Shawano Social Workers

Crisis: On the Frontlines

Training program expands statewide

Crisis. A frantic phone call, or race to the emergency room.

Crisis. A feeling of deep sadness, not knowing how you’ll handle it all.

Crisis. An attempt to take one’s life.

Crisis can come in many different situations, affecting each person uniquely. In every crisis, there is a call for help. An expanding UW-Green Bay training program is helping those on the front lines in Wisconsin, ensures the call is answered. Every time.

This call for help is best answered by individuals with a passion for helping others and life-saving training that prepares them to handle any and all situations that arise. These exceptional people are often the difference between life and death.

Training is critical

Since 2009, crisis counselors have access to training through UW-Green Bay’s Behavioral Health Training Partnership (BHTP). The BHTP provides training, consultation and support services for Wisconsin’s county human services professionals and other community organizations (e.g., schools, foster parents, law enforcement). A Wisconsin Department of Health Services grant created the training partnership more than nine years ago to improve the quality and capacity of crisis services in the region. The team now trains crisis care professionals in 53 of 72 counties in the state.

“Prior to BHTP’s creation, counties were struggling with how to provide 40 hours of crisis orientation training to professionals who were making (potentially) life or death decisions,” said Jessica Delzer, MS, LPC, BHTP Director at UW-Green Bay. Crisis training is needed for emergency mental health certification and in turn, reimbursement for services, per the State of Wisconsin.

Critical classroom training focuses on three core areas: 1. Crisis services overview 2. Suicide and risk assessment 3. Wisconsin mental health laws These in-person training sessions are held once per month, and additional specialized training is offered both in person and online. “We show people how to do this really tough work, but one of the awesome things about the partnership is the relationships that form during this training,” says Delzer. “Providing an opportunity for a 25-year veteran of social work to share experiences with a recent graduate is invaluable.”

Working to prevent crisis

Jenna Hammer '15
Jenna Hammer ’15 CAPSW, SAS
Intervention Services Supervisor
Shawano County Department of Human Services

Jenna Hammer ’15 CAPSW, SAS, Intervention Services Supervisor for Shawano County Department of Human Services has seen crisis come in many ways, unique to every person in need. The training received through the BHTP has been vital in helping her and her team assess and help in all situations. “Teaching what crisis is, possible triggers and responses, and how an incident or situation can affect daily living,” states Hammer. “We use these skills every day — from motivational interviewing to the art of de-escalation, we’re the front line and true gatekeepers for people in crisis.” Not all cases end successfully; Hammer explains that clients have been lost over the years. Successful outcomes are celebrated.

Take Linda (name changed). Middle-aged, living alone and paranoid, Linda was calling law enforcement multiple times a day, insisting that she was in danger. While she did not pose a threat to herself and didn’t need “crisis” intervention per se, law enforcement and family members were frustrated with her taking up so much time and community resources. Linda couldn’t help herself. And those she was calling couldn’t help her either.

Eventually, she wound up in the emergency room and the county’s crisis workers were called in. They found that her struggle with mental health issues meant she wasn’t paying her bills, her home was quite dilapidated and she was in the process of being evicted. Her child had recently been removed from the home and she was clearly suffering from the “snowball effect” of everything happening at once.

Hammer and her staff offered resources — resources that law enforcement and others had previously offered — and this time, Linda agreed to get help. Behavioral health training helped crisis frontline workers to ask the right questions. They learned that Linda had previously suffered a traumatic brain injury, and because of their training, knew how to work with her to effectively support her. They listened to her as a person, and not just someone who was taking up too much time. Linda is now medically stable, attending regular meetings to work through her issues and is looking at getting her own home once again.

“We got a lot of ‘thanks’ from those who had been trying to work with Linda for so long,” says Hammer. The partnership that she and her staff have established with law enforcement and other community professionals continues to flourish, and Hammer is relieved that their training and support could help both Linda and others involved.

