Students create board game for elderly

These three UW-Green Bay freshmen didn’t know each other, until they took a First-Year Seminar course called “The Meaning of Play.”

The three were partners on a group project where they had to create a game for the elderly. As you can see from this video, the students took it further, by going to play their new game with residents of a Green Bay area nursing home.

“It was just really neat to interact with them and they were so happy to have us come there. It was really fun,” said freshman Kelsey Riesterer from Manitowoc.

The board game examined the physical, cognitive and social aspects of play for elderly through a series of questions and answers.

“It just got them up moving around, got their brains working and it’s just a fun way to interact with people in the community,” said freshman Jenna Bradley from Crandon.

The students weren’t just there to play. They were also there to listen and learn.

“A lot of our questions had to deal with past events. And hearing them tell their own stories about the questions that related to it, it was just really cool to hear about it,” said freshman Lisa Gehrke from Mequon.

“It was just really fun,” Riesterer said. “We didn’t think we would stay very long. We thought it would take 15 minutes. We stayed for over an hour and we weren’t bored. It was a fun experience.”

Professor Illene Noppe says the project was excellent.

“They really thought carefully about the construction of their game and how it would help elderly people. It was very impressive,” Noppe said.

As a First-Year Seminar course, the class is designed to help students adjust to campus life and develop intellectual and life skills, in a small size seminar environment.

“What the first-year seminars are really trying to do is to teach our new students how to think on a higher plane, how to critically analyze, how to problem solve. There’s a lot of emphasis on interdisciplinarity,” Noppe said.

Noppe said the seminar courses are a valuable part of the curriculum.

“I told my students toward the end of the semester that the first day that I met them I saw high school seniors. And that now when I look out in the classroom I see college students,” Noppe said. “It even gives me goose bumps to think about the transformation that I saw take place over one semester.”

Students give the course high marks.

“I liked it a lot. It’s more one-on-one. You can meet with your teacher a lot easier. She helps you a lot,” Gehrke said.

“It was an out-of-the-box class. It wasn’t just your average subject like English or math. It was different. You got to explore new things in the class and I got to learn a lot of interesting things I never thought I would,” Bradley said.

And they also got to make new friends in the process.

Update on search for new Dean of Professional Studies

The search committee for the Dean of Professional Studies would like to update the campus community on its progress.  Reports Prof. Timothy Kaufman of Education, the committee chair, “We have worked diligently in the search process over the last few months. We are currently in the midst of reducing the pool of candidates and engaged in the steps leading up to the preliminary interviews.  Please watch for information on candidates’ on-campus interviews, which we anticipate occurring on February 2, 4, 9 and 15.   Your effort to participate in these on-campus interviews is greatly appreciated.”



United Way campaign deadline is Thursday the 30th

UW-Green Bay Chancellor Tom Harden and campus campaign chair Rick Warpinski have been reminding faculty and staff that the 2010 Brown County United Way is wrapping up. University employees can help put an already successful drive over the top with a strong showing. Members of the UW-Green Bay community are encouraged to consider a gift to help meet these local needs and keep our community strong.  Donations will be accepted through Thursday (Dec. 30). Forms, already distributed via e-mail, should be returned to:

Rick Warpinski, Campaign Chair
2010 Brown County United Way Employer Campaign
University Union
(drop-off at the Union’s Information Center or 3rd Floor receptionist)

More on Chancellor's Medallion recipients

Six graduating seniors at UW-Green Bay received Chancellor’s Medallions in ceremonies on Friday, Dec. 17. The medallions recognize academic achievement and leadership demonstrated through campus and community involvement over the course of the students’ UW-Green Bay careers.

Honorees are:


Cassandra Byerly, Milwaukee, who graduated with degrees in Elementary Education and Spanish, summa cum laude.

• Kari Kropp, Pulaski, who received her bachelor’s degree in Education with a minor in Spanish and cum laude academic honors.

• Gary Nevala Jr., Montreal, Wis., bachelor’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in management, minors in Spanish and Communication, and cum laude honors.
David Prochazka, Gothenburg, Sweden, who earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in management and a minor in psychology.

Tanya Schmidt, Fond du Lac, who earned degrees in psychology and Human Development, and won a series of awards for her work as a resident assistant and staff member with the Residence Life program.

Zachary Taylor, Baraboo, graduated with summa cum laude, or highest honors, and distinction in the major, earning his bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in secondary education.

Full writeups on each of the honorees give you a sense for what top students are accomplishing at UW-Green Bay, click here.

Reminder on Almost, Maine benefit show on Jan. 3

The UW-Green Bay Theatre production Almost, Maine will have a final local performance before heading off to competition at the American College Theater Festival’s regional festival in Lansing, Mich., in January. Here’s a reminder that, before the regional competition, UW-Green Bay Theatre will perform a public benefit performance on Monday, Jan. 3, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. in the University Theatre. Tickets, available at the door, will be $20 for adults, $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased with cash or check only. For more on the play and the honor of receiving a regional bid, click here.

Six at UW-Green Bay win Chancellor's Medallions

Six graduating seniors at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay received Chancellor’s Medallions in ceremonies on Friday, Dec. 17.

