UW-Superior Notebook

Wisconsin-Superior has recently made two leadership changes.

Maria Stalzer Wyant Cuzzo, currently professor of legal studies and coordinator of the legal studies and criminal justice program, has been appointed interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.

“She has served at UW-Superior for 25 years as a senior faculty member and campus leader and knows our past, present, and can help support our future,” said UW-Superior Chancellor Renée Wachter.

Cuzzo has leadership experience in shared governance through faculty senate, Planning and Budgetary Council and numerous faculty senate appointed taskforces on key issues. She has served on many committees and built partnerships across units on the campus. Cuzzo has administrative experience as the founding director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and recently served as the co-facilitator/co-coordinator of the UW-Superior Higher Learning Commission accreditation process.

“She is a recognized national and regional conflict resolution and mediation expert and has helped many areas on campus and in the community to enhance their skills in these areas,” said Wachter. “Maria has an extensive network of engaged community partners that will extend our reach into our community. I’m confident that Maria’s talents and abilities will serve our campus well.”

Cuzzo’s official duties will begin July 1; however, she has already been working alongside of interim provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs Jackie Weissenburger to ensure a smooth transition. Weissenburger’s final day is June 30.

Nicholas Danz, currently serving as associate dean of academic affairs, professor of plant science and natural sciences, and department chair of Natural Sciences, will assume the position of dean of academic affairs and graduate studies effective July 1.

“Nick has served UW-Superior for 10 years and is an accomplished faculty member with notable research and leadership experience,” said Weissenburger. “His many accomplishments include the hiring of faculty and instructors from underrepresented groups in the STEM fields, developing new and innovative academic programs, and developing numerous articulation and transfer agreements with regional technical and community colleges. Nick also has robust leadership experience in UW-Superior’s shared governance through serving on faculty senate, the Strategic Planning Core Team, the Planning and Budgetary Council, and the undergraduate academic affairs council.”

Danz has spent a decade as a research ecologist on wide and varied topics such as bog plant ecology, forest breeding songbirds, Great Lakes wetlands, and forest management, among many others. He is working on projects related to human influences on Great Lakes coastal wetland vegetation, invasive terrestrial plants of Northwestern Wisconsin, and ecology of Wisconsin Point dunes.

Jayant Anand has been serving in the role of interim dean of academic affairs and graduate studies since July. His duties will conclude June 30.

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Wisconsin-Superior’s annual Faculty and Staff Recognition Program was held on Wednesday, May 8, in the Yellowjacket Union with a number of faculty and staff being honored for their service and commitment to the university.

Nathan LaCoursiere, senior lecture for human behavior, justice and diversity, and Richard Stewart, professor of transportation and logistics management, were presented the Students’ Choice for Outstanding On-Campus Teaching Awards. Based on student nominations, these awards were established to recognize those whose teaching promotes an exceptional learning experience on campus.

The Students’ Choice for Outstanding Teaching in an Online Program Award was given to Scott Smith, senior lecture of communicating arts. Based on student nominations, this award is meant for those providing instruction in programs fully online whose teaching promotes and exceptional learning experience.

Senior lecturer of writing and library science Heather McGrew received the Excellence in Scholarship/Creativity Award. This award is presented to any faculty or academic staff whose scholarly efforts have made a significant contribution to their field of study or area of practice.

Daniel Rust, assistant professor of transportation and logistics management, collected the Rising Star Award. This honor is open to tenure-track faculty members yet to achieve tenure and is based on excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service.

The Max H. Lavine Award went to associate professor of education Mary Lee-Nichols. Given for scholarly contributions to contemporary concerns, this award is presented to a faculty member who has published a paper on a topic relevant to major problem areas in contemporary society.

Gloria Eslinger, professor of visual arts, received the High Impact Practices Excellence Award. This award is open to anyone whose teaching appointment is half time or more and who has displayed excellence in mentoring undergraduate researchers, encouraged excellence in writing development, or fostered global travel or understanding.

The Community Engagement Award was given to Eleni Pinnow, associate professor of psychology. This recognition is open to any employee of the university. Community engagement involves faculty, staff, and/or students and one of more community partners collaborating on projects that have both a positive social impact and support opportunities to conduct research, or teach or encourage student learning. The recipient’s efforts will have made a significant impact on students and in meeting community identified needs.

Outstanding Mentor Awards went to Maria Cuzzo, professor of human behavior, justice and diversity, and Zach Otto-Fisher, women’s basketball head coach. This recognition is for employees who have formally or informally demonstrated excellence as a mentor in encouraging and helping students to be successful.

Heather Rickerl, coordinator of Career Services, was the recipient of the Helping Hand Award. This recognition is open to anyone employed by the university whose work in helping others be successful in their work is exemplary.

The Inclusiveness Award was presented to the women’s soccer head coach Allison DeGroot for actions that consistently and visibly personify the spirit of diversity and inclusivity.

Spirit of Superior Awards were presented to carpenter Ken Rodenwald in facilities management, and interim director of Alumni Relations Heather Thompson. This award is given to individuals or departments who actively demonstrate and model on a daily and consistent basis, the values of UW-Superior and as a result are making a difference in the campus climate and the lives of those who work and study on campus.

Mark and Cathy Casper received the Community Partnership Award. This is open to an agency, organization, or business that has been an outstanding partner with UW-Superior.