UW-Green Bay built on success while blazing new trails during the year, continuing to embrace a 360° of Learning approach on campus and in the community.
It was a year of stellar academics as our award-winning faculty teamed with well-prepared students for high-profile research, hands-on learning and innovative opportunities. We welcomed our most diverse freshman class to date, and the new Phoenix GPS program is laying a foundation for collegiate success. We’ve begun and nurtured new initiatives, enhanced internship opportunities and forged partnerships, with new degrees in Engineering Technology, Nursing, Sustainable Management and Social Work leading the way. Our Adult Degree Program continued to expand its reach, and our first-ever Local Open Online Course — a LOOC, not a MOOC — offered sought-after opportunities for students and community alike.
UW-Green Bay’s renowned faculty continue to lead in the classroom, in the community and beyond. Professor Clif Ganyard earned the UW System’s top teaching award, while Professor Harvey Kaye was among those earning state and national acclaim for publications, artistry and related work. Our 360° of Learning approach continues to set UW-Green Bay apart as students embrace the value of learning from a variety of perspectives.
“It’s really opened my eyes to how taking a course in something that isn’t your emphasis or isn’t your major can still benefit you,” said student Kelsey McCormick. “It’s just — it’s irreplaceable.”
Life on campus provided numerous highlights during the year, as clubs and organizations grew in service to their members and the campus and larger communities. UW-Green Bay continued to bolster its Eco-U reputation with new earth-friendly initiatives, and celebrated diversity and international friendship through the campus Common Theme and numerous additional avenues. Service to the community was paramount, with the Campus Kitchens Project and other initiatives highlighting this critical aspect of life at UW-Green Bay.
“It’s not just the courses that you took,” said Associate Prof. Christopher Martin. “It’s the courses that you took and how it taught you to think about the world and explore the world, and explore relationships with different people and solve problems along the way.”
The arts gave us plenty to celebrate, with Theatre and Dance earning regional awards for its production of Avenue Q. The revitalized Weidner Center for the Performing Arts finished another year in the black, delighting audiences with hit shows and dynamic performances. Professor Brian Sutton took his original play all the way to New York City, while closer to home the 360° Thursdays concert series, Czech/Slovak music competition, unique gallery offerings and more helped UW-Green Bay showcase its aptitude for the arts.
Our Phoenix sports teams enjoyed stellar seasons. Four teams — men’s and women’s basketball, softball and men’s tennis — earned Horizon League championships as student-athletes garnered accolades both on and off the court. Men’s basketball produced the Horizon League coach and player of the year, plus an NBA draft pick. And Athletics notched impressive academic accomplishments as student-athletes earned a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better for the 29th consecutive semester.
UW-Green Bay is proud of its friends, supporters, and 32,000 alumni — individuals and institutions that further connect us to the community. We have enhanced our ties with the most storied franchise in professional sports, becoming the higher education partner of the Green Bay Packers just months after accepting a record Packers Foundation gift for student scholarships. Our graduates have risen to prominence here, around the country and around the world, and we celebrated all alumni with the inaugural Alumni Reunion Days events last fall.
A year of transition and opportunities at UW-Green Bay culminated in the welcome of Chancellor Gary L. Miller, who succeeded Tom Harden to become the University’s sixth leader.
Celebrating success with an eye on the future, we look forward to another great year at UW-Green Bay.
“I love UW-Green Bay,” said graduating senior Seenia Thao. “And every day, I appreciate it even more. Especially today.”
Grandparents’ University at UW-Green Bay continued a proud tradition of multigenerational fun in learning July 10-11, when nearly 200 grandparents and grandkids took part in the eighth annual camp.
“We have 198 people who have registered for Grandparent University,” said Camps Director Mona Christensen. “It’s a two-day program where grandparents and grandkids sign up for a class that they take together.”
Nine-year-old Calista Wright was attending her first Grandparents’ University with grandma Joanna Cloud.
“It feels very awesome,” Calista said, “because you get to have – because I’ve been having a lot of fun with my grandma.”
Fun is just one aspect of the two-day experience, Christensen said.
“It’s really multifaceted. It’s intergenerational learning, so they’re spending time with each other. They’re learning from each other,” she said. “It isn’t just the adult teaching the grandkid — it’s grandparents learning things that their grandkids know, too. And they’re doing things together in the classrooms.”
