Actor Tony Shahloub gets a history lesson with help from University Archives

Next week award-winning actor and Green Bay native Tony Shalhoub will receive a family history lesson, from Henry Louis Gates Jr. on the nationally broadcast program, “Finding Your Roots.” The feature airs at 7 p.m. Feb. 9 on PBS. Celebrities on this popular genealogy show learn for the first time about powerful and personal stories of their ancestors.

This time there is a UW-Green Bay tie.

Deb Anderson, UW-Green Bay archivist, was contacted in 2019 to help with a research question and provide copies of original documents on the Shalhoub and Seroogy families. At first this seemed like a run-of-the-mill request for the Archives team. Anderson, a fan of the program, quickly connected that the researcher was actually a member of the production team for the PBS show.

For an archives department, Anderson explained, “this is the holy grail for those who help families with their family history! Helping with research discoveries for ‘Finding Your Roots’ is akin to feelings you might have when meeting a favorite celebrity…or a Green Bay Packers player!”

Anderson explained it was definitely hard to keep the research a secret as required by the show.

Tony Shalhoub’s family tree includes a branch connecting with another well-known Northest Wisconsin family, the Seroogys, of international candy-making fame. Shalhoub’s mother was Helen Seroogy.

The UW-Green Bay Archives provided documents about the family’s immigrant ancestor, Rokus Seroogy, including his 1894 citizenship papers in which he gave up allegiance to the Sultan of Turkey. Other original materials drawn from the holdings of UW-Green Bay’s Archives Department included land records, maps of the family home, probate records, and court case files.

In a recent newspaper interview for the upcoming episode, Shalhoub was surprised by how much he didn’t know about his ancestors. “It is incredibly humbling,” he said in the interview. “It really brings into sharp focus this sort of idea of the randomness of how I and my siblings ended up in the lives that we are in. Certain things have to occur and some tragic things have to occur for me to get to where I am.”

Despite rumors over the years, Shalhoub is not a UW-Green Bay alumnus. The closest the University can come to claiming a tie to the multi-Emmy Award winning actor was that he starred in the

University’s 1973 production of “Captain Jack’s Revenge” when he was a high school senior. More about that production and the late Jack Frisch’s recollection of him, can be found in a this previous post. Said Frisch of the teenager who stepped up to join a college and community cast, “I don’t recall whether I tried to convince him to stay around. I might have. And I should have. But I sure knew I felt it.”

This isn’t the first time the UW-Green Bay Archives team has helped with national television.  Previously, research and materials from the Archives Department were seen on the Ken Burns documentary, “The Vietnam War” and C-Span’s Cities Tour program series.

Declaration of Intention, Rokus Seroogy
Declaration of Intention, Rokus Seroogy




Faculty note: Prof. Pangarkar to serve on ERB for International Journal of Advertising

Congratulations Assistant Professor Aniruddha (Ani) Pangarkar, (Marketing), on being invited to serve on the Editorial Review Board (ERB) for the International Journal of Advertising, a top A-ranked journal known for the high-quality and rigor of its’ papers. After just one semester of teaching in the Cofrin School of Business, Pangarkar’s new role with the global team of ERB members and scholars is a significant career milestone. Read more about Prof. Pangarkar on this GB webpage.

CAHSS Launches ‘No Reservations’ Speaker Series beginning Feb. 10

UW-Green Bay’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences is filled with brilliant teachers, scholars, and creatives. The goal of the college is to provide an accessible forum for sharing bold, challenging, and even radical ideas. Scholars from across the college will do one talk each month on topics ranging from connecting through music to the politics of consumer culture. Each talk will be streamed live from Fort Howard Hall of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts and will include a short presentation followed by a Q and A with Dean Chuck Rybak. Online viewers will be able to submit questions as well. It is free and open to the public.

Spring 2021 Schedule:

Feb 10, 6:30 p.m.
Title: Understanding Your Anger
Speaker: Prof. Ryan Martin

Description: Like any emotion, our anger exists for good reason.  When we are willing to take an honest look and dig deep into our frustration, we can learn a lot about ourselves and the situations we find ourselves in.

