SBDC webinars feature employee development, banking relationship

The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is offering two no-cost webinars for small business owners and their executive team members.

The August installment of the no-cost, 30-minute 2015 webinar series is presenter George Garrett of Future Focus Group. Garrett will present “Secrets to Successful (and Simple) Employee Development” at noon Tuesday, August 11, and again at 1 p.m. Thursday, August 13. Garrett, co-author of the book Evolved: Engaging People, Enhancing Success, will teach attendees how to retain existing employees as well as their emerging workforce through developing paths of advancement.

In September, Tony Busch of Priora Cash Flow Management will present “How to Manage Your Banking Relationship (and Not Be Managed By It)” at noon Tuesday, September 15 and again at 1 p.m. Thursday, September 17. He will teach attendees the relationship between cash flow, budgeting, and what your banker needs to know in the current economy.

For more information or to register for the no-cost, 30-minute webinars, visit the SBDC website and click “Upcoming Webinars” on the left side of the page. You can also view past webinars there online and follow the Wisconsin SBDC at UW-Green Bay on Twitter.

Former Chronicle editor forecasts higher-ed consolidation

Jeffrey Selingo sees a big shakeout coming for American higher education, eventually, especially for struggling “bottom feeder” institutions. The former Chronicle of Higher Education editor notes that the U.S. system is still admired around the world, but… “Any time I drive in the Northeast, I’m always struck by the number of signs along the highway for a nearby college,” he writes, “…but we don’t need a college at every exit along the highway anymore.” Interesting opinions.

UWGB Alumni Association Golf Outing raises $15,000 for scholarships

top-story-golfAn early morning rain transitioned into sunny skies just in time for the shotgun start to the 35th annual UW-Green Bay Scholarship Golf Outing, Friday, June 12. One of the Alumni Association’s longest-standing events, the outing set a new record for dollars raised with more than $15,000 generated for student scholarships through fees, sponsorships, raffles and auctions.

The net winner of the outing was a UWGB faculty team of John Katers, John Luczaj, Patrick Forsythe and Chris Houghton. Gross winners were Andrew Branam, Greg Metzler, Seth Kabat and Heather Ryczek.

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Photos courtesy of Kelly Selner ’00

Students take study break for Resfest

top-story-resfestWith temperatures in the upper 70s and not a rain cloud in sight, Phoenix Park was the setting for ResFest 2015 last Friday, May 1. Hundreds of students took advantage of the mild spring temperatures to enjoy food, refreshments and friendly competition including a “3’s” volleyball tournament, yard games, dunk tank, glow games and a glow dance later in the evening. It was an ideal time for students to kick back before kicking it in, as they prepare for finals in the days ahead, especially for graduating seniors who are wrapping up their final days at UWGB in anticipation of May 16 commencement at the Kress Center.

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Photos by Sam Zingsheim, Marketing and University Communication

Jasen transitioned from homeschool to college with help from faculty

top-story-home-schoolFor many students, the transition from high school to college can be daunting. But for homeschooled students, that switch comes with an even potentially deeper set of challenges.

That was the experience initially for Education major Lexi Jasen. “I was very used to doing my own thing,” said the senior who will graduate in May 2015 with highest of honors. “My mom gave me a lot of control as far as planning my own curriculum and my schedule, as long as she approved it. But she gave me a lot of freedom. She knew I would be very responsible and I would get it done.”

After homeschooling through high school, Jasen began her college experience at UW-Sheboygan before transferring to UW-Green Bay.

“It is very different to have your own expectations and then to adapt to multiple professors with different expectations for different classes,” she said, “But honestly, the hardest thing for me is the actual sitting in class. I don’t take notes. I’m a doodler. Notes don’t help me at all. That’s not how I learn.”

Jasen turned to her UWGB faculty members for guidance.

“There are some professors, especially in the Education department, who have really gotten to know me and that has been wonderful.”

