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Nancy Matthews to lead U. of Wisconsin's center for public service

University of Wisconsin
June 11, 2010
Nancy Mathews, a professor of environmental studies and chair of Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been named faculty director of the university’s Morgridge Center for Public Service. She succeeds Michael Thornton, who completes his term as the center’s faculty director at the end of June.

The Morgridge Center advances the Wisconsin Idea by developing and promoting civic engagement, strengthening teaching and learning, and facilitating collaborative partnerships through public service, academic service-learning, community-based research and engaged scholarship.

“I am deeply honored to be selected as the next faculty director of the Morgridge Center, and I look forward to advancing the mission to serve the campus and our constituents locally, regionally and globally as part of the Wisconsin Idea,” says Mathews, who has expressed a strong interest in building community partnerships and providing experiential learning opportunities for students.

“Professor Mathews’ appointment will add dramatic value to the activities of the center,” says UW-Madison Provost Paul DeLuca. “She is a skilled organizer and has a strong strategic vision for where the center can go. We anticipate that under Nancy’s leadership the Morgridge Center will achieve new prominence as an outstanding source of academic translational activities into communities. The institution is most pleased with this appointment.”

“John and I are exceedingly pleased that Nancy Mathews will be the new director of the Morgridge Center,” says Tashia Morgridge, who was a member of the search committee. John and Tashia Morgridge, both UW-Madison alumni, were instrumental in the creation of the center and provided a generous endowment for it.

“Nancy’s leadership style and experience coupled with her personal dynamism will help to lead the Morgridge Center forward,” Tashia Morgridge adds. “She has already suggested ways to broaden the scope and effectiveness of the center. The past directors have been the right people to guide the Morgridge Center through its formative years. Nancy is the right leader for this new phase of development.”

Mathews says that while service learning and engagement have been the hallmarks of the center since its creation in 1996, it has a new role to consider in advancing public scholarship over the next decade.
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