Tag: Communication

Communication grad seeks spot on TWC Sports roundtable

Recent grad Jacob Westendorf, a 2014 graduate in Communication, has had an exciting summer. He was selected one of six finalists for the Time Warner Cable Sports Channel “Talking the Talk” competition, which picks an average fan for inclusion as a sports talk panelist. For his audition, Westendorf did a studio sit-down with host Dennis Krause on a quick barrage of topics — is it time for Brett Favre to enter the Packers Hall of Fame? — for a screen test now archived on the service’s Local on Demand channel (411). Viewer votes determine the winner. Criteria include sports knowledge and ease in front of a camera. Westendorf, a native of Rockford, Ill., acquitted himself quite well. See video.

Photographer Becker has sideline view of the storied Green Bay Packers

becker-top-storyMatt Becker has a front row seat for one of the most historic franchises in the NFL, the Green Bay Packers.

The 2008 Communication graduate is a team assistant photographer for the Packers and associate photo editor for digital media at ESPN.

“Sports were a big part of my life when I was growing up, and living in Wisconsin I was a big Packers fan,” Becker said. “So having a front row seat to one of the most historic franchises in the NFL is a dream come true. There is no better feeling than seeing a big play unfold right in front of you and than capturing that moment on the camera.”

Sometimes the moments between plays offer the greatest opportunities, such as Becker’s shot capturing Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers squeezing the bicep of NFL referee, Ed Hochuli, who is famous for his bodybuilding physique (and pride in his pipes).

aaron-rodgers“I was honored when this photo was selected and displayed by the NFL Hall of Fame as an honorable mention Best Feature Shot of 2012.”

Becker tries not to get caught up in the games, he would rather have that big moment captured with his camera so it can be shared. He said his head is always on a swivel when shooting a game because his work is not done after a play is over. He looks to capture the reactions of players and coaches to those moments.

He first developed an interest in photography in high school while working for his hometown newspaper, The Rhinelander Daily News. He attended OrgSmorg, the annual Student Life event, where he met Prof. Victoria Goff, adviser to the school newspaper, The Fourth Estate. He joined the student newspaper that semester as a photographer and sports writer.

He was also a member of the Phoenix Pep Band, which meant hectic game nights. During Phoenix games he would grab his trumpet and play a song with the Pep Band, before running to the sidelines with his camera to get the game winning shot.

Matt Becker

Matt Becker

“My photography wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for UWGB alumnus/photographer Matt Ludtke,” Becker said. Becker first met Ludtke while shooting a Phoenix women’s basketball game. “During one of the timeouts he showed me a couple things on the camera that would make shooting sports easier. I still communicate with him today, whether it’s borrowing camera equipment, photography advice or in passing each other along the sidelines at Lambeau Field.”

One of his favorite memories is photographing the Phoenix women’s basketball team as they took on UConn during the 2007 NCAA Division I tournament in Connecticut. It was double duty again that night… utilizing a press pass to shoot the game while also playing with the pep band.

During college Becker worked internships with both the University’s Office of Marketing and Communication and the Green Bay Packers marketing department. After graduation he worked for InCompetition Sports and served as a free-lance photographer for the Green Bay Press-Gazette and The Business News. He maintained his contacts with the Packers and helped them with some event photography.

While shooting a training camp practice for the Press-Gazette, he was approached about becoming a photographer for the Packers public relations department. It was an offer he couldn’t refuse. He is now an assistant team photographer.

Days of fighting off frostbite at the “frozen tundra,” are worth it, says Becker, who works home games and has also traveled to Minneapolis and Detroit this past season. He continues covering non-game day events, as well, and works during the off-season with the team’s photo archives.

Becker divides time between work with the Packers and sports network, ESPN. He edits photos for the ESPN website and their affiliates, and has created feature photo galleries for the Super Bowl, ESPN New York and NFL websites.

“Growing up, I never would have dreamed I’d have a key to Lambeau Field, let alone be able to photograph the games,” Becker said. “I still find myself smiling when I turn on to Lombardi Avenue knowing I’m going to work at Lambeau Field.”
Story by 2014 UW-Green Bay graduate Cheyenne Makinia

Alumni rising: UWGB alumni provide quality early education at Encompass

encompass-group-topEncompass Early Education and Childcare is a nationally accredited organization that provides quality education for children beginning at six weeks of age. The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay plays a significant role in providing staffing for the seven-center organization, with more than 20 Encompass staff members holding a UWGB degree.

