Home » Uncategorized » Three former CJ staff members remember their years at UW-Eau Claire

Three former CJ staff members remember their years at UW-Eau Claire

This past fall, three staff members in the Communication and Journalism department taught their last classes on the UW-Eau Claire campus, and said goodbye to students and staff on their way out of Hibbard Hall. Before fully removing themselves from the department, they were able to leave their parting thoughts in a retirement blog post.

Liz Chmielewski

Started in the spring of 1980.

What is your favorite memory of your time at the university?

When I see students “find their voice” through public speaking. It is a wonderful thing to behold. There is nothing more inspiring than when a student sets out to do a difficult and important task, and then accomplishes it.On a more personal note, I met my husband here. My daughter graduated from here. I built my life here.

Liz and Terry Chmielewski were both professors at UW-Eau Claire for over 30 years. The two also met at the university.

Liz and Terry Chmielewski were both professors at UW-Eau Claire for over 30 years. The two also met at the university.

What are the biggest changes you have seen over the years in the department?

I came here in January of 1980. I went from being the youngest faculty member in the department, to now being one of the oldest. The biggest changes have been the faculty. I’ve seen them come and go over the years, but they give me fond memories. The biggest changes have been the people.

What was your favorite class to teach?

It would have to be CJ 202: Fundamentals of Speech. It has given me so much joy watching and learning from my students. It is probably one of the more difficult courses to teach because of the amount of work, and the fear that students have when they come into class.

What is the best thing about UWEC?

The people: Students, Faculty, Staff, and Administration.

Do you have any words of wisdom for students?

Learn from your mistakes.  Try not to make the same mistake twice…but if you do, forgive yourself. READ THE DIRECTIONS!

 

Terry Chmielewski

Started in the fall of 1979.

What is your favorite memory of your time at the university?

MOST FAVORITE: Meeting and marrying my wife of 35+ years. OTHER STUFF: Getting to shake hands with candidate Barack Obama when he spoke on campus. Getting to shake hands with former-President Bill Clinton when he spoke in Eau Claire.

What are the biggest changes you have seen over the years in the department?

In 1993 the department was Communication and Theater Arts, and we were housed in Haas Fine Arts Center. Theater Arts split from us and merged with Music, and Communication merged with Journalism. We (Communication) then moved over to Hibbard.

What was your favorite class to teach?

I’ve been lucky. I have three favorite classes: CJ 300: Research Methods; CJ 373: Writing for Public Relations; and CJ 479: Integrated Strategic Communication Management.

What is the best thing about UWEC?

The students! The beautiful campus/city!

Do you have any words of wisdom for students?

An ounce of planning is worth a pound of “Damn, I should have …”

 

Mike Dorsher

Started in the fall of 2000.

What is your favorite memory of your time at the university?

It’s hard to pick out just one, but I’d say that it would be some of the great Devroy speakers we have had on campus. Getting the chance to meet and spend the day with all of the great Devroy speakers we have had right up through Al Kamen this past year, and just all of the parts of the Devroy Forum in general.

What are the biggest changes you have seen over the years in the department?

The change in the journalism curriculum and the mindset of journalism students to go from when I started, the mindset of being either in broadcast journalism or print journalism in almost entirely separate programs and doing either one or the other. But then being able to converge what were separate programs and curricula, to no longer be separate and for students to gain skills in both.

Mike Dorsher taught in the CJ department for over 10 years. In some of his final years he led a multimedia journalism trip to London and France.

Mike Dorsher taught in the CJ department for over 10 years. In some of his final years he led a multimedia journalism trip to London and France.

What was your favorite class to teach?

If I had to choose one it would be Mass Media Ethics: CJ 412 because it was the class where I had the best discussions with students, and where I got to work with public relations and advertising students along with the journalism students. Also, to have Dave Gordon bring me in to be one of the co-authors and editors of the textbook for that class was a real highlight.

What is the best thing about UWEC?

The reason that I was initially attracted to Eau Claire was because it was a good medium sized university. It was large enough to attract good students and faculty from around the region, but at the same time it was small enough so that I got to know a lot of people, both faculty and especially the students in my classes. I can literally say that by mid-way through the semester every year I was able to remember every student’s name.

Do you have any words of wisdom for students?

Specifically for journalism students, I would say to not be discouraged by the small number of jobs available in big news or smaller local newsrooms. Instead, think more broadly about how you can do journalism that is valuable and to make a living, such as entrepreneurial journalism.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: