GENEALOGY: The Genealogical Research Society of Eau Claire will meet at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Chippewa Valley Museum in Carson Park.

A short business meeting will be followed with a program by Alyson Jones, director of the Altoona Public Library.

Jones will discuss researching her Canadian ancestors.

The meeting is open to the public. Genealogy assistance is available from 9 to 10 a.m. in the museum library.

Refreshments will be served.

For more information, call 715-874-6678 or visit

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AWARDS: Eight UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff members have received excellence awards for 2019.

Excellence in Teaching Award: Norah Airth-Kindree.

Airth-Kindree, a member of the nursing faculty since 2005, was nominated for the award by several of her former students.

They described her exceptionally caring, encouraging nature as well as her high standards for academic and clinical work.

University Staff Excellence in Performance Award: Jack Connell.

Nominators said Connell, a facilities maintenance specialist in UW-Eau Claire’s facilities department who has served the university for 26 years, has had a much broader impact than his service as a team member in the campus electrical and mechanical shops.

UW-Eau Claire’s 2019 UW System Board of Regents Excellence in Teaching Award nominee: Mary Beth Leibham.

Leibham, who has been a member of the psychology faculty since 2005, was commended by her nominators for her exceptional enthusiasm for and mastery of teaching, and her unrivaled dedication to her students as an instructor and advisor.

Excellence in Scholarship Award: Ling Liu.

Liu, associate professor of accounting and finance, has been a UW-Eau Claire faculty member since 2008.

Her nominators said that through her remarkable body of scholarly work — focusing on such areas as analyst forecast accuracy, supply chain activities, credit derivatives and stock returns, and the overall impact of accounting practices on firms — she has made contributions that will have a resounding impact both nationally and globally.

Since 2008, Liu has authored or co-authored more than 30 articles, with 17 having been published in the past five years.

As of the writing of one nominator’s letter of support, Liu’s works had been cited more than 1,300 times, including citations by many leading academic journals.

Administrative and Professional Academic Staff Excellence in Performance Award: Cheryl Lochner-Wright.

Nominators commended Lochner-Wright, who has served for 25 years in UW-Eau Claire’s Center for International Education, as a respected member of both the UW-Eau Claire and larger international education communities.

Excellence in Service Award: Jennifer Muehlenkamp.

Muehlenkamp, a psychology professor, is an internationally recognized expert and scholar in the field of suicidology.

She was recognized for her life-saving service to the university community and throughout the Chippewa Valley and state of Wisconsin.

At UW-Eau Claire, Muehlenkamp led the establishment of a foundational infrastructure for suicide prevention. Her work was nominated for the American Association of Suicidology’s Scientist Citizenship Award.

Muehlenkamp has led trainings and served in a consultant role to help school districts, local and state health service agencies, police departments and health providers across Wisconsin improve their ability to respond to individuals in distress and prevent suicide.

Excellence in Advising Award: John Reichert.

Reichert is an academic advisor in the Advising, Retention and Career Center.

Recipients of this award are chosen through a selection process of the Student Senate that includes nominations from current students.

Reichert has served in the ARCC since its opening in 2016. He previously was a residence hall director at UW-Eau Claire from 2012-16.

Nominators recognized Reichert for his attentiveness and skill in helping students navigate their course registration decisions while staying focused on a four-year graduation for all students.

Excellence in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award: Jodi Thesing-Ritter.

Thesing-Ritter is UW-Eau Claire’s executive director of diversity and inclusion.

Previously she served the university in a variety of roles from residence hall director to leadership positions in the Dean of Students Office.

Nominators noted Thesing-Ritter’s deep commitment to leading diversity initiatives across campus and within the community.

From staff reports

Contact: 715-833-9207,