Voices of Veterans: Capturing the oral history and spirit of Northeast Wisconsin veterans

UW-Green Bay students and veterans Ashley Wiles and Sean Gleason have important stories to share. In this case, they are not their own, but the personal, front-line accounts from veterans who served in the United States armed forces in times of conflict. These oral histories provide a personal narrative to future generations so that all can understand the sacrifices made and the realities of war throughout the generations.

The UWGB project originated in UWGB Professor Rebecca Meacham’s “Documenting Memory” class in consultation with University archivist Deb Anderson. While some students chose to work on the personal histories of elderly palliative care patients, for instance, Wiles and Gleason gravitated toward documenting the oral histories of veterans.

“They have been a part of history and their history is important,” said Gleason. “I want to encourage people to come out and share what they experienced, and I want them to know that it is for the benefit of everyone: historians, researchers, students, other family members, and other service members.”

Anderson’s help was crucial to the process, according to Gleason.

“Her knowledge and expertise really expanded the pool of knowledge that went into the Documenting Memory,” explained Gleason. “Deb also has impeccable networking skills and was able to help coordinate a large number of the interviews, and make contact with the narrators. She is responsible for the legal archival aspect that goes on behind the scenes, such as cataloging and storing the interviews, drafting and storing the release forms. She helped provide instruction on recording and transcribing interviews. She also coached and mentored students on how to best approach a variety of situations in the field.”

Gleason and Wiles hope to expand the physical and human resources to grow the project, and make it a more permanent part of UWGB culture, community and a resource that is widely accessible.

These are their voices…

Louis LeCalsey III – ‘Cuban Missile Crisis’

Louis LeCalsey

Duration: 3:36 | MP3

  • Force Recon Marine
  • Deployed: Cuban Missile Crisis, South America and Vietnam
  • Formerly Tufco’s President and CEO
  • First UWGB Men’s Soccer Coach
  • Currently the Chair of the UWGB Council of Trustees

Claude Bohn – ‘One Hell of a Party’

Claude Bohn

Duration: 3:17 | MP3

United States Marine Corps

  • Sworn in January 22, 1942
  • Marine Raider in Japan, China and Guadalcanal
  • Collected memorabilia and photos during deployment
  • Passed away July 11, 2015 — Rest in Peace, Semper Fidelis

Robert Skorczewski – ‘Coming Back’

Robert Skorczewski

Duration: 3:17 | MP3

United States Army

  • Enlisted in U.S. Army, Communications Security Repair Specialist in 1968
  • Military assignments include: White Sands Missile Range and Southern European Task Force, Italy
  • UWGB Veteran Services Counselor
  • Leader of UWGB Office of Outreach and Extension
    • Academic Staff Emeritus
    • Distance Learning; Lifelong Learning; Green Bay Correctional Institute Associate Degree Program; High School Extension

Jared Spude – ‘9-11 Story’

Jared Spude

Duration: 3:17 | MP3

Wisconsin Army National Guard

  • Received the Outstanding Student Award during his May 2015 Graduation ceremony from UWGB
  • Major in Political Science and Public Administration, graduated Suma Cum Laude
  • Combat veteran deployed to Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne Division as a joint forward observer
  • Instructor at Fort McCoy

Patricia Finder-Stone – ‘B-17 Infant Medical Rescue’

Patricia Finder-Stone

Duration: 3:17 | MP3

United States Air Force

  • Air Force Nurse during the Korean War
  • Served in Greenland
  • Psychiatric Nurse at Cook County Hospital
  • Member of League of Women Voters Board
  • Delegate to the White House Conference on Aging
  • UWGB Distinguished Alumni Award

Mark Brunette – ‘Turkey Deployment’

Mark Brunette

Duration: 3:17 | MP3

United States Air Force

  • UWGB Veterans Club President
  • Air Force Veteran, deployed to Turkey for the duration of Iran Hostage Crisis

Jack Christianson – ‘Flare Mission’

Jack Christianson

Duration: 2:06 | MP3

United States Navy

  • Attended Green Bay West High School
  • U.S. Naval pilot during the Korean War
  • Stationed in Guam and Hawaii
  • Flew 63 missions out of Okinawa

The people behind the Voices of Veteran’s Project seek to enhance the capabilities of students at UWGB to capture the stories of veterans within the community. The intent is to develop personnel and resources to permanently affix the the project as an endeavor of the student veterans of UWGB.

Hear it here: 360° of Learning on radio

Taking our brand to the streets, the new 360° of Learning radio ads have been playing on stations throughout Wisconsin since October. They are part of a larger plan to increase enrollment and highlight the UW-Green Bay experience.

360° of Learning


Duration: 1 minute | MP3

Radio Ad Transcript

Say you wanted a degree in business. Or pre-medicine.
Or social work. There’s no shortage of colleges to help you get one.

But say you wanted more than a degree. What if you really wanted a school that offered 360 degrees – of learning?

