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UWRF holds events in honor of chancellor inauguration

March 26, 2010

Dean Van Galen will be inaugurated as the 18th chancellor of UW-River Falls Friday, March 26, in the Riverview Ballroom at 2 p.m.

A Waupun, Wis., native, Van Galen earned his Bachelor of Science degree at UW-Whitewater.

He then completed a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry at Kansas State University and then went on to a post-doctoral research position at the University of California-Berkeley, according to the winter 2010 issue of Falcon Features.

According to the magazine, Van Galen said he took the opportunity to interview for the position of chancellor at UWRF for many reasons, but the main reason was the University’s focus on students.

The University held multiple events leading up to the inauguration, including an executive-in-residence lecture by William T. Boehm, presented by the College of Business and Economics, and sponsored by WESTconsin Credit Union, River Falls.

Boehm, a recently retired senior vice president and officer of the Kroger Co. is a graduate of UWRF and Purdue University. 

Boehm’s lecture addressed the topic “Ethics do Matter.” 

He addressed three main points. First, the decision making process itself must be fact-based, or at least objective; second, to incorporate a wide range of viewpoints in making a decision; third, good decisions require an ethical foundation.

Data and numbers are a very important part of decision making, according to Boehm, and politics and emotions should be parked at the door.

“Good decision making requires that you understand the consequences of alternative courses of action,” said Boehm.

Another event held to lead up to Van Galen’s inauguration was the 8th Annual Celebration of Research, Scholarship and Creative Achievement (CRSCA), held in the Chalmer Davee library on Wednesday afternoon.

This celebration is designed to recognize the intellectual and creative achievements of faculty and staff of UWRF by honoring the work that goes on outside of the classroom, according to the CRSCA Web site.

Each spring semester the library displays the articles, books, academic posters, fine and performance art, playbills and other items produced by UWRF faculty and staff during the previous calendar year.

All submissions are cited in a CRSCA booklet and the celebration culminates in an annual reception to honor the faculty and staff who submitted work.

Dr. Kristin Tjornehoj was an exhibitor who was noted for three works. She said the event was a huge motivator.

“It’s a wonderful event and motivation to faculty to know that they can share their research, ideas and scholarly activities because we do so much of it, and it does kind of go unnoticed,” said Tjornehoj.

“Your own colleagues sometimes aren’t aware of the passions and perhaps the things you’re doing.”

Head of Reference Services Brad Gee said the title of the event was self-explanatory.

“It’s a chance for all faculty and staff to gather together and share what they’ve done over the year,” said Gee.

Van Galen was also presented with a surprise gift of a copy of the first chemistry textbook used at UWRF, which will be filed in the archives in the lower level of the library.

The next event, held Wednesday evening was the first annual “Bowls for Hope,” a charity event for St. Croix Valley charities.

Each year, UWRF will work with the community to raise funds for a worthy organization that makes a difference in the St. Croix Valley.

This year, the organization was “Our Neighbors’ Place,” an organization founded in 2009, that will provide shelter and support services to families and individuals of Pierce and St. Croix Counties to help people move toward independence and self-sufficiency.

Our Neighbors’ Place had an informational table set up amongst the tables of bowls for attendees to select.

One of the volunteers from the day center, Sue Waters, said she attended the first meeting where they talked about having nothing to offer the homeless people of River Falls.

Within a years time a day center was opened at 136 River Walk (between Subway and the Falls Theatre). They also offer a transitional house and are working on saving funds to open an actual shelter.

“To be here tonight is awesome,” said Waters. “We’re creating community awareness, raising funds and hopefully getting more volunteers.”

For $20, attendees could choose a bowl made by ceramic and pottery students at UWRF, River Falls Middle and High Schools or donated by area artists.

Attendees could then sample soup donated and served by area restaurants and vote on their favorite soup of the evening.

Soups were donated by Sodexo Dining Services, The Dish & Spoon Café, Junior’s Bar & Grill, Grateful Bread, Perkins Family Restaurant, South Fork Café, West Wind Supper Club, Bo’s ‘N Mine and the Copper Kettle.

Entertainment was provided by The Kinni Song Sisters and the Chris Silver and Tom Bentz Acoustic Duo.

“I just think it’s a great opportunity for the community to get together and do something for the community by giving something back,” said Dawn Morrow from the South Fork Café.

“We’re just very flattered to be included with the group of restaurants and really glad to have any opportunity to support our neighbors, like Our Neighbors’ Place,” said Abbie Testa, who owns the Dish & Spoon Café with her mother, Emily.

“We’re very appreciative to be able to give back to them.”