Author Archives: Sue Bodilly

Business Administration grad Skyla Aissen takes a break from her family Tree Farm to cross the stage with classmates, Dec. 15, 2018 at Weidner Center

Commencement video will be live-streamed

Green Bay, Wis. — With roots planted deep in Northeast Wisconsin and visions of “branch” expansion, recent Business Administration graduate and Christmas Tree Farm owner Skyla Aissen has her work gloves on and is ready for the future. But first she will walk with her 400-plus classmates and receive her University of Wisconsin-Green Bay diploma at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Commencement Live Stream Video

Aissen’s story is remarkable, and similar to her hard-working peers who graduate from UW-Green Bay. Heeding her grandmother’s advice, “24 hours is a lot of time in a day to get things done,” Aissen will graduate with honors in the Business program after only three and a-half years, this despite holding down a near-full-time job and running two side businesses that are associated with the Aissen Tree Farm in Kewaunee County. Her diligence allowed her to pay entirely for college on her own and graduate debt free.

Of the four-hundred-plus graduates this semester, the vast majority are Wisconsin residents, with a good portion choosing to stay, work and invest in Wisconsin. Among the graduates, 110 transferred into UW-Green Bay from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, showing the power of higher education partnership in Northeast Wisconsin. Watch remotely via live stream video.

Among the UW-Green Bay 2018 Fall/Winter Commencement stories:

Prof. Aldrete discusses ‘Three Unlikely Virtues”

One of the University’s most decorated faculty members, Prof. Gregory Aldrete will challenge the December 2018 graduating class with “Three Unlikely Virtues: solitude, failure and ignorance,” as tenets to a successful life. The national award-winning professor of Humanistic Studies and History, Aldrete will discuss virtues and advice for graduates drawn from ancient and medieval history revealed through his tenured career.

Student Speaker Putnam finds time to mentor in her pre-med journey

Lauren Putnam (Marathon, Wis.) has made the most of her undergraduate experience and has been selected as the student speaker. The Human Biology major was a dedicated tutor at Green Bay West High School, mentor for future health studies students and she was a motivated researcher. She worked as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in the oncology unit at Aspirus Hospital, Wausau and as a student employee in the Cofrin Library. “My involvement tutoring at-risk students at West High School has been something I have grown to love,” she said. “Tutoring is about igniting a passion for learning and building up the confidence students need to believe that they can do so much more. Overall, my intention for being involved both on and off campus is to create a structural foundation that will allow students the field experience, knowledge and confidence they need. I dream that I can be a part of creating hopeful future UW-Green Bay graduates and healthcare professionals for years to come.”

Changing of the guard

Jan Snyder has directed nearly 17,000 students through commencement ceremonies over nearly two decades and 36 commencement ceremonies. This, the 37th, is her last as commencement coordinator. She retires from UW-Green Bay in February 2019. Among her favorite memories of Commencement Day:

  • Watching graduate Jennifer Ulrich ‘13 (Psychology) walk across the stage to get her diploma.
    Ulrich had been mostly wheelchair bound and trained diligently to be able to accomplish the feat.
  • Making special arrangements for veterans and military families to attend ceremonies.
  • Getting signals crossed with the music director, prompting a number of renditions of “Pomp and Circumstance.” See more.

About the Graduating Class of 2018

This year’s graduating class includes 425 UW-Green Bay students (390 undergraduates and 35 graduate students) who have applied to graduate at the end of the fall 2018 semester or winter 2019 short-term. The class is almost identical to last year, when the University graduated 437 students.

  • 92% are Wisconsin residents and 159 students (37%) are Brown County residents. Much of the class (279) or 63% comes from UW-Green Bay’s new 16-county, four-campus region.
  • Area high schools are well represented, with 43 who are former graduates of Green Bay Area High Schools Preble (17), East (10), Southwest (9) and West (7)
  • Commencing will be 26 veterans and 5 international students
  • 54% are the first in their family to attend college
  • Human Development and Psychology lead the way with 50 graduates each; followed by Business Administration, Nursing and Organizational Leadership (46 each) and Human Biology (41)
  • UW-Green Bay graduates its first (5) students in the Master of Science in Health and Wellness Management

About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs to nearly 8,000 students with campus locations in Green Bay, Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan. Established in 1965 on the border of Green Bay, the University and its campuses are centers of cultural enrichment, innovation and learning. The Green Bay campus is home to one of the Midwest’s most prolific performing arts centers, a nationally recognized 4,000-seat student recreation center, an award-winning nine-hole golf course and a five-mile recreational trail and arboretum, which is free and open to the public. This four-campus University transforms lives and communities through student-focused teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities, powerful connections and a problem-solving approach to education. UW-Green Bay’s main campus is centrally located, close to both the Door County resort area and the dynamic economies of Northeast Wisconsin, the Fox Valley region and the I-43 corridor. UW-Green Bay offers in-demand programs in science, engineering and technology; business; health, education and social welfare; and arts, humanities and social sciences. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.

