Emily Fread

Emily Fread built a calling into a career with a little help and a new certificate program

Like many freshly-minted college grads Emily Fread had her bachelor’s degree in Psychology—but wasn’t sure of her career path. Then she found her “calling” (as she calls it) as the development director at Habitat for Humanity Lakeside in Sheboygan. A dream job with a degree that didn’t quite fit. Plus, attending college and working full time presented a daunting logistical challenge. The solution? A certificate program with UW-Green Bay’s Division of Continuing Education and Community Engagement.

“I’m currently taking the Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program,” Fread says. “My supervisor and I learned about the program through an email and we thought it would be a great experience for me to acquire more leadership skills at nonprofit resources.”

What makes a program like this work for Fread is a unique combination of resources and flexibility that would be difficult to replicate on your own. The program is entirely online and meets once a week on Friday for two and a half hours. And it’s not just the class work that’s valuable but also her class members. “There are teachers and other students I can reach out to in the future if I ever need anything.”

Fread also appreciates how the instructors accommodate the demands of working professionals, “They’ve really set me up for success, plus provided a lot of resources I can use going forward, especially networking with other people. There’s lots of flexibility and I appreciate that.”

Any advice for those weighing their continuing education options?

“I thought being employed full time would make it hard to manage going back to school part time. What can be helpful is to think back why you are doing this in the first place.” As in when your calling calls for blazing a new educational and professional path. Fread is accomplishing both. “It’s allowing me to flourish and develop the career I’ve been looking for.”

Book Cover: Why We Get Mad: How to Use Your Anger for Positive Change by Dr. Ryan Martin

Prof. Martin’s Psychology book to release in January

Portrait of Ryan Martin
Ryan Martin

Professor Ryan Martin’s (Psychology) book, Why We Get Mad: How to Ue Your Anger for Positive Change, will be released globally on Jan. 12, 2020, but is available on pre-order. While a Watkins title, Penguin Random House is distributing Martin’s book in the United States.

This is the book on anger, the first book to explain exactly why we get mad, what anger really is, and how to cope with and use it. Often confused with hostility and violence, anger is fundamentally different from these aggressive behaviors and in fact can be a healthy and powerful force in our lives.

Martin offers questionnaires, emotion logs, control techniques, and many tools to help readers understand better what pushes their buttons and what to do with angry feelings when they arise.

You can find it listed at the Penguin Random House site. Martin’s book is one of Watkins’ lead titles and is available across multiple retailers.

Video: Chancellor Alexander to students… ‘You are doing an amazing job’

Hi UW-Green Bay students. I hope you’re all doing well.

We’re a few weeks before the Thanksgiving break and I want to let you know that we’ve done an amazing job to this point to keep the campus safe and be able to function as best we can throughout the pandemic.

I want to urge you over these last few weeks going into Thanksgiving to please stay vigilant. To please make sure you’re doing everything you can to make sure that not only are you safe in these last few weeks on campus, but that we’re able to have you all go home and be safe while you’re with your families, so that we can bring you all back and resume the last few weeks of the semester.

I urge you to please make sure if you’re on campus that you are taking responsibility for the testing that we have each week for you.

I want to thank you one more time for everything you’ve done this semester. The work and attention and detail that you have done is remarkable, and the rates that we have relative to our community shows just how responsible you’ve been. I am incredibly appreciative and I know everyone at the University is for the way you’ve handled what’s been a really difficult semester.

Thank you, and I want to wish you the best for the rest of your semester. I know that everyone did not have classes exactly as they wanted them, and appreciate your flexibility while we’re able to get this sorted out and make sure that you persist in your education. That’s the most important thing for us right now. We want you to continue to persist in your education. The pandemic will end as soon as possible and at that point we want to make sure that all of you are still on track to finish your educational goals.

Thanks again for your attention. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and we look forward to seeing you these next few weeks and when you return.


Mary Sue Lavin with Phuture Phoenix Tee

Video: Phuture Phoenix program still making a difference during COVID-19


It’s October and you know what that means! It’s Phuture Phoenix campus visit time! Only this year, campus visits will be virtual. Students will still receive their future phoenix t-shirt but they will also receive a virtual tour put on by the Education 208 students.

Those students are putting together as close to a campus visit as they can. Students who are viewing the campus visit project will still visit the Weidner Center, the Kress Events Center, the union, the Cofrin Library, housing, and all of the great things we have here on the UWGB campus. They are also charged with trying to create a relationship with some students who will be watching their projects virtually.

Students have begun working on their project and will have everything compiled by the beginning of November and we will then roll out these projects to all of the teachers who would have brought their fifth-grade students to campus this year. Hopefully, they will have their t-shirts, they will have their virtual campus visit and they’ll have a college experience day where they can learn about the possibilities of post-secondary education, namely our great campus UWGB!

