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WAA honors Kathleen Sell with Outreach Excellence Award

May 4, 2010 By Kate Dixon

The Wisconsin Alumni Association (WAA) has selected Kathleen Sell, a distinguished lecturer in the Department of Integrated Liberal Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, as the 2010 recipient of the Ken and Linda Ciriacks Alumni Outreach Excellence Award.

The Ciriacks Alumni Outreach Excellence Award recognizes UW faculty members who go above and beyond their job roles to support the Wisconsin Idea and WAA by delivering a variety of enrichment or outreach programs to a primarily alumni audience.

For more than six years, Sell has engaged alumni in lifelong learning programs with WAA. She has given presentations on a variety of topics, such as great books and midlife transition, at Alumni Colleges in Door County and Wisconsin’s northwoods, as well as in Osprey Point, Md., and Asilomar, Calif.

Sell and WAA also worked to capture, archive and distribute recordings of the lectures of professor Charles Anderson from the course Western Culture: Political, Economic & Social Thought. This provided the inspiration for WAA’s online Alumni Media Library, and these lectures are available for free download through UW’s iTunesU.

“We’re proud to recognize Kathi Sell for her many contributions to the UW alumni community,” said WAA President and CEO Paula Bonner (MS’78). “Her dedication to today’s students and alumni everywhere allows Badgers across the state and country to engage in learning for a lifetime.”

Sell is a former member of the UW System President’s Cabinet, where she was the chief budget officer for the 26-campus UW System. She is also a senior staff affiliate of the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education.

The $2,500 Alumni Outreach Excellence Award is named for WAA Board member Ken Ciriacks ’58, one of the most active alumni in the history of WAA, and his wife, Linda. A geologist and former petroleum industry executive, Ken Ciriacks was a charter member of the geology department’s board of visitors and is a member of the Bascom Hill Society. His generosity helped make possible the excavation and reconstruction of the Geology Museum’s 33-foot-long Edmontosaurus dinosaur skeleton.

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