This from our inbox: “Mary Sue Lavin, Zach Taylor, Ann Vandenack, and the Phuture Phoenix program would like to extend another thank you to all of the UWGB faculty and staff members who contributed to this year’s campus visits. All told, over 1,350 fifth graders visited campus, led by over 200 UWGB student role models. But more impressively, over 200 UWGB faculty and staff members pitched in by opening up their classrooms, facilitating activities, and helping coordinate sites and events, making the 2015 campus visits unforgettable. Thank you from everyone at Phuture Phoenix!”
UW-Green Bay will host its 12th annual Phuture Phoenix Days Tuesday, Oct. 13 and Thursday, Oct. 15, welcoming nearly 1,400 area fifth-graders who will tour campus and explore life as potential college students. The program partners with schools that have high percentages of students from low-income families and encourages students to graduate from high school and pursue a college education. The program has hosted a total of 17,241 fifth grade students on tour days since 2003. To help support the large number of participants, there will be more than 250 UW-Green Bay students serving as role models and group leaders for the day and at least 120 faculty and staff members participating. This year, every visiting fifth-grader will visit a lecture, a residence hall, the Kress Events Center, and enjoy a meal on campus.
UW-Green Bay will host its 12th annual Phuture Phoenix Days Tuesday, Oct. 13 and Thursday, Oct. 15, welcoming nearly 1,400 area fifth-graders who will tour campus and explore life as potential college students.
UW-Green Bay’s signature Phuture Phoenix program partners with schools that have high percentages of students from low-income families and encourages students to graduate from high school and pursue a college education.
The program has hosted a total of 17,241 fifth grade students since it began in 2003. To help support the large number of participants, there will be more than 250 UW-Green Bay students serving as role models and group leaders for the day and at least 120 faculty and staff members participating.
This year’s campus visit intends to offer the visiting fifth-graders a varied look at the college experience, introducing them to multiple aspects of campus life. Every fifth-grader and their UWGB mentors will visit a lecture, a residence hall, the Kress Events Center, and enjoy a meal in the Weidner Center or the University Union’s Phoenix Room. Additionally, numerous UW-Green Bay students and faculty members have planned special, large-group activities for students to interact with peers from their own and other participating schools. A few of these activities include exploration of the Cofrin Library archives, interactive improvisational games, a “slime laboratory,” printmaking, and “College 101” presentations touching upon financial aid, admissions, advising and social work.
Phuture Phoenix Day is a coordinated effort to inspire academic success and alert children to educational opportunities available to them. Phuture Phoenix programming helps prepare elementary school students for college early, says Jenny Woldt, a fifth-grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School and fan of the program.
“You have to start in kindergarten, get it in their brain that they are college bound no matter where they come from, and that they just need to work hard in school and work hard in their community, and they can get there,” Woldt says.
New to the Tuesday field trip this year are expanded opportunities for fifth-graders to explore the Kress Events Center and UW-Green Bay’s Office of Residence Life, getting a feel for fitness and recreational options and on-campus housing.
“The Office of Residence Life is happy to be able to participate in the Phuture Phoenix program, as it’s never too early to introduce the concept of attending college,” says UW-Green Bay Director of Residence Life, Gail Sims-Aubert. “It’s so important that today’s youth understand going to college means they will be a part of a vibrant educational experience both inside and outside the classroom. This program is an outstanding opportunity to provide a sneak peak of life on campus.”
Brent Tavis, Assistant Athletics Director for Events and Operations, agrees, adding, “The Kress Events Center is very excited to be able to host the Phuture Phoenix participants every year. It’s an excellent experience for the participants and for the Kress. We get to expose kids to a great atmosphere of sports, fitness, and activities that we hope will make their time here at UW-Green Bay more memorable.”
For more information about Phuture Phoenix.
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will recognize a total of five meritorious graduates of the institution at the 2015 Alumni Association Awards Night on Friday evening, Oct. 16. The program is part of the annual, two-day Alumni Days celebration, which this year coincides with UW-Green Bay’s 50th Anniversary.
