Tag: international

Ortiz speaks at Universidad de Ovideo, in Spain

Prof. Cristina Ortiz of Humanistic Studies was an invited speaker at the 4th Annual Humanities Symposium held at the Universidad de Oviedo (Spain), where she presented her latest research. During her visit she was also asked to teach a graduate course in the European Master of Gender Studies program entitled “Nation, gender and literature.” Her invitation was sponsored through an Erasmus Mundus grant from the European Union.

Clarification: Gallagher-Lepak, Herdman presentations

Our recent Log item should have been more clear that Profs. Susan Gallagher-Lepak and Heather Herdman of the Professional Program in Nursing have had three abstracts accepted for presentation at 10th Biennial Conference of ACENDIO 2015, in Bern, Switzerland in April. ACENDIO is the Association for Common European Nursing Diagnoses, Interventions and Outcomes. The conference website is http://www.acendio.net/. The abstracts include “A case-study methodology for use of a NANDA-I clinical decision support e-tool,” as well as “Evidence-based research to guide clinical decision support.”

Hutchison adds keynote, workshops to Lisbon itinerary

Ray Hutchison, professor of sociology and Urban and Regional Studies, has added several other activities to his upcoming appearance at the Forum of the Future in Portugal, where he will appear along with Nobel Prize and Pritzker Prize winning scientists and architects. The new events include the keynote address to the European Sociological Association on The Racialization of Urban Space at their annual conference, to be held in Lisbon Nov. 17-19. Hutchison will also speak at a graduate workshop at the University of Lisbon and to a faculty symposium at the University of Porto later that week.

College roommates, world-class problem solvers

top-story-roommatesHalvorsen ’92 acts locally, Bhojwani ’90 works in developing nations.

On a late-summer day, fellow UW-Green Bay graduates and lifelong friends Noel Halvorsen and Haresh Bhojwani agreed to meet on campus.

There was the usual catching up on each other’s families and reminiscing about good times shared as roommates 25 years ago in the old student apartments.

They also talked about their professional careers and challenges. It’s something they do at least a few times a year, using each other as trusted sounding boards. Though Halvorsen and Bhojwani arrived at UW-Green Bay in the late 1980s with vastly different backgrounds, pursued entirely different majors and now often find themselves on different continents, they tend to see things the same way.

“When we met, Haresh had been all over the world, and I had never been anywhere,” recalls Halvorsen, a Sheboygan native who now lives in Green Bay, “but we were almost surprised to find out that we had very similar world views.”

Then and now, they tend to believe that good public policy requires good data, that even relatively small adjustments can bring maximum benefit, and that organized and dedicated people can make change happen.

Halvorsen, a 1992 graduate in Urban and Regional studies, is well-respected locally as longtime executive director of NeighborWorks, a not-for-profit housing and community development agency based in Green Bay. NeighborWorks promotes neighborhood revitalization and home ownership through counseling, education, loan programs and new investment.

Daily, he applies lessons learned at UW-Green Bay and in previous jobs with the city of Green Bay and Brown County. His first five years after graduation he was a planning specialist with the city and then spent three years as land information officer, managing land records and GIS activities, for the county.

Halvorsen says his approach to his work is not all that different from Bhojwani’s, whose involvement in economic development projects takes him from South Asia to Africa to Latin America.

“We learned a lot at UWGB about how to look at the world,” Halvorsen says, mentioning the liberal arts emphasis, the breadth and scope of the problem solving and the ample opportunities for students to lead and create. “Those were the experiences that made a great difference.”

Bhojwani, a ’90 graduate in English, is based in the New York City area as deputy director of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University.

He racks up frequent flyer miles establishing partnerships with governments and international development organizations to help at-risk societies be pre-emptive and proactive. The time to respond to a massive crop failure in Ethiopia, for example, is not afterward when children are starving, but when it’s apparent that crucial early rains aren’t going to materialize. A relatively small financial intervention up front, then, can tide people over and keep a farm family from eating their seed stock or selling their oxen… which would all but guarantee a larger, multi-year failure.

Bhojwani came to Green Bay from prep school in the United Kingdom. After graduation, he taught English in Spain and worked in a peasant cooperative in El Salvador during that nation’s transition from civil war to peace. He came back to earn a law degree at Marquette and create the first legal services for the indigent in Milwaukee, working with long-term immigration detainees and human rights victims. From 1999 to 2005, he worked with indigenous communities, NGOs, the private sector, and government agencies on economic development programs in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Brazil.

