​Faculty Awards

Eugene Katz Letters and Science Distinguished Faculty Award

The Eugene Katz Letters and Science Distinguished Faculty Award is presented annually to a College of Letters and Science faculty member in recognition of ongoing excellence in teaching, scholarship and service over a period of years. The award has been presented  since 1999 in memory of Eugene Katz, a long-time friend of UW-Stevens Point.

2022 Award Recipient - Amy Zlimen Ticho

Thanks in large part to the work of Professor Amy Zlimen Ticho, the UWSP Department of Social work is a well-respected, collaborative and CSWE-accredited program. Zlimen Ticho is the winner of the 2022 Eugene Katz Letters and Science Distinguished Faculty Award.

After she was named the Department of Sociology and Social Work Chairperson in 2018, she spearheaded the expansion of the Social Work Program to the Wausau and Marshfield campuses and later also successfully advocated for the expansion of the Sociology Program to the Wausau campus.  Recognizing the growing social work needs in north central Wisconsin, Professor Zlimen Ticho also facilitated the establishment of partnership between UW-Green Bay and UW-Stevens Point, which has brought the UWGB's Master of Social Work (MSW) program to the UWSP-Wausau campus. In the meantime, she also played an instrumental role in the formation of the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences during the reorganization of the College of Letters and Science. 

Working to foster positive change, Zlimen Ticho remains extensively involved in community-academic initiatives, including the Portage County Coalition for End-of-Life Care, Conversations About Care program, and Wisconsin Area Health Education Center. She has been recognized by world-renowned researchers and authors for her end-of-life research. Amy has presented at numerous workshops and conferences for statewide and national health care professionals.

She is a previous winner of the University Scholar Award in 2014 and the University Excellence in Teaching Award in 2005. Throughout her 20-plus years at UWSP, Amy has developed and taught a wide range of courses in the social work curriculum. 

Her nominator said Amy is a trusted and respected colleague and leader who fosters a positive working environment and a teamwork culture. 

2021 Award Recipient - Diane Caporale

2020 Award Recipient - Dona Warren

Dona Warren is one of the most respected and dedicated members of the UW-Stevens Point faculty with high achievements in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Among her many teaching, administrative, and scholarship accomplishments, she is perhaps best known on campus for working to integrate critical thinking into teaching a variety of disciplines.

2019 Award Recipient - John Coletta

John Coletta coordinates the biomedical writing minor and environmental studies minor at UW-Stevens Point. He is a former vice president and president of the Semiotic Society of America and currently sits on the editorial board of the American Journal of Semiotics. John is also a peer reviewer for the Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment and Biosemiotics journals.

Professor Coletta won a University Teaching Award in 1995. He created the biomedical writing minor roughly a decade ago, and through his work with the admissions department at the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, his biomedical writing course is now regularly recommended to and taken by those incoming medical students in Madison who lack the now required upper division course in writing in the humanities or social sciences. Many of Coletta’s students have been paid interns in scientific writing at the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation. 

He has also supervised interns at the Portage County Department of Health and Human Services. Professor Coletta has been a pioneer on campus in interdisciplinary studies courses, teaching for two decades courses such as science literature and literature and ecology. He also created two writing awards, the Erik S. Munson Science and Environmental Writing Award and the Ron Pine Technical Writing Award.

John has published, by himself or collaboratively, approximately 24 refereed, national and international, articles or substantial book reviews and entries in anthologies. His published work is primarily in the fields of literature and ecology, the history and representation of ecological ideas, the origin of language and syntax growing out of the solving of complex visual puzzles by predators, and biosemiotics criticism, a field he helped to originate. Professor Coletta is also one of the few English professors nationally to have published articles in the American Biology Teacher, one on teaching color, one on teaching evolutionary ecology, and one on the structure of the natural history field guide.

2018 Award Recipient - Theresa Kaminski

In 26 years at UW-Stevens Point, Theresa has maintained an impressive and ongoing record of excellence. She has taught an impressive array of courses, received consistently glowing evaluations from students, and published three monographs, in addition to other scholarly achievements.