The vast majority of staff members are educators, while a few, such as Candee Hendricks ’99 (front row, fourth from left in the photo above), find their way into the organization through other means. Hendricks started as an accountant for Encompass in 2002 and is now its Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Instead of the traditional feature, we decided a Q & A from a few Encompass employees who call UWGB their alma mater would be a better showcase of diversity, talent and impact.

Candee Hendricks, ‘99 Chief Financial Officer
Major: Accounting

Q: How did you get your start?
A: I started as an intern at the C.A. Lawton Company and was hired as an accountant when I graduated. I worked there three years and started at Encompass in December of 2002. I am now the Chief Financial Officer for the organization.

Q: There are a number of UWGB graduates at Encompass. What can you tell us about them?
A: I’ve noticed that the UWGB graduates employed at Encompass are prepared for their career. Several UWGB graduates have moved up the career ladder and are in leadership positions here. Encompass is required to have teachers with degrees in each of our classrooms due to our national accreditation standards. Although UWGB does not have an early childhood degree program, several graduates from UWGB employed at Encompass have Human Development or Elementary Education degrees.

Melissa Franken, ‘90 Center Director at the Bellin Center
Major: Human Development

Q: Tell us about your career path:
A: I started out managing retail stores and once I married and had children went into the early childhood field. I started out as a preschool teacher and then moved to Green Bay and started as a Center Director for Encompass.

Q: Any observations about early education and care?
A: Early education and care for our youngest people is extremely important. We’ve long known the importance of the first years of a child’s life, but now studies can prove it. Brain development in those early years is critical. We also know that teachers need to learn strategies for challenging children because we are seeing an increase in children with challenging behaviors.

Candace Dantinne ‘99, Toddler Teacher at the Bellin Center
Major: History

Q: How did you end up at Encompass with a history degree? What about your future?
A: My sister, who also works at Encompass, recommended me. I found that the culture at Encompass reflects my values — respect, appreciation, communication, honesty, and laughter. The culture and values of Encompass make working there enjoyable and fulfilling. I was prepared for the position from experience and with training from additional child care classes. I see myself continuing to provide children with a program that develops the whole child — intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically.

Q: What are your observations regarding the childcare industry?
A: The first thing I learned is that Encompass is not your typical day care. Encompass utilizes the High Scope Curriculum that emphasizes “Active Participatory Learning.” Children’s interests and choices are at the heart of the program while giving direct, hands-on experiences with people, objects, events, and ideas. Children construct their own knowledge through interactions with the world and people around them.
Being a non-profit and having multiple funding sources leads to the complexity of the organization. There are always new challenges and opportunities. Encompass partners with area school districts to provide four-year-old Kindergarten at five locations. Encompass tries to provide opportunities for all children to receive quality early education and care. Some of the children in our care receive state assistance to make care more affordable. Encompass receives funding from United Way and other community support in order to provide scholarship assistance to families who cannot afford the full fee rates.

Heather Hrabik ‘13, 4K teacher at Bellin Center
Major: Education

Q: What do you like best about Encompass?
A: I finished my student teaching in January and applied for a temporary position at Encompass that since became permanent. I like how community oriented Encompass is. The classroom is like a family — we eat together, learn together, and play together.

Brianna Hegewald ’13 Administrative Support Specialist
Major: Communication

Q: How did you end up at Encompass?
A: Shortly after I graduated, I discovered Encompass had a position open for an administrative support specialist. Being familiar with Encompass’ values and high standards, I knew it was the place where I wanted to work. The passion for kids is evident in every aspect of the organization — from the teachers, to center directors, to the Boards and the Leadership Team. Encompass takes in even the most difficult of children, loves them and gives them the opportunity to succeed that they might not have had if they had gone to child care and/or early education elsewhere. And most importantly, they don’t single out the kids who may be a little different. They truly believe in giving all kids the same attention and affection they deserve, while preparing them for elementary and middle school. I can honestly say I’ve never been so proud to work for a company.

Q: Were you prepared for the job?
A: Without my education from UWGB, I would not have been prepared to take on the fast-paced, detailed job here at Encompass. In fact, I was so prepared that I was soon assigned even more tasks that were not included in my original job description. In a few years, I will still be able to say I work for an organization that values its employees, value and mission as much as Encompass does. I also anticipate that I will be able to take on even more responsibilities and continue to grow as an asset to this organization.