Their support motivated Jasen to become an active participant in her own learning and to the betterment of those around her. She is a mentor in the Phuture Phoenix program, serves as the president of UW-Green Bay’s Student Wisconsin Education Association and is in the process of creating an honor society for the Education department.

After graduating this May and completing her student teaching, Jasen hopes to find a position as a teacher and one day open her own charter school.

“I want to do something fairly similar to the Phantom Knight charter school which I’ve worked with through Phuture Phoenix,” she said, “They are very project based and inspire independent learning — very similar to how I learned — and I know there are many other people out there like me. My goal, eventually, is to give students more of a say in their learning, because then they’re going to be more motivated to do it and more interested in it.”

Jasen feels other homeschooled students can be just as successful if they speak up and ask for the help that they need.

“The homeschoolers that I know and grew up with are kind of like me and they know how they learn and they now what they need in order to succeed. The more I communicated that with my professors, the more successful I was in those classes, and I think that that is something a lot of people are really hesitant to do.”
Photo and story by Katelyn Staaben.

‘Uncomfortable’ choices: Chancellor shares update at Town Hall III

Chancellor addresses second town hall meeting on March 6.

UW System Regents are hopeful a proposed $150 million annual cut will be reduced, if only by a modest amount, and they’re adamant that tenure and shared governance must remain intact, says UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller, reporting on the March 5 Regents meeting he attended in Madison.

At the same time, Miller told members of the campus community Friday morning (March 6), UW-Green Bay has no choice but to prepare for the worst: a cut exceeding $4 million and potential workforce and program reductions.

The chancellor addressed an audience of 200 faculty, staff members and students in the University Theatre. It was the third in a series of informational budget “town hall” updates he has convened since early February.

(Recordings of Friday’s session — the chancellor’s 30-minute opening overview, along with a separate nearly 45 minutes of question and answer — can be found online here.)

Miller briefed faculty and staff on the Regents meeting and described two resolutions passed unanimously by board members. The first reaffirmed a commitment that shared governance and faculty tenure should be preserved, regardless of the management or budget model governing UW System operations. The second asked Wisconsin legislators to reduce the size of the $150 million annual reduction proposed in the governor’s budget, and urged approval of the “public authority” model that would grant the university system additional flexibility.

During Friday’s town hall, Miller outlined for faculty and staff the accelerated timetable for UW-Green Bay identifying its options for possible reductions. He talked about entering Phase II of the process and his intent to, beginning next week, present more specific information to shared governance groups including the Faculty Senate and the campuswide University Planning and Innovation Council.

“This phase of the work will require public discussion of some very uncomfortable things,” Miller said. “This is a $4.4 million reduction… These are difficult things to talk about, but we have to do it.”

At present, Miller said, UW-Green Bay leadership has a handle on how it might address only about half of the total budget gap. Administrative divisions including University Advancement, Intercollegiate Athletics and Business and Finance have submitted reduction proposals, already approved by the Chancellor, that he characterized as “cuts to the bone that will degrade, in some cases, our ability” to operate effectively.

Major savings must also be found in academic and student support areas reporting to the Provost, a process that is proceeding more slowly because of the complexities of the challenge and relative size of the Academic Affairs area.

The chancellor volunteered examples of areas where savings could be achieved. The University will see longer replacement cycles and less-frequent upgrades in technology. The Cofrin Library and International Studies are looking at changes. Retirements in the enrollment services area could be an opportunity for reorganization. Support for campuswide grants and research services could be shifted to a new funding model. Fund 102 money that supports portions of the Adult Access and Weidner Center budgets will be reviewed, and funding of faculty/staff development activity including the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning will be examined.

Within academic units, Miller said, the University is gathering data on how instructional resources are deployed. Practices related to course reassignments, workloads, overload payments, ad hoc appointments and the allocation of some academic services including student advising are being analyzed.

