Graduating class speaker, Hannah Malmberg, models what it means to be a Phoenix
“The price of success,” the legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi once said, “is hard work.” But if you were to ask anyone who has had the privilege of working, or just knowing, Hannah Malmberg, they would more likely characterize their experience with her as priceless.
“I’ve rarely encountered somebody so accomplished, yet so unselfish and humble,” says Katia Levintova, professor of Democracy and Justice Studies. “She is always serving others in the most profound ways.”
The proof? A list of accomplishments that would be impressive for two people, including serving as a peer mentor for the Gateways to Phoenix Success (GPS) program. This year-long commitment matched Malmberg with at-risk first-year students to help ensure academic and social success. What’s all the more impressive about this commitment is that Hannah herself faced the challenge of adapting to the college life experience to the extent she left school for a semester.
But she came back and rose from the ashes like a true Phoenix. Not only surviving, but thriving. Levintova notes, “completely turning things around, becoming a super-star student, a role model, and a very accomplished person.”
From that moment on, Malmberg embraced all her opportunities—including a social media internship at the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. She is also currently a member of Political Science Research Lab (one of 13 students selected for this honor).
Even while gaining experiences on campus, she continued to reach out to fellow students as a resident assistant—receiving additional training ranging from peer guidance, leadership development and more to cope with daily adventures of residence life.
Malmberg also found time to deliver lectures at the Green Bay Film Society and the UW-Green Bay Office of International Education, as well as working in the offices of TRiO and Upward Bound and volunteering for the Model United Nations event that brought local high school students to campus.
Malmberg’s hard work went above and beyond campus life and into the community. Two highly competitive internships included one at Green Bay City Hall and a current internship at NEW Water.
Malmberg also found time to be of service—even in Hawaii, traveling to Maui on a “build trip” with UW-Green Bay Habitat for Humanity. In 2018, she traveled to Ecuador with Associate Professor Marcelo Cruz, visiting indigenous communities in the heart of the Amazon region. Along the way, she discovered that some of the most enduring lessons can be learned far from a classroom.
“Prior to going to Ecuador, I had never traveled outside of the country and was nervous about being far from home, but studying abroad helped me discover confidence in myself that I never realized I had. I am so glad that I went and will forever cherish the memories made, education earned and relationships formed on that trip.”
What may be most impressive is that Malmberg has accomplished so much while maintaining a 3.68 GPA as a double major in Political Science and Communication, emphasis in Mass Media, with a Global Studies minor.
A University Leadership Award recipient in May 2019, she was nominated to serve as commencement speaker by faculty representing Political Science, Communication, Global Studies, Psychology and Public Administration—Katia Levintova, David Helpap, Aaron Weinschenk, Ryan Martin, David Coury, Bryan Carr, Alison Staudinger and Jemma Lund.
Malmberg’s own stated personal goal at UW-Green Bay was to “have a positive experience on this school and community; to have left it even better and stronger than when I started here.” And while Levintova admires Malmberg’s humility, she’s even prouder of her accomplishments. “Her list of achievements is incredible, demonstrating both the depth and the breadth of experiences, both on campus and in the community, sustained over a very long period.”
After graduation, Malmberg plans to further her work experience that combines her double majors before getting a master’s degree in either Public Administration or Public Policy.