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Prof. Greg Aldrete to address the December 2018 graduating class

Greg Aldrete leading Greek Hoplite battle reenactment

Since 1995, Professor Gregory Aldrete has been relating the past to the present at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. A professor of Humanistic Studies and History, Aldrete focuses his studies on the Ancient World and what lessons we can learn from history. In his address, “Three Unlikely Virtues,” Aldrete will discuss virtues and advice for graduates drawn from ancient and medieval history.

Greg Aldrete

Prof. Greg Aldrete
December 2018 Commencement Speaker

Aldrete earned his Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University before earning his master’s and Ph.D. in Ancient History from the University of Michigan. As a professor at UW-Green Bay, Aldrete teaches classes ranging from Foundations of Western Culture, to Perspectives on Human Values, to the History of Ancient Rome and War and Civilization. Aldrete has been recognized many times over for his work as an educator, including receiving the University’s Founders Association Awards for both excellence in scholarship and teaching, and the UW System Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching, as well as being named the 2012 Wisconsin Professor of the Year.

Students in his class are used to his interdisciplinary approach that combines history, philology, archaeology, art history, and textual and physical evidence — from bringing artifacts like ancient coins into the classroom to dressing in a linothorax — a multi-layered linen armor.

Aldrete has also been recognized nationally, receiving the American Philological Association Award for Excellence in Teaching of Classics at the College Level in 2009, as well as five National Endowment for the Humanities research fellowships.

In addition to teaching on campus, Aldrete has created several video courses with The Great Courses/The Teaching Company. These courses — lecture surveys focusing on The History of the Ancient World, Decisive Battles in History and History’s Greatest Military Blunders and the Lessons They Teach– bring college-level scholarship to the masses, and allow everyone to learn from history.

Aldrete has also written several books, including: “Floods of the Tiber in Ancient Rome,” “Daily Life in the Roman City: Rome, Pompeii and Ostia,” “The Long Shadow of Antiquity: What Have the Greeks and Romans Done for Us?” (with Alicia Aldrete), and “The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life in the Ancient World.”

Aldrete’s research into ancient history has also garnered international media attention. Over the past decade, Aldrete and his research have been the subject of documentaries on the Discovery Channel, the Smithsonian Channel, the National Geographic Channel and on television programs in Canada and Europe. His research has also been featured in US News and World Report, the New Yorker magazine, Atlantic magazine, Der Spiegel magazine, Military History magazine and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Make that a Top 10! Marinette/Menominee on in Small Business Revolution

marinette-small-business-revolution-top-10

Congratulations to the UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus and the entire Marinette/Menominee community on moving forward in the Small Business Revolution Main Street competition. The community was announced as making the cut for the Top 10! There will be an open meeting on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at 6 p.m. in the Marinette Campus Cafeteria to discuss the next steps. All are invited! Learn about the towns.

 

Lauren Putnam, the Graduating Class Speaker for the 2018 Winter Commencement Ceremony

Lauren PutnamLauren Putnam, the Graduating Class Speaker for the 2018 Winter Commencement Ceremony, will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology with a Health Sciences emphasis and a minor in Chemistry. A leader in her class and in the organizations that she works within, Putnam strives to lift up fellow students and up-and-coming high school students, to show them the careers and opportunities available in the health care fields.

Nominated by Brian Merkel, Amanda Nelson, Doug Brusich, Erica Grunseth and Sherri Arendt. Putnam has been an academically outstanding student throughout her time at UW-Green Bay. A recipient of honors for her academics for five semesters during her time on campus (including two semesters of high or highest honors), Putman is also a member of Beta Beta Beta, the honor society for biological sciences, and Phi Eta Sigma, the honors society for first- year students. She received the Founders Merit Scholarship to study at UW-Green Bay.

