Tag Archives: Rotary Club of Madison Guest Speaker

Extensive Collection of University Archives

–submitted by Linda Maremont; photo by John Bonsett-Veal

David Null

UW Archivist David Null (right) pictured here with Club President Ellsworth Brown

David Null spoke to the club this week about the collections and services provided to the State by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives.  David has been Director of the University Archives and Records Management at UW-Madison since 2005, after being Acting Head since May of 2002.

The University Archives are frequently confused with the Historical Society Archives.  Though they are both located on the UW-Madison campus, they are different entities.  The University Archives are the official repository for the UW-Madison campus, the early University, UW System Administration and UW Colleges and the UW Extension.

The Archives have an extensive collection, including:  27,000 cubic feet of paper materials, 2,500,000 images, 1,400 oral histories, 10,000 audio/video tapes and films and various objects and memorabilia.  While they do not have a museum they are open to public to view any of their materials at their location in Steenbock Library.

The Archives have a social media presence on Tumblr, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter.  They post archival photographs and information on these sites as well as on their own website which are frequently shared and accessed across the globe.

An ongoing challenge is to determine what materials are worthy of digitization.  While this enables them to be viewed by a wider audience via the web, digitization is more time consuming and costly than most people realize.  The Aldo Leopold archives, for example, were the most used collection in paper and now can be accessed digitally all over the world.  However, the process took 2.5 years to complete at a cost of $220,000.

An additional challenge is to determine what items should be considered from an archival perspective that may never have been on paper, such as e-mails and social media communications.

New is Now

–submitted by Andrea Kaminski; photo by Pete Christianson

John Sheehan 7 22 2015In his presentation July 22, fellow Rotarian John Sheehan spoke about the soon-to-open UW Health at The American Center. Having grown up in Sun Prairie, Sheehan said the opportunity in 2013 to serve as President of this UW Health Center was what brought him back to Wisconsin from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Scheduled to open August 17 in the American Center Business Park, this innovative campus will take a unique approach to healthcare. The Center’s philosophy is that healthcare is a “holistic endeavor where our mission is to not only diagnose and treat you when you’re sick but also to partner with you in health and wellness.”

Sheehan explained the goals of UW Health at The American Center:

  1. To be a center for elective and ambulatory surgeries, freeing up space at UW Hospital for transplants and other more complicated procedures;
  2. To offer a new access point for UW Health on the growing east side;
  3. To provide outreach to new communities, offering programs focused on wellness and prevention. Sheehan noted that this focus will help keep healthcare costs down and is consistent with the Affordable Care Act’s focus on population health;
  4. To be a place that fosters innovation in healthcare delivery because of the facility’s smaller size and lean management.

The center will have three wings: an emergency department; a clinic and ambulatory wing with exam rooms, 56 beds and 14 operating rooms; and a sports performance and wellness wing, which will offer classes and programs focused on prevention. Staff will use state-of-the art technology, such as electronic service badges designed to monitor patient flow and address any bottlenecks. There will be 24/7 consulting services via “telemedicine” which will allow patients to consult with their providers.

Sheehan credited architectural and building partners Flad and Findorff for creating a facility with a healing, quiet environment with outstanding art and such amenities as roof-top gardens for growing herbs and produce. Yes, herbs and produce, which will be used for nutrition classes in the demonstration kitchen.

Sheehan was particularly proud of the active participation of Patient and Family Advisors at every step in the design of the facility and programs. He invited Rotary members to attend opening events, which begin July 31. For more information see the Center’s WEBSITE.

Meet Club President Ellsworth Brown

–submitted by Valerie Johnson; photo by John Bonsett-Veal

DSC_0038Rotarians got to know our 2015-16 President, Ellsworth Brown, better this week, when he pledged transparency, revealed his personal story and his goals for his Rotary leadership year.

If you love history, you may know him professionally.  Director of the Wisconsin Historical Society for 11 years, he is the former President and CEO, and trustee of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and also of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.     Prior to this, he was director of the Chicago Historical Society. Brown was president of the American Association of Museums from 1990 to 1992, and is a director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.

If you love Rotary, you’ll be glad to hear his goals for this year include designing a major international outreach project with financial support from various sources including Rotary International, as well as instituting a high impact project centered on “building a strong, diverse but united and sustainable Madison community.”  This second project will include viewing our activities through a racial lens and supporting specific job training and career pathing actions.

With 44 committees, fellowship groups and events throughout the year, steering the club is a major work effort for the President. Brown told the group he appreciates the depth of the membership, what each member offers Rotary, and how they connect the club to the community. “You work hard to say yes,” he said.

