Investing in Student Success


Since the mid-1960s, UW-Whitewater has offered free peer-to-peer tutoring services for students. At that time, the focus was to help struggling students achieve passing grades.

Today, tutoring is seen by students as akin to preventative medicine — when students start getting help early and often, not only will they survive academically, they will thrive.


The Mary Poppe Chrisman Student Success Center opened in the fall of 2017 to house Student Support Services. In the fall semester over 45,000 hours of tutoring were completed – one of the highest service levels on record.

The Mary Poppe Chrisman Success Center provides Drop-In Math Center services every weekday with no appointment needed. Also, many student organizations have visited the Mary Poppe Chrisman Success Center for study nights, meetings, and more.

In Fall 2017 the university opened the doors to a state-of-the-art building dedicated to student success — the Mary Poppe Chrisman Success Center. In the first three months of the center’s opening, an all-time record of 45,476 tutoring hours were logged to benefit nearly 3,000 students.

Tutoring provides a game plan for students who want to deepen their understanding of material, improve their written and communication skills and increase their self-confidence.

Tutoring benefits both the student tutor who reinforces the material by teaching it and the student seeking assistance. In fact, student tutors have a 98% graduation rate and students who receive tutoring report a 98% satisfaction rate from these services. But our service goals are not yet realized.

Imagine the success of our student body if the center were able to continue to expand services for high demand subjects and invest in technologies to support different learning styles.

Imagine the message we will send to prospective students and parents about our commitment to ensuring their students do well and embrace academic success. And imagine how well-equipped students who use these services and those who serve as tutors will be to achieve success in the workplace.

UW-Whitewater is poised to capitalize on new opportunities to set our academic support services apart from its peer institutions and to address our campus strategic goal to increase retention and graduation rates. (continued)

The move to the Mary Poppe Chrisman Success Center brought greater visibility for these programs, and students have been drawn in by the welcoming atmosphere that creates a game plan for academic improvement and a sense of community.

As demand for these services rise, there will be increased costs for ongoing needs and new initiatives.

State funds and tuition fees will not be sufficient to meet the demand for hiring more qualified peer tutors and supplemental instructors, professional development support of Success Center employees, technology advancement, and other activities to expand the learning experiences and support initiatives for student success and center-based programs.

The Student Success Endowment will provide philanthropic support to ensure all students have access to high-quality academic services and that the services will be able to evolve to meet the future needs of students.

For 150 years, UW-Whitewater has been a campus of access and opportunity. With your help, we will help even more students achieve academic and personal success for generations to come.

Supplemental Instructors use large monitors to share notes and illustrations with students. Campus Tutorial Services is one of the largest employers of student workers on campus.
UW-Whitewater freshman Zoe Hawthorne, left, is tutored in math by junior Taylor Beaver. One-on-one and small group tutoring is offered in many subjects on a appointment or drop-in basis. 

The Student Success Endowment provides transformational learning experiences for students by enabling growth in programs and future initiatives for student success. It is with great appreciation that we recognize the generosity of initial donors to the Student Success Endowment Fund.


Byron R. Chrisman '59 - In honor of Mary Poppe Chrisman '57

Barbara J. Kreisman '72 and Carolyn Kreisman-Mielcarek '71 - In honor of Evelyn Hillier-Kreisman '38

Kathleen (Cooke) Nicolls '80 and Robert Nicolls

Jean and Christine Einerson - In memory of Allen Einerson

The TOSA Foundation - in honor or Franz Frankfurth

Fred '70 and Barbara Arndt

John D. Klinge '88

James and Carol Roever '86

Ann and Frank Luther - In honor of Don S. and Carolyn P. Ross

R. Chris Djorup '77

Friends of Allen Einerson and additional donors to the Student Success Endowment Fund

Mary Poppe Chrisman - Building Dedication

Cedar Grove native Mary Poppe came to Wisconsin State College-Whitewater to study mathematics. She married fellow student Byron Chrisman on the day she received her bachelor of science. The couple moved to Colorado, where she earned her master of science at the University of Colorado under a National Science Foundation Scholarship. Her professional life included teaching, computer programming and accounting. Her personal life included three sons, her husband’s business endeavors, an active outdoor life and her church.

Byron has said that Mary loved teaching and would have liked working as a student tutor when she was on campus. The Mary Poppe Chrisman Success Center, through Byron's gift, is a legacy in support of the mission and goals of student success at UW-Whitewater.

