Chippewa Valley Book Festival Hosts Virtual Event with New York Times Bestselling Author Brit Bennett
For the first time in 21 years the Chippewa Valley Book Festival will be bringing authors to our community on a virtual stage. Registration is now open for a virtual event on Friday, February 12, with award-winning and New York Times bestselling author, Brit Bennett as she discusses her blockbuster novel, The Vanishing Half.
Moderated by Allyson Loomis, Associate Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, the program will include a casual conversation with Bennett as well as a question-and-answer segment allowing for audience participation. This FREE event requires registration. Learn more at www.cvbookfest.org/festival-events/bennett.
Winner of the 2020 Goodreads Historical Fiction Award, #1 New York Times Best Seller, and one of Barack Obama’s favorite reads of 2020, The Vanishing Half is an emotional family story about African American identical twin sisters in the 1950s and ‘60s. One passes for white and moves to California while the other returns to her tiny southern community to raise her dark-skinned daughter. The Vanishing Half touches on themes of race, class, family, gender, community, love, and the cost of secrets. HBO also recently purchased the rights to develop The Vanishing Half into a limited series with Bennett as an executive producer.
The February 12 event featuring Brit Bennett, is one of two virtual events hosted by the Chippewa Valley Book Festival this winter. Brandon Taylor, author of Real Life, will be taking the virtual stage on Friday, March 12, at 7:00 p.m. CST. More details about that event can be found at www.cvbookfest.org/festival-events/taylor.
Author photos, book jacket graphics, social media graphics, as well as Chippewa Valley Book Festival logos can be found at: www.cvbookfest.com/media
The Chippewa Valley Book Festival partners with the Pablo Center at the Confluence, and the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire Foundation to provide literary programming for all Chippewa Valley residents
Billy Felz named interim vice chancellor for enrollment management
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt announced today that Billy Felz has been named interim vice chancellor for enrollment management. The two-year appointment is effective Jan. 25.
Felz has worked as the executive director for enrollment management, the special assistant for the vice chancellor of enrollment management and the executive director of the Advising, Retention and Career Center (ARCC) prior to taking on his current role.
“Since March, Billy has overseen our Admissions, ARCC, Barron County director and Blugold Central student service functions. During that time he has demonstrated strong leadership in advancing our recruitment and retention efforts at our UW-Eau Claire campuses,” Chancellor Schmidt says.
“Our planning for 2025 calls for a clear focus on enrollment, and under Billy’s watch we have seen applications increase by more than 50%. I am confident that Billy will bring the vision and leadership needed to support and guide the Enrollment Management division and to serve our students well.”
Nursing research team educates teens and young adults about dangers of vaping
The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated concerns about the significant number of teens and young adults who vape, with early reports showing that the coronavirus poses a greater danger to young people who use the products than to their non-vaping peers.
With that in mind, a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire nursing faculty-student research team is leading an effort to educate young people and the adults who interact with them about the effects and dangers of devices like vapes and e-cigarettes.
“Preliminary reports are finding that young people who had used e-cigarettes are five times more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 than never-users,” says Lindsey Boehm, a senior nursing major from Eau Claire. “It’s critical for young people and others to understand the dangers associated with vaping.”
Boehm and Dr. Lorraine Smith, assistant professor of nursing, are leading a project titled “Implementing an Educational Initiative on Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping: A Nurse Led Intervention.”
Their work builds on an initiative that Dr. Diane Marcyjanik, a nursing professor who passed away in April 2020, and her students began two years ago, shortly after vaping was deemed a national public health epidemic among teens and young adults.
The original project focused on educating school staff about electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) such as vape pens and electronic cigarettes. Before COVID-19, Marcyjanik and her students presented their research to more than 100 middle and high school staff members in Wisconsin.
Smith and Boehm are continuing their work, though adjusting their focus because of the pandemic.
UW-Eau Claire expert says suicide is not just a behavioral health issue
Anyone can become suicidal, not just patients with mental health issues, and most are looking for help, says Dr. Jennifer Muehlenkamp, a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire psychology professor and nationally recognized expert on self-injury and suicide during a recent presentation at Mayo Clinic Health System Northwest Wisconsin Academic Grand Rounds.
"Most people want their suffering to end, not their lives," says Muehlenkamp, who is director of UW-Eau Claire’s Suicide Prevention and Awareness Research Collaborative. “They want to find a way to live but their hope is starting to fade away.”
During the Academic Grand Rounds presentation titled "Preventing Patient Suicide: A Guide for Providers," Muehlenkamp said health care professionals need foundational knowledge to detect risk factors in an effort to help prevent suicide.
The Academic Grand Rounds virtual presentation was a vehicle to showcase what is coming from the master collaborative research agreement between Mayo Clinic Health System and UW-Eau Claire, says Dr. Andrew Calvin, a cardiovascular medicine specialist at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire and Bloomer who helped coordinate the presentation.
The research agreement is intended to increase opportunities for research collaboration between the institutions, provide new learning opportunities for UW-Eau Claire students and improve the health and wellness of the community.
COVID-19 tests available to community at UW-Eau Claire beginning Feb. 2
Free rapid-response COVID-19 surge testing will be available to the community in February on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus.
