UW-Green Bay virtual bunco meeting

UW-Green Bay after hours Bunco meetup goes digital

When the COVID-19 pandemic threatened to stop a group of UW-Green Bay staff from gathering this month for Bunco—an informal after-hours ritual—a Zoom virtual meeting saved the day.

“Let’s be honest, I miss everyone and could really use some of the laughs!” wrote Residence Life Area Coordinator Amy Mauk, in an early planning email message. “Finding an online way to do Bunco has proved to be harder than you think. But we think we have found a way, and with the assistance of Virginia (Englebert), I think we have found a viable option using Zoom.”

The play-of-game requires three tables each set with two teams of two, through which players rotate based on if they win or lose each round, ensuring each participant has an opportunity to visit with the other eleven throughout the course of the evening. Instead of tables, the players rotated between breakout rooms within the Zoom conference. Instead of sharing a set of dice, women raided their Yahtzee and Tenzi sets to use for their own turns. And everyone brings their own best snacks.

UW-Green Bay Bunco zoom meeting

For years these coworkers and friends gathered in a member’s private residence monthly to socialize, relax and play the dice game. The UW-Green Bay Bunco gatherings were first organized by Virginia Englebert, Residence Life information process consultant, and continue to this day. To the group, including women from all parts of the Green Bay campus, with diverse professional roles, the monthly gathering offers an important opportunity to connect and socialize.

If you have any UW-Green Bay virtual gatherings, be sure to share screenshots on social media with #VirtualUWGB!

hand coloring UW-Green Bay Coloring Pages

UW-Green Bay Coloring Pages

When times are difficult, UW-Green Bay creative ingenuity delivers a way to pass the time and spread some Phoenix pride. This series of beautifully drawn coloring pages was created especially for the Phoenix Family by hard-working and talented UW-Green Bay graphic design student Katie Stephenson for Phoenix of all ages to enjoy. Download and print these UW-Green Bay coloring pages.

Pages were created by graphic design student Katie Stephenson, May 2020.

Be sure to share photos of completed works of art with #VirtualUWGB!

UW-Green Bay campus icons coloring page Geometric phoenix coloring page Phoenix Sculpture coloring page rise with us coloring page Shoe Tree Traditions coloring page

UW-Green Bay Gateway Pergola zoom background

UW-Green Bay campus scenes for virtual meeting backgrounds

While the University community stays separate and safe together, virtual meetings have become the new means to work, learn, instruct and stay connected. Here are some beautiful backdrops from UW-Green Bay’s four campuses for online video chats, virtual meetings or Zoom calls:

Download Virtual Backgrounds

If you use the virtual backgrounds, be sure to share screenshots on social media with #VirtualUWGB!

Closed arboretum trail

UW-Green Bay Recreation Areas Closed to the Public, Effective April 10

On April 9, 2020 Governor Tony Evers issued a directive closing specified Wisconsin State Parks & Forests effective Friday, April 10, 2020 for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.

It continues be to the goal of the University to maintain the safest environment for visitors and staff. Currently, the University is unable to provide the necessary staffing to maintain the outdoor spaces and respond to the safety and security of individuals using these spaces. To facilitate that goal, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will close all areas on campus to members of the public until the conclusion of the COVID-19 emergency.

Consistent with the directive of the Governor, the following areas of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay shall be closed to the public effective Friday, April 10, 2020 at 4:30 p.m.:

  • Cofrin Arboretum and trails
  • Communiversity Park / Lambeau Cottage (lots & trails associate with these areas)
  • Phoenix Park
  • Frisbee Golf Course
  • Roadways and interior walkways to recreational pedestrian traffic

It is understood that this may represent a loss of opportunity for outdoor recreation, however it is necessary to facilitate adherence to the Safer at Home Emergency Order and for the safety and security of University staff and visitors.

Cartoon contest: What did the sandhill crane say to the turkey?

Cartoon caption contest: ‘What did the sandhill crane say to the turkey?’

