Get to know Karl Brown!

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Karl Brown is an Assistant Professor of History at UW-Whitewater

 

 

 

What’s your educational background?

I got a PhD in Modern European History from the University of Texas in Austin. Prior to that I went to Lawrence University. I graduated in 1994 with a BA in History and a lot of work in the Russian Language.

What courses do you teach here?

I teach a lot of GenEd 120- Historical Perspectives. I also do a couple of courses on this History of Europe, like a History of Russia this semester. I’m teaching a course in the Film Studies minor next fall on Russian Cinema, and I do a course on the History of Beer that is strangely popular. I’m probably teaching that next spring.

What are your research interests?

My research is on everyday crime in early Communist Hungary. Scholars tend to look at the statistics for crime, which are significant for the population, and see it as a straightforward example of state oppression. What I do is unpack those numbers a little bit more, and look more broadly at what crime tells us about this historical context.

How long have you been teaching?

I came here as a lecturer two years ago, and this is my first year on tenure track.

What inspired you to become a professor?

My dad was a prof, and it just seemed like a really good job. You get to work in an academic environment with other people who are interested in asking and answering questions. I’ve always enjoyed being a student- which is good because being a grad student is 5-8 extra years of that. I’ve also always wanted to study history- since the 6th grade or so.

What’s your favorite part about teaching?

Nowadays I like in my upper-level classes how students tackle a term paper as a substantial portion of work- we scaffold it throughout the semester, so they’re building up to a pretty significant accomplishment on their part. What I’ve found is that I’ve gotten some really good papers, and I can just see these students getting better at the writing process. That’s really rewarding both because they put out a good product, and I’ve had a direct hand in helping them along.

What do you like most about UW-Whitewater?

I love my colleagues. I’ve taught at a number of places, and the departmental politics can be awful. But they aren’t here, and we all get along very, very well. I also like my students a lot. If you don’t like teaching you don’t go into being a university prof. Students here are enthusiastic and willing to do the work. I like being in the classroom- it’s fun teaching. The town of Whitewater is also great.

What are some of your interests outside of teaching?

Outside of teaching I do a lot of home brewing. I actually helped set up a craft brewery here in town- Second Salem, which is doing well. I also enjoy Frisbee golf, playing with my children, and parenting… well most of the time I enjoy that.

What’s your favorite book?

Lipstick Traces by Greil Marcus, and Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco.

What is something that your students may be surprised to learn about you?

About me and a lot of other profs here- we’re a lot cooler than you think we are. I have colleagues that have been to Dead shows and some other crazy stuff, I canoed down the Yukon when I was in my 20s.

Who inspires you and why?

I think figures like Ghandi and MLK, and just people who see something wrong and figure out how to change it without causing harm. The whole notion of with the right ideas and right organization, people can take to the streets and make effective and significant changes in their lives.

Get to know Matt Lange!

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Dr. Matthew Lange is an Associate Professor of German.  He has taught at UW-Whitewater since 2005.

 

 

 

 

 

What is your educational background?

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages (German) from The Citadel: The Military College of South Carolina. I then pursued a Master’s degree in German Studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder. At that time I studied for a year in Erlangen, Bavaria. After that I came to Madison for my PhD program. I lived in Berlin for a year working while on my dissertation.

What courses do you teach here?

I teach Beginning German, Advanced German, German Conversation, German Phonetics, German Civilization, and two survey courses of German literature. Up to this year I also taught Intermediate German, and at one point I even taught Business German.

What are your research interests?

My dissertation research was on antisemitism in Germany since the middle of the 19th century. I looked at the figure of the Jew in German literature and culture as a metaphor for capitalism, and my book entitled Antisemitic Elements in the Critique of Capitalism in German Culture, 1850-1933, examined how nationalists attacked laissez-faire capitalism in German culture by labeling it Jewish. Then I branched out a little bit into the history of the department store in Germany, since it was pioneered by Jewish entrepreneurs. Most recently, I am beginning to transition into German-American history.

How long have you been teaching?

I was a Teaching Assistant at CU-Boulder and UW-Madison since 1994. In 2005 I started working full-time as an instructor in Whitewater.

What inspired you to become a professor?

I appreciate what my former teachers and professors have done to educate me and, in their own way, bring me closer to Enlightenment – as Kant outlined in 1784 – whether I realized it at the time or not. I am committed to the idea that the purpose of the university is to “improve the human condition” through a “search for truth”, even if the current regime attempted to purge such lofty sentiments from state statutes. Sapere aude!

What do you like most about teaching?

