Thank you to all who joined the Coffee Break Q&A on Monday, June 29. Because of technical issues, this recording begins a few minutes into the Chancellor’s opening remarks. All introductory comments were discussed more thoroughly during the Question and Answer session.
As the effects of the Coronavirus begin to be felt in households across Brown County, Operation Community Cares is working to ensure that everyone has the necessary essential items to make it through these difficult times.
Operation Community Cares, in partnership with United Way, Brown County Board, ADRC, the Green Bay Packers, Paul’s Pantry, BCVSO and Veteran volunteers, are working together to provide a safe way for area residents who don’t have the funds and can’t leave their homes to receive essential supplies and connect them to available resources.
Currently, whether directly through Operation Community Cares or with partner organizations, there are nine UW-Green Bay alumni working in key leadership positions on this project. Those alumni are Sarah Inman ’92 (Political Science), Will Nething ’19 (Business Administration), Brandon Danforth ’19 (Business Admin), Ken Corry ’16 (Integrative Leadership Studies), Holly Ladwig ’15 (Social Work), Jill Sobieck ’92 (Human Development), Jenna Hunt ’15 (Integrative Leadership Studies) and Elaina Koltz ’06 (Human Development); as well as current UWGB student Nic Olp.
The Operation Community Cares mission is “to distribute basic needs items to vulnerable populations in our community during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe, systematic manner. Our process will identify and continue to work with existing personnel and families in need and identify new personnel and families that have become victim to the circumstances upon us.”
Operation Community Cares plans to establish either a centralized hub for individuals to receive essential items or use a distribution delivery system already in place or a new method of delivery. A volunteer staff will help make this plan a reality for the greater good of the general public while keeping personal health and safety a priority. Thanks to the UW-Green Bay alumni making a tremendous difference in the community.
‘Where do you get these great people?’ UW-Green Bay, of course.
Six University of Wisconsin-Green Bay alumni were honored at the 2020 Alumni Awards on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, and Brian Mannering was honored as an honorary alumnus. See their profiles.
Todd Jadin is vice president of Associate Relations and Talent Management at Schneider, and is responsible for corporate recruiting, learning and development, change management, associate relations, employment law compliance and the human capital processes. In his acceptance speech, Jadin incorporated a video of Schneider President Don Schneider, who, Jadin said, regularly asked, “Where in the hell do you get those great people?”
“Well, in my case it was from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. I was a bit of an anomaly back then as the majority of the college hiring that Schneider did in that era came from Don Schneider’s alma mater, St. Norbert College… I will also tell you that in 1984 I was just happy to be an alumni much less a distinguished alumni. I do like the ‘ring’ of that.” Much of the rest of Jadin’s speech is worth repeating…
“Schneider came to campus for screening interviews and had pulled my file from the placement office and requested an interview. I decided to go. I was successful and then invited to the corporate office for a structured interview process. One of those interviews was with Don Schneider and he had me at ‘hello.’ It was then I decided if Schneider offered me a job I would give them a shot. It is the only interview I’ve ever had.
Thirty-five years and 15 jobs later within the organization and I’m still there. It’s because of the education and foundation that I received from UWGB, so thank you for that. To know that someone who was born and raised in Green Bay and never had any interest in leaving the area could get the quality of education I received and work at a world-class company in the same city is something I’ve never taken lightly. I am
blessed in that regard. The tie I’m wearing (orange and green) is a gift from UW-Green Bay as the result of a business award I accepted here a couple of years ago on behalf of Schneider and that night I was wearing an orange tie. I commented on how I would have worn an orange and green tie since both organizations were near and dear to my heart but I didn’t have one. UW-Green Bay fixed that the following week. In addition to UW-Green Bay, I’d like to thank Schneider for taking a chance on a young college grad many years ago.”
Outside of his work, Jadin has served in many leadership roles in the community, including a role on the board of directors for the Green Bay YMCA, the UW-Green Bay Founders Association and the UW-Green Bay Alumni Board, along with his involvement in youth basketball, serving as the President of the Green Bay Area Girls Basketball Association while coaching numerous boys and girls AAU teams. Jadin was one of four alumni recognized with the distinguished alumni award:
Lisa Merkel has been an educator at Green Bay West High School since 2001, teaching Physical Science and Chemistry. Merkel focused her graduate school research on the effects of poverty on learning, something that she is still passionate about today. She contributes her knowledge on poverty related to learning in a variety of programs, including the Green Bay West Building Leadership Team, AVID, Student Council and the Medical College of Wisconsin Equity Team.
