CSBS has many long-time faculty and staff retiring at the end of this academic year. We are sad to see them go but wish them a happy retirement filled with fun and joy!
Keith Crew joined the faculty of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology (SAC) in 1985. He earned tenure in 1992 and full professor in 2016. Dr. Crew served as department head of SAC for ten years. Dr. Crew’s research centers on criminology and law, publishing and teaching widely in these areas. He was deeply involved in the sociology and criminology graduate programs at UNI (before their elimination). Dr. Crew has served UNI in many capacities, including as Institutional Review Board member, Carver Institute workshop leader, CSBS Project Awards Committee, and the Liberal Arts Core Committee. He was internship coordinator for criminology and was on the Comprehensive Exams Committee in Public Policy. Dr. Crew contributes to the discipline of criminology, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and has reviewed manuscripts regularly for nationally recognized journals. At the community level, Dr. Crew works with state and local agencies, and works as a public scholar, communicating with local media on occasion. Dr. Crew retired from UNI in March 2019, and we wish him well as he enjoys his retirement.
Judith Dohlman began her career at UNI on May 4, 1977, as a staff member in the Office of the Vice President. Two years later, she transferred to the Department of History and, as she puts it, “the rest is history.” We are fortunate that it has been. Currently, there is only one faculty member in the department who was here when Judy arrived, which means that she is not only an able and experienced Secretary III, but she is also now something of a historical source in her own right. For forty years, Judy has provided a friendly greeting to all who entered the often-busy departmental office, worked to answer a host of routine and not-so-routine questions, and done her best to help resolve innumerable student and faculty problems. The breadth of her knowledge and experience has benefited students and faculty alike as we go about our daily tasks, and have no doubt, on occasion, we failed to recognize how much we owe to her. After 42 years at UNI, Judy will be retiring this summer. We will miss her and wish her the best as she takes advantage of the opportunity to pursue other interests and spend time with family.
Bill Downs has been a professor of social work at UNI since 1992. From 1992 to 2000, he directed the Center for the Study of Adolescence, from 2000 to 2002 he was the graduate program director for the masters in social work (MSW) program and served as interim department head of social work in 2012. Professor Downs is a prolific grant-writer and has had approximately 50 funded grants since coming to UNI. Professor Downs received the 2008 Time to Lead award from ICADV and the 2014 Award for Excellence from the Iowa Behavioral Health Association. He also helped develop Social Action, Inc., a community and social action agency that works with at-risk youth in East Waterloo, and Amani Community Services, the only culturally specific victim service agency for African Americans in Iowa. Professor Downs received the Social Action, Inc. Community Service Award in 2010, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Veridian Credit Union Community Engagement Award in 2010, University of Northern Iowa James F. Lubker Faculty Research Award in 2010 and the Iowa Board of Regents Award for Faculty Excellence in 2011.
Cyndi Dunn, who joined the faculty of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology in 2000, is retiring from UNI on June 30, 2019. Dr. Dunn earned tenure in 2006 and full professor in 2015. Dr. Dunn combines linguistic anthropology and psychological anthropology. Her work has been published in journals such as the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Journal of Pragmatics, Ethos, and, most recently, the Annual Review of Anthropology. Dr. Dunn has served UNI in many capacities, including serving on the CSBS Faculty Senate, the Dorothy Jean Ray Anthropology Scholarship Committee, being involved in the Women’s and Gender Studies program, and, most recently, serving the SAC department as PAC chair. She received the CSBS Outstanding Teaching Award in 2010. She regularly contributes to both the LAC and the anthropology major, including her signature course, Language and Culture. Dr. Dunn is moving to Colorado Springs. In between hiking and wine tasting, she will also teach part-time at Colorado College. We wish Dr. Dunn well as she moves on to the next adventures in her life!
Vickie Hanson, after having had two part-time, temporary appointments on the UNI campus in the late 1980s, became a permanent part of the UNI community in August 1989, when she joined the staff of what was then the Department of Home Economics. In August 1991, Vickie transferred to the Department of History, where she has been a hardworking and integral part of the office staff for the past 28 years. Her tasks as a Secretary II have been many and varied, not the least of which has been typing innumerable course-related documents for faculty who genuinely appreciate her contributions but occasionally forget that there are around twenty of them and only one of her. Despite the challenges of the job, Vickie has always been friendly, patient and committed to fulfilling all faculty requests in a timely fashion. Her work ethic and positive disposition helped make the main departmental office an efficient and hospitable place for all who pass through it. Vickie plans to retire this summer. We will miss her and would like to express our thanks for her many efforts on our behalf and to wish her the best as she enjoys the opportunity to engage in other pursuits and spend time with her family.
