Author Archives: Kimberly Vlies

A profitable business ‘model’


Pictured above: Chuck Brys pays a visit to Jamie Veeser, owner of Machine Plus, LLC. Brys helped Veeser grow his one-man shop to a $1-million-plus facility with 10 employees.

After a first career of running businesses, Chuck Brys spent another decade helping others learn to run their own.

The new retiree is entitled to be a little giddy these days. Strong returns can do that to a person, and Brys can point to some impressive results from his tenure guiding business start-ups as a counselor for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), part of UW-Green Bay’s Cofrin School of Business.

In 11 years, he’s forged relationships with more than 1,600 businesses, invested more than 11,000 hours, helped to launch 117 businesses, created 463 jobs and increased “capital infusion” (securing capital for growth and start-up expenses) for the companies he’s worked with by nearly $25 million.

“Chuck has experience managing at a level most people just don’t have,” notes Tara Carr, SBDC director. “He can evaluate the business’s financials, take a tour of the facility and have clients walk him through their processes, and he can see things from a different perspective that helps him find solutions. He’s able to evaluate the business not only from the micro-level, but the macro-level as well, which is key to helping businesses in many different facets.”

Carr said Brys’ special skill sets have made him invaluable to SBDC clients. Among those skills — his ability to be a straight shooter, his level of integrity, his trustworthiness, his financial expertise and his management experience.

Retiree? Not for long.

Brys retired at 55… the first time. Before long, he began working with an organization that allowed him to be a part-time CFO or CEO to many different companies. Later, he turned to the SBDC.

“Being at the SBDC allowed me to help build businesses for busines’s sake,” he said. “It’s our responsibility to help these businesses think through their business plans and issues.”
The job of the SBDC is to help small businesses in whatever way they need. Be it helping an entrepreneur start a new venture, to helping a business owner figure out where their business was going off the rails.

Mentor. Coach.

A listener who asks questions and lets clients arrive at their own conclusions, Brys coached clients through almost every type of business scenario imaginable. Sometimes, that coaching meant not starting a business at all. Other times, with his guidance, businesses grew from “one-man shops” to larger operations with multiple employees and million-dollar income streams.

Consider the young man who wanted to open his own machine shop. He had the skills he needed, but not the capital. Through Brys and the SBDC, he was able to acquire $50,000 to start his business, Machine Plus, LLC. That same client just completed construction on a $1-million-plus plant. Owner Jamie Veeser (pictured right) credits Brys for his success.

“Chuck honestly helped me to be a very stable businessman,” Veeser said. “Seven years ago, I was a scared guy trying to figure out whether or not I wanted to open a machine shop. Chuck told me what I needed to have, and I went out and got it. He walked me through it, every step of the way.”

That was in late 2011. Machine Plus opened in January 2012. In three months the business was profitable; in six months business profits paid for a second machine in cash, and today, Veeser has 10 employees. Veeser said he never imagined being a business owner, or getting off the plant floor.

“Now I go on the floor when I want to play with something. I have more appreciation for my family, for my time off. I appreciate now how volatile the economy can be as a small business owner.”

Hometown Trolley in Crandon, Wis., is another amazing success story. The company’s main competitor was dropping its pricing and driving down Hometown Trolley’s profit margin, impacting the bottom line.

“Owner Kristina Pence-Dunow used me as a sounding board,” Brys said. “After a while, I asked her ‘Why don’t you just buy them?’ So many times, small business owners are so busy doing the work that needs to be done that they don’t have the time to think about things like that.”

Brys helped the company grow from a $2 million business into a $20-million, award-winning company. And the impact to the local economy was profound.

Transformation agent.

Brys also helped to develop the SBDC into a larger, more productive and highly valued resource in Northeast Wisconsin. By working with local economic development offices and increasing the amount of funding the center was able to bring in, Brys transformed the organization from a group bringing in 90 clients a year to one that sees more than 300 a year, and one that now aids in securing $15 to $20 million annually in economic development funds to grow the local economy.

“His dedication to the SBDC and to UW-Green Bay is truly about what kind of a man he is,” Carr said. “He just really wanted to utilize his experience to help the community and make a difference.”