Putnam was able to further her knowledge in the area of human biology by attending the UW-Green Bay System Symposium for Undergraduate Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity, and the Pre-Med Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons Forum. She furthered her experiences by studying abroad in South Africa. As the president of UW-Green Bay’s Health Science Club, Putnam worked to help students in need. She led the creation of Health Professions Week, hosting graduate students to present about their educational journey and career path.

“In my time at UW-Green Bay, I have been significantly involved in the Health Science Club,” she said. “Our mission, as a student organization is to provide pre-health students with the opportunities that they need to achieve their desired career goals. As president, I coordinated and organized a number of graduate school tours in an effort to provide campus familiarity and networking opportunities. I also advocated for our financially disadvantaged pre-medical student by receiving… funding for an MCAT study set.”

Putnam both served as a research assistant to Brusich, and also worked as a certified nursing assistant at Aspirus Wausau Hospital in the Oncology Care Unit. Putnam also worked on campus as a teaching assistant, a tutor and study group leader at the UW-Green Bay Learning Center, and as a student employee in the David A. Cofrin Library — an experience she said taught her the skills she needed to face her college career. Starting out as a student assistant, she eventually became a student lead, and then student manager.

“I started working at the Cofrin Library my freshman year,” she said. “It was the first job I had ever held at an academic library and initially did not think I would benefit from it other than a paycheck. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I developed critical thinking and problem-solving skills. I also learned, more than anything, how to balance a busy schedule while maintaining enough time for myself. This essential skill allowed me to make time to volunteer my time off-campus as well as hold a leadership position in a student organization while still being happy and healthy.”

Putnam volunteered her time as well, serving as a tutor for high school students at Green Bay West High School and working to raise funds for homeless children at the school. Providing students both in high school and college with new opportunities to learn and experience the health sciences is her primary goal.

“My involvement tutoring at-risk students at West High School has been something I have grown to love,” she said. “Tutoring is about igniting a passion for learning and building up the confidence students need to believe that they can do so much more. Overall, my intention for being involved both on and off campus is to create a structural foundation that will allow students the field experience, knowledge and confidence they need. I dream that I can be a part of creating hopeful future UW-Green Bay graduates and healthcare professionals for years to come.”

UW-Green Bay German Club students have a busy December

It has been a busy past few weeks for the UW-Green Bay German Club. On Friday, Nov. 30, 2018 three German majors, Alexander Alberts, Carolann Faulhaber and Griffin Dinse, were invited to an all-day workshop for graduate students at UW-Madison, sponsored by the Department of German, Nordic and Slavic Studies. The following day they traveled to Milwaukee to meet with the UW-Milwaukee German Club and tour the city’s new Weihnachtsmarkt. This past weekend, the German Club collaborated with the German Club from Bay Port High School to decorate a room for Hazelwood House’s ethnic Christmas celebration, where two German students dressed as the seasonal figures Krampus and St. Nikolaus. An aside: the program manager at Hazelwood House is Brooke Uhl ’12 (History), and one of the German teachers at Bay Port High School is Heidi Hussli, ’97 (German).

Words Matter: Rare Bachelor of Fine Arts in Writing and Applied Arts Degree Launching at UW-Green Bay in 2019

Green Bay, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents last week approved University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s proposal for a new writing degree in response to student, employer and publishing industry demand for graduates with exceptional writing skills infused with creativity. The University’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Writing and Applied Arts major is designed to professionalize opportunities in fields like literary and digital publishing, book editing, writing for entertainment and arts management.

“Writing is a skill in universal demand across industries,” notes Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Chuck Rybak. “Whether we are talking about corporate publications, writing grants for the nonprofit sector, writing for entertainment, or striving to be the next JK Rowling, a finely-honed craft is required. The BFA degree in Writing and Applied Arts will provide an intense focus on the craft of writing across genres and platforms.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of writers and authors is projected to grow eight percent from 2016 to 2026, consistent with the average for all occupations. In fields related to creative writing, the Department of Labor projects 11% growth in jobs for technical writers and 10% growth in public relations and fundraising managers.

In Wisconsin, jobs for writers and editors like technical writing, digital editing, social media, library sciences, community relations and social services are expected to grow between seven and 10% and 14% nationwide.

The BFA in Writing and Fine Arts is a rare degree — only 42 colleges in the U.S. offer it. No other UW System college has the major, although it is offered by one private college in the state. This will be the first new four-year degree to be offered across the four UW-Green Bay campuses, with coursework available in a range of delivery options.

