Category: Alumni Rising

Highlight star alumni

UWGB Alumni Association Golf Outing raises $15,000 for scholarships

top-story-golfAn early morning rain transitioned into sunny skies just in time for the shotgun start to the 35th annual UW-Green Bay Scholarship Golf Outing, Friday, June 12. One of the Alumni Association’s longest-standing events, the outing set a new record for dollars raised with more than $15,000 generated for student scholarships through fees, sponsorships, raffles and auctions.

The net winner of the outing was a UWGB faculty team of John Katers, John Luczaj, Patrick Forsythe and Chris Houghton. Gross winners were Andrew Branam, Greg Metzler, Seth Kabat and Heather Ryczek.

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Photos courtesy of Kelly Selner ’00

Alumnus finds inspiration to ‘Always Climb Higher’

Alumnus Jeff PagelsNote: An abbreviated version of this story was published in the May 2015 print edition of the Inside UW-Green Bay magazine.

Jeff Pagels’ success as an inspirational author, speaker, Olympic-caliber athlete, natural-resource manager and all-around good guy is fueled by his love for the outdoors and his determination to rise above life’s challenges.

Pagels received his master’s degree from UW-Green Bay in 1986. He chose UW-Green Bay because it was close to home and offered a degree in Environmental Science and Policy. He had been taking one course a semester, but jumped to almost a full load after he broke his back and got out of the hospital.

“I needed something to take my mind off my life-changing injury, and going to school nearly full time was the strong medicine that I needed to move on,” Pagels recalls.

His best memory of campus involves adjustment to his new life. A novice wheelchair user at the time, he struggled early with navigating and making his way around… except when he was at school.

“The UW-Green Bay campus was extremely accessible to me and easy to navigate. In addition, everyone on campus both students and professors were friendly and helpful,” Pagels remembers.

He landed rewarding professional work with the state Department of Natural Resources, administering grant programs and advocating for nature lovers with disabilities.

He worked as a regional outreach team leader. His job involved administering a variety of local grant programs associated with outdoor recreation, clean water, and land use and sewage treatment. Along with his love of the outdoors, his work supported his passion to ensure equal access for recreation users with disabilities.

A quote that Pagels created and uses often, “Mother Nature does not have to comply with ADA.”

At the same time, Pagels’ fierce competitive spirit found an outlet in handcycle racing, skiing, sled hockey, rafting and mountain climbing. His 13 gold medals and three silvers in international competition are highlighted by wins in the world 5K and 10K ski races held in conjunction with the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France. At the time, he was the only American cross country skier in history (able or disabled) to accomplish the 5K and 10K double.

A year later, Pagels and another wheelchair athlete became the first to traverse the Sierra-Nevada Mountain Range on sit skis, conquering a 55-mile route and 10,000-foot elevations.

In 2014, Pagels wrote the book Always Climb Higher about his comeback from severe spinal cord injury. The book highlights his decision to stop competing against others and focus solely on competing with himself.

Since his retirement in 2014, Pagels has volunteered at various hospitals and medical centers providing one-on-one counseling for individuals with disabilities. He has developed a park and recreation accessibility manual and has served as a chief advisor in the preparation of a federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service video on accessibility. He also conducts sensitivity sessions for groups involved in providing services to the public and the disabled including the U.S. National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other state and federal agencies across the country.

– Story by Daniele Frechette ’11

CEO claims slice of success in dough business

Alumnus Randy CharlesNote: An abbreviated version of this story was published in the May 2015 print edition of the Inside UW-Green Bay magazine.

The recipe for pizza dough is relatively simple… flour, sugar, yeast, salt, water and a little olive oil.

The recipe for a successful and growing wholesale pizza-crust company is a bit more complicated. Randy Charles, a 1987 UW-Green Bay Business Administration grad, keeps that recipe close to the vest.

Charles is the CEO of Alive and Kickin’ (A & K) Pizza Crust, a company that achieved significant growth since 1989, when Charles started the business with his father and two other partners. Randy became president in 1991 and then took over as CEO in 2011. The company now employs a workforce of 300-plus and has expanded its sales throughout North America.

“Like every business, it is a challenge to stay competitive and viable in the marketplace,” Charles said.

It is the continual development of product lines that keep the company growing and relevant… Charles calls it “customized manufacturing.” Expanding and diversifying, particularly in products such as frozen self-rising, par-baked and deli take-and-bake crusts, have helped Alive and Kickin’ to thrive.

