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Fall 2010

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The Man Who Came to Dinner - Fall 2010 Theatre Procuction
The Man Who Came to Dinner - Fall Theatre Production
StudentNewsStudent Success Stories
Kendra Smith

Kendra Smith

Sociology Student

UW-River Falls sociology student Kendra Smith enjoys traveling, learning about other cultures and helping to preserve cultural history. 


Most recently, Kendra traveled to China with the China Exploration Research society (CERS) through a study abroad opportunity available to UWRF students.CERS is headed by international explorer and UWRF alumnus How Man Wong. Kendra participated in a month long project of gathering, cataloging, and displaying artifacts from the villagers in the Li and Lisu Hill communities.They converted traditional homes to museums and community members were trained in the upkeep and operation. 


"We were helping them keep their traditions alive and giving them a source of revenue at the same time," says Kendra.  "It is a once in a lifetime opportunity."


Kendra has also travelled to Belize with a previous study abroad program and to France, Italy, and Malta, serving as an ambassador with the People to People organization. After graduation, Kendra plans to continue traveling and helping others by joining the Peace Corps.  She says, "I want to experience the world and help people at the same time, doing disaster relief work." 

Read Kendra Smith's story and more student stories at My Success. 

Bryan Bodrog

Bryan Bodrog

Psychology Student

UWRF psychology student and former Marine, Bryan Bodrog, came to River Falls to obtain his college degree and help other military veterans. Bryan says, 'UWRF is a wonderful place to grow both as an academic scholar and as a citizen. Strive for excellence and this campus will guide you and provide the knowledge you need to obtain it."


Right out of high school (2003), Bryan enlisted in the Marine Corps and served as an infantry rifleman. "I was stationed in Hawaii," Bryan says, "and then injured in Fallujah, Iraq on Nov. 10, 2004, during the main offensive. "Bryan is a recipient of the Purple Heart, and proclaims that his experiences as a Marine have changed his life forever. 


Through UWRF's undergraduate research program and the McNair Scholars program, Bryan studied and compared veteran and nonveteran students with respect to student engagement, satisfaction and performance in the college environment. Results of his research have been presented at the Penn State McNair Summer Research Conference and the National Conference for Undergraduate Research. Bryan reports, "We found that veteran students high school GPA's were much lower than the nonveterans, however, their college GPA's were higher than that of their nonveteran peers."


Bryan attributes much of his success to Professor Travis Tubre.  "Dr. Tubre has turned me into a developing professional in the psychological field," says Brian. "I went through a lot of different life struggles in the past year and he has mentored me through them and pointed me to the light at the end of the tunnel."


After graduation, Bryan plans to attend graduate school, get his Ph.D. in counseling psychology, and work with members of the military and their families.


Read Bryan Bodrog's story and more student success stories at My Success. 

Nikki Shonoiki

Nikki Shonoiki

Communications Student

UWRF communications student Nikki Shonoiki proclaims her mission in life to be simple. "I want to change the world."


With a passion for social justice and civic engagement, Nikki is already making a difference on campus, in her community, and in Washington, D.C. Nikki is a founding member and co-chair of Rise Up for Women's Rights (on campus), a board supervisor for Pierce County (youngest member and first African-American supervisor in the board's history),  and an electoral action trainer with the United States Student Association.


Associate Professor Rellen Hardke has made a lasting impression on Nikki since they first met. Nikki states, "She challenges me and she encourages me. When I look at all the stuff that she's doing, it makes me want to learn more...I want to make sure that I'm on top of things too, and able to exchange and share ideas."


At UWRF, Nikki's goal is to encourage other students to get involved in their community. Her advice is, "Pay attention to the news and search for organizations that fit your values. It makes you feel good to be out there helping, and it teaches you how to use your own individual power for the greater good."


Read Nikki Shonoiki's story and more student success stories at My Success.

AlumniNewsAlumni Success Story
Sally Wakefield

Sally Wakefield

Executive Director of 1000 Friends

Geography Alumna

Sally Wakefield, a 1997 graduate of UWRF, was named executive director of the organization  1000 Friends of Minnesota in October. Sally's degree was in geography with a minor in GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and Cartography. Before working at 1000 Friends, she worked at the Land Management Information Center (division of Minnesota Departments of Planning and Administration), and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Metro District).In addition, chairing the MetroGIS Coordinating Committee, representing non-profit interests on the Minnesota Geospatial Statewide Advisory Committee, and serving as a past-chair of the MN GIS/LIS Consortium has made her an influential person in the development of public policy regarding GIS. She has been with 1000 Friend since 2005, first serving as geospatial service manager, then program director of community service in 2008, interim executive director since March 2010, and now executive director.


