Author Archives: Sue Bodilly

Prof. Weinschenk talks elections with Huffington Post, Fox 11

Randy Bryce won Wisconsin’s Democratic Primary race and the Huffington Post talked to UW-Green Bay Associate Prof. Aaron Weinschenk (Political Science) about it. Reports the HuffPost, “Bryce’s early head start ultimately proved insurmountable, however. His general election bid in the conservative-leaning district in southeastern Wisconsin is likely to test both the importance of character issues ― a potential problem for Bryce, who has a spotty past driving record ― and the appeal of his unabashedly progressive policies in historically GOP territory.”

In analyses of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential win, “we heard a lot about white working-class voters, people without high levels of education being really supportive” of him, said Weinschenk. “Bryce’s a candidate trying to represent [white working-class voters], but obviously doing it for a different side.” His showing in November could “be a signal to party elites that this is the kind of candidate you want to recruit for other places” in the country, Weinschenk said. See more.

Weinschenk also was the guest of Fox 11 for his political analysis on election day, Tuesday evening, August 14, 2018.

 

Faculty note: Prof. Gurung presents at Fort Leveanworth

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Commendation to Gurung by the Fort Brigadier General

UW-Green Bay Prof. Regan A. R. Gurung,
PH. D. (Human Development and Psychology)  presented on a panel at Fort Leveanworth, for the Army University Faculty Development program. His book, An Evidence-Based Guide to College and University Teaching: Developing the Model Teacher, is required reading for all instructors.

Faculty notes: Why fake news can be great news for a University? Prof. Clampitt has the answer

“Researchers trained at universities separate factual health claims from those with sometimes dubious aims. University students, regardless of their discipline, should learn to respect this process and become less prone to outrageous claims that are not backed by facts,” says UW-Green Bay Prof. Phil Clampitt. Read his column, “Why Fake News Can Be Great News for Universities,” on the National Communication Association website. Clampitt offers three lessons.

Avoid Wood Hall for police and fire training, August 22-23, 2018

UW-Green Bay will be hosting joint active shooter training in Wood Hall on August 22-23, 2018 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Those on the Green Bay campus will see police vehicles from multiple Wisconsin law enforcement agencies and local fire department vehicles in the area of Wood Hall. You may hear “simulated” gunfire and yelling in and around Wood Hall. This training has been coordinated with the Green Bay Police and Fire Departments and will better prepare UW-Green Bay police officers and local agencies to respond to emergencies on our campus as well as surrounding communities. The area of Wood Hall will be closed and marked off as police training. Questions or concerns can be directed to  UW-Green Bay Public Safety at 465-2300 ext. 2.

Prof. Gurung talks girls and anxiety with Deseret News

“When stressed, many girls cry and try harder to please, while boys often act out or give up, the In fact, for decades, ‘fight or flight’ was the predominant stress response theory,” reports the Deseret News. “However, in the late ’90s, Dr. Shelley Taylor and her team of UCLA researchers discovered that females have an extra stress response — “tend and befriend,” says UW-Green Bay Prof. Regan Gurung Psychology and Human Development), and a postdoctoral student in Taylor’s lab at the time. “This additional stress response proved more compatible with women’s historical responsibilities; primarily caregivers, they couldn’t abandon a baby when overwhelmed. Instead, they cared for children and sought support from surrounding women, says Gurung, activities that produce oxytocin to calm mother, baby and friend. This theory doesn’t mean women will never fight, flee or freeze, says Gurung, but it explains why women under stress may seek out female companionship.” Learn more from Gurung and other researchers.

Jessica Tyler Wright talks Weidner 25th Anniversary Concert

She was “Annie” in UW-Marinette’s Theatre on the Bay as a young girl, now Broadway singer Jessica Tyler Wright is returning to help the Weidner Center celebrate its 25th Anniversary Season. Wright was in studio this week talking with Local5Live about her career and the upcoming anniversary concert featuring the return of Brad Little (Phantom of the Opera) and another Green Bay native, violinist Wayne Lin. The Weidner Center’s 25th Anniversary Concert is Saturday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 pm. For tickets head to weidnercenter.com.

McLean Moves Customers from ‘Have to…’ to ‘Want to…’

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If an undergraduate degree in psychology seems an odd foundation for a successful career as entrepreneur and business owner, you only have to meet Steve McLean ‘91 to learn its logic.

McLean is co-founder and partner of Wild Blue Technologies, Inc., based in De Pere, Wis. He describes the company as “a strategic experiential design firm” that helps make the retail shopping experience something customers want to do, rather than have to do. The company’s clients are predominantly international Fortune 500 consumer goods businesses, the companies who make the products we consume or use every day.

