Fox 11 News and reporter Eric Peterson ran a nice feature story last week about local research on spawning activity and habitat for northern pike, a popular game fish. Featured in the piece was UW-Green Bay graduate student Rachel Van Dam, who works with Associate Prof. Patrick Forsythe and is pursing her master’s in Environmental Science and Policy. Van Dam was netting and measuring fish at a restored spawning wetland on the west shore. Her work represents collaboration involving the University, the federal Fish and Wildlife Service, the state DNR, the Nature Conservancy and Brown County.
The first cohort of students arrives in July and classes begin in August for the Medical College of Wisconsin-Green Bay. UW-Green Bay and St. Norbert College faculty are preparing to provide the teaching faculty for the regional campus, which gives students the opportunity to pursue a medical degree in the region for the very first time.
UW-Green Bay students have been very successful in achieving medical school admission, and this expands their opportunity to stay in the Green Bay area after earning their bachelor degree. UW-Green Bay faculty members, Professors Craig Hanke and Amanda Nelson and Dean Scott Furlong, as well as future medical student Julia Shariff, share their enthusiasm for the new partnership.
“I think there is a lot of excitement,” says Hanke, “Our students recognize an opportunity for more seats in medical programs, and we have a lot of students who apply to medical school… to be able to go to medical school in a region where they’ve grown up and potentially to transition right into a clinically-based practice in this area, makes it that much more exciting to pursue a career interest in this field.”
UW-Green Bay faculty who will serve in joint appointments with MCW-Green Bay appointments are:
• Craig Hanke, Ph.D., associate professor of Human Biology
• Dennis Lorenz, Ph.D., associate professor of Human Development and Psychology
• James Marker, Ph.D., associate professor of Human Biology
• Daniel Meinhardt, Ph.D., associate professor of Human Biology
• Brian Merkel, Ph.D., associate professor of Human Biology
• Amanda Nelson, Ph.D., associate professor of Human Biology
• Debra Pearson, Ph.D., RD, associate professor of Human Biology and Nutrition
• Uwe Pott, Ph.D., associate professor of Human Biology
• Dean Von Dras, Ph.D., professor of Psychology and Human Development
• Sarah VanderZanden, DVM, associate lecturer of Human Biology and practicing veterinarian
Medical College of Wisconsin will also recruit instructors and mentors from among the ranks of local physicians. Read the past release.
UW-Green Bay senior Ashley Wisneski is no stranger to the theatre. As a longtime actor with UW-Green Bay Theatre and Dance, she has appeared in numerous productions in a variety of roles. Now Wisneski is taking on a new challenge, directing a full-length studio production that opens Thursday (Feb. 5). The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) [revised] is a funny, frenetic take on all 37 of the Bard’s plays, portrayed in hilarious fashion in the span of about two hours. We caught up with Wisneski a week or two back, chatting with her about the experience and taking some video of a gut-bustingly funny rehearsal. Check out the video, and then check out her show — 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5-7 in University Theatre. Admission is free, but get there early — due to the interactive nature of the show (yep, you read that right), seating is limited to 75 people per night.
UW-Green Bay bade farewell to a record mid-year class Saturday, Dec. 13, when more than 330 students (of more than 500 total graduates) took part in December commencement ceremonies at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. From lighthearted worries about traversing the stage in heels to genuine feelings of excitement and nostalgia, our grads and commencement speaker shared their thoughts about the big day.
“It’s really exciting and scary,” said graduating senior Ashley Smar, “and just a whole bunch of emotions.”
Her Education classmate, Small Moua, agreed.
“I feel the same way,” Moua said in a pre-ceremony interview. “I think the main part right now is not tripping on stage. That’s kind of what I’m thinking about.”
Quipped Smar: “Especially in heels.”
In a nearby room, soon-to-be alumnus Ryan Wehse reflected on his time at UW-Green Bay.
“I’m really excited to graduate,” said Wehse, who was graduating with a degree in Biology. “This has been a great University. My time just went really fast and I’ve learned a lot, met a lot of cool people.”
Graduate student Stephanie Suchecki had even more upon which to reflect, having completed both her bachelor’s and now her master’s degree at UW-Green Bay.
“It feels bittersweet because I’m going to miss UWGB,” Suchecki said. “I’ve been here for like 7-and-a-half years, I want to say. I worked here while I was in graduate school, I’ve roomed here all seven years of school that I’ve been here, and made amazing friends along the way.”
