Great Lakes Writers Festival bringing accomplished writers to campus
Lakeland College will welcome a popular Wisconsin writer and an accomplished poet to its annual celebration of writing and reading, the Great Lakes Writers Festival, set this year for Nov. 5-6 on Lakeland's main campus.
Nickolas Butler and A. E. Stallings will join the Lakeland community for conversations about their craft and to read from their work. The event, hosted by Lakeland Fessler Professor of Creative Writing Karl Elder, provides seasoned and emerging writers the opportunity to learn from professional writers and share and discuss their work with peers.
Community members are invited to participate in all events, but are especially encouraged to attend readings and workshops. All events are free and open to the public.
For a complete schedule, visit the events page at greatlakeswritersfestival.org.
Butler was born in Allentown, Pa., raised in Eau Claire, Wis., and educated at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. He is the author of the internationally bestselling novel, "Shotgun Lovesongs," and a collection of short stories entitled, "Beneath the Bonfire."
He is the winner of France's prestigious PAGE Prix America, the 2014 Great Lakes Great Reads Award and the 2014 Midwest Independent Booksellers Award, and was long-listed for the 2014 Flaherty Dunnan Award for First Novel and short-listed for France's FNAC Prix.
Along the way, he has worked as a Burger King maintenance man, a tutor, a telemarketer, a hot dog vendor, an innkeeper (twice), an office manager, a coffee roaster, a liquor store clerk and an author escort. His itinerant work includes: potato harvester, grape picker and Christmas tree axe-man. His short stories, poetry and non-fiction have appeared in: Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review Online, The Lumberyard, The Christian Science Monitor, Narrative, Sixth Finch and several other publications.
He lives on 16 acres of land in rural Wisconsin adjacent to a buffalo farm. He is married and has two children.
Among the finest New Formalist poets in the world, Stallings studied classics at the University of Georgia and Oxford. She has published three collections of poetry: "Archaic Smile," "Hapax" and "Olives," and a verse translation (in rhyming fourteeners) of "Lucretius, The Nature of Things."
She has received a translation grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and fellowships from United States Artists, the Guggenheim Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation. She is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She speaks and lectures widely on a variety of topics, and has been a regular faculty member at the West Chester Poetry Conference and the Sewanee Summer Writers' Conference.
Having studied in Athens, Ga., she now lives in Athens, Greece, with her husband and their two children.
Lakeland welcomed largest incoming class in a decade
Lakeland College welcomed its largest incoming class in a decade to its main campus this fall.
The 154-year old college has 277 new students at its main campus in Sheboygan County, the largest group since 2005. The total includes 211 traditional full-time freshmen, a 29 percent increase over last fall.
"We had a great recruiting year for our home campus, enrolling an energetic, active and engaged group of young people, and we did it at a time when many of our peers throughout the Midwest are facing tough enrollment challenges," said Lakeland President Dan Eck.
The college's total enrollment for this fall is 3,292 students. That includes 798 students at its home campus in Sheboygan County; 2,204 undergraduates and graduate students taking classes through the college's seven Evening, Weekend and Online centers across Wisconsin; and 290 students enrolled at its two-year campus in Tokyo, Japan.
"Our recruiting process is helping students understand why they should choose Lakeland, and how to approach this very significant decision in their lives," Eck said. "It's easy to take for granted, but the effort required to successfully transition from high school to college should not be underestimated. Our faculty and staff excel at helping students make the right choices on their paths towards graduation and beyond.
"Students are also selecting Lakeland for the quality of our programs, such as our accounting program, which is ranked in the top 100 in the nation. In addition, numerous facilities and equipment upgrades, including the newest classroom technologies, a new cellular lab for undergraduate research and state-of-the-art airplanes for our aviation program, are driving students to Lakeland."
Lakeland's main campus incoming class includes 211 domestic freshmen, 52 transfers from other institutions and 12 international students. The class includes students from 18 states. Fifty-five percent are from Wisconsin, 17 percent from Illinois and 7 percent from Michigan. There are 27 students from Sheboygan County, a 23 percent increase from a year ago.
"We had a higher percentage of out-of-state students this fall, so our 10 residence halls are full," Eck said. "We also saw a nice increase in local students choosing Lakeland, and we'll continue to make that a priority. I often hear people in the community say ‘I am seeing and hearing about Lakeland everywhere.' We need to keep that momentum rolling."
The 290 students in Japan are also a record for that campus, which Lakeland opened in 1991. Lakeland offers students in Tokyo a two-year associate's degree, and many transfer to the Wisconsin main campus to complete their bachelor's degree.
