Author Archives: Kimberly Vlies

2017 UW-Green Bay Employee Appreciation Week


Seeking to repeat of last year’s successful employee appreciation week, the UW-Green Bay office of Human Resources is organizing what promises, per the e-mail sent to University faculty and staff, to be “a week filled with recognition and fun!” HR credits the Employee Appreciation Week Work Group for planning employee appreciation drawings, team-building activities, goodies and more. Events and activities are as follows:

Week-long events:

  • Share praise for your coworkers; send submissions to Watch for posts to be shared anonymously on HR’s Facebook Page.
  • Shorewood lunch special — lunch, a drink, and 3 holes of golf for $10. (Please call ahead to reserve. Ex: 2118)
  • Preferred parking prize drawing (3 names drawn for each day)
  • FREE* Popcorn at the Phoenix Club (with Faculty/Staff ID, 1 bag per person per day, while supplies last)

Monday, May 8:

  • Walk the Arboretum 12:00 Noon led by Bobbie Webster. Meet at the Arboretum Gateway Kiosk (just south of MAC hall). Should take about 30 minutes.

Tuesday, May 9:

  • Hitch a Ride! 7:15 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. Golf cart rides driven by leadership from all parking lots to buildings
  • Lunch with Leadership for those that with the drawing. (See your email for the form to enter.)

Wednesday, May 10:

  • Get the Scoop!* 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. While supplies last at the outdoor patio outside the Phoenix Rooms, FREE for Faculty and Staff, Students $1 (Flavors include Butter Pecan, Caramel Collision, Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl, Pirate’s Bounty)
  • Phoenix Bookstore Special – Buy one get one half off! (See store for exclusions.)

Thursday, May 5:

  • Casual Dress Day
  • Team Building Activities 11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. on Student Services Plaza- take a break and participate in activities with your co-workers. Minute to Win It Games, Giant Checkers, Jenga, Connect Four, and more!

Friday, May 6:

  • Phoenix Friday! Wear your Phoenix Gear or green to show your Phoenix Pride.
  • Phoenix Bookstore Special – Buy more, save more! Spend $25 get $5 off, Spend $50 get $15 off, spend $100 get $35 off. (See store for exclusions)
  • Pickleball 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in the Student Services Plaza (weather permitting)

*Funded by the University Staff Committee and the University Union

State-of-the-art on wheels: Campus and community invited to tour mobile engineering lab


Members of campus and the community were welcome to view a mobile engineering lab, Wednesday (April 19), built by Turbine Technologies. This climate-controlled lab houses equipment used in educational institutions all over the world. Engineering Technology faculty and students were the prime audience. For more, see the Turbine Technologies’ post on the new mobile training center.

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

– Photos by Kimberly Vlies, Marketing and University Communication

UW-Green Bay reports positive climate for sexual assault prevention and treatment

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. At UW-Green Bay, students reported overall positive perceptions of the school climate in dealing with sexual harassment and working toward assault prevention, response and treatment, although University officials acknowledged that there is always room for improvement.

The responses were reported in the College Experiences Survey (CES) Campus Climate Survey Validation Study, and results were recently released to the nine participating colleges and universities. Surveys were completed by 23,000 undergraduate students across the nine campuses.

The survey, conducted by RTI International and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, collected data on UW-Green Bay’s campus climate and sexual victimization during their academic career. Of the 2,445 UW-Green Bay students completing the survey, 1,691 were women, and 754 were men. Some findings:

