We only have a few more days left counting down our “50 phactoids” from Phoenix and UWGB history. One of our most recent posts recounts the day when humble UWGB knocked off the high-flying Cal Bears in the opening round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament to set Phoenix Phever lose on Wisconsin… and the nation.
UW-Green Bay has named Daniel Bickett as the next head coach of the Phoenix tennis programs, Director of Athletics Mary Ellen Gillespie announced on Thursday. Bickett joins Green Bay following a one-year stint as the head coach at UW-Oshkosh and six seasons as an assistant coach for the highly successful program at UW-Whitewater. Prior to arriving at UW-Oshkosh, the native of Houston, Texas, oversaw a staff of four tennis professionals as the Director of Tennis at Premier Tennis & Fitness in Janesville. For more, see the news release.
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has recognized its top faculty and staff members with 2015 Founders Awards for Excellence. The award winners, honored at the annual UW-Green Bay Faculty and Staff Convocation Wednesday morning, Aug. 26, are:
Teaching — Associate Prof. Georjeanna Wilson-Doenges
Scholarship — Prof. Matt Dornbush
Community Outreach — Prof. John Luczaj
Institutional Development — Associate Prof. Denise Bartell
Academic Support — Mike Kline
Classified Staff — Amanda Wildenberg
Collaborative Achievement — The Digital and Public Humanities Project
Posing in the photo, above, standing from left are Wilson-Doenges, Luczaj, Dornbush and Bartell. Seated are Wildenberg and faculty members representing the Digital Humanities Project, Associate Profs. Chuck Rybak and Caroline Boswell. Not pictured: Mike Kline.
The awards were presented before an audience of more than 400 in the Phoenix Room of the University Union. Made possible by private philanthropic support, the awards program has been an annual fixture at UW-Green Bay since 1975. Honorees are selected by a campuswide committee from among nominations submitted by faculty, staff and others.
Wilson-Doenges, the recipient of the Founder’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, is an associate professor of Human Development and a specialist in environmental psychology and best practices in neighborhood planning and urban design. The award citation credited her with effectively connecting with students, regardless of major, in courses both online and in-person, and bringing energy not only to her classroom but to her work with students on internships, independent studies, and honors projects. One nominator said her enthusiasm for her subject has the ability to make even the statistical concept of standard deviation “riveting.” Wilson-Doenges joined the UW-Green Bay faculty in 1995 after earning her Ph.D. from the University of California-Irvine.
Dornbush, recipient of the award for scholarship, was recognized for his work as a professor of biology with the Natural and Applied Sciences academic unit. He has made a priority of involving both graduate and undergraduate students in his research projects where possible, and has been successful in winning outside grants to support that research. His primary interests involve the role of native plant restorations in improving ecosystems, including the potential use of native tallgrass for bio-energy purposes, and the restoration of wild rice, bulrush and wild celery stands in the lower bay. Dornbush joined the UW-Green Bay faculty in 2005 after earning his doctoral degree in ecology at Iowa State University. He recently joined the academic affairs administrative team at UW-Green Bay as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Professional Development and Grants, and Director of Graduate Studies.
The award citation for Geoscience professor Luczaj, a member of the Natural and Applied Sciences faculty, called the Founders Award for Excellence in Community Outreach a perfect fit for a faculty member who is “an asset to UWGB as a researcher, instructor and community ambassador in the field of geology.” An authority on the geology and bedrock of Northeastern Wisconsin and related groundwater issues, Luczaj has provided guidance to technical groups on vital groundwater issues and advised varied stakeholders on aquifer protection strategies. In addition to working with UWGB students, he has connected with the community through geoscience presentations to family and K-12 groups as well as to UWGB Learning in Retirement audiences. He holds a Ph.D. in geology from Johns Hopkins and joined the Green Bay faculty in 2005.
Bartell, honored in the category of Institutional Development, was recognized for her efforts in ensuring the success of new and continuing students and the larger University. Bartell is an associate professor of psychology in the Human Development academic unit. In recent years she has assumed leadership in campuswide efforts to improve student retention and graduation rates, particularly for first-generation students and those who are from under-represented groups or who face special challenges. She is founder and program director for the Phoenix GPS Program, which has identified “high-impact” practices to help students thrive. (The practices include encouraging greater campus involvement, mentoring, effective study skills and active/engaged learning experiences for newcomers.) Bartell joined UW-Green Bay in 2002 after earning her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Texas.
Kline received the Founders Award for Excellence in Academic Support in recognition of his success in fostering, according to the award citation, “a department culture where academic success, not just completion, is an uncompromising priority.” Kline works in Phoenix Athletics administration as assistant AD of Compliance and Student Welfare. A 1988 graduate of UW-Green Bay, he landed the position of Phoenix cross-country coach while still a student-athlete in 1987. In 1999 he accepted additional duties as academics coordinator for all Phoenix teams. In the years since, the program has posted at least 31 consecutive semesters of cumulative GPAs of 3.0 or better, had a series of all-league and even all-America academic honorees, and had individual teams rank among the best in America in terms of academic performance. Nominators described Kline as “dedicated” “tireless” and “passionate” about encouraging academic and career success.
Wildenberg, recipient of the Founder’s Award for University Staff , is a university services associate in the Dean of Students Office. Nominators praised her customer-service orientation, good humor and cool under pressure in interacting with a clientele as varied and diverse as the University itself — students, parents, faculty, staff, senior administrators and others. She takes a lead role in coordinating a major, Universitywide program that serves almost a thousand new students and their families annually. The award citation also mentioned her technological skills, involvement in staff governance and efforts to “make UW-Green Bay a better place to work.” Wildenberg, who earned her bachelor’s at UW-Milwaukee, joined the UW-Green Bay staff in 2008.