Welcome to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Where 360° of learning is what happens when you’re exposed to people with different mindsets. It’s a broader perspective with unexpected viewpoints, challenging new ideas, and more ways to look at a problem.

Imagine real give-and-take between students and faculty.
With a feeling of community, and collaboration. Where every day, you’re more prepared for your career and what lies ahead. Making the degree you earn at UW-Green Bay all-around more valuable.

Take a look at what makes our 360° approach so different at uwgb.edu.

Giving back: Rouse’s holiday wish was for boy with Autism

I <3 a child with autismUnlike millions of others with an iPad 2 at the top of their holiday wish lists, sophomore Chelsea Rouse’s intentions had little to do with an unquenchable thirst for the latest in technology and everything to do with helping a child with special needs.

When Rouse heard about a radio station granting holiday wishes to those in need, she entered a contest on behalf of her friend Dylan, a six-year old with Autism. As one of his therapists, she felt it could be a big help in his sign language development. In fact, the iPad has special applications for people with Autism.

“Dylan has extensive therapy each day,” she wrote in her appeal to 101 WIXX. “He works extremely hard trying to learn sign language for each and every object in the world. The iPad 2 has special applications designed to teach children with autism; and is said to improve learning drastically. Since he is also diabetic Dylan is not able to tell his mother or father when his blood sugar is low. It is a scary thing for the family and they worry about each day. An iPad 2 could teach Dylan things a therapist couldn’t. This child has worked so hard to get to the point he is at and would benefit from this device greatly. We take things like talking for granted, but for Dylan it would be something he would never forget. He is such a special child and has a supportive family. It would be nice for him to have a voice and to have pictures to help guide him on his way through life.”

Rouse received news of her request being granted while in the hallway of the Environmental Science building during finals week. Although she was trying to be respectful of those studying for finals, the audio revealed a very excited and emotional response.

You can hear it here:

Duration: 1 minute 31 seconds | MP3

Click to enlarge

Rouse shared her excitement on her Facebook page (see screen capture to the right) and agreed to tell her story more widely because she would like to see the public more informed about Autism.

“It affects 1 in 97 kids now,” she said. “Boys are affected three times more than girls. These kids that I give therapy to mean the world to me and I wouldn’t trade this job for anything. Autism is a tricky thing to understand but once you open your mind it’s pretty interesting. It hurts to see some people look at families in weird ways thinking they don’t know how to handle their children when in all reality they do. They are so sensitive to lights and sounds, and for them to be around that sometimes is so overwhelming and over stimulating and causes them pain resulting in what would appear as a ‘tantrum’ in a normally functioning child.”

The help for Dylan was a wish come true for the Appleton native, who now resides in Algoma. In fact, she insists, as she shared on her Facebook page, it was the best day of her life.

First grads sang praises of U-W-G-B

Ron Retherford, class of 1970, remembers the very first UW-Green Bay commencement ceremony (June 1, 1970) for its music.

While the official record notes a prelude concert and triumphant recessional by the Concert Band under the direction of Prof. Robert J. Bauer, Retherford maintains that at some point a little barbershop harmony burst forth.

“Since we had no school song, Ken Hogg and two other graduates and I wrote, rehearsed, and sang the first ‘official’ graduation song,” Retherford writes. “The song was unusual, but representative of the kind of silliness and fun we had as the first graduating class of our brand new — and also unusual —college.”

Retherford shared his recollections in response to a query from the UW-Green Bay alumni magazine for commencement-day memories from that first graduating class. As Retherford and Hogg tell the story — and with his “Creative Communication” degree and status as an ordained Methodist minister, who could doubt Retherford? — the student quartet donned Shakey’s Pizza Parlor straw hats and held up huge cardboard letters, U-W-G-B, to deliver their ditty:

U is for the happiness YOU bring me
W means twice as much to me, to me,
G we’re glad you’re here
So together we can B

Despite its hammy tone and somewhat abrupt ending, Retherford says, the song was a hit. He shares the following solo re-creation as an audio file with Inside readers.

Continue reading “First grads sang praises of U-W-G-B”

With technology, Burtner explores new way to experience nature

Matthew Burtner in a kayak collecting audioWhat do we think of nature? Do we embrace it? What if there is a deeper power within nature itself? What if we are not really listening to what is there? Waves crashing on the shore, ice melting and the snow crunching beneath your feet are all sounds around us that we do not take into consideration.

Solo Lecture-Recital

7:30 p.m. Wed. March 24
Weidner Center, Fort Howard Hall
Free admission, limited seating: 200

Multi-Media Performance

7:30 p.m. Fri. March 26
Weidner Center, Cofrin Family Hall
$5 students, $15 adults

The pure sound of nature is a fascinating experience, and that is what renowned sound artist Matthew Burtner,has expressed within his work.

