Video: UW-Green Bay Chancellor Mike Alexander welcomes the Phoenix family back to the University

In this video, UW-Green Bay Chancellor Mike Alexander expresses his gratitude to faculty and staff on all four campuses who have worked toward a responsible reopening. Thank you also to medical partner Prevea Health.

“Good morning UW-Green Bay faculty and staff. It is July 1st and we’ve begun to slowly open up our campus. I’m here this morning to help remind you of some things we can all do to make sure we keep each other safe.

As I drove in this morning it was encouraging to see a few cars parked in our public spaces, using our trails socially distanced, and enjoying the outdoor spaces we have on our beautiful campus.

I want to remind you to please park in your normal spot, but as you walk to your office make sure you stay outside. It’s also important that you go outside as much as you can whenever you’re having to walk anywhere on campus. Try not to use the tunnels, and hopefully every day for the rest of the summer looks just like today.

As much as I’d like to see all of you on campus it’s really important that as many of you as possible please continue to work from home. Please continue to use the electronic platforms that you’ve been using to be able to have meetings since march… it’s been working for us. If you need to come in, obviously it’s okay to come onto campus at this point during the hours that we’re open, but if you’re able to work from home please do so it helps for all of us to stay socially distanced and prevent an outbreak from occurring on our campus.

I want to thank all of our staff at facilities that have worked so hard to be able to allow us to open up our campus safely. I also want to encourage all of our faculty and staff to please make sure that you’re keeping your areas clean and sanitized at all times. Please be sure to read all the guidelines we sent out about how to safely open campus.

Remember that masks are required whenever you’re in public spaces walking through halls or around other people. It’s very important, and required, that we all do this for everyone else’s safety.

As a Phoenix family we’re best when we do things together. It’s vitally important right now that we all work together to make sure that we keep everything that we’re doing safe for everyone on our campus. Thank you for your attention to all these details it’s great to be able to slowly open up campus. It’ll be even better to make sure we keep everybody safe while we’re doing so.”

See the Phoenix Forward: Return to Workplace Plan.

See the Interim Building Hours and Access Policy

 

Campus mourns passing of alumna and former State Rep. Sharon Metz

Former State Rep. and UW-Green Bay alumna Sharon Metz (’84, Communication and the Arts) passed away over the weekend.  According to faculty member J P Leary, she and her husband Tom have lived allyship to Indigenous peoples. During her 12 years service as a legislator from Green Bay, she was instrumental in passing what became the Wisconsin Indian Education Act in 1979. She also laid important groundwork for passage of Act 31 in 1989 and is one of the overlooked heroes in that effort.

Sharon and Tom founded HONOR—Honor Our Neighbors Origins and Rights—in 1990. Their efforts through HONOR organized nationwide support for Native peoples during the height of the treaty rights controversy in Wisconsin. Their efforts through the HONOR Resource Center helped to make accurate, authentic books and instructional materials available to teachers, students, and community members when such materials were not easily found.

The family will hold a private memorial service. A public visitation will be held at Mueller Funeral Home, 904 E. Main St. Winneconne on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, from 5 to 7 p.m. Due to COVID, face coverings and social distancing will apply.

In lieu of flowers or memorials, the family suggests donations in Sharon’s name to Heifer International. If you wish please submit online condolences to muellerfh.net. Please see the full obituary.

Recent UW-Green Bay alumna quoted in Wisconsin National Guard story

WI NATIONAL GUARD RELEASE: Double duty: Guard members complete degrees while mobilized for COVID-19 response

MADISON, Wis. — More than 1,200 members of the Wisconsin National Guard are serving in support of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and many are doing so in addition to working to complete their degrees.

This means that Soldiers and Airmen working long days supporting the state’s response to COVID-19 also are resigned to staying up long into the night or working weekends to get homework, tests, and assignments complete. These Guard members, many of whom attend colleges and universities around Wisconsin go the extra mile to find balance between their military and civilian lives.

Guard members have been logging long hours, day and night, and over weekends for nearly three months supporting the state’s response to the pandemic, and for some, their mobilization began in mid-March – a few short months before they were slated to graduate from college, which required them working late nights or weekends to get homework, tests and assignments completed in order to graduate.

Many of the Citizen Soldiers and Airmen serving as part of the response exchanged the thought of walking across the stage in caps and gowns for wearing masks and personal protective equipment as they step up and answer the call for prolonged activation at community-based testing sites, self-isolation facilities, supporting the logistics effort, or serving on a staff. Many have continued with ongoing commitment to service even amidst the unknown.