Story by Liz Carey

Mission accomplished


UW-Green Bay students help nonprofits measure their good works

There was palpable excitement entering Lora Warner’s Government and Nonprofit classroom last semester. Her students were actively engaged with local Nonprofits through service learning; visiting sites, getting their “hands dirty” and evaluating each program to determine the best ways to measure and communicate the Nonprofits mission and success before formally presenting their recommendations directly to their professional Nonprofit partners. Why? Because for each Nonprofit organization, it is becoming increasingly important to stakeholders and donors to know that their time is well-spent and their financial contributions are making a difference.

Delivering value to the mission

The Green Bay Botanical Gardens, CP Center, Curative Connections, The Farmory and The Birder Studio ARTreach program were nonprofits that received help from UW-Green Bay in spring 2018. Take ARTreach, an organization that partners with the YMCA’s after-school program at Green Bay area elementary schools deemed “at-risk,” as an example. As part of the program, K-5 students work with high school mentors and a program leader to experience music, art, theater and more importantly, life skills like self confidence, public speaking and working together. The program brings art to life for kids who may never have the opportunity to be part of an arts-themed program.

However, measuring the success of the program, things like increased confidence and problem-solving skills can be difficult. “It’s been really exciting,” says ARTreach Coordinator Peggy McGee. “We know what we do works — we can see the benefits — but having the UW-Green Bay students here to provide research and organize the numbers into something we can communicate to benefit our program, is so fantastic.”

In the foreground, from left to right, UW-Green Bay students Jessica Pittner ’18, Carly Newhouse ’18 and Tessah Dolata from Prof. Lora Warner’s “Program Evaluation” class, evaluated The Birder School ARTreach program to determine best ways to measure and communicate its success. The after-school participants took a photo break during dress rehearsal for a future Wizard of Oz performance.

In the foreground, from left to right, UW-Green Bay students Jessica Pittner ’18, Carly Newhouse ’18 and Tessah Dolata from Prof. Lora Warner’s “Program Evaluation” class, evaluated The Birder School ARTreach program to determine best ways to measure and communicate its success. The after-school participants took a photo break during dress rehearsal for a future Wizard of Oz performance.

Community plus campus yields valuable partnership

This unique way of involving student and community is developed from Prof. Warner’s strong background in program evaluation. “Program evaluation helps measure the impact you’re having on the people in your program,” says Warner. “There’s something called the double bottom line; there’s financials, but then there’s the mission, the reason organizations receive donations — to accomplish good for the people that are part of the program.” Lack of staff, budget and time constraints can make it difficult for nonprofits to determine how to best show their success and measure their impact. Outcome measurement can have a profound impact on community philanthropic support, volunteers and overall participation in each program.

In this partnership, local nonprofits have the benefit of utilizing fresh, intelligent and innovative ideas to develop impactful metrics and useful measurement tools. Teams of students observe the nonprofits, meet directly with leaders to learn about organization mission and vision, research best practices and then combine this with their knowledge of program evaluation theory to determine outcomes and develop a model that can be utilized by the organization. The direct application makes it more “real” for each student, which impacts their perception of the local nonprofit landscape.

Adding value to the community

Warner has also observed the additional benefits of understanding outcome measurement and program evaluation through hands-on service learning; students in her classes are learning self-confidence, conflict management skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving. “They’re learning skills that are in high demand,” says Warner. “Program evaluation is something that employers want across all disciplines.” More importantly, students are developing into future employees that are well-prepared and able to effectively communicate their ideas and results.

Students within the program concur. They enjoy the non-traditional style of the class and are happy to share their insights. They speak about gaining empathy, humility, increased knowledge about the community, volunteerism and being a part of something that they may never have been exposed to otherwise, as takeaways from the class. “It’s so much more applicable to what I’m going to experience out in the real world,” says Carly Newhouse ’18, a senior working towards an Arts Management degree. “I’ve learned so much more because it’s not just a lecture.”

