Marinette Campus alumna in the spotlight

Published in the Peshtigo Times

NWTC Marinette and UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus proudly celebrate alumni in Peshtigo making a difference in our region!

Every day, Ashley (Kostreva) Haile, of Peshtigo, helps others through her work as an LPN at Advocate Aurora. Haile works part-time with an ophthalmologist and a plastic surgeon.

The 2002 Menominee High School graduate found her path to nursing success through both NWTC Marinette and UW-Marinette (now UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus). Haile graduated from UW-Marinette with an Associate of Arts and Sciences in 2004. She transitioned to NWTC Marinette and earned her Practical Nursing Technical Diploma in 2006.

With her family, Haile is a long-time resident of Peshtigo. Growing up in the region, Haile chose to start local for college, “Especially because I didn’t know what I wanted to do.” Plus, staying local for college allowed her to experience leadership opportunities on the court (basketball and volleyball) as well as in and out of the classroom (Student Ambassadors and Student Senate), even in her first year of college. Transferring from UW-Marinette to NWTC Marinette was simple thanks to the communication between the two campuses. “They worked really well together to make sure my classes lined up.”

At both campuses, college success was all about connections for Haile. “Everybody was someone you knew. I felt like they were there for me. You felt important. No matter where you went, you could talk to anybody.” Haile points out that one of her instructors at NWTC was connected to one of her high school classmates and is now a coworker.

Learning local also helped her financial situation. She saved money by living at home and attending colleges with lower tuition, which also meant less student loan debt for the future. “You can get the same education starting local and saving money impacts your life for many years to come.”

Haile’s college experience included some struggles, but she points to those as great growth opportunities. “I stumbled along the way just like anyone would. I learned how to communicate—how to keep those lines of communication open, how to manage every day. Being local really helped me manage everything when it came to getting ready for the real world.”

Haile is proud to say she attended both local campuses of NWTC and UW-Green Bay. She plans to return for further schooling and is happy to hear she has local options once again. NWTC offers an associate degree in nursing and UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus offers a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Both campuses are again working together to help students like Haile reach future goals.

NWTC Marinette and UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus cheer on the great work Haile is doing and are proud to call her an alumna of our two campuses.

Riley Garbe stepped on campus as a fifth-grade Phuture Phoenix — He leaves as UW-Green Bay’s ‘Most Outstanding’

“The Odds Were Stacked Against Me from the Beginning.

Green Bay, Wis. – Riley Garbe came to UW-Green Bay as a fifth-grader on a Phuture Phoenix field trip, where a visit to the campus turned into a dream of one day graduating from college.

Despite surviving a difficult childhood that included witnessing abuse and violence and moving from home-to-home, Garbe entered the University on a Phuture Phoenix scholarship. He will not only receive his English degree (Education minor) on Saturday, December 16, 2017, but he will be recognized by the Alumni Association as the University’s Most Outstanding Student. He was also nominated and selected from all graduates as the student commencement speaker.

Garbe is one of 437 UW-Green Bay students who have applied to graduate this semester during the mid-year ceremony at 11:30 a.m. (Dec. 16) at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts.

As a student teacher and mentor, Garbe has impacted classrooms and students throughout the Green Bay area, including Franklin Middle School, Washington Middle School, Green Bay West High School and Jefferson Elementary School. Garbe was inspired by the Phuture Phoenix program to give back to his community and to the program that helped him realize his dream of becoming a teacher, and feels compelled to help the students who share circumstances with him, and to give them hope that they too can succeed.

His academic accomplishments include completing his course of studies in four years and earning a place on the honor roll all eight semesters. He has twice received the university leadership award, is a four-time recipient of the Green Bay Phoenix Student Athletic Academic Achievement Award and has been named a Horizon League Honor Role Athlete as a cross country student athlete.

As a teacher and mentor, Garbe has impacted classrooms and students throughout the area. He has also given his time and talents as a volunteer to many organizations.

“Riley is the same man in the classroom as he is to the Green Bay community and beyond: a man of integrity, honesty, respect, compassion, generosity, diligence, joy and humility that belies the tremendous personal obstacles he has needed to overcome. I am honored to have taught him and excited for the students he will soon be inspiring with his compassionate determination,” Assistant Professor Emily Ransom shared.

An avid runner, Garbe not only ran for the UW-Green Bay cross country team, but also served as a running club coach at Howe Elementary School where he trained students preparing to run the Cellcom 5K and taught them leadership skills through running.

At a time when the value of higher education is often questioned, for Riley Garbe the answer is clear: “At UW-Green Bay, I discovered myself, I found my place within society, I grew comfortable in my own skin after many years of hiding from myself and the world, and I learned to love myself for who I am.”

The Class of 2017 has other stories of persistence and accomplishment:

Joey Bina Works for ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Completes his Degree Online
Joey Bina left the Green Bay area for Los Angeles, Calif. and a chance to work as a personal production assistant on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! He completed his bachelor’s degree in UW-Green Bay’s Integrative Leadership Studies program — a fully online program designed to meet the needs of adult students who have work, family or other obligations. Bina returned to campus Tuesday, Nov. 14 for his induction into the Phi Kappa Phi honor society.

Humanities Graduate Relives WWII with Art/History/Letters Project
Humanities major Megan Arent will graduate Saturday, but not before a trip way back in time. She worked with Art Professor Sarah Detweiler on a project to catalog more than 500 letters written by Detweiler’s grandparents dating back to the start, and continuing through, World War II. Stanley Detweiler survived the war — including the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle at Bastogne. Arent served this semester as a research assistant, unearthing the treasure left to Detweiler when her father passed away unexpectedly. Their trunk of treasure includes era medals, coins, uniforms, etc., never seen before by Sarah’s family, and never spoken about by her grandparents, Stanley and Marietta Detweiler. The end project — a book and a digital experience — will include drawings by Detweiler that will make visible the voices in the letters. It will include original maps and illustrations that accompanied the letters.

Philippines Native to Become UW-Green Bay BSN-LINC Graduate
Guillermo Adao, a Philippines native, will graduate with a 3.8 gpa from UW-Green Bay’s BSN-LINC Online Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program on Dec. 16. He became a registered nurse in the Philippines, and relocated to Wisconsin Rapids serving in the Wisconsin National Guard as a Medical Specialist from 1989 to 1997. As a member of the Guard, he worked with a clinic offering physicals for members of the community and other members of the Guard. He currently resides in Mt. Prospect, IL. Since 1993, Guillermo has been active in the Filipino organization, Paetenian Chicago Midwest, helping indigent people of Paete Laguna, a small town in the Philippines. The organization, in 20-plus years, has completed a number of projects ranging from clothes donations, natural disaster relief efforts, donations to assist with the purchase of a fire-fighting equipment and musical instruments, sponsoring Christmas gifts, and sending contributions enabling food items to be distributed to the people of this impoverished area. Guillermo currently works as a dialysis nurse. He plans to join the United States Army and enroll in graduate school within a year to pursue a degree in nursing leadership, education or as a Nephrology nurse practitioner.

From a Distance
Kathryn Donovan will be traveling from Connecticut to Green Bay to receive her BSN-LINC diploma as well as her Kappa Pi Nursing Society Honor Cords. She received her Associates Degree in Nursing from UW-Green Bay partner school, Three Rivers Community College in Connecticut.

Prof. Regan A. R. Gurung to Address the Graduates
Regan A. R. Gurung, an award-winning professor (Human Development, Psychology) at UW-Green Bay, is the December 2017 Commencement Speaker. His research focuses on questions surrounding teaching and learning, clothing and perception, and culture and health. Gurung joined the University in 1999, and has held the prestigious Ben J. & Joyce Rosenberg Professorship since 2010. In May 2017, he was awarded the Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teacher of Psychology Award from the American Psychological Foundation. His wish for new graduates: “May Your Life be EPIC.” His presentation will provide key guiding principles for living a successful, healthy life. Building on UW-Green Bay’s interdisciplinary mission, Prof. Gurung will share a simple mantra for daily well-being borrowed from psychological science: To live longer and stronger we should chill, drill and build.

