Two employees received special recognition and dozens of others were celebrated for their years of service during CUW's annual Employee Appreciation Dinner held Friday, April 22, at The Bog.
Dr. James Freese, professor of music and director of parish music, received this year’s Dettmann Award, while Renee Gosselin, RN, nurse manager of student health, was announced as the recipient of the 2022 Harris Draayers S.T.A.R. Award.
The Dettman Award, established in 2003, is named after Dr. Norbert Dettmann who volunteered his services for 20 years as the physician for Concordia students. His dedication to the students of Concordia is held in deep regard by all those that he served during the 1950s and ’60s.
Recipients of the Dettmann Award are current Concordia faculty or staff who demonstrate the same spirit of selflessness and care for others. Recipients are selected based upon involvement in the community and dedication to living Concordia’s mission in everyday life. Additionally, recipients are generous supporters of Concordia with time, talent, and financial resources.
Freese is a dedicated supporter of Lutheran education and has given time and talent to Concordia since 2000. He is the director of the undergraduate Parish Music program and oversees Parish Music practicums and call placements. He formerly served as director of the graduate Church Music program. Additionally, he serves as the university organist, coordinating hymn selections and special music.
Freese is described by colleagues as:
- A pillar of hope and support for the CUW Music Department.
- A remarkable wealth of knowledge with a passion for teaching.
- Dedicated to Concordia’s mission as demonstrated by his genuine care for each one of his students and colleagues.
- Well known for his witty sense of humor (He has a joke for each day and particularly, for every occasion).
- Someone who uplifts his colleagues when they need encouragement and a champion of their successes.
Jim is committed to volunteering outside of Concordia as well.
- He is the chair of the Milwaukee Lutheran Musician Guild and the District Worship Committee, and serves as publications chair for the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians.
- He is also a contributor of the Portal of Prayers and Devotion publication.
- He is cantor at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Milwaukee for more than 38 years where he coordinates and oversees all musical activities.
Harris Draayers S.T.A.R. Award
The S.T.A.R. Award is an honor bestowed by the staff of Concordia on one of its own. Overall consideration is given to the staff member who exemplifies Concordia as a way of life by making outstanding contributions and bringing honor to the university through Service, Teamwork, Action, and Results. The award recipient is a model of Christian life, excels in his or her area of work, engages in service to others, supports campus activities in various ways, and is involved in church and community affairs.
Gosselin is the nurse manager of the student health center. Over the past two years she has worked tirelessly to provide students, faculty, staff, and surrounding community members with resources during the COVID pandemic. Examples of this include partnering with others to establish COVID testing capability on campus, executing large-scale vaccination clinics, implementing contact-tracing systems, and overseeing quarantine and isolation protocols.
She works well with everyone, including athletics, residence life, and Sodexo, and is a team player. She has remained friendly, positive, and helpful to all despite all of the challenges with the pandemic.
Renee is also appreciated at Immanuel Lutheran Church and School where she has put in many volunteer hours over the years for both the church and the school.
Faculty advancement in rank
The following faculty were recognized for their advanced positions. These advancement take effect July 1, 2022.
Dr. Lynne Fehrenbacher
Dr. Steven Nelson
Dr. Colleen Fenno
Dr. Adam Paape
Dr. Stephanie Guedet
Dr. Sarah Ray
Dr. Brian Harries
Dr. Joseph Rinka
Dr. Sarah Holtan
Dr. Melissa Theesfeld
Dr. Kathleen Kremer
Dr. Scott Van Ornum
Dr. Kathy Lemley
To associate professor
Dr. Brad Alles
Dr. Angela Belz
Dr. Erik Hollander
Dr. James Lokken
Dr. Cindy Lund
Dr. Michael McKinnis
Dr. Elizabeth Polzin
Dr. Michael Toppe
Dr. Meghan Watry-Christian
To assistant professor
Dr. Stacey Kukor
40 years of service
35 years of service
30 years of service
25 years of service
20 years of service
15 years of service
10 years of service
5 years of service
*The 2021-22 retirees will be honored with a separate blog post over the summer.
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