local restaurants and taverns so that show attendees can easily enjoy food, drink and entertainment from the wide range of great options throughout the Eau Claire area,” added Gintner.
Wisconsin Farm Technology Days has more than a 65-year history of bringing producers and service providers together to share what is new and innovative in agriculture.
The show’s robust website at https://www.wifarmtechdays.org features a real-time map showing exhibitor and exhibit locations, program details, as well as a visitor “My Show Planner” feature that visitors can use to get the most out of the three-day show. Hotels offering special rates for the show are listed on the site.
Companies are invited to reserve their spots for the July 2021 show on the website. Available spaces appear in blue. Website users can also click on the Agribusiness Tents and view the exhibitors and available spaces inside. Reserved spaces appear in gray and show the exhibitor’s name; by clicking on any exhibitors’ space, a window opens showing contact information and a link to that company’s website.
Companies interested in participating in the show, should contact the Marketing Team at 920-644-3551 or by emailing email@example.com.
About Wisconsin Farm Technology Days
Wisconsin Farm Technology Days is a three-day outdoor event showcasing the latest developments in production agriculture, including practical applications and recent research and technological developments. This is the only farm show of its size in the United States that is organized and run entirely by volunteers. As the largest outdoor agricultural event in the state, it welcomes more than 45,000 attendees, with more than 600 commercial and educational vendors. The first WFTD show was named Farm Progress Days and was held in Waupaca County in 1954.
About Agriculture in Eau Claire County
Agriculture works hard for Eau Claire County every day. Family-owned farms, food processors and agriculture-related businesses generate thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of economic activity while contributing to local income and tax revenues. Eau Claire County, though dominated by the dairy industry, raises everything from meat goats to milking sheep to apples, grapes and vegetables. The county has seen farm numbers rise, while farm acreage has declined to an average farm size of 155 acres. Migration from the city to rural areas has resulted in smaller farms producing a variety of products. A diverse population has created opportunities to fill ethnic and specialty food niches. Meanwhile, county institutions and
farmers have joined forces to produce fresh, healthy products to meet a growing demand for local food.
Charter Bank Partners with Chippewa Valley Museum to Host Annual Art Show
Eau Claire, WI – The Charter Bank Art Show will run from April 15 to June 1 at the Chippewa Valley Museum. The Art Show features local young artists from the Eau Claire schools. This year’s show features 26 students from Memorial High School and 20 students from North High School. Go to cvmuseum.com for current open hours. Art can also be viewed online through a virtual exhibit at cvmuseum.com. Charter Bank is proud to partner with the Chippewa Valley Museum for the art display venue this year.
“We’re excited to continue this event in a safe manner. Partnering with the Chippewa Valley Museum will also allow more people to view this amazing artwork,” states Carla Leuck, Marketing Officer of Charter Bank. “The Chippewa Valley is overflowing with talent and we’re proud to be a continued supporter of the arts.”
“We couldn’t be prouder to work with Charter Bank on offering a space to showcase these young artists,” comments Carrie Ronnander, Executive Director of the Chippewa Valley Museum. “Not only will these artists be able to view their artwork, but they can rediscover the museum at the same time.”
About Charter Bank
Charter Bank is a locally owned community bank offering consumer, business, and investment planning services to the Chippewa Valley, the Minnesota Southwest Metro and the Chetek area. Since being founded in 1980 in Eau Claire, WI, Charter Bank has grown to be a financial leader in the Chippewa Valley. Charter Bank prides itself in creating a personalized banking experience for every customer. For more information visit charterbank.bank.
Junior Achievement Golf Outing
WESTconsin Credit Union Celebrates National Credit Union Youth Month
WESTERN, WI-- Providing financial education embodies the WESTconsin Credit Union ‘people-helping-people’ philosophy. Every April, credit unions across the country celebrate National Credit Union Youth Month. The theme for this year’s National Credit Union Youth Month is “Be a Credit Union Saver and Your Savings Will Never Go Extinct.” WESTconsin encourages their youngest members to open their own savings account (with a parent or guardian’s help), begin a habit of putting money into that account regularly, and learn how compound interest helps their account to grow.