I love getting students to have that a-ha moment when they learn something new. Particularly in the earlier levels when students have issues with language learning in general, and they come to the realization that perhaps it’s not as hard as they thought, or when they finally master a skill that they thought initially they wouldn’t be able to master. After that they can take control of their own learning.

What is your teaching philosophy?

I guess it depends on the way people look at what a teacher is. Some people look at a teacher just basically professing knowledge while students absorb that knowledge, but I look at it as a process in which I help students learn by developing skills. I can’t make students learn, but I can open doors for them and make them aware of opportunities that education provides.

What do you like most about UW-Whitewater?

I love my colleagues. They’re very supportive, wonderful people. It makes it easy to come to work every day to become inspired by them and share ideas with them.

What are some of your interests outside of teaching?

I love to travel, I love to sail, which of course I can only get done here in the summer. I love spending time with my family, and just going on hikes outdoors.

What is your favorite movie?

My favorite movie would be Wings of Desire. It’s a beautiful film, set in a divided Berlin during the 1980s, and the protagonists are angels. One angel falls in love with a mortal and chooses to give up his eternal existence to share an ephemeral bond.

Is there anything that your students might be surprised to learn about you?

They might be surprise that I went to a military college, participated in ROTC, and became US Army Airborne qualified. I was also on the boxing team in my senior year and won the silver medal in our regional tournament. A few years ago I ran with the bulls in Pamplona – not that I am encouraging them to do the same.

Who inspires you and why?

There are a lot of people who inspire me for different reasons. One is my former professor and mentor at The Citadel, because he started me on my current trajectory and still serves as a model academic. He convinced me to go to graduate school, told me about opportunities, and guided me throughout my career. I try to do the same thing with my students – try to convince them to do things that they may not have considered to begin with and help them, where I can, along the way to achieve great things.

Get to know Paul House!

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Dr. Paul House has been a member of the Chemistry Department for nine years.

 

 

What is your educational background?

I grew up just outside Kalamazoo, Michigan, and I went to a small school in Kalamazoo called Kalamazoo College. That’s where I got my undergraduate degree.  Then I worked for a year before starting grad school. I ended up going to Northwestern University just outside of Chicago. I worked with a physical chemist who studied kinetics and thermodynamics. I enjoyed it a lot even though grad school is kind of miserable sometimes. After that I did a post-doc. I worked with a molecular biologist and studied enzymology, kinetics, and enzyme systems at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

What courses do you teach?

I teach physical chemistry lectures and labs. I teach inorganic chemistry, and organic chemistry laboratories. I’ve taught general chemistry- the 2nd semester lecture and the lab. I’ve done a lot of different courses, but physical chemistry are probably my primary courses.

What are your research interests?

I’ve got a couple different research interests. One of them started out in collaboration with Dr. Chan and Dr. Harrahy. We’re interested in a group of compounds called micropollutants- they are in low concentration in the environment. Specifically we’re thinking about things like pharmaceuticals and health products- things like acetaminophen and caffeine. They are going to affect environmental systems because they are biologically active compounds.  They can be chemically modified during the waste water treatment, and sometimes they are converted into more toxic compounds. The students who work with me are figuring out how these compounds are modified during waste water treatment.

How long have you been teaching at UW-Whitewater?

I think this is my ninth year.

What inspired you to become a professor?

When I was a student I didn’t understand a lot of stuff, but the subject matter really excited me. Then I had a professor in college that I did a research project with.  He was an inorganic chemist studying inorganic compounds but the methods were focused on physical chemistry theories.  Because he didn’t know much about the methods, I ended up being responsible for moving the project forward.  The project went really well and he told me that I could do this stuff in grad school and beyond and I believed it. I also always liked the college environment and working with students. It’s just a job I like to do.

What do you like most about Whitewater?

I like the school in terms of my colleagues. I think they have the right ideas- they are focused on helping students learn and be successful in life. I think for the most part they are very dedicated to that. The work environment is really good, and I like the students a lot- it’s fun working with them. I like the people I’m working with- both students and faculty.

What are some of your interests outside teaching?

I like to cook a lot. My mom taught cooking classes when I was growing up, and she wrote a couple cook books. It’s something that I share with her.

What is your favorite movie?

There’s all these goofy movies around that I like. There’s one called The Secret of Roan Inish that I really like. It’s set in Ireland and it’s about seals that turn into humans. I also like Lawrence of Arabia.

Who inspires you and why?

That’s hard. My mom is a very kind and giving. She helps a lot of people, and I always liked that she has a really good sense of humor.

Get to know George Clokey!