Bhojwani naturally points to UW-Green Bay English faculty including Tom Churchill and E. Michael Thron as early influences, and Halvorsen cites Urban and Regional’s Ray Hutchison, Ron Baba and Marcelo Cruz, but they don’t stop there. They mention Orville Clark in philosophy, Martin Greenberg in international relations, geographer Bill Laatsch, linguist Don Larmouth, academic dean George Rupp… and several others.

Professors were academic mentors and also, often, friends.

“Bill Laatsch was such a knowledgeable and talented professor,” Halvorsen recalls. “Then, one of my first weekends on campus, I see him dressed as a giant mouse (for the annual Cheese Classic). Things like that did so much to make you comfortable here.”

Bjohwani remembers open poetry readings and other activities that offered students a chance to test their ideas among not only faculty and staff but also peers. Students learned from one another.

“I think it was a particular advantage at UWGB that not every student was the same age, 18 or 20, straight out of high school,” he says. “There was so many returning adults… people who had worked in a paper mill for 15 years, perhaps raised children, and then gone back to school to look at something different or to pump up their skills. They added so much to the experience.”

The two men learned from each other, of course, and continue to do so as proud alumni a quarter century later.

“It’s amazing how similar the issues are that we face,” Bhojwani says. “I’ll go to Noel for advice and he’ll do the same. Whether it’s in Wisconsin or on the other side of the world, it’s about making the right choices, or sometimes a small investment at just the right time.”

Grad student has supporters in Rwanda, Lambeau Field

top-story-rwandaHow did new UW-Green Bay graduate student Marc Minani (center) find himself hanging out with new best friends Randall Cobb, Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson and Mason Crosby within a week of his arrival in Green Bay?

And what got the Green Bay Packers stars to trade green-and-gold uniforms for all-black wait-staff outfits one evening earlier this fall?

Credit good fortune and good people.

Minani, 22, a native of Rwanda, arrived in Wisconsin just in time for the start of UW-Green Bay fall semester classes on Sept. 2.

His travels from east-central Africa to east-central Wisconsin had required a marathon, 26-hour day of air travel from Kigali International Airport with stops in Nigeria, Ghana, New York City and Minneapolis.

His long journey actually began, however, five years earlier with a chance interaction with an American businessman.

J.R. Schoenfeld of Green Bay was traveling with an international humanitarian group delivering food to impoverished areas of Rwanda. The local man hired to be his driver, Jean Minani, was Marc’s older brother.

Schoenfeld returned home impressed by Rwanda and its people. The words of a missionary priest who longed to have a bakery in his village — “The kids love bread, and they only get it about once a year” — inspired him to found the Seven Loaves Project. The non-profit favors sustainable solutions over short-term feeding programs and provides ovens, resources and training to struggling communities.

Schoenfeld hired his former driver, Jean, to be the Seven Loaves point person in Rwanda. Along the way, he also got to know younger brother Marc, a personable, polite but driven young man who had earned a government-sponsored academic scholarship to the National University of Rwanda.

Marc’s goal was to add to his bachelor’s in agricultural economics and agribusiness with advanced education abroad. His dream, he says, is to return an expert in best practices for maximizing crop productivity in his hilly homeland while preserving the land for future generations.

“I want to pick a thesis topic that will fit the needs of my country,” Minani says.

Schoenfeld, seeing a fit with Seven Loaves, agreed to sponsor and raise money for his studies. When Minani surfed the internet and discovered the university in his friend’s hometown had top-flight programs in environmental studies, his college search was over.

Today, Minani is pursuing his UW-Green Bay master’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy. He works closely with Profs. John Stoll and Kevin Fermanich. He lives in Roy Downham Hall on campus and loves Green Bay, the community he’ll call home the next two years.

“The people are very friendly… professors, students, everybody… and everything is so green here” Minani says.

Language is no barrier. Although he spoke French every day as a youth and during his preparatory studies in Rwanda, the primary language of instruction at the university was English. As for the weather, he knows he’s going to need warmer clothes than those he brought from equatorial Rwanda, where it’s rarely below 60°F.

Of course, any challenges in America will likely trifle in comparison to the human devastation that racked Rwanda in 1994. It is estimated nearly half the country’s residents were either forced to flee (two million) or slaughtered (nearly one million) as a result of government-incited ethnic violence.

Minani was 3 years old. Along with his brother he has three sisters who survived. The genocide and its aftermath are not easily spoken of, but it’s clear that remembrance and reconciliation are top of mind, as they are to all Rwandans. He speaks hopefully of healing, and a “new Rwanda.”

The current government, he says, has made a good start. “People look at themselves not as a Hutu or a Tutsi, but first as Rwandan citizens. People are intermarrying.”