  • About 97 percent of men and 94 percent of women said they strongly agree or agree that sexual harassment is not tolerated at UW-Green Bay.
  • In addition, about 93 percent of men and 92 percent of women reported in the survey that UW-Green Bay personnel would take their case seriously if they were sexually assaulted.
  • Seven percent of undergraduate females reported experiencing a sexual assault since the beginning of the 2014-2015 academic year. For both rape and sexual battery incidents, more than half of the victims reported that the perpetrator was not affiliated with the school. Most commonly, the perpetrator was someone the victim knew casually, and most incidents of rape and sexual battery took place off campus.
    • Sexual Battery was defined as any unwanted sexual contact without penetration
    • Rape was defined as unwanted sexual contact involving penetration
    • Sexual Assault was defined as a sexual battery and rape during the same incident.
  • Although students are encouraged to report any and all incidents of sexual assault, victims who did not report the incident to school officials most commonly responded that they did not need assistance, did not want any action taken, or did not consider the incident serious enough to report.
  • About 63 percent of men and 53 percent of women said they are aware of, and understand, the school’s procedures for dealing with reported incidents of sexual assault.

According to UW-Green Bay Assistant Dean of Students Mark Olkowski, sexual assault, and where to seek help if an incident was to occur, is a topic that is addressed to UW-Green Bay students early in their college experience.

“Sexual assault is an issue we talk to students about early in their college career,” said Olkowski. “It is part of our first-year student orientation, and we continue with a variety of programs related to the topic throughout the year. By the University talking about the topic, it becomes easier for the students to talk about it and get help if they need it.”

Olkowski said surveys like these demonstrate that the University’s educational efforts are working and provide a chance to educate the campus community about the prevalence of these incidents on campus, as well as the procedures in place to respond to them. For instance, did you know…

  • UW-Green Bay has six specially trained investigators (3 females, 3 males) for instances of sexual harassment and assault. UWGB Public Safety also has trained police officers of both genders available.
  • The UWGB Sexual Assault Response Team meets monthly to review any new reports, confirm follow up and services have been provided to victims, and look for options to prevent similar assaults.
  • UWGB has a multi-disciplinary Title IX team to review and improve our campus efforts to prevent and address gender discrimination in all its forms.
  • The faculty, staff and students who hear cases of sexual misconduct receive annual training about sexual assault related to trauma, substance use, facts vs myths, and how to be supportive of victims.
  • Fight, Flight or Freeze are the three ways the human body responds to stress or trauma. Freeze is a very common response to a sexual assault while it is occurring and immediately after the event. This is also known as tonic immobility.
  • “Tonic immobility” is when a person freezes during a sexual assault.  It is a biological response, and does not mean the person was “giving in” or consenting.
  • UW-Green Bay adopted an Amnesty Policy last year, stating that it will not proceed with criminal actions or seek implementation of certain disciplinary sanctions for violations of the campus alcohol policy for incidents in which victims of sexual violence or bystanders who assist victims of sexual violence request emergency assistance.

What one should know if he or she has been assaulted:

  • Go to a safe place.
  • Call 911 if in physical danger.
  • Preserve evidence.
  • Seek medical care ASAP.

For more information:

For more information regarding the survey or related topics, please contact Mark Olkowski at

Summary by Amy Bauer and Sue Bodilly, Office of Marketing and University Communication and Mark Olkowski, Dean of Students Office. Infographic by Kimberly Vlies, Office of Marketing and University Communication.

Johnson to receive UW-Green Bay’s EMBI Earth Caretaker Award

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Environmental Management and Business Institute (EMBI) will honor the eighth Earth Caretaker Award recipient, Meleesa Johnson ’00 on Thursday, April 20, 2017. The event takes place in the Phoenix Room of the University Union.

Meleesa Johnson '00

Meleesa Johnson ’00

The Earth Caretaker Award recognizes UW-Green Bay graduates who have distinguished themselves in their professional field and are widely recognized for their career accomplishments in the areas of sustainability, environmental management, environmental policy, or other closely related areas.

Johnson received her degree in Environmental Policy & Planning from UW-Green Bay in 2000. Johnson is the director of solid waste management for Marathon County. She oversees solid waste programming and facilities serving central and north-central Wisconsin. Under her leadership, the Solid Waste Department transitioned from primarily a landfill business to a regional resource for residents, businesses and local governments working on waste reduction and recycling programming as means of creating greater sustainability.