“We have to balance listening to the frustrations of our partners with the rights of our clients,” says Hammer. “When things aren’t going right, and we can then get a client to a point where she recognizes her needs and makes a change, it’s phenomenal.” UW-Green Bay’s Behavioral Health Training Partnership is truly answering our neighbors’ calls for help… in a professional and hopeful way. “Our crisis workers see people at their most vulnerable,” says Delzer. “It’s a lot of responsibility. We train staff to work with people in a sensitive and strength-based way, and prevent traumatizing them over and over again.” Providing hope to those in Wisconsin who need it most.

–Story by freelance writer Kristin Bouchard ’93

Green Bay Audubon Student Conservation Chapter

UW-Green Bay students take flight with nation’s first Audubon college campus chapter

Erin Giese ’12 (Masters of Environmental Science & Policy), senior research specialist for the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Cofrin Center for Biodiversity, considers herself incredibly passionate about birds and protecting them. In fact, just recently, she and her team rescued yet another Snowy Owl from the dangers of the Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay, and relocated it to a safer location for its winter stay in Wisconsin.

While she had sensed that conservation and environmental protection were areas that she was meant to be in, finding a focus took a bit longer for Giese. A songbird banding position in Alabama post-graduation put her in a position to truly discover her love for birds.

Giese remembers specifically the bird that caused that first real spark: A Brown Thrasher. It was the first bird that she was able to extract from a mist net by herself during the bird banding operations, and from that point on she knew that birds were her calling. Giese decided to go on to graduate school at UW-Green Bay to further pursue this interest of hers.

Aside from Project SOAR, an effort dedicated to relocating Snowy Owls from airports, Giese is now serving as the advisor to UW-Green Bay’s Green Bay Audubon Student Conservation Chapter, which has gained national recognition for being the very first Audubon college campus chapter organized in the country. Giese and graduate student Tara Hohman (Environmental Science & Policy), president of the Green Bay Audubon Student Conservation Chapter, discuss this exciting new development while providing an overview of the work that Audubon partakes in:

All About Audubon

Green Bay Audubon Student Conservation Chapter
Promotional Poster

The purpose of the Green Bay Audubon Student Conservation Chapter is to protect birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow.

“We need to make sure that the next generation of young people are engaged to become leaders in bird protection and conservation in the coming years,” says Giese.

Students who participate in this organization are able to take advantage of numerous opportunities to learn more about birds and bird conservation at a local level. Students also learn to build practical experience, are introduced to jobs associated with birds, and connect with local bird conservation projects and professionals. The student organization welcomes those with any level of previous bird knowledge to join.

Providing volunteer opportunities are a strong component of the organization. The members organized an event at Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in which they helped clean and rake the outdoor raptor exhibits, joined by fellow UW-Green Bay student organization Round River Alliance. Members have also volunteered at the Wild Birds Unlimited store in Ashwaubenon to assist in cleaning bird feeders. Field trips this semester have included visiting the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary and Ken Euers Natural Area. Members also attended two speaker events, co-hosted by the Northeastern Wisconsin (NEW) Audubon Chapter and Bay Area Bird Club.

Green Bay Audubon Student Conservation Chapter birding using spotting scopes
Green Bay Audubon Student Conservation Chapter using spotting scopes

“We are currently involved with some small scale projects that we hope will impact the university. One is window collision surveys around campus where we are trying to determine which buildings are the biggest risk to migrating birds. Once we have some data we hope to make some beneficial changes, like putting up deterrents to help mitigate those collisions,” says Hohman. “We are also involved with the Peregrine Falcons which have been nesting on the Cofrin Library for the past couple of years!”

The Green Bay Audubon Student Conservation Chapter plans on continuing its momentum into spring semester, with more speaker events, field trips throughout the state and possibly in Minnesota, and a Richter Museum of Natural History specimen prep workshop, among other plans.

“There are many young people who do not even know who or what Audubon is, and that needs to change,” Giese says, “This college campus program is a great way to change that and to engage and foster the next generation of bird conservationists.”

Strong Start

In order to bridge the gap between young bird conservationists and the long-term existing generation of bird conservation leaders, the National Audubon Society has launched an Audubon Campus Chapter Program. This program encourages the creation of Audubon bird clubs on college campuses across the country.