Paul Northway is the CEO of American National Bank, responsible for setting the bank’s strategic direction, as well as overseeing the company’s culture. Along with his work, he has had a positive impact on UW-Green Bay. Northway, along with his wife, have established a scholarship at the University for business students. In addition, he serves as a member of the Chancellor’s Council of Trustees and is a season ticket holder for men’s basketball and a supporter of the Phoenix Fund. Northway expressed his passion for UW-Green Bay in his acceptance speech.
“I have been passionate about the University because I truly believe that my education was one of those pivot points in your life that makes a difference,” reflects Northway. “I also believe that our community is stronger because of the University.”
Neil Diboll is a prairie ecologist at the Prairie Nursery in Westfield, Wisconsin, devoting his time and energy to championing the use of prairie plants, as well as native trees, shrubs and wetland plants in contemporary American landscapes. Through his work, Diboll developed the first scientific methodology for designing prairie seed mixes. Diboll was unable to attend the event.
There were two recipients of this year’s outstanding recent alumni award:
Diana Delbecchi, now Green Bay Area Public School’s first-ever Community Schools Resource coordinator, spent time reflecting on her deep connection and love for her alma mater.
“UW-Green Bay is like a magnetic force pulling me back to it, time and time again,” states Delbicchi. “To this day, this campus welcomes me with open arms, just as it welcomes all students… Overwhelmingly, I love this school. It not only gave me the confidence to follow my dreams, but it has always shown me the importance of being rooted in community; through giving back, building others up and committing to the betterment of all.” She ended her speech stating how “this honor feels like UW-Green Bay loves me back.”
Since graduating, Delbecchi has spent time working abroad in a refugee camp providing educational programming for out-of-school refugee youth. This experience led her to conduct research, eventually leading to the implementation of a young education program in a refugee camp of 700 residents.
Fellow award winner Amanda Reitz is the founder of the Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary (HEA), which seeks to pair neglected animals with caring families. Since 2006, Reitz and HEA have paired more than 4,000 companion animals with loving families.
Mannering, the president and CEO of LaForce, Inc., was honored for his continued commitment to the greater Green Bay community and UW-Green Bay. Although not an alumnus of UW-Green Bay, Mannering has demonstrated unwavering support for the University, demonstrated by his long-standing support for various initiatives, such as the Phoenix Innovation Park. Mannering reflected on the connection between LaForce and UW-Green Bay:
“At LaForce, my main role is to guide the company, empower people and cultivate a strong culture of team and community. Those same values are resident in the UW-Green Bay culture, and it’s a significant reason why LaForce employs so many GB grads.”
In the featured photo above, from left to right, Jadin, Merkel, Reitz, Delbecchi, Northway and Mannering. (Missing, Diboll).
Enjoy the gallery. Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.
– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication; event recap by Emily Gerlikovski, Marketing and University Communication student assistant.
Student Speaker Hannah Malmberg (Political Science, Communication) tells her fellow grads to have the courage to start anew. Here’s her speech:
Hello everyone. I feel like we’ve been trained to introduce ourselves with our name, major, and a fun fact about ourselves. So why not do it one last time? My name is Hannah Malmberg, I’m a Political Science and Communication major, and as for a fun fact about myself? Well I ran out of those after the 20th time of having to do this on the first day of class.
But I do have a fun fact for you. Did you know that the UWGB mascot wasn’t always a Phoenix? Up until 1970, the mascot was a water-skiing badger called the Bay Badger. Which honestly does sound kind of cool, but it made me think about the meaning of being a Phoenix.
What is a Phoenix, besides a dope mascot named Phlash?
The Phoenix is an ancient mythological creature found in folklore spanning several cultures that symbolizes renewal and rebirth. It bursts into flames before beginning its new life and soaring.
Which is beautiful, but in order for the Phoenix to be resurrected from the ashes and start anew, it must first fall.
