Tag: alumni


UW-Green Bay named ‘Military Friendly’ again … and vet reminds campus to ‘celebrate daily’

For the seventh consecutive year, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has earned the 2016 Military Friendly® School designation. The designation reflects positive marks in ten categories including military support on campus, graduation and employment outcomes, military spouse policies, and more.

“It is definitely an honor to be considered a Military Friendly institution,” says Elaina Koltz, UWGB’s Veterans Services adviser. “Not many will understand exactly what these veterans have gone through.

“When they sign up for their GI Bill, they present their DD214 discharge papers and I get a small peek into their sacrifice. I see the Purple Heart awards; the discharges due to service-connected disabilities and the long periods of time spent in a combat zone.”

Koltz says that she and UW-Green Bay staff colleagues see it as an honor to serve these veterans and their families.

“When you are surrounded by these silent heroes on a daily basis it is an honor to serve them,” she says. “Then you see them graduate and become successful like Staff Sergeant Jared Spude, selected speaker for UW-Green Bay’s Veteran’s Day Reception on Nov. 11, and you are again both inspired and humbled. UW-Green Bay recognizes these sacrifices and responds. That is why it is considered a Military Friendly institution.”

UW-Green Bay alumnus Spude is a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army and Wisconsin National Guard. He presented an impassioned speech on behalf of Veterans, calling those in attendance to think about veterans and those who serve each day, and not just once a year.

Spude thanked the faculty, staff and administration on behalf of his fellow veterans for “going above and beyond to make sure that our needs our met, and for providing us with the tools to be successful in our educational endeavors.”

The following are some other excerpts from his Veterans Day remarks:

“I’m here to remember, encourage, motivate and challenge each and every one of you to reflect on what today is, what it represents, what the sacrifices remembered here today have brought for us and the great nation that we call home. I’m here to remind us that we all need to take a little time out of our day today—and every day to remember those who have served.

“Winston Churchill said, ‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” …That is what Veterans Day is all about. As a nation, we have flourished because we’ve always had citizens willing to stand up and answer the call to serve in hours of need. Today, we honor our veterans, past, and present, for their sacrifice and dedication to our great nation.

“As Americans we forget too often and too quickly what it took and continues to take to be alive… even on a day like today, we want to celebrate, bringing in a little pomp and circumstance when too often we forget about what this day is really about — solemn remembrance, peaceful reflection, active thankfulness.

“My call to action and challenge for you this Veterans Day 2015 is to remember Veterans and all they have done not only today, but every day. Thank a Vet. Find time. Make time in your days to reflect for one minute about what it means to be free and remember the sacrifices it took. Make time to educate your children, serve in your community, help others and most importantly live a life that is worthy of the sacrifices Veterans made to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. I challenge you today to find a veteran every day. Whether it is your teacher, your coach, your neighbor, or that guy that sits next to you in church and thank them. Thank them for their service. Thank them for their courage. Their commitment. Their sacrifice. I call you to action. To take time out of your day to stand here and look at old glory. Think about these veterans and other veterans you know. Have some pride for this flag and for our country and in our liberty.

“On this Veterans Day, there is so much to commemorate, and so much more to be thankful for. We would not be where we are today without the heroes we call veterans. Today we have the privilege of honoring this very small and special group of Americans, whose service spans every decade of our country’s existence. We owe them so much. But most importantly we owe them our freedom. And today, especially, we owe them our gratitude. Thank you —and God Bless America.”

Jared Spude is a 2008 graduate of Southern Door High School. He was named UWGB’s outstanding graduate in May 2015. He and his platoon served in Afghanistan. His role was to serve as a master navigator and coordinator from the ground as his platoon controlled fires of mortar tubes and artillery cannons. He continues to serve in the Wisconsin National Guard as an Instructor at the Wisconsin Military Academy, Fort McCoy — which is recognized as one of the outstanding artillery training institutes in the nation. He works full-time as a client services manager for Breakthrough Fuel, in Green Bay.


Slideshow, and a Veteran’s Day message: ‘Remember every day those who served’

The UW-Green Bay community celebrated and remembered campus and community military veterans Nov. 11, honoring them with the annual Chancellor’s Veteran Reception in the Phoenix Room of the University Union.

The UW-Green Bay Veterans Day tradition honors past and present service members from all branches of the U.S. military, and specifically recognizes UW-Green Bay students who have returned to school to obtain their degrees.

Retired UWGB Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance Kelly Franz earned special recognition for his deep commitment to military and their families on the UWGB campus.

