Tag: Social Work

Scholarship for late Prof. Baer nears goal

The memorial scholarship for Social Work Prof. Betty Baer is just shy of its goal of $12,500 for endowed status. The scholarship was established prior to Baer’s passing with a matching gift from alumnus Doug Wirth ’89. Wirth’s goal is to ensure that Baer’s mantra of “think globally, act locally” reaches UW-Green Bay students for generations to come. To donate, click here. Read more about Betty Baer.

Oneida leader shares traditional teachings with graduates

Cristina Danforth

Oneida tribal leader and UW-Green Bay graduate Cristina (Tina) Danforth delivered the commencement address at her alma mater Saturday (Dec. 13), sharing a First Nations perspective and encouraging members of the class of 2014 to give back to their communities.

“It is said in our culture that each individual is born with a gift from the Creator,” Danforth said. “We believe it is our responsibility to nurture this gift so that we all become a contribution to our family and our community. Whether your gift is in the arts, the sciences, the letters or a combination of many intellectual talents, it is now your responsibility to share and use your talent for the betterment of others.”

Danforth, chairwoman of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin and a 1988 Social Work graduate of UW-Green Bay, addressed an audience of 2,000 people at mid-year commencement held at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. About 500 students were eligible to participate and receive degrees.

Danforth was elected to her second term as Oneida tribal chairwoman this past July, having previously served as chair from 2002 to 2005, and as tribal treasurer since 2008.

She opened her remarks with the greeting “swakwek” and a sentence spoken in the Oneida language, “Kwalak^ni niyukyats, otahyuni ni waket talohta,” explaining that her Oneida name, Kuwalak^ni, means “influential.” She identified herself as a member of the Wolf Clan, Oneida Nation and the larger Iroquois Confederacy (also known as Haudenosaunee, or “People of the Long House”).

Danforth noted that the Iroquois culture places great emphasis on giving thanks for all people and all life.

“We acknowledge the existence of the people, our Mother the Earth, the waters, the fish, the plants, the food plants, the medicine herbs, the animals, the trees, the birds, the four winds, the seasons, the Thunderers, the sun, the stars, our Grandmother the Moon, the Enlightened Teachers and messengers, and the Creator for all living things.

“In our acknowledgement, we are reminded that again our gifts are also our responsibility. Taking care of Mother Earth for all humankind is a serious task. It is what you are tasked with today as you walk across this stage to the next part of your journey on this Earth.”

She told the UW-Green Bay graduates she chose to share these traditional teachings in her remarks because “they are a reminder that we all are related, we all are connected and we all have a common purpose based on the principals of life.”

She closed with the words “Yawako, tanethoniyotuhake, tani. Thank you, so be our minds.”

Oneida leader Danforth ’88 to deliver commencement address

Cristina (Tina) Danforth

Cristina (Tina) Danforth

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay who serves as chairwoman of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin will deliver the commencement address at the University’s 45th mid-year graduation ceremony this Saturday, Dec. 13.

Cristina (Tina) Danforth will be the featured speaker at the ceremony that begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. About 500 students are eligible to participate and receive degrees. With family and friends along with University faculty and staff in attendance, an audience of nearly 2,000 is expected.

Danforth is a 1988 Social Work graduate of UW-Green Bay. It is expected that, in her remarks, she will congratulate the graduates, share a sample of traditional native teaching about interdependence, and challenge UW-Green Bay’s newest alumni to serve others, the Earth and generations to come.

Danforth was elected to her second term as Oneida tribal chairwoman this past July, having previously served as chair from 2002 to 2005, and as tribal treasurer since 2008.

During her tenure as treasurer, the Oneidas achieved balanced budgets, paid off debt and self-funded both a gaming expansion and construction of a new retail outlet. Danforth led the effort to secure bonds for building a new, state-of-the-art nursing home.

She has extensive work experience in areas related to social services, economic development, business and education, and in working with the federal government on tribal issues. On a national level, she serves as chairwoman of the Native American Bancorporation and second vice president of the Native American Financial Officers Association. She has been a member of the Wisconsin Governor’s Council on Tourism, president of the Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes and vice chair of the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council. She was selected as a lead negotiator of gaming compacts with the state of Wisconsin by the United Tribes of Wisconsin, and as negotiator for the Oneida Compacts and New York Land Claims.