While we may not be living in a legend of old, I’m sure many of us can relate to a tale about failing before finding success. I know that I can.
Before what was supposed to be the first semester of my sophomore year of college, I actually dropped out of this University.
My freshman year was a struggle. My mental health was in one of the worst states it had ever been in since I began my battle against mental illness many years ago. I felt disconnected and lost from everything and everyone around me. I wasn’t adjusting to college life like I had expected. Combine that with the fact that high school had been academically easy for me, so college was going to be too right?
Well not exactly. I even failed a class, American Government and Politics. Which is hilarious considering I became a Political Science major. Don’t worry, I retook it.
After taking a semester off, I decided to reapply and was admitted once again to the University. This time around, I challenged myself and sought help from those around me when I needed it. I also wanted to become that person for others as well. I became a peer mentor in the Gateway to Phoenix Success Program so that I could help others have an easier transition to college than I did. I am proud of helping the next generation of Phoenix succeed. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to have a second chance and try again.
So to me, being a Phoenix means being resilient because I know my story is not unique. We have all faced obstacles along our journey to this very day. But look at us now! I’m proud of that fact that we have created a community of support where we help each other rise when we one of us has fallen.
As I look out at all of you, I see how much we have grown and I know that the sum of our achievements is extraordinary. We have served as mentors and tutors. Conducted research, created beautiful pieces of art, and competed as talented athletes. We have left this campus and community better and stronger than when we arrived.
We may live in an uncertain world, but I know we will land on our feet and excel. We will create the world we want to see for ourselves. We are Phoenix after all.
Before I go, I would like to take the time to thank those who have helped me along my college journey. To my family, thank you for letting me discover my own path and for letting me make mistakes while loving me all the same. Today I am thinking about my Grandma Doris who always inspired me to pursue an education but passed away before she could see me graduate. To my friends, thank you for being there on those sleepless nights, for listening to me when I’m at my wit’s end, and for helping me create some of my most cherished memories. I am forever grateful for meeting you. I also want to thank the incredible faculty and staff I have met here at UWGB, especially Dr. Levintova and Dr. Helpap. I would not be up on this stage if it wasn’t for the guidance you gave me, the confidence you helped build, or the opportunities you provided.
So congrats UWGB Class of 2019, we finally made it and for old time’s sake, Go Phoenix. Thank you.
After a long journey, Ginger Turck graduates with a BSN on Saturday
Ginger Turck’s journey across the Weidner Center stage on Saturday, Dec. 14 for UW-Green Bay Commencement will be just like any other graduate. But few others have made more stops along the way.
This mother of three, Marine Corps veteran with a Business Administration degree (also from UW-Green Bay) already on her resume´—now earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)—may be the most traditional non-traditional student participating in the University’s 100th commencement ceremony, Saturday.
“She went through a long journey to be a BSN,” says Assistant Prof. of Nursing, Myunghee Jun. But Turck’s journey isn’t measured in miles—but in time and challenges.
Turck grew up a self-described “Tomboy” in the northern suburbs of Milwaukee, working in landscaping during the summers and began college 1995. She admits at the time she was more into volleyball than study hall. Originally attending college as a walk-on for the women’s volleyball team Turck soon realized “my heart wasn’t into college at this time which was reflected in my grades.”
“My parents said that if I was going to leave school, I would have to find something else to do.” So she enlisted in the Marines. “They say it was the hardest boot camp, so let’s see.” (Plus, only eight-percent of all active enlisted Marines are female, the lowest ratio in all of the U.S. military branches.) And the toughest part of boot camp? “Being away from home for three months and Parris Island sand fleas.”
It was later in field training when life handed her a lemon in the form of a hand-grenade. And this advice to anyone contemplating a similar experience—“Never throw a hand-grenade like a baseball.”
Turck was taught the correct over-the-shoulder technique, but kept throwing short of the target. “On my last try, I had an ‘I’m-going-to-show-you moment,’ so I launched it. Something didn’t feel right. I hit my target, but tore my shoulder.”
