2020 UW-Green Bay Alumni Awards Collage

UW-Green Bay to recognize outstanding young and distinguished alumni at 2020 Alumni Awards Dinner, Feb. 28

LaForce President and CEO Brian Mannering will receive an Honorary Alumni Award

Green Bay, Wis.—The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will recognize a number of outstanding alumni and one honorary alumnus at the 2020 Alumni Awards Dinner, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 in the Phoenix Rooms on the Green Bay Campus at 5 p.m. The event is open to the public. The cost is $50 per person. For more information, contact the UW-Green Bay Alumni Office at 920-465-2074 or alumni@uwgb.edu.

Receiving this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award are Neil Diboll ’78, Todd Jadin ’84, Paul Northway ’90 and Lisa Merkel ’00 and ’10. Diana Delbecchi ’10 and Amanda Reitz ’08 will be honored with the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award and Brian Mannering, CEO and president of LaForce, will be designated as an Honorary Alumnus.

The Alumni Awards highlight UW-Green Bay graduates and other individuals who have made special contributions to UW-Green Bay, their communities and professions. Awardees go through a nomination and selection process by committee consisting of internal staff and past Alumni Award recipients. About the awardees:

Neil Diboll
Neil Diboll

Neil Diboll ’78 (Environmental Sciences) is currently a prairie ecologist at the Prairie Nursery in Westfield, Wis. He attended the University of Michigan Biological Station in Pellston, MI (Boot Camp for Biologists) during the summer of 1977. He has since worked for the U.S. Park Service in Virginia, the U.S. Forest Service in Colorado and the University of Wisconsin. In 1982, Diboll began his involvement with Prairie Nursery, producing native plants and seeds and designing native landscapes. He has since devoted his efforts to championing the use of prairie plants, as well as native trees, shrubs and wetland plants, in contemporary American landscapes. In addition to helping popularize the use of native plants long before they were “cool,” Diboll developed the first scientific methodology for designing prairie seed mixes. Diboll’s work includes designs for residential, commercial and public spaces throughout the Midwest and Northeast United States. The essence of Diboll’s philosophy is that we, as stewards of the planet, must work to preserve and increase the diversity of native plants and animals with which we share our world. The protection of our natural heritage and our soil and water resources is essential to maintaining a high quality of life for today and for the children of future generations to come.

Todd Jadin
Todd Jadin

Todd Jadin ’84 (Business Administration) is vice president of Associate Relations and Talent Management for Schneider, a premier provider of transportation, intermodal and logistics services. In this position, Jadin is responsible for delivering an exceptional associate experience on behalf of the company. He is accountable for corporate recruiting, learning and development, change management, associate relations, employment law compliance and the human capital processes—which includes performance appraisals, succession planning and overall talent management. He began his professional career with Schneider in Feb. 1985 as an extended coverage manager. Since then, he has held leadership positions in nearly every operating unit of the business. Previous roles during his 35-year tenure have included director of Network Planning, general manager of Integrated Delivery Fleet Services, senior vice president of Dedicated Services, senior vice president of Operations, vice president of Alliance Capacity and vice president of Schneider’s Mexico division. As an industry expert, he has represented Schneider on the Council of Logistics Management, the North American Transportation Alliance, the American Trucking Associations Intermodal Council and the BNSF Customer Advisory Board. He has also been recognized as a “Logistics Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine. Most recently, he was awarded the inaugural Don Schneider Presidential Award by Schneider in Feb. 2019. Jadin served or continues to serve his community in his role on the Board of Directors for the YMCA of Green Bay, the UW-Green Bay Founders Association and the UW-Green Bay Alumni Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Schneider Foundation core team. In addition, Jadin has been actively involved in youth basketball in the Green Bay area. He serves as president of the Green Bay Area Girls Basketball Association, he coached numerous boys and girls Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball teams and he was a member of the boys’ varsity staff at Notre Dame Academy High School. He has been married to his wife, Sara, for 30 years, and together they have four children: Hanna, Kate, Dante and Tessa.

