Faculty note: Cofrin Center for Biodiversity faculty lead research effort on Lower Fox River

Over the past three years the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity faculty and staff have led a research effort to identify and rank impairment of smaller units within the Lower Fox River and the Lower Bay of Green Bay Area of Concern (AOC) and to set targets for reducing degradation and loss of habitat for fish and wildlife. Cofrin Center for Biodiversity Director and Professor Bob Howe (Natural and Applied Sciences), Cofrin Center for Biodiversity Senior Research Specialist Erin Giese, and Professor Amy Wolf (Natural and Applied Sciences) have recently published an article in the Journal of Great Lakes Research describing a framework for setting targets to remove impairments to fish and wildlife and that can track progress toward meeting target goals that  is both objective and transparent and will ultimately help wildlife managers focus efforts to most effectively restore habitats in the AOC. Read the article on Science Direct.

Marinette Campus to offer continuing education classes this fall

UW-Marinette will offer a variety of continuing education classes in the fall of 2018. The class schedule includes the Japanese language from September 10 through October 17, Spanish language from September 17 through October 25, sign language from September 25 through October 30 and November 6 through December 11 and cake decorating from October 9 and October 16. The Eagle Herald has more.

Convocation 2018

Photos: UW-Green Bay 2018 Faculty and Staff Convocation

It was definitely a celebration when more than 450 members of the UW-Green Bay community gathered — including those from the Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan campuses — for the UW-Green Bay 2018 Fall Faculty and Staff Convocation. The day’s events included recognition of new employees, videos with campus highlights, Chancellor’s remarks, and of course, the announcement of the Founders Awards winners. Enjoy the photo gallery.

Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.

Convocation 2018

– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication

Founders Winners 2018

UW-Green Bay recognizes excellence in the awarding of Founders Awards

GREEN BAY – The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay recognized some of its top faculty and staff members Wednesday, August 22, 2018, with 2018 Founders Awards for Excellence. The awards were presented before an audience of more than 450 in the Phoenix Room of the University Union, UW-Green Bay. 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 campus-wide committee from nominations submitted by faculty, staff and others. The award winners honored at the annual UW-Green Bay Fall Convocation were:

The recipient of this year’s Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, Associate Prof. of Humanities Caroline Boswell, is dedicated to student success. A commitment to the cultivation of learning, engagement and equity is evident through Boswell’s continual reimagination and revision of courses to improve student outcomes and incorporate evidence-based pedagogy and timely topics. Students note course rigor, but also the clarity of expectations and that Boswell is always readily available to provide support and guidance. Her students routinely dive into topics, taking on the role of scholars as they explore learning materials together using hands-on discipline-based research techniques. Boswell is a regular participant in professional development opportunities that sharpen her craft — OPID (Office of Professional and Instructional Development), Wisconsin Teaching Fellows and Scholars, the Civic Engagement Institute, Faculty College, and retention and undergraduate research events. She often coordinates and leads campus initiatives and events such as the Equity Gap Fellows program, Becoming a Student Ready University, Teaching and Learning Community Fellows, numerous book clubs and the annual Instructional Development Institute.

This year’s recipient of the Academic Support Award for Excellence, Mary Valitchka, works as a student service coordinator for the Office of Graduate Studies in the Provost Office. Valitchka shows a strong commitment to students and is described as a true ambassador for UW-Green Bay — from recruitment to admissions to commencement. With 18 years of service to UW-Green Bay, her most significant impact has been in the Office of Graduate Studies. When Valitchka began her post with Graduate Studies the University admitted only about 30 new graduate students per semester into four programs. Today, graduate enrollment has increased five-fold with nine programs and counting, without an expansion of personnel. Valitchka’s nominators said that her positive attitude is infectious and her work ethic, tremendous. Always the first in the office in the morning and commonly the last to leave, she has been described as a complete enrollment service department onto herself.

The recipient of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship, Professor of Human Development Illene Cupit, is a creative and productive scholar who has published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles, listed as first author on 52 of them. Cupit has presented to scholarly audiences across the U.S., as well as internationally. She has received numerous Research Council Grants in Aid of Research, two UW-Green Bay Research Scholar awards and a National Institute of Mental Health grant for over $90,000. Cupit is an expert in death, dying, and bereavement. Her recent book was described as the “staple publication for online grief research.” She often writes “practitioner-oriented articles that provide immediate guidance to those working on the frontlines of grief and bereavement practice.” In fact, her research led UW-Green Bay’s campus being the very first university to adopt an official student bereavement policy. She previously served as the President of the National Association for Death Education and Counseling and has chaired the Institutional Review Board for the past four years, demonstrating her commitment to research on campus. One of her crowing achievements is Camp Lloyd — a day camp for children who are grieving the death of a loved one, which has not only served as a sanctuary for hundreds of hurting kids through the years, but also a training ground for many UW-Green Bay undergraduates who will end of working in fields of psychology, human development and social work. One letter of support remarked on the recipient’s work as “approachable, meaningful, and useful” and another said that she “only engages in work that will make a difference.”

