Tag: Urban and Regional Studies

Hutchison and Lor will present at Hmong Conference in Madison

Profs. Ray Hutchison (Sociology and Urban and Regional Studies) and Pao Lor (Education) have received word that their paper “Educational Achievement of Hmong College Students has been accepted for presentation at the Hmong Studies Conference sponsored by the Hmong Studies Consortium (Southeast Asian Studies Center) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison April 10-11. Hutchison (who serves as Director of the Hmong Studies Center at UW-Green Bay) has published research on marriage patterns, educational achievement, and language use of the Hmong in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and Lor has written extensively about educational issues in the Hmong community. And to make this line-up even more interesting, as an undergraduate before earning his Ph.D., Lor worked on the original Acculturation in the Hmong Community study that was part of a research grant Hutchison received from the UW Institute on Race and Ethnicity shortly after he arrived at UW-Green Bay.

Hutchison announces international conference on urbanization

Sociology Prof. Ray Hutchison of Urban and Regional Studies has announced the call for papers for a conference on “Everyday Life in the 21st Century City” to be held July 17-20, 2015 in Florence, Italy. Hutchison is coordinating the conference, which recalls the July 2000 “Everyday Life in the Segmented City” conference in Florence that attracted some 80 participants from more than a dozen countries. This year’s event will address rapidly increasing diversity and urbanization — by 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will reside in metropolitan areas — and look at issues related to huge rural-to-urban migration taking place in countries including India and China. The call for papers is organized into five topic areas (The Right to the City, Urban Nightlife, Suburbanization and New Communities, Neoliberal Urban Policy and its Discontents, and Well-being in the 21st Century City). The complete call for papers can be viewed at the website and there also is a Facebook page where you can “like” the conference.

Del Bianco Foundation enlists international partners

Prof. Ray Hutchison’s “21st Century City” conference is being co-hosted by the Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation of Florence, an organization devoted to promoting international exchange. UW-Green Bay was the first U.S. university to connect with the Del Bianco Foundation. The July conference has an international planning committee in the form of Hutchison and colleagues:
 Corinna Del Bianco (Politecnico di Milano), Luís António Vicente Baptista (CESNOVA, Universidade de NOVA Lisboa), Mark Clapson (Westminster University, London), Derek Hyra (American University), João Teixeira Lopes (Universidade do Porto), Gabriele Manella (Università degli Studi di Bologna), Circe Monteiro (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil), Camilla Perrone (Università degli Studi di Firenze), and Nicola Solimano (Fondazione Giovanni Michelucci, Fiesole). 
The Del Bianco Foundation is co-sponsoring the conference with the Fondazione Giovanni Michelucci, also of Florence.

Nesslein: Sudden spike in pump prices unlikely

Consumers and businesses don’t need to fear a sudden spike in prices at the pump, Associate Prof. Tom Nesslein told WBAY, Channel 2 last week. Nesslein’s comments were part of a story on how public works departments, school districts and other entities are saving — or spending — the cost savings realized from lower gas prices. Nesslein offers the economist’s perspective for the story.

Faculty note: Hutchison’s text appears in fifth edition

When we last checked in to see his condition, Kenny Rogers was still working with his First Edition. That’s not unusual in the university world, either — academic textbooks rarely make it to a second edition. But we are happy to report that the path-breaking textbook, The New Urban Sociology, has now appeared in a fifth edition (published last month by Westview Press). The authors are Mark Gottdiener and Ray Hutchison (Urban and Regional Studies), joined for this volume by Michael Ryan. 

Faculty note: Cruz talk on Tena at U of New Mexico

Marcello Cruz, associate professor of Urban and Regional Studies, gave a talk last week at the University of New Mexico on the topic of regional planning and indigenous communities in Ecuador. The talk was titled “Community and Regional Planning in Tena, Ecuador.” The presentation explored how community and regional planning using “agropolitan” approaches can provide an alternative model of community wellbeing that attempts to improve the quality of life focusing on equity, sustainability, and local community decision making among various indigenous communities residing in the region.

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 of Professional Studies announces Summer 2015 Fellowship Awards

Sue Mattison, dean of the College of Professional Studies, sought applications from CPS faculty and academic staff for summer fellowships that she hopes will assist and support research and grant applications. The following faculty members and projects were recently named to receive awards:

Christin DePouw, assistant professor of Education, “Role of Critical Race Consciousness in Strengthening Students’ of Color Academic and Cultural Identities.”

Pao Lor, associate professor of Education, and Ray Hutchison, professor of Urban and Regional Studies, “Academic Profile of Hmong-American Students’ Matriculation, Retention, and Graduation at UW-Green Bay.”

Mary Gichobi, assistant professor, and Scott Ashmann, associate professor, both of Education, “What Influence Does Regularly Using Einstein Project Materials Have on State Standardized Fourth and Eighth Grade Science Test Scores?”

Cruz, Cortes featured in Press-Gazette story on growing diversity

UW-Green Bay faculty members Marcelo Cruz and Aurora Cortes are featured in a new Green Bay Press-Gazette story and video, respectively, on the increasing ethnic diversity in the Green Bay area. In the story, posted Tuesday (Oct. 21) to the Press-Gazette website, Urban and Regional Studies faulty member Cruz said Green Bay is highly segregated — and that redevelopment of the University Avenue corridor could help or hinder the situation, depending on how it is carried out. “It’s a golden opportunity that potentially could be missed by the community,” Cruz said. “Let’s work with them (Hispanics) and make a win-win situation.” In an accompanying video, Education faculty member Cortes discusses her “Working and communicating with Hispanic parents of young children” course, which aims to overcome language and culture barriers between Green Bay teachers and the Hispanic community. “The Hispanic community is growing and there are several elementary schools that are 50, 60 percent Hispanic,” Cortes said. “And the teachers need to be prepared. They need to have this familiarity with our culture. They need to be exposed to our culture.” To read the story and watch the video, click here.

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.”