Category: Featured Connections

UW-Green Bay Featured stories


Commemorating 50 with a city-wide celebration

UW-Green Bay set out to share its 50th Anniversary celebration with the City of Green Bay Wednesday evening, Sept. 2 with a “Turn the Market Green” event at the Broadway District’s Farmers Market. Mission accomplished.

Following a series of events on campus, faculty, staff and students joined UW-Green Bay alumni and friends, city leaders, including Mayor Jim Schmitt and local business to celebrate the strong and growing partnership between UW-Green Bay and the City.

captains-walkTwo downtown businesses — Captain’s Walk Winery (owned by UWGB alumni Brad and Aric Schmiling) and Titletown Brewing — joined in the festivities. The Schmilings presented Chancellor Miller with the first bottle of UW-Green Bay 50th commemorative limited edition Cabernet Sauvignon to be sold at Captain’s Walk.

gb-golden-final-150Brent Weycker, president and founder of Titletown Brewing and Chancellor Miller tapped the first keg of “GB Golden” a beer now on tap and on the menu at Titletown through the fall, with proceeds benefiting UWGB student scholarships.

The crowd was entertained by the band Brass Differential, playing its 50th show and featuring members of the UWGB faculty and UWGB alumni.

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Celebrating the 50th 70s style

They were UWGB’s first students… they watched campus grow from corn field to conglomerate, and some of them even helped move in the furniture that can still be found in remote pockets of campus. They are the UW-Green Bay graduates of the Class of 1970, and they returned to campus to celebrate the University’s 50th anniversary with the faculty that inspired them and to tell a few tales of the good ole’ days. In a casual environment of the Shorewood Club, nearly two dozen of UWGB’s proudest made the return trip. They enjoyed walking down memory lane in a photo and memorabilia display provided by University Archives. They shared many, many stories from UW-Green Bay’s earliest days to commencement. They are still proud of their ECO U roots.  Among the memories, when “maintenance” knocked on their classroom door to install the University’s first blackboards… while class was in session. Being welcomed beyond imagination as returning adult students. Being led by a chancellor (Ed Weidner) who wanted to know them personally.  And of course the relationships… favorite faculty, mentors and friends.

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That’s a whole lot of green

They came back to the UW-Green Bay campus green from head-to-toe, but the UWGB chalk team members said it was well worth it. They had a ball helping turn the city of Green Bay green following the renaming of Broadway (and Hubbard) to Phoenix Way on Monday, August 31. The activities were part of UW-Green Bay’s 50th Anniversary kick-off. Acknowledging it would take a team of 50 to canvas a town, the group managed to spread Phoenix spirit at about two dozen high traffic locations downtown, and in front of businesses owned or led by UWGB alumni in Brown County. The 50th committee extends thanks to the chalk team, and special thanks to the many businesses that support UW-Green Bay, both with bright green storefront visibility and behind-the-scenes acknowledgement and support.

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Early grads help celebrate UWGB’s 50th

A busy day of public events celebrating the 50th anniversary of UWGB’s founding opened with a Wednesday morning breakfast program in the University Union’s Phoenix Room.

The University’s first Student Government Association president, Scott Knapp, was the keynote speaker. Now the CEO of Central Maine Community College, Knapp shared memories of his relationship with Founding Chancellor Edward Weidner, the earliest days of the new campus, and being asked to speak at the official groundbreaking for UWGB in November 1967.

Also offering remarks were UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller, Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt (who presented Miller and the University a key to the city), and proud Class of 1971 alumnus Sen. Dave Hansen (who presented a flag that had flown over the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison). Ron Pfeifer was emcee.

The invitation-only breakfast was also attended by other early 1970s graduates, current students and student government leaders, longtime community supporters (including Dr. Herb and Crystal Sandmire, friends of UWGB since 1969), emeriti faculty, University officials, the senior member of UW-Green Bay’s faculty (Prof. Kumar Kangayappan), Marge and Ellen Weidner, UW System officials including the deans of nearby UW Colleges, System President Ray Cross and Regent President Regina Millner, Regent Tim Higgens, Council of Trustees and Alumni leadership, and others. First graduate Nancy Ably Deprey ’70 and “most recent graduate” Victoria Zacarias ‘15 were acknowledged for their participation in the campus 50th anniversary video.