She is a past recipient of the AmVets Leadership Award, Lifetime Achievement Award for Financial Leadership by NAFOA, and the Lifetime Achievement Award by Women Empowering Women in Indian Nations.

In October, Danforth was among leaders of the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council who addressed a special meeting of the UW System Board of Regents to discuss increasing the numbers of American Indian students who attend college and graduate. She shared suggestions including adding American Indian staff on campuses, easing transfer rules so that more credits earned at tribal colleges qualify, and making colleges more comfortable and affordable for American Indian students.

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Feeding the need: UW-Green Bay’s Campus Kitchens project featured by Fox 11

Fox 11’s Making a Difference segment profiled UW-Green Bay’s Campus Kitchens Project in a Wednesday (Nov. 26) story, introducing viewers to the organization that’s reducing food waste while feeding the hungry in our community. Reporter/anchor Michelle Melby tagged along as Campus Kitchens students prepared a recent meal at the NEW Community Shelter, speaking with them about the experience — and how it feels to be making a difference. “I don’t think people know how much food is being wasted,” said student Naomi Moua. “And how much we can reuse some of that and give it to those who are in need.” Melby also spoke with Campus Kitchens faculty adviser Sarah Himmelheber, Social Work, who helped students apply for the necessary grant and launch Campus Kitchens last year. Full story.

Social Work program gets re-upped on nearly $700,000 federal grant

The UW-Green Bay Social Work Professional Programs has been awarded a $682,515 federal grant from the Department of Health and Human Services for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. Grant funds are used to support training and provide stipends for social work students in child welfare careers, helping both undergraduate and graduate-level students here. UW Green Bay has been a recipient of the Title IV-E Long Term Child Welfare Training Program grant since 1991. (UW-Green Bay’s participation in the program was founded through the leadership of former chairperson Betty Baer, who passed away earlier this fall.) The NEW Partnership receives a similar grant to provide on-going training for social workers currently working in child welfare.


Teacher of the Year: Social worker found inspiration at UW-Green Bay

top-story-social-workAndrea Pasqualucci, a school social worker at Valley View Elementary School in Ashwaubenon, was selected this fall as Wisconsin’s Special Services Teacher of the Year for working behind the scenes to improve student learning.

A 1990 graduate of UW-Green Bay’s bachelor’s degree program in Social Work, she credits her early educational training as having a big impact on her career.

“The time I spent there was so valuable,” Pasqualucci says of her campus experience. “The professors, the small classes and learning environment, the leadership opportunities… the fact that I kept up with faculty (mentors) like Betty Baer, Ann Kok and Rolfe White over the years really speaks to the interest they take in their students and alumni, personally and professionally.”

Pasqualucci has special memories of those UW-Green Bay professors:

Betty Baer — “She was tough and encouraging at the same time. But you totally knew when she was on your side. Just a tremendously accomplished social worker and educator.”
Anne Kok — “Anne was just fun to be around. She was inspiring in a special kind of way… positive and optimistic and fully confident that we could make a difference in people’s lives.”
Rolfe White — “He retired quite a few years ago, but has always maintained his commitment to helping those in need. He’s on the executive board of the Brown County Homeless and Housing Coalition and is a true positive force in our community.”

As a UW-Green Bay student in the late 1980s, Pasqualucci completed her required field placement at Family Services in Green Bay, working with juvenile-age clients. It was during those days, she says, and in her master’s degree work in human services at UW-Madison (she earned her degree there in 1993), that she more fully formed her core principles as a social worker.

Those principles are basic, but things Pasqualucci says she always strives to employ: build personal relationships with people; value and respect everyone, regardless of their status or influence; know the value of hard work; and be rigorous in applying best practices and the highest level of professionalism.

In the years following college, Pasqualucci lived in Chicago and Seattle before eventually moving back to Wisconsin with her husband, Hans Bachmeier, also a UW-Green Bay grad (1991), who today is a vice president with Miller Electric in Appleton. She began her career as a social worker in the Crystal Lake School District in Crystal Lake, Ill., and worked for the North Chicago School District. She joined the staff of the Ashwaubenon School District in 2008.