Paul Northway ’90 (Business Administration, Political Science) joined American National Bank in 2013 as part of a succession plan for key executives who were retiring. In his current role as CEO, Northway is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the local business bank, as well as being the caretaker of the company’s culture. Northway is also a member of the bank’s Board of Directors. With nearly 30 years of experience in the financial industry, Northway is very adept at developing mutually beneficial relationships throughout the community. Prior to joining American National Bank, Northway had leadership roles at Baylake Bank (regional

Paul Northway
Paul Northway

president) and Associated Bank (Commercial Banking Team leader). Northway is a lifelong resident of Northeast Wisconsin, having grown up in De Pere. He obtained an MBA at UW-Oshkosh and completed the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin. Passionate about his alma mater, Northway and his wife, Kristin, have established a scholarship at UW-Green Bay for business students. He serves as a member of the Chancellor’s Council of Trustees. A season ticket holder for men’s basketball and a supporter of the Phoenix Fund, you will find him cheering on the Phoenix from his seats behind the bench. Additionally, Northway regularly speaks to classes on campus about the topic of selling and sales management. In 2012, he was recognized by the Cofrin School of Business as an honorary inductee into Sigma Beta Delta. Other community involvement includes service on the board of directors and executive committee of both, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fox Valley and Curative Connections. Northway served as the chair of Curative’s Rising Tide Capital Campaign in 2018. His contributions in the community have been recognized by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Wisconsin (Marie Krohn Award) and Neighborworks Green Bay (Community Builder Award). Northway and his wife have two children, Andrew, a current UW-Green Bay student, and Aaron.

Lisa Merkel
Lisa Merkel

Lisa Merkel ’00 and ’10 (Bachelor of Science in Biology and Master of Science in Applied Leadership for Teaching and Learning) A passionate teacher, Merkel has been an educator at Green Bay West High School since 2001, where she currently teaches Physical Science and Chemistry classes. The effects of poverty on learning was the focus of her research as a graduate student at UW-Green Bay. For nearly a decade, Merkel developed and taught two graduate classes related to the education of impoverished children to area educators and administrators through the UW-Green Bay Outreach Program (now Continuing Education and Community Engagement). She contributes her expertise on the effects of poverty on learning in a variety of programs including the Green Bay West Building Leadership Team, AVID, S3 teaching teams, Student Council and the Medical College of Wisconsin Equity Team. In 2014, won an equity award from the Green Bay Education Association for her dedication and commitment to uniting cultures through education. In 2016, Merkel was awarded the Herb Kohl Foundation Fellowship Award for teaching excellence and innovation in the State of Wisconsin. In 2018, she received a Serious About STEM (SAS) grant for $100,000 from the Medical College of Wisconsin to implement the program she developed to increase positive outcomes for first-generation female students interested in STEM fields. Lisa and her husband, UW-Green Bay Professor Brian Merkel, love spending time with their three beautiful children and Jade, an unapologetically spoiled Weimaraner and true baby of the family.

Diana Delbecchi 10 (Psychology and Human Development) is a passionate social justice advocate with a key interest in refugee rights and issues around educational equity. After graduating from UW-Green Bay in 2010, she served as the University’s Student Employment and Scholarships coordinator for almost five years. Leaving to pursue her own dreams of a higher education, she moved to Ireland and received a Master’s Degree in Gender, Globalisation and Rights. Since graduating in 2016, she has spent time working abroad in a refugee camp providing educational programming for out-of-school refugee youth, where she conducted a research project that led to the design and implementation of the first youth education program in a refugee camp of 700 residents. Delbecchi also helped found a local group for resettled refugee youth in Green Bay called the United ReSisters. This group helps make the dreams of college education accessible, affordable and achievable for these young women. The group recently published a book on their experiences titled “The First Winter.” Delbecchi also served as the assistant director for a freshmen travel program at St. Norbert College and is currently the Green Bay Area Public School’s first-ever Community Schools Resource coordinator. Delbecchi was a contributing author for the scholarly publication, “Journey to Refuge: Understanding the Refugee, Exploring Trauma, and Best Practices for Newcomers and Schools.”

