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UWRF physics professor Korenic talks teaching and hobbies

December 6, 2018

Eileen Korenic has been teaching students at UWRF for many years and hopefully many to come. During her time here, Korenic has helped students by developing courses that aren’t just difficult to be difficult, but instead are described as engaging and entertaining. Many students end up in one or more of her classes while attending UWRF, spending multiple days a week with her. Even though students spend so much time with her in class, they don’t always really get to know the woman behind the lecture.

Korenic spent her early life growing up on the southside of Milwaukee, near the Southridge Mall. Her parents both worked in the science field, her father, a mechanical engineer and her mother, a medical technologist. As Korenic was growing up and deciding what she wanted to do or be in the future, she was always watching and listening to her parents for advice.

“You can do anything you want honey, anything, but you know science, that can be used everywhere,” said Korenic. This advice from her parents sunk in and helped her decide to study science, however she still wasn’t certain what kind of job was right for her.

Korenic began her college education at Mount Mary College, now Mount Mary University, in Milwaukee. She didn’t really know what she wanted to do and just continued to take science courses. Eventually, during Korenic’s third year, her professor in radiation biology insisted that everyone in the room pick what kind of job they wanted to get, and on impulse she said teacher. She graduated and achieved a bachelor’s in science and had majors in chemistry, biology, and education.

After graduation Korenic went to teach at Waukesha South high school for about six years. After those six years she ultimately decided to return to school at the University of Milwaukee to get a physics major. She later taught for a while at the Milwaukee Area Technical College for a couple years. After finishing graduate school, she worked at a 3M laboratory for about a year and a half, but found that she enjoyed teaching lab members how to do things more than doing them.

Nowadays Korenic can be found teaching multiple courses at UWRF. She also runs public astronomy talks, planetarium shows, and observatory viewings. Outside of work she enjoys acting from time to time when someone with her set of skills is needed. She is also active in church as a cantor on the weekends.

When Korenic has free time she enjoys reading books, solving different types of crossword and jigsaw puzzles, and needle point. Her favorite film is Chariots of Fire because it’s challenging and makes her want to get up and run or do something she believes in. She loves English actors, and says her favorite is Sean Bean. Also, her favorite book is a very obscure one called Doctor Hudson’s Secret Journal.

“Wherever you are you can do something good, and it doesn’t have to be big, and it doesn’t have to make the newspapers. It means you’re making the world a better place, even if you’re the only one that knows it,” said Korenic, on her view of the true meaning behind Doctor Hudson’s Secret Journal.

“My favorite pictures to take are not pictures of the thing, I took pictures of the pyramid, but I mostly wanted to see that if you stand on the pyramid and take pictures what can you see,” said Korenic

When it comes to traveling Korenic has been around the block, traveling across the world to many different places. The first place she visited was Europe, as part of a tour for college students. She has visited Egypt and China through study tours at UWRF. She also has visited India, the South Pacific, New Zealand, and she also toured the Amazon.

“Whether you agree with the current president or not I think it’s really important to vote for whatever you truly believin. I don’t want to push my political views on anyone, but I think people need to really think about this,” Said Korenic.

Her thoughts on politics are that young people should think about it then think again. She also said she’s passionate about women’s rights and equal pay for equal work.

Korenich is a big fan of puns, even though she knows some refer to puns as the lowest form of comedy, she can’t stop herself from laughing when they come up in conversation. As a physics professor she also really enjoys science jokes, she feeds her science joke hunger by watching shows like The Big Bang Theory.

Korenic is very glad to be at UWRF and have the opportunities she does to interact with the students. Even though she has some quite big classes, with her astronomy course being around 150 students a semester, she is happy to be able to meet the ones she does. Watching her students walk across campus from year to year makes her feel like UWRF has a community like no other.

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