UW-Green Bay: Top Moments of 2019

As we close out a decade, take a scroll through 15 standout moments and accomplishments of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in 2019!

Retired UW-Green Bay faculty member Robert J. Bauer endows $1 million strings professorship


In January, a generous donation of $1 million from retired faculty member Robert J. Bauer and his wife and UW-Green Bay alumna Joanne ’78 (Master’s Degree in Environmental Arts and Sciences) was announced. This gift was used to create an endowed professorship fund designated to support and advance the academic activities of the strings music faculty and students at the University. Read more.

New bachelor’s and masters degree offerings


In 2019, UW-Green Bay’s academic offerings continued to expand, mirroring the needs of the local and national workforce. New degrees approved and/or implemented in 2019 include: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Writing and Applied ArtsExecutive Master of Business Administration (MBA), Bachelor of Science in Water Science, and Master of Science in Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology.

Noodles & Company Founder Aaron Kennedy named as TitletownTech entrepreneur-in-residence

Excitement is building for TitletownTech in the shadow of Lambeau Field.

In April 2019, UW-Green Bay and the University of Wisconsin System announced that Noodles & Company founder and former Chairman/CEO, Aaron Kennedy would join the TitletownTech leadership team as UW-Green Bay’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Read more.

Cofrin Center for Biodiversity celebrates 20 years

Yarn Bomb

This year marked the beginning of the celebration of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity’s 20th anniversary. Events included Lawton Gallery Exhibit “Museum of Natural Inspiration: Artists Explore the Richter Collection,” a gallery of artwork inspired by the collection of the Richter Museum of Natural History; Prarie Week, which included a “Yarn Bomb” in the Cofrin Arboretum and more! See more.

Marinette Campus ‘Mamma Mia’ is a sellout


UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus Theatre on the Bay kicked off its 53rd season this year with sellout performances of Mamma Mia. And rollling with the punches, the cast and crew embodied the adage the “show must go on,” performing through a power outage opening night, finishing the show a-cappella by the light of cell phones.

Phoenix sculpture installed


A new photo opportunity and iconic piece of art, “Phoenix Rising” was added to the Green Bay Campus in late summer. The 13-foot steel and stainless steel Phoenix, now located in the library circle, was created by regional metal Artist Carl Vanderheyden and dedicated in September. See more.

Green Bay Athletics celebrates 50 years

1377 MBB 12-14-19 copy

The 2019-2020 season marks 50 years for Green Bay athletics. The fall of 1969 marked the first official competition and team with men’s soccer followed by men’s basketball, wrestling and tennis. Green Bay Athletics kicked off the yearlong celebration on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at a men’s and women’s soccer double header at Aldo Santaga Stadium. In addition to other special events all season long, Athletics has been naming the Top 50 Most Influential Leaders.

University names first female chancellor


After Chancellor Gary L. Miller announced his departure, UW System President Ray Cross named Sheryl L. Van Gruensven as the interim Chancellor of UW-Green Bay. Van Gruensven was UW-Green Bay’s vice chancellor for business and finance and will return to that role after her time as interim chancellor.

UW-Green Bay reports largest-ever enrollment


This year was a record year for enrollment. As of fall 2019, more than 8,800 students are a part of the Phoenix family and the Green Bay campus saw 9.7% growth in one year. Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Michael Alexander says the news is reflective of the growing support by the region for its public university and is also great news for the region. Read more.

Weidner Philharmonic is impressive (as expected) in debut


Buoyed by the strong community response to the orchestral concert that opened its 25th anniversary season in 2018, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay music faculty and UW-Green Bay’s Weidner Center for the Performing Arts debuted a Philharmonic Orchestra in 2019. The first performance was Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019 and the orchestra was comprised of music faculty from multiple UW-Green Bay campuses and other local musicians. See more.

Brown County STEM Innovation Center opens its doors


The newly-minted Brown County STEM Innovation Center opened its doors on Thursday, October 10, 2019. The 63,730-square-foot facility, located on the UW-Green Bay campus is home to many facets of UW-Green Bay’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology, including the Richard J. Resch School of Engineering; Extension Brown County; Brown County’s Land and Water Conservation Department and The Einstein Project!