The Digital and Public Humanities Project, led by Associate Profs. Chuck Rybak and Caroline Boswell of the Humanistic Studies faculty, earned the Founders Award in the category of Collaborative Achievement. The project, which began with creation of a “digital commons” at UW-Green Bay, relies on modern technology to greatly expand opportunity for sharing the humanities — ancient and modern languages, literature, philosophy, religion, history and the visual and performing arts — rather than distract from, or diminish interest, as some might expect in what is often characterized as an age of shortened attention spans. One nominator wrote of Rybak and Boswell, “by bringing students into this field (they have) opened new doors that will lead not only to new employment opportunities, but new ways to engage in lifelong interdisciplinary learning.” The project is credited with helping students avail themselves of new digital technologies, advance their skill sets and also make the field more accessible to the public at large. Boswell, a historian, joined the UW-Green Bay faculty in 2008 after earning her Ph.D. at Brown University. Rybak, a professor of English and creative writing, is a widely published poet who received his Ph.D. at the University of Cincinnati.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of UW-Green Bay, the Green Bay Athletic Department has announced a number of new initiatives for the 2015-16 season:
For the first time since 2011, Green Bay Athletics will induct a new class into the Athletics Hall of Fame this coming winter, scheduled for a home basketball weekend. Nominations are open to the public.
The department will release a list of its Top 50 moments in Phoenix athletics history.
Fans can enjoy free admission to all home Green Bay soccer games for both the men and the women.
ESPN has announced that the Phoenix men’s basketball will be facing East Tennessee State on Nov. 17 with a 5 a.m. tipoff as part of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon, with the game being televised nationally on ESPN2.
The countdown to our 50th anniversary continues. New since our last edition of the Log:
• The April 1982 press conference at which UWGB administrators introduced respected, well-liked assistant Dick Lien as the new men’s basketball coach would have broken the internet had it occurred today.
• Prof. Trinidad Chavez had a Sound Idea for a show/jazz choir, and the University had itself a scholarship troupe of musical ambassadors.
• Jazz Fest has nearly a 50-year history, and with top alumni including drummer Carl Allen returning to help out, it just keeps rolling along.
• It was Sheepshead Revue for Vol. 1, No. 1 in February 1975. Now Sheepshead Review, the UW-Green Bay literary publication is enjoying arguably its greatest success.
• Care to see a picture of Tim Sewall, who is today an interim administrator in student affairs, being a good sport by wearing a hot icy-silver costume for the 2003 Chili Cookoff? We’ve got it.
• UW-Green Bay has had an impressive recent run of UW System professor-of-the-year honorees. The recognition program began in 1992, and by 1993 UWGB had its first winner: Joseph Moran of Natural and Applied Sciences.
• Time was when UWGB Summer Music Camps held their closing camp concerts behind Theatre Hall (then known as the Creative Communication Building) and borrowed a “stage” in the form of the old Green Bay Parks department’s “Showmobile.” We have a photo.
Head coach Beth Spoehr has announced the addition of Greg Bachkora to the Green Bay softball coaching staff. Bachkora, originally from Lee’s Summit, Mo., joins the Phoenix after a two-year stint with Northern Colorado where he worked as a graduate assistant and the director of softball operations. He is a graduate of Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., and holds a master’s degree in physical education from Emporia State and a master’s in sports coaching from Northern Colorado.
Kim Brandao, entering her first year as head coach of Phoenix women’s soccer, announced her 2015 schedule this week. It opens with home exhibition games at 2 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 9) vs. Viterbo and 6 p.m. next Wednesday vs. Northern Illinois. Following a road trip including the regular-season opener Aug. 21 at Northern Iowa, the first official home action is 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28 vs. St. Mary’s (Calif.).
UW-Green Bay has named Reed Robelot its next head swimming and diving coach, Director of Athletics Mary Ellen Gillespie has announced. Robelot joins the Phoenix following a successful five-year stint as an assistant coach with ACC member Virginia Tech, where he helped the Hokies to three-consecutive top-25 finishes for both the men’s and the women’s teams. Robelot takes over from Jim Merner, who announced his retirement on May 8 to cap a successful 25-year career. For more on the coach.
Jeanne Stangel, a longtime UW-Green Bay administrator, will be leaving the University to accept a newly created position with Notre Dame de La Baie Academy in Green Bay. Stangel starts Aug. 3 as Notre Dame’s vice president for institutional advancement. She will direct fundraising, strategic initiatives and communication, and serve additionally as the Roman Catholic high school’s director of athletics. “I am thrilled and excited by this opportunity,” Stangel said. “NDA is very well respected in this community and exemplifies the highest standards in helping its students excel in faith, academics, athletics and extracurricular development.” At UW-Green Bay, Stangel serves as Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and President of the UW-Green Bay Foundation, Inc. A member of the institution’s executive team, she oversees the University’s fundraising, alumni, marketing and communication functions. “Jeanne Stangel has been a wonderful ambassador for UWGB,” commented Chancellor Gary L. Miller. “What she has accomplished — in terms of rallying community and alumni support for student scholarships, academic enhancements and campus facilities — has made a tangible difference in the lives of our students. We extend our great appreciation to her for all she has done, and wish her the best as she accepts this new challenge. It has been a great honor to work with her. She is a great professional.” A native of the Algoma area and a 1987 graduate of UW-Green Bay’s Business Administration program, Stangel has held a variety of positions with the University over 25 years as a student, administrator and advocate. For more.