WESTconsin Credit Union will celebrate Youth Month from April 12-17, and encourages kids to get excited about savings with themed coloring sheets available for download online and drawings on social media. WESTconsin can serve as an important ally for parents in their mission to teach their kids to be financially responsible through community involvement and financial programs like Banzai!
Merchants Financial Group, Inc. Reports Strong Performance and Shareholders Re-elect Three Directors During Annual Meeting
WINONA, Minn. - During its annual shareholder meeting, which was held virtually on Thursday, April 8, Merchants Financial Group, Inc. (MFGI), reported strong 2020 earnings growth and shareholders re-elected three Directors to the MFGI Board.
MFGI formally reported net income of $21,511,521 for 2020, an 8.8% increase over 2019 earnings. The year's results were impacted by the pandemic and resulting economic environment. Most notably, with a dramatic drop in long-term interest rates, Merchants booked unanticipated record residential mortgage loan volume of more than $950 million (a 77% increase over 2019). Year-over-year deposit growth was $376 million (a 21% increase over 2019), and Merchants originated nearly 1,600 Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans with total proceeds of $207 million. MFGI ended 2020 with $2.5 billion in consolidated assets, making Merchants the fourth largest banking organization chartered in the state of Minnesota.
"In our long rich history, never has our banking team been tested and challenged like we were last year," said Gregory M. Evans, MFGI President & Chief Executive Officer. "We are proud of our continued growth, but even more proud of how hard we worked to serve the unique needs of our customers during a time of significant hardship in every one of our communities. The community banking industry played an important role to facilitate economic stability during a very difficult time and the responsibility that was demonstrated by our team in that regard was rewarding."
Re-elected to three-year terms as Directors were: Michael F. Cichanowski, Founder and CEO of Wenonah Canoe, Inc; Ann E. Merchlewitz, J.D., Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Saint Mary's University of Minnesota; and Bruce E. Ryan, Founder and President of Ryan Windows and Siding, Inc.
Additionally, Shareholders were made aware of an upcoming transition in Board leadership. Long-time Merchants Board member Scott K. Biesanz, will be stepping down from his role as Board Chair as part of planned succession that will result in Richard L. "Rick" Lommen taking on the Chair role. Lommen, 54, is President of Courtesy Corporation, an owner-operator of one of the largest McDonald's franchises in the Midwest. Biesanz, who has served on the Merchants Board since 1988 and as Chair since 2012, will remain active as an MFGI Director for the final year of his current three-year term.
Merchants Financial Group, Inc. is a publicly-traded Company. Ownership is made up of its more than 440 employees and mostly individuals and families from southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin.
Merchants Bank is a full-service community bank with 23 bank locations in southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin and a leasing division, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, in Edina. Headquartered in Winona, MN, MFGI has more than $2.5 billion in assets. Merchants was founded in 1875. Member FDIC.
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Collene Fletcher Receives WNB Financial Community PRIDE Award
WNB Financial is pleased to announce Collene Fletcher, Business Banking Specialist, as the recipient of its 2021 first quarter Community PRIDE Award.
Community PRIDE Awards recognize WNB employees for exceptional volunteer service to programs, organizations, and initiatives that contribute to the strength and vitality of the communities served. This includes volunteering efforts made during and outside of work hours.
Fletcher is deeply involved with volunteering at Winona Church of the Nazarene. She is a member of the worship team and serves as the Nazarene Missions International Chairperson. As a Community PRIDE Award recipient, Fletcher received $100 to donate to the organization of her choice, which she chose to donate to Winona Church of the Nazarene. In addition, she received a certificate of recognition and a Bank logo shirt.
In 2020, 36 WNB Financial employees donated 1,393 hours of service to 66 organizations. WNB gifted over $358,000 to the community in the areas of education and youth programs, fine arts and culture, health and wellness, economic development, and community service.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month Learn how to spot the signs of maltreatment
Eau Claire, WI – Each year in Wisconsin between 4,000 and 5,000 children are identified as being abused or neglected, according to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF).