Evelyn-Hillier Kreisman '38 Conference Room - a gift from Barbara Kreisman '72 and Carolyn Kreisman-Mielcarek '71

Evelyn, one of three sisters who graduated from UW-Whitewater, attended school during the Great Depression. Due to the extreme challenges of the period she had to withdraw but returned to complete her degree shortly before World War II.

She became a teacher of Business Education in Menomonie WI, along with her husband, Irvin Kreisman, who was the school's English and Journalism teacher. Their daughters, Carolyn and Barbara are also graduates of UW-W.

Dr. Elmer G. Redford '59 Lab

The Dr. Elmer G. Redford ’59 Lab has been established in the Mary Poppe Chrisman Success Center on the campus of UW−Whitewater. “Thanks to a generous contribution from a UW−Whitewater alumnus, we are pleased to name this lab in honor of noted alumnus, instructor and staff member, Dr. Elmer Redford,” noted Greg Rutzen, President, UW-Whitewater Foundation, Inc. and Vice Chancellor for University Advancement. 

The room will recognize the foundational work of Dr. Elmer Redford, UW-Whitewater Emeritus Physics Faculty Member and Developmental Studies and Learning Skills Center Director. Dr. Redford faithfully served for twenty-seven years as a member of the Department of Physics and is highly regarded for mentoring numerous students. He was instrumental in leading the development and growth of the Tutorial Services precursor, then known as the Developmental Studies / Learning Skills Center. His vision laid the foundation for a tutoring program focused on student needs and leveraging the talents of peer mentors, faculty and counselors. Dr. Redford also was a long-term stakeholder and supporter of the R. W. Prucha Scholarship Fund. Additionally, he participated in the shared governance of the University as a member of the faculty senate.



Fred M. & Barbara J. Arndt Writing Center - Established by Fred '70 and Barbara in 2020

Frederick Arndt has held executive and leadership positions in human resources in Fortune 50 corporations as well as startup and early stage ventures for more than 45 years, including McKesson Corporation, SegaSoft, Capitol Records, Apple Computer, Searle Pharmaceuticals, Frito-Lay, and Baxter International.

Arndt admits that when he was a senior in high school,  it wasn’t clear he would make it to UW-Whitewater — or any college campus.  “My high school counselor said that, given my test scores, I wasn’t really college material,” he said.  His brother had gone to UW-Madison, but he felt that campus was too big for him. He knew about UW-Whitewater because an uncle had graduated from Whitewater State Teachers College in the 1930s, and while Arndt was in high school his grandmother was a house mother in one of the fraternity houses, so he’d go to Whitewater to pick her up and bring her home for the holidays.

Once he arrived on campus as a freshman, he knew he’d found his fit.  He started out as a business major, but a first-semester accounting class made him consider political science instead.  He took a Shakespeare course and was fascinated. He took every English class he could, so that by the time he was a junior he was 3-4 credits away from a second major in English, so he added it. One of the classes was creative writing.

“I knew writing would be helpful. The professor was a wild-haired guy with horn-rimmed glasses. I wrote an essay, he read it, and then he said, ‘I looked at this, and you only wrote a page and a half. I read it again and it dawned on me, you wrote what needed to be written — it was an economy of writing.’ But the grade was a C+. I asked the professor why I didn’t get an A, and he answered, ‘Your grammar.’ Although I ended up with a D in the class, it was the best class I took. Throughout my career, people have complimented me on the way in which I write.”

After graduating, Arndt spent three years serving in the Army during the Vietnam War. When he returned, he began working in human resources, eventually holding executive and leadership positions with Fortune 50 corporations as well as startup and early stage ventures until he retired from corporate leadership roles and established a consulting practice dedicated to leadership and human resource practices.  He attributes much of his success, both professional and personal, to his experiences at UW-Whitewater. He especially credits his professors in liberal arts studies — in particular writing and literature.


Allen Einerson Memorial Director's Office - Gift from Christine and Jean Einerson

Dr. Allen Einerson was the Director of Campus Tutorial Services and a Senior Developmental Skills Specialist in Academic Support Services at UW-Whitewater from August 1985 until May 2009.  In 1998 Dr. Einerson received the Excellence Award for Academic Staff.


Campus Tutorial Services

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Mary Poppe Chrisman Success Center 

235 North Prince Street, Whitewater, WI 53190

Contact Us

Office Phone: (262)-472-1230

Email: Tutorctr@uww.edu