A thank you to faculty and staff as classes begin today

With the start of classes today, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our faculty and staff who do so much for our students inside the laboratories, studios and classrooms, in the residence halls, in the student centers, on the athletic fields, in the library and many other locations on and off campus. 

Nothing we do is more important than focusing on the success of our students, and I want everyone to know that I appreciate your efforts. 

Some other kudos from the last week 

Thanks to the organizers of the Menomomie Rotary Club picnic for international students on Wednesday, Aug. 28, in Wilson Park. This was a great event that helped our international students feel more comfortable and welcomed in the community. 

The Rotary Club provided a catered meal for about 80 people, including about 40 students. Thanks to Rotary member Michelle Dingwall, of Stout University Foundation, for helping facilitate the event.

This fall UW-Stout will have 150 students from 30 foreign countries, according to Danielle Clarizio, assistant director of the Office of International Education

Thanks to our Dean of Students Office for organizing the annual Knock and Talk effort on Tuesday. This initiative is intended to promote safe choices regarding the use of alcohol for students who live off campus. 

Nate Kirkman, assistant dean of students, coordinated the efforts, and 22 faculty and staff (including Jerry Poling and me) visited students. A total of 844 bags — 100 more than last year — were distributed to 403 homes and apartments.

I really enjoyed the conversations with students. They seemed appreciative of the university remembering them and taking time to stop by, and it was great seeing the excitement in their eyes when they talked about UW-Stout and their future. 

Thanks to Britta Miller, orientation coordinator for new students, and everyone else who collaborated for a spectacular Blue Rah student extravaganza and pep rally Sunday night in Johnson Fieldhouse.  

It takes a lot of people all working together to pull this off every year, and it is a great way to get students pumped up in a safe environment. 

Thanks to the staff of Multicultural Student Services for coordinating Stoutward Bound for 41 students of color who came to campus two weeks ahead of schedule to get acclimated to UW-Stout and the community. 

The graduation ceremonies the past two Sundays featured each student making a leadership pledge. Hats off to Barb Miller, Vicki Sanchez, Kalvin Yang, Cyan Bower and Sue Scholfield for their work in making the ceremonies a success.

“This program is a model of inclusive excellence to elevate diversity, campus climate and equity,” Miller said. “Students often talk about Stoutward Bound like a family, where students support and challenge each other while making difference in their lives and strengthening our campus community.”

Stoutward Bound, which has existed for more than a decade, brings together Asian, black, Native and Latino first-year students for structured activities throughout the year.

“This is a popular multicultural living and learning community with peer mentoring,  innovative enrichment workshops and study groups to elevate academic success, intercultural development, financial literacy, socio-cultural connections and an empowering leadership training that many refer to as life-changing, years later – even at graduation,” Miller said.

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