GPU veteran Pat Schaetz was happy to be returning for another year, attending with granddaughter Ava.
“We did the nutrition class last year,” Pat Schaetz said. “We did the wellness class, the rocketry class. Next year they’d like to take the cartooning class and there’s so many different things that they could take here. It’s just endless, the learning opportunities for them.”
Those opportunities extend beyond the classroom, Christensen said, as grandchildren get a taste of life on a college campus.
“They’ve experienced living on campus, eating in the University Union, taking classes out here,” she said. “And it’s really not so big. It’s something they can aspire to do in the future and that learning is something they can do for the rest of their lives, event when they get to be old enough to get to be grandparents.
“They just love being together — hands down the most important thing is that we had time to spend, quality time together. It was undistracted time; they could spend time in conversation with each other.”
That rang true for Tina Mercier, who attended camp with her two granddaughters.
“I guess what I’m realizing is,” Mercier said, “the best part of spending time with them — I’m going to start crying — is having talks with them. That’s what’s most precious to me.”
“She’s had a good time. I’ve had a good time. So it’s just been a real positive experience.”
Calista, Cloud’s granddaughter, didn’t hesitate when asked what she likes best about her grandmother.
“I like best that she loves me. “
Click here for a photo gallery from Grandparents’ University 2014.
The 634 graduates who participated in Saturday’s commencement ceremony had plenty to reflect on from their time at UW-Green Bay.
For Phoenix soccer’s Chanel Aries, it was applied learning and a one-of-a-kind education. For Heba Mohammad, a 2012 UW System Outstanding Women of Color in Education Award recipient, it was involvement outside the classroom as well as in. And for Seenia Thao, who with fellow senior Jenny Mottl made history as the first Phuture Phoenix program graduates of UW-Green Bay, it was a global perspective — and an appreciation for her alma mater that deepens every day.
“It’s been crazy. Everything I’ve done has been amazing — it really has been,” said Mohammad, who graduated summa cum laude with majors in History and Political Science. “And it’s sad to see it end but I’m sure that all the skills that I’ve picked up from all the opportunities that I’ve had and the people I’ve met will serve me really well in the future. And I’m excited to represent UWGB after this.”
For Aries, who graduated with a Communication degree, applied learning was one of the biggest takeaways from her time at UW-Green Bay.
“Green Bay is more of a hands-on school, and I find what I’ve learned in the classroom I can really apply outside of the classroom,” said Aries, of Alberta, Canada. “And I am extremely excited for that and I don’t think that I could replace it with any other education.”
Thao, who wore a Phuture Phoenix lapel pin to mark her milestone graduation, said UW-Green Bay has prepared her for her next steps — she’s starting graduate school at UW-Madison in the fall.
“I think it made me see the world more globally,” said Thao, a Social Work grad. “You know, Green Bay is a small college and it’s very community-oriented — and I grew up in Green Bay — but everything offered here really stimulated all my experiences and really made me see the world differently.
Mohammad, whose multifaceted University involvement included a year as Student Government Association president, said extracurricular activities were a crucial part of her UW-Green Bay experience.
“Academics is one thing,” Mohammad said, “but if you are involved in something and have a great support system, it just helps elevate your academic career and encourage you to do well — as well as developing those skills outside of class that you can incorporate in the classroom as well, and vice versa.”
Thao was among many grads who had mixed emotions when commencement day dawned. Excited for what’s next, Thao said she’d also miss the place that helped prepare her for the future.
“I love UW-Green Bay,” Thao said, “and every day I appreciate it even more. Especially today. It’s a very, very, very great day for everyone at UW-Green Bay.”
The 634 graduates who participated in Saturday’s commencement ceremony had plenty to reflect on from their time at UW-Green Bay. For Phoenix soccer’s Chanel Aries, it was applied learning and a one-of-a-kind education. For Heba Mohammad, a 2012 UW System Outstanding Women of Color in Education Award recipient, it was involvement outside the classroom as well as in. And for Seenia Thao, who with fellow senior Jenny Mottl made history as the first Phuture Phoenix program graduates of UW-Green Bay, it was a global perspective — and an appreciation for her alma mater that deepens every day. For more from these new alumae and plenty of memorable scenes from today’s big event, check out our commencement day video.