1000 Friend is a statewide nonprofit membership organization dedicated to addressing the important connections between our development patterns and the health of our communities and the environment. Sally comments, "Integrating Geospatial Information Systems into the work of 1000 Friends of Minnesota helps communities make more informed decisions about how their community grows - keeping environmental integrity and citizen benefits in mind as plans are being developed. I credit my education and the River Falls Geography Department for preparing me to apply the skills gained to real-world situations, resulting in a more sustainable long term future for all of us."   

FacultyNews2010 Outstanding Faculty
Awards Reception

A reception was held in October to honor the 2010 Outstanding Faculty Awards recipients. Awards were given in four catagories: excellence in teaching, excellence in advising, excellence in service, and excellence in research, scholarly, and creative ideas. Congratulations to the following award recipients:

Outstanding Teachers 2010
Excellence in Teaching 
Imtiaz Moosa (Social Sciences)
Glenn Spiczak (Sciences and Mathematics)
Jennifer Willis-Rivera (Arts and Humanities)

Outstanding Advisors 2010

Excellence in Advising

Stephen Olsen (Marketing and Communications)

David Furniss (English)

Kurt Leitchle (History & Philosophy)


 Outstanding Service 2010

Excellence in Service

Stephen Olsen (University Service)

Barbara Werner (University Service)

Kristin Tjornehoj (Community Service) 


Outstanding Research 2010

Excellence in Research, Scholarly, 

& Creative Ideas (RSCA)

Imtiaz Moosa (History & Philosophy)

Karen Klyczek (Biology)

Greta Gaard (English)

DepartmentNewsCollege of Arts and Sciences
Welcomes New Faculty
Colleen Brennan

Colleen Brennan


Colleen Brennen specializes in art education, graphic design, technology for teaching, arts-based research, design and media arts education, and teacher education.  At UWRF, she is teaching Child Art, Techniques in Art, and Middle School and High School Art. From August 2003 until May 2010, she taught Graphic Design, Animation, Interactive Design, Digital Photography, Printmaking and Portfolio Documentation at the Perpich Arts High School in Golden Valley, Minn. She has also been teaching graduate level Art Education courses as a graduate assistant at the University of Minnesota since August 2005.


Colleen earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a Graphic Design Concentration from UW-Stout and a Master of Arts in Teaching, Art Education from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is now pursuing her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, Art Education and Teacher Education from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. 


Colleen shares, "I really enjoy traveling and I have visited more foreign countries than US states, so my goal this year is to visit a few more U.S. locations to even things out. I also enjoy scuba diving, I'm a textile, fibers and jewelry artist, and I really enjoy photography too."

Dan Paulus

Dan Paulus


Dan Paulus received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Utah State University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Central Oklahoma. He brings ten years of design experience to the classroom, as well as four years of teaching experience in the design field.

As a graphic designer and educator, Dan considers himself a determined problem solver and someone who enjoys a challenge. Design is his way to organize and clean up a noisy cluttered environment. Solutions to communication problems become the goals that drive the decisions, which influence his work. His research interests include the influence graphic design could have to reduce consumer debt and design education. He continues to practice graphic design through his studio, Infusion Graphics, which moves where he moves thanks to the Internet. Dan is teaching Advertising Design I and II and is excited to be part of UWRF. His plans include implementing a graphic design major emphasis in the BFA degree program. 


Dan comes to us from Edmond, Okla., but his roots are from Nice, France, where he spent the first seven years of his life.

Lesa Jacobsen

Lesa Jacobsen


Lesa Jacobsen joins the UWRF faculty after many years of music education and performance experience. Most recently, she was teaching at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. Some of her experiences include 18 years as a public school K-12 choral and general music educator, as well as many private lessons in Iowa, Texas, Ohio, Oregon, and Connecticut. As a professional chorister, she has performed with the Oregon Bach Festival Choir, the Cantari Singers of Columbus, and the Concert Chorale of Houston.


Lesa has a Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education/Choral Conducting from the University of Oregon in Eugene; a Masters of Music from the University of Houston; and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.  She specializes in voice, choral music, and music education. At UWRF, she is teaching Women's Choir, Applied Voice, Vocal/Choral Pedagogy, Music Education II, and Student Teacher Supervision.


