Two students set by an electronic board as they figure out calculations in one of the engineering labs inside the new STEM Center for UW-Green Bay's Mechanical Engineering Program.

Video: UW-Green Bay’s Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Craig Brecheisen knew most of his life that he wanted to become a mechanical engineering because of his love of race cars and always trying to figure out how things work. If you love to design or dig into machinery—take things apart, put things back together, and figure out how and why they work—you have it in you to become a mechanical engineer. UW-Green Bay’s Mechanical Engineering Program is the only one of its kind in Northeast Wisconsin and provides you with state-of-the-art technology and hands-on experiences in the brand-new Brown County STEM Innovation Center’s engineering labs on the Green Bay Campus. See the website for more.

Video Transcript: When you realize that you are smart enough and the whole time you were smart enough and you just needed to learn how to work. That’s where the benefit came from. I remember that aha moment that I had when I was at the tech school. Realizing that you had it in you the whole time, you just needed to do the work.

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, gave me a chance to earn my Mechanical Engineering degree without having to leave Green Bay. Wow, moment I had, it’s the first time that I ever stepped foot into the new STEM building. Technology is state-of-the-art, top-notch, and brand new. Thermodynamics would be one of my favorite classes. The other class that I really enjoyed was Finite Element Analysis. In this class, you get to create different projects i.e., front-end geometry for race cars. And then put different forces on it to see how it acts. To see if it will hold up, what your design in your head, put in a computer with real-life forces on it, will it last. You actually get something physical to see.

I feel like my instructors are more of mentors than they are the traditional professor to students. The ratio of a student to professor is really low, which allows you to build a rapport with them. They’re always willing to help you and if you’re willing to put in your time, they will help you achieve what you’re looking to achieve.

This campus will always be a huge part of me because this is the beginning of the second half of my life. Like another chapter, where I started from scratch, grew up, learned things, and then went out into the world to apply them. This university gave me a chance to achieve one of my greatest lifetime goals and that’s being a Mechanical Engineer.

Majoring in Yourself: Commencement Speaker Abby Tower

Even before her first step on campus, Abby Tower was determined to explore a college path less traveled. Along the way, she discovered one of the best reasons to go to college—to forge meaningful connections with professors, fellow students, people in the community and herself.

Though it’s readily evident that Tower could attain any career she set her mind to, her heart would have to come with. She’s been described by professors as a “truly exceptional student…even among our best and brightest…articulate, inspiring and passionate”. Plus possessing “tremendous intellectual curiosity, combined with a desire to understand social, political, and historical problems in their full complexity.”

“I really didn’t know what to expect coming into college, to be completely honest. (She only applied to two schools.) But Green Bay had an ESL certificate program and that’s what I wanted to pursue.” Other than that, she approached college as an experience. “I wanted a fresh start. UWGB gave me the opportunity to be my own person and discover what I was passionate about without the weight of expectations of my peers from my hometown.”

Tower took her “exploratory” approach to college to a whole new level. She remembers. “I probably changed my major between 15 and 20 times. I haven’t had 20 separate majors, but I have changed the combinations.”

To those who may consider such an approach inefficient, let the record show Tower is graduating with a double major in Political Science and Democracy and Justice Studies with an emphasis in the U.S. and the World, plus a triple minor in Spanish and Latin American Studies, Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL Certificate), and World Cultures.

All in four years and a 4.0 GPA. Her secret? “I just took the classes that excited me and inspired me to want to learn more, and it worked out for me.”

If “things working out” meant making the most of every opportunity, faculty quickly noticed and appreciated the effort. Professor Jennifer Ham, Chair of Humanities and Abby’s internship supervisor, notes that “Abby is an exceptional student, always awake, always thinking, reflecting and looking for new angles and approaches to situations.” She’s also been praised for a “tremendous intellectual curiosity combined with a desire to understand social, political, and historical problems in their full complexity.”

Not bad for someone, who as a first-year student, wandered into a professor’s office, completely lost. “I remember telling a professor, I didn’t  know what I want to major in. I didn’t have a “dream” career and I didn’t  know what I was  doing. I remember feeling like I needed to have my whole life planned out by then.”

