Get to know Jalal Nawash!




Dr. Jalal Nawash is an Associate Professor in the Physics Department.





What’s your educational background?

I earned a B.Sc. in Physics in 1993 from the University of Jordan. I received a Master’s degree in 1997 from the same school. I came to the United States in 1999 and attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, earning another another Master’s in Physics in 2000. I then went to Washington State University and received a Ph.D. in Materials Science in 2007.

What courses do you teach here?

I teach Algebra-based Physics- Physics 140 and 141. I also teach advanced Physics classes like Modern Physics and Thermal Physics. In the past I also taught Senior Seminar and Statics.

What are your research interests?

My research interests are in crystal growth, so I know how to make diamonds if you want. I also work on laser crystals; I worked on developing laser crystals in 2004 while working on my PhD. One of them is called the YAG crystal. These are very powerful lasers, and I worked on making new types of crystals. I was able to make two types of crystals that were never made before, and I also discovered a new phase of a material.

How long have you been teaching at UW-Whitewater?

I’ve been in Whitewater since 2009.

What inspired you to become a professor?

I really love teaching, and I like to see the influence that this brings to the students. I think it actually leaves a very long life effect, and I like that. I think that if a student is successful, it reflects on me personally.

What do you like most about UW-Whitewater?

Whitewater offers a lot of programs and facilities for students. It offers a lot of accommodations for students with disabilities, and I like that a lot. A lot of students are first generation university students, and I think that’s part of the influence you leave on a student and on their families as well. When I go to commencement and see all the parents who are very, very proud of their kids because they are the first generation who graduated from a university, I think that’s amazing. You don’t see that as much at other schools.

What are some of your interests outside of teaching?

I play a lot of soccer. I play in leagues in Madison, Wisconsin, and sometimes I go to Milwaukee. I also go to Arizona to play soccer, and Las Vegas every year. I once was invited to play in Italy in the league, but I didn’t go because of other commitments. I’m also a licensed soccer coach in Wisconsin.

What is your book?

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.

Who inspires you and why?

My parents. My father didn’t have many resources when he grew up, but he worked hard, got married, and had a big family. He was able to make his family happy and bring up his kids, send them to college. My mother also is an inspiring person for working hard throughout her life to raise a big family.

Welcome Rossitza Ivanova!

RIIt is the College’s pleasure to welcome a new faculty member to the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.  Dr. Rossitza Ivanova joins us as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Languages and Literatures.  Dr. Ivanova studied English and Comparative Literary studies at the University of Warwick, UK, were she also earned her Ph.D. in Contemporary American Indian Literary Studies.  


Here are a few things about our new colleague:

Hobbies: I love quiet times for reading and gardening, as well as active times for biking and hiking. 

Research:  Curriculum development in composition and rhetoric; working with multi-lingual writers, Contemporary American Indian literature (especially issues related to teaching and audience response).

Personal Life:  My husband and I have an eight year-old boy.

Interesting Facts:  I did a Fulbright lectureship a few years ago in my home country of Bulgaria and I got to teach in my Alma Mater.  I am looking for opportunities to develop cross-cultural initiatives between the two universities.


Welcome Nengher Vang!

nvIt is the College’s pleasure to welcome a new faculty member to the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.  Dr. Nengher Vang joins us as an Assistant Professor in the History Department.  Dr. Vang earned a BA in Sociology from Davidson College, an MA in Theology from the Iliff School of Theology, an MA in Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame, and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.


Here are a few things about our new colleague:

Hobbies:  Reading personal memoirs and biographies, learning new languages and traveling overseas.

Research:  My areas of research are US refugee/immigration history, US-Asia relations, diaspora politics/engagement, Hmong history/politics.

Personal Life: I have a wife and one son, Choua Her and Matthew Vang, respectively.    

Interesting Facts:  I came to the U.S. in 1988 after spending the first four years of my life in the Lao jungle running from persecution by the communist Pathet Lao government and the next eight years of my life in two refugee camps in Thailand.  (It’s amazing how my parents, both illiterate, were able to bring me and my five other siblings from Laos to the US at the time.)