Ensuring these millennials are prepared for their future and able to give back to the community is exactly what Warner had envisioned. “This ultimately benefits the whole community in two ways. We’re preparing the future nonprofit and public serving employees to be comfortable and well-prepared,” she says. The nonprofits become more accountable. “They learn with us. And in turn, develop better evaluation methods, are more accountable to their donors, and in turn raise more money…becoming even more effective.”

Final grade? A+

The presentation complete, questions asked and answered, the students happily relax to let their peers take their turn. Peggy McGee is poised to take the students’ recommendations for ARTreach and move this program forward, utilizing the outcome measures outlined. Already, she’s seen the positive effect this unique and valuable project has left on the kids involved in ARTreach. “For students in these schools to see others invest in them by observing and interacting, makes them feel valuable…that people are interested in who they are,” adds McGee.

Mission definitely accomplished.

Story by Kristin Bouchard ‘93

Back to School

Plymouth Cohorts

Plymouth School District and UW-Green Bay celebrate decade-long continuing education partnership

UW-Green Bay and the Plymouth School District marked a milestone in May 2018 — a unique, mutually beneficial relationship that has supported educators for nearly a decade.
At a time when many teachers reach into their own pockets for materials to enhance the learning for their students, and districts are looking to stretch or trim operating budgets, the Plymouth Joint School District continues to promote and fully fund tuition and textbooks for its teachers who participate in UW-Green Bay’s master’s program for Applied Leadership in Teaching and Learning.

Rare collaborative opportunity

“It’s extremely rare for a school district to be so supportive of a program like this,” said Tim Kaufman, chair of the UW-Green Bay graduate program in Education. “Everyone in the Plymouth district, from administration to the school board has been committed to this from the beginning. It’s only grown stronger over the years.”

“We believe strongly in collaboration,” said Dan Mella, assistant superintendent for the district. “This arrangement allows us to bring the rigor of a master’s-level program to our campus and tailor it to the needs of our educators.” Open to pre-K to grade 12 teachers, registration is limited to a cohort of 20 students with six-hour classes on Saturdays, over a two-year period. “The educators meet the credit-hour requirements of the University’s graduate program; and we’re able to deliver it in a convenient and collaborative way,” Mella says.

That collaborative attitude carries into the structure of the classroom itself, where classes are co-taught by faculty from UW-Green Bay and Plymouth.

“In many settings, whether it’s a classroom or a boardroom, you would anticipate the environment to be a bit chilled by the presence of ‘the top brass,’” said Kaufman. “In this case, the culture is so collaborative, so empowering of frontline employees, that there’s no chilling effect at all.”

Win-win for Plymouth schools and UW-Green Bay

Don’t think for a minute that the district’s commitment stems from pure altruism. Mella says it gets at least as much as it gives. “Educators work in teams. We don’t direct them, but we ask that their work benefit the children in our district. We share it so it becomes part of the broader curriculum. That makes us all better teachers. And that produces better students.” The program, Mella says, is also used as a selling point to new candidates and is a “major plus in climate studies.”

“The most valuable thing to me was working with fellow Plymouth instructors to create something that was valuable to my own teaching as well as to our district,” said Beau Biller, technology education instructor. He was one of three teammates to research and develop a new technology-focused math course aimed at students not headed for four-year universities.

“There are excellent math course offerings at Plymouth for students who plan to enter a four-year university,” explained Darren Munson, a math instructor. “We felt there weren’t adequate math courses to meet the needs of students who would be pursuing career, military or technical college options.”

“And this was another collaboration,” added Jack Daniels, a math and computer sciences instructor at Plymouth and the third member of the team. “Through the process of implementing the new courses, we were able to collaborate with Lakeshore Technical College to offer these new courses for technical college math credit.”

Language Arts teachers Sarah Paff and Keely Mey, have had similar experiences with the program.

“Keely and I have both benefited personally and in our careers from the process of reflection,” Paff says. “As partners in the program, we wondered if reflection would help our students to develop critical thinking skills and the ability to learn from their experiences in and out of school. We did some research and found there was little out there about student reflection at the fifth-grade level,” said Mey. “We developed a journal-based, self-reflection program based on teacher-led questions around student motivation, student-teacher relationships, future focus, healthy lifestyle, social skills, self-worth, self-knowledge, relationships and academics.”