Manitowoc Campus CEO named Manitowoc Future 15 Winner

Rachel Bakic
Rachel Bakic

Rachele Bakic, campus executive officer for UW-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus, was recently named a Manitowoc County Future 15 winner. “The ‘Future 15′ are young professionals, ages 21-40, ‘who have given back to the community, showed leadership, and helped in many ways to make the area a great place to live and work.'” Read more.

Sheboygan Campus Assoc. Professor James Kabrhel receives Underkofler Award for Teaching

James Kabrhel teaching a class.

The Underkofler Excellence in Teaching Award is an endowed award from Alliant Energy and is awarded to three teachers each year within the University of Wisconsin System from the Madison, Platteville, Baraboo, Fond du Lac, Richland, Rock or Sheboygan campuses who personify dedication. The award committee looks for teachers who not only communicate their subject matter effectively, but also inspire in their students an enthusiasm for learning. This year, one of the recipients was Associate Prof. James Kabrhel, a teacher of General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry classes at UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus. Kabrhel is known for using current events and items in the news to make classroom content more interesting and appealing to students. See more.

Common CAHSS honors the 71st anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights

Screen Shot 2019-12-20 at 12.47.00 PM

In recognition of world Human Rights Day on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences hosted the inaugural Common CAHSS 2019: Human Rights event at the Weidner Center. This year marked the 71st anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Throughout the day, there was a total of 30 scheduled activities, capped off with keynote speaker Rais Bhuiyan, founder of the non-profit “World Without Hate.” See more.

 UW-Green Bay celebrates 100th Commencement


Dec. 14, 2019 was a monumental day for UW-Green Bay. The University community celebrated its 100th Commencement. More than 400 graduates were eligible to graduate, boosting the total count of alumni to nearly 40,000. Read more.

Jamie Schramm named Campus Executive Officer of UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus

Green Bay, Wis.—James “Jamie” Schramm, a lifelong resident of the Sheboygan, Wis. community, has been named Campus Executive Officer (CEO) at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus.

“His experience in the community, understanding of the picture of higher education in the region, and energy and devotion to the Sheboygan Campus will be a tremendous asset for us to move forward,” said UW-Green Bay Provost Michael Alexander, in announcing the hire to the Sheboygan Campus community, Thursday, Dec. 19. “I want to thank (Vice Chancellor for Advancement and Alumni Relations) Tony Warner and the search committee for their tremendous work to complete the search this quickly and successfully. Given the recent increase in applications to the Sheboygan Campus and this hire, I feel like we are gaining some momentum in Sheboygan.”

Jamie Schramm, Sheboygan Campus CEO
Jamie Schramm, Sheboygan Campus CEO

In addition, Alexander noted the work of Rachele Bakic, CEO of the Manitowoc Campus, for her leadership during the transition. Former CEO Jennifer Williamson-Mendez stepped away from the position in fall and Bakic served as CEO for both campuses in the interim.

Schramm comes to UW-Green Bay from Kohler Credit Union where he has served from 2012 to 2017 as employee development manager and since 2017 as its community outreach manager. Schramm has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Lakeland College in Sheboygan since 2010.

“I am excited and thrilled to be joining the UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus team as many years ago, I myself was a student at UW-Sheboygan,” Schramm said. “The opportunity to share my leadership and experiences with today’s learners is both challenging and rewarding. Together we will connect the campus and community, through innovative partnerships and a never-ending dialogue of how our campus serves to build a better and stronger Sheboygan community. I look forward to building a campus culture around engagement, diversity, collaboration and achievement. The origins of this campus dates back to 1933 and as a life-long resident of the Sheboygan community, I fully understand the impact it has had and the potential future impact we will have.”

Schramm is an active member of the Sheboygan community, serving as a Junior Achievement classroom volunteer, Acuity Business Challenge coach, INCubatorEDU Entrepreneurship Program community champion, and advisory board member and volunteer in many areas of business development and higher education.

He received both a Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree (2010) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration (1997) from Lakeland College and an Associated of Arts and Sciences Degree from UW-Sheboygan (now UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus) in 1992.

He begins his tenure as leader of UW-Green Bay’s Sheboygan Campus on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020.