The community surge testing, which was conducted at Memorial High School the past two months, will now take place at Zorn Arena on UW-Eau Claire’s lower campus. Antigen testing for UW-Eau Claire faculty, staff and students is also being conducted at Zorn Arena, but community members will be tested at different times than the campus community.
The surge antigen testing is for people without COVID-19 symptoms and will be available to the community on Tuesdays and weekends in February. The first testing window for the community will be from 4:30-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 2. On weekends in February, the testing will be available from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
“We are excited to be able to offer this testing to the community again in February,” says Grace Crickette, vice chancellor for finance and administration at UW-Eau Claire. “We have put an excellent system in place at Zorn Arena, and we will be able to help thousands of people monitor their health as we work to stop the spread of the virus in the community.”
The antigen tests are possible thanks to the University of Wisconsin System’s partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Approximately 140,000 BinaxNOW tests will be available to residents across the state at UW System campuses this spring. Confirmatory PCR tests will also be available at the sites.
Antigen testing will also be available to the Rice Lake community on the UW-Eau Claire – Barron County campus on Tuesdays in February. Beginning, Feb. 2, the testing will be conducted from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Tuesdays in the university gym at UWEC-BC.
Members of the community can register for antigen testing by going to www.doineedacovid19test.com and setting up an account.
Community members coming to campus for testing are encouraged to park in the Hibbard Parking Lot, just west of State Street. Visitors can park in any available "F," "COVID-19 Testing" or ADA-designated parking stall after 3 p.m. Parking is available in "G" designated parking stalls after 6 p.m. No permits or payment are required in "AMP Timed Parking" zones during weekends.
Individuals are asked to bring a smartphone capable of accessing their email account when they visit Zorn Arena for a scheduled test.
Registration Open for Rock the Riverfront Featuring the Charity Classic | Royal Credit Union (rcu.org)
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. – Registration is open for the RCU Foundation Rock the Riverfront featuring the Charity Classic. The event will celebrate 27 years of running and walking to support organizations that make a difference in the communities that Royal Credit Union (Royal) serves. Proceeds from the event will benefit three partner charities: The Heyde Center for the Arts in Chippewa Falls, Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild in Eau Claire and Northern Star Theatre Company in Rice Lake. Arts organizations were the first to close their doors at the start of the global pandemic and will likely be the last to reopen. This partnership will help these groups operate during this time of great need. Rock the Riverfront featuring the Charity Classic is raising the curtain, supporting the arts, and letting you set the stage for your own adventure! Registration for this virtual event will be open through June 26 with special early bird pricing ending on April 4. Participants can run or walk the 10K or 2 mile routes and youth can take part in a 1/2 mile course anytime between June 5 and June 28. Registration details are available at www.rcu.org/race. The first 100 people to register will receive an exclusive Rock the Riverfront 23-ounce stainless steel water bottle valued at $25. Two registration box options are available starting at only $35 for adults and $15 for youth. The Classic Race Box includes an event t-shirt, a finisher medal, a race bib, a charity vote, and results posting; Royal Race Box includes everything from the Classic Box plus exclusive Rock the Riverfront sunglasses and extra goodies. Every registration includes a free charity vote and additional votes can be purchased at $2 each. The charity with the most votes will receive $15,000, second place will receive $7,500, and third will receive $5,000.
Course maps will be available at www.rcu.org/race for those interested in running the traditional 2 mile or 10K or ½ mile routes. We have partnered with RunSignUp and the RaceJoy app for an enhanced registration and race experience. Racers will be given the option to record their time online to qualify for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards in their age group. Rock the Riverfront featuring the Charity Classic offers beautiful running routes and the opportunity to benefit three organizations that are making a positive impact in our communities. Even non-runners can participate in activities like the Rock Hunt, Chalk your Walk, and a Coloring Contest as a way to support the RCU Foundation and the charities it has committed to help in 2021. Find all the details for these activities at www.rcu.org/race.
About RCU FoundationThe RCU Foundation (Foundation) was established in 2012 to support organizations and initiatives in communities where Royal Credit Union operates in western Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota. The Foundation focuses on large-scale, capital projects that help build community and create the spaces where people come together. Focus areas include education, health, and the arts. The Foundation hosts the annual Rock the Riverfront-Charity Classic event in Eau Claire. Currently, it has awarded more than $4 million in grants. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
About Royal Credit Union
Royal Credit Union is a federally insured credit union proudly serving over 230,000 Members in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Royal is driven by a core ideology built on a strong purpose and values. You can open an account or apply for a low-rate loan at Royal Credit Union if you live or work in 26 counties in western Wisconsin or 16 counties in Minnesota. Counties served in Wisconsin include Adams, Ashland, Bayfield, Barron, Buffalo, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jackson, Lincoln, Marathon, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Portage, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, St. Croix, Taylor, Trempealeau, Washburn, and Wood. Counties served in Minnesota include Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Goodhue, Hennepin, Isanti, Olmsted, Pine, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Wabasha, Washington, Winona and Wright. Realtors in the state of Wisconsin or Minnesota are also eligible to join the credit union. Visit rcu.org or call Royal Credit Union at 800-341-9911 for more information.
Now in Menomonie: Prevea Pediatrics
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.