One can only imagine what’s happening on UW-Green Bay’s campuses while so many of us are away. This cartoon, by staff writer and cartoonist Michael Shaw, suggests one possibility. The only question is—what did the sandhill crane say to the turkey?

That’s up to you tell us in our first-ever cartoon caption contest. Submit your caption idea to Michael Shaw at shawm@uwgb.edu and three finalists will be chosen. Then you’ll be able to vote for your favorite caption. The winner will receive the original drawing with their winning caption. The two runner-ups, a print of the cartoon with their captions. Put on those creative-thinking caps! The contest ends April 10, and judging the three captions will occur the week of April 13-17.

A brief reprieve from our current situation is good for the heart and soul. Let your creativity and sense of humor take wing!

Important Decisions on COVID-19 at UW-Green Bay, March 11, 2020

UW-Green Bay’s update to faculty, staff and students—March 11, 2020

To: University Community
From: Sheryl Van Gruensven, Interim Chancellor
Date: March 11, 2020
Subject: Important Decisions on COVID-19 at UW-Green Bay

UW-Green Bay continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and strategize to keep students, faculty and staff safe from potential transmission. University leadership is meeting daily to assess the situation and make necessary decisions. We will announce updates every Wednesday or more frequently if required.

Consistent with guidance from the CDC, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, UW System and the Brown County Health Department our goal is containment. Toward that end, the University has made the following decisions regarding class delivery, spring break travel, upcoming events and workplace expectations.


  • Beginning Monday, March 23-March 28, all UW-Green Bay classes at all campuses will be taught via alternative delivery methods. You will receive additional details from your faculty in the days ahead. We will update this status for subsequent weeks every Wednesday.
  • Students leaving campus for spring break are strongly encouraged to go home and remain home until further notice. We are evaluating the situation daily and will communicate a return-to-campus date as soon as possible.
  • Take instructional materials, computers, medications and other valuables home with you over spring break.
  • Campuses remain open and essential services will remain available (in person or by phone), including but not limited to counseling and health, dining, housing, police and academic advising.
  • Students not able to leave campus for spring break will have accommodations.
  • Students requiring internet and access to computer labs can return to campus after break to do so.
  • All University-sponsored spring break trips for students and faculty have been cancelled. See the additional travel guidance for international and U.S. travel, below.


  • Continue your preparations to move all instruction to alternative means of delivery by Monday, March 23. Resources to assist you in doing so can be found online: https://www .uwgb.edu/coronavirus/faculty-resources/
  • We expect every effort to be made to communicate to students by March 23 how their courses will be delivered. Please work with your deans and department chairs to achieve this.
  • All University-sponsored spring break trips for students and faculty have been cancelled. See the additional travel guidance for international and U.S. travel below.
  • All University-sponsored travel outside the state of Wisconsin for faculty and staff from March 14-March 29 has also been cancelled. Exceptions can be made only with approval from the Chancellor.
  • Campuses remain open and essential services will remain available. Employees are expected to report. If you have specific concerns or reasons not to report, work with your supervisor.


  • Campuses remain open and essential services will remain available. Employees are expected to report. If you have specific concerns or reasons not to report, work with your supervisor.
  • A temporary telecommuting policy will go into effect on Monday, March 16. More communication on alternate work schedules and telecommuting will be provided by Friday, March 13.
  • All University-sponsored travel outside the state of Wisconsin for faculty and staff from March 14-March 29 has also been cancelled. Exceptions can be made only with approval from the Chancellor.

Campus Events

  • Campus events from March 14-March 22 have been cancelled. Future events are continually being evaluated with decisions being made each Wednesday regarding continuation or cancellation of upcoming events and mass gatherings.
  • The Kress Events Center will be closed to the public from March 14-March 29.
  • Refer to the Weidner Center website for individual event updates.
  • Green Bay Athletics continues to monitor the situation, with guidance from the NIT, Horizon League and the NCAA forthcoming.

University Travel Cancellations and Guidance

With spring break approaching next week, please be aware of the following if you are planning to travel. You are strongly encouraged to take the necessary precautions to keep yourself from coming in contact with infected individuals.

