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.


Founders Award Winners

Founders Awardees now on display outside of GBOSS

Because of the pandemic, it took some time to gather images and design the Founders Award posters for the display wall outside GBOSS on the Green Bay Campus. But they were installed a few weeks ago. Congrats one last time to all the winners announced at virtual Convocation in Fall 2020:

Sherri Arendt, Academic Support Award for Excellence

Barbara Holschbach, University Staff Award for Excellence

Prof. Gaurav Bansal, Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship

Linda Toonen, Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching

Mai Lo Lee, University Award for Excellence in Community Outreach

Associate Prof. James Loebl, University Award for Excellence in Institutional Development

UntitledTown Board of Directors, University Award for Excellence in Collaborative Achievement

  • Rebecca Meacham, Co-President (University of Wisconsin-Green Bay)
  • Amy Mazzariello, Co-President (Lion’s Mouth Bookstore)
  • Derrick Holt, Vice-President (Audio/Music Professional)
  • Maria Konkel, Treasurer (Nicolet National Bank)
  • Mai J. Lo Lee (University of Wisconsin-Green Bay)
  • Cristina Ortiz (University of Wisconsin-Green Bay)
  • Jerod Santek (Write On, Door County)

Rapid (Surge) Site Thank You

The Rapid Testing Site at UW-Green Bay has proved a valuable asset as Northeast Wisconsin battles COVID-19. Recently, a community member who used the site for regular testing to protect her family, sent a note of gratitude and treated workers to lunch. As of this this week, the site at the Weidner Center provided 20,000-plus tests at the site, and continues to average more than 200 tests per day.

Featured photo: Getting ready for the Senior Art Exhibition, Spring 2021

Senior Molly Gwitt was preparing for the 2021 Senior Art Exhibition and was elbow-deep, mixing clay for ceramics class, when Lindsay Heuhns took this image and posted on Instagram. Gwitt is a double major in Arts Management and Fine Arts with an emphasis in ceramics. The Green Bay native will graduate in May 2021.

Molly Gwitt
Molly Gwitt


Emerging Independence Art Show at the Lawton Gallery

Video: Lawton Gallery Emerging Independence Exhibition

“Emerging Independence,” a student show presented by the Lawton Gallery, can be enjoyed virtually or in person. The online exhibit is open from Jan. 28 to Feb. 25, 2021. The Senior show features UW-Green Bay seniors and graduates in Ceramics, Painting, Printmaking, Textiles, and Sculpture.

Exhibiting artists include Andrea Cornett, Lydia Delikat Mitchell, Tommy Mlodzik, Beth Schueffner, Dane Schumacher, Raven Storm and Nora Wesner.

To view the exhibition virtually, visit the Lawton Gallery webpage. On Feb 9 & 23, 2021 from 12:30 to 1 p.m. a Lawton Small Talk will be featured.

Can’t make it in person? See some of the works in this video:

**During COVID-19 the Lawton Gallery is open to the public during normal gallery hours. Extra precautions are being taken including restriction of the number of people in the gallery at a time, social distancing, and cleaning. If you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact the curator at 920-465-2916.

A Catalyst for Change

UW-Green Bay leaders Ruzek and Van Gruensven are catalysts for change

Joy Ruzek and Sheryl Van Gruensven have long dreamed of an Institute for Women’s Leadership at UW-Green Bay as a catalyst for change in the University community and the broader region of Northeast Wisconsin.

The idea for the Institute evolved as both grew into their current roles. Ruzek is assistant vice chancellor of the Division of Continuing Education and Community Engagement, partnering with businesses and organizations to develop innovative programming in response to professional and workforce development needs throughout Wisconsin. Sheryl Van Gruenesven is chief business officer and senior vice chancellor for Institutional Strategy, a key leader fulfilling an essential role.

The Institute seeks to address the “broken rung” in the ladder that is holding women back. McKinsey and Company conducts an annual Women in the Workplace Study, and for the sixth year in a row women continue to lose ground in the first step up to manager. Not only does this stall the progress toward gender parity, but also puts companies at risk of the loss of future women leaders. Companies in Northeast Wisconsin in particular identify developing leaders as a critical goal, and it has been repeatedly demonstrated that women at senior levels of management impact profits and share performance in a positive way. They are also more likely to be champions of diversity and inclusion, contributing to a stronger workplace culture.

