Tag: Psychology

UW-Green Bay honors top faculty, staff with 2015 Founders Awards

founders-award-winners-postThe University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has recognized its top faculty and staff members with 2015 Founders Awards for Excellence. The award winners, honored at the annual UW-Green Bay Faculty and Staff Convocation Wednesday morning, Aug. 26, are:

Teaching — Associate Prof. Georjeanna Wilson-Doenges
Scholarship — Prof. Matt Dornbush
Community Outreach — Prof. John Luczaj
Institutional Development — Associate Prof. Denise Bartell
Academic Support — Mike Kline
Classified Staff — Amanda Wildenberg
Collaborative Achievement — The Digital and Public Humanities Project

Posing in the photo, above, standing from left are Wilson-Doenges, Luczaj, Dornbush and Bartell. Seated are Wildenberg and faculty members representing the Digital Humanities Project, Associate Profs. Chuck Rybak and Caroline Boswell. Not pictured: Mike Kline.

The awards were presented before an audience of more than 400 in the Phoenix Room of the University Union. Made possible by private philanthropic support, the awards program has been an annual fixture at UW-Green Bay since 1975. Honorees are selected by a campuswide committee from among nominations submitted by faculty, staff and others.

Wilson-Doenges, the recipient of the Founder’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, is an associate professor of Human Development and a specialist in environmental psychology and best practices in neighborhood planning and urban design. The award citation credited her with effectively connecting with students, regardless of major, in courses both online and in-person, and bringing energy not only to her classroom but to her work with students on internships, independent studies, and honors projects. One nominator said her enthusiasm for her subject has the ability to make even the statistical concept of standard deviation “riveting.” Wilson-Doenges joined the UW-Green Bay faculty in 1995 after earning her Ph.D. from the University of California-Irvine.

Dornbush, recipient of the award for scholarship, was recognized for his work as a professor of biology with the Natural and Applied Sciences academic unit. He has made a priority of involving both graduate and undergraduate students in his research projects where possible, and has been successful in winning outside grants to support that research. His primary interests involve the role of native plant restorations in improving ecosystems, including the potential use of native tallgrass for bio-energy purposes, and the restoration of wild rice, bulrush and wild celery stands in the lower bay. Dornbush joined the UW-Green Bay faculty in 2005 after earning his doctoral degree in ecology at Iowa State University. He recently joined the academic affairs administrative team at UW-Green Bay as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Professional Development and Grants, and Director of Graduate Studies.

The award citation for Geoscience professor Luczaj, a member of the Natural and Applied Sciences faculty, called the Founders Award for Excellence in Community Outreach a perfect fit for a faculty member who is “an asset to UWGB as a researcher, instructor and community ambassador in the field of geology.” An authority on the geology and bedrock of Northeastern Wisconsin and related groundwater issues, Luczaj has provided guidance to technical groups on vital groundwater issues and advised varied stakeholders on aquifer protection strategies. In addition to working with UWGB students, he has connected with the community through geoscience presentations to family and K-12 groups as well as to UWGB Learning in Retirement audiences. He holds a Ph.D. in geology from Johns Hopkins and joined the Green Bay faculty in 2005.

Bartell, honored in the category of Institutional Development, was recognized for her efforts in ensuring the success of new and continuing students and the larger University. Bartell is an associate professor of psychology in the Human Development academic unit. In recent years she has assumed leadership in campuswide efforts to improve student retention and graduation rates, particularly for first-generation students and those who are from under-represented groups or who face special challenges. She is founder and program director for the Phoenix GPS Program, which has identified “high-impact” practices to help students thrive. (The practices include encouraging greater campus involvement, mentoring, effective study skills and active/engaged learning experiences for newcomers.) Bartell joined UW-Green Bay in 2002 after earning her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Texas.