The Environmental Management and Business Institute (EMBI) was established in August 2008, and helps strengthen UW-Green Bay’s leadership position in the promotion of environmental awareness and eco-friendly initiatives.

Gearing up to graduate


The excitement was palpable as hundreds of soon-to-be UW-Green Bay graduates accepted their “UWGB Grad” canvas bags and entered the Phoenix Rooms for the 2017 spring Graduation Resource Fair through the course of two sessions. Students preparing to graduate in UW-Green Bay’s Spring Commencement Ceremony —11:30 a.m., Saturday, May 13 at the Kress Events Center — were able check much off their lists:

  • Purchase commencement caps and gowns
  • Order announcements, diploma frames, class rings, and more
  • Have a professional photo taken in commencement or business apparel
  • Sign up for the commencement ceremony and get guest tickets
  • Learn how to stay connected with UW-Green Bay after graduation
  • Talk with vendors about establishing credit, auto loans, student loan consolidation and  more.

For information on all things UW-Green Bay Commencement, visit

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

– Photos by Kimberly Vlies, Marketing and University Communication

Seeking Comments for HLC Accreditation

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is seeking comments from the public about the University in preparation for its periodic (10 year) evaluation by its regional accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The public is invited to submit comments regarding the quality of UW-Green Bay or its academic programs.

Mail your comment

Public Comment on the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1411

Submit your comment

All comments must:

  • be received by September 9, 2017
  • be submitted in writing
  • address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs

Preparing for a campus visit

UW-Green Bay will host a visit October 9 and 10, 2017 with a team representing the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet HLC’s criteria for accreditation.

About the accreditation process

UW-Green Bay holds a full 10-year accreditation (2007-17) from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and has maintained this status since 1972.

Accreditation assures quality of education, allows students to collect federal aid and signals confidence in the institution. For more information on the HLC Accreditation process and the importance to UW-Green Bay, visit

UW-Green Bay Professor Ryan Martin spreads his wings while cutting a rug


In a surprise appearance of UW-Green Bay’s Phlash the Phoenix mascot, UW-Green Bay Prof. Ryan Martin (Psychology) and his professional dance partner and coach, Mina Witte, proved with tremendous Phoenix spirit, that three can do the Cha Cha. Much to the delight of the audience and judges, the dancers, clad in shimmering green and bathed in green light, did as the Jason Derulo lyrics say, “spread your wings…we can fly now.”

This Dancing With Our Stars ballroom competition, held on Saturday (Feb. 25, 2017) at the KI Convention Center in Downtown Green Bay, was the culminating event for Martin’s six months of dance lessons and fundraising efforts with the Northeast Wisconsin American Red Cross. Dancing with Our Stars 2017 featured 16 local celebrities competing for the mirror ball trophy. See Martin and Witte dancing to “Kiss the Sky” by Derulo at 1:39:30 in the livestream video recording of the event courtesy of Camera Corner Connecting Point. Spoiler alert…they totally killed the lift!

At 2:45:37 in the livestream video, the duo received trophies for runner-up People’s Choice Award. This award is tallied by votes of the thousand audience members in attendance. Martin and his fundraising team (Kimberly Vlies, Jena Richter Landers, Jen Jones, Sara Schmitz, Janet Bonkowski and Molly Vandervest) raised $22,000 for the American Red Cross. The UWGB Red Cross Club and the UWGB Psychology Club led fundraising efforts, as well.

“There’s a lot of energy on the UW-Green Bay campus and Mina and I wanted to bring that energy to the dance floor for the Red Cross,” Martin said. About 80 supporters — both friends from campus and the community — attended the dance-off, prompting one judge to mention that like Martin, she wished she could bring her own cheering section to competitive events.

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

– Photos by Mark Witte

Singing the praises of the Studio Arts remodel

Choral class in new rehearsal space

State-of-the-art rehearsal, recording studio 
space is a campus and community asset

Ask Professors Randy Meder and Kevin Collins about the recent upgrades to the rehearsal space within the UW-Green Bay Music program and they’re likely to respond in song. That’s how good the new acoustics are.