For commencement speaker and UW-Green Bay alumnus Cristina Danforth ’88, addressing the class of 2014 was a tremendous opportunity.
“I‘m excited. It’s historic in the sense that I graduated from here and we have a lot of students from Oneida graduating today,” said Danforth, chairwoman of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin. “So it’s special to me to be able to represent my tribe and the student body of the University. And so I’m really honored to be here and I’m very excited.”
Also excited was Adult Degree Program grad Cheryl Juen, who celebrated six cancer-free years just days before Saturday’s commencement.
“I knew from the minute I started, I was going to walk today — that’s why you do it,” Juen said, her voice thick with emotion. “You do it because you’re proud of yourself. So yeah, it means a lot.”
Music grad Erin Sunisa was among those who said they’re ready for what’s next.
“I’m nervous, to be quite honest, but I’m really excited,” Sunisa said. “I’m really excited to get on, move on to different things, start my career and get out in the real world — and kick butt at it, I guess.”
Twas the end of the term, and away at the Kress,
Four gentle, fine dance students practiced their best.
They pliéd, chasséd and developéd with such grace,
That Phlash the Phoenix could not believe his big face.
’Twas too little to admire the scene from afar,
So he snuck up upon them to join in at the barre.
Despite how he tiptoed and crept with such care,
His ungainly footfalls, announced he was there.
To his delight and surprise, the dancers made way,
For furry Phlash Phoenix, to join in that day.
This really did happen, we swear it’s the truth,
And if you’re a skeptic, we have video proof!
So with this message, festive greetings we spread,
In hopes visions of Phoenix will dance in your head.
New today, we’ve got even more fun images from a fantastic inaugural UW-Green Bay Day at Lambeau Field. Our UW-Green Bay News video captures the sights and sounds of the daylong celebration, while great new photos from the event show some of the highlights you may have missed. Check out our multimedia package.
Campus and community alike got the chance to have a blast while learning more about UW-Green Bay Nov. 15, during the first-ever UW-Green Bay Day at Lambeau Field.
Part of UW-Green Bay’s partnership with the Green Bay Packers, the event offered a little something for everyone. Eric Craver, director of external relations with UW-Green Bay’s Division of Outreach and Adult Access, talked with UW-Green Bay News about this great day in Green Bay.
“It’s the first year of UW-Green Bay Day at Lambeau Field, and this came out of a partnership between us and the Green Bay Packers.
With the partnership, our common goal is to elevate awareness of the Green Bay area for a number of different reasons. We want to increase awareness of those things that are offered at the University — not only opportunities to go and earn your degree, both as a traditional student or earn your degree online as a returning adult — but also for the many programs and services that the University has to offer.
We’ve got students here, we have alumni, we have our student-athletes here; we’ve got attractions for adults, for families, for Packer fans, for UW-Green Bay fans, and for those who just want something really cool to do on a Saturday, right here in Green Bay.
We want people to come in, we want people to say ‘hey, UW-Green Bay and the Green Bay Packers, they’re a team. They’re in this together to promote different opportunities for members of the community to come out to Lambeau Field and just have a really good time.’ So that’s the most important thing.
The other thing that I want to happen is that people find out some of the things that UW-Green Bay has to offer for members of our community, and for those who are thinking about UW-Green Bay as a destination for college. It’s a fantastic school within a fantastic University of Wisconsin System, and we’re anxious to tell you all about us.”
UW-Green Bay Theatre and Dance and UW-Green Bay Music will present the musical Spring Awakening Nov. 20-22 at the University Theatre in Theatre Hall.
Winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, the production is a pop/rock musical adaptation of Frank Wedekind’s 1891 expressionist play about teenage rebellion and sexual discovery. Spring Awakening is rated R, for strong language and adult content. It is recommended for mature audiences.
“Spring Awakening is a very unique musical,” said UW-Green Bay Associate Prof. John Mariano, who is directing the show. “It premiered on Broadway in 2006 and proceeded to win eight Tony awards. It’s a musical based on a somewhat obscure play from 1890. It’s a play that deals very frankly and very honestly with adolescent sexuality and a lot of other adolescent problems, including teenage suicide. And the kind of graphic nature of it, especially in 1890, led to it kind of being banned everywhere.”
It’s an interesting dynamic for the show, said student Erin Sunisa, who plays Wendla.
“They bring a lot of heavy issues, and sometimes it can be quite jarring,” Sunisa said. “But it opens up a great discussion for audience members to discuss after the musical.”
Spring Awakening blends the old and the new in interesting ways, Mariano said.
