The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is taking a refreshing approach to fundraising for nursing scholarships. Proceeds from sales of a new product — Lavender Lullaby Spritzer — now retailing at local stores, are being contributed to the Mimi and Ken Kubsch Endowed Scholarship Fund at UWGB.
Kubsch is an award-winning faculty member who started the nursing program at UW-Green Bay, serving the institution for more than 30 years. Her late husband Ken was a well-known physician in the community.
Consistent with her passion for complementary therapies, Kubsch and several faculty colleagues, including Heather Herdman, developed the spritzer, an aromatherapy product with essential oils, which can be used for relaxation/sleep support.
According to Kubsch, the spritzer is made of lavender essential oil, purified water and witch hazel. Lavender is supported by many clinical research studies as the best aroma to enhance restful relaxation and sleep.
“It is important that the scent be carried in an essential oil which is extracted directly from the lavender flower, rather than a commercially prepared scent,” Kubsch says. “The lavender oil works though inhalation or skin absorption and goes directly to the brain and the limbic system where it causes a state of relaxation to occur.”
Herdman, an expert in alternative and holistic therapies, is part owner of Sweet Willow Naturals, Bellevue St., Green Bay (across from the Rite Place in High Point Plaza) which carries products such as organic herbs, essential oils, wellness teas, and skin care products.
Herdman said the spritzer is receiving rave reviews.
“We have had a great response from our customers who like the idea of getting a research-based product that supports a nursing scholarship at UWGB,” she said. “The fact that Dr. Kubsch has taught some of our customers makes it a real bonus for them!”
Three of the four original owners of Sweet Willow Naturals are connected to UWGB. Laura Vanden Avond teaches classes for the Division of Outreach and Adult Access, Lynn Green is a nurse practitioner and adjunct faculty member, and Herdman is a member of the UWGB nursing faculty.
“This is why we felt this was such a good fit for Mimi’s scholarship,” Herdman says. “She has long been known for her passion around education regarding holistic health — the mission of Sweet Willow Naturals — so it just seemed like a fantastic way to link our small business to the University in a way that met the mission and vision of both organizations!”
For her part, Kubsch said she is honored by the gesture and thrilled that the scholarships can benefit nursing students.
“It is awesome, far beyond my expectations,” Kubsch said. “It is so nice that friends, alumni and colleagues have been so generous. It will be nice when we reach the $25,000 mark so we can award a $1,000 scholarship annually. This is such a nice way for me and my husband to be able to contribute to nursing education at UWGB perpetually. The product is also being carried at The Phoenix Bookstore on the UW-Green Bay campus.
Scholarships will range between $500 and $1,000 depending on the fundraising and size of the endowment. A student wishing to apply must be pursuing a graduate or undergraduate degree in nursing, with minimum grade point average and some other criteria.
A number of nursing alumni, friends of Mimi and Ken, and all members of the UWGB nursing department have contributed to the scholarship. To contribute, contact Jan Malchow, manager of student outreach for UWGB Nursing at email@example.com or access the online gift form.
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– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication