Visiting astronomy professor to give three talks this week

Albion College’s Prof. Nicolle Zellner, one of the American Astronomical Society’s Shapley Lecturers, will give three astronomy and geology talks in Green Bay next week:

  • “50 Years Since Apollo: What We Learned About the Moon and Why We Should Go Back,” Neville Public Museum Astronomical Society meeting, Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 122/123. Free and open to the public.
  • “Space Rocks: To the Moon – and Beyond!”, UW-Green Bay Geology Club Meeting, Thursday, Mar. 7, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. in UW-Green Bay’s Mary Ann Cofrin (MAC) Hall, Room 208. Free and open to the public.
  • Natural & Applied Sciences Seminar, “Impacts in the Earth-Moon System: What, When and Why Should We Care?”, Friday, Mar. 8, 2019 at 3:10 p.m. in UW-Green Bay’s Environmental Sciences (ES) building, Room 30. Free and open to the public.

Mark your calendar: New documentary, ‘Searching for Sustainability’ will be screened on campus

Watch this space for more, but hold the date: A fascinating documentary, Searching for Sustainability will be shown on campus, Feb. 13, 2018 at 6 p.m. in Phoenix Rooms B and C of the University Union. UW-Green Bay Professor Kevin Fermanich (NAS) and Associate Prof. Debra Pearson (Human Biology) were involved as experts in the film. Included that evening is a discussion panel featuring faculty and local experts. This event will be open to all faculty, staff, students and the general public and there is no charge for the screening. However, an Eventbrite page is being created to help determine an accurate seat count. Please register if you plan to attend.

Grad student Minani featured at internship ‘Draft Day’

The first-ever “Internship Draft Day” in the Lambeau Field Atrium, co-sponsored by the NEW ERA regional education alliance (of which UWGB is a member) gave an opportunity for about 200 college students to explore their options. One was Marc Minani, the UW-Green Bay environmental sciences student from Rwanda, whose experience at the event was featured in a Green Bay Press-Gazette story. 

UW-Green Bay alumnus Diboll gets CBS Sunday Morning shout-out


Roving reporter Steve Hartman is famous in the industry for his human-interest feature stories for CBS News and the “Sunday Morning” show. This week, he stayed home, at his New York country property, to talk about his “addiction” to weeding. He blames (or credits) UWGB grad Neil Diboll ’78, the founder of Prairie Nursery in central Wisconsin, who got him hooked on prairie gardens. Interviewed for the piece, Diboll offers some good quotes on the zen of prairie weeding. Here’s a link to the CBS story.

Student urges texts for ‘Relay for Life’


UW-Green Bay student Lauren Ruben of the Environmental Sciences program is active with the Relay for Life fundraiser. She’s urging fellow students (and others) to text 21212 #RelayForLife #UWGB now through May 3 to unlock a donation for the American Cancer Foundation. If they can get 10,000 students it will unlock a full $5,000 donation.

UW-Shariff: Family follows scholarly advice

top-story-shariffIf 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.

Photo caption:
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

Biology 101: Generous educators help next generation

morgans-top-story“My family and I deeply appreciate your kindness. It means so much to me that you believe in, and encourage, the studies of UW-Green Bay students like me.”

Early this year, Linda Vang, a senior Biology major, got the chance to meet the couple whose generosity made possible her UW-Green Bay scholarship.

The young woman from Green Bay had written a thank-you note but it wasn’t until she attended a donor-recipient reception with them that she discovered much in common with Mike and Gloria Morgan. They believe in education as a life-changing opportunity. They regard UW-Green Bay as a special place. They share a passion for the study of environmental sciences.

Vang also learned that Mike Morgan, professor emeritus of Natural and Applied Sciences, has reason to be especially proud of her chosen program, Biology. He helped create the major when the University was new (1968), taught thousands of students in 37 years, and wrote the book on the emerging field of environmental studies. (In 1973, Morgan, Joseph Moran and James Wiersma co-wrote An Introduction to Environmental Sciences, one of the first comprehensive and widely used textbooks on the topic.)

Mike, who retired about a decade ago, says the decision to stay involved and take the additional step of establishing a scholarship fund seemed like a natural. Gloria, who founded and taught a preschool program for 24 years, felt the same way.

“We know how challenging it has become over the years for students to afford college,” Mike says. “With my history with the University, knowing students and alumni, and our shared history in education, we decided to make a gift.”

The Morgan/Macaluso Family Endowed Scholarship in Natural Sciences is named for the couple’s parents. Gloria notes her father, George, had to leave school early to support his family but remained an active adult learner throughout his 95 years. The scholarship gives preference to upper-level students with proven field experience in botany, ecology or field biology.

Vang says she plans to pursue graduate studies in entomology with the aim of contributing to better insight into plant-insect interactions and improved conservation management.

A version of this article was published previously in the 2013 Annual Report of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Foundation Inc.

Another environmental award for alumna Vicky Harris


Vicky Harris, recent recipient of the Earth Caretaker Award at this year’s EMBI conference at UW-Green Bay, has just won another award: the 2012 Jack R. Vallentyne Award for “important and sustained efforts to inform and educate the public and policymakers on Great Lakes issues.” She receives the award this week at the 55th Annual Conference on Great Lakes Research, May 13-17, in Cornwall, Ontario. Harris holds bachelor’s, 1974 and master’s 1998, degrees in environmental sciences from UW-Green Bay. The longtime water quality and habitat restoration specialist with the UW Sea Grant Institute on the UW-Green Bay campus has dedicated her life to clean water. We haven’t yet seen a news release from IAGLR, but we found more on the award.

Early UW-Green Bay grad writes book on cougars’ return to Midwest


John W. Laundré, a 1971 grad of UW-Green Bay’s Environmental Sciences program, is the author of a new book to be released May 23 by the University of Wisconsin Press. Phantoms of the Prairie: The Return of Cougars to the Midwest documents how the native cats are making a return to the plains regions. Their comeback, heralded by wildlife enthusiasts, has brought concern and questions, as well. Laundré has studied cougars for more than twenty years in both the United States and Mexico. As vice president of the Cougar Rewilding Foundation, he advocates the return of cougars to their former territorial range. He is currently an adjunct professor of biology at the State University of New York at Oswego. For more on the book.

Alumni rising: Katers named ‘most distinguished’

At the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Associate Professor John Katers is recognized as an authority on recycling, waste management, renewable energy and more. He’s also known as a personable and engaging teacher, challenging students to get past pre-conceived biases with regards to business and resources. Continue reading “Alumni rising: Katers named ‘most distinguished’”