Filling the composter

Digging in: UW-Green Bay Composter Update

University Union staff at “Eco U” have been hard at work composting. From Oct. 8, 2020 to March 30, 2021, UW-Green Bay processed 37,833 pounds of food waste and is averaging about 2,200 pounds a week in the year-old composter. About 75% of food waste is turned into compost, thus, the composter has created about 28,500 pounds of compost.

The composting process at UW-Green Bay starts as wood chips from local commercial tree removal companies and UW-Green Bay Dining food waste (two buckets of wood chips for every bucket of food waste). Add some heat and time and you have COMPOST!

The plan is to supply Gwood chip and compost pilesreen Bay Community Gardens with compost, but members of the University community and local community will be welcome to the compost sometime this spring.

Questions about the University composter may be directed to Grant Winslow,

Video: Career Services: Your destination for internships and jobs

Hello students. My name is Linda Peacock-Landrum and I am director of UW-Green Bay Career Services. I hope that spring semester 2021 has gone well for you.

I want to take a moment to just remind you that Career Services is here to support you in your efforts as you search for an internship, you search for a postgraduate position, or if you are thinking about attending graduate and professional school after graduation.

I want to remind you to use Handshake. Handshake is our campus online system to post all opportunities for students. It does include graduate assistantship opportunities as well and you will find all of our events and programs listed there.

Just as a highlight for you for today I do want to share with you that there were over 3,100 internships and jobs posted that were in Wisconsin, and we’ve got about 4,000 jobs that were in Wisconsin. For a post-graduate opportunity, you can log into handshake using your UW-Green Bay email address.

It’s important for you to be on top of these things if you need any assistance in using Handshake. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to a member of our staff. We’ve been very effective meeting virtually with students using Teams.

Finally, I just want to give some tips to some students who might be a little anxious about doing virtual interviews. It really is a great experience to have. We actually are offering a virtual mock interview day in April on the 14th and 15th for all students, and then very specifically for student teachers on April 20th and April 22nd.

In preparation for a virtual interview, be sure to test the platform, make sure you’re comfortable with it. Give some thought to what is your background and your surroundings, if you need to sort of have a background inserted electronically, or if you want to create one in your space that’s fine. Make sure that it is an area that is removed from unusual sounds, possibly pets or other individuals that you might be in your household with will not be available during that time.

Then just do your normal preparation as you would for any type of interview that would be coming up. This would include anything in the terms of looking your best, having appropriate professional attire, doing some good preparation in advance, looking at some sample questions, knowing that job description, position description, knowing the organization that is going to offer the opportunity for you. Those are all things that are critical in preparing for any type of interview, whether it be face-to-face or it be virtual.

So just a reminder Career Services is here for you to offer that assistance as you navigate this transition from college to career in terms of securing and looking for an internship as well as for postgraduate employment.

Thanks again, have an enjoyable remainder of spring semester, and go Phoenix!

UW-Green Bay students create podcast highlighting members of the Latino community

See a problem. Solve the problem. See a need. Fill the need. That’s part of the Wisconsin Idea. It’s also what drove three compassionate, UW–Green Bay students to start a podcast highlighting members of Northeast Wisconsin’s Latino community. Kelly Lamas (Spanish, Social Work), Mario Huarota (Spanish Education) and Kory Brunette (Spanish) told an NBC26 reporter that they were allowed to “create what we thought would be best for our school and our goals and our mission for this project and spread awareness to the community.”

They say this podcast allows them to both practice their Spanish comprehension and showcase real people in their community that may be otherwise overlooked. To date, the students have interviewed members of the community who are bilingual therapists, DACA recipients, restaurant owners, and others.

Assistant Prof. Mario Jimenez Chacon (Humanities) is the faculty member who proposed the idea. As the project is not tied to a particular class, but the Spanish program, he hopes it will continue into the future as a long-term digital humanities project.

You can listen to the podcast, here.

Photo of two art pieces at the 2021 Senior Show exhibit. One piece is of a white porcelain bald head with green leaves and red wine flowers attached to the left side of the head and the other is a beautiful wood table with wood table settings. Text overlay on the photo, "2021 Senior Show Exhibit Lawton Gallery UW-Green Bay."

