Author Archives: Kimberly Vlies

Open Letter to the File Not Found Squirrel

UWGB Squirrel
Current File Not Found Page

Current File Not Found Page

This week, Assistant Prof. Jennie Young (English, Humanities, Director of the Writing Center) scripted An Open Letter to the File Not Found Squirrel, celebrating the empathetic furry rodent. Anyone who has used the UW-Green Bay website in any depth since fall of 2012, is likely familiar with the 404 error page and would appreciate Young’s tongue-in-cheek homage.

The squirrel 404 page was an after-hours side-project designed by Kimberly Vlies (digital marketing specialist, Marketing and University Communication) in November of 2012 and was built by then web services developer, Andrew Buckman ’02 (Business Administration). The intent behind the page was to take an unfortunate experience and make it as positive as possible. The page was quietly slipped into site updates associated with an institutional rebranding initiative that was happening at the time.

Original File Not Found Page

Original File Not Found Page

The File Not Found Squirrel lives on in the current 404 page published in Kentico, UW-Green Bay’s Content Management System.

Photo credit for this Eastern Gray Squirrel (sciurus carolinensis) goes to former UW-Green Bay social media specialist Todd Sanders, whose office in Student Services had a view of “The Quad” where the squirrel was photographed. This photo was taken on January 23, 2007 and is one of an entire album that Sanders created, included below for your enjoyment.

Click thumbnails to enter slideshow view or view the album on Flickr.

– Photos by Todd Sanders

‘Empty Bowls’ Raises $1,000+ for Paul’s Pantry

Empty Bowls

Art Agency, UW-Green Bay’s arts advocacy student organization, sold more than 100 bowls at its annual Empty Bowls fundraiser held last Wednesday (April 17, 2019). The event raised upwards of $1,000, which the organization plans to donate to Paul’s Pantry. Each bowl was handmade by students and was sold with soup or chili donated for the event.

Click thumbnails to enter slideshow view or view the album on Flickr.

– Photos by Kimberly Vlies, Marketing and University Communication

Haiku! Bless you!

In celebration of National Haiku Poetry Day observed yesterday (April 17, 2019) UW-Green Bay put out a call to the University community, alumni and friends to share their #uwgbhaiku. Dean Chuck Rybak (College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) shares the history and some insight on the ancient expression. His spontaneous haiku:

The sun has returned

Traveler back on the beach
Where she built a life

Provost Search and Screen: Open Forums

The finalists for the UW-Green Bay Provost position have been announced. The campus community is invited to the following open forums to hear from each of them:

Friday, April 19, 9-10 a.m.
Ilene Crawford
in the 1965 Room, University Union

Tuesday, April 23, 9-10 a.m.
Michael Alexander
in the Christie Theatre, University Union

Wednesday, April 24, 9-10 a.m.
Robert Brinkmann
in the Christie Theatre, University Union

A sign of the times: New exterior signs at branch campuses

Branch campus signage collage

New UW-Green Bay exterior signs are up and looking great at the branch-campus communities of Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan. We’re sharing a few sent back from the sign company.

Click thumbnails to enter slideshow view or view the album on Flickr.

Students throw clay for ‘Empty Bowls’

Empty Bowls

Art Agency students are convening regularly in the Studio Arts ceramics studio to ramp up pottery wheel production of handmade stoneware bowls in preparation for their annual Empty Bowls fundraising event. The bowls they make will be available for sale at the event along with chili or soup donated by local restaurants. All proceeds are donated to charity. Mark your calendars. This year’s Empty Bowls is scheduled to take place on April 17, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Phoenix Room C. Kieran Eli Krueger captured these photos of students who participated Monday, March 26, 2019.

Click thumbnails to enter slideshow view or view the album on Flickr.

– Photos by Kieran Eli Krueger

Coach-to-coach and coast-to-coast, Green Bay women’s basketball has generational impact

Pictured, left to right, Sam Terry, Kayla Tetschlag, Amanda (Leonhard) Perry, Sue (Klaubauf) Bodilly, Lavessa (Glover) Verhagen, Erin (Templin) Barkley and Nancy (Cieslewicz) Strong.

How do you explain a streak of winning basketball seasons that spans more than four decades? Players? Coaches? Fans? Tradition? In the case of the Green Bay women’s basketball team, the answer is all of the above, plus one. Family.

Green Bay secured its 42nd-consecutive winning season this year, trailing only Tennessee (45) for the longest active streak in the nation. Green Bay’s streak includes 20-straight conference titles and 18 NCAA Tournament appearances. The Phoenix also secured its 20th-consecutive 20-plus win season in 2018-19, a streak that dates back to 1999-00.