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Dr. George Clokey teaches Biology and leads the very popular Yellowstone Travel Study course at UW-Whitewater.

 

 

 

 

What is your educational background?

I did my undergraduate at UW-Madison, and I have a degree in Geology and Geophysics. I also have a degree in Zoology. I then went to University of Pittsburgh where I got my PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology.

What are your research interests?

It turns out that I’m not doing anything in cell and molecular biology. The stuff that I’m interested in doing involves looking at how populations interact, but we do molecular biology to study that. One of the research projects that I am involved in looks at two species of mice and how the interact in the local environment. They’re very similar in their ecologic niche, and they overlap. I’m interested in how that works.

What courses do you teach?

Typically I teach Biology 120, which is Introductory Biology for non-major, Ecology and Society which is an Ecology course for Education students or Ecology majors, and then Yellowstone courses. I teach a winter course in Yellowstone National Park for two weeks and two summer courses in Yellowstone National Park. One is for non-majors and one is for majors. The non-majors course is wheelchair accessible.

How long have you been teaching?

I taught in my graduate school, so 1980. I’ve been teaching for 20, 30 years.

What inspired you to become a professor?

It was kind of a funny thing. With my undergraduate degree I thought I wanted to do research, so I got into research. And then as a research student I was a teaching assistant. It turned out I was pretty good at teaching. So therefore I started being offered teaching assistantships and graduate school. I won a teaching award. I said “well, maybe I don’t really want to do research, maybe I want to teach.” Then I came back to Wisconsin and this job opened up at Whitewater. That’s how I got into teaching.

What do you like most about teaching?

First of all, I really like interacting with the students. I like hearing about student success and being able to help get students jobs. One of the things I do here is help students get set up with internships or research positions. Helping the students find out what they want to do and find a career is what I like best.

What do you like most about UW-Whitewater?

Several things. The people here are really interested in helping the students. I think our Chancellor, former Dean, and current Dean really have the student’s very best interests in mind. I love working for these people.

What are some of your interests outside of teaching?

I do a lot of volunteer work, but a lot of is it connected with the students. For instance, we go out and clean up trails and parks and things like that. I’ve got a service learning course in the spring in which we go down to Milwaukee and clean up the beaches down there. I like doing outdoor things, but I always try to get students involved in the volunteer activities.

What’s your favorite movie?

It’s a Wonderful Life.

Who inspires you and why?

My students. I never cease to be amazed at their dedication at what they like to do. I am honored to serve them.

Dr. Clokey would also like to promote his travel study Yellowstone National Park open to ALL MAJORS. It is offered in July, August, and during the Winter Interim every year. If you are interested, please go to Whitewater home page, and type “Yellowstone” in the search box for more information!

Get to know Edward Gimbel!

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Dr. Edward Gimbel is a Political Science professor.  He is in his third year teaching at UW-Whitewater.

 

 

 

What’s your educational background?

I got my Bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa- Major in Political Science and Minor in Philosophy. Then I got both my Master’s and my PhD in Political Science from the University of Minnesota.

What courses do you teach here?

I teach a couple sections of Global Perspectives, and then I teach most of the courses in Political Theory or Political Philosophy- Introduction to Political Theory and a series of historical courses, so Ancient and Medieval Political Thought, Modern Political Thought, Contemporary Political Thought, and then next semester I’m teaching American Political Thought.

What are your research interests?

Most of my research is in the Philosophy of Social Science, so I’m kind of interested in how the social sciences differ from the natural sciences. There’s a real tendency in the social sciences to try to be as much like the natural sciences as possible, but my approach as a political theorist tends to be in a different area, looking less at the quantifiable and more at the values and those sorts of things that are really essential to politics.

What inspired you to become a professor?

A couple things. I decided to go to grad school because I felt like there was more that I wanted to learn about Political Science. It was one of those things that I figured out as I proceeded through my major as an undergrad: the more that I learned, the more that I realized I didn’t know. In terms of pursuing a career as a teaching professor as opposed to just doing research or working in a think tank, it was mostly just the experience of having some really good professors that I enjoyed taking classes from as an undergrad. I really wanted to do what they did. I wanted to have the influence on student’s lives that they had on mine.

What do you like most about teaching?

I like being able to think about big issues and big topics that I’d be thinking about anyways, and to do it while engaging with younger people who are thinking about the same topics. It’s exciting to be able to talk to younger people and get some of their thoughts while sharing some of my background and knowledge; helping us have a little more informed population in general.

What do you like most about UW-Whitewater?