When Giese heard this announcement at the Wisconsin Audubon Council (WAC) meeting this past summer, she was instantly interested.

“As soon as I heard that, I raised my hand and asked if I could start a student chapter here at UW-Green Bay,” Giese says. “Immediately when I went back to work, I spoke with Tara about the possibility of starting a college campus Audubon chapter, and without hesitation, she said she was excited and interested in getting one started here at UW-Green Bay.”

NEW Audubon, for which Giese serves as president, serves an umbrella chapter for the student chapter. The student chapter wholeheartedly received approval and acceptance from the NEW Audubon Board of Directors. In the partnership between the two organizations, the president of the student chapter will always have a seat on the NEW Audubon Board of Directors to maintain a strong connection and encourage collaboration.

“The Green Bay Audubon chapter here at UW-Green Bay will provide students with important opportunities that will help them build their resumes and ultimately move them one step closer towards their dream careers,” Giese says.

National Recognition

To those at the chapter, it was a big surprise to gain the distinction of being the first campus chapter in the country to be recognized by the National Audubon Society.

“I am very excited to be able to connect UW-Green Bay with National Audubon and to get our university on the map nationally with Audubon,” Giese says. She also notes that Hohman and club Vice President, Emily Weber, were instrumental in getting the organization quickly registered with the University.

Hohman recalls that they didn’t know they were the first campus chapter until she and the club Vice President attended a Great Lakes gathering, which includes Audubon societies across the Great Lakes region. There, the National Audubon Society and Audubon Great Lakes informed them that they were the first to register a campus chapter and made it into quite an honor.

“Ultimately, it means that we were the first to send in and be approved and recognized by the National Audubon Society as a campus chapter,” says Hohman.

Worth Protecting

As Giese points out, birds are fascinating creatures.

“They are diverse with an estimated 10,000-18,000 species in the world and are truly beautiful, no matter if it’s a town bird or one found deep in the Amazon. They are found on every continent, even in the harshest of conditions in places like Antarctica, north of the Arctic Circle, places with little sunlight, deserts, and the middle of the ocean. They are resilient, intelligent, and adaptable. All species have their own life histories and ecologies and live out their own secret little lives that we only get a glimpse of,” Giese says.

And they deserve protection. That’s where the UW-Green Bay Audubon Student Conservation Chapter steps in.

Story by UW-Green Bay Marketing and University Communication intern Alicia LeBoeuf ’19

Indian Dancers at 2019 MKL Celebration

Photos: Brown County Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

As it has for years, UW-Green Bay played a fundamental role in the Jan. 19, 2019 Brown County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. The University is a major sponsor for the annual event. Several UW-Green Bay faculty and staff members serve on the MLK event planning committee, including Jolanda Sallmann and Francis Akakpo (Social Work), Gaurav Bansal and Mussie Teclezion (Business Administration) and Mai Lo Lee (Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs). Enjoy the photos.

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Brown County MLK Celebration 2019

– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication

The Power of Partnership

Partnerships energize the campus and the community

Two significant developments on campus and near downtown Green Bay illustrate the importance and power of partnerships in the life of UW-Green Bay.

The first is right here on campus, as the Brown County STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Innovation Center, which broke ground Sept. 17, 2018, is quickly taking shape and becoming part of the campus skyline.

Excitement is building for TitletownTech in the shadow of Lambeau Field.
Excitement is building for TitletownTech in the shadow of Lambeau Field.

The second is front-and-center in the shadow of Lambeau Field, as the finishing touches are being put on the 46,000-square-foot, modern, steel-and-glass silhouette of TitletownTech.

“What’s another building or two?” you might ask. Universities and downtowns regularly construct new buildings. It’s the way they keep their infrastructure in step with the needs of their respective communities.

These buildings do all that — and then some.

The Brown County STEM Innovation Center will provide about 63,730 square feet of space to house the new Richard J. Resch School of Engineering, the popular and creative Einstein Project, the community-focused UW-Extension, and Brown County’s Land and Water Conservation departments. The facility is expected to open sometime in August 2019.