As Ruzek and Van Gruensven see it, the key to changing this trajectory lies with senior leaders — male and female — to ensure women can advance. “As leaders,” they advocate, “we all need to demonstrate this is a priority by what we say, what we do, what we measure and how we lead.” Over time, they hope, the Institute will enhance the quality of life and economic development in the region in the following ways:

• Fulfilling critical leadership needs in the region and contributing to a robust, more broadly engaged and representative professional workforce, essential to a healthy, fully-engaged society and economy.
• Eliminating barriers that narrow women’s professional opportunities, preparing women for leadership roles early on so they can advance mid-career and beyond.
• Creating a culture of “Conscious Inclusion” that builds on the desire, insight and capacity of people to make decisions and to lead, think and act with the conscious intent of including everyone.

Ruzek and Van Gruensven are looking forward to the kickoff event, which will take place on Friday, March 5, in celebration of International Women’s Day. It seems a fitting day to see their dreams come to fruition with the official launch of the Institute for Women’s Leadership, especially with this year’s theme of “Choose to Challenge.”

Ruzek and Van Gruensven have indeed chosen to challenge, and their plans for the Institute will pave the way for future women leaders of today and tomorrow. With their help, women will rise together.


Joy Ruzek
Joy Ruzek

Ruzek serves as assistant vice chancellor for the Division of Continuing Education and Community Engagement where she provides strategic vision, innovative programming and advanced services to address the developmental needs of all ages throughout Wisconsin. She joined UW-Green Bay in 2009 and has over 35 years of experience in executive business management and progressive professional training and development. She earned her bachelor’s in business management, and holds a master’s degree in counseling with an emphasis in higher education.





Sheryl Van Gruensven
Sheryl Van Gruensven

Van Gruensven serves as chief business officer and senior vice chancellor for institutional strategy where she provides leadership and oversight for the development and execution of a sustainable financial model and administrative services to the University community. She joined UW-Green Bay in 2004 and has served as director of human resources and affirmative action prior to her current role.  She earned her bachelor’s in human resources management from Upper Iowa University, and holds a master’s degree in management.

Extending the Vision to Advance Women Leaders

Extending the vision to advance women in leadership

Bridget Krage O'Connor
Bridget Krage O’Connor Owner of O’Connor Connective and its social enterprise The Connective: A Community for Women in Business

A Personal Reflection
Because it’s personal. It’s the best answer I can give when asked why I invest in the advancement of women. Since I own a strategic communications firm, why offer a social enterprise for professional women? And why now partner with UW-Green Bay’s Institute for Women’s Leadership? Well, again, it’s personal.

I grew up in a family that encouraged me to be anything. I believed an education was my ticket to a good life, and it was. Earning a bachelor’s degree opened doors and opportunities. And a master’s degree expanded my world further. But my formal education didn’t teach me how to ebb and flow through the politics of the organizations where I would work. And figuring out how to thrive within the confines of norms and realities that hadn’t typically included people like me in leadership, well, that didn’t come from my class lectures. It came from just living through it. Yet, I wondered if having access to more women in leadership would have helped soften the hard edges of those intense lessons and allowed me to go further, sooner.

When I launched my own company, O’Connor Connective, I learned of women entrepreneurs with businesses on the Main streets of Wisconsin who were looking to connect, to share, to learn together. At the same time, I realized I needed my own posse. I needed a group of professional advisors like an attorney, an accountant, a financial advisor, and a banker who understood my vision and would have my back as I built a team and a business for the long haul. But where to start? That took a lot of time but when it came together, that group of advisors (interestingly mostly women) helped me make my vision for O’Connor Connective a reality.

Then, when working with my clients, I witnessed women organizational leaders presenting different needs than their male colleagues. And I could relate.

Together, these experiences crystalized my thinking: I needed to create a forum for women leaders to network, access experts so they could establish their posse and develop programs to intentionally support the unique needs of women in leadership.