Ironically, it was that injury that would eventually lead her to nursing and her advocation to work in a VA clinic. Turck was separated from her reserve unit, which was activated and sent to Iraq in 2003 for Operation Enduring Freedom. She returned to Green Bay as an active reservist but saw her civilian prospects landing her back into landscaping. But her commanding officer offered a bit of advice. “My captain told me I should do something else besides digging dirt and suggested school.”
In 2006, Turck was medically separated from the Marine Corps and was sent to the Milwaukee VA for evaluation of her continuing shoulder/wrist problems. Her biggest problem? Being a woman in the VA healthcare system. “I would go into my appointment and staff would look at me and ask ‘Where’s the veteran? He needs to check in himself,’ seemingly confused as many said they had never treated a woman veteran before.”
With a second chance at college, now married (to a fellow Marine), Turck graduated from UW-Green Bay with a degree in Business Administration (Management and Finance) in 2008. And this time, she credits her professors with putting her “heart back into learning.”
This time odd timing was just bad timing—she hit the streets with a fresh degree and into the teeth of the great recession. Finding it impossible to find a job in banking in finance, she returned to landscaping and worked as a correctional officer, while trying to rehabilitate her shoulder and her career. The bottom may have been when she temporary job as took a brief job as a test examiner. “I knew I wanted more in life” she remembers.
Turck was accepted into Vocational Rehab through the VA, began nursing school at the Rasmussen College School of Nursing and graduated as a registered nurse (RN) in 2016. But fate was not finished throwing her curve balls. Her first nursing job was at an extended care facility that soon closed its doors.
“Nursing did not start out well” She admits. And this college graduate, Marine veteran, professional landscaping, correctional officer, long-term care facility nurse and mother of three needed a break—both emotionally and professionally. She was accepted into UW-Green Bay’s RN to BSN program, designed for associate degree registered nurses looking to advance their career. She decided not to work while in school, but still life beyond the classroom presented its own challenges.
“Shortly, after beginning classes my maternal grandma’s health began declining so I helped where I could, studied when I could as my mom, who had previously helped babysit, was spending her time at appointments and in hospitals with my grandma.” Her grandmother passed away on August 19, 2018, the same day as her late stepdad’s birthday and her wedding anniversary. Turck would also say good-bye to her paternal grandmother in 2019.
But true to her Marine spirit, Turck did not retreat. “In January 2019, I gave birth to our third son at 5 a.m. and much like the birth of my first child in 2014, I again was online to introduce myself for my next nursing class that also began that day.”
It was also time to make peace with VA through both a clinical placement during the summer 2019 semester, and as a patient at the Milo C. Huempfner Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic, which neighbors the UW-Green Bay campus.
“Throughout my time at the Green Bay clinic I have never been overlooked as being the veteran, nor forgotten as a patient.” Or a woman, for that matter. “When I went there for treatment for my shoulder, I had to bring my one-year-old son with me. He was crying, so my doctor held him the whole time during my examination.”
And as for what future holds, Turck sees a life still filled with challenges, but perhaps fewer holes.
“With any hope, there will soon arise a chapter called Milo C. Huempfner VA Clinic nurse and veteran patient advocate Ginger Turck, RN, BSN.”
One of the most elusive elements of life is discovering a passion and having the moxie to pursue it. It can be a lifelong process, but one that is worth the while. For one University of Wisconsin-Green Bay alumna, it didn’t take a lifetime, but it did take some discovery.
From a UW-Green Bay undergraduate student working in the classroom to New York City raising funding for the arts, Hannah Claire Lewis has (’16, Arts Management) been on quite the journey.
Initially, Lewis began her undergraduate career with a passion for dance.
“When I was younger, it was a dream of mine to own and operate my very own dance studio,” said Lewis. “After teaching at various dance studios throughout the Green Bay area, I quickly realized that while I enjoy teaching, my passion for dance could be utilized in a capacity that did not involve running a dance studio.”
Lewis wanted a way to still be part of a community that valued her artistic roots while exploring different avenues within an arts organization. During her sophomore year at UW-Green Bay, she found that different avenue: arts administration.
