It’s official: Dornbush named dean of UW-Green Bay’s Austin E. Cofrin School of Business

Matt Dornbush
Mathew Dornbush

After a nationwide search, it’s one of UW-Green Bay’s own that rises to the top. Provost Greg Davis announced today that Mathew Dornbush, most recently interim dean, has been named the permanent dean for UW-Green Bay’s Austin E. Cofrin School of Business.

“Matt’s incredible contributions as an interim dean, following on a strong foundation in his current role as associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and director of graduate studies, are impressive and set the stage for a successful tenure in leading our business school,” Davis shared.

“Matt has a record of mission-focused, forward-looking leadership at every position he’s held at UW-Green Bay, including the interim dean position in the Austin E Cofrin School of Business,” said Chancellor Gary L. Miller. “As a distinguished biologist, he is a unique fit for this position, but he has proven to be capable in creating collaborations all over the University with the School of Business. The University and the region’s business community are set up for long-term success with Dean Matt Dornbush!”

Dornbush was named interim dean in August 14, 2018, after the retirement of Douglas Hensler. Prior to that role, he served as associate vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and director of Graduate Studies since 2015. A member of the faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences, the biologist is also an active scholar and researcher. He was especially effective in his role reinvigorating and leading Graduate Studies. Four years ago, the campus was on the verge of losing its Carnegie classification as a master’s degree-granting institution because of low enrollment. This year UW-Green Bay will approach 200 master’s degree graduates and the University will be classified as a “large” master’s degree-granting institution.

Dornbush received his B.A. from Augustana College (Rock Island, Ill.), and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Iowa State University (Ames, Iowa) before joining UW-Green Bay in 2005. Dornbush brings a strong record of scholarly production, with more than $1 million dollars in external grant awards, numerous publications and more than 670 citations to his scholarly writings. In his role as associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and director of graduate studies, he had responsibility for budgeting, extramural granting, faculty professional development and graduate programing. He has had significant community engagement responsibilities throughout his time as associate vice chancellor.

The dean of the Austin E. Cofrin School of Business provides academic and administrative leadership for and oversight over all School of Business programs. The Austin E. Cofrin School of Business is a community of teachers, scholars and learners dedicated to advancing the economic prosperity and entrepreneurial spirit of northeastern Wisconsin through partnership, impactful research, and quality educational programing. Dornbush is expected to lead the Austin E. Cofrin School of Business through the AACSB accreditation process. The School is expected to grow significantly as its academic programs and scholarship align with key economic and business sectors of Northeast Wisconsin. The dean will develop a vigorous program of external networking with business including establishing partnerships to connect the Cofrin School of Business to the local and regional economy.

A public announcement and news release will follow next week.

Alumnus Charlie Smith to receive entrepreneurial award

Charlie Smith ’17 (Business Administration) will receive an entrepreneurial award at the Greater Green Bay Chamber’s Business Recognition Luncheon, Tuesday, June 4. As a student in spring 2015, Smith did an independent study with Prof. Lucy Arendt and Ryan Kauth to help with the start of his startup business, Pilotsmith. Pilotsmith, Inc. is a flight school/flight training facility located in Green Bay at the Austin Straubel Airport inside the Jet Air Group FBO.

Professional development opportunity, Tuesday, June 18

All employees from all campuses are invited! “A Rolodex of Lived Experiences,” led by former Big 10 Coach of the Year, Angie Lee will be held Tuesday, June 18, in Phoenix B from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Here’s more:
Angie Lee was at the top of her game. It was 1996 and she had just led the University of Iowa to a stellar season in her first year as head coach of the women’s basketball team. She was living the basketball dream,  until she became disenchanted and had to walk away. The rest is history – listen to Angie tell her story. The professional development workshop, sponsored by the Academic Staff Professional Development Programming Committee and the University Staff Professional Development Committee, is being offered to academic staff, university staff & faculty at no charge. Registration closes at midnight on June 13.

Register here.