“Now we have teachers at multiple grade levels incorporating reflective practices into their classrooms,” said Paff. “It looks different from classroom to classroom, but we have many students in our district developing critical thinking skills through reflection.”

Room for replication

Kaufman said the Plymouth model could be replicated in other districts. In fact, some districts use part of the curriculum, but no one has the level of commitment that Plymouth has. “This program develops leadership within the teachers,” he said. “That plays out in the classroom and elsewhere. Some administrations would feel threatened by that, but Plymouth embraces it. They’re secure enough to empower teachers to take risks. So far, they feel that’s paying off.”

“And for me,” Kaufmann reflects, “it’s my best experience as an educator.”

See photos of the UW-Green Bay and Plymouth School District 10-year partnership celebration.

Story by Jim Streed ‘05

Diagnosis? Success.

Matt Torbenson is grateful for the UW-Green Bay MCW Green Bay partnership that made his transition from college student to medical student seamless. In back: left to right, UW-Green Bay Prof. James Marker, MCW Associate Dean Craig Hanke, UW-Green Bay’s Prof. Uwe Pott and Associate Dean Amanda Nelson.

Pictured above: Matt Torbenson is grateful for the UW-Green Bay MCW Green Bay partnership that made his transition from college student to medical student seamless. In back: left to right, UW-Green Bay Prof. James Marker, MCW Associate Dean Craig Hanke, UW-Green Bay’s Prof. Uwe Pott and Associate Dean Amanda Nelson.

Collaboration between UW-Green Bay and the Medical College of Wisconsin meets regional demand for doctors

The idea of being a doctor starts simply with the desire to help. Yet, the path to get there — undergrad, medical school, residency and possible fellowship — can be daunting.
For the past three years, UW-Green Bay’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology in partnership with the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), has been working to help local students realize their dream of becoming a physician — right here in Northeast Wisconsin. This unique collaboration between public and private institutions is celebrating a milestone in June, the first graduating physician class of MCW – Green Bay, including UW-Green Bay alumna, Julia Shariff ’15. (See page 10).

Physicians needed

This success story couldn’t come at a better time. Rural Wisconsin is experiencing a shortage of primary care physicians. In 2011, the Wisconsin Hospital Association predicted a shortfall of more than 2,000 physicians by 2030 if immediate action wasn’t taken — namely, producing 100 new physicians every year.

Armed with this data, MCW developed satellite programs in Green Bay and central Wisconsin “…with the intent to train and increase the number of primary care physicians that can serve the northern and central areas of Wisconsin,” states Craig Hanke, Ph.D., associate dean of curriculum for the MCW-Green Bay campus. The Green Bay campus was chosen in large part because of UW-Green Bay’s wealth of highly trained faculty in the biomedical sciences, who have a strong passion for sharing their knowledge.

UW-Green Bay’s track record is strong

When Shariff graduates in June of 2018, she will be the first in a growing line of students who were prepared for a medical path at UW-Green Bay. She will be followed by Matt Torbenson (pictured) and Angela Smet, each in their second of three years at MCW and 2018 UW-Green Bay graduates, Brittany Djurhuus and Nigel Tourdot. An impressive streak from a program that accepts candidates from across the nation.

So, what’s in it for the UW-Green Bay faculty? Professors teaching the MCW curriculum spend additional time preparing for higher level classes and team-teaching with physicians and other researchers. This additional gathering and sharing of content provides “preparation on steroids” for undergraduates.

UW-Green Bay Associate Prof. of Biology, Brian Merkel chuckles as he describes his time working with MCW. “It’s like Candyland for us,” he says. “So many of us at UW-Green Bay are passionate teachers, and part of that passion is not only our love in working with students, but we are huge fans of our content areas.” Merkel’s classes are essential to MCW’s curriculum. “I’m completely fascinated with microbiology and immunology and am excited to have the opportunity to teach this material to medical students, and then pass along the information to undergrads.”