“We in this country, we enjoy our prosperity and our liberties and I am deeply grateful for the sacrifices and great honor you show to our great nation,” Chancellor Gary L. Miller said, offering welcome remarks on behalf of himself and his wife, Georgia Miller.

The longtime president of UWGB’s Council of Trustees, the school’s first soccer coach and veteran of the United States Marines, Lou LeCalsey, provided perspective on the day’s events.

“As UWGB celebrates 50 years and we are commemorating many different facets of University history this fall, one of the very strongest traditions here involves the commitment to recruit, assist and graduate students who are veterans,” he said.

“…I will forever be proud of my association with UWGB, for many reasons, but that particular commitment ranks near the top.”

LeCalsey also announced that UWGB has been named a “Military Friendly School” for the seventh consecutive year, for going above and beyond to provide services to the military and their families. And then his sentiments turned more somber…

“Yet, on this 96th anniversary of the first Veterans Day… it is impossible not to remember those who died in service. Nor can we forget the ‘delayed’ victims of conflict — those never able to find peace, those who failed to make it ‘all the way home’… Friends, family, current or former military, we are all integral to the great fabric of the United States of America.

“Memorial Day… Veterans Day… Every Day… We treasure our freedom, this nation’s remarkable history, and the men and women who make it possible.”
UW-Green Bay alumnus Staff Sgt. Jared Spude offered an impassioned keynote for the event, echoing the call that veterans should be recognized not only on Veterans Day, but every single day of their lives.

“What I am is a Staff Sgt in the U.S. Army and I am here to motivate you, challenge you, and remind you what this day is all about and take time every single day to think about those who serve.”

Spude ended his remarks with this message: “I encourage you to make time to reflect on what it means to be free and what it has taken to get to where we are today. We walk among heroes every single day who have sacrificed everything for something so much bigger than themselves.”

(Click thumbnails to enter slideshow view.)

Beloved teacher/coach (UWGB Class of ’70) battles rare disorder

Rick Riehl, one of 78 members of UW-Green Bay’s original, June 1970 graduating class, was in his glory revisiting old times with classmates at the Alumni Days event at Shorewood Clubhouse on Sept. 2. Just a month later, he was diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, an extremely rare, degenerative and invariably fatal brain disorder. Riehl, a retired English teacher and multi-sport coach at West Bend East High School and a pillar of the community, is described this way by his local newspaper’s sports editor: “…If you went to East or played sports, at some point he entered your life. There’s not a whole lot of people who can say they had an impact on an entire city like he has.” A member of Lou LeCalsey’s first soccer team at UWGB, in his second career Riehl most recently served as Concordia University Wisconsin’s sports information director. On Saturday, Concordia will dedicate the football press box at Tomasini Field in his name. Riehl, his health and memory rapidly fading, will be there for the honor. Gary D’Amato of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a deeply moving and inspirational feature story about Riehl online.

Friday’s NAS Seminar: Illinois researcher (and UWGB grad) talks rivers

The Natural and Applied Sciences seminar series resumes this Friday (Nov. 6) with the presentation “Often too much but sometimes too little: Phosphorus and dissolved oxygen in Illinois streams and rivers.” Featured speaker Mike Machesky will begin his talk at 3:30 p.m. in Room 301 of the Environmental Sciences Building. Machesky is a 1976 UW-Green Bay graduate in Science and Environmental Change who went on to earn his UW-Madison Ph.D. in water chemistry. He has spent most of his career with the Illinois State Water Survey, an applied research unit of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Machesky will describe his team’s effort to continuously monitor dissolved oxygen at over 500 wadeable stream sites throughout Illinois — a modeling study that confirmed the factors responsible for a massive fish kill along the Rock River below Rockford in June 2009. He will also discuss the difficulty of tracking and isolating phosphorous-related impacts. The 3:30 p.m. talk is free and open to the public, as is the preceding 3 p.m. reception with Machesky in ES 317.

Wanted: Faculty or staff for community book-talk presentations

UW-Green Bay alumnus Brian Simons, who has returned to the community as executive director of the Brown County Library system, is wondering if any faculty and staff members from his alma mater would be interested in helping out a new initiative. For 2016, the Brown County Library is planning three different book discussion programs — each program consisting of three talks each, on three separate books all related to financial education. (At three different branches: Howard, De Pere and Ashwaubenon.) So, there are nine different opportunities for someone with professional expertise or skills as a moderator to lead at least one of the discussion sessions. The first book is The Opposite of Spoiled by Ron Lieber. Interested in being a discussion leader? Email Brian.