If some of those hopes rest on a younger, better-educated generation including the slender shoulders of Minani, he’s eager to do his part. He’s also made some influential friends in Packers Country.

story-rogers-marc-2Schoenfeld, the owner-chef of the highly rated Chives Restaurant in Suamico, formerly ran the food service at Lambeau Field. Between his restaurants, private parties, catering and now the Seven Loaves Project, he’s developed friendships with prominent Green Bay Packers including Coach Mike McCarthy and NFL MVP quarterback Rodgers.

Schoenfeld organized a tuition benefit for Minani at Chives on Sept. 8, which for the players happened to be an open Monday night after a Thursday game. Delighted restaurant customers paid and tipped generously. To help Marc, Rodgers — No. 12 himself — volunteered as host. McCarthy was bartender. Nelson, Cobb, Crosby, A.J. Hawk and spouses served as waiters.

Yet, the star was Minani, the center of attention with players and diners wishing him well.

“It was overwhelming, all the people asking me how I liked Green Bay, telling me they supported me,” Minani says.

Until a few years ago, Minani — a fan of international soccer, like most in Africa — didn’t know American football existed. It was only when older brother Jean made a training trip to spend time with Schoenfeld and learn the Seven Loaves model that he heard it described.

Jean had returned from the United States with a keepsake, an odd, oblong leather ball signed by some of J.R.’s friends in a sports league called the NFL.

story-rogers-marcOn one of his first nights in Green Bay in late August, Marc caught part of a Packers exhibition game on TV. He heard announcers talking about No. 12 as perhaps America’s most famous player and his teammates as very talented individuals, as well.

It wasn’t until the night about 10 days later at Chives, however, that he saw for himself just how “big” Packer players were in his new community.

“The people coming for dinner entered the door and they just…. they…”

At this point in telling the story Minani mimics the absolute hero worship of wide eyes, astonishment, awe and absolute joy of practically every customer in being greeted by the Packers.

“At that point, I got the idea that, ‘Oh, these guys are very, very popular and very, very famous.’

“And the players… they all wished me good luck in school and my work. They are very nice guys. I would say, ‘cool.’”

Photos copyright: Brad Thalmann, Harle Photography

Thursday’s international roundtable on Nigeria to be led by Cole

The second Global Studies Roundtable of the fall semester is scheduled for 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 16) in Room 103 of the University Union. The focus is Nigeria, with discussion led by Juliet Cole, interim director of UW-Green Bay’s Institute for Learning Partnership. A native of Nigeria, Cole has made numerous trips over the years to visit family and stay current with developments in Africa’s most populous nation. The program is free and open to the public.

Hutchison will appear with Nobel Prize winners in Portugal

Sociologist Ray Hutchison, professor of Urban and Regional Studies, has been invited to speak at the Fórum do Futuro hosted by the Câmara do Porto (the municipality of Porto, Portugal). Other speakers at the Forum of the Future includes a number of other internationally known architects, artists and scientists, including the American artist Bob Wilson, architects (and Prtizker Architecture Prize winners) Jean Nouvel and Rafael Moneo, and two Nobel Prize winners in chemist Aaron Ciechanover and molecular biologist and DNA pioneer James Watson. The forum will be held in November at the Biblioteca Municipal Almeida Garrett in the Oporto Cristal Palace Gardens. In an effort “to bring the forum activities back to the everyday,” Hutchison’s talk will be titled a sociologia do futuro (Sociology of the Future).

Flax now, goats later? Harvest provides history and fiber lesson for UWGB students

top-flax-storyUW-Green Bay History and Fiber Arts students had some fun harvesting this year’s flax from the University Union plaza in September. Faculty members Alison Gates, Art and Design, and Heidi Sherman, History, spearhead the interdisciplinary project, which has begun to attract academic notice nationally (and internationally) and yielded invitations to present at workshops in Europe and elsewhere. For more about the project and process, as well as faculty hopes for new projects, see Gates’ blog post.

