Mike Stearney, dean of enrollment services, is retiring after 31 years at UW-Green Bay. Cake and farewells are on the agenda for Tuesday (May 12) from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the 1965 Room.
Tim Sewall, a longtime UW-Green Bay faculty member and former associate provost, will return to the University June 1 as interim dean of enrollment services. Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor Greg Davis shared the news with division staff Friday morning. Sewall will take over from Michael Stearney, who is retiring this month. “We are delighted that someone with Dr. Sewall’s breadth of administrative experience and record of accomplishment has agreed to serve in this critical role,” Davis said in a statement. Sewall retired from the University in 2012 as associate provost for academic affairs and director of graduate studies. That year, he received one of the University’s highest honors in the form of the Founders Award of Excellence for Institutional Development. During his 33-year career, Sewall served with distinction as a member of the award-winning Human Development faculty — he also earned Founders teacher of the year honors in his own right — and took leadership of campuswide programs for first-year students, international education, institutional assessment, graduate programs, faculty development and more. Davis thanked Stearney for his “extraordinary leadership and his selfless service of 30 years, which helped to make UWGB what it is today.” A search for Stearney’s permanent successor will begin during the 2015-16 academic year. The dean of enrollment services oversees UW-Green Bay student services in admissions, career services, academic advising, financial aid and the office of the registrar.
Retirement-party announcements are making the rounds on campus. For the benefit of retirees and various other off-campus readers, here are several notices that have been widely shared:
• Cliff Abbott, Forrest Baulieu and Jeanellyn Schwarzenbach of the Information and Computing Science faculty are retiring, and colleague Adolfo Garcia is relocating out-of-state. A joint farewell is planned for noon to 1 p.m. Friday, May 8, in Mary Ann Cofrin Hall’s CWing.
• Mike Stearney, dean of Enrollment Services, is retiring after 31 years, with a sendoff on Tuesday, May 12, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Union’s 1965 Room.
• Associate Prof. Warren Johnson of Human Biology will greet well-wishers from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 12, in LS 468.
We’ve told you here before about the UW-Green Bay Habitat for Humanity chapter’s plans to build homes this summer in typhoon-ravaged Bicol, Philippines. The group’s efforts were featured earlier this month on WBAY, Channel 2, and now the Wausau Daily Herald has done its own story featuring two graduates of Central Wisconsin’s Marathon High School. Sarah Busko and Jordan Fraser are two of the 10 UW-Green Bay students planning to make the trip, along with Habitat adviser and Dean of Enrollment Services Mike Stearney. “We are literally going halfway around the world,” Busko told Daily Herald reporter Keith Uhlig. “We will be staying and working in a location just 15 degrees north of the equator. But the need there is so great, and the opportunity is so amazing. We were the only college chapter in the U.S. to step up to this invitation. Our take on it was, go big or go home.” You can read the full article, here.
Thanks to the generous support of families, friends, the Green Bay community at large, and especially the University community, the UW-Green Bay Collegiate Chapter of Habitat for Humanity is a little more than halfway to its fundraising goal for a Global Village trip to the Philippines in August. Dean of Enrollment Services Mike Stearney will accompany 10 students on a journey to Bicol, Philippines July 31- Aug 8. There they will join university students from Japan and the Philippines to contribute to the larger Habitat-Philippines goal of providing homes for 30,000 Filipino families in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. With just about one month left, the students still need to raise more money for this service trip. Check out their video story and fundraising website.
The UW-Green Bay chapter of Habitat for Humanity has sights set on its first international trip, a journey to typhoon-ravaged Bicol, Philippines this summer. WBAY, Channel 2’s Kristyn Allen came to campus Monday (May 5), interviewing several students and their chapter adviser, Dean of Enrollment Services Michael Stearney, for a story that ran during the 5 p.m. newscast. “Based on what we can infer so far, the students would be working in a community that’s being built,” Stearney said. “The homes that they build there are modest, but very durable.” Added student Sarah Busko: “We’re kind of building different homes than we do here in the United States, so that will be a huge difference. Basically we’re building concrete homes instead of out of wood, and building up the walls.” The group is set to depart July 31. Full story.