The size is great because there is a kind of sense of community. I like that there are so many faculty members who are so devoted to making it a really high quality teaching-centered kind of University. I’ve worked in a couple places that were much more focused on research, and teaching seemed like kind of an afterthought. That’s definitely not the case at Whitewater. We’re here first and foremost to teach people, and that’s why I got into higher education.

What are some of your interests outside of teaching?

I am interested in cycling, and getting outside in general, so road biking, mountain biking, hiking, that kind of stuff. I’m also interested in music, so I play guitar and couple of other instruments poorly but it’s fun.

Who’s your favorite artist/band?

I listen to a lot of stuff in a bunch of different genres. Lately I’ve been listening to Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.

What is something your students may be surprised to learn about you?

One of my favorite things to talk to students about that’s sort of surprising is that I actually started out my undergrad career as a Biomedical Engineering major. I came out of high school knowing that I was good at math and science, and engineering made sense. So I went that way and realized that I kind of hated it. I did a little searching around and found something that worked better for me. I think there’s something to be said for college being an opportunity to find yourself.

Who inspires you and why?

I find my mom really inspiring because she sacrificed a lot for my siblings and me. Having that example of someone who really devoted their life to making the lives of other people better and easier is something that I never tire of appreciating.

Get to know Sarah Hessenauer!

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Sarah Hessenauer is an Assistant Professor in the Social Work Department.   She has been teaching at UW-Whitewater for seven years but has a long history with our campus!

 

 

 

 

What is your educational background?

I have my Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from UW-Whitewater. I actually double-majored in Social Work and Psychology. Then after that I got my Master’s in Social Work from UW-Milwaukee. After that I got my Master’s in Business Administration from Whitewater. Then I have a PhD in Social Work from Loyola University.

What courses do you teach here?

I teach Social Work courses. The main course I teach is called Social Work Practice 3 and it focuses on macro-level social work, so students working in jobs. We focus on what it’s like in the real world; things like resume building, hiring, and we also set up an internship. All Social Work students do a full-semester internship where they’re at an agency for 40 hours a week, so my job is to prepare them for that. I also teach a course on grief, I teach a course on stress, and I teach a course on medication. I also teach an Intro to Social Work class and New Student Seminar.

What are your research interests?

 My research has always been about Bachelor-level social workers and what we are teaching them, so it’s really applicable in the classroom.

How long have you been teaching?

I have been teaching here for 7 years.

What inspired you to become a professor?

I have always wanted to become a professor. The moment I graduated with my undergrad I thought “I love campus life”. I love being around the campus environment, I love the learning, I love the energy. I just wanted to teach. I wanted to share my knowledge of social work.

What do you like most about teaching?

I just love being around students; I love their energy. If it wasn’t for students, I probably wouldn’t teach. I learn every day from my students, so they learn from me, but I also learn a lot from them.

What do you like most about UW-Whitewater?

I don’t know because I’ve loved it my whole life! The campus is large, but it doesn’t feel large; it’s a community. I really feel like the professors care about their students here. They make students a priority, which is why I love the learning community because I get to mentor freshman right away and build that 4-year relationship.

What are some of your interests outside teaching?

I love going to concerts any chance I can. I also love theatre, so anything to do with music and plays. Otherwise my interests are my family- I have a huge family.

Who is your favorite artist/band?

Sarah McLaughlin’s my go-to person. The best concert I’ve seen is the Eagles with the Dixie Chicks.

What’s something your students may be surprised to learn about you?

What a lot of people are surprised to learn about me is that I come from a family of professional trick-ropers. My grandfather was actually in the circus. He used to stand 30 feet away from me and he could a whip a piece of paper out of my mouth. When I was little, I would perform at small community events. It’s very unique to my family.

Who inspires you and why?

My first thought is my daughter. Even in rough times I am always role modeling for her; I am teaching her life skills. So she has always driven me, and now I have two step kids. My kids are really important to me. But everyone always asks me why I became a social worker and it’s because of my parents. We are always taking in people. My husband also supports me as well.

Get to know Chris Calvert-Minor

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Chris Calvert-Minor is a Philosophy Professor in the Philosophy and Religious Studies Department.

 

 

What’s your educational background?

I’ve been in school forever. I did a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry at the University of Illinois – Champaign. Then I went into a PhD program in Chemistry at the University of Minnesota. Midway through I realized I didn’t have a passion for chemistry – the labs were really boring. I liked the work, but there’s not many people to talk to in labs. There wasn’t enough interaction. I ended up getting out of Chemistry with my Master’s. I started working in a Chemistry lab with the Master’s, but I was really interested in Philosophy and Theology. I got my Master’s in Theology, but then I realized that wasn’t the field I really wanted to go in. Then I went into Philosophy.