Of great significance, the building, its occupants and its shared workspace demonstrate the power of partnership. The partners are able to do more than any of them could do alone and the effect of their collaboration ripples from the campus, across the community and into the region. The $15-million construction budget is shared among three central partners: the State of Wisconsin capital budget, Brown County funds and private donations from citizens and organizations intent on sustaining a thriving, public University and the social, cultural and economic gains that come with it.

UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller commented on the gap the Center closes by hosting the Resch School of Engineering. He said that the community has been asking for engineering and STEM programs for decades.

“This is the first school of engineering established and based in Northeast Wisconsin,” said Miller, “and it will transform the economy for generations.” County Executive Troy Streckenbach, in his remarks at the groundbreaking, said this shared investment is expected to “help secure our region’s manufacturing future by helping create economic development for years to come and ensuring all our students have opportunities to be tomorrow’s innovators.”

Across town is a partnership that can move the needle at supersonic speeds

The excitement is building for TitletownTech — and its unique partnership that can be a model for the future. The collaboration between UW-Green Bay, the University of Wisconsin System, the Green Bay Packers and Microsoft Corporation — is poised to serve as a hub for business innovation and economic development in the region, the state and the Midwest. It holds promise to keep local young talent in a region that is thriving for more reasons than its storied NFL franchise.

A description on the Green Bay Packers website shows this state-of-the-art building will feature the TitletownTech Venture Studio, TitletownTech Innovation Lab and TitletownTech Fund. The center is designed to connect start-up businesses with investors and promote business development and growth, particularly in the technology sectors.

A UW-Green Bay and the UW System “Entrepreneur-in-Residence” (EIR) will work as part of the TitletownTech leadership team.

The EIR role has three main foci: 1. Work with UW-Green Bay’s Cofrin School of Business to educate and provide guidance in business and operational areas. 2. Work with the UW System’s Economic Development Office to generate collaborations with all UW System institutions. 3. Establish connections to the business community and be their single point of contact.

Deepening the connection between the organizations, UW-Green Bay alumnus Craig Dickman ’82 (Business Administration), who brings his reputation for innovation, was named TitletownTech’s managing director in September. Dickman is the founder and former CEO of Green Bay-based energy logistics company, BreakthroughTM. In an interview with the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Dickman reflected on the nature of the facility and its vision.

“We’re really trying to create something that’s world-class,” said Dickman, “so we can transform this region’s economy, transform the businesses that are here and bring innovation capabilities focused on building scalable new ventures in our area.” The support of Microsoft is key to those innovation capabilities. Not only will it provide two full-time staff (one of whom will be a technologist-in-residence), it will bring its global digital resources to support TitletownTech’s mission and vision. Those resources include people and technology. By connecting those resources with new and existing businesses, teams working at TitletownTech will help them incorporate digital capabilities into their operations.

Ed Policy, Packers chief operations officer and general counsel oversees Titletown development. He sees TitletownTech as a natural extension of the Packers’ vision for the area.

“We intended to develop Titletown as a magnet to draw world-class employees,” states Policy on the Packers website. “The Microsoft involvement clearly takes this to another level. The remainder of the century will belong to communities that can draw talented young people.” And developing talented young people is what UW-Green Bay is all about. Through the power of partnerships like these, the University aims to attract and enroll Brown County students, continuing the five-year enrollment growth trend it touted in November.

As Chancellor Miller noted at the STEM Innovation Center groundbreaking, “It’s a great time to be here at UW-Green Bay.”

Impactful UW-Green Bay Partnerships

  • The Education program, with Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary and Green Bay Area Public Schools, partner in a nature-based four-year-old kindergarten program.
  • Social Work and Wisconsin Department of Children and Families provide tuition stipends and specialized training to more than a dozen social work students annually, preparing them for future careers in public child welfare
  • Psychology partnered with multiple high school psychology teachers from across the state to organize a day-long teaching of psychology conference for more than 50 attendees.
  • Cofrin School of Business students were provided a valuable networking experience by Kohler Co. executives from around the world when invited to dine and network during a fall executive training event at Lambeau Field.
  • Accounting students attended the Institute of Management Accountants Conference in St. Louis, MO, with support from local firm, Wipfli.
  • Biology faculty and students teamed-up with the Medical College of Wisconsin-Green Bay to sponsor the inaugural “Tiny Earth” event at Lambeau Field aimed at using undergraduate research to discover new antibiotics.
  • The Environmental Management Business Institute (EMBI) and Aurora BayCare partnership provides real world energy and waste-reduction training for students. Students are both engaged in improving the environmental and energy footprint for the hospital, and are given leadership experience as an active member of Aurora’s Facilities Energy Team.