Photo at top of post: Encompass employees who proudly attended UWGB, from left to right, front row: Kimberly Dagit, Heather Hrabik, Jane Brzezinski, Candee Hendricks, Candace Dantinne, Nicole Moua, Breanna Conard, and Kelsey DuBois. Back row: Annette Seidl, Brianna Hegewald, Crystal Kempton, Melissa Franken, Deanna VandenLangenBerg, Renee Huebner, Antoinette Thomas, Jennifer Feyen. Missing: Amanda Delagarza, Sheryl Ledvina, Sue Loberger, Amy Massey, Christina McKee, Houa Moua, Barbara Nenning, Elizabeth Rowling-Delaurel and Grace Schindel.

UW-Green Bay and SBDC friend DeMyer is entrepreneur finalist

Congratulations and best wishes to Marianna DeMyer, a 1984 communication grad of UW-Green Bay and client of the Small Business Development Center. She is one of 13 entrepreneurs statewide to make the finals and present live to judges in the Governor’s Business Plan Contest during the 12th annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Madison, June 2 and 3. DeMyer developed a portable wilderness water purification system that is lightweight (under 20 lbs), inexpensive, and capable of producing a liter of water a minute. She says her product, known as “Roving Blue,” could be especially useful in humanitarian situations that often accompany natural disasters where water supplies are disrupted. The 13 finalists have already survived three rounds of judging in the contest organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council, with the field whittled from nearly 300 entries. For more on the contest.

Memories and milestones: Video shares highlights of commencement 2014

top-story-commenceThe 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.”


Six Phoenix student-athletes earn winter academic all-league honors

Six UW-Green Bay student-athletes have been recognized as members of the 2014 Winter Academic All-Horizon League Teams, the conference office announced on Thursday. The teams, which represent success in competition as well as in the classroom, were voted on by the league’s faculty athletics representatives and athletics communications directors. Earning academic all-league honors for the Phoenix were:
Megan Lukan, women’s basketball, Communication, Business Administration

• Carrie Dinelli, women’s swimming and diving, Human Biology
Parker Wolf, women’s swimming and diving, Business Administration

Brian Heiser, men’s swimming and diving, Business Admin, History, Economics
• Connor Huff, men’s swimming and diving, Communication

Ryan Korslin, men’s swimming and diving, Psychology

The full news release on the Athletics site shows the impressive GPAs and team accomplishments that contributed to the all-academic recognition.

Award-winner Arnold was captivated by communications at a young age

top-story-arnoldHe was on a tour of NBC Studios in New York City with his father, when six-year-old Harvey Arnold first became captivated with the radio and television industry.

“I remember being enamored by the huge TV cameras, lights, large two-inch videotape machines and all of the supporting terminal equipment,” Arnold said. “I was hooked!”

The 1975 UW-Green Bay graduate now has four decades under his belt, and is considered a pioneer in the broadcasting industry through his work in improving transmission technologies and broadcast systems.

Harvey Arnold

Harvey Arnold

Arnold is the corporate director of engineering at Sinclair Broadcast Group in Baltimore, one of the largest television station operators in the country with 167 television stations in 77 markets. He is responsible for the design and maintenance of TV stations, transmitters, towers, antenna systems, and making stations more efficient.

In 2013 he was awarded one of six Broadcasting & Cable Technology Leadership Awards. Recipients were chosen for their work in bringing innovation and collaboration to day-to-day operations.

Arnold first came to UW-Green Bay from his native New York, drawn by UWGB’s “Eco U” values, and friendly atmosphere. He found “great professors and interesting courses (such as the ‘Ecology of Fire’) that were not offered anywhere else.”

During his first semester, when there was a serious interest in starting a student-run FM radio station on campus, his interest for broadcast engineering was revived, and WGBW-FM was born.
Arnold recalls working with his friend, Don Vandervelden, to host the radio show “The Music of Springtime.” Their Saturday evening program was centered on positive-themed music.

Arnold’s mentor, Gary Mach, was the chief engineer for Instructional Services at UWGB responsible for the technical build-out and operation of WGBW-FM, as well as the television production center on the UWGB campus.

“Gary taught me the value of doing quality engineering,” Arnold said. “We all need a mentor such as Gary. We still keep in touch today, and I remain grateful to him for sharing his knowledge with me and for showing, by example, ways to practice good engineering,” Arnold said.

During his undergraduate experience, Arnold became involved in the Transcendental Meditation (TM) student program at the University, and met and eventually married Julia (Terry), ’76, now a research scientist at the National Cancer Institute.

“I love to help the public radio and television community by sharing my experience with them,” Arnold said. “Public broadcasting in the U.S. is such a valuable service.”