SBDC helps Metal Art of Wisconsin get through entrepreneurial challenges

What started six years ago as a simple artistic expression of patriotism in his spare time has grown into something beyond Shane Henderson’s wildest entrepreneurial dreams.

Employed as a social media manager at Baileigh Industrial in Manitowoc, Wis. Henderson forged the foundation of his burgeoning Metal Art of Wisconsin business quite by accident in 2013.

“In the summer of 2013, I took a Baileigh Industrial plasma table home with me and started designing and cutting patriotic metal art in my garage,” Henderson said. “When I posted it on my personal Instagram page, it went viral overnight. That is when Metal Art of Wisconsin was born.”

Henderson points to the strategic use of social media as one of the main keys in launching Metal Art of Wisconsin into a thriving business.

“I have been the social media marketing manager for Baileigh Industrial for 11 years,” Henderson said. “I have built their social media to over six million followers between Facebook and Instagram. I used all of my social media experience to grow my own brand of metal art, which is now the largest metal art Instagram page on planet earth.”

Unique in its approach to patriotic-themed art, Henderson has designed Metal Art of Wisconsin to fill a distinct niche in the artistic marketplace.

“We design and sell patriotic metal art and concealment flags,” Henderson said. “Our custom designed art pieces hang on the walls of numerous studios, banks, museums, churches, hospitals, cemeteries and memorials all around the world, in addition to a long list of celebrities, professional athletes, musicians and politicians.

“We specialize in reproductions, logos and custom pieces,” he said. “We can make anything out of metal. We’ve had a passion for metal forming, metal shaping and plasma cutting for many years. We have a full staff of designers, CAD specialists and metal arts, who love to create ideas out of metal. We do it all for the love of metal.”

When Henderson found his business growing faster than his organizational structure would allow, he enlisted the services of the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at UW-Green Bay to help guide him through a series of entrepreneurial challenges.

“Metal Art of Wisconsin was already going when I attended the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at UW-Green Bay entrepreneur’s class,” Henderson said. “The class definitely helped me in managing this monster I created. My books were a mess. I had 3,500 backorders. I had not enough management, not enough employees and not enough manufacturing to keep up with my marketing. Wisconsin Small Business Development Center Director Tara Carr and the guest speakers gave me critical suggestions to stabilize my business.”

With 19 employees, 205,000 followers on Instagram and over 250 products, Metal Art of Wisconsin moved into a 15,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and showroom at 1125 South Rapids Road in Manitowoc in late 2018.

The facility serves as an ideal headquarters for a skilled production team of designers, CAD specialists and metal artists to create patriotic steel and wood flags, custom and personalized laser engraved metal art, as well as the wildly popular “freedom cabinet,” which is a concealment flag cabinet featuring high density foam with an invisible lock.

Metal Art of Wisconsin is open from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, visit, call 920-717-0635 or email

New release submitted by the SBDC

UW-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus graduates at spring 2019 commencement

Photo gallery: Congratulations to Manitowoc Campus graduates

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus, held its Commencement ceremony on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. in the campus Theatre. Sixty-four students earned two-year degrees from the Manitowoc Campus during the 2018-19 academic year, many of whom will be participating in the ceremony.

Lwm Vaj (Lue Vang), a 2017 graduate of Manitowoc Lincoln High School addressed his graduating class.

Lwm Vaj (Lue Vang)
Speaker Lwm Vaj (Lue Vang)

“I never really thought of attending college… but someone very special told me, “Success if defined by you and only you, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise…. I wanted to prove something to myself, and I wanted to find my calling, which in the end, I did… Everyone who has succeeded in life has failed more that once to get where they are now. It does not matter if you fail, as long as you grow from it, you will succeed.”

Vang has taken a leadership role on campus and serves as president of the Student Senate. He is active in Phi Theta Kappa and Member Future Nurses. In a response to fee shortfalls, he took it upon himself to spearhead a number of fundraising initiatives that supported student success. Lue is also a volunteer with Hmong Senior Meals: A Gesture of Love, a local program geared toward helping Hmong senior citizens navigate the world. The program was formed because many Hmong seniors do not attend traditional senior centers due to a language barrier that prevents them from receiving the services they need.