Alumna Halee Berens, who is working to become a physicians assistant through Concordia University.

Alumna Halee Behrens offers advice to students trying to get in to graduate school

Prof. Brian Merkel passed along this advice from alumni trying to get into graduate school. The following was shared by Halee Berens, who is working to become a physicians assistant through Concordia University.

Anything you think UW-Green Bay students should know?
Have confidence in yourself, you’ve come so far, you will make it! A trick to get shadowing hours: If you repeatedly get denied hours through the hospital shadowing service. Ask your grandparents or other relatives if they see a PA and have them ask if they would be willing to allow you to shadow. It worked for me twice! Get involved on campus! Serve in a leadership position of a club or participate in a research study. Volunteer. Make yourself a well rounded applicant. Start accumulating patient care experience hours early. CNA, EMT, ER tech, Lab tech are all popular ways to obtain hours. Healthcare experience is necessary and is very competitive when applying to schools. Scribe hours DO NOT count as patient care experience hours, however many of my classmates were scribes and they are very knowledgeable.

Being competitive?
Ever since high school you have been competing to be the best-of-the-best in order to be accepted into the next step of your education. Once you are accepted into a PA program, that fierce competition ends. Grades will no longer define who you are, you just have to pass the exam and the class in order to be successful. Once you graduate from the program and pass the PANCE no one cares about your grades. Your PA class will be like your family. We all help each other out in order to succeed by sharing ideas, making study guides, and answering questions. Being a PA is about being a member of a team, so you all work together to achieve the same goal.

The following electives taken during my time at UW-Green Bay have proven to be beneficial for me in succeeding in my current classes:
Cancer Biology
Advanced Microbiology
Human Anatomy (cadaver) Lab

My #1 piece of advice:
To those of you debating whether to apply to school as a junior or wait until after you graduate: Take the gap year. You never know what opportunities may come to you your senior year. You may take a new class that sparks your interest, participate in research and present at symposiums, become nominated for a university award, or achieve that honor roll status upon graduation that you have worked so hard to obtain. If you wait to apply until after graduation, all of your achievements from senior year will be included and can make you stand out compared to other candidates.

Take your time, obtain experience, make some additional money to pay for school, and relax for awhile, because once you begin the program, it is about 26 months of accelerated nonstop education. The youngest students in my class are 23 and our oldest is 40. There is no set time you need to apply. Do it when you are truly ready.

UW-Green Bay student shares hospital frontline experience; pride in the Phoenix family

UW-Green Bay senior Carolyn LaTour (Human Biology) shares her observations as a surgical technician in a local hospital. Concerning for her are PPE and staff shortages, and what increased COVID-19 cases can mean to local healthcare. She also shares her pride in her classmates and Phoenix family members for working to keep COVID-19 infection rates low on the four UW-Green Bay campuses.

My name is Carolyn LaTour. I am a senior at UWGB, and I’ve been working in healthcare for the past nine years as a surgical tech and a surgical first assist. I am majoring in human biology here at UWGB in hopes of becoming a physician assistant in the future.

As a surgical tech we get the operating room ready in the morning and throughout the day for surgeries and as a surgical first assist I assist the surgeons in the operating room as well.

My observations throughout the pandemic, at the hospital specifically, have been that we are low on our PPE and other supplies that are needed in the operating room and throughout the hospital. We’ve been short on staff throughout the pandemic the shortages in PPE and supplies is very stressful. We have to be very mindful of how much PPE we’re using and to preserve it throughout our day and shifts.

As COVID progresses, I do believe that we’re going to have to cancel more of our scheduled cases, unfortunately, due to the increased volume and the limited number of beds that are in the hospitals.

As part of the campus community and being a Phoenix, I’m very proud of the numbers and the low infection rate that we have at UWGB right now on campus. It just shows that we as students are taking this very seriously to ensure that our education in our classes and our in-person labs are still going to be going on.

To my fellow classmates and students, I just keep saying to wear your mask. Keep wearing your mask because you don’t know how it’s going to affect you, your family, your friends or our fellow classmates. We just want to keep everyone safe and to ensure that our education is still going to be present here, that in-person campus lectures are still going to go on.

As students we should feel very responsible as our contribution to the community with keeping the infection rates low. If we’re wearing our masks and keeping social distancing, at least you know you’re doing the part in the community and keeping the hospital infection rates lower.

Grant will support UW-Green Bay students with financial support for childcare; begin research phase of childcare options for UW-Green Bay students, faculty and staff

Green Bay, Wis.—Recognized as a need at UW-Green Bay for decades, childcare and caregiving burdens on students, faculty, and staff are even heavier during COVID-19. A recent grant, of $81,046.00 per year for four years, awarded to UW-Green Bay by the Department of Education will provide stipend support to Pell-eligible student parents  to help ease their financial burden for childcare and access to programming, advising, and mentorship to improve their educational outcomes. The same funding will also provide seed money to initiate research and a planning process for a potential childcare facility on the Green Bay Campus or in partnership with a local provider.

