Daily Dean

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Recently, I was replaced as the Chair for Servant-Leadership on campus. DeAnna Leitzke, Professor in CAECM, is the new Chair! You can learn more about Professor Leitzke at http://www.msoe.edu/community/campus-life/servant-leadership/page/1515/servant-leadership.

DeAnna started her involvement with the office of Servant-Leadership in 2010. We started a relationship with Blue Lotus Farm and Retreat Center—a non-profit organization that provides a summer-camp experience for kids with mental and physical handicaps. In 2010, we built an 1,800 square-foot deck; in order to build the deck, we needed to have someone survey the area. DeAnna created a lab in CM-212, a course in surveying, which gave students the opportunity to conduct a survey for Blue Lotus Farm and Retreat. The project was partially funded by the Pieper Foundation since DeAnna received a Servant-Leadership Mini-Grant that quarter.

As a result of this experience, DeAnna established a relationship with the owners of Blue Lotus. As the years progressed, she helped her students design and construct a boat dock, boardwalk, deck and benches—all of which were connected to the original deck. This multi-year project mobilized over 100 MSOE students to serve others with the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom and empowered dozens of students to become servant leaders.

DeAnna started to say “yes” to other leadership opportunities that would enable her CEACM students to exercise their leadership and service:

  • She worked with the MACC Fund Candy Cane Lane initiative in 2012 and 2011, facilitating the construction of 2 playhouses for donation (each year, a different student emerged as a servant-leader through this opportunity that raised thousands of dollars for the MACC Fund by raffling the playhouses)
  • In the spring of 2011, DeAnna coordinated and supervised a group of 10 students in the construction of a shed for donation to the MSOE Alumni Association
  • At the end of 2011, she organized a model façade senior project competition as well as the construction of a large-scale façade for display at WinterFest
  • At the end of 2013, DeAnna helped a student organize the first annual Christmas on Campus event to serve 30 of Milwaukee’s youth from Our Next Generation. This event brought together 30 MSOE student volunteers and 30 elementary school children from the Milwaukee Public School System to celebrate the holiday together and help the children craft gifts for their families.

DeAnna has also presented at local conferences to share the work she has completed at MSOE. In September 2012, she presented on “The Benefits of Teaching at an Institution that Embraces Servant-Leadership” at the Lilly North Conference on College and University Teaching. Then, in the summer of 2013, she presented at the World Affairs Seminar on her experiences in Uganda as it related to gender equity and social justice—a presentation that was shared with Matt Peterson, one of her students.

Finally, DeAnna Led a group of three MSOE students in the summer of 2013 to Uganda to demonstrate best practices in concrete design. She also helped the students learn the art of bamboo hut building through this culture exchange initiative. Taking students on international initiatives is a commitment, one that DeAnna was not initially ready for. It is why I value the growth she is experienced over the last four years, one that started with a strong domestic presence and worked its way into one in East Africa.

DeAnna is going to be a great Chair. Please join me in congratulating her on this achievement!

Over the last couple of weeks, various parts of Student Life and Enrollment Management (the Learning Resource Center, TRIO, University Disability Services, and the ESL program) have worked together to coordinate a new Testing Center on campus. It's currently being constructed on the 2nd floor of the German English Academy--the building that's directly across the street from the entrance of the Campus Center. This is great news for students as well as Student Life: before, we did a variety of testing services at different locations on campus, so this "Center" will help streamline the testing needs of our students.


What if we have an event to celebrate the launch of the Testing Center? An event that involves sheet cake? Reply to this post if that sounds interesting to you.

Just a heads-up: I'm leading a Great Books discussion on Wednesday, February 12th in the APC. The book is The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Here's a description of the book:

The Awakening explores one woman’s desire to find and live fully within her true self. Her devotion to that purpose causes friction with her friends and family, and also conflicts with the dominant values of her time. Set in New Orleans and the Southern Louisiana coast at the end of the 19th century, the plot centers on Edna Pontellier and her struggle to reconcile her increasingly unorthodox views on femininity and motherhood with the prevailing social attitudes of the turn-of-the-century South. It is one of the earliest American novels that focuses on women’s issues and is widely seen as a landmark work of early feminism.


And here's the menu for the evening's meal:

  • Appetizer – Oysters Rockefeller
  • First Coarse – Orzo Salad
  • Entrée – Shrimp Creole Red Beans and Rice Fried Okra
  • Dessert – Banana Foster


To register, visit http://www.msoe.edu/community/explore-your-future/alumni-affairs/page/2226/great-books-dinner-and-discussion-series. You have to register by February 5th, so sign up now!

David Howell

The Daily Dean: Title IX

Posted by David Howell Jan 28, 2014

I'm at a Title IX Coordinator training in New Orleans (my apologies for being down south in the winter). If you're not aware of Title IX, it's "...a law passed in 1972 that requires gender equity for boys and girls in every educational program that receives federal funding (TitleIX.info - History Overview). MSOE receives federal funding, so we establish processes that address sexual harassment--in terms of investigation, prevention, and remediation. As the Title IX Coordinator, it's my job to ensure that MSOE complies with Title IX law. It's a great thing, because the processes we employ help ensure that sexual misconduct is minimized on our campus.


If you're interested in learning more, check out the MSOE Sexual Misconduct Policy: http://www.msoe.edu/docs/DOC-1607. It was originally drafted by Gary Shimek and Cheryl Crawford--and was recently updated by Kayla Sell. I want to thank these colleagues for the time and effort they put into creating and updating this document; the result of their work is a healthier campus climate.

Yes, it's another cold morning in Milwaukee, and the wind isn't helping a bit. When it gets this cold, I help myself by reading a poem written by Wallace Stevens. I keep a copy of it in my wallet and take it out this time of year to remind myself that there is wonder in the cold, if one has the right sensibility (and a good hat).


The Snowman


One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;


And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter


Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,


Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place


For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

Yesterday, we had a webinar that focused on PSTD and veterans that attend institutions of high-education. Afterwards, the group participating in the webinar had a good discussion about the number of veterans represented in our student body and how we can best meet their specific needs as students. The one big takeaway I received from the discussion was this: we need to thank our veterans for the service they've given to our country. So if you're a veteran, let me say thanks--I'm glad you're part of our community.

Welcome to the Daily Dean, a blog hosted by Dave Howell, Dean of Students at MSOE. My goal is to write about the musings of the Dean of Students--what I learn by working with, and for, the students of MSOE. Feel free to suggest content for this forum: it's my hope that the Daily Dean serves as a vehicle for improving the our community.