Retiree Spotlight: Thank you, Lisa Landgraf

Lisa Landgraf, a professor in Computer Science and Software Engineering, will be retiring from UW-Platteville after a total of 18 years at the university.

Landgraf graduated from Iowa State University in 1980 with a BS degree in computer science and immediately entered the scene of higher-level education as an employee in the data processing department at Loras College and Briar Cliff College (now Briar Cliff University).

Then, she served as the director of the data processing department at Briar Cliff University for a few succeeding years.

She returned to education as a student and in 1995 earned her master’s degree in computer science from the University of Iowa.

At this time, Landgraf came to UW-Platteville to teach computer science for 5 years, leaving in 2000 to teach at Clarke College (presently, Clarke University) for 7 years until 2007.

In 2005, she attended Nova Southeastern University to earn her PhD in information systems.

After leaving Clark College in 2007, she returned to Platteville to teach computer science again as well as software engineering courses.

How did you become interested in the field in which you taught?

“I loved math, and computer science was a brand new degree program in the late 70s when I attended Iowa State. I didn’t think I wanted to teach so gave computer science a try. I learned that I was very good at requirements analysis of projects and training people how to use new software. That led me to teaching.”

Have you been involved with any organizations on campus?

“I’ve been a faculty advisor in the past for AITP [Association of Information Technology Professionals], one of our student organizations. I was the PI [Primary Investigator] for the very first NSF S-STEM grant the institution received and again was the PI for the NSF S-STEM Masters grant that will end in July. I’ve served on several committees. I was director of the what is now the Teaching and Technology office for 1 1/2 years. I was chairperson of CSSE [Computer Science and Software Engineering] from 2017-2019.”

The National Science Foundation (NSF) was created by Congress in 1950 with the intended goal of enrichening and enabling the scientific fields in the United States.

NSF reports having a budget of 8.3 billion dollars in 2020 and is the core source of roughly 24 percent of federally supported research in American universities.

Amongst the pool of support programs, the Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) program seeks to fund and promote dedicated pursuits in the STEM fields.

What are some fond memories, if you would be willing to share, of your time as a college instructor?

“I loved coming up with a project each year for the Computer Information Systems students and watching them tackle it and come to see how things work in this field. I loved advising students. It was so cool to watch them launch themselves.”

Do you have advice to share with students?

“Communication is so essential in what we do. When a teacher takes the time to email you about something (like advising) RESPOND!”

Do you have any final words for the university?

“I salute the staff and faculty who see value in education. Your work matters!”

After a teaching career of 25 years, Landgraf plans to retire from education and intends to travel and take time to relax after the pandemic.