UW-Green Bay English program chair, Rebecca Meacham, notes that graduates from the program will be equipped to meet market demand for nonfiction writers, science writers, screenwriters, podcasters, literary outreach coordinators, editors, publishers, librarians, booksellers, literary agents, technical writers and other arts industry professions. It will also teach students about writing as a business and includes the curricular components of the business of writing, the craft of writing, literary contexts and applied arts. The program will begin accepting students in Fall 2019 and conforms to the standards of the Association for Writers and Writing Programs.

Businesses in the region are supportive of the new program and confirm that there’s a market demand for writers.

“This program will create a new generation of writers with skills that can be applied to any number of disciplines,” says Megan Dickman, principal owner and writer with Crystal Clear Resources, a Green Bay-based writing, editing and translation firm. “In my own experience, the business world is as in need of a great storyteller as every other field, and writers are uniquely equipped to make abstract ideas tangible and accessible to a wide audience.”

According to Meacham, the industry for making, publishing, editing and producing books — especially printed books —is strong and improving and BFA students will develop skills in communications, audience awareness, listening, empathy, communicating complex ideas and critical thinking — skills ranked in the top 10 most sought-after qualities by job recruiters.

A collaborative program with Moraine Park Technical College, NWTC and UW-Green Bay, the BFA in Writing and Applied Arts will be a natural fit for technical college students wishing to complete further study in writing, publication design and community engagement.

“UW-Green Bay is uniquely situated to connect student writers to the greater world and various kinds of writing, building on Green Bay’s growing reputation as a literary and community arts advocacy destination,” said Meacham. “When you consider the popularity of great storytelling today, in all genres, on the page, stage, and screen — Game of Thrones, Hamilton, Handmaid’s Tale — we are truly in the midst of a renaissance period for writers.”

About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs to nearly 8,000 students with campus locations in Green Bay, Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan. Established in 1965 on the border of Green Bay, the University and its campuses are centers of cultural enrichment, innovation and learning. The Green Bay campus is home to one of the Midwest’s most prolific performing arts centers, a nationally recognized 4,000-seat student recreation center, an award-winning nine-hole golf course and a five-mile recreational trail and arboretum, which is free and open to the public. This four-campus University transforms lives and communities through student-focused teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities, powerful connections and a problem-solving approach to education. UW-Green Bay’s main campus is centrally located, close to both the Door County resort area and the dynamic economies of Northeast Wisconsin, the Fox Valley region and the I-43 corridor. UW-Green Bay offers in-demand programs in science, engineering and technology; business; health, education and social welfare; and arts, humanities and social sciences. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.
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Last week of United Way campaign is this week

From your United Way campus chairpersons: This is the final week of UW-Green Bay’s Brown County United Way campaign. Please consider making a commitment today to support our local community. Together we can help the our local community through the intensive efforts of the Brown County United Way. Their leadership supports the 2-1-1 Call Center and the Community Partnership for Children and is a major driver to respond to the ALICE Report – https://www.browncountyunitedway.org/impact/alice/. Donation amounts of any size are welcome and can really make a difference in support of those less fortunate.  A donation of $26 will enter your name into a drawing for a 2018 Nissan Kicks – https://www.browncountyunitedway.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/2018-Sweepstakes-Rules-1.pdf.   Watch your email inbox for a message from uwgbgiving@browncountyunitedway.org for your unique link to pledge to this year’s campaign.  Questions regarding the campaign can be directed to Rick Warpinski, #2090 or warpinsr@uwgb.edu.

Turning of the Tassel: Winter Commencement will be Snyder’s final

Jan Snyder

On Dec. 15, 2018, just minutes before UW-Green Bay seniors begin their formal processional into the Weidner Center for their graduation ceremony, and following three months of planning and preparation, Commencement Coordinator Jan Snyder will address the graduates one final time:

“When it is time to process, don’t forget your name card! Follow your marshals’ lead, and stay in line. When it’s your turn, hand your name card to the announcer, receive your diploma from the Chancellor and cross the stage a UW-Green Bay graduate!”

The graduates will stand. Then the processional music will begin, and Snyder will exhale and smile.

She began working commencement in Spring of 2000. With one ceremony each semester (and two ceremonies one spring when weather didn’t cooperate with a planned outdoor ceremony) the Dec. 15, 2018 ceremony will be Snyder’s 37th ceremony, and her last.

She will retire from the University on February 1, 2019 after 32 years at UW-Green Bay — 18 with “official title as Commencement Coordinator.”

