Get to know Edward Gimbel!




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!


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




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

Welcome Veronica Fruiht!

fruihtIt is the College’s pleasure to welcome a new faculty member to the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.  Veronica Fruiht has recently been hired in our Department of Psychology.  Veronica graduated from California Polytechnic University with a BS in Psychology and has a master’s degree in Positive Developmental Psychology from the Claremont Graduate University where she is currently completing her PhD.


Here is some interesting information about Veronica:

Hobbies:  I’m a crafty-type and have been the resident seamstress, designer, and cupcake baker in my research lab. Now, I am looking forward to all of the DIY projects that come with a new home! I am also excited to explore a new set of hiking trails and campgrounds in the area.

Research:  My research focus is on hope. In particular, I’m interested in how to build hope and goal-setting skills among adolescents and high risk college students. I also study mentoring relationships and their impact on college student success. 

Personal Life: No spouse or kids, but I look forward to seeing what my pudgy calico cat Barley thinks of snow.

Interesting Facts:  I’m a California native and have never lived or driven in the snow before. I appreciate your patience in advance.


Welcome Rocio Duchesne!

Duchesne_new_hire_pictureIt is the College’s pleasure to welcome a new faculty member to the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.  Rocio Duchesne joins us as an Assistant Professor in our Department of Geography & Geology.  Rocio graduated from Universidad del Atlantico with a BS
in Biology, a MS in Statistics from Montclair State University, and is a PhD Candidate (ABD) at Montclair State University.


Here is some interesting information about Rocio: 

Hobbies: Hiking and camping.

Research: Remote sensing of terrestrial ecosystems with an emphasis in mapping vegetation canopy structure and function.

Personal Life: My husband, Joel.

Interesting Facts: For two years in a row I had the opportunity to participate in two 3-week field expeditions to the North Slope of Alaska.

Welcome Stanislav Vysotsky!

vysotsky1It is the College’s pleasure to welcome a new faculty member to the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.  Dr. Stanislav Vysotsky has recently been hired as an Assistant Professor of Sociology & Criminology.  Stanislav graduated with his PhD in Sociology from Northeastern University in Boston in 2009.  He is coming to Whitewater from Willamette University in Salem, OR. 


Here is some interesting information about Stanislav:

Hobbies: I don’t have any hobbies per se; but I’m a bit of a music/record collector, I watch an astounding amount of serial television, I enjoy film, and I prefer to read graphic novels.

Research: My research interests are reactionary and radical social movements, subcultures, prejudice, and violence.

Personal Life: I am married without children. 

Interesting Facts: There’s probably a number of interesting trivia about me, but I’ll just share a couple of things.  I was a licensed cosmetologist aid and worked in a hair salon for 4 years, and I was the vocalist for a moderately popular punk band. 



Welcome Jonah Ralston!

RalstonIt is the College’s pleasure to welcome a new faculty member to the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.  Dr. Jonah Ralston has recently been hired as an Assistant Professor in our Department of Political
Science.  Jonah graduated with his PhD from Michigan State University where he studied American Politics and Public Policy. 



Here is some interesting information about Jonah:

Hobbies:  I like to travel, I enjoy craft beer and video games, I freely admit to being a bit of a science nerd, and most of all I treasure spending time with my family and friends.

Research:  My research has focused on the degree to which personal values and political beliefs determine voting decisions on bills and ballot measures related to controversial scientific policies.  Recent issues I have studied include biofuels, stem cells, and medical marijuana.

Personal Life:  I am happily married with a young son who  turned three this May.  We have a long-haired cat named Dixie.

Interesting Facts:  In 1999 Places Rated Almanac rated the county I grew up in as the worst metropolitan area in the U.S. and Canada.  David Letterman sent matching gazebos to the area in a bid to improve tourism and they still reside there to this day.