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Photos by UW-Green Bay staff members Dan Moore and Kelly Selner


New academic year brings new master’s in Data Science

(Photo above courtesy of UW-Extension)

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay marks the Sept. 2 start of the fall semester and the 2015-16 academic year with the debut of the first online master’s degree in data science ever offered in the UW System.

UW-Green Bay is a partner in the new Master’s of Data Science degree with UW-Extension and five other UW System universities, in Eau Claire, La Crosse, Oshkosh, Stevens Point and Superior. Faculty from each of the participating campuses will teach the online classes.

Officials say the new degree responds to one of America’s fastest growing fields as businesses and organizations seek to harness vast amounts of data — newly available through various technological innovations — to make better, data-driven decisions.

“The exponential growth in data generation, and the need to get hands around this data, has led businesses scrambling for ways to hone their strategies, improve existing processes and bolster innovation in their products and services,” says Gaurav Bansal, associate professor of management, information science and statistics at UW-Green Bay.

Adds Bansal, who will direct the Master’s of Data Science program at UW-Green Bay, “This program harnesses not only the faculty expertise from different UW campuses but also different academic disciplines including Computer Science, Statistics, Information Technology Management, Business Management and Communication. The program has been developed with input from Industry leaders and is closely aligned with the business needs in this area.”

The curriculum will be grounded in computer science, math and statistics, management and communication. Students will learn how to clean, organize, analyze and interpret large and complex data sets using the latest tools and analytical methods. Admission to the program will require a bachelor’s degree and a 3.0 GPA. Aptitude tests such as the GMAT and GRE will not be required.

“Our ability to collect and interpret data is crucial to the success of our business,” says Matt Mueller, senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer for Schreiber Foods of Green Bay, an advocate of the new program. “Decisions that we make — from providing market insights, to developing modern capabilities, to creating efficiencies in our manufacturing environment and everything in between — are data-driven. We employ a number of professionals (in this area), and I see this online master’s degree program in Data Science as another great resource for us.”

Bansal says tuition will compares favorably to competing graduate programs from other institutions. Like other collaborative online University of Wisconsin programs, students will pay the same tuition whether they live in Wisconsin or out-of-state.

The Master of Science in Data Science program is intended for students with a bachelor’s degree in math, statistics, analytics, computer science, or marketing; or three to five years of professional experience as a business intelligence analyst, data analyst, financial analyst, information technology analyst, database administrator, computer programmer, statistician or other related position.

Bansal points also to a report by McKinsey Global Institute that predicts demand for “deep analytical talent” in the United States could be 50 to 60 percent greater than projected supply by 2018. Opportunities have been identified in almost every economic sector: manufacturing, construction, transportation, warehousing, communication, science, health care, computer science, information technology, retail, sales, marketing, finance, insurance, education, government, law enforcement, security and more.

The Master of Science in Data Science joins a growing list of online degree and certificate programs available at UW-Green Bay. Prospective students seeking more information about the Master of Science in Data Science program are encouraged to visit the website, call 1-877-895-3276 or email.


A typical UW-Green Bay welcome

Mild temperatures, sunshine and smiles were the order of the day when an army of volunteers — faculty, staff, administrators, students, alumni and friends — pitched in to get about 600 new freshmen into their new rooms in a matter of a few hours. Once again, thanks to the organization of Residence Life, it ran like clockwork and new Phoenix families received a very warm UWGB welcome.

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Photos by Jena Richter and student interns Kayla Teske and Kayla Ermer


Broadway and Hubbard is now ‘Phoenix Way’

Symbolic in nature, but a ceremony renaming downtown Green Bay’s “Broadway” to “Phoenix Way” on Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, speaks volumes about the collaborative nature between a thriving city and its strong University. Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt and University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Chancellor Gary Miller unveiled the new sign at the traditional intersection of Broadway and Hubbard. It will remain for the week, as UW-Green Bay kicks-off its yearlong 50th Anniversary Celebration. The Mayor and Chancellor also unveiled the first of many #uwgb50 stencils, which appear across the city representing the support for UWGB by organizations and businesses. The celebration continues Sept. 2 with campus and community events, including a strong UW-Green Bay presence at the Wednesday evening Farmers Market. Alumni and general members of the public are asked to show their support by attending the market and wearing UW-Green Bay’s signature color green. The public can stop by the UWGB tent at Phoenix Way and Hubbard for give-a-ways and live music  At 6 p.m. in the Beerntsen’s Candies parking lot, Titletown Brewery and Captain’s Walk Winery will unveil new beverages that will carry a UW-Green Bay anniversary theme throughout the year. More at the50th Anniversary website.