“Jan’s contribution to the University is remarkable,” said Associate Provost Clif Ganyard. “Having overseen Commencement for the last 18 years, she has assisted nearly 17,000 students to realize their goals and cross the stage to be awarded a degree. That’s nearly half of all of the students who have graduated from the University.  Jan has helped to shape our commencement ceremonies into what they are, arguably the most important event in a student’s college career. That’s quite a legacy.

“We are all very happy for Jan, that she will be able to relax and enjoy herself in retirement,” Ganyard said. “But, we will miss her dearly.”

Snyder was asked to reflect on her experiences, including funniest moments, “goosebump” moments, tender moments and most harried moments, and they are well worth the read:

Q: What makes the day special?
A: Seeing the joy and pride written all over the faces of the graduates and their family members and friends. I consider it a great honor to be a part of that.

Q: What don’t people realize about what it takes to pull off an event?
A: The amount of time required to make sure every grad is in exactly the right place from the time they are seated in the robing room through the entire ceremony. In addition to maintaining a lot of spreadsheets sorted in multiple ways, I also keep a lot of names and numbers in my head.

Q: When do you start preparing?
A: Usually three months ahead of the ceremony, unless there are unique printing or supply orders that need to be started sooner.

Q: What was your funniest moment?
A: At one spring ceremony, I went to see if the grads were starting to leave Dick Bennett Gym at the Kress Center and gave Pam Gilson a thumbs up to indicate they were. This meant it would be another three or four minutes before they arrived in the arena, but Music Director Kevin Collins thought I was signaling him and the band began playing “Pomp and Circumstance”…several times… before the to-be grads finally processed into the Kress. We have fine-tuned our signals since then.

Q: How about your most endearing moment?
A: Watching Jennifer Ulrich ’13 (Psychology), a mostly wheelchair-assisted grad in Spring 2013, walk with her assist dog across the stage to receive her diploma. Ulrich worked so hard to get to the point that she could do this. Alumna Jane Birr ‘85 ’90 (Human Adaptability and Masters in Administrative Science) coached her, and it was a humbling and heartwarming experience to assist with the arrangements and then watch it actually come to pass. I will never forget that moment.

Q: Most challenging?
A: For one of our December ceremonies, there was a mix-up of dates and Commencement was booked the same weekend as the Green Bay Symphony/Dudley Birder Christmas concert. We had to complete what is normally a three-day setup in three hours! from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday night, and of course be back at 8 a.m. Saturday to be ready for graduates, family members and events staff to arrive!

Q: What was the most unexpected moment?
A: At one December commencement a Theatre grad walked on stage wearing a Darth Vader hood. Some things you just can’t plan for!

Q: Any other Jan Snyder most memorable moments?
A. As a military mom, I’ve had the pleasure on at least two occasions to arrange for tickets for military family members who wanted to surprise their graduates (of course you know that pulled my heartstrings).

A: In Spring 2008, the Social Work students asked for a vase so they could all put a rose in it after receiving their diploma, in memory of faculty member Anne Kok, whose life was taken suddenly in a traffic accident. That was pretty special.

A: I earned a few extra gray hairs at one of the spring outdoor ceremonies. It rained two days before, so I watched several young ladies wearing heels sink into the soft ground. Also, Operations surprised us with the set up by making a large aisle-type break in the chair rows, which made for some very interesting moves by the student marshals who didn’t quite know where to lead the next row of grads.

A: I once had a grad ask if her two-year old could participate in the ceremony with her. I was too dumbfounded to answer right away.

A: In the early years, I worked one night before the ceremony until midnight. A grad called at 11:30 p.m. and I picked up the call. I actually think he expected it because he didn’t sound a bit surprised (go figure).

Q: What will you miss the most?
A. I am a nut for organization and details, and even though it’s sometimes a bit overwhelming, it’s also very gratifying to see it all come together. Once the ceremony starts, my heart swells with pride for our grads and this place called UW-Green Bay. I will miss everything about commencement, but most of all the people.

And the people will miss Jan Snyder.

Story by Sue Bodilly, photos by Dan Moore

 

Gurung is featured in APA monitor

Prof. A.R. Gurung is featured on the December’s American Psychological Association’s  December monitor. “APA has launched the first major national initiative designed to improve the Introductory Psychology course,” and its led by Prof. Gurung. See the preview.

For more about the initiative, visit pages.apa.org/education.