Lesa has enjoyed living in the warmth of Houston for most of her life, but now is enjoying the briskness of a Wisconsin winter. 

Camilla Horne

Camilla Horne


Camilla ("Cammy") Horne has been involved in music education for more than 30 years. She has taught instrumental, choral, and classroom music at all levels in eight different states. Camilla received her B.A. in Vocal and Instrumental Music Education (majoring in voice, keyboard, and flute) from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD, a Masters of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of Missouri in Kansas City, and a Ph.D. in music from the University of Minnesota.


At UWRF, Camilla teaches Music Education I, Integrating Music into the Elementary Classroom, Piano for Non-Majors, Music and Art for the Early Learner, World Music, Introduction to Music Education, and Student Teacher Supervision. In addition to her work at UWRF, Camilla is the director of music, organist, and choir director at St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church in St. Paul Minn. She also regularly performs as a conductor, vocalist, keyboardist, and instrumentalist around the United States and is a presenter at local, state, and regional music workshops and conventions. She is the Minnesota Chapter Representative for the Gospel Music Workshop of America and teaches each year at the James Cleveland National Gospel Music Workshop Convention.


Camilla has three children and lives in Saint Paul. She proclaims, "I am thrilled to be a member of the distinguished faculty at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and thoroughly enjoy working with the talented students attending this outstanding university."

Lawrence Bennett

Lawrence Bennett

Communications and Theatre Arts

Lawrence Bennett, who hails from Houston, Texas, joins the Communications and Theatre Arts Department as Technical Director.  He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University and his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He specializes in technical theatre, and gained previous experience from The Little Theatre on the Square, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and the Repertory Theatre of Saint Louis. Lawrence is teaching Playwrights of Color and Theatrical Stage Lighting courses at UWRF, and hopes to add a stagecraft class in the spring.


In his free time, Lawrence enjoys playing football, basketball, swimming, and bowling. He finds entertainment in cartoons, TV shows, plays, movies, reading and laughing.         

John Evans

John Evans

Political Science

John Evans, originally from Green Bay, returns to Wisconsin following three years of teaching at Cal State University Northridge in Los Angeles. He has also taught as a visiting professor for one year respectively at UW-Superior and the University of Iowa. John earned a B.S. in mathematics and political science from UW-Madison, an M.A. in political science from McGill University (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), and a Ph.D. in political science from UW-Madison. Political theory and constitutional law were subfields in his education and his dissertation was on the political thought of John Adams and the American founding. At UWRF, he is teaching courses in political theory and constitutional law. John would like to develop and teach a course on religion and politics.


In addition to teaching, John is involved in the UWRF Newman Catholic Center, enjoys learning foreign languages (comfortable with French and Spanish but knows bits and pieces of other languages), and is an avid runner and soccer player (a goalkeeper playing in several indoor and outdoor soccer leagues). It is notable to mention his Wisconsin loyalty, as he proclaims himself a fervent and passionate fan of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Wisconsin Badger hockey, basketball, and football teams.   

Fred Bonilla


Molecular Microbiologist, Jorge "Fred" Bonilla, joins the UWRF  Biology Department to teach Microbiology, Molecular and Cellular Biology. He earned his B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California in Irvine, his M.S. in Microbiology from the University of Hawaii, and his Ph.D. in Infectious Diseases and Pathology from the University of Florida.  


Fred moved to this area from Florida, but is originally from California. He is married and has two children with whom he enjoys fishing, boating, and skiing.

Andrew Koob

Andrew Koob


Andrew Koob is originally from Cascade, Iowa (near Dubuque) and graduated from Purdue University in 2005 with a Ph.D. in neuroscience. He received a BA from Northwestern University in 1998. 


After earning his Ph.D., Andrew worked as a postdoctoral researcher in pediatric neurosurgery at Dartmouth College to study head trauma. His research the past few years has focused on glial cells in the brain and degenerative diseases of the brain.  Since 2007, he was the Research Fellow for Parkinson's Disease at the University of California, San Diego. From September 2008, he worked in the Neurogenetics Lab at the University of Munich, Germany through the Bavaria-California Exchange program before moving back to the U.S. to pursue teaching and start a family. 


Andrew's classes at UWRF are General Biology, Introduction to Biology, Neurobiology, and Diseases of the Nervous System. In his free time, he enjoys reading fiction and religiously follows the Purdue basketball team, and sadly (per Andrew), the Milwaukee Brewers.  