Alumna’s P-G essay: ‘Happy 50th, UWGB!’

Community columnist Lori (Starks) Linna got into the 50th anniversary spirit with a heartfelt tribute to UW-Green Bay printed in the Saturday (Oct. 31) edition of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. She writes that she was introduced to the new university as a child in the late 1960s, when her father, the late Bernie Starks, was hired as a faculty member in physical education. She witnessed the construction of the Phoenix Sports Center, kept stats for Phoenix basketball, enrolled as a student herself, worked for the Bursar’s Office, and now has a daughter enrolled at UWGB. “Happy 50th anniversary to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay,” Linna writes, “you have served my family well.”

Alumni Days 2015

What a weekend! Alumni Days in photos

What a weekend! A special 50th Anniversary Alumni Days gave UW-Green Bay alumni and friends a chance to reunite with the campus community October 16 and 17. Among the highlights: about 70 alumni joining the UWGB Music students and faculty in concert, excitement at the Kress with the Green Bay athletics teams, mini-Bayfest in Phoenix Park, alumni musicians, affinity groups, a Habitat for Humanity reunion and build, resurrection of the BlueWhale Coffeehouse and so much more. See some of the best images here and thank you to alumni Dan Moore, Jena Richter, Sue Bodilly and adopted alumnus Kimberly Vlies for the fantastic photos!

(Click thumbnails to enter slideshow view.)

Award-winning poet Coutley, a UW-Green Bay alumna, returns for reading 

Award-winning poet Lisa Fay Coutley, recently named a visiting professor at the University of Oregon, returns to her undergraduate alma mater, UW-Green Bay, for a free public reading and question-and-answer session at 1 p.m. next Monday (Oct. 26) in the Union’s Christie Theatre. Coutley will read from works including her debut poetry collection, Errata (Southern Illinois University Press, 2015), which deals with the lingering consequences of abuse and addiction while also describing the power of hope, determination and will to move forward. Errata won the 2014 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition Award, and Coutley’s two previous chapbooks — In the Carnival of Breathing (Black Lawrence Press, 2011) and Back-Talk (Articles Press, 2010) — also earned literary honors. Coutley earned her UWGB bachelor’s in English in 2004 and completed master’s degrees from Northern Michigan University and a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing at the University of Utah. Associate Prof. Rebecca Meacham director of the school’s creative writing program, arranged for the visit by her onetime student. For more on Coutley and her career.

Published poet Coutley, a UW-Green Bay alumna, returns for reading

Lisa-Faye-CoutleyAward-winning poet and educator Lisa Fay Coutley returns to her undergraduate alma mater, UW-Green Bay, for a reading and question-and-answer session on Monday, Oct. 26.

The program, free and open to the public, is scheduled for 1 p.m. in the Christie Theatre on the lower level of the University Union, located on the campus at 2420 Nicolet Drive.

Coutley is an assistant professor of creative writing and poetry at Snow College in Utah. In January 2016, she will relocate to Eugene, Ore., for a half-year assignment as a visiting professor with the poetry and creative writing program at the University of Oregon.

Coutley will read from works including her debut poetry collection, Errata, published earlier this year by Southern Illinois University Press.

The author describes Errata as exploring the delicate balance between parent and child, love and loss, hope and grief. The collection deals with the lingering consequences of abuse and addiction while also describing the power of hope, determination and will to move forward. Wrote one reviewer, “Coutley dares her readers to a staring contest and never looks away.”

Errata won the 2014 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition Award. Also earning honors for Coutley were two previous chapbooks — In the Carnival of Breathing (Black Lawrence Press, 2011), which won the Black River Chapbook Competition, and Back-Talk (Articles Press, 2010), winner of the Rooms Chapbook Contest.

Coutley earned a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and an Academy of American Poets Levis Prize, and her poetry and prose have been anthologized in Best New Poets, Best of the Net, Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and elsewhere.

As a student at UW-Green Bay, Coutley majored in English, minored in Humanistic Studies and earned her bachelor’s degree with cum laude honors in December 2004. She went on to receive a master’s in nonfiction and master’s of fine arts in poetry from Northern Michigan University before completing her Ph.D. in literature and creative writing at the University of Utah. She was poetry editor for each institution’s literary journal: Sheepshead Review at UW-Green Bay, NMU’s Passages North and Utah’s Quarterly West.

Rebecca Meacham, an associate professor of English and Humanistic Studies at UW-Green Bay and director of the school’s creative writing program, arranged for Coutley’s visit.