Since the program’s inception in 1973-1974, the “Phoenix women’s basketball family” owns a 1,005-349 record — a .750 winning percentage. Through it all, the program has only had three head coaches — Carol Hammerle (25 seasons), Matt Bollant (5) and current Head Coach Kevin Borseth (15).

But maybe more impressive is the legacy left by the players in the program, who go on to spread the Phoenix philosophy to teams locally and nationwide. A quick look at past rosters and present coaches shows more than 35 former Phoenix who have gone on to leave their mark in the high school and college coaching ranks — from All-American guard Pam Roecker, ’83 (Communication) now an athletics dean on the East Coast and a national women’s basketball color commentator, to Kati (Harty) Coleman ’09, who led the Bay Port High School girls program to its first-ever WIAA State Championship in March 2019, to Sara (Boyer) Rohde ’04, ’13 (Elementary Education, Masters in Applied Leadership), head coach for Green Bay Notre Dame Academy High School, who has back-to-back WIAA State Championships (2013, 2014) on her coaching resume. And, let’s not forget Lavesa (Glover) Verhagen ’09 (Communication) who coached her Orono High School (Minnesota) team to a 3A State Championship in 2017.

Pictured, left to right, Sam Terry, Kayla Tetschlag, Amanda (Leonhard) Perry, Sue (Klaubauf) Bodilly, Lavessa (Glover) Verhagen, Erin (Templin) Barkley and Nancy (Cieslewicz) Strong.

Nearly 40 former Phoenix women’s basketball players have gone on to coach basketball at the high school or collegiate level — a number of them returned to campus for a game between the Badgers and the Phoenix in December. Pictured, left to right, Sam Terry, Kayla Tetschlag, Amanda (Leonhard) Perry, Sue (Klaubauf) Bodilly, Lavessa (Glover) Verhagen, Erin (Templin) Barkley and Nancy (Cieslewicz) Strong.

Rohde ranks among Green Bay’s all-time three-point shooters. But she’s also made quite a mark in the high school coaching ranks. The transition to coaching comes naturally. “The biggest thing is that all of us love basketball and competing,” she said. “Unfortunately, you can’t keep playing it for the rest of your life.” So, you do the next-best thing and coach at the high school or collegiate level.” In seven seasons at Green Bay’s Notre Dame Academy, Rohde’s teams are 155-53.

“A lot of what I do I learned at Green Bay. My coaching has evolved in that I do a lot of what we did in college, but I’ve also learned from others and taken little bits and pieces and implemented them into my own strategy.” Intangibles picked up under the tutelage of Coach Borseth have been important to Rohde’s coaching success.

“You have expectations to live up to at UW-Green Bay from every year previous,” she explained. “You get a sense of commitment, work ethic. I have been trying to instill that with our girls. You teach the upperclassmen how to be good leaders and set a good example for the young kids. Let them know the expectations of the program.”

Celeste (Hoewisch) Ratka ’11 (Human Biology), who played for and coached with Bollant, ranks in the Top 10 in a number of categories. In three seasons leading her alma mater — Hortonville High School — Ratka’s teams are 59-21 overall, with trips to State in each of those three seasons.

“I’ve learned that your system is very important, but more importantly, it comes back to your culture,” she said. “What your core principles are and what you believe in as a team. We just did things differently at Green Bay and I think that’s why we were as successful as we were. There’s a tremendous culture at Green Bay that feeds itself,” she said. “Each group of players who come in just takes it to another level. It’s because nobody wants to let down the people before them, their teammates, their coaches or the community.”

Green Bay Southwest varsity coach Erin (Templin) Barkley ’09 (Elementary Education) has turned a struggling program into one that advanced to the WIAA regionals for three seasons. She believes success breeds success. “I don’t think other teams quite have it the way we did,” she said. “If you play for Green Bay, you are a member of a really close group. We try to plan once-a-month dinners for a bunch of us to go out and stay in touch. As an alumni group, we are a lot closer than what I’ve witnessed at other college programs. That makes us special in a way.”

It’s been this way for all 45 seasons, as some of the first-ever players in the program still show up for the annual alumni day. All-time assists leader and Phoenix Hall of Famer Pam Roecker (’83) says founding coach Carol Hammerle had a lot to do with setting the stage and continuing the relationships with players years after their eligibility was up.

“Carol’s leadership, combined with the competitive spirit the talented players exhibited were a great recipe for the beginning of this legacy,” she began. “The winning tradition was a topic we took great pride in and still do.”

Now dean of athletics at Regis College in Weston, Mass. and a television women’s basketball color analyst, Roecker has had past coaching stints at Green Bay, University of Massachusetts, Seton Hall University, Wagner College and Loyola University Chicago.