– Story by freelance writer Jim Streed ’05

Thirty-seven ceremonies later, Commencement Coordinator Jan Snyder is retiring

Jan Snyder is retiring after leading 37 UW-Green Bay commencements. During the formal UW-Green Bay 2018 Ceremony, Chancellor Gary L. Miller acknowledged her “continual excellence” and dedication through the years with a special plaque and acknowledgement signed by all living UW-Green Bay Chancellors. Miller’s remarks are as follows:

Jan Snyder Plaque-1“Jan has demonstrated continual excellence in the coordination of 37 commencement ceremonies since spring 2000.

During this time, Jan has overseen the coordination and graduation of about 17,000 students — nearly half of all UW-Green Bay alumni — as they take their final steps through their college journey.

Jan has worked to accommodate UW-Green Bay families in whatever way possible, and did her utmost to ensure the full participation of students with disabilities.

She arranged, on multiple occasions, for members of the military to surprise their graduates with attendance at the ceremonies.

She creatively responded to the unexpected…high heels at outdoor ceremonies, lost tassels, venue changes due to weather, and last-minute arrivals, among them.

She always took the initiative to answer the call – even at 11:30 p.m. on commencment eve.

Jan’s ability to work under great periods of pressure, and handle adversity with grace, composure, and a smile, deserves recognition.

On behalf of the UW-Green Bay community, past and present, your friends, peers and colleagues, and graduates and families, we honor you and publicly express our utmost gratitude to you.

Congratulations and thank you for making a difference!”

Photos: Chancellor’s Veterans Reception

The Phoenix Rooms at UW-Green Bay held a standing-room only crowd to honor campus and community veterans and active service members on Monday, Nov. 12, 2018. The late-afternoon event included a Presentation of Colors by the UW-Green Bay Color Guard, the “Star Spangled Banner” and “Armed Forces Salute” by UW-Green Bay Music and remarks by Chancellor Gary L. Miller, Congressman and retired Marine, Mike Gallagher, and Sergeant Nathan Preder ’12, who leads UW-Green Bay Army ROTC, read the meaning of the POW/MIA table. Also recognized were current student/soldiers and current donors and recipients of veteran scholarships. Serving as emcee was student Ryan Leurquin. Vets 4 Vets President Nic Cravillion recognized the efforts of the student organization for community outreach including a Vets 4 Vets donation to the Brown County Veteran Court. On behalf of the club, he also recognized and thanked Jim Belongia for donating the proceeds from the City Stadium Run to the UW-Green Bay Veteran Lounge.

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Chancellor's Veterans Reception 2018

– Photos by Liesl Sigourney and Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication

Elizabeth Feldhousen at Cat Café

UW-Green Bay alumna Elizabeth Feldhausen’s pet shelter has viral volunteer

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay alumna Elizabeth Feldhausen ’15 is the owner of Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary and Cat Café in Green Bay, and the pet shelter has recently generated buzz revolving around one volunteer who has been dubbed “The Cat Grandpa.”

The story about Cat Grandpa, otherwise known as De Pere resident Terry Lauerman, 75, has gone viral (featured on BBC, Good Morning America and more national news outlets) for his daily routine of going to the pet shelter and taking naps while surrounded by cats.

Lauerman was featured in a Facebook post published by Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary Inc. on Tuesday that has attracted the attention of many. As of Friday morning, the post has garnered over 31,000 likes, 17,00 shares and 5,000 comments. The Cat Grandpa has taken the media by storm, having been featured on the popular site BuzzFeed and being covered by Good Morning America on Thursday.

