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Meet UW's New Faculty

April Profiles

The Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning is launching its New Faculty Profile Series to introduce and welcome the 2017-18 cohort of new faculty to our campus community. Each month we will feature several new faculty. Here are April's profiles. 

Please join us in welcoming them to UW!



Lawrence Willey

Title: Professor of Professional Practice
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Education: MSME Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; BSME University of Hartford; AASME Hudson Valley Community College
Research Interests: Engineering and Business Operations, Wind Energy, New Technology/New Product Development, Aerodynamics and Machine Design to name a few.
Teaching: Wind/Ocean Energy, Senior Design (Systems Design I & II) and Thermal/Fluid Science Lab.
Lawrence Willey Headshot

Lawrence joined UW late last spring after working in industry for almost 40 years. He is enjoying a college town with just enough services but without the busy, crowded city feel. He is very excited about coming back to a full-time Professor of Practice position and especially working on the Wind Energy Research Center Program, “Atmosphere-to-Grid: Addressing Barriers to Energy Conversion and Delivery.” Lawrence has great motivating advice for students to be successful, “Have passions. Be driven. Persevere. Never give up. Always learn. Be open to new ideas and methods. Listen. Share. Fill the gaps.”

When asked who would he like to have coffee/tea with Lawrence said the UW President, Wyoming legislators, and policy makers. Perhaps they would be interested in hearing about his ideas for a dream project.  He loves to focus on challenges that others say can’t be done and solving relevant problems that help people. Sounds like this is what feeds his passion for building things in the real world and making a difference.

More interesting things to know about Lawrence.

If he could time travel, he would go to the future – to a human colony on another planet.
His one superpower would be:  Long life.

He prefers:

  • Coffee to Tea
  • Medium to Well Done or Rare
  • Biking to Hiking
  • Do-it-Yourself to “Call an Expert”


Sara Davis Headshot

Sara Davis

Title: University Archivist
Department: American Heritage Center
Education: MS Library Science with an area of concentration in archives management, Simmons College; BA Human and Fine Arts, University of Wyoming; BA English with minor in Psychology, University of Wyoming; AA Music, Laramie County Community College

 

Prior to joining the staff at the American Heritage Center, Sara was at the NPS Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site/National Associate of Olmsted Parks in Brookline, Massachusetts. She is excited about being back at her alma mater, not only because of her Wyoming roots, but also because she wants to give back to her community. “I have always been proud of the fact that the University of Wyoming strives to provide high quality education at an affordable cost. UW, as a public institution, also provides invaluable resources to the community such as library services.”

Sara’s varied interests led her to a position at a library and her pursuit of information science as a profession allowing her to constantly learn about a variety of subjects. “The theory that ‘we are what we keep’ motivates me to pursue and contribute to creating an unbiased comprehensive account of history by collecting and preserving materials that help document the past, and creating equal access to these resources.”

What motivates Sara to get out of bed in the morning? “I love working with materials that can date over a hundred years old and provide access to these items to contribute to research.”

More interesting things to know about Sara:

Next place she would like to visit: Ireland is her top choice because she is fascinated by the culture, landscape, and history.

Favorite day of the week: Sunday.

She prefers:

  • Sweet To Sour
  • Cold Weather to Hot Weather
  • Music Festival to Art Festival
  • Reality to Fiction


Tiger Robison

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Music Education
Education: PhD Music Education, The Hartt School, University of Hartford; M.S. Music Education, Central Connecticut State University; B.M. Music Education, The Hartt School, University of Hartford
Research Interests: Gender in music education, music teacher educators, music teacher preparation
Teaches: Elementary General Music Methods, Aural Theory, Introduction to World Music

Tiger Robison headshot

Tiger comes to UW from the University of Maryland. When asked what excites him about being at UW, he replied “I love working with undergraduate students. The undergraduates I work with are passionate about the art and science of music, education, and music education. Additionally, I value my colleagues a great deal. I have never seen a set of faculty members so dedicated to each student’s success.” Tiger’s advice for students about what it will take to be successful (in his classes), “I constantly urge my students to be what I call ‘pleasantly aggressive’ about their education, meaning that they should seek every opportunity to gain or apply knowledge. School is what you make of it.”

