1980s Class Notes for Fall 2016 Learning Connections



Mark Gillen
BS 1980 – Elementary Education
Mark, interim associate dean in the College of Education and Professional Studies, department chair of Counseling and School Psychology, and program director of the School Counseling Program at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, has been named the recipient of the 2016-17 Dr. Keith G. Wurtz Award for Teaching Excellence.

Eydie Barttenes Cohen
BS 1981 – Education
As a local teacher union President of CCSD59; a district of 15 buildings serving kids preK-8th grade, Eydie has also become an Orange Frog trainer. This is based on Shawn Achor's Happiness Advantage work in the International Thought Leader's Network. In addition to Eydie’s work on incorporating student growth into teacher evaluation and improving all evaluations of employees on the contract; Eydie has had the pleasure of co-leading many committees in an effort to move the district forward in a collaborative way.

Mary Brady
MS 1981 – Curriculum & Instruction
Mary has just won "Best Traditional Chicken Soup" in the hotly contested Great Chicken Soup Cook-Off at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. When not slaving over a plucked bird, Mary consults with all types of museums, nonprofits and entrepreneurs on fundraising, expanding and accommodating exceptional audiences.

Karen Frank Barney
BS 1965 – Occupational Therapy
MS 1982 – Continuing & Vocational Education
Karen is a professor emerita at Saint Louis University. Karen and M.A. Perkinson recently published, “Occupational therapy with aging adults: Promoting quality of life through collaborative practice.”

Kris Fliegel Bauer
BSE 1982 – Elementary and Special Education
Kris teaches future problem solving to sixth through eighth grade students at Hamilton Middle School in Madison. The International Future Problem Solving program’s mission is to develop the ability of young people globally to design and promote positive futures through problem solving using critical and creative thinking. Her students compete in the Global Issues Problem Solving and Scenario writing components.

Karen L. Garst
Ph.D. 1982 – Curriculum & Instruction
Karen just published her first book, “Women Beyond Belief: Discovering Life without Religion.” When the U. S. Supreme Court issues its decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Karen decided that religion is the last cultural barrier to gender equality. In this decision, the court decided that because of its religious views, this corporation didn't have to provide certain forms of birth control to its employees under the Affordable Care Act. Karen’s book tells the stories of 22 women leaving religion and the obstacles and issues they encountered. Karen also has a blog at www.faithlessfeminist.com.

Robert Lurie
BSE 1982 – Secondary Education/Social Studies
Robert completed the U.S. Department of State's Teachers for Global Classrooms Program which included an International Field Experience in India. He continues to lead in the area of global education by serving as the Director of LATTICE (Linking All Types of Teachers in International Cross Cultural Education), which links international graduate students, K-12 teachers and faculty at Michigan State University to joint professional development opportunities. Robert recently received the Loy LaSalle Award for Outstanding K-12 Teacher Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Global Education by the United Nations Association chapter in Lansing, Michigan.

Stephanie Barchus McDonnell
BS 1982 – Communication Disorders
Stephanie finished her BS at UW in 1982 and moved to Maine. She worked as a substitute teacher for one year and landed a teaching contract the following year. While Stephanie enjoyed teaching, she found her students sharing so many personal stories about things that interfered with their learning, that she decided to explore how she could work with those issues directly. Stephanie returned to Madison and received an MSW in social work with a focus on educational social work. Stephanie was employed with the Madison schools for 18 years. She learned so much between working in Title 1 elementary schools to the importance of early childhood services and gave so much by serving adolescents in our public high schools. Whether she helped prevent abuse, intervened with sexual assault, implemented school wide programming to address harassment/bullying/drug abuse/violence or facilitated groups to help build healthier relationships; Stephanie reports that she was able to make a difference in students' lives! Stephanie moved from Wisconsin to Florida in 2008 and continued to help students learn. Stephanie adds that she remembers her foundation of learning and is a proud UW Alumni!

Jerome Noble
MS 1982 – Studies in Behavioral Disabilities
Jerome retired in Punta Gorda, Fla., and is a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for 20th Judicial Circuit. Jerome is a volunteer interviewer, grant writer and youth leader for Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Jerome is single, a biker, kayaker, active with a Naples, Fla., UW-Madison alumni group, and working on family genealogy.

Paula Dail
Ph.D. 1983 – Continuing & Vocational Education
Paula’s most recent book, "Mother Nature's Daughters: 21st Century Women Farmers," published by McFarland Publishing Company, was released on October 17. The book includes eight stories of smart, independent, hard-working, politically astute women farmers who love what they do, and do it well. Because nearly half of the nation's farmland is now owned by women, these women farmers are the new faces of the farm economy.

