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Author archive: Katie Herr

December 10, 2009

Program bridges relationship between professors, students

First year students have the opportunity to get to know their professors better with the First Year Experience “Out to Lunch” program. The program was created to give students a way to become more connected with their professors. “The program gives students a chance to interact with their professor outside of class,” FYE Student Manager Mike Vanselow said. A few students have taken advantage of the new program, but FYE hopes that more will participate. FYE Director Sarah Egerstrom said that less than a dozen students have taken advantage of the program. She said she encourages others to not be afraid to approach their professors. “The students who have done it had enjoyable experiences,” she said. “They said they now feel more comfortable asking questions in class and approaching their professor for help.” The program offers a unique situation where students are able to share a meal and conversation with professors outside of the classroom setting. FYE New Student and Family Program Coordinator Maggie Funk said the purpose of this program is to promote faculty and students interacting outside the classroom. “This program provides students and faculty with an opportunity to connect and discuss topics from class,” she said. “It […]

December 4, 2009

Talking Circle event inspires action

Building a world of inclusion is the topic of a Dec. 8 “Talking Circle” event hosted by Kris Miner. Talking circles are a method to educate and inspire students, staff and faculty to take social justice action. Social Justice Programmer Kristin Canan said another goal of this event is to give students, faculty and staff an outlet to discuss various issues in an open setting. “A talking circle has a setting where each person is entitled to their own opinions,” Canan said, “and allows every person the opportunity to express their opinion openly and completely without interruption.” Each talking circle event has a different theme. The participants sit in a circle and the facilitator, Miner, asks a question or discussion topic. The participants then get a turn to voice their thoughts, but only when they are the one holding the “talking piece.” Lisa Colburn has attended Talking Circles in the past, and said that at times it can be difficult because one might want to respond to what somebody has said or start arguing a different point but they have to wait until they have the talking piece. “You learn to really listen to what each person is saying, which […]

November 12, 2009

Classroom video conferencing connects UWRF globally

Video conferencing has made its way into the Organization and Administration of Physical Education class of Health and Human Performance lecturer, James Gostomski. Every Wednesday, his 19 UW-River Falls students sit in a classroom and video conference with a class of 28 students from the University of Trinidad and Tobago.  The students meet in room 329 of the Agricultural Science building and are able to see their foreign counterparts via video on two large screens located at the front and back of the room.  The students sit at long tables and have computer screens located in front of them and are able to see the students that way as well.  The class involves writing lesson and unit plans, curriculum evaluation, assigning students from UWRF with students from the University of Trinidad and Tobago for unit plan collaboration and presentations related to physical education. Students from both universities are physical education majors.  Gostomski said he taught at the University of Trinidad and Tobago last year and that he contacted a university professor there to come up with this idea of a joint class.  “We came up with the collaboration of having students work on a joint project and review the physical […]

November 5, 2009

UWRF assesses staff, students’ perspectives

UW-River Falls, along with three other UW System schools, is participating in a campus-wide survey to assess the attitudes of students and staff towards the University environment. The Campus Climate Survey is available now until the end of this semester and focuses on questions that will provide information to help the University ensure that the environment is conducive to working, living and learning.  Campus climate is defined as the “current attitudes, behaviors, and standards of employees and students concerning the access for, inclusion of, and level of respect for individual and group needs, abilities and potential,” according to the UWRF web site. According to Craig Morris, chief diversity officer in the Office of Equity, Affirmative Action and Compliance, last month Susan Rankin, a nationally known expert in assessing and improving campus climate, visited campus to meet with staff, students and faculty to discuss UWRF’s participation in the Campus Climate Survey. Brad Kerschner, a student on the Campus Climate Committee said that the survey is vital to the future and improvement of our campus. “The results will tell us what areas we need to improve on at UWRF,” Kerschner said. “With this information, students, staff and faculty will be better equipped […]

October 29, 2009

Students rally for 350 Initiative

350.org is an international campaign dedicated to building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis, and on Oct. 23, UW-River Falls joined in this movement with a rally in the Falcon’s Nest. Nikki Shonoiki, co-chair of Rise Up for Women’s Rights, had a big part in organizing the event on campus. Greta Gaard, faculty advisor for Rise Up for Women’s Rights, said she met with Shonoiki earlier this fall and they agreed this issue was an ideal opportunity for coalition-building.  “Student organization representatives were invited to a coalition planning meeting and the [rally] took shape,” Gaard said. The event for 350.org is co-sponsored by Rise Up in coalition with ECO club, College Democrats, Union of Democratic Progressives and the Gay Straight Alliance.  At Friday’s rally, students wore white t-shirts and painted headbands and their arms and faces with blacklight face paint. The students formed a large “350” and a photograph was taken which will be sent to 350.org and will be displayed on the large TV screens in Times Square.  Events like this were happening in 158 countries around the world and each will send in a photograph to 350. After the photographs are displayed […]