University-Sponsored Travel Cancelled

  • All University-sponsored Spring Break trips for students and faculty have been cancelled.
  • All University-sponsored travel outside the state of Wisconsin for faculty and staff from March 14-March 29 has also been cancelled.

Spring Break Travel Guidance

Domestic Travel

As of March 10, a state of emergency has been declared in the following states in an effort to combat the virus:

  • California
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Utah
  • Washington

As these states are reporting some of the highest levels of COVID-19 cases, UW-Green Bay discourages travel to these locations by students, faculty and staff. Per the Wisconsin Department of Health Services: People who have traveled in the past 14 days to places where there is community spread of COVID-19 (international and domestic locations), are asked to self-quarantine themselves and monitor for symptoms for 14 days. If symptoms, like fever, cough, or difficulty breathing are present, they should contact their local health department and health care provider for possible testing. People should call ahead before arriving at a health care facility for testing.

International Travel

Travelers returning from Level 3 (High Risk) countries (China, Iran, Italy and South Korea) will be required by the Department of Homeland Security or other governmental agencies to follow CDC After-Travel Health Precautions, to include self-monitoring from home for 14 days and social distancing.

As more countries may be declared Level 3 in the weeks ahead, international spring break travelers should be aware that they may encounter problems with re-entry into the U.S. Please continue to watch for updates to the list of Level 3 countries and be diligent about having contingency plans for travel.

Stay Informed

The situation regarding COVID-19 continues to change. While on break, continue to stay informed by regularly visiting the CDC website as it is updated daily. We also advise you to monitor https://www.uwgb.edu/coronavirus/ and your campus email over break for updates specific to the University. UW-Green Bay will continue to monitor the situation closely, share updates and take action as needed to safeguard your well being.

Continue to stay well and stay informed. As Phoenix, we will persevere together.

Coronavirus update from UW-Green Bay and UW System leadership

The UW-Green Bay Office of the Chancellor provided coronavirus updates on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. One is a memo from Interim Chancellor Van Gruensven and the other is a Coronavirus Preparedness memo from UW-System President Ray Cross.

To: University Community
From: Sheryl Van Gruensven, Interim Chancellor
Date: March 4, 2020
Subject: UW-Green Bay Coronavirus Update, Travel and General Health Considerations


To: UW System Chancellors
From: UW System President Ray Cross
Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness


Next chancellor candidate open forum is tomorrow, Feb. 27

Mark L. Biermann
Mark L. Biermann

Mark L. Biermann, Valparaiso University provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, is the second chancellor candidate scheduled to be on campus. The open forum will be held tomorrow (Thursday, Feb. 27) in Fort Howard Hall, Weidner Center for the Performing Arts from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  View Biermann’s CV (pdf).

Video Streaming is available for those unable to attend in person. Attendees may submit questions remotely to chancellor@uwgb.edu.

This session offers opportunities for students, faculty, staff and community members to interact directly with the candidate. All are highly encouraged to participate in this important step in the selection process for the University’s seventh chancellor, including the opportunity to offer feedback on each candidate.

For more information, visit the Chancellor Search page.

CAHSS Oxford England Study Abroad trip

Walking in the Shoes of the Literary Greats

Keshena Hanson ’18 (English and Communication) in the dining hall of Magdalen College, Oxford.
Keshena Hanson ’18 (English and Communication) in the dining hall of Magdalen College, Oxford.
Dining halls in Harry Potter movies were inspired by those in Oxford.

Imagine walking in the shoes of such literary greats as T.S. Eliot, Oscar Wilde, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and Lewis Carroll; breathing in the urban and pastoral aura that inspired some of the greatest writing works of all time. For Emily Ransom’s students, there is no need for literary flights of fancy; they’ve lived the dream.

Every summer, Ransom, a UW-Green Bay assistant professor of humanities, leads a travel course to Oxford, England. This four-week, six-credit course explores fantasy literature and poetry of authors local to the region. While doing so, they travel to the places that inspired the works and also emulate these authors’ techniques in a creative poetry writing class. “It’s an English/Humanities course” Ransom explained. “We stay at a medieval college in the heart of the city and take many excursions in Oxford and the surrounding regions.”