Charles had envisioned his career cutting a different path when he graduated three decades ago. His marketing emphasis and classes with Prof. Robert Obenberger and Don McCartney inspired him to move to Milwaukee for grad school and work in brand management.

But in 1989, his father made Randy an offer he couldn’t refuse… return to Green Bay and help him build the company (then called Port City Bakery) from the bottom up. Now Charles only peripherally deals with marketing of the company, as his days are filled with walking the balancing act of a CEO — maintaining credibility with customers though diversity and quality of product, demonstrating company growth to his shareholders, ensuring a positive corporate culture, and securing the future of the company.

“What I continue to carry with me day-to-day are the courses that challenged me to view problems from multiple perspectives and across disciplines,” Charles said. “Even though I was a business student, I found other areas of study, such as the science requirement, both challenging and rewarding. The one-on-one attention of professors and the small class sizes allowed for great discussion and problem-solving. I believe that continues to be a strength of UW-Green Bay — an incredibly well-rounded education.”

Ironically, the Phoenix alumnus had to literally “rise from the flames” to lead his company through its toughest challenge — a major fire in 2005.

“What happened to us could have been a game-ender,” Charles says.

Alive and Kickin’ did indeed rise to the challenge, adding a third facility in 2010 located in the Green Bay I-43 Business Park. And in 2012, the pizza-crust maker added two additional production lines to expand its capacity to reach customers across North America, demonstrating that Charles’ business model is a recipe worth repeating.

Shariff first of UW-Green Bay grads to join MCW-Green Bay

shariff-top-storyJulia Shariff is still wrapping her head around the possibility of one day being called, “Dr. Shariff.”

The May 2015 UW-Green Bay Human Biology and Spanish graduate took a major step toward her long-awaited goal with recent acceptance into the inaugural class of the Medical College of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Classes begin this summer.

“To be honest, the idea of med school seemed like something other people did, not someone like me… The reason I decided to declare my major and head down that path was because of the amazing faculty at UWGB. I had always had support from my family to follow my dreams, but having a respected non-family source of support and belief in my abilities was what I needed to take the plunge.”

Being able to stay in Green Bay while in medical school is providing a level of comfort for Shariff (pictured with Bellin’s Bart Miller, above). The Green Bay Southwest High School graduate recognizes the value of “staying home” for her undergraduate degree, and will follow in the footsteps of a number of family members who took the same path.

“The benefits of staying in Green Bay are numerous,” she says. “It will both decrease the cost of living, but ease the transition into medical school. I’ve heard that the first year comes with its own academic adjustments so taking on medical school in Green Bay provides me with comfort and familiarity. I absolutely love the atmosphere of Green Bay — not too big and not too small. There’s plenty to do and opportunities to learn in this area. Having a medical school in Green Bay brings a lot to the area, especially when it comes to establishing community physicians.”

Shariff already has an insider perspective into health care in the region, having shadowed at Bellin Hospital in preparation for a research project, “The Lost Connection: Benefits of being a bilingual professional in the U.S. healthcare system,” which earned her prestigious selection as a “Posters in the Rotunda” showcase presenter in Madison in Spring of 2015.

Her project provided insight into the Green Bay area’s growing population of Spanish-speaking residents.

In true interdisciplinary fashion, Shariff developed the idea in collaboration with Prof. Cristina Ortiz of UW-Green Bay’s Spanish and Humanistic Studies academic programs.

“As Julia’s adviser, I conveyed to her that medical schools are seeking well-rounded students who are knowledgeable and have academic experiences beyond the sciences,” Ortiz says. “Her Spanish skills and academic work in Spanish have been key players in positioning Julia as the desirable candidate she is for medical school.”

Explains Shariff, “My research methods consisted of a lot of field observation, interviews, and of course investigation of previous reports and studies. I interviewed three individuals specifically: a bilingual doctor, a bilingual physician’s assistant and a Spanish interpreter. Through my research I developed a list of pros and cons for various communication methods in the healthcare system, thus determining the overall most efficient and practical method was the employment of a bilingual physician.”

Shariff studied abroad, in Spain, as part of her undergraduate experience. She was also an active tutor for the Organic Chemistry class, while serving as UWGB’s Health Science Club president, and co-president of UWGB’s Colleges Against Cancer organization.

“Green Bay is founded on the tight knit community and surrounding areas, and the promotion of this network is huge in the message MCW-Green Bay wants to send: promoting community based health care and cooperation of health systems in the state,” Shariff said.

“It has been a very long process, and to be accepted at such a respected institution as the Medical College of Wisconsin is both an honor and a privilege!”