“What we’re really about with these is figuring out a way to work differently,” Miller said. “Not necessarily ‘more,’ but differently. In order to do that we have to examine all of these areas carefully, and we’ve been doing that for about two weeks… UPIC will be seeing some data on that very soon, to help us sort through that.”

The provost and academic deans will be asking fundamental, organizational questions, the chancellor continued. “Are there areas where we might want to be smaller… and that includes some academic programs… and, if so, how do we go about doing that, and if we do get smaller, can we reallocate to a growing area? These are hard discussions.”

He closed his presentation by thanking faculty and staff for their patience, consideration and participation in the process.

“I appreciate your courage. It’s hard to talk openly with a challenge this big. But we have to do that if we want to come through this with most of us here, with a University that can grow, and a University that can continue to be a great university.”

He urged members of the campus community to keep faith in their roles in working with students, developing future leaders and providing the community a quality institution of public higher education.

“We have to remember that this University was built on innovation, and innovation will get us through this.”

The recording of the 45-minute question-and-answer session that followed the chancellor’s remarks can be found here.

More than 800 holiday cards sent to Wisconsin veterans

With help from many quarters, the TRiO Upward Bound high school students and the Vets 4 Vets Club here on campus exceeded the goal of making 800 hand-made holiday cards for veterans. Kudos to all who donated their time and creative talents to this very worthy cause. Write the organizers of the initiative:
“We are extremely grateful for your help and support. Some cards were mailed, but destined for the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King were hand-delivered by Elaina Kolz and Michael Casbourne. (They were amazed at the size and extent of the services offered at the facility. It is literally its own self-contained little city.) The residents were excited to see the volume and creativity of the cards, each with a hand-written note. A spokeswoman at the facility commented that this is the only card some vets will receive. We are very proud, and humbled, that we were able to bring smiles to so many veterans’ faces.”

In addition, blankets and media coverage
The drive to bring holiday cheer to military veterans (see previous item) was the Upward Bound program’s December community service project. They also did more. The pre-college program’s participating high school students also crafted more than 20 blankets for local shelters. They also made cards at the Green Bay Botanical gardens, and both these events were covered by WFRV-TV 5 news on Thursday, Dec. 17. “Again, thank you to all who helped. And Upward Bound, what a way to make a difference!”

Close-ups: Blanketed by beauty

top-winter-scenesFrom ground level, or bird’s eye view, UW-Green Bay is blanketed in beauty. Although we can almost bet that there is more snow (and incredible images) to come, campus student photographers Sam Zingsheim and Lauren Hlavka take us back to the first significant snowfall of November 2014 with these campus snapshots.

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Photos by Sam Zingsheim and Lauren Hlavka, photo interns, Marketing and University Communication

UW-Green Bay well-represented in Door County Fall 50

UWGBfall502014teamsOnce again, a pair of teams including UW-Green Bay faculty members, spouses and community friends raced in the Door County Fall 50 Relay. The 2014 edition of the race took place Saturday, Oct. 25. The Fall 50 is a 50-mile running adventures for both ultra-marathoners and teams of up to five runners. The course route begins at the northernmost tip of the peninsula and travels down the western shoreline along scenic back roads to the finish line at Sunset Park in Sturgeon Bay.

The men’s team, with Profs. Chuck Rybak, Adolfo Garcia, Regan A.R. Gurung and Ryan Martin, and community member Andrew Higgins, finished the 50 in a total time of 7:14:08, a respectable 8:41/mile pace.

The women’s entry, called “Team Moxie,” combined for a time of 9:25:03, also a respectable pace of 11:19. Team members were Profs. Rebecca Meacham and Jeni Mokren, and community members Katie Higgins, Tina Martin and Martha Ahrendt.

 Complete race results can be found here. 

Twelve UW-Green Bay faculty members earn academic promotions, tenure

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents approved promotions or tenure for 12 UW-Green Bay faculty members during its meeting June 5-6 at UW-Milwaukee.