For the general education program, Professor Kaminski regularly taught both halves of the U.S. History survey as well as a survey of U.S. Women’s History. Her upper-level offerings include Women’s Rights and Feminism in the United States and Women, War, and Peace. Most recently, she developed two new courses, Sexuality in American History and The U.S. and the Two World Wars. She has regularly taught both of the core seminars of the history major — History 300 and a capstone seminar on the history of the 1960s. Theresa has also mentored many junior faculty and played a significant role in curriculum planning and assessment. Students consistently rate her courses highly.

In addition to her excellence in the classroom, Professor Kaminski has maintained an admirable level of scholarly productivity. In 2001, the university rewarded her with the University Scholar Award following the publication of her first book, Prisoners in Paradise. In the intervening years, she has published two additional monographs, making her the department’s most productive scholar.

In 2011, Theresa published her second book, Citizen of Empire: Ethel Thomas Herold, an American in the Philippines. Four years later, she published Angels of the Underground: The American Women who Resisted the Japanese in the Philippines in World War II. Having completed what she thinks of as her “Philippine trilogy,” Theresa has begun planning a new biography of popular entertainer Dale Evans.

Beyond the 2001 University Scholar Award, Professor Kaminski’s achievements have been acknowledged and supported by a number of other honors and fellowships. In 2003, the Organization of American Historians and the Japanese Association for American Studies awarded her a short-term residency to share her work at Japan’s Chiba University. In 2005-06, she received a travel fellowship to conduct research for her Ethel Thomas Herold project at the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library. In 2012, she earned a UW System Fellowship at the Institute for Research in the Humanities, an award that recognized the scholarly importance of the then-in-progress Angels of the Underground.

The Department of History and International Studies takes pride in Professor Kaminski’s many accomplishments, is grateful for her example and mentorship, and believes she is very worthy of the 2018 Katz Award.

2017 Award Recipient - Robert B. Enright Jr.

Bob is an outstanding teacher in and out of the classroom, highly committed to student success. His course evaluations are consistently high, and he has a very positive reputation among students. His success is evidenced by being awarded the University Excellence in Teaching Award in 2004. Throughout his time at UW-Stevens Point, Bob has taught a wide variety of courses, demonstrating his versatility as an educator. His particular expertise in the field of gerontology is truly beneficial to our students. Professor Enright is student-centered, striving to stay current in his classes and meet the changing needs of our student population. He developed courses to meet the Communication in the Major requirement and facilitated courses and supervised students during three semester-abroad experiences. He extends his teaching outside the classroom, with his participation in the Learning Is Forever (LIFE) Program, other community forums and at the Oxford Correctional Institution.

Professor Enright also has a strong track record as a scholar. Of special significance among his publications is the book titled "Perspectives in Social Gerontology." Additionally, Bob has an impressive list of refereed papers and presentations he has given on various topics over the years. He has demonstrated success in securing funding for projects through grants. He has twice been awarded a sabbatical, and was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship funded by the U.S. Administration on Aging in which he conducted research on family members who provided care for adult victims of chronic brain disorders. Most recently, he presented at the 2016 Conference on the Small City and Regional Community on the topic of urban/rural differences in crime.

Bob's service record is also impressive. He provided leadership within the Department of Sociology and Social Work, through his role as chair since 2002. He has coordinated the gerontology minor since 1985 and has coordinated the sociology internship program since 2009. During his time in the department he has served on every committee. Bob has served on multiple university committees, including Faculty Senate, the University Affairs Committee and the Program Review Committee.

Professor Enright was extensively involved in developing a Council on Social Work Education accredited social work program at UW-Stevens Point. The development of this program involved significant changes in the curriculum and has required important personnel decisions. Bob was involved in numerous committee meetings to prepare accreditation documents, design the program, and form policy. Our department now houses two successful and interdependent majors. Our success with this initiative is owed, in part, to Dr. Enright's leadership and commitment to both disciplines represented in the department.

2016 Award Recipient - Alton "Sonny" Smart

A member of the Bad River Band of Chippewa, Sonny is the first Native American faculty member to be tenured at UW-Stevens Point. Throughout his career, Professor Smart has demonstrated excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. He is committed to our students, department, institution and community.