“And the contemporary musical,” he said, “the twist they put on this old play that really made it interesting, is that whenever the characters sing they kind of step out of that late 19th century world and into a very contemporary, concert-like world. The music is all contemporary pop music like alt rock music.”
Sunisa enjoys the dichotomy, she said.
“It’s been very interesting to have both feet in two separate worlds going on,” Sunisa said. “You kind of have to think in a different mindset when coming into this musical.”
Audiences will be able to relate to the show, Mariano said.
“Adolescence is still what it’s always been, still full of confusion and all of the problems that go along with it — so the play has held up very, very well,” he said. “It’s adapted somewhat by the playwrights in the contemporary version, but it’s still pretty much his play, boosted by this contemporary score.”
Added Assistant Prof. Courtney Sherman, the show’s musical director:
“It’s essentially going back and forth between a really powerful piece of theatre, a play, and being at an awesome rock concert — so you get sort of the best of both worlds rolled together in one performance experience,” she said. “And I think that that’s fantastic and it will be really, really thrilling for audiences.”
UW-Green Bay Theatre and Dance and UW-Green Bay Music will perform a tale of teenage rebellion and adolescent sexuality beginning Nov. 20, presenting the eight-time Tony Award-winning musical “Spring Awakening” in four shows at University Theatre in Theatre Hall. Based on a late 19th century play by Frank Weidekind and adapted as a modern pop/rock musical, this expressionist work explores themes centered around the transition to adulthood. It’s not for kids — the musical is rated R for strong language and adult content — but adult audiences will find plenty they can relate to and discuss, says director John Mariano. We spent some time at play rehearsal this week, and our new preview video tells — and shows — you all about the show.
Now in its second year, UW-Green Bay’s Phoenix GPS program is helping University freshmen get engaged and stay engaged as they navigate that all-important first year. We talked to students and faculty about what makes the program unique.
“The Phoenix GPS program — GPS does stand for gateways to Phirst year success and the ‘ph’ in the ‘first’ year, is you know, a little play on the Phoenix,” said Associate Prof. Denise Bartell, Human Development and Psychology. “Really what the program does is it builds on existing structures at the University and kind of adds to them. It’s a yearlong program — in the fall semester, the two primary curricular components are that every student is in one of five kind of special sections of first-year seminars that we’ve designated as these GPS courses. The second curricular component is the intro to Human Biology class.
“So we’ve taken those two curricular elements,” Bartell continued, “and then we have sort of built on top of it the extra work with the peer mentors and the academic advisers, the co-curricular engagement, the social events that our students are doing with each other. And then of course that spring course where they’re doing the service-learning project and the personal development work as well.”
For GPS peer mentor Alex Wilson, the program is all about making connections.
“We spend a lot of time getting to know them in the beginning,” Wilson said. “We want to encourage them to spend as much time on campus as they feel comfortable, getting involved with things they’re interested in, things they could be passionate about, to try and discover who they are and what they would want to do with their life and their major.”
Associate Prof. Christopher Martin, Humanistic Studies, said Phoenix GPS is making a difference.
“Something that the GPS program does really well is tie what students are doing in the classroom to all of these other activities around the school — activities that are shown statistically to promote better engagement, better grades, better success in college, better success after college, all these excellent kinds of things,” Martin said. “So one thing I’ve seen with my students is, over the course of the year they have gradually become more aware of this factor, more engaged, more willing to try things they might not have tried before.”
That’s certainly been the case for Kayla Duesterbeck, who was part of the program during its inaugural year.
“I came into college having a fear of speaking in public, speaking in front of cameras,” Duesterbeck said. “I think the most I’ve gotten out of GPS was the little push I needed to get out of my comfort zone and actually put myself out there for once.”
Associate Prof. Katia Levintova, Public and Environmental Affairs, also was part of the program’s first year.
“I think the biggest change I have seen was the build up of confidence,” Levintova said, “so just to see that, that’s just amazing, in probably what, five months, people became not only confident in themselves but also kind of confident enough to share with others and kind of spread this particular approach in making this campus their own.”
Added Associate Prof. Lora Warner, Public and Environmental Affairs: “What this program has really done is identify a lot of the keys to success in college — getting engaged socially and getting some academic skills,” Warner said. “And so now when they move on, that they’ve got this really, really good foundation — and the confidence, really to go forward.”
The transformation has been noticeable, Wilson said.
“It’s a chance for them to grow and they have,” she said. “It’s been awesome.”
More information about Phoenix GPS is available online.