Kline received the Founders Award for Excellence in Academic Support in recognition of his success in fostering, according to the award citation, “a department culture where academic success, not just completion, is an uncompromising priority.” Kline works in Phoenix Athletics administration as assistant AD of Compliance and Student Welfare. A 1988 graduate of UW-Green Bay, he landed the position of Phoenix cross-country coach while still a student-athlete in 1987. In 1999 he accepted additional duties as academics coordinator for all Phoenix teams. In the years since, the program has posted at least 31 consecutive semesters of cumulative GPAs of 3.0 or better, had a series of all-league and even all-America academic honorees, and had individual teams rank among the best in America in terms of academic performance. Nominators described Kline as “dedicated” “tireless” and “passionate” about encouraging academic and career success.

Wildenberg, recipient of the Founder’s Award for University Staff , is a university services associate in the Dean of Students Office. Nominators praised her customer-service orientation, good humor and cool under pressure in interacting with a clientele as varied and diverse as the University itself — students, parents, faculty, staff, senior administrators and others. She takes a lead role in coordinating a major, Universitywide program that serves almost a thousand new students and their families annually. The award citation also mentioned her technological skills, involvement in staff governance and efforts to “make UW-Green Bay a better place to work.” Wildenberg, who earned her bachelor’s at UW-Milwaukee, joined the UW-Green Bay staff in 2008.

The Digital and Public Humanities Project, led by Associate Profs. Chuck Rybak and Caroline Boswell of the Humanistic Studies faculty, earned the Founders Award in the category of Collaborative Achievement. The project, which began with creation of a “digital commons” at UW-Green Bay, relies on modern technology to greatly expand opportunity for sharing the humanities — ancient and modern languages, literature, philosophy, religion, history and the visual and performing arts — rather than distract from, or diminish interest, as some might expect in what is often characterized as an age of shortened attention spans. One nominator wrote of Rybak and Boswell, “by bringing students into this field (they have) opened new doors that will lead not only to new employment opportunities, but new ways to engage in lifelong interdisciplinary learning.” The project is credited with helping students avail themselves of new digital technologies, advance their skill sets and also make the field more accessible to the public at large. Boswell, a historian, joined the UW-Green Bay faculty in 2008 after earning her Ph.D. at Brown University. Rybak, a professor of English and creative writing, is a widely published poet who received his Ph.D. at the University of Cincinnati.

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Faculty note: Christine Smith


Associate Prof. of Psychology Christine Smith of the Human Development and Women’s and Gender Studies programs is co-author of a book chapter titled “Medicalizing women’s weight: Bariatric surgery and weight-loss drugs” with Julie Konik, Ph.D., of University of Wisconsin College-Sheboygan. The chapter is published in the book The Wrong Prescription for Women: How Medicine and Media Create a ‘Need’ for Treatment, Drugs, and Surgery.

Faculty note: Gurung in Ontario for ‘Education/Cognition’ symposium

Pscyhology Prof. Regan A.R. Gurung of Human Development was scheduled to be in Hamilton, Ontario today (Thursday, Aug. 13) for McMaster University’s “Symposium on Education and Cognition.” He is to be this evening’s featured speaker in a presentation titled “And the twain will meet: Combining cognitive science, teaching and learning,” to be followed by a panel discussion.

Psychology’s Martin does ‘Cecil the Lion’ interview


Associate Prof. Ryan Martin of Human Development went on PowerTalk FM 96.7 in California on Friday to talk “internet rage” about the massively publicized case of the Minnesota dentist accused of misconduct in shooting a well-known lion while on safari in Zimbabwe. Introduced as “one of the nation’s leading anger researchers,” Martin did a 15-minute live interview segment about the viral firestorm. Said Martin, “What the internet has done is to magnify… it gives (people) a chance to feel a part of something larger. It allows them to ‘feel.’ Who knows if 20 years ago we would have even heard about it, but today we are bombarded with it and you really can’t go to Facebook or Twitter without seeing (opinions on this incident).” You can hear the archived Q an A.

Lones, Blake pursue competitive summer research opportunities

lorenzo-top-storyWhile some students will spend summer in relaxation mode, UW-Green Bay’s Lorenzo Lones will be working in a lab at one of the top research programs in the nation.

