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Library exhibit honors UWRF faculty

February 14, 2008

Chalmer Davee Library will be hosting an exhibit Feb. 19 to honor UW-River Falls faculty and staff for scholarly and creative works published during 2007.

Organized by library staff member Cate Dodson, “Celebrating Research, Scholarship and Creative Achievement ‘08” is an annual exhibit designed “to recognize the intellectual and creative achievements of faculty and staff of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls by honoring the work that goes on outside of the classroom,” according to the CRSCA Web page.

Faculty and staff who wanted to be recognized this year were required to submit an application form to the library. Submitted materials include scholarly journals, fine arts displays, academic posters, funded grants and many others.

The event is more than a pat on the back for university employees, according to library director Valerie Malzecher.

“Scholarly work and creative activities help to inform the work that faculty do with students in the classroom, but it also enriches our communities, helps to grow our economy and changes lives,” Malzecher said.

Last year, 91 faculty members from across the university were honored. This year, there are 101 exhibitors.

It’s easy for students to forget that faculty and staff who stand in front of the classroom are more than just teachers. According to Bill Campbell, all university faculty work on projects beyond the classroom.

“For some it’s a matter of thinking about and researching materials for a new unit or course; for others it’s ground-breaking research, e.g. creating new molecules, developing new feeding regimens for horses to prevent disease, growing living tissue in the laboratory,” Campbell said.

“Faculty research is closely linked to our most productive and engaged teaching; I am better teacher because I write, and a better writer because I teach,” assistant professer Lissa Schneider-Rebozo said.

Schneider-Rebozo was too busy with her research and academic responsibilities to submit any work this year.

Whatever the work being done, it is important that students take an interest in the work produced by the university.

“I think it’s important for students to know that their instructors are keeping current in their fields and breaking new ground, otherwise they’re just teaching from the text as in high school,” Campbell said.

Many professors also include their students in the projects to enhance classroom learning, Campbell said.

For the last five years the library has published a booklet naming all the exhibitors with citations for their exhibits.  This booklet has been included for review by the Higher Learning Commission for the reaccredidation process this semester and was displayed for the Board of Regents last fall, according to Malzecher.

“It serves as an important record of the scholarly, creative work and grant-funded projects that our faculty and staff are involved in,” she said.

The work will be on display for a few weeks in the library, but students are encouraged to attend the reception Feb. 19. Faculty and staff will be in attendance from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. to talk with those present about their works. There will also be live music and refreshments.