Meet Our Newest Faculty Member: Joel Muraco

You may have noticed a new name on the Fall 2014 Schedule of Classes. Teaching Middle Childhood and Adolescence and Family Development is our newest faculty member, Joel Muraco (pictured below). Human Development is thrilled to announce we will be welcoming him in August. He is currently completing his Ph.D. in Family Studies and Human Development at the University of Arizona, and he will bring with him great teaching, research, and community outreach/service experience – and with any luck even some warmer temperatures! We’ll have a formal introduction with many more details in the fall, but for now, thank you to all of the students who were involved in the interview process, and know you will have another great resource in Professor Muraco in a few short months. You can learn more about him now by linking to his current profile at the University of Arizona:


Getting to Know Your Faculty: Their Favorite Movies are….

In a feature new to this issue, we set out to ask the tough questions.  What exactly are your faculty member’s favorite movies… and why?

Dr. Burns: What about Bob? because I think it’s funny and it has tons of psych humor in it.

Dr. Cupit: Reds because it reminds me of my parents.

Dr. Gurung. The Jungle Book: carefree jungle life and a great reminder to only care about the bare necessities of life.  Plus, swashbuckling action and great tunes.  A close second— The Princess Bride (see swashbuckling above).

Dr. Holstead: Love Actually. I’m a huge fan of romantic comedies, British accents, and Hugh Grant! And – the movie is really true – Love actually is all around!

Dr. Lanter: Bridget Jones Diary because I felt just like her when I was a study abroad student in Scotland!

Dr. Martin: Cool Hand Luke because like Luke says, “Sometimes nothin’ can be a real cool hand.” 

Dr. Radosevich: The Color Purple for two reasons (1) I use to watch it with my mom anytime it came on tv; and (2) the strength that Celie eventually finds to stand up for herself is very powerful and inspiring.

Dr. Senzaki: Life is Beautiful because it’s funny and serious.

Dr. Smith: An Angel at My Table, which tells the story of Janet Frame, a New Zealand writer whose introversion was mistaken for mental illness.  Filmed in NZ, it is a beautiful story about an incredible woman.

Dr. Vespia: None of these are probably the “best” movies I’ve seen, but my sentimental favorite is The Sound of Music because I grew up watching it on TV with my family and know all the songs by heart. My favorites for pure escapism and fun are some of the great fantasy/sci-fi series including The Lord of the Rings, the original Star Wars movies, Indiana Jones (skip 2 & 4, though), and Harry Potter. They have drama, action, humor, romance, and great special effects.

Dr. Von Dras: Woodstock, it provides a window by which to view the “coming-of-age” of late-adolescence/young adulthood.  It also has great music, such as Richie Havens’ Freedom or Joan Baez’ Joe Hill, which reflect social issues and concerns that are still current and of ongoing interest.     

Dr. Wilson-Doenges: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.  I feel like it defined my generation – or at least the geeks and nerds of my generation and it is the only movie I have ever watched more than five times and still love.

Dr. Kate Burns is new Chair of Human Development

Hello from MAC C309!  I just started my three year term as chair of Human Development, taking over after Dr. Vespia’s term.  What this means is that we’ve switched offices (don’t worry, Dr. Vespia got to keep the candy dish).  If you have any human development course substitution requests or issues/concerns, send them my way!  Dr. Martin is still the psych chair if your issue is a psychological one instead.  Wait, that came out wrong…

Dr. Jennifer Lanter is new CATL Director

Greetings, Students!

I am not teaching as much as I used to these days, but there is a very good reason for this.  This past summer I was appointed as the Director of UWGB’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL).  The goal of this Center is to provide opportunities, resources and supportive communities to faculty and instructional staff that foster the awesome teaching that is going on in (and out of) the classroom here at UWGB!  The Center offers support to faculty and instructional staff who would like to enhance their teaching and student learning through research of classroom activities and instructional techniques.  I also work on organizing a Faculty Development Conference in January where we focus on pressing teaching and learning issues and I organize book groups and workshops throughout the academic year that foster collaborations among faculty and staff from numerous departments on campus, all working together to discuss and reflect on a variety of learning, teaching, and educational issues.  The Center offers numerous grants and awards throughout the academic year, most often known by students is the Student Nominated Teaching Award (SNTA) that is awarded each Spring to a well-deserved early career instructor and an experienced instructor.  The Center also provides training for instructors who teach online, giving them an opportunity to experience online learning from a student’s perspective and to collaborate with colleagues to improve online teaching techniques. In all, although I am not teaching as much as I used to, I am still very much involved in instruction that is taking place on campus!  Don’t hesitate to visit me in my CATL office, IS 1144 (right next to the GAC Lab)!

Welcome Dr. Sawa Senzaki!