“The confidence and pride each woman that has worn a Phoenix uniform gained through their time over these last decades cannot be underestimated,” she said. “The expectation for excellence and for preparing to win the right way, every day have stayed with all of the former players.

Now in her 11th season as an assistant for the Phoenix, alumna Amanda (Leonhard) Perry ’03 (Business Administration) says the legacy of the Phoenix family is generational.

“A lot of programs talk about family but I think from beginning to end when you’re in our program it is family,” she said. “Whether you’re a local kid from the Green Bay area or you’re from outside four, five, six hours away. The team becomes your family but also this community becomes your family. The community embraces us so much and our season ticket holders love us so much that they end up as families away from home. When everyone leaves this program, they know it and can feel it.”

Former Phoenix women’s basketball players who continue the legacy as coaches (high school/college)*

Name Coaching Title School
Vicki Anklam-Adams Former Assistant Wausau Newman HS
Julie Glime Aubry Former Assistant Lena HS
Julie Steeno Bailey Former Assistant Florida International
Erin Templin Barkley Head Coach Green Bay Southwest HS
Sue Klaubauf-Bodilly Former Assistant Green Bay
Kati Harty Coleman Head Coach Bay Port HS
Mary Conard Former Assistant Preble HS
Lydia Bauer Assistant Coach Wisconsin Lutheran University
Kathi Bennett Assistant Coach Madison Edgewood College
Rhonda Rice Dart Former Assistant Green Bay and Northern Ill.
Sarah Eichler Assistant Coach UW-Parkside
Lori Hansen Frerk Former Head Coach Green Bay East HS
Chandra Johnson Francies Former Assistant Coach Pulaski, Green Bay Southwest HS
Julie Hahm Former Head Coach Greendale HS
Melanie Tilque Hendricks Assistant Bay Port HS
Tiffany Moore Huck Former Head Coach Appleton West HS
Hannah Quilling Iverson Head Coach UW-Stout
Chari Nordgaard Knueppel Former Assistant Coach Green Bay
Carrie Massey Assistant Coach Green Bay
Sarah Meyer Assistant Coach Lena HS
Amanda Leonhard Perry Assistant Coach Green Bay
Celeste Hoewisch Ratka Head Coach Hortonville HS
Pam Roecker Former Head and Asst. Coach UMass, Seton Hall, Wagner College, Loyola-Chicago and Green Bay
Sara Boyer Rohde Head Coach Green Bay Notre Dame HS
Abby Scharlow Former Assistant Florida Gulf Coast
Stephanie Sension Assistant Atkin (Minnesota)
Mary Kulenkamp-Simonsen Former Assistant Green Bay
Nicole Soulis Assistant Ashwaubenon HS
Sue Geiser Steeno Former Assistant Green Bay
Nancy Cieclewicz-Strong Former Assistant Green Bay Preble HS
Dawn LeClaire Taddy Former Assistant Two Rivers High School
Sam Terry Assistant De Pere HS
Kayla Tetschlag Assistant UW-Madison
Lavesa Glover Verhagen Former Head Coach, Assistant Orono HS/Green Bay Southwest HS

*UW-Green Bay acknowledges this is not a complete list. Did you play for the Phoenix and coach in the high school or college ranks? E-mail editor Sue Bodilly, to be added to the list.

Photo by Matt Ludtke

This story by freelance writer Jay Lillge originally appear in the Fall/Winter issue of Inside Magazine.
Updated March 12, 2019 by Sue Bodilly

March 25-26 Art Agency Sale open to students, faculty, alumni

Art Agency Art Sale Poster

Art Agency Art Sale Poster

Art Agency, the UW-Green Bay visual arts advocacy student group, is extending an invitation for faculty/staff and alumni to participate in its fourth biannual art sale on March 25 and 26, 2019 in the University Union Phoenix C from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The sale is both an opportunity for students, faculty/staff and alumni to sell work while generating a small profit to help fund Art Agency. Commission will be 10% for students and 25% for alumni and faculty participants. All mediums are welcome. There is no need to be present the day of the event, Art Agency students will be staffing the sale. Reserve a spot with Art Agency President, Nora Klein, via email at

Photos: ‘나무 (Wood)’ Art Opening

Wood Lawton Gallery Show

The UW-Green Bay Lawton Gallery welcomed campus and the community to the opening reception of  “나무 (Wood): Explorations in Woodworking,” Thursday, March 7, 2019. The exhibition features wooden sculptures and furniture by Minkyu Lee and Mark Sauter. In their remarks, Lee and Sauter explained the show celebrates a new Introduction to Woodworking and Furniture Design course the two will co-teach this fall. The exhibition will be open from Thursday, March 7, 2019 through March 28, 2019 and can be viewed during the gallery’s hours of operation: Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit the Lawton Gallery webpage for more information.