Then came a bit of advice that still stays with her. “A professor told me I could spend my four years here and just go to class—which would be fine—or I could go to class and get to know my classmates, my professors and the community. They told me that my time at UW-Green Bay would be the experience that I chose for it to be. That stuck with me. Getting involved as much as possible.”

Few Phoenix have been more involved—inside the classroom, as a peer success coach, teaching assistant and teaching English as a second language—and with internships at Casa ALBA Melanie, a Hispanic Resource Center of the greater Green Bay area and The Brown County Public Defenders Office; plus teaching English as a Second Language at Literacy Green Bay.

So what to do for an encore? She’s currently completing an honors project on domestic policies and discourse dealing with refugees and asylum seekers.

As far as post-graduation—there are currently no ivory aspirations for this Tower. “I’m taking a few years off, looking at different roles with a variety of local non-profits, research and legal assistant-ships.” She does see law school, but not right away. These days, community comes first. “I like working alongside people and finding common solutions together. And working toward change. That drives a lot of the decisions I make.”

Tower sets off to her next adventure with this advice to any first-year college student feeling lost. “Don’t get so focused necessarily on finding the right major or the right career, that you forget your passions and what you’re actually interested in.” This is certainly one Phoenix that won’t be soon forgotten.

Story: Michael Shaw. Photo: Dan Moore.

Molly Gwitt has been awarded Outstanding Senior Show Award

The Art Discipline is pleased to announce that Molly Gwitt has been awarded the Outstanding Senior Show Award. The exhibition is located in the Lawton Gallery Room 230 runs until May 13. See the virtual version.

Artist Statement

I am a multimedia artist designing and creating functional forms. The intention behind my work is to recreate the captured moment of my experience with nature through utilitarian handmade forms. Using my multimedia approaches, I’ve created an interior space that is inspired by the natural world. Here, the items that are a reflection of my experiences become a part of our living environment.

My work is in homage to the traditional Japanese garden. Japanese gardens are a space intended to capture the essence and natural beauties of nature. These gardens enhance our quality of life by bringing serenity and nature into our crowded lives. Just like the Japanese, I am attempting to guide nature into the home to create a beautiful yet tranquil environment through my art.

Growing up in Wisconsin, I have explored many forests, caves and swamps. I find when I am immersed within nature I feel the most at peace. Hiking and mushroom hunting are what helps me recharge and find inspiration for my art. I wanted to bring the peaceful feeling that nature brings me into the home. Thus, creating this space.

Video: Career Services: Your destination for internships and jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image of Stacy Groll

Inclusion Begins Within

No one would deny we live in changing times.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of a UW-Green Bay nursing student using an otoscope on a high-tech mannequin inside the new Nursing Skills Center at the Green Bay campus.

Video: UW-Green Bay’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program

As a young girl, Grace was drawn to jump in and help when somebody was sick or injured. If you have a calling to take care of people—become a nurse. Get started today at this website. UW-Green Bay’s Nursing Program provides you with hands-on nursing experiences in a variety of medical settings in the greater Green Bay area. The Aurora BayCare Medical Center Nursing Skills Center gives nursing students real-life experiences using high-tech patient simulators to prepare students for their hands-on, hospital-site clinicals. For more information visit https://www.uwgb.edu/bsn-traditional/.

UW-Green Bay: B.S. Nursing Program Video Transcript: 

When people get sick or ill or their even upset like its emotional, you want to help them. And I feel like a lot of people turn away from that and I was always interested in jumping into it. If that’s you, you know you want to take care of people or you want to push yourself to be a nurse and go through nursing school, I think that this is the opportunity.

UW-Green Bay offers that.

A lot of hospitals actually require that you have your BSN within five years of hire. So, it’s awesome that Green Bay offers an opportunity for you to get your BSN and not have to go back to school. You can just be done, and work and I think that’s awesome.