Putting their personal lives, goals, and ambitions on hold is commonplace for many members of the military, and higher education often takes a backseat to deployments, training, or other military requirements over the course of a military career.

Guard members, especially, usually balance day-to-day school with work, family and life. The dedication that is needed to earn a degree while serving our country is no different, according to some who recently completed their degrees amidst their service to the state for the COVID-19 response.

“One of the hardest things for me at this time, is that I don’t know if I can apply for jobs, even though I’ve graduated because I’m not certain when this mission will end,” said Tech. Sergeant Bridget Cox, a medical technician with the 115th Fighter Wing and the Wisconsin National Guard’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP), who just graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology. Cox is currently serving as the noncommissioned officer-in-charge at an isolation facility providing medical monitoring to people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

“My university was very understanding of my goals and all that is going on in life and they were able to help me get to the finish line,” Cox said. “Serving during this time has been challenging while trying to support my family and finish school. I am also trying to find work, but it’s difficult to communicate with future employers when I don’t know when I will be available to start with them at this time.”

Staff Sgt. Christina Whitney, a medical instructor at the 426th Regional Training Institute, also recently completed her degree.

“My military career has always been a part of my education as I returned to get my Associates Degree in nursing after I joined the military,” she said.

“This semester I was not scheduled for any training to interrupt my schooling and was looking forward to that,” she added. “Covid-19 changed that for me as well, and it was really tough with 14 credits and three kids. It felt really good to finish and overcome all of those barriers as I prioritized and completed my educational goals.”

“My professors were supportive and understood how tough this was for us all,” added Whitney. “I’m glad to be able to serve and glad that I was able to finish the semester of school by working with my teachers and the school to allow me to graduate.”

According to Maj. Joy Staab, the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs Education Services Officer, more than 1,000 Wisconsin Guard members utilize state education benefits each semester on average. Even more use federal education benefits, she said.

“Education benefits are one of the top reasons service members join the Wisconsin National Guard,” Staab said.

Throughout this semester the state education office had a few dozen service members reach out to find out what options they had for withdrawing from or completing their classes, as they got mobilized to support COVID-19 missions. In those cases, the education office referred the service members to the 2019 Wisconsin Act 75, a state law that helps protect service members called to serve on short-term state or federal active duty. Some of the protections include tuition reimbursement, re-enrollment, and opportunities to complete final projects and exams at a later date. The education office also encouraged students to work with their instructors, colleges, and universities to determine their best courses of action.

“I graduated in December 2019, then did a five week temporary duty, passed my nursing board exam and became an emergency room nurse,” said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Zacharias, a search and extraction medic with the 115th Fighter Wing and the CERFP.  “I was only there (at my new job) for three weeks and then was requested to be a part of the isolation facility mission, and I have been on mission since then. It’s hard to not be home but right now with the world in a time of need, it’s what needs to be done.”

Spc. Emma Anderson ’20 (Education) a public affairs specialist that mobilized in March during her last semester of student teaching, graduated with her bachelor of science in Education with a licensure to work with and instruct students, aged birth to 11.

“To be activated during the COVID-19 pandemic gives me an opportunity that I wouldn’t have had otherwise,” Anderson said. “I get to show my community and the kindergarteners that I work with through student teaching, that service isn’t about how it positively impacts you as an individual, but how you can positively impact those around you.”

Currently, more than 1,200 Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers and Airmen continue serving their communities as part of the COVID-19 response. Nearly 1,500 mobilized to state active duty in recent weeks to assist civil authorities in maintaining public safety amidst civil unrest, and more than 2,400 Guard members mobilized in April to serve as poll workers during the state’s spring election. Simultaneously more than 500 remain mobilized in places like Afghanistan, the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, and Ukraine in support of the Guard’s federal mission as the primary combat reserve of the Army and Air Force.

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Faculty note: Prof. Draney moderates at annual meeting of the American Arachnological Society

Barbara Hauxhurst Cofrin Prof. of Natural Sciences Mike Draney participated in the America Arachnological Society’s virtual Forum on Effects of Racism on Arachnology at the (virtual) Annual Meeting of the American Arachnological Society, and was invited to moderate one of the breakout groups on “Addressing feelings of social isolation among POC in academia.” Ideas and suggestions resulting from these breakout sessions will be forwarded to the AAS Advisory Board for consideration and implementation.

University Committee announces resolution in appreciation of staff

The following resolution below was presented to the University Committee by Professor Heidi Sherman and approved electronically. The committee is confident that the sentiments expressed are shared by all UWGB faculty members.