UWGB Alumnus Simons returns ‘home’ as new Brown County Library Director

Brian Simons in front of the Cofrin Library.After years apart, one alumnus is returning to his Green Bay area roots.

Brian Simons, a 1998 History graduate, has been appointed the new director of the Brown County Library System.

“The board is extremely impressed with Brian’s experience, knowledge and commitment,” said Board President Kathy Pletcher. “His results-driven leadership style, record of innovation, fiscal management, team building, and community involvement makes him the leader that the Board was seeking to head Brown County Library.”

After graduating from UW-Green Bay, Simons has had a 13-year career in public libraries across the state, including working at libraries in Manitowoc, Delavan, and Verona. During his time as the director of the Verona Public Library, the library was honored with the prestigious Wisconsin Library of the Year award.

His return to Green Bay was motivated both by the family he still has in the Green Bay area, and the potential he sees in the Brown County Library System.

“Their focus on cultural diversity mixed into the other three main focus points, those being early literacy education, economic and business development support, and providing a space for community engagement, sets the foundation for a library that can do some very impressive things for the communities it serves,” he said.

In addition to his work within the library, Simons is active in national organizations, often advocating for library legislation and financial support for public libraries.

Simons looks forward to building relationships in the community and giving people as many opportunities as possible to transform their lives for the better.

“I believe public libraries, much like the entire Wisconsin Idea, can be incredible resources and valued assets to businesses,” he said. “They can provide space for meetings, training, and other activities. Libraries can provide the research support that many small businesses cannot afford. Lastly, libraries can be a focal point that can ignite redevelopment in a city.”

Simons began his position on March 2, 2015, succeeding Lynn Stainbrook, who served as library director from February 2008 to October 2014.
Story by Katelyn Staaben, editorial intern, Marketing and University Communication
Photo by Eric Miller, Marketing and University Communication

Double the love: Fondness for UWGB brings alumni back for more

Marian ShafferThe old saying goes, “If you love something set it free, if it comes back to you it’s yours.” This sums up the love affair between a growing number of UW-Green Bay alumni and their alma mater. What’s with the sappy sentiment? It’s nearly Valentine’s Day!

UW-Green Bay has seen an increasing number of alums who loved their campus so much, they returned for a second degree. The Advancement Office database shows 454 people with dual degrees from UWGB. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, now is the perfect time to share a few tales of love, devotion and hard work in pursuit of their happily ever after.

Marian ShafferMarian Shaffer (above and at left) joined this love-struck group when she returned to UW-Green Bay to work on her M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy — a decision fueled by her love of studying the natural world. Her passion was awakened in her first undergraduate ecology course with Prof. Amy Wolf.

“Dr. Wolf was a fantastic mentor. She made me realize what really excites me and lit a flame within me, providing opportunities that forever changed my life and opened my eyes to the most amazing and rewarding career,” Shaffer said.

Shaffer works as an appointed research graduate assistant in the Natural and Applied Sciences department at UW-Green Bay. She feels fortunate that her appointment is in conjunction with and supported by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, where she has been working as a biological science technician since 2013.

Not only did UW-Green Bay open doors for Shaffer professionally, but romantically too. She says she met the love of her life while working on her master’s degree.

“He is one of the best things to ever come into my life,” she says. “Not only were we lucky enough to study and grow together during our time at UWGB, we were blessed to get jobs at the same conservation agency. Together, we are working to protect and conserve the habitat and animals in our beautiful Great Lakes.

Barbara FeeneyBarbara Feeney is a two-time UW-Green Bay alum who left a piece of her heart on campus as an undergraduate and returned to capture the love she felt the first time around. Feeney earned her B.S. in Human Development and Urban Studies and returned to work on her Master’s in Administrative Science-Policy and Planning. She started at UW-Green Bay when the campus was transitioning from being a two-year college to a four-year college. Feeney was attracted by the unique identity the University was claiming for itself.

“At the time I started my master’s degree, I was living in Sturgeon Bay, and had two young children. So for me UW-Green Bay was the most practical choice,” Feeney said. Feeney ended up adoring the interdisciplinary education she received from UW-Green Bay, each time.

“I had so many great professors and classes,” she says. “Looking back from the vantage point of 40 years, I am grateful for the single classes I took in art history, pottery and poetry. I knew at the time that I was not going to major in those areas and took the classes out of interest, but exposure to those disciplines has enriched my life.”

And now she is thankful.