Amanda Reitz ’08 (Elementary Education) is the founder of Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary (HEA). She was born, raised, educated and now lives in Green Bay. Reitz’s passion is simple; she loves creating positive change for pets and people across the nation. She founded HEA at just 21-years old. This dream wasn’t supported by everyone. Her father’s words were, “forget about it…it’s never going to happen.” Ironically, he has been extensively involved every step of the way. Today, both of her parents and her brother have made HEA’s

Amanda Rietz
Amanda Rietz

mission their life’s work. Reitz founded HEA when many communities were killing more than 50% of the dogs and cats that entered their animal shelters. Since 2006, HEA has successfully paired more than 4,000 companion animals with loving families. While proud of the impact, Reitz is far from satisfied. There are still hundreds of thousands of animals dying in shelters every year. She wants to see a world where the life of every companion animal matters. Reitz has been recognized by UW-Green Bay’s Inside Magazine as a Service-Minded Alumni, the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce (1 of 20 People You Should Know), and by You Magazine (1 of 20 Women to Know). She’s also a graduate of Leadership Green Bay’s class of 2012. Grateful for her faith, her family and her community, Reitz finds the greatest joy in being able to engage her heart in the service of others—both people and pets.

Brian Mannering will receive the Honorary Alumni Award. Mannering is committed and passionate about the Green Bay community and the important role that UW-Green Bay plays in the continued growth and prosperity of Northeast Wisconsin. Although not an alumnus, the president and CEO of LaForce Inc., has demonstrated incredible support for UW-Green Bay. He is a member of the Phoenix men’s basketball golf

Brian Mannering
Brian Mannering

committee, is an avid fan, and spreads this excitement throughout the company he leads. Mannering and LaForce continue to support various initiatives throughout campus including a recent gift to the Phoenix Innovation Park and the development of the University’s new Mechanical Engineering Program. LaForce Inc., headquartered in Green Bay, Wis. with additional offices across the United States, is a leader in providing door opening solutions for life safety and building security. Mannering has a proven executive management track record with more than 30 years of experience driving sales and growth for LaForce. He began his career in shipping & receiving and has held numerous positions in the company, including vice president of sales and vice president. In 2007, he was named president of the growing company, and in 2016 he acquired the title of CEO. Mannering models efforts of community engagement and encourages LaForce employees to do the same through corporate donations and employee activities. A native of Green Bay, Mannering believes the development of a community has a strong impact on the success of a company. Mannering is a member of the Chancellor’s Council of Trustees and is an active supporter of the NEW Community Shelter. He previously served as a board member for the Green Bay Boys & Girls Club. Brian and his wife Amy have been married for 33 years and have three children: Austin, Alyssa (a UW-Green Bay graduate) and Brock.

–02-20

UW-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus hosts 2020 Career Expo for local high school students

The UW-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus hosted its 2020 Career Expo on Jan. 8 for local high school students. Four hundred students were in attendance; 350 were freshmen from Manitowoc Lincoln High School and 50 were sophomores from Reedsville High School.

Faculty and staff led career-focused learning sessions. The Expo gave students the opportunity to learn about STEM opportunities and how to use high school classes and extracurricular experiences to prepare for college.

Associate Profs. Amy Kabrhel and James Kabrhel (chemistry) participated in a Cool Chemistry show. Prof. Rick Hein (biology) held a session on blood testing, and Associate Prof. Becky Abler (Biology) discussed bacteria. Lecturer Brian McLean and Assistant Prof. Bill Dirienzo (Physics) talked to the students about the fascinating study of physics, and Admissions Counselor Jennie Strohm held a session titled “High School Matters: Choosing Courses Wisely.” See below for photos of the event.

Former UW-Green Bay faculty member interviewed as an important woman in STEM and Technology

Former UW-Green Bay faculty member Prof. Angela Bauer (Biology) was recently interviewed as an important woman in STEM and Technology for Authority Magazine. When at UW-Green Bay, Prof. Bauer was awarded the University of Wisconsin System’s Diversity Award for inclusive classroom practices. Now, Bauer is the founding dean of the Wanek School of Natural Sciences at High Point University. Read her interview here.