The team honored with the University Award for Excellence in Collaborative Achievement (Associate Prof. of Social Work, Francis Akakpo; Associate Prof. of Business Administration, Gaurav Bansal; Diversity Director, Office of MultiEthnic Student Affairs, Mai Lo Lee; Associate Prof. of Social Work, Jolanda Sallmann; and Associate Prof. of Business Administration, Mussie Teclezion) works with genuine commitment towards social justice and celebrating diversity. The event takes months of planning, with members from for-profit, not-for-profit and education organizations to create an event that unites and serves the entire Northeast Wisconsin community. Their work and commitment speak to the very heart of the UW-Green Bay mission. It is interdisciplinary, educational, multicultural and promotes engaged citizenship. Months of work and planning with various organizations and the K-12 area schools are required to choreograph this amazing event at NWTC which is now in its 24th year. Said one nominee, “Their vision is as critical in the U.S. today as it was in the past as we continue to face disparity, oppression and violence at all levels… Their efforts to bring together community members in a shared vision of peace is exemplary…”

The 2018 recipient of the Founder’s Award for University Staff Excellence is Monika Pynaker, UW-Green Bay’s manager of network services. Although her work has a “tremendous impact on the entire university,” most of the work is done behind the scenes, and sometimes the troubleshooting occurs during evenings, weekends and even holidays, so that the campus community is ensured that they can do their work with the most minimal inconvenience and maximum efficiency. In her 16 years with the University, Pynaker is credited with the development of a remote lab (for students), remote desktop (for faculty and staff) and serving as a project lead for the implementation of OneDrive and SharePoint. In addition, she has a longstanding history as an active member of shared governance, even before University Staff had an official role. She has served on the University Staff Committee, the University Planning and Innovation Committee, the Strategic Budgeting Committee and the Holiday Parade Float Committee.

The recipient of the University Award for Excellence in Community Outreach, Associate Prof. Christine Vandenhouten, improves lives through action. Her efforts to create a healthy community are said to be tireless, stellar and professional. She has served on a local school board, is involved with the Brown County United Way, Northeast Wisconsin Area Health Education Center, and is a member of the Board of Directors of Bellin Health. Her work profoundly impacts both the emotional and physical health of children and families throughout Northeast Wisconsin. Hers is a sincere desire to help the region’s most vulnerable community members. Vandenhouten received the prestigious Brown County United Way Community Impact Award in 2018 for “leadership and innovation to address priority human services needs on a community-wide scale.” She has been a faculty member in the Nursing program at UW-Green Bay since 1998. A nominator writes, “her record of community service is extensive, cumulative and sustained.

The University Award for Excellence in Institutional Development goes to Professor of Natural and Applied Science and Director of the Engineering Technology Program, Patricia Terry. Her work at UW-Green Bay spans the spectrum from department level to university-wide contributions. At a University which most recently has placed intense focus on the growth and expansion of engineering and engineering technology, Terry has worked tirelessly with technical college counterparts to reach articulation agreements and has done extensive training which has led to accreditation of the engineering technology program. At the same time that she was building the program, she was initiating a community-level advisory board that includes participation from more than 50 companies, many of which are now UW-Green Bay contributors and supporters of student internships. One nominator wrote, “there are few people on this campus who have contributed to the development of our university in as many and varied ways; whether it be in teaching, leadership through program and curricular development, service to shared governance, support of students or mentoring new faculty.”


Faculty note: Assistant Prof. Vallari Chandna publishes article on A-level journal

Assistant Prof. Vallari Chandna (Business Administration) published an article in an A-level journal, Technovation, titled “When technology shapes community in the Cultural and Craft Industries: Understanding virtual entrepreneurship in online ecosystems” (publisher: Elsevier.) The article examines how the creative industries in today’s virtual world can leverage their online communities for improved satisfaction and performance. Read the article in ScienceDirect.

Maria Arunkumar

UW-Green Bay student Maria Arunkumar has ‘engaging idea’

Tying the knot, walking down the aisle, saying “I do”… Whatever you call it, planning the big day is about to get a whole lot easier if UW-Green Bay Business Administration student Maria Arunkumar has something to say about it.

