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Thirteen University of Wisconsin Oshkosh faculty and staff were recognized at the Opening Day assembly, Sept. 2, at Reeve Memorial Union, for their accomplishments and contributions to the University and beyond.

Honors conferred for the 2008-2009 academic year included the Rosebush Professorship, Distinguished Teaching Awards, Sniffen Faculty Governance Service Award, Outstanding Service Awards and Outstanding Performance Awards.

The recipients are as follows:

Rosebush Professorship

The John McNaughton Rosebush Professorship recognizes UW Oshkosh faculty members for teaching, professional achievement and public service. Nominees are considered in a selection process by a panel representing all University governance groups.

  • Jayalakshmi Jambunathan, professor, nursing

Whether engaging students in the classroom, teaching courses online or collaborating with healthcare professionals halfway around the world, Jaya Jambunathan explores the connection between education and achievement. She has won local, regional and international awards for her research, teaching, ambassadorship and leadership activities, including the Philip Rajah Institute of Continuing Education (PRICE) International Award for Nursing Services in 2005.

She is a two-time recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence and was awarded a Wisconsin Teaching Fellowship from 1989 to 1990. In her drive for the globalization of nursing education, Jambunathan was instrumental in establishing a memorandum of understanding between UW Oshkosh and two universities in India. She has taught across programs in the College of Nursing, with theory and clinical courses ranging from geriatrics to psychiatric/mental health nursing to research, and has been an adviser to numerous graduate students on their theses and clinical papers. Her work on a variety of subjects has been widely published.

Jambunathan earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in English literature at the University of Madras, India; bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing at UW Oshkosh; and a doctorate in nursing at UW-Milwaukee.

Distinguished Teaching Awards

Distinguished Teaching Award winners are selected based on their teaching excellence, service, professional commitment and scholarly growth. A committee of faculty, students and staff determines who will receive the honor.

  • Donald Hones, professor, curriculum and instruction

Prior to coming to UW Oshkosh in 1997, Don Hones taught English as a second language to students from age 8 to adult in several states as well as in Ecuador and Spain and taught political science for three years at universities in California and Minnesota.

As a member of the College of Education and Human Services, Hones specializes in principles of bilingual/bicultural education, ESL methods, and Hmong language, culture and learning. He has written and managed more than $2 million in federal grants for the preparation of ESL and bilingual teachers and professionals. He also has authored two books and more than a dozen articles in his field.

Hones earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Hope College, a master’s degree in political science at Duke University and a doctorate in philosophy at Michigan State University.

  • Stephen Kercher, associate professor, history

Since joining the faculty of UW Oshkosh in 2000, Stephen Kercher has authored numerous articles, reviews and the book Revel with a Cause: Liberal Studies Satire in Postwar America. He has taught a wide variety of courses in 20th-century U.S. history and has helped shepherd the research of undergraduate students into poster presentations and published articles.

Kercher is the co-founder of the Northeast Wisconsin Teachers Academy for the Study of American History, a continuing education program for area teachers, which has received more than $1.7 million in U.S. Department of Education funding. He is the recipient of Wisconsin Humanities Council and University of Wisconsin System Institute on Race and Ethnicity Research grants in support of his current project, an oral history of late-1960s campus demonstrations in the state university systems. In addition to serving on the board of consulting editors for an international journal, he is a member of the Organization of American Historians’ Louis Pelzer Memorial Award Committee.

Kercher earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and history at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a doctorate in history and American studies at Indiana University.

  • Thomas Rowland, senior lecturer, history

It’s rare for a teacher with a reputation for having high expectations and handing out hefty writing assignments to be popular with students — particularly those who enrolled in the class because it is a requirement. But such is the case with Thomas Rowland, who has taught all levels of history courses since joining the history department in 1998. His critical-thinking objectives and rigorous writing coursework exemplify the University’s goal of “writing across the curriculum” and demonstrate his passion for exploring new teaching methods.

An active researcher in 19th century U.S. history, Rowland published In the Shadows of Grant and Sherman: George B. McClellan and Civil War History in 1999 and has been contracted to write a biography of President Franklin Pierce.

Rowland earned a bachelor’s degree in history at Marquette University, a master’s degree in theology at Washington Theological Union and a doctorate in history at The George Washington University.

  • Todd Sandrin, associate professor, biology and microbiology

Tell me, I forget. Show me, I remember. Involve me, I understand.” First having heard that adage as a student, Todd Sandrin now embraces it as an instructor in order to increase the efficacy of his teaching. He has made a priority of providing his students with practical, real-world laboratory experiences. Working with fellow faculty at UW Oshkosh as well as with individuals from area academic institutions, Sandrin has helped to secure more than $1 million from the National Science Foundation to establish a cutting-edge life science research facility for undergraduates.

He serves as director of the Proteomics and Functional Genomics Core Facility and as site director for the Research Experiences for Undergraduates Site Program, a 10-week summer research experience that attracts students from across the nation.

Sandrin earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Missouri Southern State University, a master’s degree in plant pathology at the University of Arkansas and a doctorate in environmental science at the University of Arizona.                                     

  • Ann Vogel, senior lecturer, communication

Since she joined the UW Oshkosh community in 1999, Ann Vogel has introduced a variety of student populations to the fundamentals of speech communication and has taught intercultural communication in the traditional classroom setting as well as through a distance-education format.

No matter what course she teaches, her goal remains the same: to fully involve her students in the educational process by engaging them and facilitating participation. Vogel is a member of the Rosebush Professorship Selection Committee, the Student Conduct Panel as well as the University’s Gender Equity Council.

Vogel earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication at UW-Stevens Point.


Sniffen Faculty Governance Service Award

The Barbara G. Sniffen Faculty Governance Service Award recognizes faculty members who have exceptional University service records.