Speaker Bio: Ryan Martin is a psychologist, anger researcher, and author of the book, Why We Get Mad: How to Use Your Anger for Positive Change. He is the Associate Dean for the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences


March 23, 6:30 p.m.
Title: The Rise and Fall of the Human Capital Myth
Speaker: Associate Prof. Jon Shelton

Description: This talk will help explain our current political divisions by examining how Americans’ conception of opportunity has changed over time.  Shelton argues that American policymakers in the recent past have asked public education to do too much, and we have to ensure that every American, no matter their level of education, has a guarantee of economic security.

Speaker Bio: Jon Shelton is associate professor and chair of Democracy and Justice Studies.  He is the author of the prize-winning book Teacher Strike! Public Education and the Making of a New American Political Order and a recent postdoctoral fellow of the National Academy of Education.


April 15, 6:30 p.m.
Title: The Next Best Thing: Connecting Through Music in Spite of Everything
Speaker: Prof. Michelle McQuade Dewhirst

Description: The pandemic has forced musicians to rethink the ways in which they relate to their audiences and to each other. In this talk, I’ll discuss pieces I’ve written in the past year for musicians who are finding new ways to connect in a time of crisis.

Speaker Bio: Michelle McQuade Dewhirst is a composer, horn player, and Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.


May 4, 6:30 p.m
Title: Politics and Mass Consumer Culture: Lessons from the 1920s
Speaker: Associate Prof. Kimberley Reilly

Description: Historians have long debated the effect of mass consumer culture on Americans’ political engagement in the 1920s. How should we understand the decline of political participation in the jazz age? And what lessons does the 1920s hold for our own time?

Speaker Bio: Kimberley Reilly is an associate professor of Democracy & Justice Studies and History, and co-chair of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program.


UW-Green Bay Winter Scene

Winter Weather reminders from University Police

According to the National Weather Service, the total snow fall is expected to be from 5-8” in the Green Bay area; with around 3” falling during the day and another 3” during the evening hours. In addition to the snow fall, the temperatures will significantly drop Thursday night moving to single digit highs for the weekend.

When snow falls during normal hours of operation, the removal of snow is challenging in occupied parking lots and requires us to prioritize removal. First priority is given to the major roadways and our primary use parking lots. The Kress Events Center, Laboratory Sciences, Studio Arts, and Wood Hall parking lots will be given first priority. If you use a different parking lot please consider shifting and using one of these lots. The Kress Events Center lot remains dedicated to the fight against COVID 19 and those actively getting vaccinations or bi-weekly testing with Prevea Health. All other parking areas, including those in Residence Life areas, will be managed as soon as practical but as a secondary priority.

Now is also a good time to make sure you and your vehicle are prepared for the arriving snow and cold temperatures.  In addition to being prepared, here are some Winter Weather Tips that you should keep in mind.

  • If you don’t have to go anywhere, don’t go. There is no reason to risk an accident.
  • Before the cold comes, get your battery checked. Many auto parts store offer free testing to see if your battery needs replacing.
  • Always clear off your vehicle before operating it.
    • Remove snow from headlights and brake lights.
    • Remove snow from ALL windows and make sure they are adequately defrosted.
  • Always maintain a safe following distance from other vehicles and slow down well before an anticipated stop.
  • All Wheel Drive or Four Wheel Drive, is not four wheel stop. Don’t let your vehicles capabilities make you over confident.
  • Try to maintain 1/4 tank of gas at all times. If you run out of gas, you run out heat in your car.
  • Put a blanket or warm clothes in your car and leave them there. If you become stranded, a blanket could save your life… literally.
  • Have a shovel and a small bag of ice melt at your disposal. A shovel and ice can bail you out of slippery situations.
  • Don’t use the cruise control in wintry conditions.
  • And always buckle up!