About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs to more than 8,700 students with campus locations in Green Bay, Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan. Established in 1965, and bordering the bay of Green Bay, the University and its campuses are centers of cultural enrichment, innovation and learning. UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus rests in the heart of a rapidly growing region, fueled by cutting-edge scientific and technology services, manufacturing, education, healthcare and more. This community, hugging the shore of Lake Michigan, hosts a campus that reflects this growth in its programs and facilities. Outstanding professors provide hands-on personalized attention, with experience and accomplishments which stack up anywhere, but whose caring is second-to-none. Students at this 70-acre hilltop campus enjoy state-of-the-art technology and facilities, such as the ACUITY Technology Center and the Frank G. and Frieda K. Brotz Science Building.



Green Bay women end loaded non-conference slate, opens league play Saturday, Dec. 28

The Green Bay women’s basketball team closed out its loaded nonconference slate on Saturday afternoon, one which consisted of nine NCAA Tournament teams from a season ago and three opponents ranked inside the nation’s top 25. The Phoenix battled South Dakota State in the finale, falling to the Jackrabbits 60-55. Sophomore Hailey Oskey made her season debut in the matchup, earning the start and knocking down her first two attempts from the floor. She finished with seven points and made some strong defensive contributions in 35 minutes. GB opens the league play at home next Saturday with Northern Kentucky at 1 p.m., followed by a pairing with Wright State on Monday night.

Kress Center to host Shawano Sundrop Shoutout, Dec. 26-27

Basketball fans can see some of the area’s top high school players this week, as the Shawano Sundrop Shootout will again be hosted by the Kress Events Center, Thursday and Friday, Dec. 26-27. The event will host a combination 13 varsity boys and girls basketball games on Carol’s Court in the Kress Center over the two days. Additionally, on Friday, there will be a junior varsity event in the East and West Gyms that will host nine boys and girls games. Cost to attend is $7 per day with children ages 6-and-under free.

The schedule is as follows:

Kress Center, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019 Varsity Games

Game # Teams Start Time
#1 Lourdes vs. Menominee Indian 12:05 p.m.
#2 Medford vs. GB Southwest Approx. 1:40 p.m.
#3 Seymour vs. Appleton East Approx. 3:15 p.m.
#4 Appleton North vs. GB Preble Approx. 5:00 p.m.
#5 Freedom (G) vs. New London (G) Approx. 6:35 p.m.
#6 GB NEW Lutheran vs. Hilbert Approx. 8:10 p.m.

Kress Center, Friday, Dec. 27, 2019 Varsity Games

Game # Teams Start Time
#1 Crivitz vs. Peshtigo 10:30 a.m.
#2 Shawano (G) vs. Manitowoc (G) Approx. 12:05 p.m.
#3 Shawano vs. GB Preble Approx. 1:40 p.m.
#4 Seymour vs. Medford Approx. 3:15 p.m.
#5 Appleton North vs. Notre Dame Approx. 5:00 p.m.
#6 Wrightstown (G) vs. Valders (G) Approx. 6:35 p.m.
#7 Wrightstown vs. Valders Approx. 8:10 p.m.

East Gym (A), Friday, December 27, 2019 Junior Varsity Games

Game # Teams Start Time
#1 Shawano (G) vs. Manitowoc (G) Warm-up, start time 11 a.m.
#2 Shawano vs. GB Preble Approx. 12:35 p.m.
#3 Valders (G) vs. Wrightstown (G) Approx. 2:10 p.m.
#4 Appleton North vs. GB Preble Approx. 3:40 p.m.
#5 Freedom (G) vs. New London (G) Approx. 5:15 p.m.

West Gym (B), Friday, December 27, 2019 Junior Varsity Games

Game # Teams Start Time
#1 Seymour vs. Appleton East Approx. 11:00 a.m.
#2 Appleton North vs. Notre Dame Approx. 12:35 p.m.
#3 Seymour vs. Medford Approx. 2:10 p.m.
#4 Valders vs. Wrightstown Approx. 3:40 p.m.

(G) denotes Girls Team

Alumnus and tea expert Nowicki is planning expansion

Entrepreneur Jennifer Nowicki ’19 (Business Administration) has rarely-found expertise in tea, being Wisconsin’s only certified tea specialist and being one of eight U. S. representatives invited by the Chinese government to two world tea conferences in China. She also has earned rarely-found accolades for her tea business, Cultivate Taste: two pop-up shop contest awards and the only Wisconsin representative invited to the prestigious 2019 Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs. Nowicki is working to expand by crowdfunding for her expansion, increase inventory, upgrade equipment, and help with marketing. Kiva is the platform being used for this effort, and funds will be matched 2x by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Main Street program. Stop in to Nowicki’s shop at 510 S. 8th Street in Sheboygan or learn more, here. UW-Green Bay posted a feature on her business in 2019.