After three decades of service to UNI, Adjunct Professor of Geography Don Peterson will be retiring. Don’s teaching career, including his tenure as an outstanding social studies teacher at Marshalltown High School, spans 55 years. Don’s teaching and expertise in education has won numerous state and national awards. He won the Iowa Council for the Social Studies Secondary Teacher of the Year Award and then the National Council for the Social Studies Secondary Teaching Award. He received awards from the National Council for Geographic Education for both excellence in geography teaching and exemplary classroom lessons/presentations. Don has been integral to the College Board’s AP Human Geography and has positively impacted many UNI students through his Human Geography courses. Although retiring from UNI, Don still plans to provide guidance for the Geographic Alliance of Iowa, where he has had a leadership role since its inception. We also look forward to his continued contributions to the Iowa State Geography Bee, for which Don has been the voice of the final round for several years. Looking ahead to true retirement, Don plans to use his extra time to focus on family genealogy research, creating wildlife habitat for birds and monarch butterflies, spending time with grandchildren, and traveling to Denmark for the wedding of a former exchange student. It will not be the same without Don Peterson in the department and we will miss his many contributions.
Mitchell Strauss has worked in higher education in the field of textiles and apparel for over 35 years, 20 of which were at the University of Northern Iowa. In addition to serving as a professor, he also served in an administrative capacity as dean of the graduate school at the Institute of Textile Technology and department head of Apparel, Textiles and Interior Design at Kansas State University. Dr. Strauss’ prior leadership positions in the textile industry, including technical and quality manager of the Tallassee Division of Mount Vernon Mills, in Tallassee, AL, as well as director of corporate textile research for Air Products and Chemicals in Allentown, PA, brought valuable knowledge and insights to the curriculum. While at UNI, Dr. Strauss maintained an active scholarship agenda. He co-authored a book on fashion change theory, co-edited an encyclopedia of ethnic fashion, and published several papers and encyclopedia articles on the meaning of dress in Civil War reenacting, which are often cited by other researchers in the field. He also served as the primary investigator on the National Science Foundation grant that funded the building of an extensive, state-of-the-art textile-testing laboratory. This lab has given hands-on experience to all textiles and apparel majors, many of whom have gone on to take leadership positions in the industry.
Mary Ver Steegt
Mary Ver Steegt came to the University of Northern Iowa in the summer of 2014 after having worked a variety of jobs (office coordinator, telephone interviewer, lay professional and parish worker at churches, and manager at a bridal gallery among others), the most recent having been at Wartburg College. Retirement plans include travel, gardening, numerous projects around her house and acreage, volunteering, and spending more time with husband, family and friends. She is also looking forward to no longer having to commute through snow and ice!
Linda Walsh is retiring from the Department of Psychology after 44 years of continuous service. After receiving her Ph.D. in 1975 from the University of Chicago, Linda came to UNI to teach biopsychology and related courses. She was beloved by her students for taking intimidating material--the brain--and making it accessible and engaging. In addition to the usual content, her syllabi include numerous suggestions for students to experience success. Although she began her research career investigating rat ingestive behaviors, she transitioned to the scholarship of teaching and learning. For many years, Linda was the co-advisor for the student Psychology Club and was instrumental in organizing the department’s annual student research conference, which grew into a regional conference featuring student work from nearby colleges. Linda is very active in the Iowa Teachers of Psychology, where she has played a prominent role in organizing their annual conference for college, community college and high school psychology teachers in the state.
Carol A. Weisenberger
Carol A. Weisenberger joined the faculty of the Department of History at UNI in August 1989 as the result of the search for a historian to offer courses in the newly created interdisciplinary Public Policy Program. In her 30 years as a professor of Public Policy and U.S. history at UNI, she has developed a commendable record of instructional, service and scholarly contributions to the university and the Cedar Valley community. Throughout her years here, in addition to offering a variety of courses to students in UNI’s history programs, she has remained deeply involved in the Public Policy Program, annually offering the course History and U.S. Public Policy, as well as serving for six years as associate director of the program and as acting director on two later occasions. In addition, she has contributed to the evolving delivery of distance education in a variety of ways. Dr. Weisenberger’s service contributions have been many, including not only service on innumerable departmental, college and university committees, but also her work in UNI’s Lifelong Learning Program. We are fortunate to have had Carol Weisenberger as a member of our department, college, university and the Cedar Valley community. We express our thanks and wish her the best as she retires from UNI on June 30, 2019.