Faculty Advisory Group

People involved in the Engage program:

Faculty Advisory Group Previous Professors
Steve Ackerman
Jake Blanchard
Pamela Scheibel
Erica R. Halverson

Jolanda Vanderwal Taylor

Rich Halverson
John Schaffer
Pamela Scheibel
Delores Severtson
Constance Steinkuehler


Steve Ackerman, Ph.D.
Photo of Steve AckermanProfessor Steven Ackerman, Ph.D., joined the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science in 1992. In 1999, he became Director of the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, a collaborative research center between University of Wisconsin-Madison and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He received the Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1999. He is actively involved in a variety of formal and informal education activities and uses a variety of technologies and instructional strategies in his teaching. Steve is a member of the UW-Madison Teaching Academy.

Jake Blanchard, Ph.D.
Photo of Jake Blanchard Jake Blanchard, PhD, is a Professor in the Engineering Physics Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He holds a BS in mechanical engineering, an MS in engineering, and a PhD in nuclear engineering, all from UCLA. He has published more than 75 articles in refereed journals in several engineering fields, including fusion technology, solid mechanics, materials, and applied physics. Dr. Blanchard received the prestigious UW Distinguished Teaching Award in 2002. Jake is a member of the UW-Madison Teaching Academy.


Erica R. Halverson, Ph.D.
Photo of Erika HalversonErica R. Halverson, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Curiculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned a Ph.D. from the Learning Sciences Department at Northwestern University in 2005. Her overarching research interest is the intersection of identity and learning; in particular, she sees the dramaturgical process - the telling, adapting, and performing of personal narrative - as a sophisticated set of literacy practices that lie at this intersection. As a learning scientist and former non-profit Executive Director, she is also interested in how this knowledge can inform the design of future programs that purposefully engage youth in complex struggles of self- and community presentation through the performance of their life stories. Her research as a co-principal investigator on the MacArthur Foundation-sponsored grant, focuses primarily on the application of the dramaturgical process to the practice of filmmaking. Erica is a member of the UW-Madison Teaching Academy.


Dolores Severtson, Ph.D.
Photo of Dolores Lori Severtson

Lori Severtson studies how household and community-level environmental health risk information is related to beliefs and behavior, and how that information is understood within a context of sensory experiences. For example, she has studied how drinking water test results influence beliefs and risk mitigation behavior within a context of perceptions of the taste, smell, and appearance of drinking water. Professor Severtson is particularly interested in how visual images; including maps, can be used to convey meaningful data-based and user-centered information to broad audiences. Two of her recent studies show that a visual image of a laboratory test result for household drinking water from a private well was related to more appropriate safety beliefs and mitigation intentions compared to a standard alphanumeric version. Current work includes: 1) exploring how community-level map information of well water test results shapes risk beliefs, affect, and behavioral intentions and 2) participating in a multi-stakeholder planning process to identify information technology strategies for increasing public access to user-centered well water information.


Jolanda Vanderwal Taylor, Ph.D.
Photo of Jolanda Vanderwal TaylorProfessor Jolanda Vanderwal Taylor, Ph.D., teaches Dutch language, literature and culture in the Department of German. Her publications include A Family Occupation: Children of the War and the Memory of World War II in Dutch Literature of the 1980s (1997). Her research focuses on 20th-Century Dutch literature and culture. She has also presented on the uses of instructional technology.