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Honoring an Exceptional Educator: Robert Gruber Accounting Professorship Award

The late Robert Gruber's family, friends, colleagues and students gather to celebrate his life and distinguished career.

The late Robert Gruber’s family, friends, colleagues and students gathered to celebrate his life and career. (UW-Whitewater Photos/Jonathon Kelley)

Meifang Xiang, associate professor, was honored as the first recipient of the Robert Gruber Accounting Professorship on November 4, 2016. This professorship celebrates the spirit and impact of Robert Gruber (April 26, 1955 – September 13, 2015), former professor and department chairperson. It will be used to help the accounting program deliver outstanding education and stand out from programs at peer institutions.

Contributions to the endowed fund are invested, and a portion of the earnings will be used each year to advance the accounting program. These monies may be used help recruit or retain high-quality faculty by supporting salaries in a competitive market. The balance of the fund’s earnings will be awarded as the endowed accounting professorship. The professorship will provide a salary stipend to the recipient, as well as the opportunity to direct spending of a discretionary fund.

Meifang Xiang intends to work with Accounting Department Chairperson D’Arcy Becker and Dean John Chenoweth to spend the discretionary funds in a manner that would honor Robert Gruber’s legacy. Meifang worked with Robert for eight years, and she feels privileged to receive the Professorship in his name. She recalls that Robert was intensely committed to student and faculty success and that he was highly regarded at local, state and national levels. His persona was also an asset to the department and college. He was energetic, positive and personable and he had a wonderful sense of humor.

Reflecting on her husband’s life and legacy, Cindy Gruber shared, “Bob aspired to be a teacher, an influencer, a helper, an advisor and a friend to his students… He would be so pleased that this professorship will be used by others who choose to invest in the lives of their students.”

Robert Gruber passed away in 2015 after a battle with cancer. He will long be remembered for his efforts throughout the college and local community, and his leadership within the public accounting profession. Thanks to generous contributions by alumni, $1.1 million has been raised in his honor, exceeding the original $1 million target.

The plaque presented to Cindy Gruber describes Bob's exceptional commitment to student and faculty success.

The plaque presented to Cindy Gruber describes Bob’s exceptional commitment to student and faculty success.

D'Arcy Becker, accounting department chairperson, introduces Meifang Xiang, associate professor and recipient of the Robert Gruber Accounting Professorship. According to Becker, Xiang epitomizes Gruber’s “deep interest in making sure that we have a great program.”

D’Arcy Becker, left, accounting department chairperson, introduces Meifang Xiang, associate professor and recipient of the Robert Gruber Accounting Professorship. According to Becker, Xiang epitomizes Gruber’s “deep interest in making sure that we have a great program.”

Cindy Gruber shares, “His goal was to make a difference through his work and to change lives… If this professorship in even a small way reflects the lives Bob influenced, then he achieved his goals."

Cindy Gruber shares, “His goal was to make a difference through his work and to change lives… If this professorship in even a small way reflects the lives Bob influenced, then he achieved his goals.”

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IT Faculty Tech Start-up Wins!

Dr. Alana Platt took 3rd place in the 2016 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest for her startup Classmunity in the Information Technology category!

Dr. Platt, an Assistant Professor of Information Technology created Classmunity, a web-based fundraising service to help K-12 school districts easily, professionally, and securely raise money. Fundraising campaigns can be created in minutes using Classmunity, and school districts, teachers, parents, students, and community members can easily promote the campaigns with just the click of a button. School administrators have real-time campaign and funding insights through a powerful web-based dashboard.

The pitch competition was held on Tuesday, June 7 and the award ceremony on Wednesday, June 8 at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Madison. For more information about the contest, click here to read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article and here to read the Wisconsin State Journal article.

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Military Applicants to Graduate Programs

We are happy to waive graduate programs admission fee if you are an active duty military personnel or have been on active duty within three years of your application to a UW-Whitewater graduate program.

More information available at http://www.uww.edu/cobe/aboutthecollege/military

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UW-Whitewater Collegiate DECA wins big!

The UW-Whitewater Collegiate DECA team returned from a successful trip to their 2016 International Career Development Conference in Washington, D.C.  The students had a great week and took advantage of opportunities to network with entrepreneurs and business leaders, caucus with and serve as voting delegates to help elect next year’s National DECA Leadership Board, and compete against over 1,400 Collegiate DECA students from across the United States and Canada. In all, the students won 25 individual/team awards and we had 6 students who placed in the Top 10 in the world in their competitive event categories.

UW-Whitewater received the Presidential Level Chapter Leadership Passport Award which recognizes the efforts of DECA chapters for year-round engagement, enhancing member benefits, and contributing to the campus. UW-Whitewater was also honored with a Chapter Community Service Award in recognition of our community service efforts throughout the year and a “Be Epic” Collegiate Membership Campaign Award awarded to chapters that have doubled in size from the previous year.

We also had students participate in an Entrepreneurship Challenge and competitive events in the fields of Human Resource Management, Restaurant and Food Service Management, and Sports and Entertainment Marketing – each of these students were among the top 50 students in the nation in their competitive events.

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UW-Whitewater’s Tax Assistants are here to help!

Need help with your 2015 taxes? VITA is here! The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program at UW-Whitewater offers free tax help and free electronic filing of 2015 federal and Wisconsin tax returns. The VITA Tax Clinic reception is located on campus in Room 1001 of Hyland Hall. No appointments are needed, this is a first come, first served service. Hours are Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Wednesdays 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. from January 30th through April 9th. Please note that the Tax Clinic will be closed Saturday, March 19th, and Wednesday, March 23rd due to the University’s Spring Break.

Get help from IRS-certified student preparers and faculty supervisors of the UW-Whitewater Accounting Department. For more information about what you should bring, how to get to Hyland Hall, and more follow the link to VITA’s informational PDF.

http://www.uww.edu/Documents/colleges/cobe/455_vita_schedule__info_sheet_final_sp16.pdf

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