Five years ago, the Enrollment Services Division completely reorganized space, staffing and service delivery consistent with a vision of providing fully integrated services at a “one-stop” service center. The goal was to provide single-point-of-service transactions for the offices of the Registrar, Financial Aid and Admissions, assure accuracy and consistency of information, coordinate incoming and outbound communications from and to students, minimize student run-around, enable student self-service where appropriate, and aspire to excellence in customer service. Mike Stearney, dean of enrollment services, says the move was a success, adding “We have decided that it is now time to make this quiet success story much more public, and give the Student Services Center its own identity and a higher profile…. We would like to introduce you to GBOSS; the Green Bay One Stop Shop.” You will start to see this phrase and an associated logo appearing in taglines, on the front window of the One Stop Shop in the Student Services Building, in communications to students, and in some promotional materials that will be given to new students and parents. It’s the same old “front desk,” just with a new name. Says Stearney, “We welcome your assistance in helping us transition to this new identity and continuing to promote the excellent services students receive at GBOSS.”
Stearney says UW-Green Bay best at attending to ‘business side’
The new acronym is GBOSS and the term “one-stop shop” will be heard more frequently, but Dean of Enrollment Services Mike Stearney explains there’s no need for dramatic changes in what has to this point been called The Student Services Center. Just the opposite, in fact. Four staff members (currently, Bridget Derge, Allen Voelker, Kristina Berg and Mandy Collura) handle in excess of 60,000 inquiries a year (email, telephone, and face-to-face). They communicate regularly and proactively with students via email and social media to apprise them of upcoming deadlines in an effort to help them anticipate matters that demand attention and prevent student problems. They assist students daily with everything from application questions to financial aid application and verification, to registration and enrollment matters. Stearney says the Student Services Center (now GBOSS) is unique in the UW System — “no other UW school has achieved this level of integration and efficiency in helping students attend to the ‘business’ side of life as a university student.”
How does a shy aspiring fashion designer choose to major in Political Science and Public Administration, develop a passion for providing affordable housing for low-income families, become a peer mentor for a freshman seminar, and lead a high-profile annual event for her sorority? For student Marleigh Fiedler, a breadth of experience and relationships have led to a direction she couldn’t have imagined three years ago when she enrolled at UW-Green Bay.
Fiedler experienced her 15 minutes of fame in summer 2013, when she received a $500 tip while waitressing at a pizza joint in Wauwatosa. A nonprofit called Aaron’s Last Wish has been doling out the huge gratuities in honor of a Kentucky man who died in 2012, just weeks shy of his 30th birthday. The feel-good story of Fiedler’s tip made news statewide and beyond, with media outlets from Milwaukee to Minneapolis sharing the touching footage. And although the outside attention was unexpected, those who know Fiedler at UW-Green Bay say she shines in many ways, on campus and beyond.
– Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Fiedler’s story is one of discovering one’s direction at UW-Green Bay, of having experiences and influences that embody the University’s 360° of Learning approach and all it stands for. Her story is unique but its transformative nature is not, thanks to a connected learning experience that integrates classroom and co-curricular options to help students discover fresh insights, new perspectives and rich opportunities to learn, grow — and ultimately, to give back.
A 2011 graduate of Brookfield East High School, Fiedler chose UW-Green Bay because of her interest in design arts and fashion design. On a whim (and with some gentle nudging from her mother), she signed up for a campus Habitat for Humanity trip to Slidell, La. during winter break of her freshman year. Fiedler was decidedly out of her comfort zone, traveling to an unfamiliar place with people she didn’t know to do home construction — something with which she had absolutely no experience.
That one-week service-learning trip changed everything.
In Slidell, Fiedler worked on a new home for the Desmonds, an elderly couple that had lost their house to Hurricane Katrina. The Desmonds had been living in a ramshackle trailer since 2005, housing that was completely inadequate for Mr. Desmond, who was disabled. Fiedler and her crew formed a deep bond with the Desmonds, and she was able to see firsthand what a difference she could make in someone else’s life. She also met new friends, some of whom invited her to pledge the philanthropy-focused Zeta Omega Tau sorority. It would become another important part of her UW-Green Bay experience.