IT updating student file server (FPSB), Dec. 24-26

IT staff will be upgrading the student file server (FPSB) during the holiday break. The work is expected to begin on Dec. 24, 2019 and complete by the end of day on December 26, 2019. The server is home to data stored in student M: drives and course shares. During the upgrade process, you will not be able to access the data on this server. Please copy any data you might need during this time to your Office 365 OneDrive account. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience that this may cause. We always try to minimize down time and we feel that this time frame should have the least amount of demand for the server. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to reach out to Monika Pynaker at pynakerm@uwgb.edu.

UW-Green Bay Prof. Bob Howe is featured in Audubon Magazine

This year the lake rose again, to near-record highs. And yet, birds flourished, thanks to a project that’s rebuilding the islands. Gulls, terns, and other colonial nesters were back. So were more than 30 shorebird species, including the threatened rufa Red Knot and the endangered Piping Plover. Drawn to the newly built high ground, plovers returned in 2016 to nest in Lower Green Bay for the first time in 75 years. This past summer 15 chicks scuttled across the Cat Island sands, a promising foothold for a fragile population. ‘Frankly, I was not expecting this kind of success,’ says Prof. Bob Howe, a University of Wisconsin-Green Bay ecologist involved in the restoration. ‘The results have been nothing short of amazing.'” Read more from Audubon Magazine.

Art alumna displays work at Green Bay mayor’s office

UW-Green Bay alumna Ebanie Schmidt ’19 (Art) was recently invited to display and discuss her work currently on display at the Green Bay Mayor’s Office. At the “City Hall Artist Meet and Greet” event on Dec. 17, Schmidt explained her work to those present at the open house. Pictured is Schmidt with Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich. Schmidt is also wearing a current piece that she has been working on.


Student graduates high school and earns associate’s degree in same year (now headed to UW-Green Bay)

One 19-year-old student had a busy year by earning her college degree only six months after graduating high school, according to NBC 26. Macey Pingel earned her associate’s degree in Business Management from Fox Valley Technical College, just six months after graduating from Chilton High School. She will be transferring to UW-Green Bay. See more.

Last-minute gift? How about flight lessons?

Are you or someone you know interested in learning to fly for recreation or as a career? Students ages 16 and older can expand their horizon through the realm of flight and aerodynamics with “Aviation and Aerodynamics for Private Pilots,” a UW-Green Bay Division of Continuing Education and Community Engagement offering through the CAVU Flight School.

CAVU’s Flight School premier training program is designed to help participants understand the aerodynamic principles and physics of powered flight, as well as to evaluate the exciting field of aviation as a career or hobby. This course prepares students for successfully passing the FAA Private Pilot written exam. Upon completion of the 10-week course, participants will receive an endorsement to take the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test.

Participants interested in taking the course and learning to fly can choose from two different locations:

  • Green Bay – Mondays – Jan. 27, 2020 through April 6, 2020 – 6 to 9 p.m. CAVU Flight Academy, Executive Air Building at Austin Straubel Airport, 2131 Airport Dr.
  • Appleton – Wednesdays – Jan. 29, 2020 through April 8, 2020 – 6 to 9 p.m. CAVU Flight Academy, Appleton Platinum Flight Center, N259 Ares Dr.

The course fee is $375 and includes course materials. The course fee does not include taking the FAA Knowledge Test or any associated materials.

“Aviation and Aerodynamics for Private Pilots” is taught by Sherwood (Woody) Williams, flight instructor and owner of CAVU Flight Academy in Green Bay, along with other certified instructors. This program is made available by CAVU Flight Academy in cooperation with Executive Air and UW-Green Bay.

For more information or to register, go online or contact Crystal Williams in the UW-Green Bay Office of Continuing Education and Community Engagement at 920-465-2480; office hours are Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The deadline to register is January 24, 2020, or until all spots are filled. For questions about this training, please contact Dr. Sherwood Williams at (920) 850-0263 or dr-w@new.rr.com.