​Faculty Awards

The Justus F. and Barbara J. Paul Faculty Award

Justus and Barbara PaulThis award is in recognition and support of an outstanding Letters and Science or Library faculty member granted sabbatical. The Justus F. and Barbara J. Paul Faculty Award has been presented since 2008 through the generosity of retired Letters & Science Dean Justus Paul and his late wife Barbara Paul, who was an Associate Professor and a longtime member of the Library faculty.

2017 Award Recipient - Christopher Yahnke, Biology

Chris attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, earning his B.S. in zoology. After spending two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay working in the Division of Mammals at the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, he returned to the U.S. to complete a masters and Ph.D. in biology at Northern Illinois University. After completing graduate work, he worked for two years as an assistant professor at Clarke University before moving to UW-Stevens Point in 2001. Professor Yahnke was department chair of Biology for nine years (2007-2016), leading his department through a major curricular change and the planning and construction of a new science building.

Professor Yahnke's research has focused on mammals and biology education. He recently collaborated with the Wisconsin DNR on projects involving small mammal communities in Wisconsin grasslands and hibernating bats in active sand mines. His interests include course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences as a way to involve hundreds of students in research. Chris has presented his research at international, national and local meetings and published in peer-reviewed journals like The American Biology Teacher and the Journal of Mammalogy. His interest in citizen science is an extension of this work and offers a way of scaling up data collection and analysis to get the public involved in authentic scientific research.

2016 Award Recipient - Erica Weisgram, Psychology

Erica came to UW-Stevens Point in 2006 after earning a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Texas and a B.A. at Luther College. Erica's research within developmental psychology focuses broadly on gender development — how children construct beliefs about gender and how gender impacts the lives of   children, adolescents and adults.

Her previous work included how gender-related values and stereotypes impact an  individual's career interests, in particular their interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. Her current research concerns the development of children's gender stereotypes about toys and their gender-typed toy interests.

During her sabbatical, Erica will co-edit a book that examines the causes and consequences of children's gender-typing of toys. Specifically, this volume will review the biological, social and cognitive components that shape children's toy interests and how gender-typed toys can lead to gender differences in children's cognitive and social abilities. In addition, Erica will co-edit a journal special issue aimed at gathering cutting-edge empirical research on this topic.

2014 Award Recipient - Thomas Reich, University Library

Thomas earned a B.S. in political science and a M.S.T in history from UW-Stevens Point. Coupled with the latter, Thomas received a MAGS Distinguished Thesis award, for one of three best Master's theses in the Midwest, all disciplines. He went on to earn an M.L.I.S from UW-Milwaukee and is currently an Associate Professor and Coordinator of Acquisitions/Collection Development with the University Library.

Thomas has conducted extensive research on foreign relations of the United States, the history of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Wisconsin Higher Education contract in Vietnam. His sabbatical will focus on the USAID mission to assist in reforming the South Vietnamese system of higher education as part of the broader “nation building” process during America’s war in Vietnam. Additional research will evaluate recommendations for the development of libraries as elements of higher education reform in Vietnam, and as democratic building blocks.

2013 Award Recipient - Richard R. Ruppel, Foreign Languages

Richard came to UW-Stevens Point in 1985 after earning his Ph.D. in German Literature at Cornell University.   He has taught most courses in the German curriculum including courses in German literature and culture, as well as all levels of German language courses. During his sabbatical, Richard will complete research and write a monograph of the literary work of Swiss women authors, Laure Wyss, Erica. Pedretti, Margrit Schriber, Verena Stefan and Milena Moser, who began writing after Swiss suffrage in 1971. This monograph will interpret these literary works as stages in the advancement of women in Swiss society.  Richard has previously been awarded both the University Scholar and University Service awards and has also served as chair of the Department of Foreign Languages over the past ten years.

Justus F. and Barbara J. Paul Faculty Awards Recipients 

​Year Recipients​ Department​
​Christopher Yahnke
​2016​Erica Weisgram
​2014 ​Thomas Reich ​University Library
​2013 ​Richard R. Ruppel ​Foreign Languages
​2012 ​Axel Schmetzke ​Library
​2011 ​Emmet Judziewicz ​Biology
​2010 ​David Arnold ​English
​2009 ​Elia Armacaqui-Tapacti
​Foreign Languages
​2008 ​Richard Barker
​​Foreign Languages