Chaina Bapikee

Chaïna Bapikee


Chaïna (Shayna) Bapikee grew up in Reunion Island (east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean), lived in France and Canada, and has traveled extensively through Europe, Canada, United States, Mexico, Brazil, and Madagascar. She enjoys travel and hopes to make Asia her next big destination. She also enjoys cooking, baking, and eating. With her adventurous nature, she is very willing to try new activities.

Chaïna moved to Minneapolis in 2005 to work on her Ph.D. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Natural Resources Science and Management with a minor in Geography at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She earned her Bachelors and Masters of Science at Université du Québec à Montreal, Canada. The courses she is teaching at UWRF are Physical Environments, Weather and Climate, and World Patterns of Plants & Animals. She has a passion for teaching and advising that is driven by her desire to stimulate, inspire, and instill curiosity in students about various aspects of our natural environment.

Chaïna specializes in physical geography, climate change, forest ecology, and biogeography. Her research interests are in the dynamics of northern hardwood forests under current climate change conditions. She is specifically interested in the distribution of northern hardwood forests at the deciduous-boreal ecotone and the prairie-forest border in the upper Great Lakes region.

Stacey Peterson


Stacey Peterson specializes in Industrial and Organizational Psychology with a concentration in corporate expatriation and repatriation practices.She obtained her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Florida Institute of Technology (Melbourne) and her Bachelor's degree from Wayne State University (Detroit, Mich.). While finishing her Ph.D., she taught psychology for a couple years at Florida Tech and Brevard Community College. At UWRF, she is teaching General Psychology, Research Methods, and Social Psychology. 


Stacey is originally from Detroit and lived in Melbourne, Fla., for the last five years, while attending graduate school.She relocated to River Falls to be near her husband's family in January 2010.  She comments, "I met my husband when I was in graduate school (he is also an IO psychologist) and we defended our dissertations and obtained our Ph.D.'s an hour apart (I was first)."

Kaishan Kong

Kaishan Kong

Modern Language

Kaishan Kong, a new faculty member in the Modern Language Department, is devoted to second language teaching and passionate about organizing cultural exchange programs between China and America. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Intercultural Communication from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in English Education degree from Zhanjiang University in China. She specializes in second language acquisition, cultural integration in proficiency-oriented mandarin instruction, and intercultural communication.


Kaishan taught English at Zhanjiang University and Sun Yat-sen University in China for five years, and was the Chair of Department of Business Communication at Sun Yat-sen University. After coming to the United States in July 2009, she served as a Chinese Specialist for Independent School District 196 in Minnesota, teaching Chinese language and culture to students of grade one to seven. Kaishan is teaching Chinese classes 101, 102, 201, and 202 here at UWRF.


Kaishan also enjoys traveling, Chinese paper-cutting and playing volleyball.

Christelle Curilli

Christelle Curilli

Modern Language

Christelle Curilli has been teaching French since 1999 in various colleges and campuses, such as the University of Minnesota, the Institute for American Universities in Avignon, France, and the college of Southern Nevada. At UWRF, she teaches five levels of French classes. 


Christelle grew up in Bethune, France, and moved to the United States when she was 18. She holds a master's degree in French Literature from the University of Minnesota. Her special interests include travel, cinema, and Italian. She has spent time living in Italy, studying Italian, and enjoying the culture.

Valica Boudry


Valica Boudry was an associate professor of mass communication at Bemidji State University for the past eight years. She has a B.A. in visual communication and news writing from the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis, an M.A. in journalism from the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. in communication and public discourse from the University of North Dakota. At UWRF, she is teaching Visual Communication, Online Editing, and Intro to Mass Communication.


Valica came to teaching from a professional journalism background in both photojournalism and news writing. She has worked covering news in northern Michigan for The Detroit Free Press, Associated Press and The Detroit News. Valica has also worked as a photojournalist in Minneapolis for the Associated Press and St. Paul Pioneer Press, as well as a staff photographer at the Grand Rapids Press in Michigan.


Her research interests are in cultural communication and media representation of cultural values. She recently finished a pilot project training reporters in ethnojournalism, a hybrid model of ethnography and journalism, which teaches reporters how to integrate qualitative research methods into the way they gather and think about news. She researches communication methods that facilitate genuine diversity in communication, which encompasses varied perspectives in areas such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, and religion. Valica also does research in media coverage of suicide.

In Memory of Lyle Hall
Lyle Hall, age 75, was a former chemistry professor at UW-River Falls.  He retired in 2000 after 35 years of service.  He died on July 31 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. During his time a UWRF, he made and impact on the lives of many students and individuals.