Their dedication shows. Merkel and colleague, Associate Prof. Uwe Pott were named among MCW’s Outstanding Medical School Teachers for 2016-2017.  The UW-Green Bay/MCW partnership has also changed the way undergraduate students are advised, creating better outcomes and often acceptance into medical school. “It’s still incredibly tough to get into medical school,” says Amanda Nelson, associate dean for the College. But the partnership influences what professors teach undergrads to better prepare them for medical school. “We want our best and brightest (students) to stay in the region and continue to practice for 20-30 years,” says Nelson.

UW-Green Bay/MCW allows intellectual reach beyond regional borders

While MCW students in Green Bay participate in lectures from UW-Green Bay professors, their counterparts in Wausau and Milwaukee watch on live stream. “The institutions mutually strengthen one another,” says Hanke. “Collaboration has expanded the capacity of all the biomedical science faculty, giving everyone a chance to work with each other in terms of professional development.”

A prime example is UW-Green Bay Associate Prof. of Chemistry, Deb Pearson. Her wealth of knowledge in nutritional sciences is an area MCW hopes to expand. “MCW was interested in adding a nutritional aspect to the curriculum,” states Hanke. “Deb (a nutritional biochemist) has given lectures to improve the nutrition piece of our medical school.”

Keeping it local

The hope is that these highly trained physicians return after residency to Northeast Wisconsin to practice medicine. The MCW-Green Bay campus acceptance criteria requires that students express a strong interest in staying local and completing their residency in a Wisconsin/Midwest setting.

Story by Kristin Bouchard ‘93

Not a Research Institution? We Beg To Differ.


It’s high stakes for the next generation of problem-solvers. UW-Green Bay student researchers are ‘all in’

Hollywood has a way of framing how we should view the world. University scholarship and research are not immune, with most people seeing research as something done in a lab, under a microscope, by a mad scientist-looking-guy resembling Doc Emmett Brown in the movie “Back to the Future.”

Yet, spend any amount of time with today’s academic leaders and students and you will quickly discover that today’s research is an entirely different game altogether, a creation of knowledge that is vital to both the student experience and business and community transformation.

“Research isn’t just for faculty and graduate students anymore,” says UW-Green Bay Interim Dean of Business (formerly Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Director of Graduate Studies), Mathew Dornbush. “Research and related creative activities are now central to the way we educate all of our students, and it’s everywhere across the University. Students don’t come into college thinking of these experiences as an add-on. They expect to engage in research and to have it fully integrated into their college experience.”

For the most part, all universities operate under a similar and fairly straightforward definition of research: “the process of taking faculty, staff and student expertise and applying it to a problem.”

The complexity and fast pace of today’s world means there’s no shortage of problems to go around, providing plenty of opportunities for discovery for faculty and students at universities of all sizes. Community and industry connections are critical, both in helping to identify problems and invest in the research.

From psychology to biology to business administration to social sciences, research is everywhere on campuses of every size. While R1 research institutions command much of the attention when research is discussed, mid-size comprehensive universities like UW-Green Bay are also all in.

“Research conducted at institutions like UW-Green Bay surprises many in that it is taking place, is high quality and it applies faculty and student expertise to address problems and questions. Both basic and applied research is conducted on our campus, and both are equally valuable,” Dornbush notes.

Historically research was small-group based and done outside of curriculum. Now it’s being pulled into the curriculum and the student experience. Faculty are continually asking themselves “how do I restructure classes to include the research component?”

Dornbush, himself a researcher, says the process can be contagious. “It’s not uncommon for the passion of our faculty to inspire our students. When it comes to research, faculty are more like independent business people. They are hustling to fund their passions by applying for grants that allow them to study and explore really interesting and important questions. This in turn creates opportunities for our students and benefits external partners. It’s a fascinating process.”

May 2018 graduate Amber Collegnon and UW-Green Bay senior Samantha Alger-Feser agree. The two (featured on the cover of Inside Magazine) partnered with UW-Green Bay Psychology Prof. Regan Gurung over the last year to research the growing field of brain games and their effect on memory or cognitive performance. Their research question: Does playing games have an effect on the cognitive performance of students?

