Stepping back to see our progress
On occasion, it’s only when you take a step back that you realize how much you’re going forward.
Such was the case a few days ago when I considered how our university was moving forward thanks to the many partnerships being developed and nurtured by our schools, colleges and divisions.
Over the past several weeks, I was able to see firsthand the strong relationships cultivated throughout the university and community:
- UWM/FEMA Summit, coordinated by the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare and led by Dean Stan Stojkovic, is truly on the cutting edge of how a governmental organization like the Federal Emergency Management Agency and higher education can work together to consider and solve problems. UWM faculty, staff and students from all across our campus took part in the summit, which has become a model of innovation recognized by the White House. (See story below.)
- UWM Alumni Employee Reception, put together by the Alumni Association within the Office of Development, illuminated the fact that 1,200 UWM employees also hold UWM degrees. I appreciate the unique way these individuals represent us on campus and in the community.
- National History Day, which involves a regional competition hosted by our Department of History and led by Lecturer Ellen Langill, brought more than 400 high-achieving 6th- through 12th-graders, plus their teachers and parents, to our university. I’m especially proud of the dozens of UWM professors, academic staff, graduate students and history majors who contribute their time as judges prior to and on National History Day.
- Leadership Healthcare Forum, sponsored by the College of Health Sciences and drawing on the connections of the college and Dean Chukuka Enwemeka, clearly brought together important speakers on the significant topic of healthcare reform, because the event quickly sold out to more than 400 healthcare leaders. It was a clear example of the role our university can play in facilitating a regional conversation.
- Sustainability Summit, for which UWM’s role was organized by the School of Continuing Education with an assist from the Office of Sustainability, showed how environmental consciousness and sustainability education continue to be imperatives at UWM. We further demonstrated that perspective by being among the Green Champions – the top-level sponsors that also included the UW System, Wisconsin Technical College System and Milwaukee Area Technical College.
- “Beyond the Score,” a Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra collaboration with the Peck School of the Arts, was truly a highlight of the school’s Year of the Arts. I greatly enjoyed the acting performances of two of our students, Cleary Breunig and Mark Puchinsky, and the behind-the-scenes organizational work of Lecturer Judy Kuhn.
These events display the breadth and diversity of UWM’s relationships and partnerships. I’m sorry my schedule doesn’t allow me to attend all such events that I know are being held by other campus units in additional community settings. Nonetheless, they all demonstrate how higher education is evolving through partnerships and, specifically at UWM, how these partnerships are helping us achieve our mission and reach our strategic goals.
Michael R. Lovell