UW-Green Bay faculty and staff honored with Founders Awards

John Arendt presents the Founders Awards.

(Photos from Dan Moore, University Photographer)

At the annual faculty and staff convocation, held August 23, 2023, faculty and staff were recognized with the 2023 Founders Awards. Special thanks to the Awards and Recognition Committee for their work reading nomination forms and selecting the following awardees. And an extra special thank you to all that were nominated for the incredible work being done at UW-Green Bay! This is how we rise.

And the awards go to…

University Staff Award for Excellence

As their nominators wrote, the recipient of this award “has been an invaluable contributor to this institution and to the students, faculty and staff over the years.”  “She always went beyond most of the normal requirements for her position” and “she knew enough to do any one of our jobs-if she was needed.” Her love for event planning really started on the planning committee for all the student events that were held on campus. This included booking entertainment for weekend events, planning events that students could do during the day, and setting up for commencement, to name a few. She was always available to support programs that occurred outside of normal working hours and she actively took part in staff and professional development programs. Additionally, she participates in numerous community activities, but particularly loves any project that combines her dual role as UW Green Bay staff and alumnus. Looking for added learning and challenges, she recently joined the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology, shifting her energy from students to faculty. This year’s recipient of the University Staff Award for Excellence is Tina Tackmier.

Academic Support Award for Excellence

The recipient of the Academic Support Award for Excellence is known as someone who “consistently goes above and beyond [the] job description with unit success and student success in mind, and really exemplifies… what academic support commitment to excellence looks like.” “He does his actual job so well and seamlessly that sometimes it seems like that is not his job, because we often see him doing other things to help people.” “He takes his position as a UWGB employee very seriously. He volunteers to serve on many Unit, University and System-wide committees.” “His ability to keep equipment running on a shoestring budget and to find creative purchasing solutions have saved the university a great deal of money over the years.” “His most unusual (and perhaps most important) contributions are his personalized tours of the Laboratory Science building. He gives tours to hundreds of prospective science students and their parents each year, as both group and individual tours, where he showcases the different science majors and research programs in the Laboratory Science Building. His enthusiasm, positive attitude, and outgoing personality (including an unforgettable laugh) have clearly had a positive impact on our recruitment of prospective students to UW-Green Bay.” This year’s recipient of the Academic Support Award for Excellence is Joe Schoenebeck.

University Award for Excellence in Community Outreach

The recipient of the University Award for Excellence in Community Outreach is described as a “space [that] gives so many students a family, people who notice when they’re struggling, when they’re down.” “Not only does it allow students to feel welcome in a social environment and free to talk about themselves and their identities around people who… will be welcoming and accepting, but also a place to exist and decompress from classes and life in a stress-free environment.” This organization holds events both on campus and within the community and during the past year nearly 3500 people have attended. One event example was the “Hallowqueen” drag show, which had a record-breaking attendance for the University at nearly a thousand people. This offered an opportunity to students who had never been to a drag show and wanted to expand their worldviews, immerse themselves in a new culture, and have fun together. Students also got to interact with some of the drag performers one-on-one.” The culmination of these efforts and programs is a strengthening of the community as a whole through inclusivity, allyship, compassion, and education. This year’s recipient of the University Award for Excellence in Community Outreach is the UW-Green Bay Pride Center.

University Award for Excellence in Collaborative Achievement

The University Award for Excellence in Collaborative Achievement is given to a group that is willing and able to work together across reporting lines to engage in creative initiatives that advance the mission of the University. This project directly supports the access mission and vision of UW-Green Bay, by ensuring that students have equitable access to educational resources for their courses. Originally submitted as a proposal for strategic initiative funding, “the project team was able to develop and implement a framework that allows for instructors to apply for funding to adopt, modify, or create resources for UW-Green Bay courses. “The work that has been completed to date impacts 26 courses and over 1000 students. The total money saved by students in the two years of this program is over $123,000 and that number continues to grow.” To quote one of our students, “I have never had a professor conduct a class like yours, where the material is extremely interesting, challenging, and flow with the study guide, and lectures keep my attention and actually stick in my brain.” This year’s recipient of the University Award for Excellence in Collaborative Achievement is the Open Educational Resources (OER) Project, including Renee Ettinger, Stephanie Alvey, Kate Farley, Carli Reinecke, Amy Kabrhel, Kris Vespia, Nicole LaGrow & Nathan Kraftcheck.

University Award for Excellence in Institutional Development

The recipient of the University Award for Excellence in Institutional Development has become “one of its pillars, whose name is often forwarded when people are looking for effective representation on internal committees and external initiatives of the university.” “Some people do a lot of heavy lifting on behalf of the university and all its
diverse constituencies” and this individual does it with an eye focused both regionally and globally. In one of his several roles, he has been instrumental in finding unique ways civic engagement work can be celebrated both in the classroom and in the community. One of the best examples of this is his commitment to the Civic Scholars Leadership Program. This program focuses on a cohort of sophomore students who spend a year learning about the City of Green Bay through tours and meetings in the fall semester and a community internship in spring. He has diligently supported and advocated for the Scholars to grow as aspiring leaders while also discovering more about their own civic identities. This program has been so successful for students it has been applauded as a model for a student success initiative focused on the Sophomore Experience. This year’s recipient of the University Award for Excellence in Institutional Development is David Coury. David was unable to attend in person.

Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching

The recipient of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching is known for their “commitment to teaching, dedication to student success, and unwavering passion for shaping the future leaders of our society.” Teaching goals include “fostering a positive learning environment in which students feel comfortable to participate in class activities and discussions; and ensuring the students have fun while learning.” Her “commitment to continuous improvement in the delivery of her courses is [demonstrated by] her use of mid-term feedback from her students. She started collecting informal feedback after the first exam back in 2016 and has continued this practice on an on-going basis.” “She creates and uses unique assignments in her classes such as Design your own exam, the weekly Build a question exercises…” and “uses games and gamification elements in her classes.” She is always open to trying novel approaches. “Teams from her [simulation] course have frequently placed in the top 20 out of 1,800 teams from 80 colleges and universities worldwide participating in the competition.” Additionally, “through her [inclusive] research endeavors, she has helped to develop the next generation of business scholars and educators who are well-equipped to meet the evolving needs of the field.” This year’s recipient of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching is Vallari Chandna.

Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship

One nominator described the recipient of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship as not only having a “penchant for consuming research, but critical evaluation of the cutting-edge in most fields and the ability to ask the next question, to continue to find unanswered and important lines of examination for research projects.” “She has published 19 peer-reviewed publications, three book chapters, nine invited research talks, and approximately 40 other research presentations (both domestically and internationally), and her papers appear in top-tier journals.” “Since arriving at UWGB, she has led a team of investigators to nearly $500,000 of funding, including the first National Institutes of Health grant in decades.” “She has an extensive history of collaborations, not just with faculty in her program, but across the university illustrating how her work spans traditional disciplinary borders. In the last few years alone, she has collaborated with neuroscientists, biologists, and political scientists while examining cultural implications of cognitive and social development.” “Her peers have noted that she has made unique and important contributions to sociocultural, developmental, and cognitive psychology, and will continue to be an influential researcher for years to come.  This year’s recipient of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship is Sawa Senzaki.


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