One of Sonny's most significant accomplishments during his time at UW-Stevens Point has been developing an accredited social work program. He was initially hired to teach Introduction to Social Work and the generalist practice courses in the Department of Sociology, and he later spearheaded the development of a Native American and Rural Social Work minor. Developing an accredited social work major was no small task. It involved extensive curriculum and policy development, as well as collaboration with personnel across campus and in the community. Sonny demonstrated considerable leadership and skill throughout this process and was instrumental in its success.  

Sonny's colleagues are impressed by his ability to engage with students, get them to critically think about their own views and the world around them, and consider new approaches to resolving complex issues. He is creative in his style, weaving in cultural stories and real-world examples. He takes students beyond the classroom in ways that are significant to them. For years he took students in one class to the Lac Du Flambeau Reservation for a field trip, and more recently he has taken them off-campus to demonstrate the sweat lodge ceremony. Through such activities, Professor Smart affords our students access to a world that is often restricted from the general public.  

Sonny's contributions to his home department as well as students across campus have been significant. Over the years, he has taught a variety of courses in both sociology and social work. He is always willing to be a guest presenter in colleagues' classes.  Professor Smart is known as a leading expert on campus regarding Native American culture and other diversity issues. He has further benefitted campus by serving on Equity and Affirmation Action Search and Screen, Letters and Science Advisory Committee, as well as all of the department's standing committees. He has also acted as mentor to African American, Latino, Hmong and Native American students as part of the institution's Multi-Cultural Affairs initiative.

Professor Smart is also deserving of this recognition because of his significant work within the tribal communities across Wisconsin. He has worked with various state/tribal organizations such as the State Indian Child Welfare Program Directors Association, the Wisconsin Tribal Judges Association, the Wisconsin State Indian Child Welfare Act Advisory Board and the Great Lakes Intertribal Council. He serves as a tribal judge for the Bad River Band of Ojibwe. These interactions have allowed him to stay current in child welfare practice, family law, cultural competence, mental health and policy changes, while also providing expertise to the tribes and universities in the Great Lakes region as well as nationally.

2015 Award Recipient - Richard Ruppel

Recently retired as chair of the Department of World Languages and Literatures, Richard has been a dedicated teacher, both respected and liked, by the many German students he has taught during the past three decades. During his career he has taught nearly every course in the German curriculum, having focused on language, literature and culture. He is viewed as a rigorous professor who seeks to challenge his students to do the very best they can, yet in the end he is known for awarding them fair grades.

Richard believes that German is a window to another world. He encourages his students to use the language as a key to unlocking another culture, another way of viewing the world and oneself. Critical thinking and cross-cultural and interdisciplinary thinking is as central to his classroom as language learning. One simply has to learn how to do this all in German. As an adviser, he has travelled that extra length to help his German   students — and as chair all students of World Languages — to succeed. He has written hundreds of letters of recommendation for his students, sending them off to graduate school, medical school, veterinary school and dentistry school. He has been adviser to the German Club since 1985.

He is perhaps most broadly known for his longtime service on the University Personnel Development Committee, on which he served for 14 years and chaired seven times. He was also a Faculty Senator for 12 years and served on the Faculty Senate Executive Committee for seven years. He chaired the University Awards Committee for two years. He was a member of the Graduate Council for two years. He has served on the Phi  Kappa Phi Executive Board since 2002 and is currently its president for the second time.

Richard has also been an adviser to the UWSP Ski and Snowboard Club for the past 12 years and has accompanied them on every January ski trip to various resorts in the Rockies. Through it all he became the respected face of the Department of Foreign  Languages, now World Languages and Literatures. Across the campus, everyone in every college, including all the deans, know Richard personally and identify him with World Languages, for whom he has been a persevering advocate. It is hardly a surprise that Richard received the University Service Award in 2011.

2014 Award Recipient - Sol Sepsenwol

Sol Sepsenwol has been a faculty member at UW-Stevens Point since 1978. After receiving both his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in Physiology at the University of Chicago, he worked at the Illinois Institute of Technology and Northwestern University Medical School. He was originally hired at UW-Stevens Point as a human physiology professor, but now also teaches upper-level Biology classes that he has developed ranging from electron microscopy to human reproduction. Sol has served as an advisor to the UWSP Pre-Medical Society since 1980, as UWSP coordinator for the Goldwater Excellence in Science Scholarships since 1994, and co-directs the electron microscope lab.