“I am so grateful for my education,” she says. “It allowed me to have a career that was interesting and challenging. Most days, I woke up looking forward to the day’s work ahead of me. When you think about it that is really kind of amazing.”

Ben MarkowskiBen Markowski also became a member of the beloved two-timers club. Markowski chose the University for his undergraduate and master’s studies because of the beautiful campus and the distinguished Education program.

“I loved the Education program and its faculty. Tim Kaufman, Steve Kimball, and James Coates were professors who really stuck out to me, they showed me the educational light,” Markowski said.

Markowski has a soft place in his heart for UW-Green Bay. He admits that during his time on campus, he learned to be himself, an important lesson that has served him well. His studies at UW-Green Bay gave him valuable work experience in the classroom. When he started teaching as a bilingual kindergarten teacher at Danz Elementary in Green Bay, he was well prepared.

“I am definitely living my happily ever after thanks to UWGB,” Markowski said.

So the old adage rings true, “Do what you love and never work a day in your life,” especially for these lucky in love UW-Green Bay alums!

— Story by Daniele Frechette.

Alumni rising: Kozloski provides homes to unwanted exotics

alumna rescues exotic animalsFor Jamie Kozloski, there is no such thing as a quiet day at the office.

Kozloski, a 2011 UW-Green Bay Biology graduate, is the founder and director of Kingdom Animalia Exotic Animal Rescue (KAEAR), a non-profit organization in De Pere, Wis. dedicated to “rescuing exotic animals through educational outreach,” according to their website.

“At KAEAR we are an educational-based nonprofit organization that rescues, rehabilitates, and gives refuge to unwanted, abandoned, released [or] found exotic animals,” said Kozloski, “We take in reptiles, amphibians, birds, small animals, and invertebrates.”

Jamie Kozloski realized her passion for animals early in life.

Jamie Kosloski“I fell in love with reptiles when I was 11 and at 15 I had a dream to create a sanctuary for old or unwanted animals,” Kozloski said.

After graduating from UW-Green Bay in 2011, Kozloski accomplished that dream, starting KAEAR just a year later. Since 2006, Kozloski has taken in over 900 animals and educated thousands on their care and conservation.

“Much research and hands-on work led me to work at a pet store and work animal control for Green Bay Police Department.”

While getting her Biology degree, she interned at the NEW Zoo and served as the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary’s exotic animal resource, she said. “In 2012 I decided to take the hobby I was growing and make it into my career. I incorporated and filed for non-profit status.”

She was granted 501c3 non-profit status in the summer of 2014 and leased a building to use as headquarters shortly after.

Along with caring for animals, Kozloski uses them to educate the community. KAEAR has been partnered with the East Central Regional Planning Commission and UW Sea Grant since 2013 to promote the “Habitattitude” campaign.

“We educate on non-pet release into the environment and give alternatives to releasing these pets potentially creating invasive species,” said Kozloski, “Since then we’ve spoken at two WBAY pet expo events and had two pet amnesty days where people could surrender their unwanted exotic and aquarium pets to us to give a more appealing option over release. We will be holding both events again this year.”

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Alumna Jamie Kosloski, founder and director of Kingdom Animalia Exotic Animal Rescue, January 2015Alumna Jamie Kosloski, founder and director of Kingdom Animalia Exotic Animal Rescue, January 2015Alumna Jamie Kosloski, founder and director of Kingdom Animalia Exotic Animal Rescue, January 2015Alumna Jamie Kosloski, founder and director of Kingdom Animalia Exotic Animal Rescue, January 2015Alumna Jamie Kosloski, founder and director of Kingdom Animalia Exotic Animal Rescue, January 2015Alumna Jamie Kosloski, founder and director of Kingdom Animalia Exotic Animal Rescue, January 2015

In addition to spreading the Habitattitude message, Kozloski presents programs on animals for local organizations using her animal ambassadors.

“Last summer I have also been starting to give native bat programs at Buboltz Nature Preserve with a complimentary night walk to observe the bats echolocating with a bat detector,” she said, “I plan to continue those as well as start up the areas only regular rabies awareness program.”

Kozloski says her Biology degree from UW-Green Bay legitimized her passion.

“I have also been given opportunities to do special projects and research papers that fueled my interest for certain topics like exotics and bats,” she said.

Looking to the future, Kozloski wants KAEAR to be known statewide as a rescue specializing in education. She hopes to raise funds in order to buy a building and grow an internship program. The organization currently exists with the help of program fees, adoptions, donations and fundraisers. Go to www.kaear.org to learn more.