April’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month recognizes the importance of communities working together to help identify and prevent child maltreatment. Evidence and years of research show that children raised in loving and supportive environments are more likely to prosper academically and financially.
“As a healthcare provider it can be extremely upsetting to see a case of child abuse surface in our hospital,” said HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals Emergency Department Director, Robin Schultz. “It’s important for us to remember that how we handle these types of patient encounters may impact their lives indefinitely.”
Wisconsin recognizes six categories of child maltreatment, which include physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, the manufacture of methamphetamine, and abuse to unborn children.
HSHS hospitals encourage you to learn the signs of child maltreatment, which in many cases is committed by someone the child knows and trusts.
DCF Wisconsin says sometimes a parent’s demeanor or behavior sends a red flag about potential child abuse. Experts say a single warning sign of possible child maltreatment does not necessarily mean harm is occurring, but a closer look at the situation may be warranted when the signs appear repeatedly or in combination.
If a child reveals abuse, it’s important to listen carefully, let them know they’ve done the right thing by telling you, tell them it’s not their fault and explain what you’ll do next to keep them safe.
If you suspect child maltreatment, call 911 or Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453.
To learn more about the types and conditions of child maltreatment visit Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. Additional information about preventing child abuse can be found at preventchildabusewi.org.
About HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1889, it has been meeting patient needs in western Wisconsin with the latest medical innovations and technology, together with a Franciscan whole-person healing tradition.
About HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1885, it has served the people of the Chippewa Falls area with health care that is high tech and high touch. Known locally for the quality of the care it provides patients, the hospital has been recognized nationally for its outstanding patient satisfaction levels.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states - Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan, and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.
CVTC News and Updates
CVTC Instructor Pens Open Statistics Textbook: Lori Simmons’ work is the second OER textbook produced by CVTC faculty
Eau Claire, WI - Lori Ann Simmons, a mathematics instructor at Chippewa Valley Technical College, noticed some regular comments that would appear on the course evaluations that students filled out each semester at the end of her Statistics class.
“They mentioned the cost of the textbooks,” she said. Simmons, on her own initiative, decided to do something about it. She wrote an Open Education Resource (OER) textbook on the subject, which will be adopted in all the CVTC Statistics classes in the fall 2021 semester.
“With an open Statistics textbook, I would get rid of the cost of the textbooks, and the calculator cost, which amount to about $200 a student,” Simmons said. “In OER, we can use an online calculator.”
Simmons’ Statistics textbook represents the second OER textbook produced at CVTC. Last fall CVTC adopted a Nursing Pharmacology textbook written by a team led by Nursing Instructor Kim Ernstmeyer. That textbook is the first of five Nursing OER textbooks the team will produce as part of a U.S. Department of Education grant project that is receiving nationwide attention.
OER can be used by students without incurring the usual cost of purchasing a textbook published by a private, for-profit publishing company. OER can also be adapted by other educational institutions to fit with their curriculum without infringing on copyrights.
Building Interest in Machining: Menomonie High School, CVTC, industry partner to boost tech ed program
Menomonie, WI - Ryan Sterry, career and technical education coordinator at Menomonie High School (MHS), has many reasons to be proud of the programs he leads. However, he realizes that maintaining quality is not accomplished by sitting still.
In early April, with the cooperation of school administration, local industry and Chippewa Valley Technical College, he accomplished one of his primary goals to improve tech ed at MHS with installation of a new Haas Automation, Inc. CNC (computer numerical control) machine for manufacturing small metal parts.
The addition represents a leap forward for students, who can now learn on the high tech equipment used in the CVTC Machine Tooling Technics program and found in the dozens of metals shops around the Chippewa Valley.
Adding the machine at MHS took help from many people, including financial donations from Ken Skar, owner of Vincent Tool in Chippewa Falls; and Tom Karis, owner of Menomonie Machine Tool, and support from Jeff Sullivan, dean of apprenticeships, engineering, manufacturing and IT at CVTC.