A typical week during the course

Class time is in the morning. First up is fantasy literature with readings and discussions of Tolkien, Lewis, Carroll and other fantasy literature authors. The second class is creative writing—studying and imitating the form, content and style of such poetic greats as Eliot and Philip Larkin. The afternoon is tour time, filled with colleges, authors’ homes and museums. Twice a week, they take part in theatrical performances and concerts. Friday trips include castles, Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath or Stonehenge. Weekends are free for students to create their own experience. London is only an hour away with access to Ireland and Europe just a train passage, a shockingly-cheap flight, or a Megabus trip away.

Free to do what they want on the weekends, students need to be accounted for by Sunday night when they reconvene in the campus churchyard for a poetry reading. Each student brings one poem written by an Oxford poet and one of their own.

The experience may not transform a student into a great poet, but it is still transformative. “It’s a fully-immersive experience,” said Ransom. “Our goal is to get the students to feel at home there; for them to feel like they belong in this intellectual hotbed of talent and literary tradition.”

The results? Brilliant!

“It was only a month, but it felt so much longer because we experienced so much,” said Hannah Majewski, an English major graduating in May 2020. “The history, pub culture, architecture, museums, authors’ homes…it was all so stunning. Every morning, I would wake up, sip on a cup of tea, and look out my dorm room window (at St. Edmund Hall —known fondly as Teddy Hall). I would gaze at the medieval well in the middle of the quad. It was so old, probably built in the late 1100s. It was awe-inspiring. To be a part of so much history and intellect, if only for a month, was unforgettable.”

Oxford England study abroad tripWithin Oxford and Cambridge (aptly called the Oxbridge system) lies a network of colleges. Wherever you go, there’s a college nearby. “University is all over the city,” said Ransom. “Oxford looks exactly like it is always imagined in the writings of its authors; the sculptures, rivers, pastorals, architecture. When you’ve spent time reading the stories by these authors, it offers a strange sense of being home.”

Oxbridge system is a small, tight-knit community, Ransom explained. It provides an atmosphere of chance encounters, story sharing and intellectual conversation. “Oxford is fun, bustling and saturated with culture and beauty,” she said. “The colleges throughout the city provide a lot of green spaces, so you also get a pastoral feel that creates a quiet place of refuge.”
For students like Majewski, experiencing such a profound sense of history and place not only inspired creativity, but also changed her life. “I have a deeper appreciation and greater understanding for not only the Oxford authors, their writing and the places that inspired them, but also for the connections that appreciation and understanding continues to create in my own life.”

For Professor Ransom, the student outcomes for the course transcend literary appreciation.

“I love watching the transformation in my students. It touches them on so many levels and creates a lasting impact on their lives. These lessons are souvenirs they will keep for a lifetime. On an educational level, students can make connections from a text they read and help them problem solve. On a social level, it impacts their global consciousness and empathy toward other cultures. On a metaphysical level, it transforms their inner selves.”

From Hannah Majewski’s perspective, she found traveling to another country and time a grounding experience, connecting her to her love of literature, history, imagination and creativity. “When I feel disconnected, thinking back to that experience grounds me. It had such an impact on me that just thinking about it…the beauty, the history, the reverence, the aura…it calms me and inspires me all at the same time.”

—Story by freelance writer Kim Viduski ’92

Georgia Pacific Internship

From GB to GP: UW-Green Bay Students Turn Internship into Gainful Employment

Heading into her internship with Georgia-Pacific, Madelyn Skalecki hoped it wouldn’t be just a ‘go-fer’ coffee and bagels position. She, and intern Elizabeth Johnson got their wish.

 Madelyn Skalecki
Madelyn Skalecki, ’19 Graduate

For 12 months Skalecki was credited with an internship, but worked as a full-time employee, getting to know the company, its supply chain practices, and what each step of the supply-chain process would cost the company. The December 2019 graduate began working at Georgia-Pacific as an employee of the company’s supply chain division immediately following graduation.