Likewise, UW-Green Bay junior Tresavoya Blake, a History and Democracy and Justice Studies major, will be interning at Loyola University Chicago in its Multicultural Affairs Division this summer as part of a National Undergraduate Fellowship Program.

Each are mentored and encouraged by Justin Mallett, the director of UWGB’s American Intercultural Center.

Lones, a double major in Psychology and Human Biology, will be participating in the University of Iowa Summer Research Opportunity Program throughout June and July. The eight-week program is designed to prepare participants for future doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities.

While at the University of Iowa, Lones will be working with Dr. Andrew Pieper, MD, Ph.D. and Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology and Radiation Oncology.

“One of the things that interested me is that the professor I will be working has a very diverse lab team,” said Lones, “He has women, Latinos, African-Americans, so it is just a very diverse team. Also, his research is closely aligned with the type of research I want to do in my career.”

Lones will be working with Pieper to study the effects of two chemicals on mice: One that helps create new brain cells in the memory center of the brain and one that helps stop cell death.

“We have a lot of psychiatric medication that deals with symptoms, but his lab is actually looking at what is causing the symptoms and trying to change the course of the disorder in the brain instead of just alleviating symptoms,” Lones said.

This experience will be a first for Lones who says he has never worked directly in a lab such as this before.

“This will be the first time I’m in the lab actually manipulating things,” he said, “As far as animals are concerned too, I’ll be working with the rats. So that will be a pretty nifty hands-on experience for me.”

Entering UWGB, he thought he would someday be a school psychologist. “I took Prof. Dennis Lorenz’s physiological psychology class and started studying the nervous system and then realized I really like understanding how the brain works.”

He followed that with a molecular biology course with Prof. Uwe Pott, and is honing his career path to research.

“What I want to study is not necessarily the act of giving treatment, but looking at what is the course of treatment… instead of of being a doctor, doing medical research that doctors can benefit from.”

Blake-storyFor Tresavoya Blake, the fellowship is an extension of involvement at UW-Green Bay. She laughs as she begins her list… “Women of Color, Black Student Union, the Diversity Taskforce…”

Her involvement provided a strong case for acceptance into the National Undergraduate Fellowship Program through the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), and the benefits associated with it — such as the eight-week fellowship at Loyola.

“I’ll be actually working with the different staff in different departments, working on any projects they might want me to do,” she said, “Basically learning more about the student affairs field and narrowing down which department or division of student affairs I would be most interested in pursuing when I go to graduate school and eventually start my own career in student affairs.”

Both Lones and Blakes said they understand the need for mentoring and appreciate the faculty and staff who support and encourage them.

“After my experiences here at Green Bay, especially in the American Intercultural Center, and seeing how they helped me just stay here and become more comfortable in the university, that’s the kind of impact I want to make on students in general,” Blake said. “In my future, I want to be the person that helps students of color, underrepresented students, and students in general, navigate through college.”

Lones said he is grateful to the faculty and staff that have helped him prepare for this opportunity, including Prof. Kris Vespia, who worked with him over winter break to help prepare his personal statement.

“The multicultural advisors, Crystal, Justin, and Mai, they do a really good job at keeping me on a straight path,” he said, “The faculty here at the school have been tremendous. They’ve been extremely supportive. I don’t know where I’d be without them.”

Story by Katelyn Staaben, editorial intern

Broadway partnership with GBPD is actually twice as good as advertised

In our most recent issue of the Log newsletter, we linked to Green Bay Press-Gazette coverage of a new Police Department initiative reaching out to residents in the South Broadway neighborhood in a way that involves surveys and analysis by Urban and Regional Studies faculty and students. Actually — and the article didn’t mention it — the partnership also includes the academic unit in Psychology. One of the three interns working at the GBPD is a Psychology major, Taylor Stelter, who worked with Associate Prof. Georjeanna Wilson-Doenges and collaborated with the GBPD to create the survey and collect the data from the neighborhoods. Our archived version of the story has been appended to include both Psychology and URS in describing the project. Read story.
 