Nearly 25 percent of all undergraduate college students are raising children. Recent data shows that about half of all college students earn a degree or certificate within six years of enrolling, while only a third of student parents complete school (https://iwpr.org/iwpr-issues/student-parent-success-initiative/building-family-friendly-campuses-college-success-student-parents/).

Associate Prof. Alison Staudinger (Democracy and Justice Studies), a project lead, says the grant will provide some immediate help for a growing demographic in higher education—the working parent.

“The grant application specifies criteria for the application process for students which will provide $1,000 a semester for full-time students and funding on a prorated basis for part-time students,” she said. “It will also offer additional funds for students who participate in high-impact practices (HIPs) such as internships, undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity, or community-based learning. A recent study by professors Katia Levintova and Kim Reilly indicated that childcare and work commitments often limit the ability of UW-Green Bay student-parents to participate in HIPs.

Additionally, the funding will allow the campus to explore the sustainability of providing a daycare to students, faculty and staff—either on campus, or in partnership with local providers.

“Students with children bring assets to our campus community and yet they are a bit of an invisible population,” Staudinger said. “If we are truly an access-driven institution, we need to provide the support that makes it possible for them to thrive at UWGB. This means financial, academic, and social resources for the student-parents themselves, but also raising visibility on campus so that faculty and staff recognize the unique needs of this population and their contributions to campus life.”

Childcare has been a hot-button topic at UW-Green Bay for years, and has a rich history on the Green Bay Campus. See the full timeline. Here’s an abbreviated one:

1972: UWGB Children’s Center opened and began offering classes for children ages 2-5 in a vacated nursing home building owned by Brown County located along Highway 54-57. Within months it moved to a remodeled ranch cottage owned by UWGB on Nicolet Drive.

1981:Three full-time staff and twenty-five work study students cared for 164 children.

1985:Plans for a new facility began as building was in disrepair

1989:The UWGB Children’s Center program became the first in Green Bay to receive accreditation from the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs.

1990:New UW-Green Bay child care center building center request approved by UW Board of Regents at funding level of $790,000.

1991:Plan was rejected by Wisconsin State Building Commission because it was viewed as a lower priority than other UW System and state agency projects. UWGB did receive $50,000 in funds to evaluate alternatives for a child care facility at UW-Green Bay. A feasibility study was requested to consider a public/private venture model for the UWGB Children’s Center.

1992-1995: Funding issues prevented continuation of facility.

Spring of 1995: Children’s Center formally closed.

2014: UWGB students voted to increase Seg Fees in support of bringing childcare back to campus.

Staudinger says the plan has full support of the current administration and cabinet. The Advisory Board will convene in Fall 2020; interested campus and community members are invited to contact Alison Staudinger if they wish to get involved. An expanded set of web-resources and the application for the grant itself will be launched in early 2021, as will student success programming for parents. Please watch for an announcement of a kick-off event in where the campus community can learn about the program and how to apply.

In the featured photo above: the UWGB Childcare Alliance supported a Spring into Gardening event.

Below: Photos from University Archives at the UWGB Children’s Center

Photo of the NWTC, Marinette mascot the "Eagle" posing with the UW-Green Bay, Marinette mascot, the "Buccaneer" at the UW-Green Bay, Marinette campus.

Video: Marinette Area Higher Education Coalition Mascots

UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus and NWTC, Marinette have been working collaboratively to provide higher education opportunities to the Marinette region through the Marinette Area Higher Education Coalition. Through the coalition, students can seamlessly transfer an NWTC associate degree into a UW-Green Bay bachelor’s degree program in five career areas: electro-mechanical technology, human services, nursing, business management and health information. Find out more: https://www.nwtc.edu/coalition or https://www.uwgb.edu/coalition 

Video Transcript – Marinette Area Higher Education Coalition Mascots: We are lucky to have two colleges right here in Marinette, which is why NWTC-Marinette and UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus share a similar mission and we’ve come together to create the Marinette Area Higher Education Coalition. The best part is students wanting a bachelor’s degree can save thousands starting at the NWTC-Marinette campus and finishing at the UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus. 

Faculty members spent much of summer preparing for teaching during pandemic

Instructors challenged to rethink virtual teaching and reach students online 

When UW-Green Bay instructors began planning their teaching for fall 2020, their focus was on learning, especially in the context of the online environment forced on colleges and universities by COVID-19.

A good portion of their summer was spent learning the software needed to present information, but also on teaching online in stressful times, said Caroline Boswell, associate professor in Humanities and History, and director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL). Funded in part by money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Stimulus (CARES) Act, and in part from a grant from the University of Wisconsin Systems Online Learning Initiative, the training helped instructors adapt to the new normal of teaching during a pandemic.