About the Graduating Class of 2017
This year’s graduating class includes 437 UW-Green Bay students who have applied to graduate at the end of the fall 2017 semester or winter 2018 short-term. The class is almost identical to last year, when the University graduated 434 students.

  • Three percent (12) will complete an associate’s degree, 94% (411) will complete a bachelor’s degree and 3% (14) will complete a master’s degree.
  • More than two-thirds of the degree candidates are women, including 68% of the undergraduate degree applicants and 71% of the master’s candidates.
  • Thirty-seven percent of the bachelor’s degree candidates began their college career as new freshmen at UW-Green Bay. One third of them are graduating in under four years (e.g. they completed high school 2.5 or 3.5 years ago), 44% have taken one extra semester beyond the four-year mark to graduate, and 23% first enrolled more than five years ago.
  • Area high schools are well represented among potential graduates. The top high schools are Green Bay Preble (16 students), Bay Port (14), Green Bay East (12), Green Bay West (11) and De Pere (10). A quarter of the applicants completed high school in Brown County, WI and another third completed high school in one of the other NEW North counties (across northeast Wisconsin).
  • Thirteen percent of students are completing double or triple majors.
  • Integrative Leadership Studies leads the way with 70 graduates, followed by Business Administration (59), Human Biology (44), Nursing (42) and Psychology (35).

About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs to 7,158 students. The University transforms lives and communities through exceptional and award-winning teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities and a problem-solving approach to education. For more information, visit





UW-Green Bay nursing named ‘Best Value’ top 30 program has published its 2017-2018 ranking and places UW-Green Bay as a Top 30 ‘Best Value’ online RN to BSN Degree Programs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs opportunities for registered nurses (RNs) are expected to increase 16% by 2024. While positions are available for nurses with an associate’s degree, many employers will only hire RNs who have earned their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). See the rankings.

UW-Green Bay’s Distinguished Nursing Alumni Award goes to Door County’s Hetherington

Maribeth Hetherington, recently retired chief change officer and former interim director of clinic operations at Door County Medical Center (DCMC), has been named the 2016 recipient of the UW-Green Bay Distinguished Nursing Alumni Award.

Hetherington was a 1986 graduate of the University’s BSN completion program.  She developed and implemented a restructured supervisory leadership model during her tenure at DCMC and was featured early this year in the American Healthcare Leader Magazine article on “Schooling Healthcare” which described her innovative leadership methods designed to empower employees.

Prior to her time at DCMC, Hetherington served as vice-president and chiefn nursing officer for ThedaCare, Inc. where her role as the executive leader of a new inpatient care delivery model was recognized in an international publication. The model was featured in the Shingo Award Winning book “On the Mend: Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry” by John Toussiant, M.D. and Roger A. Gerard, Ph.D. with Emily Adams.

Hetherington had a perfect 4.0 grade point average as a student at UW-Green Bay and was a charter member of the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society. She reflected on her time at UW-Green Bay, mentioning the flexibility of the program for a working nurse and mother of small children; the high quality of the professors; and the recognition she received for her prior learning which netted her six credits toward her degree.

Hetherington was presented the Distinguished Nursing Alumni Award at a recognition gathering at Door County Medical Center on Oct. 20 by UW-Green Bay chairperson of nursing, Prof. Christine Vandenhouten and manager of student outreach and alumni relations, Jan Malchow.

“I have had the pleasure of working in many diverse and rewarding roles as a nurse in a long and successful career, and have been grateful for the opportunities the nursing profession has offered me in my life,” said Hetherington. “UWGB was integral in my journey and I will forever be thankful for having the opportunity to complete my BSN there.”