Telling about his work, Brown shared more about the Wisconsin Historical Society.  The society has a dozen historical sites around the state. They are the official state archives and 60% state funded. They hold four million photographs and three million texts in 38 linear miles of shelving among 12 library/archive sites. “We aim to be useful” is their simple motto. They hold Daniel Boone’s papers, the student non-violent coordinating committee materials, and colonial newspapers, among many other treasures. “We have museum to help ensure we live in a civil society,” Brown said.

Dorothy, his wife of 50 years and whom he met on his first day of first grade, was at the luncheon. They live in Fitchburg.

Brown concluded with a quote, “The past is never dead, it isn’t even past.”

Maraniss on Race and Sports in the South

–submitted by Donna Hurd; photo by Mike Engelberger

Andrew MaranissAndrew Maraniss, son of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Maraniss and trailblazing environmentalist Linda Maraniss, and native of Madison, presented a depiction of sports pioneering through the eyes of the first African-American basketball player to join the historically all white Southeastern Conference in college basketball, Perry Wallace.

The biography,  Strong Inside, chronicles the journey of a young athlete who with trepidation, but with great hope, accepted the invitation to join Vanderbilt University men’s basketball team in 1970.  During a time when many southern, college-bound African-American athletes headed north to play for teams that recognized their talent and championship prospects, Wallace took a chance, while knowing the obstacles he faced and stayed at home in Nashville.  Maraniss tells a story of great courage amidst what may have been insurmountable adversity for some.

Wallace tells of the indignations endured during this time; racist taunts, physical affronts and unsportsmanlike cheers upon leaving the game injured.  He still endured.  He felt that people can be treated in three ways: 1) well, 2) poorly or 3) not at all; he experienced all three.  While Vanderbilt’s Chancellor and Chaplain were encouraging and accepting, his student colleagues were not as accommodating.  Persistent isolation outside of the home basketball court, in classes and even in a place of worship, Wallace did not give up or out.  While that treatment was harsh and inhumane, Wallace had the most difficulty with the third type of treatment of not being treated at all.  Noting that having his humanity denied presented the harshest psychological and emotional challenge of them all.

While clearly a gifted athlete, Wallace’s academic aspirations were equally important to him.  When told not to worry about academically performing well, he refused to “trade one plantation for another.”

Upon graduation from Vanderbilt, Wallace took the opportunity to share his story with a Nashville journalist, the story which proved to be detrimental to Wallace and the newspaper, with many subscribers canceling their subscriptions and expressing their enthusiasm with his decision to leave the city.  While he understood that his remarks would not be initially welcomed, he was hopeful with the passage of time that the words would eventually resonate with people and his wish was realized when he returned to Vanderbilt to discuss the book.  After a standing room only discussion about the biography, Wallace was met with tearful regrets and apologies from many of the students who meted out some of the harsh treatment he endured.

Perry Wallace went on to become an attorney with the Justice Department and is currently a Law Professor at American University in Washington, D.C.

Maraniss interviewed Perry Wallace in 1989 for a black history class he was enrolled in at Vanderbilt.  Strong Inside, Maraniss’ first book, was the first sports related book to receive the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

Henry Vilas Zoo – Something for Everyone

–submitted by Kevin Hoffman; photo by Mike Engelberger

Alison PrangeFellow Downtown Rotary member Alison Prange, Executive Director of the Friends of Henry Vilas Zoo since 2013, gave an energetic and passionate presentation on June 17 about the Zoo and its many programs, and the Zoo Travel Program that went to Tanzania in 2014.

The Zoo was founded in 1911 after a land grant was made by the Vilas family with the stipulation that the zoo charge no admission fee.  It remains a free zoo today – one of 10 in the country that is accredited by the AZA.  In 2014 it had over 725,000 guests that came from Dane County and all the surrounding states making it one of the top attractions in the area.

She hastened to point out that although the Zoo is free it is not free to operate and has a budget of $2,600,000.  There are three main sources of support:  Dane County provides $1,400,000, the City of Madison provides $350,000, and the Friends of Henry Vilas Zoo raise $850,000 through on-grounds revenue such as food and gift shop sales, special events, education programs, memberships, and fund raising.

On Memorial Day weekend the new Arctic Passage exhibit opened with over 3,600 visitors.  The exhibit is the new home for polar bears, grizzly bears, and harbor seals and features underwater viewing for an interactive and engaging experience for both humans and animals.  It also features the Glacier Grill with a dining area that looks onto the polar bear exhibit.

Alison reminded us of upcoming events that help support the Zoo.  On July 17 is a concert featuring the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, the 10th annual Zoo Run Run 5k and 10k race, and Halloween at the Zoo – a fun and safe way to spend Halloween with the kids.