Renovations in the Studio Arts building, including a high-tech expansion, places UW-Green Bay at the top of the list for those seeking musical genius. In fact, the energy is palpable when speaking with the professors about their updated space. “Every time they (students) make a sound, their educational experience is enhanced,” says Collins.

Recent physical updates include: instrumental rehearsal space, addition of a state-of-the-art digital recording studio and isolation booth, and enhancement of the number and quality of instruments and existing practice rooms, make UW-Green Bay’s music facility one of the most advanced in the region.

After securing a grant to improve technology and update their facilities to become more environmentally-friendly, the department got to work. “The acoustics were terrible, and it was very difficult to hear each other,” said Collins, describing the instrumental practice rooms — one designated for choral rehearsal and the other for band and orchestra rehearsal. Flat walls, noisy air-handling units and an inefficient sound barrier between rooms had diminished the effectiveness of the rehearsal space, built in 1973. Acousticians from the Chicago area were hired to improve the space — its first update in the history of the program — by creating un-parallel surfaces, slanting walls and by adding wood ceiling panels with beautiful, reflective surfaces. Updates have created a space where students can hear each other more clearly and sound bleed-through between rooms has been reduced by 70 percent.

Recording Studio Redux

SA-Music-Rooms-sound-board-960The program’s recording studio also needed to be updated and moved, as it wasn’t Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible. The new room includes the latest in high-tech, industry-standard digital recording equipment, Pro Tools HD, and allows students and staff to bring unlimited creativity into their recordings. “The software allows students to collaborate on campus, and over the internet — anywhere in the world — in real time,” says Collins.

An isolation booth, providing a dead acoustical environment with a direct link to the new recording studio, was also added in the space redesign. Rehearsal rooms tie into the recording studio as well through a video camera and Ethernet connection. “Theoretically, we can record from any room on campus,” says Assistant Prof. Bill Sallak. “It’s a really exciting opportunity. As the recording program grows, we won’t have to deal with ripping out drywall and running cable; we can talk about repurposing rooms to think of them as extensions of the recording program.”

This is great news for the University’s music program in a time when music and the fine arts in schools are feeling a crunch. Not here. “Our administration is so supportive, “says Collins, “and it’s a cultural thing and starts at the top. Our previous chancellor was extremely supportive, and our current chancellor keeps it a priority.”

A Musical Resource for Campus and Community

Students involved in the music program aren’t the only ones benefitting from the new and improved digital recording technology. Plans to collaborate with other majors, such as theatre, graphic design and marketing are already in progress. The faculty is committed to fully utilizing this technology to enhance student knowledge and experience within the music program, across other disciplines and within the community.

“We’re now able to teach at an advanced level,” says Meder, citing the music technology systems class that has learned the basics of audio and live recording techniques. The program will expand to include a full emphasis on recording technology and an added benefit to other majors within the music program. “Northeast Wisconsin Technical College has a recording technology program that provides a two-year degree,” says Meder, “we’d love those students to continue their degree here, and give them access while still at NWTC.” A string instrument program will also begin next semester — something the department hasn’t been able to offer for many years.

The program’s highly regarded summer music camps can also be taken to a whole new level.

“Kids are doing amazing things on YouTube…super, high-quality stuff,” says Collins. “We take the training wheels off and give them the tools to hit the ground running and they can do amazing things.”

The community-based Green Bay Civic Symphony rehearses at the University on a regular basis, and now their experience is immeasurably enhanced. “It’s so much better from a hearing perspective,” says Seong-Kyung Graham, conductor with the Civic Symphony. “We’ve been very, very grateful to the University that we are able to use the facility.” She says the strength of the local cultural music scene is a direct result of having a university that hosts such a strong music program. “I feel like there is a special bond and support in the community, especially considering its size.” says Graham. “They help us to be a better ensemble.”