Pasqulucci’s current certification as a school social worker comes via the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. The certification requires continuing education, something she has accomplished by returning to UW-Green Bay for selected master’s degree courses in Education.

She learned of her selection as Wisconsin’s Special Services Teacher of the Year for the 2014-15 at a surprise all-school assembly at Valley View in September. State Superintendent Tony Evers made the announcement.

As part of the Teacher of the Year honors, Pasqualucci receives $3,000 from the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation. The state DPI and Kohl Foundation partner to make the awards, which are given in four categories: elementary, middle/junior high, high school, and special services. Evers additionally recognized Pasqualucci during his State of Education address Sept. 25 in Madison.

Her nominators described her as “a tireless advocate for students” and someone with a “passion for working with people in need.” They praised Pasqualucci for developing a number of programs and partnerships to help students in the Ashwaubenon School District who are homeless or from low-income families.

“We have a segment of the population, who because of what’s going on at home, struggle to realize their gifts even though they have great potential,” she comments. “Many families I encounter are consumed with meeting the basic needs of their children and have little energy or financial resources left to expose their children to the multiple stimulating experiences other children encounter every day. Over time, these differences accumulate and the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ grows.”

Pasqualucci was instrumental in developing and managing student-led food drives; an e-mail based donation system that matches donors with families needing clothing or household items; and in-service sessions for school staff on equity and anti-bullying issues. She also reaches out to parents to build trust so they are more involved in their children’s education.

Work by Pasqualucci and others like her, nationwide, is supported in part by 1987 federal legislation, the McKinney-Vento Act, which awards grants to programs aimed at boosting academic achievement among certain at-risk children.

At any given time, Pasqualucci says, she’s working with about 50 students and their families to provide guidance and link then to resources that can range from from size 4T pants, to beds, dressers, and household items, laundromat vouchers and school supply backpacks.

In the community, she is part of the Brown County Homeless and Housing Coalition and chaired the county’s National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week activities. She is a member of her church’s Social Concerns Commission, bringing her first-hand knowledge of social issues to help the commission affect change and meet the needs of parishioners and community members.

Baer obituary shares news of student scholarship

Former UW-Green Bay Prof. of Social Work Betty L. Baer died Sept. 10 after a lengthy illness. The obituary stated that, “In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to a scholarship recently established in Betty’s name by a former student. To contribute to the Dr. Betty Baer Endowed Scholarship, visit www.uwgb.edu/foundation or send contributions in her name to the UW-Green Bay Foundation, 2420 Nicolet Drive, CL 805, Green Bay, WI 54311.

To read the newspaper obituary, click here. A more detailed account of Baer’s life and career can be found at the University news site.

Passing of influential Social Work professor, Betty Baer

A primary architect of UW-Green Bay’s undergraduate and graduate programs in Social Work — and a respected and influential state and national leader in both curriculum and practice — has passed away. Prof. Betty L. Baer died Wednesday (Sept. 10) at her Green Bay-area home after a lengthy illness. She was 87. Former chair of the UW-Green Bay program, recipient of national educator of the year honors, and the driving force behind development of the Northeast Wisconsin (NEW) Partnership for Children and Families, Baer retired from the University in 1996 but remained active in community and campus causes. A full obituary was not yet available as of Log deadline, but St. Anne’s Episcopal Church of De Pere shares word that a memorial service is scheduled for Saturday (Sept. 13) at 11:30 a.m., to be preceded by visitation at 10:30 a.m. The UW-Green Bay news site has more on Baer’s life and career.

Social Work’s Betty Baer, 1927-2014

Betty L. Baer

Betty L. Baer (1990s photo)

A primary architect of UW-Green Bay’s undergraduate and graduate programs in Social Work — and a respected and influential state and national leader in both curriculum and practice — has passed away.

Prof. Betty L. Baer died Wednesday (Sept. 10) at her Green Bay-area home after a lengthy illness. She was 87. A full obituary has not yet been published, but St. Anne’s Episcopal Church of De Pere — where Baer and her partner, Ann McLean, have been active and longstanding members — shares word that a memorial service is scheduled for Saturday (Sept. 13) at 11:30 a.m., to be preceded by visitation at 10:30 a.m.

