Six at UW-Green Bay win Chancellor's Medallions

Six graduating seniors at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay received Chancellor’s Medallions in ceremonies on Friday, Dec. 17.

The medallions recognize academic achievement and leadership demonstrated through campus and community involvement over the course of the students’ UW-Green Bay careers. The selection process is coordinated by the Office of Student Life, with recipients chosen by a committee of faculty, staff and students, based on nominations.

The fall 2010 recipients are: Cassandra Byerly, Milwaukee; Kari Kropp, Pulaski; Gary Nevala Jr., Montreal, Wis.; David Prochazka, Gothenburg, Sweden; Tanya Schmidt, Fond du Lac; and Zachary Taylor, Baraboo.

Byerly graduated in December with majors in Elementary Education and Spanish. She earned summa cum laude, or highest, honors. On campus, she served as president of the student Spanish Club, as a member of various University advisory committees, as a tour guide and student assistant with the Office of Admissions, and earned induction into the Phi Kappa Phi national honor society. Off campus, she served as a reading tutor for bilingual third-graders at Eisenhower Elementary School in Green Bay, helping native English speakers learn Spanish, at the same time co-teaching an English class for Spanish-speaking adults. She completed student teaching experiences both in the Green Bay district and at a school in Cuernavaca, Mexico. (Byerly lists her family as Robert and Josephine Byerly, 5579 Oakwood Circle, Greendale.)

For Kropp, receipt of the Chancellor’s Medallion was part of an awards-filled weekend that also saw her singled out for special recognition during mid-year Commencement. Kropp received the Outstanding Student Award presented to the top graduating senior as selected by the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Alumni Association. She received her bachelor’s degree in Education with a minor in Spanish and cum laude academic honors. Members of the selection committee praised her commitment to her Education major, both inside and outside the classroom. Kropp completed her student teaching this fall at Heritage Elementary School, De Pere, where she gained experience teaching a variety of subjects and also assisted with before- and after-school activities. She coached the girls freshman volleyball team at Pulaski High School last spring. At UW-Green Bay, she worked as a resident assistant, community adviser and as a paid summer staff member with the Office of Residence Life. She was a mentor to fellow students, a recipient of a resident-assistant-of-the-year award, and both an organizer and presenter at the 2009 state conference for college RAs. (Kropp lists her family as Dale and Kathy Kropp, W1041 State Hwy 156, Pulaski.)

Nevala received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the Dec. 18 commencement. He had an emphasis in management, minors in Spanish and Communication, and graduated with cum laude honors. He served two years as president or vice president of the student chapter of SHRM, the Society of Human Resources Managers. He was also active Phi Beta Lambda, an organization for business students, and represented UW-Green Bay at the state conference by winning a first place in the management-concepts competition and a second in business communication. In the community, he volunteered as a mentor through the Brown County PALS program pairing children with adult mentors. He worked as a manager of the Phoenix Club grill and rec center in the University Union, and completed human resources internships with two local manufacturers, Pioneer Metal Finishing and the Ariens Company. (Nevala lists his family as Suzanne and Gary Nevala Sr., 35 Indiana Ave., Montreal, Wis.)

Prochazka received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in management and a minor in psychology. Captain of the Phoenix men’s soccer team, he was recruited from his school in Sweden to play collegiately here. He began his college years with limited English skills but learned quickly and earned recognition as a top student and repeat selection on the Horizon League’s all-academic team. He exhibited leadership in a variety of youth-related service activities on campus and in the community. On the field, in 2009 he captained the Green Bay soccer squad to the Horizon League championship and the program’s first NCAA tournament appearance in 26 years. (Prochazka lists a permanent home address of Arbogagatan 7, 418 71 Gothenburg, Sweden.)

Schmidt earned degrees in psychology and Human Development. During her time at UW-Green Bay, she won a series of awards for her work as a resident assistant and staff member with the Residence Life program. Among the highlights was helping UW-Green Bay host, for the first time, the state student-housing conference. She was a mentor to other students and helped organize the 2010 “Maximum U” conference at UW-Green Bay, a leadership development opportunity for students. As a programming leader, she devised or led Residence Life programs on healthy relationships, diversity awareness, and professional development. In the community, she was active with the organization Job’s Daughters International, focusing on charitable activities to benefit hearing impaired children. (Schmidt lists her parents as Kelly and Steve Lilja, 34 Yacoub Lane, Fond du Lac, and Brian and Bobbi Schmidt, 20 Meadowlark Court, North Fond du Lac.)

Taylor graduated Dec. 18 with summa cum laude, or highest honors, and distinction in the major, earning his bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in secondary education. He won awards and recognition as a writer of short fiction. His work “Dandelion” was purchased by the Penguin Group for possible use in a children’s book. Another piece, the non-fiction story “Winter Snowball,” earned Taylor an award from the UW-Green Bay literary journal Sheepshead Review. He was an officer of the campus chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the English honors society. Taylor was particularly active with the future teachers organization on campus — the student chapter of the Wisconsin Education Association — serving as president. He was active with UW-Green Bay’s Phuture Phoenix program mentoring K-12 youth, and served both as a tutor and coordinator of Phuture Phoenix tutoring at Green Bay Preble High School. Additionally, he volunteered as an adviser to the student Asian Club at Preble. His honors in the major project involved Jewish-American literature. (Taylor lists as his family Myrna Weickgenant, 309 12th Ave., Baraboo.)

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