The Lawton Gallery has more photos of this exhibition on facebook.

Click thumbnails to enter slideshow view or view the album on Flickr.

– Photos by Kimberly Vlies, Marketing and University Communication

Crisis: On the Frontlines

Shawano Social Workers

Training program expands statewide

Crisis. A frantic phone call, or race to the emergency room.

Crisis. A feeling of deep sadness, not knowing how you’ll handle it all.

Crisis. An attempt to take one’s life.

Crisis can come in many different situations, affecting each person uniquely. In every crisis, there is a call for help. An expanding UW-Green Bay training program is helping those on the front lines in Wisconsin, ensures the call is answered. Every time.

This call for help is best answered by individuals with a passion for helping others and life-saving training that prepares them to handle any and all situations that arise. These exceptional people are often the difference between life and death.

Training is critical

Since 2009, crisis counselors have access to training through UW-Green Bay’s Behavioral Health Training Partnership (BHTP). The BHTP provides training, consultation and support services for Wisconsin’s county human services professionals and other community organizations (e.g., schools, foster parents, law enforcement). A Wisconsin Department of Health Services grant created the training partnership more than nine years ago to improve the quality and capacity of crisis services in the region. The team now trains crisis care professionals in 53 of 72 counties in the state.

“Prior to BHTP’s creation, counties were struggling with how to provide 40 hours of crisis orientation training to professionals who were making (potentially) life or death decisions,” said Jessica Delzer, MS, LPC, BHTP Director at UW-Green Bay. Crisis training is needed for emergency mental health certification and in turn, reimbursement for services, per the State of Wisconsin.

Critical classroom training focuses on three core areas: 1. Crisis services overview 2. Suicide and risk assessment 3. Wisconsin mental health laws These in-person training sessions are held once per month, and additional specialized training is offered both in person and online. “We show people how to do this really tough work, but one of the awesome things about the partnership is the relationships that form during this training,” says Delzer. “Providing an opportunity for a 25-year veteran of social work to share experiences with a recent graduate is invaluable.”

Working to prevent crisis

Jenna Hammer '15

Jenna Hammer ’15 CAPSW, SAS
Intervention Services Supervisor
Shawano County Department of Human Services

Jenna Hammer ’15 CAPSW, SAS, Intervention Services Supervisor for Shawano County Department of Human Services has seen crisis come in many ways, unique to every person in need. The training received through the BHTP has been vital in helping her and her team assess and help in all situations. “Teaching what crisis is, possible triggers and responses, and how an incident or situation can affect daily living,” states Hammer. “We use these skills every day — from motivational interviewing to the art of de-escalation, we’re the front line and true gatekeepers for people in crisis.” Not all cases end successfully; Hammer explains that clients have been lost over the years. Successful outcomes are celebrated.

Take Linda (name changed). Middle-aged, living alone and paranoid, Linda was calling law enforcement multiple times a day, insisting that she was in danger. While she did not pose a threat to herself and didn’t need “crisis” intervention per se, law enforcement and family members were frustrated with her taking up so much time and community resources. Linda couldn’t help herself. And those she was calling couldn’t help her either.

Eventually, she wound up in the emergency room and the county’s crisis workers were called in. They found that her struggle with mental health issues meant she wasn’t paying her bills, her home was quite dilapidated and she was in the process of being evicted. Her child had recently been removed from the home and she was clearly suffering from the “snowball effect” of everything happening at once.

Hammer and her staff offered resources — resources that law enforcement and others had previously offered — and this time, Linda agreed to get help. Behavioral health training helped crisis frontline workers to ask the right questions. They learned that Linda had previously suffered a traumatic brain injury, and because of their training, knew how to work with her to effectively support her. They listened to her as a person, and not just someone who was taking up too much time. Linda is now medically stable, attending regular meetings to work through her issues and is looking at getting her own home once again.

“We got a lot of ‘thanks’ from those who had been trying to work with Linda for so long,” says Hammer. The partnership that she and her staff have established with law enforcement and other community professionals continues to flourish, and Hammer is relieved that their training and support could help both Linda and others involved.

“We have to balance listening to the frustrations of our partners with the rights of our clients,” says Hammer. “When things aren’t going right, and we can then get a client to a point where she recognizes her needs and makes a change, it’s phenomenal.” UW-Green Bay’s Behavioral Health Training Partnership is truly answering our neighbors’ calls for help… in a professional and hopeful way. “Our crisis workers see people at their most vulnerable,” says Delzer. “It’s a lot of responsibility. We train staff to work with people in a sensitive and strength-based way, and prevent traumatizing them over and over again.” Providing hope to those in Wisconsin who need it most.

–Story by freelance writer Kristin Bouchard ’93