“This is an exciting time to be in the arts,” says Collins. “The need now is for scholarships to bring in those kids who otherwise wouldn’t have access to updated technology and instruments. Now we are able to give students the highest level of quality technology, that they would never be able to afford otherwise.”

— Story by freelance writer Kristin Bouchard ’93

Meredith is active in keeping alive Dvorak’s memory

Prof. Sarah Meredith, poses with Antonin Dvorak III, a great grandson of famed composer Antonin Dvorak.

Prof. Sarah Meredith, poses with Antonin Dvorak III, a great grandson of famed composer Antonin Dvorak.

UW-Green Bay’s Prof. Sarah Meredith (Music, Women’s and Gender Studies) was the cover feature of the Tuesday, January 3, 2017 issue of the Calmar Courier, for her role in preserving Czech composer Antonin Dvorak’s local ties. The piece is as follows.

Dvorak’s Memory Remains
Professor Active with Keeping Alive Remembrance

By Michael Hohenbrink

In the summer of 1893, one of the world’s most famed composers traveled to northeastern Iowa and stayed for a time. Enchanted by the area, Antonin Dvorak composed two works. In addition to the music he composed, Dvorak also left his mark on the area, for example with the home where he stayed, which now houses a museum. Dvorak’s legacy can also be felt in a number of other ways.

One mark left by Dvorak is upon Sarah Meredith, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. “When I was a grad student at the University of Iowa…we made a road trip there,” she said. “That was sort of how my interest started.” Her father had suggested the idea, and it planted a seed. Dvorak became a research interest, one that has remained over the years. Growing up near Anamosa, Meredith said she has always been fascinated by Dvorak’s visit to Spillville. Meredith undertook her doctoral work at the University of Iowa with one of her main areas of study as the vocal repertoire of Dvorak.

She recently journeyed to the Czech Republic to serve as a judge for the 51st Dvorak International Voice Competition in Karlovy Vary. Meredith has been involved with this since 1994. The competition is a chance to keep alive Dvorak’s memory. “I have judged at this competition many times since 1994 and brought the first American singers there in 1997,” said Livingstone. While there, she had a chance to spend time with Antonin Dvorak III, a great-grandson of the famed composer. Interestingly enough, the younger Dvorak has also been to Spillville. “He loves Spillville,” said Meredith. More than any other topic, that is the one Meredith notes Dvorak speaking about. Nor is the interest limited to just Dvorak. “All the Czech people I met there they all know about Spillville.”

Dvorak's Memory Remains Calmar Courier Cover Story

Dvorak’s Memory Remains Calmar Courier (pdf)

UW-Green Bay Psychology posts three semester-ending events

UW-Green Bay psychology has three big events planned next week.

PSI Talks on Monday, (Dec. 5) at the Weidner Center
Join UW-Green Bay psychology at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 in Fort Howard Hall of the Weidner Center for four engaging talks from UWGB psychology students and alumni. The talks will be on topics related to stigma, feminism, and autism.  Learn more about the speakers or RSVP here. View last year’s talks here.

Grand opening of a newly developed Virtual Museum of Psychology (Dec. 7)
Several UW-Green Bay psychology students will host a grand opening for their newly-developed Virtual Museum of Psychology from 2 to 3 p.m. Dec. 7, in Mary Ann Cofrin Hall Room 201. The museum will serve as a space for people to learn about basic theories and major studies throughout the history of psychology, along with various careers in psychology. Learn more or watch the livestreamed event via the UWGB Psychology Facebook page.

Biennial poster session and annual awards ceremony, also on Wednesday (Dec. 7).
The Psychology Program’s Research Methods in Psychology Poster Session will be held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7 in the Winter Garden of MAC Hall. This poster session is held each semester to provide Psych 300 (Research Methods in Psychology) students a public means to present their work.  An award ceremony for the Psychology Star Awards will follow at 4:30 p.m. in the same location.