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UW-Green Bay memories power exec’s generosity

If power industry executive Barbara Nick ’83 ever pens a memoir about her atypical career arc, the chapter on her college experience will be central to the story.

Nick is president and CEO of Dairyland Power Cooperative, La Crosse, which provides wholesale electricity to more than 40 member cooperatives and municipalities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois.

Nationwide, she’s one of only a few female chief executives in her industry. Her start in the tech-heavy field, 35 years ago, also sets her apart. It came in communications.

Nick says UW-Green Bay shares the credit, and it’s partly why she and her husband established the Jay and Barbara Nick Family Endowed Scholarship in 2013 to offer financial assistance to new freshmen.

Nick, then Barb Bielmeier, was a part-time, returning transfer student when her young family relocated to Green Bay in 1980. Raised in Scottsdale, Ariz., she had taken classes at Arizona State and UW-Madison. She was impressed that the quality of her UWGB education equaled the big schools and the campus was accommodating to non-traditionals.

She tutored in the writing lab, was a linguistics researcher for Prof. Donald Larmouth, and offered English-as-a-Second-Language assistance to international students.

In 1981, a job board posting caught her eye. Wisconsin Public Service Corp. was hiring a technical writer. Having studied with the exacting Larmouth, she knew she was qualified.

“The thing was, I had a liberal arts background. I was eight months pregnant when I had to decide whether to go ‘permanent’… and I was not from the Midwest, not male, not an engineer, and not an accountant,” she recalls, laughing. “But I stayed 33 years.”

Nick “fell in love” with the energy industry, and her work brought her to various divisions across the company. She remembers one afternoon at a lathe with a precision machinist at Kewaunee Nuclear Power and being in awe of the “absolute pride of workmanship.”

Nick finished her bachelor’s in Communication. She later completed Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

At WPS, she rose through the ranks to become senior VP of energy delivery and customer service. She was president of the Upper Peninsula Power Co. subsidiary, and by 2014, when she concluded her career at Integrys, she was president of its Minnesota Energy Resources and Michigan Gas Utilities corporations.


Record year: Summer Preview Days reached capacity

UW-Green Bay hosted record attendance for Summer Campus Preview Days in 2015 with hundreds of students and their families finding out about the transforming power of a UW-Green Bay degree. In total, UW-Green Bay hosted 259 students and more than 700 total guests — more than a 50% increase from last year. During the final Preview Day of the summer, a number of dedicated staff members outside of Admissions left their regular posts to help guide families on the tour.

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Photos by Eric Miller, Marketing and University Communication


Transforming classrooms: UWGB readies campus for fall semester

Awaiting UWGB biology students this year is an upgrade to the Exercise Physiology lab with state-of-the-art treadmill and high-end cycle ergometer to measure oxygen consumption (V02). The ability to measure oxygen consumption (VO2) enables the testing of athletes’ maximum aerobic capacity, or “VO2 max.”

According to Prof. James Marker, knowing VO2 max helps determine fitness levels, assess adaptations to training (increases), and prescribe exercise intensity. (e.g., training at 75% VO2 max.) Since oxygen consumption can easily be converted to caloric expenditure, being able to measure oxygen consumption can be used to determine caloric expenditure of a given activity, i.e., how many calories one burns. One can also use oxygen consumption to determine how efficient a person is when exercising.

Green Bay Cross County Coach Mike Kline helped Professors Marker and Amanda Nelson run some initial graded exercise tests as the manufacturer of the equipment and Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences Scott Furlong look on. The equipment is used in the Exercise Physiology classes and in research by UW-Green Bay faculty.

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