University of Wisconsin Nursing Program Earns National Award

BSN@Home program receives ‘Celebration of Excellence’ Award

GREEN BAY – The University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) will award the BSN@Home program the 2016 Celebration of Excellence Award for Mature Program, on Oct. 17. BSN@Home is an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree-completion program that provides a flexible distance learning option for registered nurses (RNs) with a two-year associate degree in nursing.

UPCEA is the leading association for professional, continuing and online education and serves more than 400 institutions, including most of the leading public and private colleges and universities in North America. The Mature Program award recognizes established credit or noncredit programs that have demonstrated sustained innovation.

The BSN@HOME Program is a collaboration of UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Stevens Point and UW-Extension. Over the last two decades, 1,804 graduates have earned their BSN degrees through this program.  Each year, UW-Green Bay has had the highest enrollment among its UW partners.

At launch, the primary goal of the BSN@Home program was to help address the shortage of BSN-prepared nurses predicted by the Wisconsin Center for Nursing. As the program matured, its goal became even more relevant. In 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that 80 percent of the nursing workforce have a baccalaureate degree by 2020. This recommendation is based on evidence showing improved outcomes for patients cared for by nurses with higher education levels.

“According to the Wisconsin Center for Nursing  2014 RN Workforce Survey, a significant number of RNs still need to earn their BSN degrees for the state to achieve the national goals. A more educated nursing workforce equates with better patient outcomes,” says UW-Green Bay Dean, Susan Gallagher-Lepak, longtime chair of the BSN@HOME Steering Committee.

“When the program originally launched 20 years ago, many people thought a quality nursing program could not be taught from a distance; however, this innovative program has since become an enduring part of UW System,” says Sylvia Forbes, BSN@Home Program coordinator from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. “The BSN@Home program has built partnerships with agencies and technical colleges throughout the state and we will continue to provide this quality program in an attempt to remove barriers to earning the BSN degree.”

Chris Vandenhouten, Chair of Nursing at UW-Green Bay said, “Patients, employers and the profession benefit when nurses advance their education. BSN@Home is an effective way for associate degree prepared nurses to complete a BSN degree. UW-Green Bay has been a strong partner in this collaboration and with online nursing education.”

For more information about the BSN@Home program, please visit

About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,700 students. The University transforms lives and communities through exceptional and award-winning teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities, and a problem-solving approach to education. For more information, visit


Gallagher-Lepak Named Dean of UW-Green Bay’s New College of Health, Education and Social Welfare

University Announces Second Dean of New Four-College Model

Green Bay, Wis — University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller today announced the appointment of Professor Susan Gallagher-Lepak, Ph. D., to the position of founding Dean of UW‑Green Bay’s College of Health, Education and Social Welfare. Gallagher-Lepak is the second dean to be appointed in the University’s new four-college model, the first major restructuring of academic administration at the University in two decades.

Susan Gallagher-Lepak

“We are fortunate that Dr. Gallagher-Lepak has agreed to provide the leadership needed to make our transition to a four-college model a success,” said Chancellor Gary L. Miller. “Susan is just the person we need in the forefront of our effort at UW‑Green Bay to provide the best academic programs and partnerships to fill the workforce needs of our region, state and nation.”

The Dean of the College of Health, Education and Social Welfare is responsible for budget, personnel, curriculum, strategic planning and constituent relations in promoting the University and the College. The Dean provides academic and administrative leadership and oversight of interdisciplinary and disciplinary programs in the College.

Gallagher-Lepak has served as Chair of UW‑Green Bay’s Nursing programs and Director of UW‑Green Bay’s BSN-LINC (a national online bachelor of science in nursing) program since 2012. She joined the University as an assistant professor in 2003, advanced to rank of associate professor in 2010 and was promoted to full professor in 2015. She has an extensive record of scholarship (articles, book chapters and presentations to regional, national and international audiences). Her clinical experience includes more than 25 years in various roles including psychologist in rehabilitation settings (brain injury/stroke recovery), case manager, transplant clinical nurse specialist and dialysis nurse.