Lauerman, an official volunteer at the shelter, first started visiting Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary in 2016. He has since become an expert cat brusher, spending most days at the shelter for hours at a time. Not only does he enjoying brushing the cats, but the cats benefit greatly from the interaction.

After graduating from UW-Green Bay in 2015, Feldhausen (Psychology and Human Development) decided to make her dream of opening an animal rescue a reality. The Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary and Cat Café is a non-profit, no-kill and no-cage pet sanctuary, and the Cat Café was the first in the region and allows customers to enjoy a beverage and the company of cats at the same time. Her story has been previously featured on Inside UW-Green Bay News.

Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary and Cat Café is located at 151 N. Broadway, Green Bay. It is open Tuesday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and is closed on Sunday and Monday. Connect with them through their website, Facebook and Instagram. They can be contacted by email or by phone at 920-489-2462.

Video and photos: Back to School Store

Wow, what an event! Thousands of kids from Brown County will be heading back to school with new clothes and supplies, thanks to the Service League of Green Bay. UW-Green Bay volunteers and members of the campus community were happy hosts. On Wednesday, August 8, 2018, the organization partnered with the University and hundreds of volunteers to hold its 26th annual Back to School Store. It was the first time on the Green Bay campus, and it was a year in the making. On the day of the event, students are assigned a personal shopper, who helps them pick out a backpack and fill it with school supplies, and select an entire outfit of their choosing. Free vision and dental screenings were also offered. Thank you to the more than 800 volunteers. See the photos!

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Back to School Store 2018

– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication

Donors receive recognition for Viking House addition to UW-Green Bay

On Wednesday, August 1, 2018, friends of the University gathered to thank the generous donors who helped bring the Viking House to UW-Green Bay. Among them, Owen and Elspeth Christianson, who built and donated the Viking House, rebuilding it on the UW-Green Bay campus in fall of 2017; and Tom Olson, who provided funding to help with the Viking House relocation in honor of his father, Harry Olson.

The dedication plaques will remain on the exterior of the building:

The Viking House
Donated by Owen and Elspeth Christianson
This “grindbygg” or Norwegian trestle-framed house, was given to UW-Green Bay by Owen and Elspeth Christianson in 2017 in recognition of the History faculty’s dedication to applied learning and experiential archaeology. The house is similar to those houses in Norway more than a thousand years ago during the Viking Age and is a testament to the Christiansons’ love of learning while sharing their passion with the UW-Green Bay community.

The Viking House is sponsored by Tom Olson in honor of his father, a proud Norseman.
Harry O. Olson
May 23, 1921 – May 9, 2006
Born in to a Norwegian-American family, Harry was raised on a farm near Postville, Iowa. Proud of his Norwegian heritage, he spoke the language fluently and was a member of the Sons of Norway and Numedal Lag. He was a World War II Army veteran and a respected Green Bay attorney. He lived a life of service to his family, church, clients and community.

“Takk, Far. mange tusen takk.” (Translation: “Thank you, father. Many thousand thanks.”

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Viking House Reception 8-1-2018

– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication

Photos: Camp Lloyd 2018 helps grieving kids cope

Camp Lloyd, a week-long day camp for children ages 7 to 14 who are grieving the loss of loved ones, returned to UW-Green Bay, June 24-29, 2018. Camp Lloyd provides a safe and fun environment for children to learn they’re not alone in dealing with grief. It gives campers time to explore their own experiences of grief, realize their feelings are normal and find support from one another.

Popular activities that have been a part of camp include daily healing circles, arts and crafts, singing songs and playing music, tie-dying, quiddich, swimming, Bay Beach, kayaking, drum circles, archery and many more.

The Camp Lloyd staff included 30 UW-Green Bay student “buddies” who form special bonds with the campers. This year 4/5 grief therapists were former Camp Lloyd Buddies who have gone on to graduate school in clinical psychology, school psychology or counseling.

Camp Lloyd started as a dream of UW-Greeen Bay Professor Illene Cupit (Human Development). The camp is funded by the generosity of UW-Green Bay, community donors and the Green Bay Packers.

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Camp Lloyd 2018

– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication