UW-Green Bay faculty and staff honored at 2022 Fall Convocation

Hosted at The Weidner and online, UW-Green Bay’s Fall Convocation was held on Wednesday, August 24th. Attendees heard from Provost Kate Burns and Chancellor Michael Alexander, both speaking to the success of the previous year and the exciting and challenging work ahead for the university. In addition, the event launched the “This is How We Rise” video and honored a number of faculty and staff with named professorships and the university’s annual Founders Awards, the highest honor presented by their peers. View the gallery of photos from the event here!

Named professorships presented:

  • Frankenthal Family Professorship – David Voelker
  • Frederick E. Baer Professorship in Business—Gaurav Bansal
  • Herbert Fisk Johnson Professorship in Environmental Studies – Patrick Forsythe

UW-Green Bay Founder’s Awards were presented to the following faculty and staff:

University Staff Award for Excellence – Teri Ternes

As their nominator wrote, the recipient of this award “is a multi-talented, hardworking staff member who is a known problem solver.  She is a pleasure to work with and has a wonderful sense of humor, and positive attitude.” While she has been known as someone who goes above and beyond her job duties for years, the recent challenges of dealing with the COVID pandemic have shown how valuable her administrative skills set is – from joining the COVID Response Team, to handing personal protective equipment ordering for some departments with unique PPE needs, to being flexible with the new realities of keeping offices open and covered, to putting together a weekly newsletter for her University Staff colleagues that, in addition to practical information and virtual professional development, always included fun trivia and words of encouragement. She has had an impact on many students through her work with student honor societies and the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. This year’s recipient of the University Staff Award for Excellence is Teri Ternes. 

Academic Support Award for Excellence – Renee Ettinger

The recipient of the Academic Support Award for Excellence is known for “her dedication to student success, her collaborative nature, and her desire to see our university and its students flourish.” She has served on a wide range of committees across the university, including serving as the chair of one of the HLC Accreditation criteria working groups. She works to start our students off on the right foot, supporting the First-Year Seminar and Gateways to Phoenix Success programs, including developing and teaching a First-Year Seminar course for several semesters. She has worked to advance many of the university’s strategic priorities, such as evaluating the market need for new graduate programs and improving the accessibility and affordability of higher education through the Open Educational Resources initiative. This past year she was the co-chair of the Common CAHSS conference, whose theme was “Truth: Information, Misinformation and Democracy,” where she was able to share her expertise on information literacy and information privilege. This year’s recipient of the Academic Support Award for Excellence is Renee Ettinger. 

University Award for Excellence in Community Outreach – Cindy Bailey 

When the recipient of the University Award for Excellence in Community Outreach began her career with us 25 years ago, she quickly gained a reputation for infectious enthusiasm and positive results – two characteristics that have continued to this day, through her many roles at the university. Our award recipient’s connections to the community are both deep and broad. As one nominator wrote, “Guidance counselors and teachers at regional school districts, HR directors and CEOs of local industry, nonprofit leaders, community organizers, and government officials all know that if you want to know what is happening at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, [this person] is the one to ask.” And, they continue, this is not just because of her tenure with the university. “It is because of the way she has cultivated relationships and leveraged her knowledge of the community’s needs and region’s resources to have a positive impact.” She has been a spokesperson on local media, the chair of the Education and Workforce Development Committee of the Marinette and Menominee Chamber of Commerce and was instrumental in creating the Marinette Area Higher Education Coalition with NWTC. This year’s recipient of the University Award for Excellence in Community Outreach is Cindy Bailey. 

University Award for Excellence in Collaborative Achievement – Cofrin Center for Biodiversity 

The recipient of the University Award for Excellence in Collaborative Achievement is a group that was “set up to encourage collaborative achievement,” which has done quite well since it was created over 20 years ago. Not only is there frequent collaboration within UWGB, but its impact is felt beyond UWGB as well. One faculty member at another midwestern university wrote to tell the us about the first-of-their-kind studies that were published together with this group’s faculty members, which would not have happened if our faculty had not been so predisposed to collaboration from the time that he met them. A UWGB alumna wrote that her journey from, as she put it, “confused first generation college student” to PhD student and research fellow would not have been possible without the mentorship, the undergraduate student research grant she received, and her life-changing travel course to Panama, all through this Center. The synergistic trifecta of the Cofrin Arboretum (and other natural areas), scientific natural history collections (in the Richter Museum and the Fewless Herbarium) and UWGB faculty with an interest in biodiversity bolster our legacy as Eco-U. This year’s recipient of the University Award for Excellence in Collaborative Achievement is the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity

University Award for Excellence in Institutional Development – Mike Draney 

The recipient of the University Award for Excellence in Institutional Development has served the university in many roles throughout his career. He has been a long-time department chair, including leading enrollment growth in multiple programs, and welcoming Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan colleagues to the department in a way that leads to expanded opportunities at all four locations. He has served many terms in faculty governance, where, as one nominator wrote, he “has gained a reputation of relentlessly advocating for and representing the entire institution” leading to his appointment to multiple search committees hiring the highest level of university administrators. His influence stretches well beyond his own department; he is a supporter of, and sometimes participant in university theater and music program activities, has participated in the Phuture Phoenix program and Girl Scout “Water Day” events, and visited many local schools. “In addition,” another nominator wrote, “he has provided innumerable spider identifications that have quelled many ‘poisonous spider’ fears of local citizens.” This year’s recipient of the University Award for Excellence in Institutional Development is Mike Draney. 

Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching – James Kabrhel 

The recipient of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching is known as a person with a passion for teaching. Although he has taught each of his courses for years now, he is constantly seeking feedback from his students, “adding new assignments and new ways to engage students.” His colleagues describe him as “a very thoughtful and reflective instructor.”  The way he adapts his teaching style and content to keep everyone in the class engaged does not go unnoticed by students either. A former student recounts how, struggling with the course content, she nervously decided to take him up on his “open door policy.” Over the course of an hour, he helped her to grasp the concepts and learned about her aspirations for a career in medicine. They found that when a course concept related to the field of medicine, she “had an easier time understanding it.” She writes, “There were a lot more short-answer questions involving medical situations after that day,” and that she can “hear his lecture … in the back of [her] head” when that knowledge is put to use in her current job. This year’s recipient of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching is James Kabrhel. 

Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship – Aaron Weinschenk 

One nominator described the recipient of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship as “the embodiment of excellence in scholarship.” Another chose the word FORMIDABLE. With 45 peer-reviewed articles, several book chapters, and a co-authored book that in total have been cited over 600 times, we can see why. He also frequently shares his knowledge with regional, national and international media, and in guest lectures and talks. A colleague in the field writes that his research is “noteworthy for substantive and methodological reasons.” That is to say, not only does his research make meaningful contributions to knowledge in the field, but he is at the cutting edge of research techniques, “including survey data analysis, experimental methods, and genetic data.” His work is interdisciplinary and collaborative, researching topics such as voter behavior, partisan polarization, and “the psychological and biological underpinnings of political engagement.” This year’s recipient of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship is Aaron Weinschenk. 

Thanks to everyone who made this event such a success.

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