Respectfully sent,

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay police Department

Emerging Independence Art Show at the Lawton Gallery

Video: Lawton Gallery Emerging Independence Exhibition

“Emerging Independence,” a student show presented by the Lawton Gallery, can be enjoyed virtually or in person. The online exhibit is open from Jan. 28 to Feb. 25, 2021. The Senior show features UW-Green Bay seniors and graduates in Ceramics, Painting, Printmaking, Textiles, and Sculpture.

Exhibiting artists include Andrea Cornett, Lydia Delikat Mitchell, Tommy Mlodzik, Beth Schueffner, Dane Schumacher, Raven Storm and Nora Wesner.

To view the exhibition virtually, visit the Lawton Gallery webpage. On Feb 9 & 23, 2021 from 12:30 to 1 p.m. a Lawton Small Talk will be featured.

Can’t make it in person? See some of the works in this video:

**During COVID-19 the Lawton Gallery is open to the public during normal gallery hours. Extra precautions are being taken including restriction of the number of people in the gallery at a time, social distancing, and cleaning. If you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact the curator at 920-465-2916.

A Catalyst for Change

UW-Green Bay leaders Ruzek and Van Gruensven are catalysts for change

Joy Ruzek and Sheryl Van Gruensven have long dreamed of an Institute for Women’s Leadership at UW-Green Bay as a catalyst for change in the University community and the broader region of Northeast Wisconsin.

The idea for the Institute evolved as both grew into their current roles. Ruzek is assistant vice chancellor of the Division of Continuing Education and Community Engagement, partnering with businesses and organizations to develop innovative programming in response to professional and workforce development needs throughout Wisconsin. Sheryl Van Gruenesven is chief business officer and senior vice chancellor for Institutional Strategy, a key leader fulfilling an essential role.

The Institute seeks to address the “broken rung” in the ladder that is holding women back. McKinsey and Company conducts an annual Women in the Workplace Study, and for the sixth year in a row women continue to lose ground in the first step up to manager. Not only does this stall the progress toward gender parity, but also puts companies at risk of the loss of future women leaders. Companies in Northeast Wisconsin in particular identify developing leaders as a critical goal, and it has been repeatedly demonstrated that women at senior levels of management impact profits and share performance in a positive way. They are also more likely to be champions of diversity and inclusion, contributing to a stronger workplace culture.

As Ruzek and Van Gruensven see it, the key to changing this trajectory lies with senior leaders — male and female — to ensure women can advance. “As leaders,” they advocate, “we all need to demonstrate this is a priority by what we say, what we do, what we measure and how we lead.” Over time, they hope, the Institute will enhance the quality of life and economic development in the region in the following ways:

• Fulfilling critical leadership needs in the region and contributing to a robust, more broadly engaged and representative professional workforce, essential to a healthy, fully-engaged society and economy.
• Eliminating barriers that narrow women’s professional opportunities, preparing women for leadership roles early on so they can advance mid-career and beyond.
• Creating a culture of “Conscious Inclusion” that builds on the desire, insight and capacity of people to make decisions and to lead, think and act with the conscious intent of including everyone.

Ruzek and Van Gruensven are looking forward to the kickoff event, which will take place on Friday, March 5, in celebration of International Women’s Day. It seems a fitting day to see their dreams come to fruition with the official launch of the Institute for Women’s Leadership, especially with this year’s theme of “Choose to Challenge.”

Ruzek and Van Gruensven have indeed chosen to challenge, and their plans for the Institute will pave the way for future women leaders of today and tomorrow. With their help, women will rise together.


Joy Ruzek
Joy Ruzek

Ruzek serves as assistant vice chancellor for the Division of Continuing Education and Community Engagement where she provides strategic vision, innovative programming and advanced services to address the developmental needs of all ages throughout Wisconsin. She joined UW-Green Bay in 2009 and has over 35 years of experience in executive business management and progressive professional training and development. She earned her bachelor’s in business management, and holds a master’s degree in counseling with an emphasis in higher education.





