UW-Green Bay’s Innovation On-ramp planning committee recognized with the 2023 WySis Innovation Champion Award

UW-Green Bay’s Innovation On-ramp planning committee received the 2023 WiSys Innovation Champion Award. The award recognizes UW System leaders, faculty, staff, students, and community partners who have played an integral role in building a culture of innovation at a UW System regional institution. Members of the UWGB Innovation On-ramp planning committee from 2021-22 & 2022-23 that were awarded are listed below.

  • Susan Craver (UWGB at Marinette)
  • Nazim Choudhury (UWGB at GB)
  • Susan Gallagher-Lepak (UWGB at GB)
  • Doreen Higgins (UWGB at GB)
  • Wendi Holschbach (UWGB at Manitowoc & Sheboygan)
  • Myunghee Jun (UWGB at GB)
  • Kim Krueger (UWGB Student Ambassador)
  • Kathryn Marten (UWGB at GB)
  • Stephanie Rhee (UWGB at GB)
  • Nischal Thapa (UWGB at GB)
  • Dean VonDras (UWGB at GB)

The committee is made up of faculty and staff from across UW-Green Bay’s colleges and campuses. The committee worked closely with Evelyn Olson, Tony Hanson, and Adhira Sunkara at WiSys. Together, the group collaborated to reimagine an annual pitch competition in order to engage more students. In addition to an annual idea pitch competition, now named Innovation On-Ramp, the committee developed a five week, free, hybrid course open to all UW-Green Bay students.

“The driving force behind this change was to help students – no matter their major, year in school, or background – realize that their creative ideas are worth sharing. Anyone can be an innovator, so we wanted to make sure that all students could gain the tools and knowledge to develop and pitch their innovative ideas,” said Kathryn Marten, Student & Community Engagement Coordinator for the Cofrin School of Business and WiSys Campus Champion.

Arjun Sanga, President of WiSys, wrote to the committee members,All of you embody the ideals of a WiSys Innovation Champion. This committee was instrumental in the evolution of this event from the original Innovation in Aging competition 7 years ago to the 5-week interactive learning experience – Innovation On-Ramp. When this program was piloted in Spring of 2022, over 120 students participated in the program, which approximately matched the total participation of the previous 5 years. The program grew to engage 300+ students in Fall of 2022 and was expanded to another UW campus. Thank you for your excellent work in transforming the competition into a ‘high-impact practice’ for students.”

In fall 2023, the Innovation On-Ramp course will scale up and be offered to students at 3 UW campuses — UW-Green Bay, UW-Platteville, and UW-Stout, in partnership with WiSys.

Pictured (left to right) is Arjun Sanga, WiSys President, and award recipients representing the UW-Green Bay Innovation On-Ramp Committee: Nazim Choudhury, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Kathryn Marten, Student & Community Engagement Coordinator for the Cofrin School of Business, and Susan Gallagher-Lepak, Dean of the College of Health, Education and Social Welfare. Several committee members received the award at the WiSys SPARK Symposium at UW-Oshkosh on August 7, 2023.

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