“The College of Health, Education and Social Welfare is an important resource to the community and region,” Gallagher-Lepak noted. “Our accredited programs prepare teachers, social workers and nurses, which are all in great demand today and critical to the health and vitality of every community in Wisconsin. At the same time, we have Centers that address select needs, such as the Education Center for First Nations Studies, which builds on our region’s rich ancestry. I’m excited about the enormous potential this new College has to meet the needs of the region.”

Gallagher-Lepak has been a leading advocate for the use of e-learning and technology to improve student learning. In collaboration with faculty peer T. Heather Herdman, she developed a mobile application called “NurScope.” The app uses universally accepted nursing diagnosis taxonomy to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of nursing diagnoses by nursing students, nursing educators and nurses. The app is available for purchase in Google and Apple stores and is used worldwide.

Most recently, Gallagher-Lepak has worked to spread the word about nursing and a nursing educator shortage in Wisconsin, and the repercussions it could mean to the region and state. Gallagher-Lepak and other nursing administrators have formed “Nurses for Wisconsin” — a partnership between University of Wisconsin System nursing programs to address the nurse educator shortage and recruit faculty. Ultimately, they hope to attract and retain more nurses to sustain the state and nation’s healthcare needs.

Kay Tupula, Dean of Health Sciences and Education at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, has worked with Gallagher-Lepak on the Executive Committee of ANEW (Administrators of Nursing Education in Wisconsin). “Susan is well respected amongst her nurse educator peers in the state and is always seeking opportunity to create effective relationships with both peer education institutions and with our healthcare partners. She is passionate about providing quality BSN and MSN education for the nurses in our community and nationwide.”

Gallagher-Lepak earned a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Psychology from UW-Madison in 1996, an MSN in 1989 from UW-Milwaukee and BSN from Marquette University in 1983. She holds current licensure in the state of Wisconsin as a Registered Nurse and Licensed Psychologist and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society and Administrators of Nursing Education in Wisconsin (ANEW).

Additionally, she serves on the statewide BSN@HOME Steering Committee and has played an important role in the development of UW‑Green Bay’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Health Information Management and Technology, and Nurse 1-2-1 BSN programs.

Earlier this year UWGB Professor John Katers was named founding Dean of UW‑Green Bay’s College of Science and Technology. Both Deans appointments begin effective July 1, 2016.

About the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,700 students. The University transforms lives and communities through exceptional and award-winning teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities, and a problem-solving approach to education. For more information, visit


Her commute to ceremony? 2,000 miles


Well over 50 nursing graduates were eligible to participate in Saturday’s Commencement, but none had a longer distance to cover in order to make the short walk across  stage to receive his or her diploma.

Lehi Lazo (left) took time off from work and traveled in from Oxnard, Calif., to claim the distinction, it is believed, of being the graduate with the longest commute to the May 2014 ceremony. She posed with Associate Prof. Susan Gallagher-Lepak, pre-ceremony, to mark the occasion.

Lazo’s one previous visit to Green Bay was to attend a Packers game, years ago. She works as an RN at Ventura County Medical Center as a pediatrics and neonatal intensive care unit nurse. She took two to three online courses per semester through BSN-LINC (the national, online nursing program) offered by UW-Green Bay.

Gallagher-Lepak points out that Lehi (pronounced LEE-high) is part of a larger trend. A national initiative is under way for nurses with associate degrees in nursing to advance to bachelor’s degrees, with the goal of an 80 percent BSN-prepared workforce by 2020.

Longest commute to ceremony? Can you beat 2,000 miles?

We think the graduate who traveled farthest to attend was Lehi Lazo, a pediatrics and neonatal intensive care unit nurse from Oxnard, Calif., who had never before set foot on campus. She took two to three online courses per semester to earn her bachelor’s through BSN-LINC, the national, online nursing program offered by UW-Green Bay. Again, there’s a very nice photo and a little more detail online.