UW-Green Bay Theatre and Dance will present its next mainstage production, Communicating Doors, beginning Friday, April 25 at the University Theatre in Theatre Hall.
“Communicating Doors is a play by a very famous and prolific playwright named Alan Ayckbourn,” said Director and Associate Prof. John Mariano. “And his plays are always really well structured — great stories, great characters; he writes wonderful dialogue. He really is one of the world’s premiere playwrights.”
Described as “an intricate time traveling comic thriller,” Communicating Doors is suspenseful yet humorous, Mariano said.
“When he was writing it, he said he was thinking about a mix of ‘Psycho’ and ‘Back to the Future.’ ” Mariano said. “It’s kind of a murder-suspense story in the Hitchcock vein, but it’s funny. It’s about an old, dying man who wants to atone for a life of crime by confessing, and so he hires a prostitute to smuggle his confession out to try to get it past the other people who are complicit in his crimes. And she ends up traveling back in time and is given the opportunity to try to prevent the crimes from happening.”
Stephanie Frank plays the prostitute, Poopay Dayseer. She’s enjoyed working on both her character and the show.
“It’s very exciting; there’s lots of twists and turns and you never really know what is going to happen,” Frank said. “But at the same time this show has a ton of heart. All the characters are so authentic and so real that I think that adds a lot to the story. And that’s a big part of why I enjoy it so much.”
Communicating Doors has presented challenges, as well as opportunities, for its cast of six, Mariano said.
“It’s set in England, so they’re all doing dialects. One of our actors is actually from England so we have a wringer,” he said with a laugh, “but everyone else has had to work on that dialect. So it’s another sort of added extra component. So it’s a very challenging play — the characters are complex and a lot goes on in the play, so it’s a real challenge for the six actors that are in it.”
The show runs April 25-26 and May 1-3. Tickets are available online or by calling (920) 465-2400.
“It’s a terrific story, great characters,” Mariano said. “I think it should have a very strong audience appeal. It should be fun to watch.”
For some of Green Bay’s littlest learners, the greatest classroom is the great outdoors.
They’re students in the Green Bay School District’s new nature-based 4-year-old kindergarten program. Dubbed the OAK (Outdoor Adventures for Kids) Learning Center, it’s a partnership between the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, the school district and UW-Green Bay.
Working together, they’ve created a space where outside play means fun in learning for little ones. Students spend close to three-fourths of their time outdoors, replicating a nature-based model rarely, if ever, seen in public schools.
“When they work on shapes, they’re looking at, you know, things in nature — where can we find circles in nature?” said Associate Prof. Jennifer Lanter, Human Development and Psychology. “Well, we can find them in tree cookies. Right and we can play with those and stack those and look at those. So we’re building our fine motor skills and gross motor skills, working with that. But we’re also learning our shapes — some of those cognitive pieces as well.”
“I learn about trees and stuff,” said 4K student Oliver. “About nature.”
Added classmate Lily: “Now we know that worms can split in half and still survive. … We were learning and we didn’t even know it.”
From planning to grants and students who work with the kids on site, UW-Green Bay has been an integral part of the 4K program. Multiple majors are involved, embodying the University’s 360° of Learning approach.
“What I enjoy most about working with this program is seeing the 4K students grow,” said senior Education major Matthew Schilling. “On the first day, when I first started way back in February, to where we are now in mid April, they have come a long ways, socially and when it comes to schoolwork and stuff like that. So I think that’s been most rewarding to see that progress.”
Wildlife Sanctuary director Mike Reed, who conceptualized the program, said the partnerships that make it possible are invaluable.
“I think that the ability for the partnership with UWGB helped show that there would be the expertise and background available,” Reed said, “that made the school system comfortable with a pilot program like this.
The power of the partnerships — and the program — cuts both ways.
“It’s been a ton of fun,” said Associate Prof. Scott Ashmann, Education. “You can see it just in theireyes and in how they interact with each other, and with nature. It’s really been an incredible program to work with.”
“It’s a great learning opportunity and it allows I think our students to see that learning doesn’t just have to happen in the classroom — but that it can happen in nature too.”
UW-Green Bay Theatre and Dance is gearing up for its second mainstage production of DanceWorks, the high-energy production that will take the stage April 4 and 5 at University Theatre in Theatre Hall.