The list of honorees begins with Mark King, class of 1981, Barbara Nick ’83 and Jack Potts ’71, each receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award. Additionally, Andy Rosendahl, ’07 and Kelly Ruh ’01 will receive the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award. Ronald and Suzy Pfeifer will receive the Honorary Alumni Award.
The annual awards spotlight UW-Green Bay alumni who have made special contributions to the University, their communities and professions.
The ceremony takes place in the Grand Foyer and on stage at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts on the campus at 2420 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay.
The event is open to the public. It begins with a 5 p.m. social and includes dinner at 6 p.m. followed by the program. The cost is $35 per person. For more information, contact the UW-Green Bay Alumni Office — (920) 465-2226 or e-mail.
Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients
Mark King is a 1981 Business Administration graduate of UW-Green Bay. As President of adidas Group North America, King oversees adidas and Reebok in the U.S. and Canada and is responsible for driving the brand strategy and direction for the worldwide company’s North American operations. King began his current role in June 2014 after 34 years with TaylorMade. King’s celebrity status within the golf industry derived from making TaylorMade the No. 1 brand on the PGA tour and boosting sales from $300 million to $1 billion annually. He was named golf executive of the year within two years of being named president in 1999, at age 40. He has been profiled in PGA Magazine, Fortune and the Harvard Business Review, among others. He was inducted into UW-Green Bay Phoenix Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2011 the UW-Green Bay Foundation Inc. added King to its board of directors.
Barbara A. Nick received her bachelor’s degree in Communication and the Arts in 1983. Since December 2014, she has served as President and CEO of Dairyland Power Cooperative, which provides wholesale electricity to more than 40 member cooperatives and municipalities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. Nationwide, she’s one of only a few female chief executives in her industry. Nick joined Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (now Integrys Energy Group) in 1981 as a technical writer. At WPS, she rose through the ranks to become senior VP of energy delivery and customer service. She was president of the Upper Peninsula Power Co. subsidiary, and by 2014, when she concluded her career at Integrys, she was president of its Minnesota Energy Resources and Michigan Gas Utilities corporations. Nick is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.
Dr. Jack Potts graduated in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in Humanism and Cultural Change. He received his medical degree in 1979 from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and has been a practicing psychiatrist for 36 years, primarily in the state of Arizona. Throughout his career, Potts became active in various issues involving forensic psychiatry including working on insanity and competency legislation, human rights activities, and pro bono service to many. He taught both law and social work at Arizona State University, and served for a decade as chief of the Forensic Services Unit for the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County before returning to private practice in 2002. He is a past president of his state’s American Psychiatric Association affiliate.
Outstanding Recent Alumni
Andy Rosendahl graduated in 2007 with a Public Administration degree and began work as a neighborhood development specialist for the City of Green Bay. Since 2013, he has served as the Chief of Staff for Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt. Rosendahl has been president of the Astor Neighborhood Association, VP of the Mediation Center of Greater Green Bay and a board member of Greater Green Bay Habitat for Humanity and the Bay Area Community Council, and co-chair of its Self-Sufficiency Committee. In 2014 he received the community’s Inky Meng Resident Leadership Award for volunteer service to others.
Kelly Ruh graduated in 2001 with degrees in Business Administration and Accounting. She is the controller for PDQ Manufacturing Inc., based in De Pere, widely known for its service and industry-leading advances in touchless car wash technology. Ruh started as a staff accountant, spent time as a CFO at a local non-profit, and returned as controller of PDQ at age 32. She recently completed her MBA with a focus on international business. An active volunteer, she serves as an officer of the Brown County Trust for Historic Preservation and the Brown County Republican Party and as a coach for the Junior Achievement Business Marathon. She is a former president of the UW-Green Bay Alumni Association.
