If it’s another week, it’s another Phoenix of the Week as identified by the Student Government Association. This week, it’s senior business major Sarah Wanek, who is described as well-known on campus “for her upbeat personality, hard work and dedication,” and work as co-director for the Student Ambassadors Program.
A committee of student government is again bestowing “Phoenix of the Week” honors on students who go above and beyond in the classroom and in extracurricular activities. (Honorees get a small prize and a week’s close-in parking at the Union.) The semester’s first winner is Marissa Michalkiewicz. “Marissa was selected due to her heavy involvement on campus and athletics with her leadership role with the Green Bandana Brigade as well as for her advocacy over environmental issues. Marissa is known for her dedication and outgoing personality. UWGB is lucky to have her as a passionate student leader.”
UW-Green Bay student Lorenzo Lones, the newly elected vice president of the Student Government Association, is among a select group of student leaders quoted in an article archived at the Chronicle of Higher Education. The piece looks at states debating large cuts to higher education (including, obviously, Wisconsin). Lones points out that rallying student involvement is a challenge. “By the time it affects every student, it’s too late,” Lones said. “We’ve tried to help them understand the severity of the situation.” Read article.
The results are in on this month’s UW-Green Bay Student Government Association election. Newly elected to executive positions for 2015-16 are Hannah Stepp, president, and Lorenzo Lones, vice president. They finished with 384 votes to claim a statistical majority and wide margin over the Murphy-Nichols ticket (196 votes) and Spaulding-Osteen (159). Stepp is currently chair of the University Governance subcommittee. She’ll formally take over from Vanya Koepke on passing-of-the-gavel day, May 1.
Candidates for office in the UW-Green Bay Student Government Association will take part in a debate Tuesday (April 7) in the Union’s Christie Theatre. The voting will take place the following Tuesday and Wednesday via an electronic ballot that students will receive in their email. The candidates and their platforms can be found at
A panel discussion regarding connections between UW-Green Bay and its community is planned for 7 p.m. Thursday (April 2) in Mary Ann Cofrin Hall (Mac) 210. Speakers include Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt and his chief of Staff Andy Rosendahl, Karen Faulkner of Golden House, students Sarah Wanek and Lydia Schwertfeger and Profs Regan Gurung, Katia Levintova and Alison Staudinger. The event is sponsored by the Student Government Association and UWGB’s campus Common Theme committee.
For UW-Green Bay student Vanya Koepke, a meeting over coffee might have helped to solidify his future career.
“I actually had the chance to get coffee with my professor, Dr. Weinschenk, and his good friend, Andy Rosendahl last semester,” said Koepke, “Andy Rosendahl just happens to be the Green Bay Mayor’s Chief of Staff.”
The conversation sparked a desire in Koepke to become even more involved.
“After talking with him I was just really inspired to dive into this as soon as possible,” he said.
A series of events after this initial meeting led Koepke, a double major in Political Science and Public Administration, to accept an internship as an assistant to the Mayor’s Chief of Staff. (Above, Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt and Koepke show their Phoenix pride). Koepke, who is also the UW-Green Bay Student Government Association President, began the internship in January 2015.
As an assistant to the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Koepke’s main job is to work on the State of the City address that the mayor gives annually in March.
“I’ve been doing a lot of research trying to find facts and various stats that we can beef up the State of the City with,” he said, “It’s also an election year, so you’re trying to be creative with setting a message or tone that could resonate with the voters later on in April.”
This internship is Koepke’s second. He previously interned in the De Pere Planning and Zoning Department, where he compiled the sustainability report.
“I put that together and presented it to the city administrators and staff at the end of my internship. It was very rewarding.”
Koepke will be graduating in May 2015 and hoped to further enhance his education by taking on this new opportunity during the spring semester.
“I knew that it was my last semester and I could choose to sit in five classes or I could build off of the great experience I had at the De Pere internship last semester and get out,” he said, “So I figured, why not get out into the real world and get that hands-on experience during my last semester here.”
This experience translates directly into what Koepke plans to do in the future.
“My hope is to work as a staffer at the capitol in Madison for five or six years,” he said, “My ultimate goal is to run for office. I’d like to run for state assembly or later on House of Representatives.”
Koepke feels that when UW-Green Bay students pursue internships they not only set themselves apart, but also build a stronger Green Bay community.
“I think if we get them connected with an internship in the greater Green Bay area, that will motivate them even more to not only explore the possibilities of getting a career here but also settling down here and raising their family here, and maybe retiring here one day,” he said, “So it’s really important for us to retain our talented students. And second, I think is just to get that real world experience. To take what you’ve learned in class and show ‘Hey, I can apply this to various parts out in my vocation.’ So I think that those are the two key areas for that.”
For Koepke, the experience itself has been positive.
“I’m really enjoying it,” he said, “I would recommend it to anyone else.”
Story by Katelyn Staaben, editorial intern, Marketing and University Communication
The Fourth Estate website has an article about a rally planned for 4 p.m. Wednesday (March 4) outside the University Union. Paul Ahrens, chair of the Student Government Association’s Academic Affairs Committee and a senior Democracy and Justice Studies major, is campus spokesman for the group UW Students Against Education Cuts. “Our story is we want to oppose the cuts, preserve the Wisconsin Idea and preserve the Wisconsin state statute of shared governance,” Ahrens told the 4E. The group also started an online fundraising effort to try to raise $1,971 to help cover a postcard campaign and, the student newspaper reported, to purchase hand warmers and coffee for students attending their rally. Read the story.
Paul Ahrens, chair of the Student Government Association’s Academic Affairs Committee and a senior at UW-Green Bay, is publicizing his role as this campus’s spokesman for the group UW Students Against Education Cuts. He says a rally is planned for 4 p.m. next Wednesday (March 4), outside the University Union. First things first, though: The group is promoting a GoFundMe page to try to raise $2,000 in “donations to buy flyers, posters, and office supplies.” http://www.gofundme.com/SaveOurUW
The UW-Green Bay Student Government Association videotaped Chancellor Gary L. Miller’s hour-long conversation on the budget with student representatives at a meeting in the Union last Monday. The piece is archived at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TKKCY9tdfg&feature=youtu.be.