October 22, 2009

UWRF devotes day to sustainability

National Campus Sustainability Day was Wednesday and UW-River Falls participated by hosting a day full of events to educate students and faculty about the importance of this topic. Throughout the day, “green” informational displays were available for viewing in the Falcon’s Nest in the University Center. A few highlights of the day were a webcast: “Sustainability Strategies for Vibrant Campus Communities” in the Kinnickinnic Theater, a lecture with Kelly Cain about a sustainable campus-community and a concert by Dangergrass, a bluegrass band, in the Falcon’s Nest. Karyn Wells, student life event coordinator, said the goal of the day was to have students gain an awareness of how easy it is to incorporate more sustainable efforts into their daily lives. Falcon Programmer Amy Aschenbrener is highly involved with the “RePlay, ReWear, and Recycle” project. The first part of the project is RePlay, which consists of student musicians performing instruments using no electricity. For ReWear, a store from downtown River Falls came on campus to inform students about their sustainable business. The recycling aspect focused on bottle tops. Falcon Programmer Darcy Thompson brought up the fact that if water or pop bottles have tops on them they cannot be recycled. “Most recycling […]

October 15, 2009

Family Day offers activities for UWRF students, families

Every year, UW-River Falls invites families and friends of students to campus to participate in a variety of activities during Family Day weekend. This year, Family Day is set for Oct. 17. The events begin on Friday evening when families can register early and get the chance to view the movie “Up!” and take part in open skate at Hunt Arena after. There are many different events on Saturday for families to choose from. The day begins with a 5K Run for the Roses, which raises money for arthritis research, sponsored by the women of Alpha Omicron Pi. Families also have the chance to dine with the chancellor at a continental breakfast in the Riverview Ballroom of the University Center.  At two different times throughout the day, families will choose one hour-long session to attend. These include: campus tours, greenhouse interactive tours, “What Color is Your Personality?” sponsored by Career Services, a Dairy Learning Center tour, art demonstrations, physics rocks and a session about sustainability on campus.  There are other events throughout the day that include a Greek Life open house, an egg roll sale sponsored by the Asian American Student Association, bingo, a magician, and kids fest, which consists […]

October 8, 2009

Student Life welcomes new additions, experience to staff

This summer, Student Life staff welcomed three new members to its team: Paul Shepherd, Matt Levine and Ashley Olson, each bringing fresh ideas to their new roles. Paul Shepherd, director of Student Life; Matt Levine, Student Organization and Greek Life coordinator; and Ashley Olson, socio cultural coordinator, each joined the UW-River Falls staff on Aug. 10.  Shepherd has a Bachelor of Science in organizational communication with a minor in human resource management. Additionally, he has a Masters of Science in Education with an emphasis in college student development and university administration. He uses this background in his duties, which include responsibility of the overall direction and administrative leadership of the Office of Student Life. This includes supervision of four coordinators working with leadership, service learning, multicultural education, Greek Life, student organizations and campus-wide events. Before coming to UWRF, Shepherd worked at UW-La Crosse for five years as a graduate assistant and a professional residence hall director. In addition, he worked at UW-Eau Claire for four years as the assistant director of Residence Life for Leadership and Education.  Shepherd said he came to UWRF because he was looking for a way to progress in his career while continuing to work with […]

October 1, 2009

Volleyball team promotes breast cancer awareness

Falcon Volleyball players are asking fans to show up to their game on Oct. 3 wearing pink to promote awareness for breast cancer. “Think Pink” is an event hosted by the women’s volleyball team that involves volleyball teams across WIAC teaming up to raise money and awareness for the Madison Area Susan G. Komen Foundation. The team’s “Think Pink” event is in its second year. Last year, Falcon volleyball players raised approximately $4,000 for the foundation.  Each volleyball player has a collection goal of $500. Donations can be a flat donation or a pledge for each “dig” the Falcons collect throughout the match. A dig is a way of passing the volleyball back from a down low position, and is used to prevent someone’s spike from hitting the ground. “The Falcons are honored to have the opportunity to partner with all the WIAC institutions and the Susan G. Komen Foundation to raise awareness for breast cancer,” Patti Ford, head volleyball coach, said. Senior volleyball player Gina DeRosa said she thinks “Think Pink” is a great event because she experienced a family member who has been affected by breast cancer, and feels this is a great way to raise awareness and […]

September 17, 2009

Incoming class leaves its mark with help of student organizations

Each fall, the First Year Experience (FYE) staff and Weeks of Welcome (WOW) leaders prepare for the arrival of freshmen and new students, and this year’s events had some new approaches. One major change was that move-in weekend did not fall over the Labor Day holiday weekend. This allowed upperclassmen and faculty to be around to witness the WOW events—something that was not always the case in past years. At move-in, freshman and new students were “welcomed home” by WOW staff, FYE coordinators and other faculty. New this year, the biggest event was the pep fest that took place the night of move-in at Ramer Field. Maggie Funk, New Student and Family Programs coordinator, said the stands were packed with new students. As they arrived, students were greeted with a gift bag that contained a Falcon t-shirt and a noisemaker. Chancellor Dean Van Galen, River Falls Mayor Don Richards, Athletics Director, Rick Bowen, and Freddy the Falcon raced out onto the field in golf carts and spoke to the new students and welcomed them home. Afterwards, the students put on their shirts and all sang the Falcon cheer song together. The night ended with fireworks, and the chance for the […]