Prior to becoming a professor, Tiger taught music in the public schools for 10 years. He feels that the interactions he had with every student year after year gave him a great perspective on education and development in general. Tiger is one of the few researchers in the country writing about male music teachers in elementary schools and the unique challenges and triumphs at work. He would like to become an emergent authority on gender in music education and to inspire more men to consider working in elementary schools.

More interesting things to know about Tiger:

Next place he would like to visit: China. He has friends from there and one of his hobbies is studying 3rd century Chinese history.

If he could shop for free at one store: Babies R Us! My daughter is just over 2 years old and always needs a lot of gear.

He prefers:

  • Bright Colors to Neutral Colors
  • Night Owl to Early Bird
  • Hiking to Biking
  • Eating In to Dining Out

Rachel Gattermeyer headshot

Rachel Gattermeyer

Title: Digital Archivist
Department: American Heritage Center
Education: Master of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign

Rachel recently joined the staff at the American Heritage Center and is delighted to be working alongside faculty and staff who are active in the archival community, willing to experiment with best practices, and who love to come to work in the morning. She loves that she gets to be part of a “Wild West” period in the archival field – where technology advances and changes are happening so rapidly that the opportunities to preserve and share digital records are seemingly limitless.

Before she came to UW, Rachel worked as a digital archivist for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. She is looking forward to exploring the parks and a new part of the U.S. One of her early impressions of Laramie, “the people are weirdly friendly. My first week here, a stranger offered to help shovel snow off my sidewalk. Moving from a city, this is a bit of a shock to the system.”

More interesting things to know about Rachel:

If she could have coffee/tea with someone, it would be: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Favorite day of the week: Thursday
Favorite movie: The Princess Bride

Her preferences include:

  • Sour to Sweet
  • Book to Kindle
  • Cooking Class to Dancing Class
  • Fall to Spring


Chao Lan

Title: Assistant Professor 
Department: Computer Science
Education: PhD University of Kansas
Research Interests:
Machine Learning, Data Mining
Teaching: Machine Learning, Spring 2018

Chao Lan headshot

 

Prior to joining the UW faculty, Chao was at the University of Kansas. So far, he is impressed with the big sky, convenient life, and nice weather in Laramie (keep in mind he wrote this last fall, and he maintains this impression till now!). This is his first job and he is looking forward to building a research career at UW.

Chao is currently investigating machine learning applications in anomaly detection tasks, and adapting artificial intelligence techniques to social justice needs. His dream project would be a technical project that is actually deployed in reality (e.g. court) that helps innocent minority defendants. In addition, Chao says he would use a million dollar grant to recruit students to build a socially-aware data analytics club.

Here are some of Chao’s favorite things:

Book: Demian: The Story of Emil Sinclair’s Youth
Vacation: One week travelling through several national parks in Colorado
Day of the week: Friday

He prefers:

  • Tea to Coffee
  • Fall to Spring
  • Surf to Turf
  • Eating In to Dining Out

Nancy Small headshot

Nancy Small

Title: Assistant Professor and Director of Writing Programs
Department:  English
Education: PhD Texas Tech; MA/BA Texas A&M
Research Interests:  Rhetoric, Storytelling, and Identity
Teaching: College Composition & Rhetoric, Rhetorics of Civil Discourse

 

Prior to joining the English Department, Nancy was at Texas A&M at Qatar. When asked what excites her about being at UW, she replied “The community of scholars and teachers in my own department, as well as at the university in general, are a great source of energy and inspiration. I love the interdisciplinary opportunities such as those described in The Power of Play project.”

Nancy describes her academic/career path as traditional and non-traditional. After earning her master’s in 1994 she became a full-time teaching faculty member at Texas A&M where she gained extraordinary experience in teaching, curriculum development/assessment, mentoring, and administration. She went back to school for her PhD at 40 years old and finished in 2014. “So I am simultaneously old and new: an expert university instructor and a fresh-faced scholar.”

Nancy says her outrageous dream project would be to map all the definitions, theories, methods of studying, and applications of storytelling across disciplines and cultures. When she began her research, she was “blown away by how ‘narrative’ is defined and used in so many diverse ways. I would love to map that universe.”

She prefers:

  • Cold Weather to Hot Weather
  • Art Festival to Music Festival
  • Vanilla to Chocolate
  • Fiction to Reality (“Isn’t it all made up anyway?!?”)

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