The Singapore native and UW-Green Bay sophomore recently won her first  business idea pitching competition — Light Up the Lakeshore in Two Rivers, August 2. The winning idea? A wedding planning app that walks couples who are planning a wedding through a step-by-step process to insure the perfect, within-budget, wedding.

There are other apps designed for wedding planning, such as Pinterest or The Knot. But Arunkumar wanted to create something that allows couples to narrow down their options according to their preferences and budget.

“With apps like Pinterest or The Knot, there is just too much information with no direction,” she says. “Because of this, most of the times couples end up feeling overwhelmed by the options and don’t even know where to start.” Arunkumar says her app is also different from others, as it builds a portfolio for the couple to look at after they have gone through all the steps. With the portfolio, the app then finds vendors nearby that closely match the information in the portfolio. Arunkumar says she was very inspired by the concept of Build-A-Bear, which is a store that guides you through the process of building a stuffed animal bear. That’s the formula she wanted for her wedding planning app, “Build-a-Wedding.”

Maria Arunkumar“I see wedding planning as an entire store, and our app is the optimal route from the entrance to the checkout counter,” she explains. “This ensures you don’t waste time roaming around and ending up with more than what you need.” One of her concerns with weddings is the cost, which for most people total up to exceedingly large numbers, and she wishes her app will reduce the cost of the party by eliminating unnecessary items or services.

Originally, Arunkumar’s idea was a physical shop that focuses on personalizing weddings to make each couples’ story unique. However, she realized there lies an issue with scalability, and online stores and apps are taking over physical stores as more people prefer to do things online. “So I decided to pivot my idea to an app,” she says.

Her win landed her a cash prize, which she hopes to use for in-kind services to develop her app. Arunkumar admitted to some trepidation prior to the event, as she had seen some of her competitors in action. She wasn’t expecting a win, but rather some experience and feedback.

“The victory was a huge green light for me,” she says, crediting UW-Green Bay entrepreneurial lecturer Ryan Kauth, for introducing her to the competition and supporting her “entrepreneurship endeavors.” Arunkumar also mentions her mentor and friend Markus Dumke, Executive Director at T2 Accelerator, who despite of his busy schedule, found time to help her refine her pitch. Pitch advisors, Jeffrey Sachse, Keith Lyons, Todd Nilson and Noel Wilson, gave her constructive feedback that shaped her idea into a prize-winning one.

The business administration major hopes to start a wedding planning business with a group of friends after graduation with her job focus on designing events, but for now she wants to focus on her app. Next step is finding someone who can help her with mapping out features, and working on coding and UI/UX. In the meantime, she plans to work at Sash and Bow, a wedding planning company in Green Bay to get hands-on experience with wedding planning in hopes to gain insight on problems clients face and what goes into the process. Experience would get her connected with possible vendors for her app as well.

“I hope to take that knowledge and incorporate it into the app to provide a more fun, quick and easy wedding planning experience,” she said.

Story by Roosa Turunen.

Reminder: Inauguration of the new Kress Outdoor Recreation Complex and Aldo Santaga Stadium this Friday

The public is invited to join Chancellor Gary L. Miller and Athletics Director Charles Guthrie for the dedication of the new Aldo Santaga soccer field and the Kress Outdoor Recreation Complex on Friday, August 24. Admission is free, and the schedule is as follows:

1 to 3 p.m. – Panel presentation of the history of Green Bay Phoenix men’s soccer, Kress Center Special Events Room

5:45 p.m. – Stadium opening ceremony and the first kick by former Phoenix Hall of Fame coach Aldo Santaga, mid-field, Aldo Santaga Stadium

7 p.m. – Men’s soccer game and halftime welcome back to the 1978 men’s soccer players

9 p.m. – Fireworks


Video: 2017-18 highlights from UW-Green Bay

Nine months fly by and rarely does a University community take time to reflect… except at Convocation. Enjoy the photo/video montage of some of UW-Green Bay’s top highlights from last year. Presentation by Dan Moore.

Faculty note: Lecturer Ryan Kauth helped promote Children’s Business Fair

UW-Green Bay Lecturer Ryan Kauth (Business Administration) helped Denise McFarlin, a teacher from Green Bay, promote Children’s Business Fair in the Gather on Broadway held during the Wednesday’s Farmers’ Market, dowtown Green Bay, August 22. Kauth also advised the young entrepreneurs at 1 Million Cups, while McFarlin provided the children with materials and advice. Read the full story on the Green Bay Press Gazette.