Baer joined the UW-Green Bay faculty in fall 1985 as an associate professor of Social Work, and was the driving force in achieving the program’s initial accreditation. She served as chairperson of the department. She also was an early advocate of bringing graduate-level education to the Green Bay area, culminating with the launch of a joint master’s degree program with UW-Oshkosh. Baer retired from the University in 1996.

Betty Baer

Her national reputation in baccalaureate social work education had been achieved years earlier when she was a faculty member with West Virginia University. She collaborated with Prof. Ron Frederico on the Undergraduate Social Work Curriculum Project, important work that served to conceptualize and define generalist social work and competency-based practice, culminating in a comprehensive national report and book titled, Educating the Baccalaureate Social Worker, released in 1978.

In recognition of those and related efforts, Baer was honored in 1979 as “Baccaulaureate Social Work Educator of the Year” by her national professional organization.

Commented colleague Doreen Higgins, now an associate professor with the UW-Green Bay program and formerly a student of Baer’s in the late 1980s, “Betty leaves a remarkable legacy in social work education and practice. We certainly owe a great deal of gratitude to her for her many significant contributions.”

At UW-Green Bay, Higgins adds, Baer worked tirelessly in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families to win federal IV-E grant funding for child welfare training and child welfare stipends for students — now in effect among social work programs in Wisconsin.  As part of this effort, she developed the Northeast Wisconsin (NEW) Partnership for Children and Families at UW-Green Bay, now in operation for nearly 20 years, providing training and outreach to child welfare agencies and their constituents across 26 northeastern Wisconsin counties. A notable component of the program was its emphasis on extending service and professional training opportunities to tribal child welfare professionals, in keeping with Baer’s deep interest in American Indian culture and society.

“You cannot be a social worker without being concerned about children and families,” she told a Green Bay Press-Gazette interviewer in 1995. “What we’re trying to do about it is, through training, to do the best we can to prepare practitioners who have to do the very best possible job they can do with these families.

“We have to do more to prevent families from breaking up in the first place.”

Baer’s service to the Northeastern Wisconsin community extended beyond her UW-Green Bay appointment. She was a vice chairman of the United Way of Brown County, an enthusiastic volunteer for a variety of causes, and a leader of efforts by local Episcopal churches to reach under-served populations, champion social justice and serve the growing Hispanic community.

She remained a staunch supporter of social work education and UW-Green Bay in retirement, and her campus involvement includes recent service to the UW-Green Bay Retiree Association and an oral history project leading up to the 50th anniversary of the school’s founding. Baer conducted and taped numerous interviews for the project.

A native of Pennsylvania, Baer earned her bachelor’s in sociology and social work at West Virginia, her master’s in social work at Syracuse University, and her Ph.D. in social policy at the University of Pittsburgh.

The online obituary for Baerr noted that, “In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to a scholarship recently established in Betty’s name by a former student. To contribute to the Dr. Betty Baer Endowed Scholarship, visit www.uwgb.edu/foundation or send contributions in her name to the UW-Green Bay Foundation, 2420 Nicolet Drive, CL 805, Green Bay, WI 54311.”

BSW grad earns state teaching honor

Congratulations to Andrea Pasqualucci, a school social worker at Valley View Elementary School in Ashwaubenon, who on Thursday, Sept. 4, was named Wisconsin’s Special Services Teacher of the Year for the 2014-15 school year. She is a 1990 graduate of UW-Green Bay’s bachelor’s degree program in Social Work.

Pasqualucci has developed a number of programs and partnerships to help students in the Ashwaubenon School District who are homeless or from low-income families. Pasqualucci was instrumental in developing and managing student-led food drives; an e-mail based donation system that matches donors with families needing clothing or household items; and in-service sessions for school staff on equity and anti-bullying issues. She also reaches out to parents to build trust so they are more involved in their children’s education.

Teacher of the Year honors, sponsored by the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation in partnership with the state DPI, are awarded in four categories: elementary, middle/junior high, high school, and special services. DPI Secretary Tony Evers will recognize Pasqualucci during his State of Education address Sept. 25 in Madison.

The Green Bay Press-Gazette covered the surprise announcement of the award at a school assembly here. There is a news release online here.