UW-Green Bay Prof. Bob Howe is featured in Audubon Magazine

This year the lake rose again, to near-record highs. And yet, birds flourished, thanks to a project that’s rebuilding the islands. Gulls, terns, and other colonial nesters were back. So were more than 30 shorebird species, including the threatened rufa Red Knot and the endangered Piping Plover. Drawn to the newly built high ground, plovers returned in 2016 to nest in Lower Green Bay for the first time in 75 years. This past summer 15 chicks scuttled across the Cat Island sands, a promising foothold for a fragile population. ‘Frankly, I was not expecting this kind of success,’ says Prof. Bob Howe, a University of Wisconsin-Green Bay ecologist involved in the restoration. ‘The results have been nothing short of amazing.'” Read more from Audubon Magazine.

Webfitters excited to help UW-Green Bay students launch startup | Green Bay News Network

UW-Green Bay students Tyrone Powell (Business Administration) and Alex Marchese (Biology and Business Administration) want to help fellow students who are struggling to decide on a career path be well-informed and confident in pursuing their degrees. They created Unext, which helps college students learn about these different career paths and connects them with professionals. More via Webfitters excited to help UWGB students launch startup | Green Bay News Network.

You’re invited: Tiny Earth in Titletown, Dec. 6

Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today. Tiny Earth is a global network of educators who teach a research course aimed at discovering new antibiotics. The course provides students with the opportunity for original thinking and scientific discovery, thereby capturing the very aspects of science that inspire students to pursue STEM careers. Students are inspired not just by the chance to do authentic research, but to be a part of a global effort addressing a looming public health crisis.

On Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, students from across the state, including UW-Green Bay, will present their research findings about antibiotic resistance at the Tiny Earth Symposium at Lambeau Field from 5 to 8 p.m. The keynote speaker, Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID) and founder of Tiny Earth, Jo Handelsman, will discuss the related crisis of soil erosion. MCW-Green Bay and area businesses, including Cherney microbiological, will be participating in the event as well.

Tiny Earth inspires and retains students in the sciences while addressing one of the most pressing global health challenges of our century, being the diminishing supply of effective antibiotics. This year’s event will feature research of soil provided by the Green Bay Packers practice field in September that was analyzed by UW-Green Bay students, with their findings being presented on Dec. 6.

Registration is free and includes a free tour of Lambeau Field and hors d’oeuvres

All are welcome, but please register.

Campus mourns loss of lecturer Don Drewiske

Members of the Green Bay Campus learned of the passing of  Associate Lecturer Donald Drewiske, who passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 16, 2019. The lifelong educator taught both biology and math at UW-Green Bay. The De Pere native began his teaching career at Abbott Pennings High School, then working for the Oneida Tribe, and lastly UW-Green Bay, primarily teaching courses in Biology and Math. According to his obituary, “he loved to read, play with his dogs, try new recipes, go running, build furniture, garden, and complete crossword puzzles. He had recently begun to pursue his interest in painting and completed a large collection of
beautiful landscapes. Don enjoyed outdoor activities in every season, and was a great nature lover. He looked forward to family gatherings and was a proud husband and father.”  Read the full obituary. Friends may call from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019 at Ryan Funeral Home, 305 N. Tenth Street, De Pere. A memorial service will be held at 3:30 p.m. with Deacon Mike Vander Bloomen presiding. Memorial donations made in his honor may be sent to Happily Ever After (heanokill.org) or the Human Biology Program Fund, UW-Green Bay Foundation, UW-Green Bay, Cofrin Library Suite 805, 2420 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay, WI 54311-7001.

UW-Green Bay alumnus gives insight on moths as the key to saving forest in Glencoe | Chicago Tribune

UW-Green Bay alumnus, Jim Steffen (Environmental Science and Biology), “the Mothman of Glencoe, the champion of McDonald Woods, a Chicago Botanic Garden ecologist for the past 30 years, as well as the co-author of such must-reads as ‘Interactions of an Introduced Shrub and Introduced Earthworms in an Illinois Urban Woodland,'” gives insight as to how moths are beneficial to saving the McDonald Woods in Illinois. More via “To people, they’re a nuisance,” but to Jim ‘Mothman’ Steffen, the insects are the key to saving a 100-acre forest in Glencoe | Chicago Tribune.