Upon returning to Green Bay for her second semester, Fiedler had found new friends — and a new calling.
“I could see the impact I was making on people,” she said, “and I decided that I wanted to do that for a living.”
With encouragement and help from her adviser, Associate Prof. Katia Levintova, Fiedler settled on a double major in Public Administration and Political Science. She worked for the Obama campaign in 2012, contacting volunteers, canvassing and assisting with logistics when the president visited Green Bay. Fiedler increased her involvement in Zeta Omega Tau, organizing one of its chief fundraising efforts, and used connections with Assistant Prof. Lora Warner to become a peer mentor for a freshman seminar class. Habitat adviser and Dean of Enrollment Services Michael Stearney helped Fiedler make further connections, and she secured campus jobs in the Office of Grants and Research and later in the Office of the Dean of Professional Studies.
Through it all, Habitat has remained Fiedler’s passion. She returned to Slidell on the January build trip in 2013, helped with fundraisers and became an officer in the organization during that academic year. She co-led the most recent Habitat winter build, a trip to North Carolina in January of this year. Building on her passion for Habitat and her classroom studies, Fiedler applied and was selected for the three-day “Habitat on the Hill” conference, held in February in Washington, D.C. She was one of just 14 young people nationwide — and the sole individual from Wisconsin — chosen for the conference, which centers on advocacy, education and lobbying for affordable housing and community development. Fiedler says she’s learning firsthand about the interdisciplinary nature of the affordable housing problem in the U.S. and worldwide.
“I know that I have grown up very lucky,” Fiedler said. “I am very appreciative of everything I have had — a nice home to grow up in, the chance to attend one of the best high schools in the state. Growing up in Milwaukee, I was also aware of how different others’ circumstances were, but I didn’t have a way to act on it. Now, I just want to be able to give back. I want to be the person pushing for the change.”
UW-Green Bay will continue to be a critical component of that journey as Fiedler continues her studies and campus involvement until her planned graduation in May 2015. After that, working for a nonprofit organization or in a legislative capacity are career possibilities — as is graduate school, where she is considering a focus on public policy and education.
And as for that $500 tip? Perhaps there is something about giving that begets giving. Fiedler took the generous gratuity and paid it forward, using half of it for the 2014 Habitat trip and saving the other half for her final UW-Green Bay build next year. For Fiedler, it’s yet another way to give back.
Mike Stearney, dean of enrollment services, wants members of the campus community to know that, like many universities across the UW System and beyond, UW-Green Bay is moving toward full development of functionality in the Student Information System (SIS) that will allow students to use their preferred name — as opposed to their legal name — for selective applications.
There are some places such as class rosters, grade rosters and the campus directories where the use of a preferred name is appropriate. There are other places, such as financial aid and forms related to employment or taxes, where a legal name must be used.
At this point, the limited use of a preferred name is available to students on request to the Registrar’s Office, and with appropriate rationale. Later, as full functionality for the use of preferred name is developed in SIS, the intent is to make this option available to all students through a self-service tool and to incorporate the use of preferred name into other campus applications, including the campus ID card system.
Faculty and staff are advised that, for a small number of students, they will see preferred name in the SIS Student Center, on various rosters (class, grade and D2L) and in the campus Outlook and online directories. Both preferred and legal names will appear in the SIS Advisor Center. For any service office, department or faculty member, if there is any question or ambiguity about a student’s identity, students have been advised that they may be asked to authenticate themselves with other identifiers, such as legal name or student ID number. Your patience is requested until all necessary policies and technical challenges associated with this issue are fully resolved.
Mike Stearney, dean of Enrollment Services, will again be accompanying the students on the weeklong January trip. As camp cook, he says he is “hoping to prepare more than Raman noodles for the group… Your support is appreciated!” For the past several years, the UWGB Habitat travelers have been generously supported by meal donors—caring individuals who believe in the students and the cause, and who provide a personal donation to support one of the daily meals for the student group. Anyone who is interested in being a dinner sponsor ($100) or a lunch sponsor ($50) should contact Mike Stearney.