Kevin Frazzini
BSE 1983 – English/Secondary Education
Kevin recently began working as an editor at State Legislatures magazine, published by the National Conference of State Legislatures, in Denver.

Dennise Gackstetter
BS 1983 – Art Education
Dennise still heads the Art Education program at Utah State University and was recently promoted to senior lecturer. The Utah Art Education Association honored Dennise with the award of Higher Education Art Educator of the Year 2015-16. Dennise and her Art Education students have worked with a group of local refugee youth for the past two years in art-based programs that have helped them develop self-confidence and find connection within the larger community. For this work, Dennise was recognized by the USU Center for Civic Engagement and Service Learning at Community Engaged Alum. Dennise continues to be an active ceramic artist, showing both regionally and nationally.

Dee Boyle Clapp
BS 1983 – Art Education
Dee, the director of the Arts Extension Service at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, co-edited and released the sixth edition of the seminal Fundamentals of Arts Management, which is used by 45 percent of the colleges and universities that teach arts management. In the book, Dee wrote the online fundraising chapter, and co-wrote the chapter, “Greening Your Arts Nonprofit Organization,” with Sarah (Brophy) Sutton, titled after a course that Dee teaches at UMass.

Therese M Morrical
BS 1984 – Physical Therapy
This is Therese’s 28th year working in the Burlington Area School District with children that have physical therapy needs. In 2010, Therese attained a Master of Rehabilitation Science degree from Concordia University Wisconsin. Therese’s thesis studied whether there is a correlation between gross motor skill development and academic achievement in kindergarten age children. Therese enjoys working as a school-based physical therapist because she can see children grow and develop from the age of 3 years to 21 years.

Ella Ellie Murtha
BS 1984 – Physical Education
Ella is currently working as a Physician Assistant in Urgent Care in Maryland.

Julie Rosen
BS 1985 – Physical Therapy
Julie was elected to serve as the Secretary, Illinois Physical Therapy Association.

Jesse N Valdez
Ph.D. 1985 – Counseling & Guidance
Jesse is currently working as a Behavioral Health Psychologist in Santa Barbara, Calif. Jesse was previously positioned as an associate professor of Counseling Psychology at the University of Denver; a psychologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara; a psychologist at Colorado State University.

Lynn S. Zeckel
BSE 1985 – Elementary Education
Lynn is currently teaching as a substitute teacher in the Madison Public Schools in grades K-8.

Andrea Deau
BSE 1986 – Secondary Education/German
After a wonderful seven-year stint teaching German in two northern Wisconsin schools, Andrea stumbled into the information technology world through the use of IT in classes. When the Berlin Wall fell, Andrea used text-based emails and Usenet groups with students to communicate with Germans about what was really happening in the country at that time. Andrea’s use of technology at a time when it was so new in K-12 introduced many new opportunities. Since Andrea’s teaching days, Andrea has worked as a K-12 technology coordinator, an education technology liaison at WiscNet, the state's research and education network, as an academic technology services director in a technical college and is now an IT director for the University of Wisconsin Extension pushing the limits of technology to support competency-based education with our UW System partners. Andrea writes; Who would have thought an education degree in German would lead her to a career in IT? Andrea and her family live in the Madison area but still have close ties to northern Wisconsin.

Walter J. Ullrich
MS 1980 – Curriculum & Instruction
Ph.D. 1986 – Curriculum & Instruction
Before fully retiring in 2017, Walter’s swan song spring semester will be teaching "Critical Pedagogy, Popular Culture, and Media" one last online MAT cohort.

John M. Dirkx
MS 1981 – Continuing and Vocational Education
Ph.D. 1987 – Continuing and Vocational Education, Educational Psychology

John was selected for the 2016 International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame. From the IHOF website, "The Hall of Fame honors leaders in the fields of continuing education and adult learning, and serves as a record of inspiration for the next generation of continuing education leaders. Annually, adult and continuing education leaders from around the world are selected for induction into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame (HOF). These individuals reflect the great diversity of adult and continuing education practice and scholarship and the increasingly global leadership community that constitutes the IACE Hall of Fame." John also published a co-authored book chapter titled, "Graduate Study Abroad: Student Learning, Pedagogy, and Outcomes" in Vellaris, D., & Coleman-George, D. (Eds.), Handbook of research on study abroad programs and outbound mobility, IGI Global.