“It’s been such a process and we are covering an important and much needed niche in this area for exotics, a group of animals that have little to no resources here for help,” Kozloski said.

– Story by Katelyn Staaben, editorial intern, Marketing and University Communications

2012 grad Morgan Gantz works to study and protect our nation’s wilderness

top-story-gantzFor the millions of outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hiking on the trails, kayaking down the rapid rivers, and biking through national parks, forests and wildlife refuges, there are the few who work to both study and protect the natural landscape of our public lands.

Morgan Gantz, a 2012 UW-Green Bay Environmental Science graduate is working to do just that in an Interagency Wilderness Fellowship program with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and American Conservation Experience.

“Generally speaking, Wilderness Fellows are educators and advocates of wilderness stewardship,” said Gantz. They have much to steward with over 100 million acres set aside in a land preservation system since President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into the law the Wilderness Act 50 years ago.

Gantz is spending six months working at two national wildlife refuges in Minnesota, Rice Lake and Tamarac. Out of 250 applicants for the fellowship, Gantz was one of eight selected. Her position began in May 2014.

Through this position, Gantz is working to establish a baseline condition and long term monitoring protocol for each refuge based on the five qualities of wilderness character. She is identifying measures specific to each location that quantify change over time. The goal is to create a tool land managers can use to better understand the wilderness they manage and to track trends over time.

“So my job is to evaluate a broad suite of biological indicators relating to water quality, air quality, climate change, and composition of native and invasive species among others,” Gantz said.

The program has also given her the chance to gain experience working with federal land management agencies.

gantz-story-2“As Wilderness Fellows we are exposed to all aspects of land management from office work and project management, to interacting with and educating staff, to fieldwork and regular maintenance. I have assisted biologists with counting bird population’s productivity success, banding birds, blowing up beaver dams to alleviate water flow, invasive plant surveys, ecological restoration activities, visitor services, and numerous education and outreach events.”

The broad range of practices that Gantz has taken part in have provided her with new challenges and learning experiences.

“It has really been a challenging position because I’ve had to independently identify what wilderness character means to each location. There is no ‘black and white’ on how to measure and assign values to the qualities that make up a wilderness within the framework, there can be a lot of greyness to creating protocols and is often left up to a judgment call of the local staff.”

Previous to this experience, Gantz worked on the Exotic Plant Management Team in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska during the summer of 2013, which actually has the largest wilderness in the whole National Wilderness Preservation System.

“Hiking along glaciers and enormous mountains was unreal,” Gantz, said, “It felt like a huge fantasyland up there. It was actually my mentor from that position, who is the ecologist for the Park that emailed me the job announcement for the Wilderness Fellowship program and urged me to apply because she thought it was a good fit.”

Gantz had several experiences during her time at UW-Green Bay that helped her to achieve what she has today. Of those, Gantz served as a terrestrial invasive species intern with the Shawano County Land Conservation Division, which she feels was the stepping-stone to achieve her position in Alaska.

gantz-story“I took Restoration Ecology as my senior thesis class and it was one of my favorites,” she said. “The concepts learned in that class I am constantly using and applying to my career development. I was fortunate to serve as a research assistant under Professor Mat Dornbush, which enhanced my technical skills and made my resume more competitive when applying for science related jobs.”

The relationships Gantz formed while a student here have influenced her as well.

“I made lasting connections with UWGB faculty, many of which I still use as references on job applications and whom I contact for professional advice. My education at UWGB was very rewarding and gave me all of the valuable skills that are helping me succeed in this fellowship today.”

When looking to the future, Gantz is interested in various options.

“I am currently looking for job opportunities within the field of wilderness management, habitat restoration and management, or conservation related work but also considering further education into graduate school. I have been enjoying traveling and working seasonal jobs but often times I am looking for more of a challenge and feeling an eagerness to learn more.”

Gantz is thankful for the opportunities that she’s been given.

“As a Wilderness Fellow, I am proud to support our nation’s most wild lands,” she said, “The Wilderness Fellows program has been the opportunity of a lifetime for me, and a valuable resource for our federal land managers.”

For more information.
Story by Katelyn Staaben, editorial intern, Marketing and University Communication
Photos submitted

Cheery expression: Alumna Oudeans’ art spreads holiday cheer

Alumna Danica OudeansUW-Green Bay alumna and artist in residence Danica Oudeans got an early surprise this holiday season. A piece of artwork she donated to UW-Green Bay after her graduation in 2003 was chosen for the Chancellor’s annual holiday card. The painting is part of the University’s permanent art collection and currently hangs in the office of Adult Degree Academic Advisor, Krista Shaw.