Burtner will be visiting the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay as part of this year’s Campus Common Theme, “Realizing Our Sustainable Future.” The compositions that Burtner has created symbolize the very powerful link between humans and the environment that we inhabit. Burtner believes that the technology we possess today gives us the chance to become even closer with nature and take even more pleasure in it. With this approach, a new relationship can form with the natural world and technology.

“I record all of my own sounds and teach students to record, too. That’s part of the job of an artist. It’s not just assembling things, but the adventure that you go on,” he said. For example, he spent three years working to capture the voice of the raven in the wild. “If I want the sound of a raven I can buy a CD. But by going out to record them I learned how smart and suspicious and mysterious and creative they are. It made the character of the raven more deep and obscure.”

This specific genre is known as “ecoacoustics” and is a relatively new science that involves the study of ecology and acoustics. Burtner believes ecoacoustics can be connected to many different sources such as living beings and their environment. Certain sounds arise from an immersive environment, and non-speech audio can communicate or convey natural data. Burtner’s compositions give the listener a sense of a magnificent journey or exploration. There are unlimited possibilities and creativity is at the fingertips of the performers. Each and every performance of his work is a unique world of perspectives that can be shared and equally valued.

Audio Samples

Siku Unipkaaq | 01:06 | 1.5MB
2001 – two glockenspiel and computer-generated sound

Anemoi | 01:07 | 1.5MB
2009 – wind music in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean

“The best way I can think about his music is kind of like an artist with a blank sheet of paper,” said Tyler Rindo, one of the music students performing in the upcoming concert. ”The artist has many decisions to make because there are no defined lines to color in, no specific colors to use and no direct medium to apply to the paper. Matthew Burtner’s music starts in this same way without limitations.”

Burtner does a good deal of research to calculate relation and interaction between pitches, which result in the mixing of sounds that create additional and prominent overtones. Some of his compositions utilize acoustic instruments in conjunction with an electronic track with which the performers interact. To realize the composition Burtner uses graphic notation along with standard notation in his music, which presents itself as a very creative tool for the performers. The graphic notation includes symbols and written instruction. These instructions allow the performers to react to the sounds around them and allow the piece to evolve differently each and every time it is performed. His music occupies a unique realm.

Burtner is currently an associate professor at the University of Virginia where he is the director of the Interactive Media Research Group and associate director of the VCCM Computer Music Center. His innovations in the area of environmental music have earned him a wide variety of residencies and other prestigious honors including: a composer- in-residence at the Audiovisual Institute in Barcelona; the Musikene Conservatory in San Sebastian, and an invited researcher at the Computer and Music Centre Pompidou in Paris. He was the first-prize winner of the Musica Nova International Electroacoustic Music Competition, and has received awards from Bourges, Meet the Composer, ASCAP, and American Music Center. Next year Burtner will be the first Provost’s Fellow at the Center for 21st Century Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

During his visit at UW-Green Bay, Burtner will present a lecture-recital and also participate in a concert of his works with UW-Green Bay faculty, guests and students. Also, he will be visiting classes and working with students to stress environmental concerns and promote the understanding of how the arts and the beauty of the natural world can become one.

“This is a significant opportunity to stretch ourselves with some very cutting-edge music and art that is highly relevant to our institutional emphasis on interdisciplinarity and the environment,” said Prof. Kevin Collins, director of Bands at UW-Green Bay, who will be performing in the concert. “It’s great to see the collaborative spirit particularly the way in which the faculty is together with each other and with our students to prepare for the performance. There’s a strong bond among so many people here that really creates opportunities for shared scholarship and artistry. It’s a great opportunity for all members of our community to grow and learn.”

Matthew Burtner Solo Lecture-Recital:

March 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Fort Howard Hall at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. Admission is free but limited to 200 guests. Tickets may be obtained in advance at the University Ticketing Service and Information Center in the University Union.

The Music of Matthew Burtner Multi-Media Performance

with UW-Green Bay Music Faculty, guests and students:
March 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Cofrin Family Hall at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. Admission: $5 for students and $15 for adults. For tickets call 920-465-2217, 1-800-328-TKTS, or purchase them online at www.uwgb.edu/tickets.

– Story by Derek Sklenar and Erin Torkelson,
Arts Management interns, UW-Green Bay

UW-Green Bay grad is a ‘dot com mom’

Lisa (Stache) Martin, a 2001 Interdisciplinary Studies grad (and Business Administration minor) through UW-Green Bay’s Adult Degree Program, has developed a fan following and part-time income as a dot-com mom.

In her four blogs, the Green Bay native offers hints on saving money, finding useful household products and dealing with tough family situations. Continue reading “UW-Green Bay grad is a ‘dot com mom’”

WTAQ: Harden ‘impressed’ with UW-Green Bay

In a radio interview with WTAQ reporter Scott Patrick on Friday (Jan. 16), Chancellor Thomas K. Harden said he was impressed with the character of the University, its heritage, its interdisciplinary approach the nature of the people here. Click the “play” button below to hear the interview. Continue reading “WTAQ: Harden ‘impressed’ with UW-Green Bay”