Economist Thomas Nesslein, associate professor of Urban and Regional Studies, has been chosen to participate in a four-day intensive workshop focused on the poverty theory and policy analysis, sponsored and paid for by the Institute for Research on Poverty at UW-Madison. The event takes place May 26-29. Key topics to be presented include A Historical Overview of Poverty and Poverty Policy, Conceptualizing Poverty, Measuring Poverty, The Causes of American Poverty, Possible Cures for Poverty, The Changing Labor Market and Rising Inequality, Impact of Selected Anti-Poverty Programs in the United States, Early Childhood Experience and Poverty, U.S. Health Policy and the Poor, and Rethinking Human Services.
The University Mace — a ceremonial staff signifying authority — will be carried to the stage Friday by the University’s most senior faculty member, Prof. Kumar Kangayappan, a faculty economist since 1968. As part of the ceremony, Kangayappan will remove from the Mace handle a scrolled parchment document signed previously by each of UW-Green Bay’s five chancellors, to which Gary L. Miller will add his own signature affirming the University’s purpose. The text of the proclamation:
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is dedicated to the idea of an educated person as one who is guided by the love of learning, committed to inquiry, creativity and scholarship through interdisciplinary and disciplinary approaches to defining and solving problems, and who is an active citizen providing service to the community.
If teaching at the same institution for 44 years isn’t enough to validate Prof. Ismail Shariff’s commitment to a University of Wisconsin-Green Bay education, consider that he also convinced his son, brother-in-law, and four grandchildren to attend UWGB before retiring in 2011.
The economist who continues to advise the World Bank, travels nationally to present on economic issues, and spends a day a week at the emeriti office on campus, said he found an environment of respectful collegiality along with deep meaning in the interdisciplinary, problem-focused academic program during his more than four decades with UW-Green Bay.
“My major professor at UW-Madison asked whether I was interested in a university job and set up an appointment to see (founding Chancellor) Dr. Edward Weidner. Apart from other things, Weidner explained to me the interdisciplinary curriculum he planned on adapting. I didn’t quite understand his philosophy, but he offered me the job and gave me seven days to reply. I came to benefit as a scholar and teacher, as did our students, from an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving.”
Shariff set out on what became his personal mission: “to prepare and equip future generations of citizens to meet challenges in society and the workplace and in a global context.”
“I believe these goals can be accomplished through a well-rounded educational career which provides breadth and depth of knowledge, insights, and understanding; along with the analytical skills and tools to deal with any exigencies one may encounter on the journey of life.”
Shariff believes UWGB provides this kind of education and through the years became a believer in “Weidner’s novel approach, since adopted by many other reputable institutions.”
“I came to enjoy the significance of the interdisciplinary curriculum, and the breadth of problem solving that came about from working with economists, geographers, political scientists, geologists, sociologists, demographers, statisticians, psychologists and others.”
He so fully appreciated the practical value of a UW-Green Bay education that he advised his children, grandchildren and brother-in-law that UW-Green Bay could provide an undergraduate experience “equal to Ivy League or any other bachelor program in the U.S.”
His family trusts in his wisdom. His son Mazkoor ‘89 graduated with a degree in Business Administration. His brother-in-law Javeed graduated in ‘80 with a degree in Environmental Sciences. His granddaughter Julia will graduate in May of 2015 with a Human Biology degree and honors, and aspiration to attend medical school. Of his three grandsons, Alexander will graduate in May 2015 with a major in Graphic Arts; Zachary is a junior majoring in Political Science and Jacob will enter UWGB as a sophomore in fall of 2015.
Shariff has more than 80 published papers in professional journals in the United States, U.K. and Asia. He is the author of two books, International Trade – Theory and Policy; and Business Cycles in a Dynamic Recovery. In his works and presentation in Italy in 2002, the editor and founder of the Schumpeter Lectures Series, V. Orati, wrote about the “brilliant and fearless” contribution of Dr. Shariff to the discussion about globalization.
Among his proudest moments were the peer-nominated Founders Awards for Excellence in Scholarship in 2002 and Community Outreach in 1997. An occasional e-mail from former students, and thank-you cards from recipients of the Ismail Shariff Endowed Scholarship he established in 2009 are greatly appreciated, he says.
“Something that is more rewarding than any other benefits one can draw, is contributing to the future well-being of our citizens,” he said. “I always hoped to keep their interest at heart.”
Among the honors for Shariff over the years:
• 1997 University Award for Excellence in Community Outreach. Notable were a weekly column in the Green Bay Press-Gazette, and involvement in the Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement and SIFE.
• Carrying the ceremonial University Mace at commencement and other academic occasions, an honor accorded the senior-most faculty member. Shariff carried it from 2005 to 2012.
• On March 24, 1994 his name was entered in the Congressional Record from the floor of the U.S. Congress in recognition of his extensive research on the relevance of American Aid to Developing Countries.
• In 1999, he was awarded a prestigious named professorship at UW-Green Bay and bestowed the title Philip J. and Elizabeth Hendrickson Professor for Business.
• In 1991, he was selected to represent the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trades (GATT) meetings in Tokyo.
• In 1979, he was voted one of the “enterprising people” in Economic Education by the Wisconsin State Council on Economic Education.
• From 1975-77 he was a United Nations economic adviser to the government of Nigeria.
From left: grandsons Zachary and Alexander, Ismail Shariff, grandson Jacob, granddaughter Julia and son Mazkor. Missing from the UWGB/Shariff family — brother-in-law Hajee Masood Javeed
Here’s a reminder: Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey on “Examining the Role of the University in Economic Engagement” if you haven’t already done so. The survey closes Oct. 31.