Honorary Alumni Award
Ronald and Suzy Pfeifer are longtime friends of, and advocates for, UW-Green Bay. Ron was recently named Associate Chancellor for External Affairs at UW-Green Bay. He came to UWGB from Schneider National Inc., where he worked as Associate General Counsel since 2013 following a 28-year career as an employment-law attorney with Godfrey & Kahn. In 2012, the Pfeifers endowed a Phuture Phoenix Scholarship to help students at Green Bay East High School involved in the Institute for the Fine Arts to attend UW-Green Bay. They are active supporters of Phoenix Athletics. Ron has served on the board of directors for both the Phoenix Fund and the former Fast Break Club, and for the University’s Founders Association philanthropic organization. Suzy Pfeifer, recently retired as Director of Marketing and Fund Development for Encompass Early Education and Care, Inc., was employed by UW-Green Bay as Director of Major Gifts in the early 2000s. She is a past member of the Council of Trustees.
Kim Desotell, the former Phuture Phoenix director and more recently the University’s director of development within University Advancement, has left campus for a new challenge. Desotell will head up GRACE — the Green Bay Area Catholic Education system — beginning July 7. Desotell told the Green Bay Press-Gazette she is a practicing Catholic, has a daughter attending a GRACE school, and will rely on her educational background to help inform her work as superintendent for a district with about 2,200 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade at 10 schools. Prior to her arrival at UW-Green Bay in 2007, Desotell worked as an elementary school teacher, principal, technology and training specialist and consultant. See the full P-G story.
UW-Green Bay student Courtney Maye drew inspiration from a campus visit two years ago by urban artist Candy Chang, famous for locating chalkboards and canvasses in high-traffic areas and inviting passers-by to reflect and share their thoughts. Maye did something similar for fifth-graders visiting UWGB last October for Phuture Phoenix tour days. She positioned chalkboards so the young visitors could finish the sentence “I want to go to college so that I can…” in chalk. Recently, Maye sent photos of the event to Candy Chang’s website to appear in featured rotation. Maye, an Urban and Regional Studies major, said Chang’s assistant mentioned that some of the UWGB photos might appear in the artist’s new book. Maye credits staff and administrators including Mary Baranek, Sue Mattison, Lucy Arendt, Ashley Folcik, Kimberly Desotell and Stephanie Cataldo-Pabich for helping make her project possible. See the UW-Green Bay photo page at Chang’s site (which is based on the theme “Before I die, I want to…), http://beforeidie.cc/site/green-bay-remix/
Stephanie Cataldo-Pabich, who served a number of years and in many roles for the Phuture Phoenix Program, most recently as its interim director, has announced her departure. Pabich is moving to a newly created events manager position with the Heritage Hill Foundation. She expresses her gratitude to the faculty, staff and students who fully invested in the successful program, now replicated at colleges across the country. Cataldo-Pabich’s last day is Friday, May 29, when she invites peers to stop up and say “see you later.” Pabich is a UW-Green Bay alumna, having graduated with a degree in History and Social Change and Development before pursuing a master’s degree in History from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.
The Whitney Radder Phenomenal Role Model Award was presented to UW-Green Bay student Natalie Neuwirth (at center in photo) earlier this month. The award is presented by the Phuture Phoenix pre-college program to a collegian who has done an outstanding job working in the K-12 schools, through hard work and dedication to the students they serve.
Neuwirth was a tutor at East High School in spring 2015, reaching out to high school students who began their association with Phuture Phoenix years earlier as fifth-graders. The award-winning program opens children’s eyes to the idea that college is possible, and follows up with tutoring and college-readiness activities that keep them on track to graduate from high school. Neuwirth was nominated by fellow Education student Jamie Stahl who serves in a leadership role with Phuture Phoenix and coordinates the tutors at East.
The Radder Award is presented annually to a deserving role model in honor of Whitney Radder, a former student and Phuture Phoenix mentor pursuing a degree in Education who was tragically killed in a 2010 car accident while a student at UW-Green Bay.
Pictured above, from left, are: David and Kaye Radder (Whitney’s brother and mother), Natalie Neuwirth, Jamie Stahl and Helen Schaal (instructor for the Phuture Phoenix class).
For many students, the transition from high school to college can be daunting. But for homeschooled students, that switch comes with an even potentially deeper set of challenges.