Resolution of Appreciation for the Academic Staff and University Staff of UW-Green Bay

WHEREAS, UW-Green Bay, along with all educational institutions across the country, transitioned to online delivery of most of its services with little notice beginning on March 13th;

WHEREAS, this transition required long hours, expertise, and commitment to helping students from every UW-Green employee: both staff and faculty;

WHEREAS, to better guarantee the financial survival of UW-Green Bay into an uncertain fall and repay $1.4 million to the UW-System (as was asked in varying amounts of all UW-System institutions), university employees were asked to make financial sacrifices in May and June, and are being asked to continue this sacrifice for the remainder of the year;

WHEREAS, according to a state statute, faculty cannot take continuous furlough days, while Academic Staff and University Staff can;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the UW-Green Bay faculty are enormously appreciative of the commitment to students, and large financial sacrifices made by UWGB Academic Staff and University Staff during the COVID Spring and the rest of the COVID Year;

AND, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that faculty pledge to do their part in this effort by ensuring our instruction is of the highest possible quality and by ensuring our institution is as strong as possible moving forward.

Regional UW schools second in national innovation impact productivity rankings

The innovation impact of the 11 University of Wisconsin System regional institutions that WiSys serves, was ranked as one of the most productive in the nation by the George W. Bush Institute.

In the institute’s report on the innovation impact of U.S. universities released in June 2020, UW-WiSys was second in the report’s Innovation Impact Productivity Rankings for smaller research universities.

The universities in the WiSys group include UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-La Crosse, UW Oshkosh, UW-Parkside, UW-Platteville, UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Stout, UW-Superior and UW-Whitewater.

As a shared service, WiSys supports research, innovation and entrepreneurship at these comprehensive and primarily undergraduate universities.

“Wisconsinites should be proud of their regional public universities. Talented innovators and inventors can be found throughout Wisconsin and it is more important now, than ever, to support them,” said WiSys President Arjun Sanga. “Newly-appointed head of the UW System, former Gov. Tommy Thompson, states the case when he says that ‘no other institution in the state can do more to improve lives, communities and Wisconsin’s economy.’”

In addition to the accomplishment of ranking behind only Brigham Young University in the smaller research universities category, WiSys universities received a notable Innovation Impact Productivity Score in relation to its peers. WiSys universities received a score of 20.30, well above the category median of 5.13.

“The ranking and score shines a bright light on the exceptional talent at our UW regional comprehensive campuses. It represents the work of numerous faculty and student researchers, supportive university staff and administrators and university and system leaders throughout the state,” said WiSys President Arjun Sanga. “Through collaboration and cooperation, we’re making our communities, state and nation a more innovative place.”

You can read the report, “The Innovation Impact of U.S. Universities” at bushcenter.org.

WiSys is a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state.

Swimming and diving teams earn Scholar All-American honors

The College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) has selected the Green Bay men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams for Scholar All-American honors. Green Bay was one of 461 schools to receive the award for the Spring semester. Teams were selected on the basis of their Spring grade point averages and represent 17,982 student-athletes.

UW System President Tommy Thompson seeks feedback

As Tommy Thompson takes office today as President of the University of Wisconsin System, his transition team is announcing creation of the “Listening Post” for Wisconsin residents and UW students, faculty, and staff to ask questions and offer ideas.

The Listening Post, and a message from Thompson, is available on the UW System website president’s page.

“Tommy Thompson will begin his tenure as UW System’s ‘Listener-in-Chief,’” said Tom Loftus, the former Wisconsin Assembly Speaker, Ambassador to Norway, and Board of Regents member who co-chairs the transition team. “He will collect ideas, feedback, and questions from the people the UW System serves.”

Faculty note: Prof. Bansal takes over as IT journal editor

Professor Gaurav Bansal (Cofrin School of Business) is taking over as editor-in-chief of the Journal of IT Case and Application Research (JITCAR) effective July 1, 2020. The journal is published by Taylor & Francis and is well recognized globally especially in the Management information Systems / IT discipline. Dr. Bansal is currently a Senior Associate editor for the Journal. JITCAR is indexed in Scopus and Cabell’s and is recognized by Australian Business Deans Council. The Journal has been served by Dr. Shailendra Palvia, Long Island University; Dr. Suprateek Sarkar, University of Virginia; and Dr. Steven Gordon, Babson College as chief-editors in the past. The journal publishes four issues every year, and includes organization focused case studies, teaching cases, industry leader interviews and reports, and also book reviews.