About Continuing Studies staff and faculty

Continuing Studies staff and faculty do more than teach adults in a classroom. From the following list of activities, you can see how CS personnel are involved with learning in many ways and in many places.

These range from working with Saudi Arabian educators, international filmmakers, and Wisconsin high school theater teachers to conversing with a prominent television broadcaster, choreographing a Chicago opera, and leading an educational travel seminar to Turkey.

Enjoy reading about their exciting activities:

Louise Fowler and the Distance Education Professional Development staff recently hosted representatives from King Khalid University (KKU) in Abha, Saudi Arabia, and are arranging for a cohort of KKU faculty and staff to enroll in Continuing Studies’ Professional Certificate in Online Teaching.

Maureen Janson, dance program coordinator, who choreographed Pirates of Penzance for the Hypocrites Theatre Company in Chicago last year reports that the company will present it again in December and January.

Laurie Scheer, director of Continuing Studies’ Writers Institute, taught at the Women in Film & Video event called SCRIPT, in Washington, D.C. She’s taught script writers about polishing scripts, marketing, and how to pitch their scripts at the event for the past eight years. She’s already been invited back for a longer event with a more international focus next year; she’ll be providing instruction and technical assistance to international writers and filmmakers.

Emily Auerbach, Continuing Studies professor of English and director of Odyssey Project, was honored to be interviewed by National Public Television broadcaster Tavis Smiley and Princeton Prof. Cornel West as part of a national Poverty Tour that visited 18 U.S. cities. Auerbach arranged for some of her Odyssey students to meet with West and Smiley for dinner in Madison and they talked about how poverty affects their lives.

The Odyssey Project is a Continuing Studies program that offers a free three credit UW-Madison humanities course to people who have faced economic barriers to higher education.

• Our writing program area just finished up its annual Weekend with your Novel attended by 70 novice and seasoned writers. The event featured critique sessions, workshops, and a keynote presentation by Karen Doornebos, author of Definitely Not Mr. Darcy. The author spoke about her journey from idea to published book, and the importance of working with a group such as Continuing Studies’ writing instructional team that can provide critiques and facilitate feedback from other accomplished writers.

Doug Whittle, director of travel, recently returned from another successful educational travel experience. This time Doug led a group to Turkey with a focus on history, culture, and religion. Highlights included visiting the mausoleum of Medvelev (Rumi) with devout Muslim women as they crowded around the silver box containing a relic of the prophet Muhammad, a trip to Catalhoyuk and standing in what is considered the world’s most ancient dwelling, learning about the almost intact Roman amphitheater at Aspendos, and
the beautiful ruins of Aphrodisias. Doug reported: “We had an amazing journey through 9,000 years of history, religion, architecture and politics.”

Sarah Marty, director of theater programs, along with assistance from Jodi Roberts and Ellen Morin, reports the completion of two successful fall events – the Wisconsin High School Theater Festival attended by hundreds of students and teachers from around the state, as well as the National Community Theatre Directors Conference, attended by theater professionals from around the country.

Jim Campbell, professor of social work, assistant Denise Nolden, and many other Continuing Studies program associates hosted more than 800 participants at the 27th annual Midwest Conference on Child Sexual Abuse last month. It was the largest attendance for the conference since 2005. While the number of attendees is one measure of success, testimonials provide an even more compelling story about the value of our programs:

One attendee wrote, “I have worked with emotionally and behaviorally (challenged) children/adolescents for 42 years. During that time, I attended more seminars than I can ever remember. I learned more about child sexual abuse during this conference than in all the seminars combined. I will use the information to treat the children who have suffered this unspeakable abuse.”

Writing faculty member Christine DeSmet’s The Christmas Magi of Birch Bay was published this fall in the anthology, Christmas Gems from Whiskey Creek Press. So far, Christine has published two collections of her stories, and her work has appeared in eight anthologies by this publisher.