Valerie Barske is a Professor of History and Coordinator of International Studies and Peace Studies with teaching and service commitments in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. Barske received her Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Cultures with disciplinary emphases in History and Anthropology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2009. Her ethnographic fieldwork and archival research on female activists in Okinawa, Japan has been funded by a Fulbright IIE Fellowship, a Blakemore Foundation Fellowship, and a Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Research Fellowship. Barske also received a UW System Fellowship with the Institute for Research in the Humanities. As a scholarly teacher, Barske combines anthropological theories of embodiment with feminist pedagogical practices into her own “signature pedagogy” for teaching History and International Studies. Barske employs embodied learning as an inclusive strength-based approach that helps students to co-construct “brave spaces” for taking new actions, to think with and through movement, and to explore epistemologies that valorize affect, agency, and intersectional subjectivities.
Heather Pelzel is a Professor of Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she teaches courses in cell biology, microbiology, and public health. She was a Wisconsin Teaching Fellow in 2014-2015 with a project that focused on the use of Team-Based Learning to improve student success in a mid-level required course for Biology majors. At UWW, Pelzel has been a LEARN Center Faculty Fellow and Director, a Teaching Scholar, a departmental Master Advisor, and now a department Chair. Pelzel is a SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities) Ambassador and offers workshops and training opportunities for this interested in incorporating the SENCER ideals and pedagogy into their curriculum. Heather does this in her own courses through the use of the Tiny Earth project in her microbiology course. Her pedagogical approaches center around the use of complex problems and real data to increase student engagement and learning. Heather is also a proponent of alternative grading and has started examining different approaches in her courses.