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.

 

Welcome Steven Girard!

girardIt is the College’s pleasure to welcome a new faculty member to the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.  Dr. Steven Girard has recently been hired as an Assistant Professor in our Department of Chemistry, with a specialization in nanomaterials.  He graduated with his PhD from Northwestern University in Inorganic Chemistry.  He  received his Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry and a Bachelor of Music degree in Cello Performance from Lawrence University in 2006.  He also completed post doctoral work at UW-Madison.

Here is some interesting information about Steven:

Hobbies:  I love playing cello, and also dabble in piano and Irish button accordion.  I also enjoy gardening, cooking, riding and tinkering with my bike, attempting various winter sports that typically result in me falling down, beer and soap making, and playing board and video games, preferably with friends.  I also have dabbled in hunting since moving to Wisconsin, with limited success.

Research:  My research focuses on the sustainable synthesis of nanomaterials for renewable energy applications.

Family:  No kids or spouse yet, but I have one chubby cat named Moon and an awesome girlfriend of ~4 years. 

 

Welcome Tracy Hawkins!

Hawkins1It is the College’s pleasure to welcome a new faculty member to the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.  Tracy Hawkins has recently been hired as an Assistant Professor and Liberal Studies Coordinator in our Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.  Tracy graduated from Claremont Graduate School with a PhD in Gender & Women’s Studies, Ethics, Cultural Studies, and Religious Studies. 

 

Here is some interesting information about Tracy:

Hobbies: Enjoying good food with good conversation

Research: Implications of technology and social media for ethics, education, and activism

Family:  Husband and dog Mya who makes friends with everyone

Interesting Facts:  Swims competitively, runs occasional half marathons, and plays ultimate Frisbee

 

Welcome Kristen Lavelle!

LavelleIt is the College’s pleasure to welcome a new faculty member to the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.  Kristen Lavelle will begin her career as an Assistant Professor of Sociology in our Department of the Sociology, Criminology & Anthropology this fall.  Kristen graduated with her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Arkansas, her M.A. in Sociology from the University of Florida, and her PhD in Sociology from Texas A&M University. 

Here is some interesting information about Kristen:

Hobbies:  Running, cooking, gardening, board games

Research:  I study the sociology of race and ethnicity and social inequalities.  My research interests are: racism & antiracism, whiteness and identity, social memory, and qualitative research methods.  For my Ph.D. research I conducted interview with elder white southerners on their memories and perceptions of the legal segregation and civil rights eras.  In my analysis I highlight how they reconcile historical realities (segregation as oppressive, civil rights as a justice movement) with their own need to maintain a positive identity.

Family: My partner Nick is the other pea in my pod.

Meet Cheng Thao!

Thao_Cheng-1024

Dr. Thao joined the UW-Whitewater faculty from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he recently served as a visiting lecturer. His teaching experience includes classes such as computer applications, database development, and assembly language programming. He has impressive technical skills including a comprehensive understanding of programming and scripting languages as well as a wealth of experience with software development.

 

What is his favorite thing about UW-Whitewater so far?

The campus is beautiful.  The environment is very friendly.  The faculty and students feel like family.  The First Year Program made me felt welcomed.  My involvement with the students through student organizations allows me to know the students better.  On Thanksgiving dinner with the Southeast Asian Student Organization, the students packed me lots of food to take home.  They always invite me to their activities. 

What made him want to teach?

When he was young, he did not think about teaching. His father was a teacher in a refugee camp in Thailand and indirectly influenced him to become a teacher.  He believes that by teaching he can contribute more to society.  He can serve as a role model for students who share similar background especially those who are the first generation to go to college or former or children of refugees.  He also discovered that he liked teaching while he was in graduate school.

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

He uses both lecture and in-class exercises that allow students to apply the skills they are learning. Sometimes these exercises involve team work. He enjoys challenging the students. He wants the students to be ready for the real world by pushing the students to solve difficult problems.

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

Most students probably do not know that he was a former refugee from Laos.  He spent a decade in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand.  He arrived in the US at the age of 14 with a third grade education and spoke some English.  Because of his background, his experiences in high school and in college are very different from most students.

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

His teaching is influenced by his former professors. One example of this is that he doesn’t use PowerPoint in his lectures.  Dr. Thao adopted that approach because he enjoyed his professors’ lectures and the way they made him apply the concepts through practice and projects. 

What does he like to do outside of work?

He likes spending time with friends, and family.  He likes the outdoor and often goes mountain biking.  In the winter, he skies.  Last winter, he went to Colorado for a ski trip at Copper Mountain.

 

Meet Patrick O’Brien!

Patrick CU

Dr. O’Brien joined the faculty at UW-Whitewater from the University of Colorado at Boulder where he taught courses such as Introduction to Sociology, Drugs in U.S. Society, and Deviance in U.S. Society. His areas of interest include criminology and delinquency, social control, and social psychology. He has been a member of the Society for the Study of Social Problems since 2005.

 

Now that you have completed your first year as a faculty member at UW-Whitewater, can you share one reflection in the year?