"Lakeland graduates will live and work in a global marketplace, and advances in technology are increasingly making connections easier," Eck said. "Students from Asia, Europe and Africa are discovering that they can receive a U.S.-style education through Lakeland College-Japan, and the door opens for them to come to the U.S. to get a full cultural immersion as part of their education."
Lakeland continued to see large numbers of Wisconsin high school students enrolling in its Concurrent Academic Progress Program (CAPP) courses. These courses are approved by Lakeland faculty and allow high school students to earn high school and college credit simultaneously. This fall, 520 high school students in Sheboygan County are earning college credit through Lakeland while taking classes within their high schools. Many are enrolled in more than one course.
"Lakeland's CAPP courses give college-bound students a great opportunity to save money on the cost of college," Eck said. "We are proud of our partnerships with high schools throughout the region in giving students the chance to prepare for the rigors of college and make access to higher education more affordable."
Mission House Lecture to feature minster, author Reid
The role our social standing plays in our interpretation of the Bible will be the focus of the annual Lakeland College Mission House Lecture.
Stephen B. Reid, a faculty member at George W. Truett Theological Seminary, a Baptist theological seminary at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, will discuss the role that one's social and economic status, ethnicity and race plays in the interpretation of the Bible.
The free talk is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 11 a.m. in Lakeland's Bradley Theatre. The Mission House Lecture is an annual talk by a leading religion leader and pays tribute to Lakeland's founding as Mission House College.
Following the lecture, a luncheon with Reid is planned from 12:30-2 p.m. The cost is $10 per person and reservations are required by Oct. 14. Register online at Lakeland.edu/MHC or contact Linda Bosman at or 920-565-1023, ext. 2151.
Reid is the author or editor of "Experience and Traditions: A Primer in Black Biblical Hermeneutics," "Listening In: A Multicultural Reading of the Psalms," "Prophets and Paradigms: Essays in Honor of Gene M. Tucker" and "Psalms and Practice: Worship, Virtue and Authority."
An ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren, he is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the Catholic Biblical Association.
Celebrating 56 years of Prof
He's semi-retired from teaching, but J. Garland Schilcutt will positively impact members of the Lakeland College community for many, many years to come.
During our recent Big Fish Festival, "Prof" received the first Professor J. Garland Schilcutt Award, which which will be awarded for years to come to alumni dedicated to educating, mentoring and positively impacting young people.
In addition, a full-tuition J. Garland Schilcutt Scholarship continues to be awarded each year to a qualified incoming freshman who plans to major in business. If you'd like to help fund this special scholarship, click here.
Check out this special slide show of Prof throughout the years!
Presnell-Weidner to showcase work
Denise Presnell-Weidner, who retired in the spring as an associate professor of art at Lakeland College, will open her final exhibit at Lakeland with a reception at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18.
The exhibit, which will be in the Bradley Gallery in the college's Bradley Fine Arts Building through Oct. 30, will include her newer work along with some old favorites.
The Bradley Gallery is open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday, when the college is in session. Attendance at the reception and admittance to the Bradley Gallery are both free and open to the public.
Presnell-Weidner came to Lakeland in 1989 as a member of the faculty and co-director of the Bradley Gallery with her husband, Bill Weidner. She served as chair of the Creative Arts Division and helped lead development of the graphic arts emphasis within the art major.
A prolific professional painter, printmaker and pastel artist, her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions regionally, nationally and internationally. She is represented by professional art galleries in Milwaukee, Mishicot and Elkhart Lake.
Presnell-Weidner said she has been inspired to return to figurative work with the development of new printmaking methods, specifically digital printing, solar etching and polyester plate lithography.
"My work is a dance between two realities – observed nature and intuition," she said. "Often, the natural world leads, but intuition becomes emboldened by inspiration's desire to take steps in an entirely different direction. I am never quite sure where the dance is leading – which I find exhilarating. My intuition decides when the song is over and waits for the next tune to begin.
Presnell-Weidner said after working with traditional methods for years, she is pushing the boundaries of her art through experimentation.
"This exploration is guided by a desire to think differently about how art is made," she said. "After many years of working in traditional methods where artwork was a flat, singular image, experimentation with new methods of image making has influenced how I put an image together. The methods and motivation are now entwined. I am at a time of shameless experimentation with combining unlike imagery onto substrates of any kind. The frame has become the art.
"I am not interested in 'playing it safe' with my artwork. There were many years when I was not bold enough to allow myself to step outside my own rules. I now challenge myself to dissolve the rules and boundaries that define art."