Interim Chancellor Brower Suggests a Dozen Ways to Celebrate Earth Day 2014 with UW Colleges and UW-Extension

1. Download UW-Extension’s free app GeoHike: Devil’s Lake State Park Geology  – created by our Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey — for a hike at Devil’s Lake.

2. Join the April 23 or April 25 tree planting ceremonies and congratulate our UW-Fox Valley colleagues for their commitment to tree care that earned them (for the second time!) national recognition as a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.

3. Attend the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership Convention April 24 to 26 in Stevens Point and applaud this partnership of UW-Extension, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin Lakes.

4. Recycle old running shoes at the UW-Rock County Earth Day Festival April 22.

5. Donate to UW-Extension’s Master Gardener program via this online link.

6. Check in with UW-Baraboo/Sauk County Sunday, April 27, for the Earth Day events they’re hosting and Continuing Education is planning on that campus.

7. Take the advice of UW-Extension’s Sharon Morrisey to start tomatoes from seeds  indoors this week.

8. Wish a happy 4th anniversary to Water Star Wisconsin, a UW-Extension partnership that launched on Earth Day 2010, and watch the Sustainable Strategies webinar series.

9. Download the free rain gardens how-to manual for homeowners.

10. Listen to Kathleen Dunn’s April 22 Wisconsin Public Radio show and watch “A
Fierce Green Fire”
 on Wisconsin Public Television April 22 to learn about the history of the environmental movement.

11. Join students and staff of UW-Washington County in a Milwaukee River clean up April 26.

12. Walk or bike to work or try one of many more ideas via Lincoln County’s 4-H News.

And if you have other ideas related to your campus or program, add a comment!

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Posted at: Awards/honors, Broadcasting and Media Innovations, Chancellor, Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning, Cooperative Extension, UW Colleges, UW-Baraboo/Sauk County, UW-Extension, UW-Fox Valley, UW-Rock County, UW-Washington County | Comments (12)

New engineering building for UW-Sheboygan

Jackie Joseph-SilversteinUW-Sheboygan will break ground this summer for a $1.4 million engineering building expected to open in fall 2015, according to an announcement from CEO/dean Jacquelyn Joseph-Silverstein.

The new 7,000+-square-foot building will provide classroom and lab space for students participating in the University of Wisconsin-Platteville onsite collaborative degree program in engineering, as well as for UW-Sheboygan pre-engineering students.

The UW-Sheboygan Foundation spearheaded a major fundraising campaign to secure the private donations for the building. Steve Harrison, UW-Sheboygan Foundation board member and capital campaign committee member, said major assistance came from the Sheboygan County Board of Supervisors, Plastics Engineering Company (PLENCO), the Frank G. and Frieda K. Brotz Family Foundation and Curt G. Joa, Inc.

“This building is an opportunity to truly affect the future of STEM and engineering education in Sheboygan County,” Joseph-Silverstein said. About 70 UW-Sheboygan students list engineering as a major. The first collaborative program student graduated in December, 2013, and a second will graduate in May, 2014.


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Take 2 easy steps to nominate your colleagues for Chancellor’s Awards

2014 Chancellor's AwardsHonor your co-workers by nominating them for 2014 Chancellor’s Awards, which Interim Chancellor Aaron Brower will present Sept. 18 during a ceremony in Madison.

Classified staff, academic staff and faculty in UW Colleges and UW-Extension – and other UW institutions who are involved in programs receiving UW Colleges and/or UW-Extension funds – are eligible. Some of the six award categories also recognize outside individuals or organizations involved with UW Colleges and UW-Extension

Nominations are due May 9 and entail two easy steps:

1.       Fill out and submit the brief online nomination form at You will need to specify the awards category out of the six options offered. For details, read the guidelines at:

Also, you can find examples of previous recipients at:

2.       Arrange for two letters of recommendation indicating the reason for the nomination and submit those letters to

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UW-Baraboo/Sauk County breaks ground

BRB groundbreakingTom Pleger, CEO/dean of UW-Baraboo/Sauk County joined Baraboo Mayor Mike Palm,  Sauk County Board Chair Marty Krueger and other campus and community leaders in breaking ground on Thursday, April 3, for The Villas at Baraboo. The 84-student residence hall is expected to be ready for students in September.

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Save the Date: April 23 Breaking the Bias Habit


Jennifer Sheridan

Jennifer Sheridan

What is the evidence that gender bias is a real phenomenon with real consequences – both for men and women? How does it show up in the academic workplace? What strategies can you use to reduce gender bias in your everyday life?

Jennifer Sheridan will address these questions during a presentation that’s free and open to all UW Colleges and UW-Extension faculty and staff. She is executive and research director of the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. (The photo by Michael Forster Rothbart is courtesy of UW-Madison, University Communications.)

“I think participants enjoy the fun demonstrations we use to show how implicit processing works,” she said. “This removes the tendency to see implicit gender bias as something only ‘bad’ people do, and see it instead as the normal functioning of both male and female minds.”

You can attend “Breaking the Bias Habit” in person from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St., Madison, or watch the webcast online, for which details will be provided closer to the event.

The workshop is hosted by the UW Colleges and UW-Extension Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, which provides additional information here. You also are invited to contact Kelly Thomas, special assistant to the chancellor for affirmative action, at or 608-890-3472.  

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National Higher Education program honors UW Colleges’ Sylvia Ramirez


Sylvia Ramirez

Sylvia Ramirez

Sylvia Ramirez is one of two higher education planners nationwide chosen by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) for its inaugural fellowship program. She serves as the director of budget and planning for the University of Wisconsin Colleges.

She joined the UW Colleges Office of Budget and Planning in 2012 as the institution was finalizing changes to its operating model and helped develop allocation methodologies and codify related policies.

“Through this process, she has shown that she is expert not only at ‘crunching numbers’ but also at thinking through the long-term implications of program development and policy decisions,” said Colleen Godfriaux, associate vice chancellor for administration and finance at UW Colleges.

Interim Chancellor Aaron Brower added, “Sylvia is an emerging leader in her field, and I’ve come to depend on her a great deal. We are very proud of this national recognition of her accomplishments and potential.”

Details are available in the news release posted here.



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Student housing advances at UW-Fond du Lac

John ShortUW-Fond du Lac may become the next UW Colleges campus to have student housing. The Fond du Lac County Board voted 20-3 on March 19 to approve a privately owned and operated 84-bed residence hall. The proposed three-story residence hall is planned for an area adjacent to the physical education building and may be open as early as fall 2015.

CEO/dean John Short said the on-campus housing would allow the school to “give a complete college experience to our students.” He said he believes the campus has lost students to other schools because of a lack of student housing. The idea for student housing, he said, resulted from a survey that showed a desire for on-campus housing.

The County Board will be asked to approve the lease agreement next month. The building would be built by Bluffstone II LLC, an Iowa firm that is also building residence halls at UW-Marshfield/Wood County and UW-Baraboo/Sauk County.

The construction of student housing at UW-Fond du Lac would bring to eight the number of UW Colleges campuses with housing on or adjacent to campus. UW-Rock County is also discussing a similar private housing development.

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