Academy of Letters and Science Community Award


Awarded by the Academy of Letters and Science since 1985, for support of education at all academic levels, community leadership, and in recognition of a person who possesses the characteristics of an education focussed on the Humanities, Social and Natural Sciences. 

2019 Award Recipient - Ray Reser

Since 2010, Ray has served as director of the Museum of Natural History. When he started in the position, the museum functioned as a sort of cabinet of curiosities, treasured by the local community but falling short of professional standards. During his tenure, Ray has systematically tackled daunting tasks to preserve the longevity of the museum. He set up a board of curators composed of professors representing 11 research collection areas affiliated with the museum. Ray also initiated an application for accreditation with the American Alliance of Museums, an arduous multiyear process that scrutinizes every aspect of the museum ranging from its mission and strategic plan to its collections policies and disaster preparedness. Ray has also raised the public profile of the museum by holding an annual Collection Crawl that is free and open to the public, supporting tours for more than 200 school districts, and working closely with American Indian communities to ensure the proper curation of Native American artifacts and displays.

Ray has not only been a valued member of the university community, but he has been integral to the intellectual and environmental vibrancy of Central Wisconsin. He currently serves as president of the Wisconsin Archaeological Survey, a testament to his authority among colleagues in his field. Likewise, Ray’s extensive list of presentations and volunteer consultant work reflects his position as a respected expert across Wisconsin, working with agencies ranging from historical societies and parks to police departments and school districts. Ray has served as a consultant for evaluating threats to the water supply in the Central Sands region, and discovered a mass burial site of Native Americans on campus near Old Main.

Ray’s colleagues say his professionalism, sense of humor, and generosity of spirit are a breath of fresh air on campus. Students clamor for the opportunity to work with him, as evidenced by the extensive list of internships under his direction. Ray embodies the values of community service and high achievement at UW-Stevens Point.

2018 Award Recipient - Charmian "Charm" Fournier

With a degree in psychology from UW-Stevens Point, Charmian “Charm” Fournier worked as a social worker for Portage County Health and Human Services (PCHHS) for 30 years, retiring in 2006. During her time working for Portage County, Charm supported individuals and families in Portage County, taught parenting classes, was a union steward, and she was involved in advocating for the importance of recognizing and responding to mental illness in our community. Her legacy lives on in the Fournier Family Room, a space in the Ruth Gilfry building, where PCHHS is housed, for families to connect and reunite during challenging times. 

Currently, Charm volunteers with CAP Services at the Family Crisis Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to victims and survivors of interpersonal violence and their families. Charm was an employee of the Family Crisis Center for many years following her retirement and worked as a crisis counselor and a facilitator for the Domestic Abuse Alternatives Program (DAAP). Charm has served on the board for Monteverdi Chorale since 2014 and is very active in her church community at Frame Memorial Presbyterian church, sitting on numerous committees and actively supporting members through her work with the Stephen Ministry program.

Charm is a member of the Legal Aid Society, and previously volunteered her time for several years with Justiceworks, a non-profit organization that fosters forms of justice to strengthen and heal the communities of Portage County, through the Family Law Information Center and as a mentor for the Volunteers in Probation (VIP) program. Additionally, Charm is a former business owner in the community, recently selling her automotive service business, Elmer’s Service Garage, which was started by her late husband, Elmer Fournier.
Charm cares about the Stevens Point community and Portage County. She works tirelessly to ensure that the residents of Portage County are able to reach their full potential and access all of the wonderful offerings of the community. She was a Girl Scouts leader and a pioneer in helping to bring girls’ soccer to the community in the late 1980s. To this day, Charm devotes her time to her fellow community members, whether it is by offering a ride to church or another event in town, attending an educational opportunity to learn more about how to be an ally in the community to people who have lived experiences that are different from her own or through her presence at the numerous arts, music and athletic events in the community. 

2017 Award Recipient - Susan Wilcox

Sue grew up in Oconomowoc, Wis., and came to Stevens Point to attend the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She grew to love the community and vowed not to leave the area. In 1989, Sue joined the United Way of Portage County as the director of planning and allocations and in 1998 she became the executive director for the organization. She has served on the Portage County Business Council board of directors and executive committee. In 2008, she received the Portage County Business Council President's Award and in 2016 received the Quality of Life Leadership Award through the Saint Michael's Foundation. She is the current board president for the United Way of Wisconsin and has served on that board since 2006. Sue will celebrate her 28th year with United Way in 2017. In the past, she worked with the Portage County Health and Human Services Foster Care Recruitment Committee. In her free time, Sue enjoys working outside in the yard and taking motorcycle trips. 

2016 Award Recipient - John V. Finn

After 17 years serving as Circuit Court Judge of Portage County and more than four decades practicing law, John Finn retired in 2015. A past member of the State Bar of Wisconsin Bench Bar Committee, he served on a subcommittee that drafted the Rules of Civility for Wisconsin courts, and was part of the group’s media relations committee. As a member of the Portage County Justice Coalition, he was part of an ad hoc committee for courthouse and jail planning.

Active in the community, John has been a member and chapter chair of the Portage County Red Cross and Stevens Point Area Jaycees. He is a lecturer in the UW-Stevens Point Department of Political Science, focusing on practical law. A past president of the Academy of Letters and Science, John serves on the group’s executive committee. He helps promote the College of Letters and Science Community Lecture Series through radio interviews with COLS faculty presenters.

2015 Award Recipient - Stan Carlson 

After 38 years at UW-Stevens Point and three years of high school teaching, Stan Carlson retired in 2004 with 41 years of experience teaching mathematics and mathematics education. Stan is married to Ann Carlson, who retired from UW-Stevens Point after 37 years as a faculty member in Computing, and together they offer an annual scholarship to a student from the university’s Department of Mathematical Sciences. They were also the first couple to win the University Teaching Award. Stan has continued to serve his community with great enthusiasm since his retirement.