“I love the painting because it brightens up my office. It reflects the very energy that I want to be surrounded by and that I want students to feel when they walk in my office: positive, calm, and bright,” Shaw said.

Oudeans explained the meaning of the oil-on-canvas painting.

holiday card“Emerging From My Bedroom” is a depiction of strength emerging from sustained hardship. Life circumstances burgeon and change in an instant. Each day brings with it the chance to live instead of exist.

Oudeans graduated from UW-Green Bay as a Studio Arts major, with a minor in Humanistic Studies and received her MFA in Studio Arts from Miami University of Ohio. Her educational background in science, literature and history continues to influence her artwork.

“There isn’t really a big difference between science and art. Art just gives me a chance to express things that I don’t have to prove,” said Oudeans.

Oudeans interconnects topics to create understanding in a visually appealing way. Her influences range from observations in nature, to the relationships between things and how they impact one another. Oudeans has a rational approach to analyzing her own work.

Oudeans has a workspace in the Studio Arts building where she is currently working on her latest series that is based on the concept of how beauty can come from destructive process. She is currently experimenting with relief carving on a shaped canvas. Paintings are done on a canvas that is not flat or rectangular, but can take any two- or three-dimensional shape. Oudeans creates the canvas by using a technique called relief carving, the process of removing wood from a flat wood panel to create a three-dimensional object.

As an artist in residence at UW-Green Bay, Oudeans has an opportunity to impact Art students in a less formal setting while students get a glimpse of how a professional artist works. Oudeans says that she has learned more from her failures than her successes in her art career, which is something she likes to teach her students.

“It’s important for students to learn how to fail successfully so they will be more willing to take risks and get past their fear of failure on the journey to success,” Oudeans said.

Team players: Alumni make an impact working for Green Bay Packers

top-packers-groupFrom marketing to social media, I.T. to H.R., UW-Green Bay alumni are making a difference throughout the Green Bay Packers organization. We talked to several alumni, both recent and less so, about the UW-Green Bay experience, how it’s prepared them for careers with the most storied franchise in professional sports — and what it’s really like to stand on the field on game day.

“I loved my experience at UW-Green Bay,” said Packers corporate sales executive Dana Kressig ’01. “I mean, looking back, I would definitely say that’s made a huge impact on my success, and allowing me to be here with the Packers today.”

For Ryan Hartwig, a 2009 grad who ran cross country with the Phoenix, the student-athlete experience was second to none.

“The UW-Green Bay community’s just a special place,” said Hartwig, a content developer with Packers Media Group. “It was for me, and just the people there are great.”

Tammi Schroeder ’10, is a partnership services coordinator in Sales and Business Development. After starting her college career elsewhere, Schroeder transferred to UW-Green Bay. It was the right move, she said — especially because the University helped her find an internship with the Packers that led to her current job.

“I don’t think I would have had the opportunity,” Schroeder said, “or be where I am today if I didn’t transfer to UWGB and graduate from there.”

Alumni who work for the Packers say they still have their pinch-me moments — times they’re reminded of just how cool their jobs can be.

“It never gets old — I mean, I have a key to Lambeau Field,” said Kandi Goltz ’87, game and fan development manager. “When I stand on the field on game day — I mean, I stand on the field for the entire game — and when we introduce the team and you hear, ‘ladies and gentlemen, your 13-time World Champion Green Bay Packers,’ I get goosebumps. I still get goosebumps.”

Added Shea Greil ’99, a partnership services coordinator in Sales and Business Development:

“There is nothing like being in that tunnel on game day, and having 70,000-some fans just rocking the stadium.”

Working for the hometown team is a tremendous opportunity, Hartwig said.

“It’s definitely cool,” he said. “I grew up in Northeast Wisconsin as a Packers fan, loved sports all my life. So it’s definitely a great experience working here.”

An experience, Greil said, that’s as exciting for the employees as it is for the fans.

“It’s never a dull moment,” she said. “That’s also an amazing part of this job, is it’s never the same day twice.”

UW-Green Bay is a higher education partner of the Green Bay Packers. More information about the partnership is available online.

The alumni pictured above (L-R) are Dana Kressig ’01, Tammi Schroeder ’10, Ryan Hartwig ’09, Ryan Nowak ’06, Shea Greil ’99, Mike Jelenic ’96, Chelsea Schettle ’13, and Kandi Goltz ’87