CVTC Honors Business Partner, Alumni: Awards presented at virtual Spring Gala April 8
Eau Claire, WI - Eau Claire-based WIN Technology is a business built on partnerships, owned by 31 Wisconsin-based independent telephone companies that united to build a fiberoptic network that allows for faster speeds, greater bandwidth and increased reliability. The company has now been honored with the 2021 Chippewa Valley Technical College Proven Business Partner Award.
The award was presented Thursday, April 8, at the Alumni Association’s virtual Spring Gala. Also honored were Michele Koch, chief operations officer at Northwestern Bank, with the 2021 Distinguished Alumnus Award and Anthony Nied, owner of Safe & Simple Organic Lawns, as the Outstanding Recent Alumnus.
CEO Scott Hoffmann says WIN could not have developed into the company it is today without CVTC.
“WIN is very fortunate to be able to tap into the pool of graduates coming out of CVTC,” Hoffmann said. “The Chippewa Valley should also feel fortunate to have such an outstanding educational institution that readies individuals for the workforce. This has been a key factor in the growth and development we are seeing in the area.”
UWEC News and Updates
Research shapes geology major's UW-Eau Claire experience
Undergraduate research has been a big part of Katherine Langfield’s college experience, but the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire senior geology major still was nervous about presenting her research for the first time during a professional conference this spring.
The Lake City, Minnesota, native need not have worried because her presentation earned her first-place honors in the Best Presentation category even though other presenters included graduate students. Langfield, who will graduate in May, was one of just five student award winners at the conference.
“I’m still in shock,” Langfield says of her success at the Wisconsin section conference of the American Water Resources Association, the premier meeting of water science professionals in Wisconsin. “This was my first presentation at a conference. I have presented posters before, but never given talks. And it was my first virtual conference, so I did not know what to expect. I was super nervous and intimidated. I was the only student, undergraduate or graduate, in the baseflow section and that only heightened my anxiety.
“Then, in the moment, I was able to just calm down and let all the times I practiced take over.”
Langfield’s presentation focused on her work as a member of a UW-Eau Claire faculty-student research team that is collaborating with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on research involving stream flow measurements.
UW-Eau Claire composer's work featured in The Minnesota Orchestra concert
Dr. Chia-Yu Hsu often tells her music students at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire that taking the time to get to know their fellow Blugolds will likely make a big difference in their future careers.
After all, in the world of music, who you know matters, says the associate professor of composition.
Hsu says the network she began building during her own college years continues to lead to new opportunities, including a performance of one of her pieces this week by The Minnesota Orchestra.
Hsu’s piece, Voyage, will be performed by the musicians of The Minnesota Orchestra during a virtual concert Friday, April 2. The conductor and host of the “A Musical Passport” performance, Sarah Hicks, was among Hsu’s classmates when they both were undergraduate students at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
“When we were students, Sarah premiered a couple of my orchestral works at school,” Hsu says. “I’m quite excited about working with her again, since she’s such an intelligent and fantastic conductor with great communication skills.”
She is fortunate that many of her former classmates have found success in the music world, Hsu says, adding that many of them play important roles in her career.
Antigen testing moving from Zorn Arena to McPhee Physical Education Center
All COVID-19 antigen testing at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is moving to McPhee Physical Education Center beginning Monday, April 5, to allow Zorn Arena to be used for a mass vaccination clinic.
Gov. Tony Evers announced recently that Zorn Arena will be the site of a federally supported clinic that can vaccinate up to 1,200 people a day. The clinic that opens April 8 is a joint effort coordinated by the Eau Claire City-County Health Department, UW-Eau Claire, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and the U.S Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“Antigen testing has been critical to our success as we have worked hard to stop the spread of the virus on campus and in the community,” says Grace Crickette, UW-Eau Claire vice chancellor for finance and administration, who coordinates the university’s response to COVID-19. “The mass vaccination clinic will help keep western Wisconsin residents safe as we take another important step toward ending the pandemic.”