  • Katherine Roberts, associate professor, English

Since first coming to UW Oshkosh as a lecturer in 1980 and then earning a tenured position in 1990, Kay Roberts has served on many English department committees, as director of composition and as acting director of the graduate program. Her service to the University at large is equally impressive, including 10 years as a member of the Faculty Senate, during which she served two terms on the executive committee as well as one term as faculty senate president.

She was a member of the Academic Policy Committee from 1997 to 2004 and added her voice to the Chancellor Search and Screen Committee in 2000. As a member of the Ad Hoc Shakespeare Committee from 2003 to 2004, and as Shakespeare on the Fox coordinator from 2003 to 2008, Roberts collaborated with several community organizations as well as professional players — including the AandBC Theatre Company of London — to bring live play performances and student workshops to the University and to the greater Fox Valley. In 1992, she co-founded the Women’s Writer’s Colloquium.

Roberts earned a bachelor’s degree in French literature from Kansas State University and a master’s degree and a doctorate in English literature at UW-Milwaukee.

Outstanding Service Awards

UW Oshkosh has many nonteaching faculty and academic staff members whose contributions enhance the University’s overall academic environment and support our educational goals. The Outstanding Service Award recognizes excellence of service that touches each member of the University community.

  • Richard DCamp, director, Foreign Languages Lab

Gracias, danke, xie xie — whatever the language, UW Oshkosh students and faculty owe a big “thank you” to Foreign Language Lab director Richard DCamp. During his 10 years with the foreign languages department, he transformed the facility from a 10-hour-per-week teaching lab for first-year courses to a general-access resource for more than 3,000 students that is open on average 47 hours per week. The funds for renovating the Foreign Language Lab — which totaled more than $300,000 — were approved in 2006, after six years of proposals from DCamp, who then oversaw the work orders and purchases as well as assisted in various aspects of construction and installation.

He also lent his technological expertise to the department by creating its first Web pages in 1996 and redesigning them twice. In addition to teaching undergraduate German courses and, as the foreign languages department’s graduate coordinator, four graduate courses of his own design, he has served on 22 University committees and subcommittees. He is the Senate of Academic Staff president for 2008-2009.

DCamp earned a bachelor’s degree in art, foreign languages, education and music at Saint Ambrose University; a master’s degree in 19th-century German literature at the University of Iowa and a doctorate in 18th- and 19th-century German literature at the University of Iowa.

  • Debra Gray Patton, assistant dean of students

First impressions are important, but Debbie Gray Patton knows that acquainting students with UW Oshkosh requires more than just a quick campus tour. As director of Odyssey, the University’s orientation for roughly 1,800 first-year students annually, she is charged with providing a stimulating and informative program not only for uninitiated students, but also for their parents.

Gray Patton played an integral role in bringing the Mercury 13 — pilots who were denied the chance to become astronauts in the 1960s because they were women — to campus in 2007 to participate in a panel discussion and to receive honorary doctorates. She has hired, trained and mentored hundreds of student leaders since she first came to the University as Fletcher Hall’s residence director in 1995. She is involved with a number of campus committees, including Fall Fest Planning, First-Year Experience and Homecoming.

Gray Patton earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and journalism and a master’s degree in counseling at the University of Iowa.

Outstanding Performance Awards

The University’s Outstanding Performance Award recognizes exemplary members of the classified staff whose activities, accomplishments and service are most deserving of acknowledgment.

  • Debra Pulvermacher, graphic designer, Integrated Marketing and Communications

From the student-recruitment viewbook to countless brochures, event programs, flyers and the new commencement banners proudly displayed at last spring’s ceremonies, Deb Pulvermacher’s contributions to UW Oshkosh span 27 years.

A highly skilled and meticulous designer, she creates visual illustrations that are relevant and engaging while providing exemplary customer service to her department’s diverse constituents. Pulvermacher’s ability to combine creativity and key messaging has positively impacted how the campus and the external community views the University. She received the University’s STAR Award in 2004.



  • Jo Ann Rife, facility designer, Facilities Management

Whether ordering one piece of furniture or remodeling an entire building, Jo Ann Rife adopts the same philosophy: listen, follow up and follow through. As overseer of the University’s long-range strategy for office-space occupancy for the past six years, she not only conducts cost analyses and designs floor plans, but also manages many, simultaneous projects from the construction phase to completion.

Her “can-do” attitude and attention to detail have made undertakings, such as the redesign of the Living Healthy Community Clinic and remodeling of the Admissions office, a success. Rife received the University’s STAR Award in 2006.



  • Sara Stichert, instructional media coordinator, College of Letters and Science

When Sara Stichert took charge of both the Music Department Library and the Art Department Slide Library five years ago, she knew she would have a lot of cataloging, updating and cleaning in her future. Today, both libraries are functional facilities that benefit faculty, staff and students alike. In her more than 23 years at UW Oshkosh, including positions in the Media Services department and Polk Library, Stichert has made public service her personal mission.

She is a member of the Classified Staff Advisory Council, has been on numerous campus committees and is extensively involved in community organizations, including the Winnebago County Labor Council.



  • Nancy Wright, university services associate, College of Nursing

Nancy Wright has seen many changes since she came to UW Oshkosh in 1974, including the arrival of the first personal computer at the College of Nursing and the inception of the Nightingale Awards Dinner, which she has coordinated from behind the scenes for the past 16 years.

She serves as the quality-control guru for the college’s most important documents, including contracts with clinical agencies, grant proposals and interview transcripts. Wright is a member of the Classified Staff Advisory Council’s Awards and Recognition Committee and the Wisconsin State Employees Union. She received the University’s STAR Award in 2003.