Arnold attributes UW-Green Bay in helping him understand and appreciate the complexity and fragileness of the environment and the importance of communication. He says he enjoys working with other professionals and it makes the job easier when people work together to solve complex problems.

“A technical manager needs to do more than think analytically,” Arnold said. “It is vitally important to be a team leader. Developing people skills and motivating the workforce requires lots of two-way communication. You can’t just focus on the technology, you need to understand people.”
Story by Cheyenne Makinia, Marketing and University Communication intern

Agricultural communications is Amy Manske’s calling

top-story-AmyManskeUpon graduation in 2012, UW-Green Bay alumnus Amy Manske (in pink) decided not to settle. She was going to look for her dream job — one that incorporated her love for agriculture and her degree in Communication. A previous opportunity as a finalist for “Alice in Dairyland,” the official agricultural ambassador for the state of Wisconsin, only solidified her desire for a career in agricultural public relations.

It took Manske only two months after graduation to find work in her chosen field. She accepted a job as communications coordinator at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation (WFBF) in Madison, Wisconsin’s largest general farm organization.

“The reason why I like my job so much is because I get to tell people about agriculture and farmers,” Manske said. “So many of our members are the hardworking farmers out working every day, even in the frigid temperatures out feeding their animals and taking care of them. That is really noteworthy and cool to tell people.”

Amy Manske

Amy Manske

Manske grew up on a dairy farm in New London, Wis., and has a soft spot for agriculture and those responsible for it.

“It’s really challenging because less than two percent of the population is involved in agriculture anymore,” she said. “Telling that story to 98 percent of the world is a challenge.”

Manske says she enjoys the variety of her job. On any given day she could be setting up media interviews, writing articles, updating several social media accounts, working with committees, going to events or working with a co-worker on the county newsletters.

She travels to the 61 county farm bureaus and events across the state, and a few outside the state as well. Last year a trip to Washington D.C. gave her a professional development opportunity to meet with others from the American Farm Bureau and speak with legislators.

Manske originally chose to attend UW-Green Bay for its proximity to her hometown. She says she stayed because of the supportive people that helped her grow as a person. She says she found family, friendship and love.

“There are a lot of people that stick out in my mind at UWGB because the nature of the campus is to be friendly and supportive,” Manske said.

She interned with the public relations director of the Green Bay Area Public School District helping with social media and public relations. She also gained experience as an intern with Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant, working with the Green Bay establishment to create a new website and work on its public relations and social media presence.

“It takes time to master professional skills and those internships allowed me to practice and improve,” Manske said. “I was able to experiment with social media to see what works and what doesn’t while I was still in school.”

Manske also worked in UWGB’s Dean of Students office, where she became close to University Services Associate, Amanda Wildenberg, saying Wildenberg was a very special role model. “I appreciated her constant encouragement,” she said. “I felt like I had a family away from my own family, everyone in that office made me feel like their daughter in a sense.”

Manske also met her future husband, Jonathan Eckelberg, at UWGB. They had Communication classes and Residence Hall and Apartment Association meetings in common, and deepened their friendship when they both became student ambassadors. (The story has it that Eckelberg poked Manske with a fork to get her attention during an ambassador luncheon, but that’s a separate story). They plan to be married in October of 2014.
Story by Cheyenne Makinia, Marketing and University Communication intern

Prof. Carr to lead discussion on race and superheroes

Assistant Professor Bryan Carr of the Communication faculty will lead a discussion about “The Rhetoric of Race in Superhero Media” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, in the Christie Theatre on the lower level of the University Union. Superman, Batman, and Spiderman are just a few of the well-known comic book superheroes of 20th century America, but flying well below most people’s radar were the Black Panther, John Stewart and Luke Cage. Because there were few black writers in the comic book industry, Carr says, there were even fewer black superheroes and those that did exist were often stereotypical caricatures. Comic books, television, and movies will all be a part of the discussion. The program is free and open to the public.

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Documentary is recommended viewing — Those with an interest in the topic are encouraged to attend a free showing of the 52-minute documentary “White Scripts and Black Supermen: Black Masculinities in Comic Books” at 6 p.m. in the Christie Theatre on Tuesday, Feb. 25, the night before Carr’s presentation. He says he wants his Wednesday night event “to be more of a discussion than a recap about the film. I want the film to be a starting point to not only discuss African American experience, but other minorities’ experience in comics and movies as well. I really encourage people to see the film beforehand.”