As one of the leaders of the Central Wisconsin Math League, Stan acts as the primary contact with the financial sponsors of CWML in the insurance industry, helps to coordinate the booking of the exam rooms, mentors the new chairperson of CWML and assists with overall organization. Stan is a driving force in the continued work of the CWML to create and maintain interest in mathematics among high school students and to celebrate student achievements, while exposing them to careers they could pursue.

Stan has also been volunteering for two years at the Charles F. Fernandez Center for  Alternative Learning, teaching high school students the art of woodcarving.  He is deeply committed to the success of each of his undertakings, sharing his enthusiasm and always encouraging others.  Stan contributes a great deal to UW-Stevens Point as well as to the Stevens Point/Central Wisconsin community.  He and his wife live on a 60-acre farm north of Stevens Point where they enjoy their vegetable garden and an apple tree orchard. Stan’s other hobbies include woodcarving, skiing, camping and playing basketball.

2014 Award Recipient - Justus Paul 

Justus began his distinguished UW-Stevens Point career as a member of the Department of History in 1966, serving as chair from 1969 to 1986 and serving as College of Letters and Science Dean from 1986 until his retirement in 2004. He holds degrees from the University of Nebraska, UW-Madison and Doane College, Crete, Neb., which recognized him in 1996 with the Paul Kersenbrock Humanitarian Award for service to others.

As a specialist in recent U.S. history and as the university’s official historian, he published five books including The World is Ours: A History of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 1894-1994, authored 15 articles in professional journals, and numerous book reviews and abstracts. He co-compiled Wisconsin History: An Annotated Bibliography and co-edited The Badger State: A Documentary History of Wisconsin with his late wife Barbara Paul, an associate professor of the Albertson Hall. Justus and Barbara generously created an endowment to fund The Justus F. and Barbara J. Paul Faculty Award presented to Letters and Science or Library faculty members each year to support sabbatical research and recognize their achievements.

His community service includes 14 years (five as chair) with the Portage County Board of Adjustment, a member of the Downtown Development Committee, a founding member of the Monteverdi Master Chorale (Board of Governors 9 years and term as board president), member of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Wisconsin Rapids (moderator for two terms, Ministerial Search Chair), Sunburst Youth Homes board member for 10 years (two as chair), Chair of Chancellor Search Committee at UW-Stevens Point and was a Little League girls softball coach and umpire for 15 years. Some of the awards he has received include the University Service Award and the Eugene Katz Letters and Science Distinguished Faculty Award from the university and the Win Rothman History Award from the Portage County Historical Society. Justus and his wife Lynn spend most of their time in Green Lake (WI) and also maintain a home in Stevens Point.

2013 Award Recipients - Robert and Mary Williams 

Bob and Mary Williams have been contributing to the community since becoming residents of Stevens Point in 1953.  Bob is a public relations professional who has volunteered on numerous political and community campaigns.  He helped elect Stevens Point’s Lee Sherman Dreyfus, governor of the state and played a significant role in creating the Wisconsin interstate highway system.  He also worked to permit ground water irrigation for Wisconsin vegetable growers, bring branch banking to areas outside of Milwaukee and enhance state and student funding to independent colleges and universities.  Bob has been a volunteer fundraiser for the University of Wisconsin Madison, chair of the United Way Campaign, chair of the Portage County Republican Party and member of the board for the Red Cross of Portage County. He graduated from the UW-Madison and has received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Journalism and Mass Information.  He has taught crisis management in communication to undergraduate and graduate students at UW-Madison and UW-Stevens Point.
Mary taught junior high school and then joined UW-Stevens Point where she served as the special assistant to five chancellors. During her tenure at the university, Mary helped create Lake Joanis, with state and federal grant money for student and community use.  She shared in attaining additional construction for the new Health Enhancement Center of the College of Professional Studies.  Prior to her work at UW-Stevens Point, she was appointed to the State University Board of Regents and was a member of the UW System Board of Regents after the merger of all 26 campuses. She was also appointed to the Wisconsin Humanities Council, the Policy and Planning Committee of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and was the office manager for Governor Dreyfus’ office. Mary was a Girl Scout leader, a member and past president of the area Rotary Club, was the first woman to solely chair the United Way campaign, and also served on boards of the Children’s Museum and the Community Foundation of Portage County.  She is a graduate of UW-Madison and received her master’s degree from UW-Stevens Point.  

Academy of Letters and Science Community Award Recipients

​Year Recipient​
​Ray Reser
Charmian "Charm" Fournier
​Susan Wilcox
2016 ​John V. Finn
2015 ​Stan Carlson
2014 ​Justus Paul
​​2013 ​Robert and Mary Williams
2012 ​Frederic W. Fleishauer
​2011 ​Karl Pnazek
2010 ​Gene Kemmeter
​2009 ​Elmer E. Fournier
​2004 ​Charles Nason
​2003 ​Eva Mae Regnier
​2002 ​Gary Wescott
2001 ​Bennett C. Katz
​2000 ​George W. Mead
1999 ​Mary K. Croft
​1998 ​Helen R. Godfrey
​1997 ​Al S. Noel
​1996 Howard Thoyre​
​1995 ​David W. Helbach
​1994 ​Eugene Katz
​1993 ​Marian Joanis
​1992 ​Timothy Siebert
​1991 ​Leonard F. De Baker
​1990 ​John E. Regnier
​1989 ​George E. Rogers
​1988 ​Vernon Holmes
​1987 ​Lani S. Tierney
​1986 ​Donald J. Isherwood
​1985 ​Malcolm Rosholt