Video: UW-Green Bay 2021 Senior Show Exhibit

The 2021 Senior Show Exhibit is on display from April 3-May 13, 2021 at the Lawton Gallery on the Green Bay Campus. Exhibition of work by senior students Carissa Crawford, Molly Gwitt, Kieran Krueger, Elyse Lemke, Brittney Meyer, Samantha Olson, and Amanda Shepard. The Lawton Gallery is located in the Theatre Hall building (Room 230). The Gallery is open during the spring semester, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Alumna Marissa Michalkiewicz continues to dig sustainability

Marissa Michalkiewicz feels her insides burn as she walks down a littered street. She grimaces as she notices recyclables in a trash can when a recycling receptacle is just steps away. She’s always had a passion for leaving a place better than she found it.

The high-energy UW-Green Bay alumna (2016, Business Administration) has moved quickly from recycling at UW-Green Bay’s Homecoming event—Krash the Kress—to Recycling and Solid Waste Program Coordinator for Outagamie County and Founder of Giveadaam Ventures—an LLC dedicated to energy-efficient and affordable housing.

“I really started caring about the environment when I was a Sophomore at Appleton East High School, so around the age of 16. I decided to take our high school’s only Environmental Science class during that year and the teacher that oversaw the class, Mr. Ryan Marx, was truly the reason I continued pursuing the subject.”

Since the beginning of high school at Appleton East, she was motivated to be involved any way she could, with the purpose of adding to her resume and creating potential change in waste management. At UW-Green Bay, her travel as a member of the Phoenix softball team and attendance at many athletic events as one of the founders of the “Green Bandana Brigade,” a student pep group, never distracted her from fulfilling her mission at Eco U.

Marissa Michalkiewicz
Far right: Marissa Michalkiewicz

As for her Recycling & Solid Waste goals, the Business Administration alumna hopes to find new sparks of inspiration to increase awareness on waste diversion.

Now, her many responsibilities at Outagamie County’s Recycling and Solid Waste, including overseeing the marketing—recording, and editing of educational material and provide public education and outreach to residents and businesses within the County ensuring recycling participation meets departmental objectives.

Her side non-profit, Giveadaam Ventures, took on three new interns, including current UW-Green Bay Business Administration student Maria Arunkumar. She expects them to hit the ground running…

“Our 3 Hype DAAmbassadors joined our venture knowing the goal of their internship was to organically expand the brand awareness of Giveadaam Ventures, LLC. In their 4 month internship period, the challenge presented to them was to double the following on Giveadaam’s digital and social media platforms,” said Michalkiewicz. “Their responsibilities are to develop the social media strategy for the organization by creating social media posts, monitoring analytics, documenting the progress of the company, and highlighting the businesses and organizations participating in Giveadaam’s Community Marketing Partnerships.”

Along with her many roles, Michalkiewicz says volunteering is important to create a community you are proud of. She volunteers countless hours of her time to St. John’s Homeless Shelter, On Broadway, Inc., and UW-Green Bay’s Alumni Association and Homecoming events because she says those organizations work to offer amazing services for the community members.

“Volunteering is a great way to create the type of culture and community you wish to see because it provides organizations with your free resources that allow them to continue spreading their messages and efforts,” said Michalkiewicz.

Marissa and 2020 Giveadaam Groundbreaking

In her side venture, “Giveadaam Ventures,” Michalkiewicz is envisioning a house with nearly zero energy consumption. Her idea for it stemmed back to college days when she had affordable housing at UW-Green Bay, but she saw her college friends in other communities challenged to find quality housing with affordable rent.

She was recently featured in the Green Bay Press-Gazette on her plans and purchase of local property.

“The business plan for Giveadaam stems from an environmental business plan Michalkiewicz developed as a University of Wisconsin-Green Bay student studying business and environmental policy. Much of the business, started by Michalkiewicz after she graduated in 2016, is housed in the garage of The Manor and is powered by young professionals who help out in their spare time,” according to the story.

Michalkiewicz visualizes this type of housing for college students and young professionals. This process is very new for Green Bay and Wisconsin. Local officials are lauding her efforts.

Her efforts are of little surprise to those on campus that recognized this rising Phoenix years ago.

Story by Marketing and University Communication student assistant Charlotte Berg. Photos submitted.