Mary Jane Brummer
BS 1986 – Sociology
MS 1988 – Counselor Education

Mary Jane continues to enjoy a profession in real estate working with adults in transition by teaching and guiding them through the process of making decisions to attain fulfilling lives. Check out Mary Jane’s website: www.spaceharmonizing.net

Debra Riedel Debra Cass
BS 1988 – Art Education
Debra has gone back to school and has received an Associates degree to be a Chiropractic Specialist, a state certifying program at Moraine Park Technical College. The program provides state certification as a Chiropractic Technician and in Chiropractic Radiology. Debra graduated May 2016 with high honors and a 4.0 GPA, and is currently working in Fond du Lac, Wis., for Bauer Chiropractic.

David Cooper
BSE 1988 – Secondary Education/Math
As the department head for the Pre-curriculum Department at Wake Technical Community College, David’s department was awarded The John Champaign Memorial Award for Outstanding Developmental Education Program. This national award is given out once a year by NADE.

Diane Rawlinson
1989 MFA – Dance
Diane recently taught an InterPlay for Educators workshop at Bill Evan's Somatics Conference in New York and will be teaching a full day InterPlay for Educators workshop for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's Professional Development Institute in April of 2017. She is in her 26th year as the dance teacher at Wheeling High School in Illinois and continues to be on the advisory boards of Dance Teacher Magazine, Chicago's Dance for Life and InterPlay. Her former students and student teachers continue to make an impact in dance including studio owners, performers, choreographers, directors, and 8 current Illinois public school dance teachers.

Mike Blum
BSE 1989 – Elementary Education
Mike is in his 27th year teaching in Wausau, and went from 108 8th grade students last year to 181 science students this year.

Sylvia Davidson
BS 1989 – Early Childhood Education
Sylvia is working at the UW-Madison Waisman Center/ Waisman Early Childhood Program. Sylvia is a research associate specialist/ early childhood educator/teacher.

Christine Janusiak
BS 1989 – Elementary Education
Christine received her M.Ed. from Lesley University and is currently working in the School District of Cudahy, primarily teaching English language arts to third, fourth, and fifth grade students. She is the co-president of the Cudahy Education Association.

Peter J. Sartorius
MA 1989 – Educational Policy Studies
After 10 years as director of a high-school completion and work experience program in Muskegon, Mich., for drop-outs and court adjudicated youth, Peter became the planning and community development director for the minority- majority City of Muskegon Heights. In 1996, Peter transitioned as planning and development director for the Muskegon Community Health Project, supported by a multi-year grant from the WK Kellogg Foundation. After the grant period, Peter stayed with the Health Project working to improve access to care and reduce health disparities. In 2008, the Health Project was acquired by Mercy Health Muskegon, a unified hospital system serving 3 counties in West Michigan and part of the nationwide Trinity Health System. Peter is still here at the Health Project and still doing health planning, albeit with help from the Affordable Care Act and the hospital's community benefit investments. Peter’s work on developing Community Health Needs Assessments has been adopted by Trinity Health System for application in all of its 92 hospitals. Peter has slowed down a bit, now working only part-time and living on the shoreline with his beautiful wife, Rochelle, their goofy dog, BoBo and an incredible panoramic view Muskegon Lake. Peter and Rochelle have four children together--a son in Chicago, three daughters and an eight-year-old grandson living on the West Coast. Peter would love to hear from his former EPS colleagues who studied under Dr. Vern Haubrich's mentorship.

Greg Smith
Ph.D. 1989 – Educational Policy Studies
Greg retired at the end of the summer semester after 23 years at the Graduate School of Education and Counseling at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore.  In the couple of months since, he has stayed busy, finishing up final edits on an article for the Journal of Environmental Education, attending a meeting in Boulder of the National Education Policy Center, and organizing a day-and-a-half-long gathering in October of 67 place-based educators from throughout Oregon.  He also participated in a meeting in mid-November at the Kettering Foundation of a small group of educators and community organizers from around the country to discuss ways that agencies and businesses can become more involved in providing meaningful educational experiences for children and youth.  In June he'll join Stewart Purkey (UW-Madison alum) and David Greenwood (who grew up in Madison) to lead a workshop on place-based education and sustainability at a Lawrence University-sponsored retreat in Door County.  All of these activities are an outgrowth of the work he did while at UW-Madison 30 years ago. So at the moment, he's failing at retirement but enjoying himself, nevertheless.  

Margaret L Servais Washa
BS 1989 – Physical Therapy
Margaret is retired and enjoying life in Middleton, Wis., during the summer, and Isla Mujeres near Cancun, Mexico, during the winter. Margaret spends time volunteering in both locations. Life is good, she reports.

Anne Monty-Zhang
BS 1989 – Spanish/Secondary Education
Anne is a Spanish teacher in Morgan Hill, Calif., and a part-time English teacher at San Jose State University.
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