I am very lucky to have found myself here at UW-Whitewater.

 What is his favorite thing about UW-Whitewater so far?

The people – because everyone is very nice and accommodating. The university is not too large and the communication is very open and the students are great as well.

What made him want to teach?

Dr. O’Brien grew up in a teaching family.  Both of his parents are teachers. He enjoys being in the classroom, the energy, and the ability to break through traditional beliefs and thoughts.

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

 He uses both lecture and in-class exercises that allow students to apply the skills they are learning. Sometimes these exercises involve team work. He enjoys challenging the students.  He likes to keep the classroom laid back so that the students feel comfortable talking about any  topic, and to ensure that there is a definite sense of respect and that students feel they are treated fairly. Additionally, students will encounter lectures that lead into tangents where Dr. O’Brien gets very animated about the subject matter. 

What book would he recommend to his students?

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemmingway because it’s a book he has read multiple times and it’s fantastic literature.

What does he like to do outside of work?

 He enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants and bars as well as seeing live music, hiking outdoors, riding around on his motorcycle, and enjoying the sunshine.

Meet Sasha Karnes!

KarnestrimmedDr. Karnes comes to UW-Whitewater with graduate and undergraduate teaching experience from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her Ph.D. research focused on psychology and exercise physiology with her dissertation titled “Motivational Interviewing for Physical Activity Promotion.” Recent professional experience includes serving as a program evaluator and clinical coordinator for Midwest Rehabilitation Associates.

Now that you have completed your first year as a faculty member at UW-Whitewater, can you share one reflection on the year?

I am struck by how much my students inspire me and give me energy.  Even though this year I have endured many sleepless nights because of the two young people in my life, through my students I find that each day I am overflowing with enthusiasm for my role at UW-Whitewater. 

What is her favorite thing about UW-Whitewater so far?

The friendliness of the students and campus community.

What made her want to teach?

While Dr. Karnes was in her doctoral program, she had opportunities to give teaching a try, and found that she enjoyed it quite a bit. She likes to be able to pay it forward – take what she’s learned from her mentors and provide it to her students in a similar way.

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

She prefers to be a facilitator rather than a teacher. She tries to guide students to find answers on their own and explore their own ideas instead of telling them what to get out the course. They can expect that she will provide the tools to learn. She likes to ask students to find a scholarly article to bring to class to share with their peers and have a critical discussion with the class about concrete topics in their specific areas of interest.

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?

The most impactful experience was very early in her undergraduate career as she explored a career in psychology. Dr. Karnes had very strong mentorship from a doctoral student mentor who she worked with as a research assistant.  It was here where she learned how much she enjoyed research and saw the value in being an academic.

What book would she recommend to her students?

GIMP by Mark Zupan and Tim Swanson.  It’s about a college athlete’s journey to accepting his new identity as a quadriplegic. The book helps students to see that when embraced, adversity can lead to personal growth

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

She plays on a recreational roller derby league and used to play it competitively.

What does she like to do outside of work?

She has two young children, family, and rescue dogs that she likes to spend time with.  She is also a jogger.

 

 

Meet Deanna Guthrie!

Deanna Guthrie.  (UW-Whitewater photo/Craig Schreiner)Dr. Deanna Guthrie came to UW-Whitewater in 2013 from Loyola University in Chicago where she served as an adjunct professor in the School of Social Work. Her professional experience includes serving as director of a counseling program for interns and disadvantaged youth, working as a clinical social worker, working with siblings of children with disabilities through a support group, and working with autistic children. Dr. Guthrie has identified her goal as a professor to “ensure that my students apply themselves and realize their optimal learning potential.”

 

Now that you have completed your first year as a faculty member at UW-Whitewater, can you share one reflection on the year?

The biggest thing I learned this year, is that with all of the different responsibilities faculty members have, it is not possible to do everything perfectly and also have a life outside of work. I have learned a lot about achieving work-life balance and how important that is and will be in the future. 

What is her favorite thing about UW-Whitewater so far?

The way that the university encourages and promotes building relationships between students and faculty.

 What made her want to teach?

She’s always loved school. The main thing that drew her to teaching was the ability to learn herself and to also help foster that passion in others. She’s been in clinical social work for seven years so now it’s been great to get the opportunity to help students develop those skills themselves.

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

Her approach is incorporating as many different types of learning as possible, including a variety of different modalities such as discussions, case examples, videos, lecture, and experience from the field to apply to multiple learning styles. She strives to be organized and clear about course expectations.

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?

As an undergraduate, she worked with a professor on an undergraduate research project where she ran her own research study.  The experience of doing undergraduate research and developing the mentoring relationship with the professor had a significant impact on her.

What book would she recommend to her students?

Play Therapy: The art of the Relationship by Garry L Landreth. She specifically recommends it to all students interested play therapy because it gives a good overview for working with children and building relationships through their play and how that can lead to change.

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

She used to be a dancer and was in a dance company in high school.

What does she like to do outside of work?

Spending time with her husband and her dog, and she likes to go to events in the city of Chicago where she lives.