Home Sweet Home for Green Bay softball

For one team, it’s back to normal… almost. The Green Bay women’s softball program has been back in action since the end of February, and has some late-season home games ahead at King Park, the newly renovated softball facility is a gorgeous addition just waiting for a post-pandemic ceremony to celebrate. The team played its first game there on March 20, after four years on the road! has the full softball schedule listed. Go Phoenix!

Mark King, Bay Tek, Bay Industries, Bruce Bell, the Dahlin Family, Jim Growt, Jim Wochinske and the UW-Green Bay Foundation played key roles in helping bring the facility to fruition.

Marinette Campus alumna in the spotlight

Published in the Peshtigo Times

NWTC Marinette and UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus proudly celebrate alumni in Peshtigo making a difference in our region!

Every day, Ashley (Kostreva) Haile, of Peshtigo, helps others through her work as an LPN at Advocate Aurora. Haile works part-time with an ophthalmologist and a plastic surgeon.

The 2002 Menominee High School graduate found her path to nursing success through both NWTC Marinette and UW-Marinette (now UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus). Haile graduated from UW-Marinette with an Associate of Arts and Sciences in 2004. She transitioned to NWTC Marinette and earned her Practical Nursing Technical Diploma in 2006.

With her family, Haile is a long-time resident of Peshtigo. Growing up in the region, Haile chose to start local for college, “Especially because I didn’t know what I wanted to do.” Plus, staying local for college allowed her to experience leadership opportunities on the court (basketball and volleyball) as well as in and out of the classroom (Student Ambassadors and Student Senate), even in her first year of college. Transferring from UW-Marinette to NWTC Marinette was simple thanks to the communication between the two campuses. “They worked really well together to make sure my classes lined up.”

At both campuses, college success was all about connections for Haile. “Everybody was someone you knew. I felt like they were there for me. You felt important. No matter where you went, you could talk to anybody.” Haile points out that one of her instructors at NWTC was connected to one of her high school classmates and is now a coworker.

Learning local also helped her financial situation. She saved money by living at home and attending colleges with lower tuition, which also meant less student loan debt for the future. “You can get the same education starting local and saving money impacts your life for many years to come.”

Haile’s college experience included some struggles, but she points to those as great growth opportunities. “I stumbled along the way just like anyone would. I learned how to communicate—how to keep those lines of communication open, how to manage every day. Being local really helped me manage everything when it came to getting ready for the real world.”

Haile is proud to say she attended both local campuses of NWTC and UW-Green Bay. She plans to return for further schooling and is happy to hear she has local options once again. NWTC offers an associate degree in nursing and UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus offers a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Both campuses are again working together to help students like Haile reach future goals.

NWTC Marinette and UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus cheer on the great work Haile is doing and are proud to call her an alumna of our two campuses.

UW-Green Bay Nursing students proud to contribute to vaccine effort

When Alyssa Ehlke decided she wanted to become a nurse in 2014, she had no idea of the surprises being a student in 2020 would hold.

Alyssa Ehlke
Alyssa Ehlke

Now, as a student in the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s nursing program, Ehlke is one of the UW-Green Bay nursing students providing Wisconsin residents with COVID-19 vaccines that promise to bring life back to some sort of normal in the midst of a pandemic.

“I think that there’s always a little bit of anxiety when you know there is something that is such an unknown (like the pandemic)… it’s frightening because we’re so needed,” she said. “But then, at the same time, I realized how important the job that you’re going to have is. I think that was the biggest realization to me. It’s like ‘Oh, okay, my job is going to be something that’s going to make a difference.’”

Ehlke, 30, already has a bachelor’s degree in math and psychology, and originally wanted to go into teaching. But after working alongside people in healthcare professions, she realized nursing was what she really wanted to do. Now, as a sophomore nursing student, she is working as a CNA at an assisted living facility while taking classes in the nursing program, doing clinicals at the VA hospital and helping to administer vaccines to veterans who served their country.

“I think we are so fortunate to be able to have that opportunity, which is actually exciting,” she said. “We were told that if it weren’t for pandemic, we would not get the experience of doing all these vaccinations… We’re learning more about applying what we’re learning in classes to real-life situations and what’s going on in the world today.”