Sheryl Van Gruensven
Sheryl Van Gruensven

Van Gruensven serves as chief business officer and senior vice chancellor for institutional strategy where she provides leadership and oversight for the development and execution of a sustainable financial model and administrative services to the University community. She joined UW-Green Bay in 2004 and has served as director of human resources and affirmative action prior to her current role.  She earned her bachelor’s in human resources management from Upper Iowa University, and holds a master’s degree in management.

Extending the Vision to Advance Women Leaders

Extending the vision to advance women in leadership

Bridget Krage O'Connor
Bridget Krage O’Connor Owner of O’Connor Connective and its social enterprise The Connective: A Community for Women in Business

A Personal Reflection
Because it’s personal. It’s the best answer I can give when asked why I invest in the advancement of women. Since I own a strategic communications firm, why offer a social enterprise for professional women? And why now partner with UW-Green Bay’s Institute for Women’s Leadership? Well, again, it’s personal.

I grew up in a family that encouraged me to be anything. I believed an education was my ticket to a good life, and it was. Earning a bachelor’s degree opened doors and opportunities. And a master’s degree expanded my world further. But my formal education didn’t teach me how to ebb and flow through the politics of the organizations where I would work. And figuring out how to thrive within the confines of norms and realities that hadn’t typically included people like me in leadership, well, that didn’t come from my class lectures. It came from just living through it. Yet, I wondered if having access to more women in leadership would have helped soften the hard edges of those intense lessons and allowed me to go further, sooner.

When I launched my own company, O’Connor Connective, I learned of women entrepreneurs with businesses on the Main streets of Wisconsin who were looking to connect, to share, to learn together. At the same time, I realized I needed my own posse. I needed a group of professional advisors like an attorney, an accountant, a financial advisor, and a banker who understood my vision and would have my back as I built a team and a business for the long haul. But where to start? That took a lot of time but when it came together, that group of advisors (interestingly mostly women) helped me make my vision for O’Connor Connective a reality.

Then, when working with my clients, I witnessed women organizational leaders presenting different needs than their male colleagues. And I could relate.

Together, these experiences crystalized my thinking: I needed to create a forum for women leaders to network, access experts so they could establish their posse and develop programs to intentionally support the unique needs of women in leadership.

So, with the help of my O’Connor Connective colleagues, my original posse, and other colleagues and friends who said yes to this concept, we did just that. For two years, The Connective: A Community for Women in Business touched hundreds of people. Now, with a vision to expand, I’m beyond excited to collaborate and align with UW-Green Bay’s Institute for Women’s Leadership. This means more programming, more support, more networking for more women. The longer-term impact will mean more equitable leadership in Wisconsin, which research tells us will improve organizational profitability and strengthen our economy.

The Institute’s the ideal combination. It puts the formal degree or credit experiences together with the networking, programmatic, and experiential support women seek throughout their careers. Just think of the boost this will give those seeking to lead.

Here’s to rising, more, together so to advance the great state of Wisconsin and beyond.


Cofrin School of Business Branding Pitch Competition

Teams of UW-Green Bay students are invited to pitch ideas for better branding the Cofrin School of Business spaces (Wood Hall as a whole, CSB suite on the 4th floor, social media, website, etc.) to be more engaging and to portray our Mission, Vision, and Values. A wide variety of creative ideas are welcome! The first-place team will receive $2,000 and the second-place team will receive $500! Pitches due March 25. A Live virtual event with winners to be announced on April 20, 2021. Email for details on how to form a team and submit your ideas.

For more information, visit the Cofrin School of Business Facebook page.

Classroom of the Future series with Oliver Buechse now available online

Oliver Buechse, Executive in Residence for the Cofrin School of Business, is leading a series on the Classroom of the Future.  The first two sessions were on the Introduction to the Classroom of the Future and Tech Trends. The sessions are one hour in length and provide a perfect way to start considering the role of technology in the future of higher education. The sessions help watchers continue to engage in conversations on where UW-Green Bay might fit in the continuum of evolving our use of technology to better serve and provide access to education.

Students, faculty, staff, and community members can excess the dropbox links.