The Zoo Travel Program in 2014 was a safari to Tanzania to learn about and understand wildlife in its natural habitat.  The goal of this program is to learn about animal conservation efforts and needs, instead of acquisition.  The travel group was immersed in the habitat of wild animals and were required to be in a vehicle or escorted by trained guides when moving around at night!

The group visited Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, the Masai tribe, Olduvai Gorge, and the Serengeti.  They saw (among many other animals) elephant, ostrich, giraffe, lions (including witnessing a group of female lions hunt zebra), flamingo, hippopotamus, wildebeest, cheetah, leopard, and the rare black rhinoceros (only 14 left).  It was the experience of a lifetime!

The next program, Great Wildebeest Migration in Tanzania, is scheduled for February 2016.

We Succeed: Latinos in Dane County

–submitted by Ellie Schatz; photo by Mike Engelberger

Coller KarenKaren Menendez Coller, Executive Director of Centro Hispano, began her passionate and substantive discourse by reminding us that Latinos in Dane County are a) a growing community, b) here to stay, and c) a presence.

Statistics show that Latino numbers in our community are great. An 80% growth in population in 5 years, 2010-2015, puts their current buying power at $1.5 trillion. There is a 5:3 ratio of men to women as migrant work brings men to the area. Yet, all the charts and statistics, including those documenting low incomes, poor education rates, and housing problems show us nothing about who Latinos are as fellow community members. Most of us, she says, know little about how they are hardworking, take care of their own, and live by strong family values.

Karen emphasized three key ingredients for equity. First is Stability in the Home. Chaos, unemployment, and chronic stresses work against such stability. Many have lost their social network and cope through addiction. Quality support services are critical, but the fact that a single staff member at Centro Hispano now sees 400 cases per year demonstrates the need for change. An example of one new program that provides a pipeline for job placement and career advancement is Caminos Certified Nursing Assistant Program, a collaborative effort between Centro Hispano and Madison College. Of 70 students enrolled since January 2015, 73% graduated and 82% are employed. Their incomes rose from as low as $7.25 per hour to as high as $20 per hour. 79% of the students went from unemployed or part-time employed to full-time positions.

The second ingredient is Youth Aspirations. Karen says that 31% of the Latino population in the county are under age 18, most of them living with the heavy issues of alcohol, drugs, and risk of pregnancy. The answer is to foster hope and meaning, and the way to do this is to engage the students in school. Centro is using a technique called asset mapping to help youth create a pipeline to graduation. Mentors in the community help student see themselves as well as their peers as assets in the community. Centro Hispano provides a base where each young person can feel safe as he or she engages in fun and meaningful activities.

The third ingredient is the Neighborhood Environment. Outreach, including wellness activities and food equity opportunities, smooths the way toward the end goal:  A Thriving Community. Reframing Latino Community Solutions means full inclusion: a community that tells us what they want and becomes engaged in getting there. Solutions include having a community development perspective, using a strategic perspective, and knowing who drives the agenda: the families themselves.

May We Succeed. Here’s to Karen’s call for innovation and engagement NOW.

Gee Shares a Tale of Two Cities

–submitted by Valerie Johnson; photo by Mike Engelberger

Alex GeeFollowing a song with the line “greater things are still to be done in this city” sung by a group from his church’s choir, The Rev. Dr. Alexander Gee, Jr. told Rotarians Madison is often accused of being a tale of two cities: the best place for some and the worst for others.

For the past fifteen months, Gee and members of the Justified Anger Leadership Team convened countless meetings with hundreds of African American Madisonians. They asked what the African American community thinks about racial disparity in Dane County and what suggestions they would make to address the disparity. Five focus areas were identified: education, economic development, incarceration, leadership and capacity development, and family and community wellness.

A framework document was developed, and community leaders were asked to sign up for workgroups in the five focus areas.  The next phase will be for African-American leaders to sit with community stakeholders to find common measurables, stand together and then carry out plans for these focus areas.  “This is an opportunity to stand on the same side,“ Gee said.

The group also plans to raise $1.5 million by January of 2016 to hire staff.  Gee says they will not create programs but rather they will advocate for equity, train for diversity and build capacity for change.

“Designing this document was historical,” Gee said, “Implementing it will be magical.”

In addition to his ministerial, consulting and academic activities, Gee is a co-author (Jesus & The Hip Hop Prophets, InterVarsity Press 2003) and author (When God Lets You Down, InterVarsity Press 2006). He received his Doctoral Degree in Transformational Leadership for Global Cities at Bakke Graduate University (BGU), in Seattle, Washington in June 2009.

The 50-page report is available by clicking: www.MobilizeMadison.com.

We would like to thank the Fountain of Life Covenant Church Choir members who sang the opening song at our Rotary meeting on June 3: Becca May Grant, Alicia Cooper, Lena Archer and Cynthia Woodland.