The professors at UW-Green Bay are very approachable and knowledgeable and are RNs and nurses themselves, so they’re able to make students feel ready to go into the nursing field because of all the opportunities you have in clinical as well as in the simulation lab, where your able to practice on patients and then take it out into clinical and be with real patients so when you start your first nursing job you’re ready to go because you had years of experience.

The thing I enjoy the most about the Nursing Program at UW-Green Bay is the ability to take classes that you’re focused on and like what you want to take to your specialty and the advisors do a really nice job of making sure you’re getting to where you want to go.

After graduation from UW-Green Bay, I hope to be a NICU nurse and I feel that after all this, all the schooling that I’m going to feel very fulfilled with my journey through UW-Green Bay and their ability to give me what I needed from them and to move forward and take into the real world as a nurse.

I’m really excited to work with patients and their families. Even like the tiniest of patients because I feel that the experiences that I’ve gained through UW-Green Bay have made me the person that can take care of anyone. Especially little ones. When it comes to nursing you just know that, it’s something you need to do.

UW-Green Bay receives official ‘Bee City USA®’ designation

Bee City USA® has announced that the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has met the standards for certification as an official Bee Campus USA affiliate.

The application for certification was submitted by the UW-Green Bay Sustainability Committee chaired by Prof. David Voelker (Humanities and History). Voelker noted that “The Sustainability Committee greeted Professor Amy Wolf’s proposal that UWGB seek Bee Campus USA certification with excitement. We see this program as a wonderful opportunity to build on work that we are already doing, and we welcome the chance to collaborate with the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity, CSET faculty, and Facilities Management to promote pollinator-friendly habitat on our campus.” Amy Wolf is the Herbert Fik Johnson Professor of Natural Sciences and faculty member in UW-Green Bay’s Natural and Applied Sciences program.

Rusty Patched Bumble Bee
Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

In addition to 30 acres of planted native pollinator habitat, including the Keith White Prairie and Douglass Cofrin Arboretum Gateway, the open fields and woodlands of the Green Bay Campus support a wealth of pollinator species, including the federally endangered Rusty-patched Bumble Bee and at least two other at-risk native bee species.

See the US FWS fact sheet on the endangered Rusty Patched Bumble Bee.

Bees and other pollinators transfer pollen between flowers, enabling the Earth’s incredible diversity of plants to produce fruits and seeds. Pollinators are keystone species in essentially every ecosystem where they play a direct role in the reproduction of over 85 percent of all flowering plants and 67 percent of agricultural crops. In addition to the well-known honey bee (Apis mellifera), a species brought to the United States from Europe, more than 20,000 species of bees have been described globally, 3,600 of which occur in the United States. While bees are the most important pollinators, butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, wasps, bats, and hummingbirds also contribute to plant pollination.

Research has shown significant global declines in native pollinator population sizes and ranges; up to 40 percent of pollinator species on earth are currently at risk of extinction because of habitat loss, use of harmful pesticides, and climate change.

Thinking globally and acting locally, Bee Campus USA® provides a framework for communities to conserve native pollinators by increasing the abundance of native plants, providing nest sites, and reducing the use of pesticides. Bee Campus USA and Bee City USA are initiatives of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Visit Bee City USA website to learn more about pollinators and the commitments that affiliates make to protect them.

Photos submitted by Prof. Amy Wolf

 

Photo from over the top of a nursing bed with two nursing students and a professor feeling the neck of a high-tech mannequin for a pulse with the text, Technologized Nursing Skills Center.

Video: UW-Green Bay Nursing Skills Center

Here’s a  fresh new look at the Aurora BayCare Nursing Skills Center on the third floor of Wood Hall on the Green Bay Campus. UW-Green Bay’s partnership with Aurora BayCare ensures our nursing students are prepared to deliver high-quality, safe patient care as they prepare for their clinical courses. The Aurora BayCare Nursing Skills Center serves as a hub for clinical skills learning including clinical courses with hands-on skills (e.g., starting IVs), simulation of clinical events using hi-tech patient mannequins, and open lab student practice time. Take a look at our Nursing program and watch this new video.