Dean Halverson, was the Commencement Speaker. Read more in the news release.

Commencement Photo Album

Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.

Manitowoc Campus Commencement - 5/21/19

– Photos by Dale Van Minsel

UW-Green Bay alumnus, Alfonzo McKinnie, gets the start and is on his way to NBA finals

How fun. The same year that UW-Green Bay alumnus Tony Bennett coached the Virginia Cavaliers to the NCAA National Championship, another GB Basketball alumnus, Alfonso McKinnie ’15 got the call to start for the Golden State Warriors, on May 20. The Warriors will return to the NBA finals for the fifth straight year after sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers. Could we see a Milwaukee Bucks vs. McKinnie and company match-up? Time will tell.

Marinette Campus 2019 Commencement

Congratulations to Marinette Campus graduates

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Marinette Campus held its annual commencement ceremony on Monday, May 20, 2019 in the Herbert L. Williams Theatre. Fifty-six students earned two-year degrees from the Marinette Campus during the 2018-19 academic year. Two international students received completion certificates from Youth for Understanding, a non-profit educational organization serving more than 50 countries.

An alumnus of both the Marinette and Green Bay campuses, Romy Blystone, self-employed leadership consultant and mentor, delivered the commencement address. You can read it, here.

Meghan Finger, a 2018 graduate of Peshtigo High School, has been selected to represent the Marinette Campus class of 2019 as its student speaker. Here is an excerpt from her speech:

“What we have learned here we will take with us as we go on to pursue our goals. For many of us this is the first step towards our dreams. The first step towards finding what we love to do and making a life for ourselves. Henry David Thoreau once said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.” And we are. As members of the 2019 class, we shall strive to succeed in everything we do. To become whatever, it is we set our minds to. There will be obstacles ahead, but with hard work and determination we can do it!

“…I would like to congratulate every member of this year’s class. We have all put in the work that allows us to receive this degree. You should be proud of yourselves. This is a major accomplishment. Remember that you are in charge of what happens in the future, stay focused and be prepared. But also enjoy life, we are given this life to make the most out of it, to be the best version of ourselves. Go out into the world with confidence that you will succeed. Albert Einstein once said, “Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible.” I agree, take what you have learned here and use it to take the next step.”

Chau Pham, from Vietnam, was the international student speaker. The following is an excerpt from her speech:

“When I came here, I didn’t know anyone but my friend Minh. We were the only two Vietnamese girls in our first year here. In the beginning, we went through a little culture shock … all I thought of was ‘wow, I’m in college, for the first time in my life, I have more freedom from my parents. the people here were so warm and welcoming, and the weather had been nice so far.’ I obviously had no idea what winter is like in Wisconsin until I really experienced it. I was confident, however, that my two years here is gonna be great. I was so ready to begin my college experience, make new friends and explore a new country.

It’s been beyond great and It’s been amazing, but also,  it’s been rough,and it’s been long though I know I just said it felt like yesterday and there were times when I just wanna go home. But it’s a life-changing experience for me. And looking back, studying abroad is one of the best things that has happened in my life. I’ve gained so much knowledge and skills in the past two years. I got a chance to step out of comfort zone, by getting involved in the campus activities, by challenging myself to take difficult classes, and speaking up in discussions, creating art with my friends. etc. I learn to care more about the people around me, I discuss world issues and various topics with my professors even outside of class, What we learn was so much beyond the textbook, and it enables me to explore different possibilities and shapes me to become a better person, I’m so thankful for the wonderful experience at Marinette, and I realize I was able to make such changes , thanks to the individuals here that have inspired me to great length and they taught me a very important thing, which is courage.”

Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.

UW-Green Bay | Marinette Campus Commencement 2019

– Photos by Mark Koldos, Eagle Pro Photo