What courses do you teach?

Introduction to Philosophy, Truth in the Media, 20th Century Philosophy, Existentialism, Philosophy of Science, and Knowledge of Reality.

What are your research Interests?

Various. I am trained to do knowledge and rationality. I usually work on rationality, objectivity, and those kinds of things. However, I’ve been working on aspects of consciousness lately. It is fascinating stuff.

How long have you been teaching?

I started teaching my own courses in 2005 at Syracuse University, then Hamilton College, and then here. I’ve taught chemistry before, I’ve taught Greek before, so I’ve been teaching for a bit.

What inspired you to become a professor?

I love teaching. I’m lucky – I get paid to do what I love. I have fun doing it. In Intro to Philosophy students are usually seeing this strange stuff for the first time and it is pretty exciting to be a part of that.

What’s your favorite thing about teaching?

I love it when we have great discussions – when it’s not a “me” thing, it’s a “we” thing. I hate just standing up there and being a talking head.

What do you like most about UW-Whitewater?

It’s not a big school, it’s not a small school.  It’s just right. I used to teach at Hamilton College – there’s 2,000 students there. It’s like high school where everyone knows you.  I kind of like having a little anonymity. You can get that here a little bit, but it’s not so big that you don’t get to know some people. UW-Whitewater is in that sweet spot.

What’s your favorite movie?

Fight Club, Donnie Darco, The Nightmare before Christmas, for sure.

Who inspires you and why?

The students. I like my research; it’s fun, but it doesn’t matter as much as the students. I like to somehow think that maybe some of the stuff I write will become well known, but there’s a one in billion chance that that would actually happen. So it’s hard for me to justify my existence through what I write, even though I love it. But every semester I get 140 students and my job is to teach them to think a little bit better. That is meaningful.

 

 

 

 

Get to know Rachelle Yankelevitz!

yankelevitzDr. Rachelle Yankelevitz has just begun her second year at UW-Whitewater.  Prior to joining our  Psychology Department, she held positions at Willamette University and Portland State University. Some of her  research interests include decision making, impulsivity, risk-taking, and social influence. She enjoys community service at the humane society and has volunteered with the Methamphetamine Abuse Research Center’s outreach program.

 

What made her want to teach?

The main reason is that she likes the connection with students. It’s very rewarding to see a student learning something new or acquiring a tool to help them become a better consumer of information. 

What is her approach to teaching and what can students expect in the classroom?

She enjoys taking a collaborative approach to learning as much as possible by making information as structured as she can.  Encouraging critical thinking is an important part of her classes.  She also wants to provide a foundation for the broader concepts she introduces to her students.

What is one experience that occurred during her undergraduate or graduate school experience that made a definite impact on her approach to her academic career?

One thing was getting hands on research experience as an undergraduate that carried in to her research in graduate school. She also selected courses that were related to her major field but also provided different experiences and perspectives in order to become a more versatile scholar.

What book would she recommend to her students?

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely is a good choice for people first approaching psychology.

 What is something that students would be surprised to learn about her?

She’s very interested in animal rescue and how we can improve the behavior of the animals in the shelter as well as working to ensure that fewer animals given up by their families.

 What is her favorite thing about UWW so far?

The students are her favorite thing about UWW.  They seem very open to learning and that makes her job enjoyable and fun.

Welcome Brian O’Neill!

ONeillIt is the College’s pleasure to welcome a new faculty member to the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.  Brian O’ Neill has recently been hired as an Assistant Professor in our Biological Sciences Department.  Dr. O’Neill received his undergraduate degree from Bemidji State University  and his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. 

 

 

Here is some interesting information about Professor O’ Neill:

Hobbies:  Being Outdoors, camping, fishing, biking, or anything that is outside

Research:  Ecology of ephemeral aquatic ecosystems, aquatic invertebrates, food web ecology, food chain length, stable isotope ecology

Family:  My wife Andrea Romero.

 

 

 

 

Welcome Rachel Chaphalkar!

ChaphalkarIt is the College’s pleasure to welcome a new faculty member to the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. Rachel Chaphalkar joins us as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Education.  Rachel graduated with her B.S. and M.S. in Mathematics from Michigan Technological University.  She earned her PhD in
Mathematics Education from the University of Montana.  

 

 

Here is some interesting information about Professor Chaphalkar:

Hobbies:  Cross-country skiing, running, and sewing

Research:  Statistics Education

Family:  My husband is named Nik