“Danceworks is a concert of dance,” said faculty member and Artistic Director Denise Carlson-Gardner, “and it is a very exciting, very eclectic concert.
“It is like going to a concert and watching videos live, I think, or even dance sections from a movie. We do musical theatre dance and you know it’s live right in front of you. So I think you could expect a well-rounded evening, a lot of very good music.”
Audiences might find that DanceWorks isn’t what they expect, said junior Melissa Reisdorf.
“A lot of people think it’s like a recital, like a little kid recital, and it’s not,” she said. “It’s a dance concert and it’s got a huge variety of pieces. We have tap pieces, we have lyrical, we have jazz, we have jazz funk. And a lot of the artists are really popular now. And it’s going to be a good one this year.”
Carlson-Gardner relishes the chance to have students demonstrate what they’ve learned on the big stage.
“The nice thing about this concert is we learn technique in classes,” she said. “So to have a concert like this where they can take their skills and apply them and perform is really important. It’s just a great opportunity for them to take it a step further and apply it to dances.”
For Reisdorf, dance at UW-Green Bay has become an enjoyable part of a well-rounded education.
“I’ve been dancing since I was five so that’s 15 years, almost 16,” she said. “And I came here I didn’t really know what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to keep dancing. French is also something that I really love, so I am a French major with Dance and Education minors.”
Carlson-Gardner choreographs most of the dances, with two student choreographers featured in this year’s production. It’s a proud moment when the curtain goes up, she said.
“To see all of this come together and have an audience there watching it and the students dancing it is really where the reward comes in,” Carlson-Gardner said. “And inevitably, through every rehearsal, students grow tremendously.”
DanceWorks 2014 will be a crowd-pleaser, Reisdorf said.
“If you like music videos or if you like anything that’s recent, if you like the Gatsby soundtrack, I would say definitely go see it,” she said. “It’s got something of everything, something for everyone to see and it’s going be cool. Last year was fantastic and this year has even a wider variety.”
March 12 was a big day for 16 UW-Green Bay undergraduates, as they got the opportunity to present their original research at the state Capitol in Madison.
As participants in the 11th annual UW System Posters in the Rotunda event, the students had the opportunity to join some 150 of their peers from throughout the System. They spoke with fellow students, administrators and state legislators about projects as diverse as the students themselves.
“My project is an analysis of trust lost in a privacy breach incident,” said sophomore Ben Lindberg.
“I really was interested in looking at how women and men were portrayed in music videos,” said senior Tara Schilawski, “and if those stereotypes that are so prevalent in society are reflected in the music videos.”
Senior Katie Hobbs was part of a group of six students who presented their original research under the supervision of faculty mentor Denise Bartell, who also made the trip.
“We’re presenting our poster, it’s called gateways to Phirst Year Success,” Hobbs said. “And it’s navigating college by building successful relationships.”
Senior Computer Science major Shawn Snyder had yet another area of focus for his work.
“The topic I’m presenting on today is how to make physics simulations more efficient,” Snyder said.
And senior Kristine Alvarez put her Political Science major to work in establishing her research project.
“My poster focuses on the relationship between voter turnout and three variables,” Alvarez said, “which were income, education and income inequality.”
Presenting at the statewide event will be an advantage as Alvarez continues her academic career, she said.
“Being a part of Posters in the Rotunda is something that I can go ahead and put on my resume,” Alvarez said. “And that will actually set me apart when I start applying for law schools, which is my ultimate goal — so this is a wonderful opportunity for that.
For Hobbs, the opportunity to speak with legislators about her group’s work was invaluable.
“It feels like more like I’m having more of an impact, I guess, like representing something,” she said. “I’m standing for the UW System, standing for UW-Green Bay, standing for our program.”
Students like Snyder said the experience would give them an in with potential employers.
“One major thing that employers look for is experience,” Snyder said. “And not only does research provide you with experience, but if you have a completed project, through and through, they really love to see that. It means you have ideas but you also see those ideas through.”
And that you can communicate them well, added Lindberg.
“I think there’s a lot of great things about this opportunity,” he said. “I think you know, presenting, being able to share what you’ve learned and trying to communicate that effectively to people is a great skill to learn. I think it’s great practice both for future academic pursuits and my career.”