Specifically, in a class titled, “Funding and Financial Issues in the Arts” taught by UW-Green Bay Professor of Art and Design, Ellen Rosewall, Lewis’ love for fund development was born. Lewis embraced this newfound passion, and was accepted into Indiana University’s Arts Administration Graduate Program. There she had the opportunity to serve as a teaching assistant, complete a development and special events internship at Bravo! Vail Music Festival in Colorado and serve as the development associate at the Indiana University Auditorium. “Due to the amazing mentorship of Professor Rosewall coupled with the opportunities I had to further my skills and education, I was able to land a position in my dream city so soon after graduating,” Lewis said.
That dream city is none other than New York City, where Lewis is currently completing a 10-month fellowship with The Juilliard School. As part of her fellowship, Lewis works with the Office of the Provost and Dean tacking budgets, planning events, handling correspondence with donors, and engaging with the talented classical musicians studying at Juilliard. In addition, Lewis is working on a research project with a painting donated to the school decades ago painted by George Gershwin.
Lewis’ ultimate career goal is to teach Arts Administration at a University. However, before pursuing teaching full-time, Lewis wants to work for a think tank, such as the Urban Institute.
“I am a firm believer that the field of Arts Administration needs more arts and cultural researchers,” said Lewis. “The economic standpoint of how the arts can bolster a community is important, but Arts Administrators need to understand the who’s, what’s, why’s and how’s as well.”
For instance, one question Lewis is looking to better answer is what motivates donors to donate in the performing arts. Lewis looks to seek answers to this question and many more as a member of the current generation of Arts Administrators, so this generation and the next has a better chance to succeed in the field.
Feature by Joshua Konecke, Marketing and University Communication student assistant.
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay alumna Jennifer Nowicki ’19 (Business Administration) has been an entrepreneur almost her entire adult life. She has worked in the tea industry for 25 years and is Wisconsin’s only certified tea specialist (Specialty Tea Institute ’09). In addition, she has co-owned a coffeehouse, owned a tearoom in Milwaukee, and has been a representative for the United States Tea Industry in two world tea conferences.
Nowicki is currently taking on a new challenge. Hers was one of three “pop-up shops” to be announced as a finalist in the Two Rivers Pop-Up Shop Contest, recently. Her shop, “Cultivate Taste,” a specialty tea shop, opens Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2019. It is located near the “Field to Fork” restaurant at 510 S. 8th St. in Sheboygan.
After obtaining a minor in business, Nowicki returned to UW-Geen Bay to major in Business Administration and was encouraged by UW-Green Bay entrepreneurship lecturer, Ryan Kauth (Cofrin School of Business), to get involved in business competitions. “I think the contests help validate my experience and education,” said Nowicki.
With her knowledge and years of experience in the tea industry, Nowicki would like to own one physical retail location and eventually have a tearoom again. “I enjoyed having a physical location when I had my tearoom in Milwaukee and developed quite a few loyal customers,” said Nowicki. “I see this as part of my business.” In addition to her pop-up shop, Nowicki sells her tea online and wholesale, a side of the business she also hopes to grow.
Kauth says Nowicki has what it takes to be an entrepreneur: “Jennifer has grit: passion for what she does and the perseverance to see her business ownership goals through. No matter what,” he said. “She also is a lifetime learner. It helps if entrepreneurs are curious and ask a lot of ‘Why?’ questions. Jennifer coming to UWGB to finish her degree and pushing herself in competitions is what got her where she is. That’s also why the Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs invited her this past spring.”
Being an entrepreneur has seemingly always been in Nowicki’s DNA. Along the way, she said it has been important to have the courage to try new things and consult the advice of others.
“I think I always had an entrepreneurial mindset and even asked small business owners what it took to be one in my 20s,” said Nowicki. “If I do not know something, I am not afraid to get the education I need to succeed or figure it out if formal education is not there.”
Photos submitted. Story by Marketing and University Communication Student Assistant, Joshua Konecke.
On Labor Day weekend, the Northern Sky Theater dedicated its new $8 million Creative Center near Fish Creek in Door County. Critic at Large Warren Gerds traces the roots of this Northeast Wisconsin gem all the way back to UW-Green Bay and alumnus Fred ‘Doc’ Heide ’74 (Humanism and Cultural Change). This is a story worth reading to remind a community the value of a regional public University. Read the Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Extra! From a hole in the ground – who’da thunk?, via WeAreGreenBay.com.
