Author Archives: Editorial Student

2017 Psychology grad Destany Calma-Birling has manuscript accepted for peer-reviewed publication


As first-generation college student Destany Calma-Birling graduated with her class on Saturday, May 13, 2017, she had quite a bit to reflect upon. The Psychology major recently had her manuscript “Does A Brief Mindfulness Intervention Impact Quiz Performance?” accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal Psychology Learning and Teaching, quite the prestigious accomplishment for an undergraduate.

In her research, Calma-Birling investigated if practicing mindfulness for the first five minutes of class would lead to noticeable improvements in students’ quiz performance. The participants in this study were students enrolled in two sections of an upper elective human development course. For six weeks, one class practiced mindfulness for the first five minutes class while the other class reviewed their course notes for the first five minutes of class. On the seventh and last week of the intervention, both groups practiced mindfulness for the first five minutes of class.

The results showed that students who engaged in a five-minute mindfulness practice performed significantly better on two post-lecture quizzes compared to students who reviewed their class notes, she said. Interestingly, when both groups practiced mindfulness, there was no significant difference in quiz scores, suggesting that five minutes of mindfulness practice closed the performance gap between the two groups’ post-lecture quiz scores. Overall, these findings are consistent with past research and demonstrate that small doses of mindfulness training can immediately benefit students’ learning.

“Destany showed great initiative, resolve and resilience in exploring this pertinent topic,” said Prof. Regan A. R. Gurung. “She worked tirelessly to design and run the study as well as writing it up for publication. She is the prototype of a driven student and has the potential to go far.”

“Having this paper accepted before graduation is very exciting and meaningful for me,” said Calma-Birling. “According to a few of my psychology professors, having a first author publication increases one’s chances of gaining admission into a good graduate program. This is particularly important because psychology PhD programs are becoming increasingly more competitive, and since my future aspirations involve getting a Ph.D. in psychology, the acceptance of this paper is great news for my future plans.”

Calma-Birling reflected on her experience in this 2017 Commencement video.

The Hawaii native moved to Wisconsin at the age of seven. After graduating from Appleton North High School, she attended UW-Fox Valley before transferring to UW-Green Bay. She says her decision to transfer to UW-Green Bay was in part due to the Psychology and Human Development programs. Her future plans entail completing a year of post-baccalaureate research and applying to graduate school where she is looking to study developmental affective neuroscience.

Global connections: Master of Nursing (MSN-online) student Renee Payne takes her first steps on campus

Renee Payne

UW-Green Bay student Renee Payne stepped foot on campus for the first time at Saturday’s 2017 commencement ceremony (May 13, 2017), despite graduating with a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN-LINC) in Leadership and Management in Health Systems degree. In fact, she worked toward her degree from across the United States and around the globe.

The Florida native knew she wanted to become a nurse at 14 when she volunteered at a local hospital. After receiving her degree as a registered nurse (RN), she met her husband, a U.S. Air Force officer. Following his career, they moved on average every 1 to 2 years from Germany to South Korea and throughout the United States.

Payne wanted to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), but she didn’t know how with the frequent moving and young children at home. After hearing about UW-Green Bay’s online BSN program from another Air Force spouse, she applied. After completing her BSN, she continued her education in UW-Green Bay’s MSN program.

Payne says she feels connected to her professors despite the distance.

“I did not feel like the professors were on the other side of the world,” said Payne. “They were very understanding and flexible, and they treated me just as they would have if I had been in Wisconsin taking classes. Even though I’ll be meeting them face-to-face for the first time this weekend, I feel as if I already know them because of our online interactions.”

Payne’s career goals include becoming a nurse leader and educator. She would like to highlight the importance of safe staffing levels in patient outcomes and be a voice for nursing and patients via political activism.

“I feel as if it is my responsibility to speak up and fight for my patients and my nurse colleagues,” said Payne. “That’s the reason I went back to school to obtain my MSN.  I want to be part of a solution to improve patient outcomes in the U.S. as well as prepare the generation of nurses after me to continue to make improvements.”

She is now living in Dayton, Ohio with her family. Her husband, who is retired from active duty, is a civilian contractor at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Though she has been around the world, she is thrilled to travel to Wisconsin for the first time for her graduation.