Students enrolled in Meacham’s Intermediate Creative Writing course will be among those in attendance for Coutley’s 1 p.m. Oct. 26 reading in the Christie Theatre. Meacham recalls teaching the course for the first time at UW-Green Bay in fall 2002, with Coutley — the future Meacham teaching assistant, published poet and guest lecturer— as a standout student.

“To put it mildly, she’s done quite well since graduating from UWGB,” Meacham says. “To achieve what she has, in a relatively short time, is very impressive. She’s a star.”


Artist Barbi Gossen in the UWGB Art Metals studio holding a piece of an alumni award

Exceptionally special Alumni Awards

For the past few months, inside UW-Green Bay’s Studio Arts Lab 112, jewelry artist Barbi Gossen has feverishly sketched, etched, sanded and soldered her intricate creations to the end result — the 2015 Alumni Awards.

In celebration of UW-Green Bay’s 50th Anniversary year, the Alumni Association commissioned Gossen, a 2003 UW-Green Bay graduate and award winning jewelry artist, to handcraft the beautiful works of art in time for the Oct. 16 awards ceremony.

Gossen was recognized at the annual event, along with the award recipients: Mark King, class of 1981, Barbara Nick ’83 and Jack Potts ’71, each receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award, and Andy Rosendahl, ’07 and Kelly Ruh ’01receiving the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award. Ronald and Suzy Pfeifer were presented with an Honorary Alumni Award.

Gossen says she was honored to be the selected artist for this project.

“I am really proud of these sculptures, and proud to shoulder the reputation of our tremendous art program we have at UWGB,” she said. “To be able to provide a small hand-made sculpture that these distinguished honorees are proud to display and care for is an honor.”

The Outstanding Recent Alumni Award was designed to show the rebirth of the Phoenix. Gossen explains in her artist statement: ”As each new generation goes forth, they go out into the world with the education, experience, and ideas that are unique to UWGB. As the flame rises from the swirled wings (symbolic of a nest), we rise from the safe haven of our professors, mentors, and friends. We grow to meet challenges that arise in our lives and the community around us. This award symbolizes new alumni drawing on their experiences to be reborn in the world and make a positive impact.”

The Distinguished Alumni Award symbolizes the greatness of UWGB’s more experienced alumni. “I wanted the complexity of shape and height to represent greatness and the exalted status of this award’s recipients. This award took far more time to sculpt and plan than the others in this series. Mastery of materials and complexity of technique, to me, are metaphors for the recipients of this award. Only after time, effort, and continued learning have these recipients grown to show there true potential,” she said.

The Honorary Alumni Award was designed to change with every perspective. “The front view shows all various pieces in a line revealing the wing as a whole with the school’s 50th logo as a centerpiece. This symbolizes all the things that must come together just right to make our university great. We need the support of the community around us and recognize those who’s support and commitment to our community and university make us complete.”

Gossen started with research about the idea of a Phoenix and what it has represented through time. She followed with hundreds of sketches until she had a “contender piece” which would be put through “training” — redrawing and redeveloping ideas into a refined design. Each was made more to scale and colored before being submitted for approval from colleagues, and finally for approval through the UWGB Alumni Association.

The tedious construction began with each piece copied or traced from the original. Some parts were easy and others required sawing for hours on end. Each was then carefully filed and sanded, before being cleaned and prepared for etching — a less than perfect process which requires many touch-ups by hand before pounding and shaping, soldering and finishing touches.

“I am really proud of these,” Gossen said. “I think by showing the process, and what really goes into the art, the pieces will be more valued. As an artist, you question your work constantly. There is high anxiety because you put so much of yourself into this…”

More about artist Barbara (Barbi) Gossen

An award-winning jewelry artist, Gossen is also an adjunct professor at her alma mater and has also taught Kent State where she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree, as well as the Cleveland Institute of Art, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, and the Peninsula Art School. She has shown across the country in various Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) shows, enamelist society shows and multiple times at Japan’s International Cloisonné Jewelry Contest. She earned “the award for encouragement” from the 20th International Cloisonné Jewelry Contest, an “emerging artist award” from the Peninsula Art School, and was a student finalist for the 2008 NICHE award. Her work has been published in books including 500 Earrings, and 500 Enameled Objects.

Enjoy the photo gallery featuring Gossen’s work in progress.

Photos by UWGB Marketing and University Communication staff member Kimberly Vlies.

(Click thumbnails to enter slideshow view.)