I joined the Human Development and Psychology departments this fall.  I’m originally from Japan, but I moved to Wisconsin when I was 18 and graduated from UW-Superior majoring in Psychology and Art therapy.   Maybe Superior, WI was not cold enough for me (!), so I moved to Edmonton, Alberta in Canada to complete my Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Social and Cultural Psychology. 

Currently I am teaching Intro to Human Development and Infancy and Early Childhood courses.  My research examines cross-cultural differences and similarities in cognitive development.  My current project studies how children understand “nice people” and “mean people” in the U.S. and Japan. 

I am happy to be back in Wisconsin! I am especially grateful that I can get my favorite snacks – the “good kind of” string cheese at any gas station.

Searching for another Human Development Professor

We are searching to find a professor to replace Dr. Melissa Schnurr, who is now working for the Iowa Department of Education.  Those are big shoes to fill, but we’d like your help!  You may have different professor candidates teach one of your classes, go to lunch with you, and/or give a presentation on their research.  Your feedback is vital to this process so we’d like to hear what you think.  We will send out more details about these opportunities as they become available.

Sabbatical Updates for Dr. Bartell and Dr. Burns

Last issue we told you that Dr. Bartell will be on sabbatical for the 2012-2013 academic year and Dr. Burns will be on sabbatical for the Spring 2013 semester.  What will they be working on during their sabbaticals?  Dr. Bartell will be working on projects related to the First Year Seminars and the WiRE relationship education project.  Dr. Burns will be writing some journal articles and compiling a reader for statistics.  Please join us in wishing them both a most productive and rejuvenating sabbatical! 

Faculty Good News

We’re pleased to share some good news for faculty members as well.  Dr. Noppe Cupit has started her term as president of Association of Death Education and Counseling (ADEC).  Dr. Wilson-Doenges has won best student group adviser for her work with Zeta Omega Tau, a service-based sorority here on campus.  Finally, many Psychology and Human Development faculty members were nominated for the Student Nominated Teaching Awards: Dr. Bartell, Dr. Holstead, Dr. Lorenz, Dr. Martin, Dr. Vespia, and Dr. VonDras.  Three Psychology and Human Development faculty members are finalists for these awards.  Dr. Zapf is a finalist for the early career award and Dr. Gurung and Dr. Wilson-Doenges are finalists for the experienced teaching award.  The winners of these awards will be announced at the University Leadership Awards Program on May 11th.  Here at The Pink Flamingo we’ll be crossing our feathers and hoping they win!

Sabbaticals: 2012-2013 for Dr. Bartell and Dr. Burns & the Return of Drs. Gurung and Noppe Cupit

As you examine the schedule of classes both for fall and next spring, you will notice some familiar names missing and some returning to the line-up. We are excited to announce that Dr. Bartell will be on sabbatical for the entire 2012-2013 academic year, and Dr. Burns will be on sabbatical for the Spring 2013 semester. What is a sabbatical, anyway? As a student, you will notice that those professors do not teach classes when they’re on sabbatical, and they might even be in a far off place like New Zealand. Sabbaticals are a chance for faculty to work on projects like writing books or journal articles that they wouldn’t normally be able to complete during the semester while they’re busy teaching, researching, grading papers, etc. Stay tuned next time for more information on what Drs. Bartell and Burns will be working on during their sabbaticals. Meanwhile, we also look forward to welcoming back Dr. Regan Gurung, who will be returning from his full-year sabbatical this year, and we are pleased that Dr. Illene Noppe Cupit is already back with us after a Fall 2011 sabbatical. Both of them have at least one new book to show for their time away, and we will feature some of their exciting work in a future issue, as well.

Welcome Dr. Holstead!

Jenell Holstead, Ph.D., joins the Human Development faculty this fall as a new Assistant Professor. She attended the Pennsylvania State University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology. From there, she attended Indiana University, where she earned a Master’s in Educational Psychology and a Doctoral degree in School Psychology. Currently, she is teaching the Intro to Human Development and Middle Childhood and Adolescence courses. Dr. Holstead’s primary area of research is on the effectiveness of after school programming.

Although Dr. Holstead is not from Wisconsin, she has spent considerable time in Green Bay, as her husband’s family resides here. As such, she’s already a Packers’ fan! She is also the mother of a 5-month old daughter, Audrey, and two Yorkshire terriers, Bentley and Brea.

And… “Welcome” Dr. Martin!

No, you’re not misreading that headline. Dr. Ryan Martin is the new Chair of Psychology, taking over from Dr. Wilson-Doenges who had served as Chair for past 6 years. If you need a course substitution form for psychology or have a psychology curriculum question, you should ask Dr. Martin. If you need your psychology internship, TA, or RA form signed, you still need to talk to Dr. Vespia instead, as that form is signed by the Interdisciplinary Unit (Human Development) Chair. As fellow co-editors of The Pink Flamingo, we can say with no bias whatsoever that we know Dr. Martin will do a great job.