Story by May ’17 Marketing and University Communication graduate Amy Bauer.

Faculty note: Prof. Warner selected to serve as Learning By Giving Foundation advisor

Associate Professor Lora Warner (Public and Environmental Affairs) has been invited to serve as an advisor for the Learning by Giving Foundation (LGF). She will be providing guidance and assistance for any new and existing LGF partner schools. Currently there are 43 locations offering a strategic philanthropy class like Warner’s that receives grant dollars study non-profits, solicit nominations and award $10,000. Warner will travel to Boston in early June to meet the (Warren) Buffet family and others who run the foundation.

Tara Carr to speak at ‘Muster Across Wisconsin’ May 24

Tara Carr, director of the Small Business Development Center at the UW-Green Bay, will speak about resources to start and grow a small business in the state at “Muster Across Wisconsin” from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at Lambeau Field. The event is part of a statewide series designed to connect military veterans with entrepreneurial resources, experts and inspiration. The Star has more.



Strategic Philanthropy students win award for blog content

Students in Lora Warner’s (Public and Environmental Affairs) Strategic Philanthropy class — Beth Kinnunen, Katie Krantz, Becca Weise and Tristin St.Mary — took third place out of 43 college and universities for their blog which was tied to a class project. With third place comes an additional $1,000 from the Learning by Giving Foundation to award to a community agency working with the arts and older adults. Earlier this month, the class selected Curative Connections to receive a $10,000 grant made possible by the Learning by Giving Foundation.

Reminder: UW-Green Bay Heirloom Veggie Pre-sale May 12

UW-Green Bay’s annual Heirloom Vegetable Sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 13, 2017 in the greenhouse of the Laboratory Sciences building. UW-Green Bay faculty and staff have an opportunity to shop at the pre-sale from noon to 5 p.m. Friday, May 12. If possible, bring containers to carry your plants. More than 150 varieties of transplant-sized heirloom peppers, tomatoes, amaranths, eggplants, cucumbers, flowers, greens and herbs will be for sale. All money raised supports student research in the sciences at UW-Green Bay. Numbers for a line will be handed out beginning about 7:30 a.m. (possibly earlier). Most plants are priced between $1.75 and $3 (tax included). Cash or checks only. Also, Associate Prof. Steve Meyer (Natural and Applied Sciences) will have his salsa available for sampling. Come and taste-test the salsa, take a jar or two home and consider donating to the memorial scholarship established to honor the memory of student Katie Hemauer.

Nursing students complete ‘Fill the Campus Cupboard’ drive

UW-Green Bay Nursing students celebrated National Nurses Week (May 6-May 12) by giving back to their communities. Nursing students from the Nursing Leadership class — Laura Meverden, Mindy Johnson, Edinam Long, Coe Gleffe, Kristina Barkow, Stephanie Fritsch, Sue Bellmore and Jamie Skowronek — under the guidance of Advisor Sharon Gajeski, completed the “Fill the Campus Cupboard” drive by delivering donations of hygiene items to the Campus Cupboard this week. The Campus Cupboard and Clothes Closet is a student organization run by students, with the mission of providing an on-campus food pantry, clothing closet and cleaning/personal hygiene products to ensure adequate basic needs are met of all students, faculty and staff.

Faculty note: Sarah Meredith Livingston and Susan Gallagher-Lepak present on music and its benefits In Door County

Door County Presentation

Professor Sarah Meredith Livingston (Music, Women’s and Gender Studies and Global Studies) and Dean Susan Gallagher-Lepak (College of Health, Education and Social Welfare) presented, “The Healing Power of Music”, on May 5, 2017 at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Sturgeon Bay. The event was sponsored by the Door County Medical Center, League of Woman Voters of Door County and the Door County Senior Center. The presentation covered the music of early composers, influence of different music elements (e.g., rhythm, tempo) and benefits of music with various conditions (e.g., dementia, Parkinson’s disease, anxiety) and for general well being. The final aspect of the presentation included live performance by UW-Green Bay singers Heather Roberts, Acacia Angelo, Lauren Paul, and Sturgeon Bay singers Judy Frazee and Marley Gigstead.