For students from UW-Green Bay and managers at Georgia-Pacific, the program is a win-win. Students are able to put what they learn into practice, and managers at the company are able to recruit and retain key talent. It’s the high-impact, problem-solving approach for which the University and the Cofrin School of Business is known.

“I would be doing something in the office, and I’d think to myself ‘I remember learning this in a book,’” Skalecki said. “And then after I was finished with the internship, I’d be sitting in class during a lecture learning about something and think ‘Oh my gosh! I did this!’”

Skalecki said her past internship experiences were more like busy work. But this experience was different.

“The previous intern’s project was to create a timeline of what our team, Supply Chain Outsourcing, did on a day-to-day basis,” she said. “My project was to take the previous intern’s project and develop a time and cost analysis for it, which had not been done prior. This transformed how my team understood the impact of their day-to-day work and educated the other cross-functional teams we worked with on a daily basis. The project also provided a value-added comparative advantage for us as we are now able to test scenarios that can be more cost and time efficient.”

Jason Danforth
Jason Danforth

Skalecki’s manager, Jason Danforth, said the internship program is a way for Georgia- Pacific to create a hiring pool that the company already knows is worth the investment.

“I think the program allows our company to create a pipeline for future talent,” he said. “We look at it as a six-month interview.”

The competitive internship and co-op experiences are utilized throughout the company.

“It is definitely competitive regardless of what college or university a student comes from, but Georgia-Pacific actively recruits from UW-Green Bay and attends all its career fairs. We have different departments that attend those career fairs such as Georgia-Pacific’s transportation team called “KBX Logistics,” along with our sales team “GPXpress®,” which play the biggest roles in recruiting from the University.

Danforth has been with Georgia-Pacific for six years and a manager of the Supply Chain planning and purchasing team for more than two years. Over that time, he’s seen a number of interns go through the program that started before he began working with the company. While the program helps the interns build their professional resume and learn about working in the corporate culture, interns help the company by bringing new insight and a fresh perspective into processes as well as provide system improvements to help streamline the organization.

Jason Danforth with interns Jason Danforth with inters Elizabeth Johnson and Madelyn Skalecki and Elizabeth Johnson
Once Georgia-Pacific/UW-Green Bay interns, Madelyn Skalecki (right) and Elizabeth Johnson (left) were able to land full-time employment with the company. G-P Manager Jason Danforth (middle) says mentoring is the favorite part of his job.

“The biggest payoff for me personally has been serving as a role model and a coach for these students,” he said. “I get to not only develop their softskills, but also to develop their supply chain knowledge of processes.”

Georgia-Pacific is a worldwide leader in making tissue, pulp, packaging and building products, producing everything from paper towels to bath tissue. Danforth works in the supply chain planning and purchasing department, which supports the buying of finished goods from outside suppliers. When one of its mills is over capacity or does not have the capabilities to make a product, his team secures the finished goods from outside suppliers, then stores the inventory at Georgia-Pacific’s fulfilment warehouses for their customers. His team’s main responsibility is to manage outside supplier production requirements with domestic and international suppliers—from the purchasing of raw materials to be converted into finished good or just straight buying of finished goods.

“The internship in the supply chain of Georgia-Pacific is a six-month program that provides interns with a job offer at the end of the time period if they are successful within the program,” Danforth said.

Elizabeth Johnson
Elizabeth Johnson

Between May and November of 2019, Elizabeth Johnson served as an intern at the Georgia-Pacific plant in Green Bay. Handling day-to-day operations helped her utilize her education in business with a focus on human resources and supply chain management. After graduating in December of 2019, she took a position at the company’s Atlanta headquarters.

From there, she was assigned a mentor, also a former intern, who helped her to get acclimated to the plant and working for the company, as well as to encourage her through the process.

“When I took the internship, I didn’t think it would lead to a position,” Johnson said. “It’s been a really great opportunity. I would encourage anyone to take the chance and do it.”

– Story by freelance writer  Liz Carey