“Psychology helps us understand what differentiates an enjoyable experience from a run-of-the-mill experience,” said McLean. “We have a good understanding of the inputs that affect behavior, so we work hard to design the experience we want our clients’ customers to have. And that experience can be in the physical or digital space, so we have to consider everything that goes into that experience.

“Our clients know that retail commerce is changing as shoppers blend online and brick-and-mortar options, and they know they need to adapt, to be on the lookout for ‘what’s next’ in their product category and then be the first to bring that to customers.”

To make that happen, Wild Blue Technologies focuses its eclectic team of employees on the client’s total customer experience. That might start with the typical elements of a brand: a logo or a color palette, selection of a font, design of a product package or signage, and evaluation of the way a product is displayed on a shelf.

And then the team takes it one more step: It creates the entire purchasing experience under the roofs of its sprawling, 50,000-square-foot studios in De Pere. This allows clients to evaluate everything from their customers’ perspective. Often that means building prototypes that can be placed in a retail store, where team members can observe consumer behavior. Sometimes it means creating a virtual-reality store, where shoppers can experience a number of prototypes before time and money are spent on the real-world models.

Creating that experience involves artists, designers, writers, carpenters, model makers, animators, engineers, code writers and virtual-reality experts. Every one of the company’s 60 employees team contributes to every client’s project in some way, which brings diversity of thought, experience and professional perspective to every challenge.

The result gives Wild Blue Technologies’ clients a tangible proof of concept where they can see, hear and feel a potential solution, just as their customers would. That experience brings the strategy to life in a way that even the most effective hard-copy, two-dimensional presentation cannot. As a result, clients feel more comfortable investing in the solution, confident that it will help their customers will feel more engaged while exploring their products.

“One of the most helpful courses at UWGB was Psychology and Human Development,” McLean recalled. “It was fertile ground for questioning the status quo. The thing that probably sticks most, and that I still leverage frequently is the architecture of a research study and fundamental understanding of scientific method. The ability to identify and isolate variables within a study methodology is a very helpful bit of knowledge when we conduct or assess consumer research.”

And there you have it: Human psychology at work in the world of the entrepreneur and businessman.

McLean, who grew up in Marinette, Wis., did not set out to become a business owner, but he wanted to avoid student loan debt while securing his college education, so he worked full-time at a local printing company while he attended UW-Green Bay. He was headed toward graduate studies in Psychology when his employer made him an offer almost any struggling student would take.

“They liked my work and offered me the opportunity to work for them in a project estimating role while I sorted out my graduate school options,” he said. “I wound up staying for several years.

“One day in late 1998, I was talking with a friend of mine who owned a business in downtown Green Bay. He had an idea to bring digital printing technology to the production of large-format imaging, the kind you see in big stores and museums,” McLean continued. “I could see the potential for the idea because it significantly reduced the cost of production and retained a high level of quality. We started Wild Blue Technologies on the third floor above his business to sell that service.”

As those client relationships grew, McLean’s role evolved from purveyor of the product to strategic partner, offering his clients insights into ways their customers’ shopping trips could be transformed from routine, commodity-based transactions to pleasant, personalized shopping experiences. He also began to help them see where digital technology could be applied to their businesses.

His original partner eventually moved on to other interests and McLean connected with Will Van Epern. Today, they share part of the client service responsibilities for major accounts and contribute to other team members’ client challenges and assignments.

“Often our ideas and strategies are intended as future thinking,” McLean said, “providing our clients with a perspective of how retail experiences and shopper behaviors might evolve in the coming years.  While we may not activate these ideas in scale in the near term, we test and learn so we are prepared for what is next.”

McLean advises today’s students to retain that sense of curiosity about the world, no matter where they spend their careers.

“UW-Green Bay initially appealed to me for it’s pragmatic aspects,” he said. “It was local, offered the course of study that interested me and enabled me to work full time. Those were criteria that seemed important to me at that time.”

“The wiser, older me would advise that selecting a college should include a negotiation of your personal balance of natural and unfamiliar. I’ve always felt that there are very few seminal life thresholds where we have the opportunity to re-imagine ourselves and the sense of self we communicate to others. Starting college is probably the most dynamic and abiding threshold opportunity. I’d ask myself if I can envision the next phase of me in this place. Will it be suitably and significantly different from experiences I’ve already had, while not being so foreign that that I’m distracted from my goals?”

“In the long run,” he said, “you have to do what interests you to sustain yourself, and you have to stay curious about the world.”

“Being in business for yourself is as demanding as it is rewarding,” he observed. “I have been fortunate to have a very supportive family and inspiring co-workers. All of us here enjoy using our creativity to impact the experiences of people in our community. To do that, we need to be observant of the world around us, well rounded in our knowledge about things, and to stay interested and curious about almost everything. It’s not enough to just know your discipline; you have to have a toolbox of capabilities in whatever you do.”

Story by freelance writer Jim Streed ’05. Photos submitted by Steve McLean.