Their hypothesis: Students may study endlessly for an exam, but what if the actions they take in the ten minutes immediately before an exam can affect their exam performance? Could playing games improve learning? Previous research has shown that many classrooms are starting to incorporate game playing into their lessons to facilitate learning. But could playing non-educational games, such as Candy Crush, affect learning? The two hypothesized that students who play their own games would subsequently perform better on a quiz.

“We predicted that people who played games would be cognitively ‘warmed up’ and that’s why they would perform better but that is not what we found,” says Collegnon. “Instead, we found that those who scrolled through social media performed the best. Even though we may not completely understand why that is true, the data still shows that playing on your phone was significant over playing games on impacting performance. We believe this may just be what students are used to doing before a test and so they were the most comfortable and therefore performed at their best.”

Not only is research like Collegnon and Alger-Feser’s important for parents and educators who are looking to balance the use of technology at home and in the classroom, it’s also beneficial for student researchers and their future employers.

The ability to identify and provide creative solutions to problems is a universally accepted requirement in today’s job market. Research experiences take students from concept to completion. Because of the group/cohort model used in the research process, research also creates communities, which is important to the research process.

Patrick Forsythe and students tagging a northern pike.

Environmental Science and Biology students had a field day monitoring fish at a restored wetland on the west shore of Green Bay. The students, under the direction of Assistant Prof. Patrick Forsythe, analyze, measure and tag fish, as well as conduct experiments to measure fish egg mortality. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife Service, Ducks Unlimited and The Nature Conservancy are regional partners. See more.


“There are few things more rewarding than creating your own study, collecting data and finding significance during data analysis,” says Alger-Feser. “You can’t lose because no matter what the data says, you will learn something. The outcome might not always be what you hope for, like Brain Games, but nonetheless, we learned something.” Alger-Feser, a Psychology major, plans to graduate from UW-Green Bay in December 2018. She aspires to be a school psychologist.

“The way we integrate research with the student experience is important and will only grow,” Dornbush says. “The economic development people we work with get it. They see that graduates are better prepared and trained if we provide this kind of experience, but it requires a shared investment to make it happen.”

Ryan Currier and students observe wax and gelatin simulation of magmatic intrusions

Professors Ryan Currier and Patrick Forsythe lead Environmental Science students through an experiment using gelatin to create “scaled down magmatic intrusions” (think volcanoes and the like) that mimic magmas from Earth. See more.

Inquiring Minds

Problems in the corporate, health care, supply chain, agricultural, government and nonprofit sectors were explored through UW-Green Bay faculty/student research this year, including:

  • Do negative stress events and coping affect memory of both mid-life and older adults?
  • Can identifying and categorizing the microbial content of soil serve as a helpful tool to Midwest farmers?
  • What new energy saving opportunities can a leading regional healthcare provider deploy to improve the sustainability of its campus and reduce its carbon footprint?
  • Does gender moderate the relationships between shipping and return-shipping costs and subsequent purchasing intentions?
  • Are university efforts to reintroduce wild rice as a native aquatic plant into Green Bay taking root?
  • What funding alternatives can Wisconsin use to address its infrastructure crisis?
  • Is the Boys & Girls Club Teens2Work program having an impact on homelessness and financial stability, and educational success of area teens?
  • Can the support system of a student athlete impact their psychological well-being while in college?
  • What effects does traumatic brain injury have on cardiac function?

This piece originally appear in the Spring/Summer issue of Inside Magazine.  

Retirees golf for scholarships

2018 Retirees Golf Outing

The eighth annual UW-Green Bay Retirees Golf Outing was held August 16, 2018. It was another beautiful day for 36 golfers to enjoy the Shorewood Golf Course, with an additional eight people joining the group for a buffet lunch at the clubhouse. Prizes were plenty for low- and high-gross, event hole, and individual name drawing prizes. The annual UW-Green Bay Retiree Association Endowed Scholarship fundraiser event yielded $1,027.

Click thumbnails to enter slideshow view or view the album on Flickr.

– Photos submitted by the UW-Green Bay Retiree Association

‘The Upside of Anger’ by Ryan Martin at TEDxFondduLac

Ryan Martin TEDxFondduLac

UW-Green Bay Prof. Ryan Martin (Psychology and Human Development) was one of the speakers for the sell-out TEDxFondduLac event in May. Themed “Enough,” Martin spoke about “The Upside of Anger.”