Antigen testing will continue at Zorn Arena through Friday, April 2. No testing will occur on Saturday and Sunday, April 3-4.
Philip Rucker to speak during UW-Eau Claire's annual Devroy Forum
Philip Rucker, a senior Washington correspondent at The Washington Post, will present “Lessons from Reporting in the Age of Trump” during the virtual 2021 Ann Devroy Memorial Forum at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
The forum will begin at 7 p.m. on April 15. The event is free and open to the public.
Rucker previously served as White House Bureau Chief, leading the Post’s coverage of President Trump and his administration. He and a team of Post reporters won the Pulitzer Prize and George Polk Award for their reporting on Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. Rucker also was awarded the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for distinguished reporting on the presidency.
Rucker is co-author of “A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America,” a No. 1 New York Times bestseller, and serves as an on-air political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC.
A graduate of Yale University, Rucker joined the Post in 2005 as a local news reporter and previously has covered Congress, the Obama White House and the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns.
Olga Diaz named UW-Eau Claire’s vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion and student affairs
Olga Diaz, an experienced higher education administrator in California, has been named the next vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion and student affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Diaz has been director of student success and equity at Palomar College in San Marcos, California, since 2015. She will begin work at UW-Eau Claire on June 14.
“I am excited to welcome Olga to our leadership team at UW-Eau Claire,” says Chancellor James Schmidt. “Throughout her career, Olga has shown a passionate commitment to serving students, especially to ensuring underrepresented groups have the opportunity to pursue their higher education dreams. UW-Eau Claire aspires to be an inclusive and equitable learning community, and I am confident Olga can help our campus reach that goal.”
Diaz will replace Dr. Warren Anderson, who left UW-Eau Claire in December 2020 to become the senior equity, diversity and inclusion officer for the UW System, where he works with system leaders and individual campuses on EDI initiatives throughout the state.
“I am incredibly proud and excited to join the Blugold family,” Diaz says. “The UW-Eau Claire campus community has done great work to center diversity, equity and inclusion as core values. I look forward to contributing to the team in support of students, faculty, staff and the Eau Claire community.”
UW MBA Consortium students appreciate online program’s flexibility, engagement
Vanessa Raye admittedly was concerned that an online MBA program might limit the engagement she would have with other students and instructors.
But the Georgia resident discovered that faculty members in the University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium, managed by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, were readily available and used course delivery strategies that prompted students to collaborate with each other.
“It embodies an academic culture that emphasizes trust, community, meaning and collaboration,” says Raye, who graduated in December 2020. “Team members are encouraged to speak up and share in the decision-making process. As a result, we all have a vested interest and are accountable for team performance.”
Raye is an information technology project manager at Koch Industries in Atlanta, focusing on enterprisewide applications. She says her company encourages employees to pursue lifelong learning, and completing her MBA was the next step in her personal development.
When choosing an MBA program, Raye needed it to be completely online, accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, affordable and ranked as a top program.
CERCA returns in 2021 with virtual platform
The Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity (CERCA) at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire each spring showcases the best in student-faculty/staff collaboration to the university community and beyond, says Dr. Catherine Chan, executive director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.
“It’s a reflection of the breadth and depth of scholarly work on this campus and the collaborations between students, and between faculty/staff and students,” Chan says. “I never stop being amazed at the range of projects. It says a lot about the level of engagement and participation throughout the campus and shows we value all kinds of scholarly and creative pursuits, regardless of formats and venues.”
This year’s CERCA will be virtual again because of COVID-19, but lessons learned from last year’s quick switch to an online format will make this year’s weeklong event an even better experience for audiences.
“Feedback from the presenters was that they appreciated the flexibility of the event,” Chan says of the 2020 event. “People had a wider window of time to review and interact with presenters by leaving messages. They weren’t restricted to a two-hour window.”
The virtual platform returns this year from April 19-23 as presentations will be available to an audience that stretches beyond the boundaries of the university campus. There also will be livestreamed presentations throughout the week, culminating with the Provost’s Honors Symposium on April 23.
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.