(Click thumbnails to enter slideshow view.)
 Harvesting flax, University Union plaza, UW-Green Bay, September 2014     Harvesting flax, University Union plaza, UW-Green Bay, September 2014     Harvesting flax, University Union plaza, UW-Green Bay, September 2014     Harvesting flax, University Union plaza, UW-Green Bay, September 2014     Harvesting flax, University Union plaza, UW-Green Bay, September 2014     Harvesting flax, University Union plaza, UW-Green Bay, September 2014     Harvesting flax, University Union plaza, UW-Green Bay, September 2014     Harvesting flax, University Union plaza, UW-Green Bay, September 2014     Harvesting flax, University Union plaza, UW-Green Bay, September 2014     Harvesting flax, University Union plaza, UW-Green Bay, September 2014     Harvesting flax, University Union plaza, UW-Green Bay, September 2014     Harvesting flax, University Union plaza, UW-Green Bay, September 2014     Harvesting flax, University Union plaza, UW-Green Bay, September 2014     Harvesting flax, University Union plaza, UW-Green Bay, September 2014     Harvesting flax, University Union plaza, UW-Green Bay, September 2014     Harvesting flax, University Union plaza, UW-Green Bay, September 2014     Harvesting flax, University Union plaza, UW-Green Bay, September 2014     Harvesting flax, University Union plaza, UW-Green Bay, September 2014
Photos by Laurie Case

Alumni rising: Research sparks international career for Von Holzen

top-story-vonholzenIn a tradition that dates as far back as the 18th century, a decorated cow-drawn wagon carted newly honored Katie Von Holzen to the center of the Göttingen, Germany and dropped her off in front of City Hall. From there she climbed up next to the Gänseliesel statue, added a bouquet of flowers, and gave the “goose girl” a kiss on the cheek.

in-story-vonholzen-2This tradition is reserved only for a newly appointed “Dr.”

Van Holzen, a 2009 UW-Green Bay psychology graduate, had defended her Ph.D only a few hours earlier at Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen, where she studied bilingual and monolingual lexical and phonological development.

Von Holzen is now working in Paris, France as a post-doctoral researcher at the Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception at the Université Paris Descartes. Her research focuses on the importance of consonants and vowels for infants during lexical acquisition and processing.

So how does a small-town Wisconsin girl end up with a career in Paris, France? The answer is a lot of hard work and a lot of help along the way.

Von Holzen said she is indebted to several professors at UWGB, especially her mentor Prof. Jennifer Lanter. She spent three semesters in Lanter’s Language Learning Lab, which included research projects investigating toddler plural acquisition and how parents adapt their language to the environment and needs of children.

“My interest took off very, very quickly once I started in the Language Lab,” Von Holzen said. “I also took my first college level German class that semester. It was fascinating studying how toddlers understand and use language, while I, at the same time was struggling to learn a second language. It was unfair and amazing at the same time.”

Prior to that, Von Holzen spent two months at Dartmouth College as a summer research intern working in a social neuro-cognition lab with the help of UWGB Professors Regan Gurung and Kate Burns. She used fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) to look at the areas of the brain that light up when women rate pictures of men separately on their aesthetic and sexual attractiveness.

“The experience fueled my fascination with the brain and the things it can tell us if we ask the right questions,” Von Holzen said.

Von Holzen told her adviser, Prof. Burns, that she was interested in cognition, memory and language and asked if there was a project she could get involved in on campus. Burns, in turn, introduced her to Lanter and the Language Learning Lab.

“Working in her Language Learning Lab led me to discover my passion for the study of language acquisition and gain extensive experience in the field. I will always be grateful for her confidence in me, as well as her support while I was applying to graduate school,” Von Holzen said.

“The environment at UWGB really helped me figure out what I wanted to do in life that would make me happy. I can think of no greater preparation than that,” Von Holzen said.

“Although travelling is a definite perk, I would say that working on questions that I’m passionate about is definitely my favorite part of my job,” Von Holzen said. “When I’ve thought about doing anything else, I can’t imagine losing access to a lab where I can satisfy my curiosity on a daily basis.”

She was introduced to the Green Bay area during cherished time spent time at her aunt and uncle’s — Diane (Von Holzen) Mike Phillips — home in Green Bay. Both are 1977 UWGB graduates.


Photos, video, article: Visit by Chilean sustainability delegation

UW-Green Bay’s partnership with Chile’s Universidad del Desarrollo took another step forward earlier this spring with a visit to Green Bay by about 15 Chilean master’s degree students and faculty in sustainability management and industrial engineering. Hosted by Prof. John Katers of Natural and Applied Sciences, the delegation attended the Heating the Midwest conference and toured green companies including FEECO, ENCAP, the Green Bay municipal wastewater plant, and others. Their Chile-to-Wisconsin trip followed a 2013 visit to Santiago by a UW-Green Bay delegation led by Katers, who earned a Fulbright Specialist position for the purpose of pursuing an ongoing partnership on topics of sustainability, pollution control and waste management. Sorry we didn’t post all this earlier, but we have more including a link to the Chilean students’ short video recap of the trip, photos, and a Santiago newspaper article.