Here’s a bit of what you can expect to hear from his presentation…

“Because I’m an anger researcher. And so I spend a good part of my work-life… and who am I kidding, also my personal life… studying why people get mad. I study the types of thoughts they have when they get mad, and even what they do when they get mad whether it’s getting into fights, breaking stuff, or even yelling at someone in all caps over the internet.

As you’ve probably guessed, when people find out I’m an anger researcher, they want to talk about it with me. They want to tell me their anger stories. Not because they need a therapist, though that does sometimes happen, but because it’s something they relate to.  Anger is universal.”

Enjoy this funny, thoughtful and engaging video!

‘The Upside of Anger’ by Ryan Martin at TEDxFondduLac


Kimberly Vlies selected as 2018 Artstreet logo designer

Congratulations are in order for UW-Green Bay staff member Kimberly Vlies, who had her design selected for all Artstreet 2018 promotional materials. Vlies is a digital marketing specialist for the Office of Marketing and University Communication. Mosaic Arts, Inc. made the announcement via its newsletter, today (July 9, 2018).

“Her design will be the official image of the 2018 Artstreet fine arts festival and will be displayed on posters, t-shirts, and other promotional materials,” according to the post.

Winning 2018 Artstreet Logo Designed by Kimberly Vlies

Winning 2018 Artstreet Logo
Designed by Kimberly Vlies

In the artist statement for the winning design, Vlies explains, “I set out to capture the spirit and bustle of a vibrant cultural event I find so completely captivating and inspiring,” She lists the symbolic elements highlighting design — “the canopies are more than just traditional tents, but represent the individual treasures they contain. The flourishes symbolize how Artstreet positively overflows with both visual and performing arts of all subjects, styles, mediums, and expressions.” Vlies hopes that the graphic communicates Artstreet as a festival truly filled with beautiful experiences delighting the senses at every turn.

The annual Artstreet Image Design Competition is open to people of all ages who are interested in submitting a design that conveys the essence of the Artstreet fine arts festival. This year’s event will be held August 24, 25 and 26 in downtown Green Bay.

Learn more about Artstreet.

In 2005, Vlies earned her B.F.A. in Graphic Communications at UW Oshkosh. In addition to design arts, she studied fine art mediums including drawing, oil painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture and ceramics. After graduation, she entered into the graphic design and digital marketing career she has held ever since. She joined the marketing and communication office at UW-Green Bay in fall of 2007. She serves on the executive committee of the Brown County Civic Music Association since 2010 and is currently exploring ceramics at the NWTC Artisan and Business Center’s clay studio.

See “Green Bay native Kimberly Vlies created this year’s winning Artstreet logo” in the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

IT announces website transition plans with UW restructure

UW-Green Bay Information Technology provides the following update on the transition plans for the UW-Marinette, UW-Manitowoc and UW-Sheboygan websites: Receiving institutions have been asked to take over the maintenance of the websites for their respective branches starting immediately. To make the transition and maintenance of these sites as seamless as possible, the colleges sites have been migrated into the UW-Green Bay content management system (Kentico).

In making this migration, the web address for the individual websites will be changing. “No worries!” ensures Paula Ganyard (Assistant Vice Chancellor for Information Technology & Library Services), “We will be redirecting the old URLs to the new URLs to ensure that information is found.”

Transition plans

The plan is to switch over to the new sites on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. Below are screenshots of what the sites will look like at launch, which is very similar to how they currently look. The new URLs will be:

UW-Manitowoc website screenshot

UW-Marinette website screenshot

UW-Sheyboygan website screenshot

Please report problems or content updates

With any large migration, in spite of thorough testing and review, things can be missed. The web development team asks that if any users notice something not quite right, to please let them know via email at; and they will resolve the issue as soon as possible. In addition, if there are needed page updates please direct requests to them, as well.

“We look forward to building a great website that serves all our audience members regardless of their location,” says Ganyard.