Heide said, “I agree with your theory: UWGB has had many unanticipated positive effects on the community, and Northern Sky is an excellent example.”
Photo by Heidi Hodges
UW-Green Bay Chair of Biology and Human Biology Prof. Dan Meinhardt, writes about a rare opportunity to observe one of his former star students, alumna Samantha Kuba ’13 (Human Biology, Biology) in action, as she continues to develop her UW-Green Bay found-passion in dissection into a career as a medical examiner. His story and insight, follows:
As I get decked out in a disposable apron, surgical mask, and shoe covers, I notice the lack of any noticeable smell. In fact, I sense nothing remarkable in the prep area between a small suite of offices and the morgue. Almost all my experience with human dissection has involved preserved cadavers, which are maintained in a distinct-smelling ethyl alcohol solution (formaldehyde is still used to harden soft tissues in specimens for dissection, but too harmful for long-term preservation). Here I sense nothing but the chilly air-conditioned air and the generic smell of “office.”
The safety equipment I’m being instructed to don would be at home in any light industry setting, like one of the many dairy food facilities back in Green Bay. But as I am led into the morgue, where two recent decedents in body bags lie awaiting their autopsies, all thoughts of food run quickly from my mind.
I am visiting the Pinal County Medical Examiners Office at the invitation of former student, and 2013 UW-Green Bay graduate, Samantha Kuba. Sam, an Appleton native, says she “fell in love” with dissection while earning degrees in Human Biology and Biology (emphases in Health Science and Animal Biology, respectively) at the Green Bay campus. She describes my Comparative Anatomy class as her first real introduction to dissection, and credits two other UW-Green Bay experiences for getting her hired into her current career.
“I participated in the Germany/Plastinarium trip in 2012, and…the cadaver lab my final semester. Out of 245 applicants for a lab-tech position at the Maricopa County (Arizona) Medical Examiner, Sam says, ‘I was chosen entirely because of what I was able to do at GB.'”
The Maricopa County Medical Examiner serves the Phoenix metro area, the nation’s eleventh largest, so Sam’s training made her witness to everything the field could throw at her. After a little over a year and a half, she left Maricopa for a unique opportunity to set up and lead a new facility at nearby Pinal County.
“I basically got to start up my own morgue. I set all the standard operating procedures, organized the work space how I wanted, and trained all staff. I currently run all morgue related operations.” In addition to all this, Sam is working toward certification by the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators, and training in forensic photography. I know her hard work is recognized when I see the respect afforded Sam by her supervisor, Pathologist Dr. John Hu. “I am the doc’s eyes in the body, and he trusts that I’m going to alert him to any abnormalities,” Sam tells me.
We’ve kept in touch since Sam left the University, so I was aware of all the impressive things she’s been learning and doing, the amazing stories she can tell, but even that didn’t prepare me for what I saw. It’s not for everyone, so I’ll spare the details, but the anatomist in me was floored by both the speed and precision of Sam’s dissection. It came as no surprise when a newly hired tech told me how lucky she was to learn the job from Sam. As I watched the team finish, I also felt lucky to get the chance to see her work, and proud to have played a small part in her training. In a little more than an hour Sam and her trainee had processed two decedents, and my time at the morgue came to an end.
It may seem ironic to some, biology is the study of life after all, but for specimen-based researchers like me it usually involves working with dead organisms. Often, the field of anatomy is viewed as old fashioned, offering nothing new to learn. But even humans, one of the most studied organisms on the planet, continue to offer new insights. And when it comes to understanding the cause of an individual’s mysterious death, or finding those responsible for a murder, careful dissection is one of the only means to an answer.
Nothing is more rewarding than seeing someone take the training they received at UW-Green Bay and apply it to such important, fulfilling work.
Story and photos submitted by Associate Prof. Dan Meinhardt to the Office of Marketing and University Communication.
Lisa Fay Coutley ’04 (English) says she learned how to dream big at UW-Green Bay. Coutley is an assistant professor of Poetry and Creative Nonfiction at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is also a poet, essayist, teacher and editor, and in the past year, was named among UW-Green Bay’s most honored young alumni. More on Coutley.