Wilson-Doenges talks psychology of conservation


In celebration of Earth Day, environmental psychologist Georjeanna Wilson-Doenges hosts a two-minute video with some of her students in which they talk about the role of psychology in conservation efforts. The Psychology program has a new course in Conservation Psychology and a new emphasis in Sustainability.

Additional awards recognize student workers in unique categories


In addition to the award presented to Cassie Alfheim, Monday’s award ceremony on campus recognized five more student workers for outstanding achievement. They are:

Kimberly Schwarzenbart – Most Unique Contribution in a Student Employment Position: A senior Business Administration major from Reedsburg, Schwarzenbart worked as a marketing assistant for the University Union. A talented artist, she used her creative abilities to market specific programming in the University Union and elsewhere on campus.
Bradley Drephal – Outstanding Demonstration of Reliability in a Student Employment Position: A senior History major from Appleton, Drephal worked as a building manager for the University Union. He was especially motivated by customer satisfaction and ensuring great customer experience.
Sara Tupper – Outstanding Demonstration of Professionalism in a Student Employment Position: A senior Business Administration major from Stoughton, Tupper used her employment opportunity in the Dean of Students and Student Life area to gain professional experience and preparation for a post-graduate career.
Maximus Nimmo – Outstanding Demonstration of Initiative in a Student Employment Position: The senior Business Administration major from Janesville, served as a lead intramural supervisor at the Kress Events Center. His demonstrated leadership allowed him to make lifetime connections.
Olyvia Kuchta – Outstanding Demonstration of Quality of Work in a Student Employment Position: The senior Psychology major from Green Bay served as the office assistant for the Human Development/Information and Computing Science units. She credits the experience to strengthening her interpersonal and leadership skills while opening doors to establish relationships with faculty and staff.

Students honored: Alfheim is Student Employee of the Year

top-student-employeeGreen Bay native and Pulaski High School graduate Cassie Alfheim (with Chancellor Gary Miller, above) was named both UW-Green Bay’s Student Employee of the Year and the State Award Winner as well, at a ceremony April 13 in a ceremony on campus. Alfheim is the student assistant with the office of Grants and Research. (For a full writeup on Alfheim, click here.) Students were nominated by faculty and staff and were judged by an impartial panel on the basis of reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism, and uniqueness of contribution. More than 1,000 students are employed each year at UW-Green Bay earning wages that help them pay tuition and fees, while building their professional portfolios and supplying the University with an additional workforce. Also receiving awards:

Kimberly Schwarzenbart – Most Unique Contribution in a Student Employment Position
: A senior Business Administration major from Reedsburg, Schwarzenbart worked as a marketing assistant for the University Union. An incredible artist, she used her exceptional abilities to market specific programming in the University Union and elsewhere on campus.

Bradley Drephal – Outstanding Demonstration of Reliability in a Student Employment Position
: A senior History major from Appleton, Drephal worked as a building manager for the University Union. He was especially motivated by customer satisfaction and ensuring great customer experience.

Sara Tupper – Outstanding Demonstration of Professionalism in a Student Employment Position
: A senior Business Administration major from Stoughton, Tupper used her employment opportunity to gain professional experience and preparation for a post-graduate career.

Maximus Nimmo – Outstanding Demonstration of Initiative in a Student Employment Position: The senior Business Administration major from Janesville, served as a lead intramural supervisor at the Kress Events Center. His demonstrated leadership allowed him to make lifetime connections.

Olyvia Kuchta – Outstanding Demonstration of Quality of Work in a Student Employment Position
: The senior Psychology major from Green Bay served as the office assistant for the Human Development/Information and Computing Science units. She credits the experience to strengthening her interpersonal and leadership skills while opening doors to establish relationships with faculty and staff.

Click here for more.

(Click thumbnails to enter slideshow view.)
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Photos by Eric Miller, Marketing and University Communication