His research on the sperm cell of an intestinal parasite has earned him four research grants from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health to support his work. Additionally, he has many nd varied publications and papers. Off campus, Sol rock climbs and has guided trips to Devil’s Lake with UWSP pre-med and other students from around campus.


2013 Award Recipient - John C. Blakeman

John came to UW-Stevens Point in 2003 after earning his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Virginia and teaching at Baylor University.  His classroom teaching includes courses in constitutional law, civil rights, religion and politics, and European politics.  John’s book The Bible in the Park: Federal District Courts, Religious Speech and the Public Forum was nationally recognized as an in-depth study of First Amendment cases concerning religious speech and expression in public places.  His newest book, The U.S. Supreme Court and New Federalism: From the Rehnquist to the Roberts Court has been equally well received.  John’s frequent scholarly papers and presentations have earned him a considerable following among students of the courts. He has also served as department chair the past six years.

Eugene Katz Letters and Science
Distinguished Faculty Award Recipients 

​Year Recipients​ ​Department
​Dona Warren
​John Coletta
​Theresa Kaminski
​History and International Studies
​Robert B. Enright Jr.
​Sociology and Social Work
​2016​Alton "Sonny" Smart
​Sociology and Social Work
​2015 ​Richard Ruppel ​World Languages & Literatures
​2014 ​Sol Sepsenwol ​Biology
​2013 ​John C. Blakeman ​Political Science
​2012 ​Sarah A. Kent ​History
​2011 ​Richard Barker ​Foreign Languages
​2010 ​Susan Brewer
Jeana Magyar-Moe
​2009 ​Padmanabhan Sudevan
Eric Singsaas
​2008 ​Marcia Parker
William Lawlor
​Foreign Languages
​2007 ​Gary Itzkowitz
Dennis Riley
​Sociology & Social Work
Political Science
​2006 ​Jan Seiler
Erik Wild
​Foreign Languages
​2005 ​Valentina Peguero
Robert Wolensky
Sociology & Social Work
​2004 ​Jim Canfield
Steve Taft
Justus F. Paul
​Political Science
Dean, L&S; History
​2003 ​Gail Skelton
Jianwei Wang
​Sociology & Social Work
Political Science
2002 ​Hamid Hekmat
Donald L. Showalter
​2001 ​C. Marvin Lang
Edward J. Miller
Political Science
​2000 ​Jack K. Reed
Lawrence Weiser
Business and Economics
​1999 ​C. Edward Gasque
James Stokes

Faculty Awards

From 1985 through 1998 the College of Letters and Science recognized outstanding faculty achievement with the Faculty Award. Recipients of this award are listed below.
​Year Recipients​ Department​
​1998 ​Donna M. Desforges
Nancy LoPatin-Lummis
Thomas Overholt
​1997 ​Dennis E. Elsenrath
Marcia G. Parker
Foreign Languages
​1996 ​Richard J. Feldman
Keith Rice
Geography & Geology
​1995 ​Susan Brewer
Fred A. Copes
Larry Watson
​1994 ​David Ozsvath
James Stokes
​Geography & Geology
​1993 ​Gary Itzkowitz
Mary T. Whalen
​Sociology & Social Work
Math & Computing
​1992 ​Shelly Jansky
Donald Showalter
​1991 ​Randy Cray
Douglas D. Post
​Business & Economics
​1990 ​Arthur L. Herman
Edward Miller
Political Science
​1989 ​Jan J. Seiler
Padmanabhan Sudevan
​Foreign Languages
​1988 ​Robert Beeken
Neil Lewis
​Physics & Astronomy
​1987 ​David Chitaranjan
Robert P. Wolensky
Sociology & Social Work
​1986 ​J. Baird Callicott
Robert K. Miller
​1985 ​Paul K. Schwieger
Ronald A. Lokken
Physics & Astronomy