That was the experience initially for Education major Lexi Jasen. “I was very used to doing my own thing,” said the senior who will graduate in May 2015 with highest of honors. “My mom gave me a lot of control as far as planning my own curriculum and my schedule, as long as she approved it. But she gave me a lot of freedom. She knew I would be very responsible and I would get it done.”
After homeschooling through high school, Jasen began her college experience at UW-Sheboygan before transferring to UW-Green Bay.
“It is very different to have your own expectations and then to adapt to multiple professors with different expectations for different classes,” she said, “But honestly, the hardest thing for me is the actual sitting in class. I don’t take notes. I’m a doodler. Notes don’t help me at all. That’s not how I learn.”
Jasen turned to her UWGB faculty members for guidance.
“There are some professors, especially in the Education department, who have really gotten to know me and that has been wonderful.”
Their support motivated Jasen to become an active participant in her own learning and to the betterment of those around her. She is a mentor in the Phuture Phoenix program, serves as the president of UW-Green Bay’s Student Wisconsin Education Association and is in the process of creating an honor society for the Education department.
After graduating this May and completing her student teaching, Jasen hopes to find a position as a teacher and one day open her own charter school.
“I want to do something fairly similar to the Phantom Knight charter school which I’ve worked with through Phuture Phoenix,” she said, “They are very project based and inspire independent learning — very similar to how I learned — and I know there are many other people out there like me. My goal, eventually, is to give students more of a say in their learning, because then they’re going to be more motivated to do it and more interested in it.”
Jasen feels other homeschooled students can be just as successful if they speak up and ask for the help that they need.
“The homeschoolers that I know and grew up with are kind of like me and they know how they learn and they now what they need in order to succeed. The more I communicated that with my professors, the more successful I was in those classes, and I think that that is something a lot of people are really hesitant to do.”
Photo and story by Katelyn Staaben.
Jared J. Spude of Sturgeon Bay is the May 2015 recipient of the Outstanding Student Award presented by the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Alumni Association. He will receive the award May 16 at a student award ceremony on campus, on the eve of spring commencement.
Spude is earning his bachelor of science degree with a near-perfect gradepoint average and summa cum laude, or highest honors, having completed majors in Political Science and Public Administration.
The UW-Green Bay Alumni Association, which has been designating a single Outstanding Student Award recipient for each graduating class since 1976, recognized Spude for his undergraduate success as student, researcher and volunteer in service to others. He was nominated and selected from among approximately 930 graduating seniors eligible to receive diplomas at May commencement.
Originally from Brussels, Wis., Spude graduated from Southern Door High School in 2008 and immediately joined the U.S. Army. After serving two years at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and completing secondary job training, he was deployed to the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne Division. He enrolled at UW-Green Bay within months of leaving active duty in November 2011. He began service with the National Guard that continues today with his work as a training instructor at Fort McCoy and the Wisconsin Military Academy.
At UW-Green Bay, Spude has been active in both academic and community-service initiatives. He has contributed in several campuswide advisory roles, sharing a student perspective with University leadership. Within his Political Science academic unit, he participated in a student-faculty task force that helped develop curriculum, draft the syllabus, and conceptualize a new capstone class and project to be required of all future majors.
Spude devoted significant time and energy to Phuture Phoenix, assisting administrators of the pre-college program with grant applications and behind-the-scenes management. He also gained first-hand experience as a mentor to participating grade school, middle and high school students, and served as coordinator for the Phuture Phoenix tutoring program at Green Bay West High School.
His advanced-level research in public policy addressed the complex issue of state of Wisconsin allocations to local K-12 school districts. His research findings supported the view of many small, rural districts that they are treated inequitably by the current formula. He shared this information with his hometown Southern Door School District and various legislative officials. Spude was chosen this spring for appointment to the University’s internship program with the Office of the Mayor of Green Bay. He worked closely with the mayor’s chief of staff, focusing on research and services related to economic development and entrepreneurship.
In his spare time, Spude has worked as a WIAA-sanctioned football and basketball official, local radio announcer, public-address announcer for high school sports, volunteer varsity basketball assistant, and as music ministry leader for his Brussels parish.