A Rippling Effect

Four Campuses Prepare To Transform an Educational Ecosystem

Ecologists know well that making a small change within an ecosystem has a rippling effect. Undoing what has always been done or making adjustments to what’s inside the ecosystem puts it in disarray… an unsettling situation for a world that demands order.

It’s not a stretch then, to think about the UW System’s proposed restructuring effort to join together the UW two-year and four-year campuses as a change to the educational ecosystem in Wisconsin, overall and Northeast Wisconsin specifically.

Beginning July 1 and contingent upon Higher Learning Commission approval, UW-Green Bay, UW-Marinette, UW-Manitowoc and UW-Sheboygan will come together as one university with one mission. The new UW-Green Bay will be a four-campus coastal university with an expansive 16-county footprint.

Four campuses“Ecosystems can endure a lot more change and disruption than we give them credit for and they are incredibly adaptive,” says UW-Green Bay Chancellor and ecologist-by-training  Gary L. Miller. “I think about this reorganization in the same way. It will be challenging and complex. There are a lot of moving parts. We will likely make some mistakes along the way. But it is certainly not impossible to transform and create something even better.”

According to Miller and the reorganization team, the footprint of the proposed UW-Green Bay includes nearly half of the Wisconsin coastline on the world’s largest freshwater ecosystem and some of the most pristine and desirable natural areas and tourist spots in the country.

The regional ecosystem also includes a large and growing manufacturing sector, a significant health care sector and a rich tapestry of business and nonprofit enterprises. All four campuses support vibrant art and music programs and serve as a hub of community activity.
Manitowoc resident and UW-Green Bay Executive Director of Continuing Education and Community Engagement, Joy Ruzek, said she has heard very positive comments throughout the community about the restructuring.

“Individuals and organizations feel they can capitalize on the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay brand in an effort to attract and retain homegrown and outside talent,” she said. “By aligning our mission with local economies, we can develop and expand popular programs that engage students and professionals in creating significant, positive economic impact.”

“This is an ecosystem like no other in Wisconsin,” Miller shares. “We know we need to continue to identify and reduce barriers to transferring credits, making it seamless for two-year college students to continue on to a four-year degree. We also need to create a unified university where all students can explore all programs, associate  through graduate degrees, regardless of where they enter the ecosystem.”

Marinette resident and UW-Marinette Campus Administrator Cindy Bailey, agrees. “The need to be there for the students and community, the desire to fulfill the wants and needs of the region and the opportunity to deliver a new way to look at higher education in our region is exciting,” she says. “I only see this as a benefit to our region and the citizens within our community.”

Miller acknowledges that the new ecosystem will take time and an extraordinary amount of creativity and teamwork to materialize.  Currently, dozens of individuals from all four campuses are working toward a smooth transition and have been meeting regularly with local business and community leaders, County Boards and educators seeking ideas and input.
But the work is far from over.

“Beginning in the fall, we will undertake a region-wide assessment of higher education needs, economic drivers and partnership opportunities on the way to the development of a strategic framework for the new UW-Green Bay,” Miller says. “In the end, we will develop a new educational ecosystem for Northeast Wisconsin, one that’s tied to both the success of more students and the economic development and quality of life initiatives our region needs. This is a tremendous opportunity.”

Together, Everyone, Achieves, More


Left to Right: UW-Manitowoc’s Blue Devil, UW-Green Bay’s Phoenix, UW-Sheboygan’s Wombat and UW-Marinette’s Buccaneer demonstrate that we are all in this together. Should the proposed restructuring be approved by the Higher Learning Commission, each of the institutions in this new 16-county, four-college coastal community have agreed to work (and play) together to transform the higher education landscape into one that is richer, more robust and more vibrant. While the college campuses’ names would change, pending approval, each of the institutions would retain their individual athletic mascots.

Northeast Wisconsin’s New Ecosystem

  • 16 counties: Brown, Calumet, Door, Florence, Forest, Kewaunee, Langlade, Manitowoc, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Oneida, Outagamie, Shawano, Sheboygan, Vilas
  • 419 miles of shoreline access (50% of Wisconsin’s total shoreline)
  • 215,000 manufacturing jobs
  • 900,000 residents
  • 22,000+ small, medium and large businesses