Professors receive sabbaticals, named fellows, earn endowed chairs and professorships

Nine faculty members earn awards for research, professional development
UW-Stout Professor John Dzissah teaches a Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders class in 2016.
Pam Powers | July 13, 2021

A total of nine University of Wisconsin-Stout professors have been awarded sabbaticals, have been named fellows, manufacturing engineering chairs, Steenbock endowed chair and earned the Landry professorship for the 2021-22 academic year.

Sabbaticals, which enable recipients to engage in intensive study to become more effective teachers and scholars, were granted to two professors and one associate professor. Recipients are chosen based on the merit of past academic contributions. They are:

  • Eun Joo Lee, professor, kinesiology, health, food and nutritional sciences, full year; researching 3D food printing technology for students, particularly plant-based meat alternatives
  • Joan Navarre, professor, English and philosophy, full year; researching Oscar Wilde’s St. Paul experience and speech in 1882 and how the city impacted his work for a historical documentary Navarre is producing.
  • Wei Shi, associate professor, engineering and technology spring 2022; working with industrial and educational partners in robotics design and artificial intelligence to incorporate technology and industry-required skills in curriculum and course development

The Center for Applied Ethics Fellow is English and philosophy department Professor Julie Watts for spring 2022.

The Menard Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovation Civil Liberties Fellow is political science Assistant Professor Courtney Juelich for fall 2021.

The awards consist of reassigned time for one three-credit course.

Professor Eun Joo Lee discusses a research project with a student at Research Day in 2015.
Professor Eun Joo Lee discusses a research project with a student at Research Day in 2015. / UW-Stout photo

John Dzissah, professor, operations and management department, and Anne Schmitz, assistant professor, engineering and technology department, have been appointed to the Fulton and Edna Holtby Manufacturing Engineering Chair from July to June 30, 2024. The chair provides $29,000 annually for professional development.

“It is my plan to use this appointment to establish laboratories for measurement, quality and reliability improvement activities to support applied research works with faculties and students in manufacturing engineering program,” Dzissah said. “This is to prepare the students to master the concepts and tools of product design and development, learn about managing creativity and design, project management, customer-focused innovation, research and financial issues, all from the perspective of product development.”

Schmitz said the award funds will help keep her current on technology issues and manufacturing trends.

The overall objective of my research is to optimize the energy absorption capability of an auxetic mesostructure created from stereolithographic (SLA) additive manufacturing,” Schmitz said. “This contribution will be significant because designer auxetic structures, combined with the flexibility inherent to SLA manufacturing, has promise to bring about a new class of sports equipment, such as helmets, gloves and mats. This work promotes the goals of the manufacturing engineering program by expanding our additive manufacturing portfolio.”

Professor Jongeun Rhee, business department, earned the Lenore Landry Apparel Design and Development Professorship from July through June 30, 2024. The professorship provides a variable amount each year for professional development. In 2021-22 the amount is $3,600.

The award was established by Lenore Landry, a 1945 UW-Stout graduate in home economics education. Landry, a UW System specialist, was respected nationally for her expertise in textiles and clothing.

Assistant Professor Pranabendu Mitra, center, teaching a food science class lab in 2017.
Assistant Professor Pranabendu Mitra, center, teaching a food science class lab in 2017. / UW-Stout photo

Pranabendu Mitra, assistant professor in the kinesiology, health, food and nutritional sciences department, was named the Evelyn Van Donk Steenbock Endowed Chair. The chair period is from this July to June 2023 with $118,000 funding. Mitra plans to conduct research for the conversion of food industry wasters/by-products into value-added food products using innovative extrusion and 3D food printing technologies for the benefits of bakery and plant protein food processing industries. He will also update and improve the food science and technology graduate program’s curriculum and improve the food processing labs on campus.

The endowed chair was established by Steenbock to provide research and professional development for faculty in the food and nutrition department. She graduated from UW-Stout in 1925. She was a research assistant with Harry Steenbock at UW-Madison. Harry Steenbock did much of the original vitamin D research and patented the method of irradiating food to produce vitamin D fortified milk.


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Professors receive sabbaticals, named fellows, earn endowed chairs and professorships

A total of nine University of Wisconsin-Stout professors have been awarded sabbaticals, have been named fellows, manufacturing engineering chairs, Steenbock end