The following faculty members promoted from assistant professor to associate professor with tenure: Gaurav Bansal, Cofrin School of Business; Caroline Boswell, Humanistic Studies (History); Michael Knight, Cofrin School of Business; James Loebl, Cofrin School of Business; James Vincent Lowery, Humanistic Studies (History); Sampathkumar Ranganathan, Cofrin School of Business; Gabriel Saxton-Ruiz, Humanistic Studies (Spanish); Christine Vandenhouten, Nursing; and Lora Warner, Public and Environmental Affairs.

The Regents also promoted the following individuals to the rank of full professor:

Heidi Fencl, Natural and Applied Sciences, teaches Modern Physics, Introductory Physics, and Astronomy, and is a member of the Women’s and Gender Studies faculty. She received her B.S. in Physics from Nebraska Wesleyan University, her M.S. in Physics from the University of Nebraska, and her Ph.D. in Nuclear Astrophysics from the Ohio State University. Prior to joining the Physics faculty at UW-Green Bay in the fall of 2001, Fencl taught physics and astronomy at Concordia College Moorhead and was concurrently founding director of the UW System Women and Science Program and coordinator of UW Oshkosh’s Science Outreach Program. Fencl also was the founding director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning at UW-Green Bay.

Fencl’s scholarly interests are in physics education, and in particular she studies pedagogical approaches and out-of-classroom support for effective problem solving process and development of self-efficacy in physics. In addition to the enjoyment she takes in teaching, Fencl enjoys gardening, knitting and making vegan cheeses.

Cristina Ortiz, Humanistic Studies (Spanish), is chair of the Modern Languages program and coordinator of the Spanish program at UW-Green Bay. She joined the faculty in 1993 after receiving a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati. Ortiz has authored a monograph on Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges and has published her research on contemporary Spanish and Latin American female writers in top-tier journals in Spain and the United States. Her area of research focuses on issues of gender, nation and nationalism in contemporary Spanish and Latin American literature and film. Her work has also been included in several edited collections, most recently in Across the Straits: New Visions of Africa in Contemporary Spain.

Ortiz is a member collaborator of the American Academy of the Spanish Language and a special contributor to the academic journal of this organization. In addition to teaching a wide range of courses at UW-Green Bay, Ortiz has been instrumental in the creation of a Visiting Spanish Scholar in Residence program and the Spanish in the Professions program at the University, as well as in establishing numerous local internships for UW-Green Bay students and institutional connections with the Hispanic/Latino community. She also has led study abroad programs to Spain, Mexico, Guatemala, Australia and Cuba. Ortiz is the recipient of two UW-Green Bay Founders Awards. She received the Founders Award for Excellence in Institutional Development in 2004-05 and, most recently, for Excellence in Community Outreach (2013-14).

Michael Zorn, Natural and Applied Sciences, teaches Chemistry and Environmental Science courses and is a member of the graduate faculty of the Environmental Science and Policy program. He was chair of the Chemistry discipline for six years from 2006 to 2013, and he is currently the vice chair of Natural and Applied Sciences.

Zorn’s research interests include development and application of real-time environmental sensors; studying the cycling of nutrients and oxygen in the lower Fox River and Green Bay; utilization of catalysis and photocatalysis for conversion of undesirable organic compounds to non-toxic products; and development and evaluation of alternative energy technologies. Since coming to UW-Green Bay, Zorn has been directly involved in research projects totaling more than $1.6 million in funding.

Zorn has participated in several international travel opportunities associated with UW-Green Bay, including travel to Panama (to set up a January travel course); Finland (to establish research collaborations); and the Universidad del Desarrollo in Santiago, Chile (to further collaborative activities between the two universities).

Zorn began his UW-Green Bay career as an assistant professor in fall 2001, and received promotion to associate professor in 2006. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from UW-Green Bay and his Ph.D. in Environmental Chemistry and Technology from UW-Madison.