Innovation in Aging

Technology literacy solution wins 2021 WiSys Innovation in Aging student idea competition

Grandmother’s influence motivated competition winner

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay student Cheri Branham’s plan to increase technology literacy among aging populations took first place in the WiSys Innovation in Aging student idea competition on Feb. 25.

The annual student idea competition challenges UW-Green Bay students to create innovative solutions to combat hardships and improve quality of life for an aging public. The competition gives students an opportunity to grow idea development, collaboration and public presentation skills.

“Congratulations to Cheri Branham for the excellent presentation during WiSys Innovation in Aging,” said WiSys President Arjun Sanga. “Every year, we are excited to partner with the leaders at UW-Green Bay to showcase the University’s many innovative students. Yet again, the students did a great job applying their education to an important real-world problem affecting our state. Cheri and the other students are shining examples of why the UW System’s regional campuses are collectively among the most innovative in the country.”

First Place:

Cheri Branham
Cheri Branham

Branham, who won a $1,000 prize, documented shortfalls in technology literacy among older adults, their dependency on technology and the potential to improve their quality of life through greater adoption of more technology.

Branham’s solution is to provide one-to-one assistance to older adults by making connections to young people as trainers and facilitators.

The Social Work major from Green Bay, Wis. who will graduate in May 2021, said what motivated her to enter was seeing so many flaws in the system the past year of her grandmother’s life.

“She passed away in November, so I decided to address some of the challenges, Branham said. “I originally wanted to do policy change, but decided to do something I could do immediately. In the future I plan to work with pregnant women who struggle with substance abuse and are in the Department of Corrections. There’s also a lack of programming for this population so I hope to address it in my future!”

Second Place:

A team of students—Jordan Cioni, Andrew Akin, Elly Purdy and Andy Weigel—took second place in the competition with their innovation “Choppa.” Working with recent alum Katelyn Desrochers as their advisor on the project, the team developed “Choppa” as an easy-to-use cutting board device designed for people affected by arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome or other physical limitations.

The solution won the team—which represented the UW-Green Bay Engineering Club—a $750 prize, along with a $100 award for participating as a student organization.

Third Place: 

Team C.A.L.M.—made up of UW-Green Business Administration students Cassie Bougie, Anna Eaton, Lisa Joiner and Megan Bonikowski—took third place and a $500 prize for their solution to address the negative effects of colored beverages on the mouths of older adults. The team developed a dual-ended color resistant product called “ColorStop” to protect lips and teeth from beverages such as red wine and coffee. The solution won the team a $500 prize.

To view the students’ presentations or the entire event, including a keynote by Devon Christianson, the director of Aging and Disability Resource Center of Brown County, visit wisys.org/aging or on the WiSys YouTube Channel.

WiSys Innovation in Aging is a partnership between WiSys, the UW-Green Bay College of Health, Education and Social Welfare and the UW-Green Bay Gerontology Center.

Props to the IiA Competition planning committee members who worked hard on this initiative and the competition’s first-ever virtual IiA event.  Planning members are:
Katie Turkiewicz
Brad Ricker (WiSys)
Mike Zorn
Doreen Higgins
Stephanie Rhee
Dean Von Dras
Sue Craver
Jamie Schramm
Susan Gallagher-Lepak
Ryan Kauth
Denny Christoff (student)
Rita Ebbott (student)
Adhira Sunkara (WiSys)
Organizers would also like to recognize the judges: Brian Walsh, Mary Bouchee, Liza Steffek, Dr. Jim Warpinski and Matt Geimer.

WiSys is a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state.

VIDEO LINKS:

FULL https://youtu.be/LaGHniAiM_4

Tech Literacy: https://youtu.be/kErj9Qi8VkU

ColorStop: https://youtu.be/-czzRDCqEBI

Choppa: https://youtu.be/IiX1h8s0pN0

Keynote: https://youtu.be/P3QaVXOOZhw

Press Release by Craig Sauer, WiSys

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