The oldest son of Damian Joseph Vraniak and Katherine Waggoner was born Damian Anthony Vraniak on May 19, 1950. Damian Joseph, a veteran of WWII and the Korean War died in 1954, leaving his wife to care for their three young boys. Katherine and her sons stayed with her parents, John Waggoner and Alice (Grandbois-Rogers) Waggoner and her 14 siblings, until she met and married Kenneth McShane in 1958. From 1959 to 1989, Damian Anthony used his step-father's last name and was known as Damian Anthony McShane. In 1989, during a time of great personal loss and transition, Damian Anthony resumed the last name of Vraniak, which had always been his legal name.
Vraniak received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mankato State College in 1973, and a Master of Arts degree in Psychology from George Peabody College in 1976. He earned a PhD in Psychology from Vanderbilt University in 1980. He was on the faculty of several universities, including the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Northern Arizona University, Utah State University, and the Oregon Health Sciences University. He is a prodigious scholar, who authored or co-authored over fifty journal articles and book chapters regarding many different subjects in the field of psychology. He was one of the foremost Indian mental health scholars in the country.
Vraniak has also been involved with prairie restoration for over 25 years. He won recent awards from the Washburn County (Wisconsin) Land and Water Department, as well as the Northwest Wisconsin County Land and Water Conservation Association. In 2004, he published a book entitled Prairie Relations: Book One, Sources Signs and Seasons of Flowering Plants on the Prairie and Savanna under the name Waubishmaa'ingan.
All books available in Special Collections:
The Lord's Prayers: (a Brief Study of the 33 Gospel Passages Concerning Prayer by Jesus). Damian and Christina Vraniak. Springbrook, WI: Whitewolf Press, 2017.
The Magic Map of a Woman. Written by Damian Vraniak and Illustrated by Sue Geiken. Hayward, WI: Whitewolf Press, 2011.
Maps and Metaphors of the Human Heart: 1-2-3 Mystery. Book 2: Parents, Pals, and Partners (Chapters 5-8). Damian Vraniak. Hayward, WI: Whitewolf Press, 2009.
Patterns Illuminating How Jesus Opens Hearts: a New Passage Through the Gospels. Damian and Christina Vraniak. Springbrook, WI: Whitewolf Press, 2016.
Prairie Relations: Book One, Sources Signs and Seasons of Flowering Plants on the Prairie and Savanna. Waubishmaa'ingan (Damian Vraniak). Hayward, WI: Whitewolf Press, 2004.
School-Based 123M: a Guide and Manual for Optimizing Student Functioning. Damian Vraniak and William Schmelzer. 2009.
Scouting 123M: a Guide and Manual for Optimizing Team Process. Damian Vraniak, William Schmelzer, and Erik Hansen. 2009.
Travailler: Volume 1-the Huron of Georgian Bay and Quebec. Damian Vraniak. Springbrook, WI: Whitewolf Press, 2020.
Travailler: Volume 4-the Metis of Winnipeg, Pembina, and Grand Forks. Damian Vraniak. Hayward, WI: Whitewolf Press, 2019.
Welcoming the Holy Spirit into your Heart & Soul: Guide to an Eight Week Study of the Holy Spirit in Scripture. Damian and Christina Vraniak. Whitewolf Press, 2018.
The Elizabeth Grandbois Memorial Collection of Manuscripts document the scholarly career of her great-grandson Dr. Damian Vraniak (also known as Damian McShane). The collection was received without an original order, and for this reason the collection was organized and arranged by the Department of Special Collections as follows:
Series 1: Biographical/Personal
Series 2: Publications
Series 3: Presentations
Series 4: Research
Series 5: Grants and Proposals
Series 6: 1987 Tenure Files from Utah State University, Logan
Series 7: Subject Files