So, with the help of my O’Connor Connective colleagues, my original posse, and other colleagues and friends who said yes to this concept, we did just that. For two years, The Connective: A Community for Women in Business touched hundreds of people. Now, with a vision to expand, I’m beyond excited to collaborate and align with UW-Green Bay’s Institute for Women’s Leadership. This means more programming, more support, more networking for more women. The longer-term impact will mean more equitable leadership in Wisconsin, which research tells us will improve organizational profitability and strengthen our economy.

The Institute’s the ideal combination. It puts the formal degree or credit experiences together with the networking, programmatic, and experiential support women seek throughout their careers. Just think of the boost this will give those seeking to lead.

Here’s to rising, more, together so to advance the great state of Wisconsin and beyond.


Photo of covid-19 virus magnified under a microscope with the text, "COVID-19 Why it Matters: Vaccine protect against variants?"

Video COVID-19 Why it Matters: Part 16, Will the vaccine protect against new variants?

This video series features UW-Green Bay’s Immunologist Brian Merkel on COVID-19 and Why it Matters. This series empowers viewers with knowledge to help them navigate through the pandemic. Merkel has a Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology from the Medical College of Virginia. He is an associate professor in UW-Green Bay’s Human Biology & Biology programs and has an appointment at the Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He will be responding to a number of questions related to COVID-19 and try to get behind the “why” it’s important to be educated in your decision-making as we navigate the pandemic together.

Part 16: Will the vaccine protect against new COVID-19 variants?

Video Transcript – COVID-19 Why it Matters: Part 16, Will the vaccine protect against new COVID-19 variants?

Hi, I’m Brian Merkel, Microbiology and Immunology, and I am here to talk about why COVID-19 matters to you.

We get asked quite a bit these days has to do with this new variant the so-called UK strain of COVID-19. We play a role in this. Yes, the virus is unstable but the less that we comply with the 3W’s, wearing masks, watching our distance, and washing our hands, the more opportunities we give this virus to do these kinds of things.

What we know about the UK strain is that it’s about one and a half times more contagious than the original strain which, was already highly contagious. We are concerned about that, but you need to know that the 3W’s still work for this particular strain, too. What we know about the UK strain, fortunately, is that if you’re vaccinated, through prior exposure to COVID-19, either through naturally being exposed or being exposed through immunization, this will give you the protection against the UK strain as well.

So, it just means that we really have to commit to compliance and adhere to the safeguards that are recommended as difficult as that is right now because this is getting very tiresome. But we don’t want to provide additional opportunities for this virus to become something slightly different.

COVID-19 Why it Matters Video Series:

Introduction with Brian Merkel https://youtu.be/M-yYPSPk30Q

Part 1: What are viruses and where did this one come from https://youtu.be/DYbiIv8ICgs

Part 2: Two main types of viruses https://youtu.be/O-OVk3rx96s

Part 3: Why is this virus serious? https://youtu.be/EDFyNN8i5G4

Part 4: Why wash hands/wear mask? https://youtu.be/FlcAvlt876Y

Part 5: I’m young! Why should I care? https://youtu.be/TDrEV_beY1U

Part 6: Can pandemics be stopped before they start? https://youtu.be/lgWnJZNYbFI

Part 7: Pandemic is not local, why wear a mask? https://youtu.be/IG3Sl3q-xH8

Part 8: Why does everyone need a flu shot this year? https://youtu.be/DGpBFj0fJkA

Part 9: What is the science behind a vaccine? https://youtu.be/eQ3FclkYaQo

Part 10: Where can I find accurate information? https://youtu.be/pLMlU5Xnkgo

Part 11: What type of mask should I wear? https://youtu.be/gCFHxQvkVYE

Part 12: Why HUGE COVID-19 spikes in Wisconsin? https://youtu.be/OuqmXvrDApY

Part 13: Fall break, protect yourself & others https://youtu.be/h21Ed_bBTE4

Part 14: Why is COVID-19 Testing so Important? https://youtu.be/Fr9VJZZrTE0

Part 15: What are COVID-19 Antibodies? https://youtu.be/J2lfJzoUEHI

Part 16: Will the vaccine protect against new COVID-19 variants? https://youtu.be/5l58jEZv3NQ