Faculty, staff honored at 2014 Honors Convocation ceremony

By UW-Sheboygan

The University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan recently honored several faculty and staff with awards for their commitment to academics and students on the UW-Sheboygan campus. The following faculty/staff received awards during the 2014 Honors Convocation ceremony on May 13 in the UW-Sheboygan Fine Arts Theatre:

Distinguished Service Award
Dr. Richard Flannery, Professor of Political Science, who officially retired in 2013, was honored for his 37 years of service to UW-Sheboygan and UW-Manitowoc.


Dean’s Recognition Award
The UW-Sheboygan Curriculum Committee was honored for its extensive and time-consuming work over the past year, pouring over historical data and consulting with their colleagues about how to best meet the needs of our students under our current budget constraints.  They have accomplished in a single year, what Dean Dr. Jacquelyn Joseph-Silverstein had hoped to see accomplished in three years, which is a two-year plan of Course Offerings at UW-Sheboygan that will allow students to plan their journey more effectively. 

Their accomplishments this year provide the Campus with a strong foundation for the future, as enrollments fluctuate, while the campus works towards our strategic objective of enrollment growth.

Those honored as members of the UW-Sheboygan Curriculum Committee included Dr. James Kabrhel, Chair; Dr. Mark Karau, Dr. Valerie Murrenus Pilmaier, Ms. Pam Fitzer, student representative Kelly DenBoer, Dr. Missy Skurzewski-Servant and Ms. Connie Christensen.


Arthur M. Kaplan Outstanding Teacher Award
Dr. Karl Byrand, UW-Sheboygan Professor of Geography, received the 2013 Arthur M. Kaplan Outstanding Teacher Award.  The Arthur M. Kaplan Award program was established to recognize outstanding contributions made to education by UW Colleges Faculty and Academic Staff. It recognizes the positive spirit that Provost/Vice Chancellor Emeritus Arthur M. Kaplan contributed to enhance education in the UW Colleges. UW-Sheboygan’s Professor of Geography, Dr. Karl Byrand.

Dr. Byrand holds a MS in Cultural and Historical Geography from Montana State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland with an emphasis in Urban/Historical/Cultural Geography. Dr. Byrand joined UW-Sheboygan in 2000. He has committed himself to campus service and his students over the past 14 years.

Dr. Byrand was selected for this award for his whole- hearted commitment to students, faculty and staff at UW-Sheboygan; for his leadership to his department as Department Chair and to UW-Sheboygan as Steering Chair and a member of the Professional Evaluation Committee; for his innovative teaching and willingness to develop new courses; for his willingness to participate in guest lectures for other colleagues’ classes and the Common Read Lecture series; and for his mentorship of other faculty members and his impressive scholarship.


Barrett P. Scherff Instructional Academic Staff Recognition Award
UW-Sheboygan Senior Lecturer of Mathematics Phil Walkenhorst received the Barrett P. Scherff Instructional Academic Staff Recognition Award. This award is presented to a UW-Sheboygan instructional academic staff member who has gone above and beyond their contractual obligations inside and outside the classroom to help make lasting contributions to the education of UW-Sheboygan students and the local community.

Walkenhorst has served UW-Sheboygan as an Instructional Academic Staff member since 1983, teaching various mathematics courses. He also has provided students with the opportunity to learn German when he graciously agreed to teach the German language at Howards Grove High School. He holds a master’s degree from UW-Madison in Mathematics and German. He holds memberships in the Mathematical Association of American, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and Phi Delta Kappa. He is a past recipient of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Sigma Xi Club Annual Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics.

According to a student, this person “has had the biggest impact on my college career thus far in the math field as well as my whole college experience. He is the best math instructor I have ever had! He is the most effective math educator I have experienced. While I credit him with having impeccable teaching skills, I most notably appreciate his willingness to stay after class for as long as needed to help me understand the assignments. No matter how many questions I have, he is always overjoyed to help me. I know he loves his profession, and to put it bluntly, makes math, a subject I used to struggle with, enjoyable!”


2014 Teaching Award
UW-Sheboygan Assistant Professor of History Dr. Mark Karau was honored with the 2014 UW-Sheboygan Teaching Award (also known as the Teacher of the Year Award). This annual award honors a UW-Sheboygan faculty or part-time instructor for his or her commitment to quality teaching in the classrooms and their efforts to ensure that students excel and reach their educational goals. Each year, the campus is asked to vote for an instructor who has demonstrated this excellence in the classroom and made lasting contributions for both the campus and the community.

Known to the UW-Sheboygan campus as an engaging and creative teacher, Dr. Karau consistently challenges his students through creative presentations, research and images. He works with each student individually and provides them with helpful feedback to help ensure their progression through the course and also for overall academic success.

Outside the classroom, Karau is known as a “service heavyweight” on campus due to his willingness to step forward and “do what needs to be done.” Specially, he has served the Campus Climate and Diversity Committee, the Special Programs Committee, the Steering Committee and Curriculum Committee, both considered to be the most labor intensive committees on the campus. Single-handedly he launched the now quite popular UW-Sheboygan Speakers’ Series, which attracts hundreds of community and student guests to lectures each academic year.

Karau is also active in professional development, publishing a book, serving as a contact for another set to publish this year, writing numerous articles and book reviews and presenting at conferences.  He is known by his colleagues as a dedicated scholar and role model for teaching colleagues and students alike.

He not only serves on the History Department Assessment Committee but also serves as a liaison between the UW-Sheboygan campus and the Sheboygan County Historical Society. He is also a mentor to a high school teacher at Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah High School who teaches one of the UW-Sheboygan dual enrollment history courses.

Karau joined UW-Sheboygan in 2006 as an instructional academic staff member for History. He became the Assistant Professor of History in 2008 and is currently finishing his final year to obtain tenure. He holds a MA in Modern European History from Marquette University and a Ph.D. in Late 19th and Early 20th Century European History from Florida State University-Tallahassee.


Carrie Hoppe, UW-Sheboygan Marketing and Communications Director