There were UW-Green Bay ties aplenty in a Thursday (July 3) jobs story from Fox 11 News. Reporter Bill Miston interviewed Associate Prof. Tom Nesslein for the economist’s perspective on the most recent federal and state employment numbers, and also talked to May 2014 Business Administration grad Alex Tilton, now employed at Green Bay’s Breakthrough Fuel. That company, of course, was founded and is run by CEO Craig Dickman, who serves on the UW-Green Bay Chancellor’s Council of Trustees. Tilton’s job is one of roughly 67,000 recently added in the scientific or consulting services sector, part of some 288,000 jobs total, according to the latest monthly federal numbers. And while many view the latest stats as good news, Nesslein offered additional context on the figures during his interview. “The true measure of unemployment — in a broader sense — is more like over 13 percent,” Nesslein said, referencing the inclusion of individuals who have stopped looking for jobs. “(The) thing that was announced is a rather narrow measure. And most economists — liberal and conservative — would agree this broader measure is relevant.” Full story.
Honoria Huila, 100 years old, had a great seat for Saturday’s UW-Green Bay commencement. She watched from the concourse level, straight up from the stage, as great-grandson Youcef Boubenider received his bachelor’s degree in economics. (He joined her a few minutes after the ceremony for an impromptu family reunion.) Saturday’s event wasn’t the first university commencement Mrs. Huila has attended, not by a long shot. The native of Colombia, who came to the United States in 1972, has seen five previous UW-Green Bay graduation ceremonies involving several generations of the Rincon and Boubenider families.
If you guessed the age at under 100, guess again. Honoria Huila had a great seat for Saturday’s UW-Green Bay commencement as she watched great-grandson Youcef Boubenider receive his bachelor’s degree in economics. Actually, Mrs. Huila, a native of Colombia, is an old hand when it comes to UW-Green Bay graduation ceremonies. We have a nice photo.
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.
Of the 15 young professionals who will be recognized by the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, Thursday, Feb. 20, five have roots and an undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
The “Future 15 Young Professional Awards” recognizes 15 young professionals who have made an impact in both their relatively short professional careers, and also in the Brown County community.
The Future 15 recipients were featured in a special publication in the Green Bay Press-Gazette and will be honored at a recognition ceremony from 5 to 8:30 p.m., Feb. 20 at the Hyatt on Main/KI Convention Center.
Chad Bianchi ’12, an Economics and Public Administration major, works at Associated Banc-Corp as a senior financial analyst in the corporate treasury department. His contributions to the community include serving on the board of directors for Mosaic Arts Inc. and the UWGB Alumni Association. He serves as a guest lecturer to current UW-Green Bay students. He is pursuing a master’s in business administration from UW- Oshkosh.
Shelly Karnz ’98, Humanistic Studies, began with Literacy Green Bay as a volunteer in 1999, and was hired by the agency in 2007. The current program manager of adult tutoring worked as a family literacy assistant and a workplace instructor. In 2012, she received the Evie Jensen Spirit Award by the Literacy Green Bay board of directors. Through her work, she has helped more than 40 families with literacy challenges, while supporting more than 400 volunteers and adult learners. Outside of work she volunteers at her children’s school and is a troop leader with Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes.
Kelly Ruh ’01, Accounting and Business Administration, is a controller for PDQ Manufacturing. Ruh volunteers for the annual Junior Achievement Business Marathon by coaching area students and serves on a sub-committee focused on marketing and community awareness for the Brown County Trust for Historic Preservation. She spent eight years on the UWGB alumni executive committee, serving as treasurer, vice president and president. She is pursuing a master’s degree in international business.
Darin Schumacher ’96, Communication Processes, was hired in 2011 as Dental Associates’ first marketing manager. He helped create a public relations strategy to bring awareness to the importance of oral health in children, addressing the extended school-time lost annually because of dental-related conditions. Schumacher is a spokesperson and advocate for the National Kidney Foundation of Wisconsin (NKFWi) and is encouraged that in the past five years the number of registered organ donors in Brown county has increased from 52 to 58 percent. This personal passion was spurred when he personally became the recipient of a kidney transplant in 2000. He is a former Leadership Green Bay participant and serves on the organization’s marketing committee.
Hope Voigt ’04, Accounting and Business Administration, is an operations manager at Tweet/Garot Mechanical Inc. She and the eight-person team she supervises is responsible for growth opportunities. She also serves as a member of the Twee/Garot Mechanical executive team. Voigt also worked to establish an internship program with the company. Outside of work, Voigt often works with local schools and serves on the board of directors for the House of Hope.
Story by Cheyenne Makinia
Photos provided by the Green Bay Press-Gazette
A UW-Green Bay faculty member helped offer context for President Obama’s call to increase the minimum wage, speaking Wednesday (Jan. 29) with wearegreenbay.com’s Heather Sawaski. Assistant Prof. Tonmoy Islam, Urban and Regional Studies (Economics), told Sawaski that there are both winners and losers when the minimum wage goes up. The increase would be good for some workers, but businesses might have to cut staff, Islam said. “You want to pass it on to the consumers, of course, but sometimes that’s not possible,” he said. “And so if that’s not possible, then a business owner has to lay off some workers — because what can you do? So it all depends on the situation that the businesses are in and how much they’re earning — what kind of profits they’re earning.” Full story.