The new training, she said, focused not just on the pedagogy of how to teach a course, or even the nuts and bolts of how to deliver a lesson online, but on how instructors can reach students when their presence is mainly digital.

Boswell said nearly 130 instructors participated in the two sessions. The first session trained instructors on how to use Canvas, the learning management system for the University.

“We want to ensure that faculty feel confident using Canvas and know how to use it to communicate with our students,” she said.

The second, more advanced training was a two-week course in which instructors learn about how they can reach students—either by breaking up their online lectures, or creating online group assignments or even redoing their lessons to ensure that all students have access to it.

“The second part of the training was to help faculty think about how we can create full course citizenship for all of our students including students who may not be able to attend for a certain period of time because they are ill or they need to take on caregiving (for a family member or loved one), or that they’ve had to move back home, and their job schedules have changed. We have to be responsive to that,” she said. “And it’s also asking them to think about how issues around equity, inclusivity, and accessibility that are exacerbated within this context. Many students entered the semester online or having classes that are both in person and online, and they may be less familiar with learning in that environment. If our principle presence is digital, how do they know that we’re there for them and that we understand?”

The training takes into consideration everything from keeping students engaged in classes, to facilitating learning across a broad array of pandemic related situations by allowing groups of instructors learn from and work with one another to come up with solutions.

Jessica Van Slooten, associate professor in English, Writing Foundations, Women’s and Gender Studies, Humanities, and the co-chair for Women’s and Gender Studies program, said she was re-evaluating everything in terms of what could engage her students and make them successful.

“The way I would usually teach is face-to-face in a classroom…(using) a lot of active learning techniques and group work and students stopping to write some things,” she said. “I wanted to think about how I could translate those things into this online format. I was most concerned about my first-year writing class because these are all brand new college students, and they come with a wide variety of writing abilities and experiences. I just wanted to create a class that would allow all of them to be successful.”

To do that, she eliminated traditional methods, like selecting a book for the class to read and use to generate writing prompts, and replaced it with shorter writings, TED talks and podcasts for her students to consider. Additionally, she said, she would assign four main papers, and a variety of shorter pieces, that they will be able to select from to turn into a larger, much more developed piece at the end of the semester.

“They could turn it into a letter or podcast or even a video,” she said. “I just want to get them to think that writing has a lot of uses, in the broader world. And, hopefully that will also make it more relevant for them. So, I felt like that really translated well into an online format.”

In order to help students be successful, she said, it was important to be flexible.

“One of the resources that we shared in our trainings over the summer was this document that mapped out different kinds of learning activities along bandwidth requirements,” she said. “It really encouraged me to think about making sure that most of the activities I do are low bandwidth. Because we have a lot of students who don’t have great access for one reason or another, and I want them to feel like they can complete the class.”

Understanding that students are struggling with disruptions—from jobs and family to having to drive to a Starbucks in order to get internet access—helped Alan Chu, assistant professor in Psychology and chair of the Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology masters program, to consider equity when designing his class.

“I think the equity is a big piece that we’ve been talking about because not everyone has the same access at home,” he said. “Back in the spring when everything got moved online, some of my students told me that they had to drive to a parking lot next to a Starbucks just get the WiFi to do their homework. And I heard about some other students having to use their cell phone to write a whole paper. So, I did quite a bit of thinking and planning, to lay out some of the ways I could make my class more equitable.”

Chu also attended several conferences to learn more about using what he already knows about psychology to help his students.

“In the spring, I was including some of the positive psychology concepts into my classes,” he said. “In the discussions before class begins, I will ask them to list three things that they are thankful for before we go into the detail about the chapter discussions. And the students said it was great for them to be able to connect with other students in a way that is not about the course, but about life in general… some of them said it was helpful for them to be more positive in that and in other life challenges that they were experiencing.”

The advanced training also covered how to make information accessible for students by captioning videos, or making videos of classes that students could access on their own time frame. Instructors also worked on adapting how students can complete their assignments in order to not create more barriers to success.

And while the changes to the courses designed over the summer may be applicable to life during the pandemic, Boswell said she sees the changes to a more student-centered approach to learning to be something more permanent.

“When instructors put together their classes, they were also thinking about the positionality of their students. They are thinking about deadlines and whether or not they actually make sense in the context,” Boswell said. “Are deadlines absolutely necessary, or are they kind of creating a barrier for students who might not be able to meet a deadline, for example, because their Internet isn’t working that day… or they have to share a computer with their siblings, and they didn’t get to choose who wins in those sorts of things. I think that a lot of that kind of thinking—about how the world structures your class—will definitely have long-term implications.”

Story by freelance writer Liz Carey