Launching a new pre-licensure nursing program in the middle of a pandemic presented challenges to administrators in finding practical hands-on experience for the students, said Christine Vandenhouten, chair of Nursing & Health Studies at UW-Green Bay.

UW-Green Bay Nursing student, Precious Yang draws up the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to immunize a patient at the Lakeshore Community Health Center in Manitowoc on Friday, March 26, 2021. Observing the nursing student, left, Christine Vandenhouten, chair of Nursing & Health Studies at UW-Green Bay.
UW-Green Bay Nursing student, Precious Yang draws up the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to immunize a patient at the Lakeshore Community Health Center in Manitowoc on Friday, March 26, 2021. Observing the nursing student, left, Christine Vandenhouten, chair of Nursing & Health Studies at UW-Green Bay.

“Many of our counterparts at other nursing programs saw health systems like our local hospitals, reducing the number of students who could be in a given clinical setting by half,” Vandenhouten said. “What that meant was that the educational institutions had to double the number of faculty to teach and find twice as many clinical settings to engage them in clinical learning…

“Planning for this spring semester for traditional programming was particularly challenging because we were faced with the need to create simulated clinical experiences conducted in a skills lab or find twice as many faculty and clinical units to give students the necessary clinical experiences,” she added.

With the approval of the COVID-19 vaccines in the fall, and distribution beginning in the winter, having students assist in administering vaccine helped the program provide students with a unique clinical learning experience.

But it also helps the communities in and around Green Bay. Nursing students are supporting vaccination clinics in Green Bay at Aurora BayCare Medical Center and the Milo C. Huempfner VA Clinic, and in Manitowoc at the Lakeshore Community Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center, Vandenhouten said. Additionally, she is in talks with other communities and health systems to assist their efforts in the future.

Students get academic credit for their participation, as well as real-world experience. In addition, they get a $500 credit towards their tuition if they work 16 hours in the Covid clinics. Vandenhouten said that as of today, 27 of the 34 traditional BSN students have participated in the vaccination program. The Nursing program students will continue working in the vaccination clinics in April with the goal of having all 34 students participate.

Jordan Barnes, 22, who is also working towards her bachelor’s in nursing, said she was excited to learn that she would be volunteering in health care in the middle of the pandemic.

“I was excited when I found out we would have the opportunity to administer COVID-19 vaccines to the public,” she said. “It was an exciting time because every vaccine I administered was one step closer to life going back to normal. I was able to learn the science behind the vaccine and how it works in our body, so I was able to ease the nerves of some patients and make them feel more comfortable with their choice to get the vaccine.”

Barnes started her college career with the goal of getting a degree in Human Development with minors in Psychology and German so she could go into counseling. But in her junior year, she decided she wanted to go into nursing instead to do more for her patients.

“My mom works as a hospice nurse and seeing her compassion as she shares her experiences with me is what really drove me in that direction,” she said.

After graduating with her Human Development degree in December 2020, she started working on her nursing degree. Now, as she works in healthcare settings as part of her training, the experiences, and the pandemic, reinforce her decision.

“I do not think I had any concerns going into nursing school in the middle of a pandemic. If anything, it made me feel like I knew for sure that this is the career path for me. Knowingly walking into what some people may refer to as ‘a disaster’ and continuing says something about that person and what kind of caretaker they will become,” she said.

The most surprising part about the experience, she said, was the reaction of the patients.

“I did not realize how grateful and excited patients would be as they walked into the clinic for their first dose of the vaccine,” she said. “I know that the vaccine is being given in waves and so it is eye opening that people are on waitlists while some people are passing on it when it is made available to them.”

Ehlke, who contracted COVID-19 last year while working at a local long-term care facility as a certified nursing assistant, said reactions to the vaccine fell into one of two categories.

“You have two different spectrums. You get the people who were like, ‘Oh, shoot. How is this going to affect me? Is this going to work? They’re hearing stories about how we’re going be getting a booster so is this really going to be effective?’” she said. “And then you have the people who come in and they’re so excited. They’re like ‘This is just one step forward to us not having to worry about going out in public and catching this virus…’”

Participating in the vaccination effort has been frightening, but fulfilling Ehlke said.

“At first, it was nerve-wracking because, you know, you are administering a shot into someone’s arm, but afterwards, it kind of makes you realize that you’re a part of history,” she said. “My dad contacted me afterwards and said, ‘You know, you will one day look back on this and realize that you are doing something that not many people will ever get to experience.’ This is something that is going to make a difference in a lot of people’s lives. And like I said, that’s kind of the reason why I wanted to go into nursing in the first place.”

By freelance writer Liz Carey

Photos by UW-Green Bay’s Michael Shaw and Christine Vandenhouten

Cover photo: Nursing student Precious Vang.

Image of Stacy Groll

Inclusion Begins Within

No one would deny we live in changing times.

And when Stacey Groll, assistant to the mayor for the City of Manitowoc, Wis. saw an opportunity to do her part, she went for it. The change? Helping to develop a greater sense of equity, diversity and inclusion within herself, city government and ultimately the community she’s lived in all her life.

That’s why she enrolled in UW-Green Bay’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Certificate Program. Building diversity is as much a practice as it is a field of study. And definitely a tall order within a five-week program that’s entirely online. Was it worth the effort?

“Absolutely!” Groll says, “For both my professional and personal development.”

Some realizations arrived early-on. Diving into issues involving equity, diversity and inclusion can be very intimidating at the onset. “The starting point for me was realizing how much I really have to learn.” But then she realized that it was the diversity of her fellow students and interacting with them that made the program come alive. “It was amazing! Everyone’s experience was different.”

Groll has no plans on stopping. Her goal is to develop a committee within city government so employees can increase their sense of inclusion and together create a more inviting and welcoming workplace. And then after that, invite members of the community to create their own committee in partnership with the City of Manitowoc.

“I want to pull in leaders from different organizations and communities that may be underrepresented. Anyone that has a passion for diversity, equity and inclusion.”

That would certainly include Groll, who is looking forward to the second level of the program and completing her certification. And after that? She’s just getting started….

Groll was a participant the Diversity, Equity and Diversity Certificate Program, offered by UW-Green Bay’s Division of Continuing Education and Community Engagement.

Facing patient-care challenges in her undergrad experience prepared Menominee County alumna for work as RN

Every day, Miranda (Baumler) Jackson ’15 (Associate of Arts & Science), of Daggett, impacts the lives of others through her work as a registered nurse. A wound care RN at Pine Crest in Powers, she is about to become a float RN at OSF St. Francis Medical Group in Escanaba, working in family practice, behavioral health and pediatrics.

The 2013 Carney-Nadeau graduate found her path to nursing success through both NWTC Marinette and UW-Marinette (now UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus). Jackson graduated from UW-Marinette with an Associate of Arts and Science in 2015, then headed to NWTC—first in Shawano and then Marinette—to complete her associate degree in nursing in 2017.

It is no surprise to faculty at both campuses that Jackson has been successful.

“In clinical, she faced patient care challenges directly and strived to make the health care experience the best possible for her patients,” said Jane Swanson, Nursing-Associate Degree program instructor at NWTC Marinette.

Jackson points to faculty and staff support at NWTC Marinette and UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus as being key in reaching her goals. Small class sizes and instructors who wanted to get to know students on a personal level helped her grow.

“I never felt that I couldn’t ask questions or that people would look down on me if I had any questions,” Jackson said. “A lot of the time, when I approached them with questions, they would be excited that I wanted to engage that way and seek help.”

Hands-on, connected learning were also key to Jackson’s success. While studying at the University, she remembers meeting with community members to practice speaking Spanish. At NWTC Marinette, she enjoyed her experience at health fairs. “It pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me realize I could help educate people,” Jackson said. “It helped me have more confidence in my abilities because people were asking questions and I was able to say, ‘I know this!’”

Jackson encourages students at every stage of their studies to reach out for help and engage with instructors. “It’s really great to go somewhere and have someone rooting for you and wanting to help you succeed,” she said.

She continued her education and earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing as well. NWTC Marinette and UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus (Marinette Higher Education Coalition) cheer on the great work Jackson is doing and are proud to call her an alumna of both campuses.

Under the Marinette Area Higher Education Coalition, NWTC Marinette and UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus are working together to bring a shared vision of public higher education to the Marinette area.

Watch this video on the Coalition.