The medallions recognize academic achievement and leadership demonstrated through campus and community involvement over the course of the students’ UW-Green Bay careers. The selection process is coordinated by the Office of Student Life, with recipients chosen by a committee of faculty, staff and students, based on nominations.

The fall 2010 recipients are: Cassandra Byerly, Milwaukee; Kari Kropp, Pulaski; Gary Nevala Jr., Montreal, Wis.; David Prochazka, Gothenburg, Sweden; Tanya Schmidt, Fond du Lac; and Zachary Taylor, Baraboo.

Byerly graduated in December with majors in Elementary Education and Spanish. She earned summa cum laude, or highest, honors. On campus, she served as president of the student Spanish Club, as a member of various University advisory committees, as a tour guide and student assistant with the Office of Admissions, and earned induction into the Phi Kappa Phi national honor society. Off campus, she served as a reading tutor for bilingual third-graders at Eisenhower Elementary School in Green Bay, helping native English speakers learn Spanish, at the same time co-teaching an English class for Spanish-speaking adults. She completed student teaching experiences both in the Green Bay district and at a school in Cuernavaca, Mexico. (Byerly lists her family as Robert and Josephine Byerly, 5579 Oakwood Circle, Greendale.)

For Kropp, receipt of the Chancellor’s Medallion was part of an awards-filled weekend that also saw her singled out for special recognition during mid-year Commencement. Kropp received the Outstanding Student Award presented to the top graduating senior as selected by the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Alumni Association. She received her bachelor’s degree in Education with a minor in Spanish and cum laude academic honors. Members of the selection committee praised her commitment to her Education major, both inside and outside the classroom. Kropp completed her student teaching this fall at Heritage Elementary School, De Pere, where she gained experience teaching a variety of subjects and also assisted with before- and after-school activities. She coached the girls freshman volleyball team at Pulaski High School last spring. At UW-Green Bay, she worked as a resident assistant, community adviser and as a paid summer staff member with the Office of Residence Life. She was a mentor to fellow students, a recipient of a resident-assistant-of-the-year award, and both an organizer and presenter at the 2009 state conference for college RAs. (Kropp lists her family as Dale and Kathy Kropp, W1041 State Hwy 156, Pulaski.)

Nevala received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the Dec. 18 commencement. He had an emphasis in management, minors in Spanish and Communication, and graduated with cum laude honors. He served two years as president or vice president of the student chapter of SHRM, the Society of Human Resources Managers. He was also active Phi Beta Lambda, an organization for business students, and represented UW-Green Bay at the state conference by winning a first place in the management-concepts competition and a second in business communication. In the community, he volunteered as a mentor through the Brown County PALS program pairing children with adult mentors. He worked as a manager of the Phoenix Club grill and rec center in the University Union, and completed human resources internships with two local manufacturers, Pioneer Metal Finishing and the Ariens Company. (Nevala lists his family as Suzanne and Gary Nevala Sr., 35 Indiana Ave., Montreal, Wis.)

Prochazka received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in management and a minor in psychology. Captain of the Phoenix men’s soccer team, he was recruited from his school in Sweden to play collegiately here. He began his college years with limited English skills but learned quickly and earned recognition as a top student and repeat selection on the Horizon League’s all-academic team. He exhibited leadership in a variety of youth-related service activities on campus and in the community. On the field, in 2009 he captained the Green Bay soccer squad to the Horizon League championship and the program’s first NCAA tournament appearance in 26 years. (Prochazka lists a permanent home address of Arbogagatan 7, 418 71 Gothenburg, Sweden.)

Schmidt earned degrees in psychology and Human Development. During her time at UW-Green Bay, she won a series of awards for her work as a resident assistant and staff member with the Residence Life program. Among the highlights was helping UW-Green Bay host, for the first time, the state student-housing conference. She was a mentor to other students and helped organize the 2010 “Maximum U” conference at UW-Green Bay, a leadership development opportunity for students. As a programming leader, she devised or led Residence Life programs on healthy relationships, diversity awareness, and professional development. In the community, she was active with the organization Job’s Daughters International, focusing on charitable activities to benefit hearing impaired children. (Schmidt lists her parents as Kelly and Steve Lilja, 34 Yacoub Lane, Fond du Lac, and Brian and Bobbi Schmidt, 20 Meadowlark Court, North Fond du Lac.)

Taylor graduated Dec. 18 with summa cum laude, or highest honors, and distinction in the major, earning his bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in secondary education. He won awards and recognition as a writer of short fiction. His work “Dandelion” was purchased by the Penguin Group for possible use in a children’s book. Another piece, the non-fiction story “Winter Snowball,” earned Taylor an award from the UW-Green Bay literary journal Sheepshead Review. He was an officer of the campus chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the English honors society. Taylor was particularly active with the future teachers organization on campus — the student chapter of the Wisconsin Education Association — serving as president. He was active with UW-Green Bay’s Phuture Phoenix program mentoring K-12 youth, and served both as a tutor and coordinator of Phuture Phoenix tutoring at Green Bay Preble High School. Additionally, he volunteered as an adviser to the student Asian Club at Preble. His honors in the major project involved Jewish-American literature. (Taylor lists as his family Myrna Weickgenant, 309 12th Ave., Baraboo.)

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