Sexual Assault Center awarded $10,000 grant by UW-Green Bay students

Green Bay, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Strategic Philanthropy class awarded $10,000 on April 30, 2018 to the Sexual Assault Center run by Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin. Over the past six years, the class has awarded $65,000 to local organizations dedicated to an important need in the Brown County area.

Each year, these funds are made possible by a grant from the Learning by Giving Foundation founded by Doris Buffet. Family Services created what UW-Green Bay students believe to be the best proposal to provide education about how to recognize and prevent human trafficking, particularly for individuals at risk of becoming trafficked and/or those who encounter or know them.

Check Presentation-1“We chose to address the issue of human trafficking because we were disturbed by the growth of the crime in our area and by how easily a young person might fall victim to a trafficking predator,” said Mag Alef, a student in the class.

Green Bay, with major interstates and thousands of weekend visitors for football games and concerts, has become a region that attracts trafficking activities. Experts have identified a triangle of high trafficking activity via interstate highways between Chicago, Green Bay, and Minneapolis.

Students were inspired by the knowledge and passion of the staff members at Family Services and are enthusiastic about their proposal to increase community awareness about trafficking activities, provide targeted education for those most vulnerable to becoming victims and increase advocacy services to help suspected victims and survivors of trafficking. The class also congratulates two other local finalists — the Green Bay Area Public Schools and Eye Heart World.

“Students in this class learn how to apply their time and talent strategically to community issues,” says Prof. Lora Warner, who teaches the Strategic Philanthropy class. “They research needs by analyzing LIFE Study data, look for effective nonprofits in that field and promote a cause they care about. Not only did students learn ways to give; they learned a great deal about the growing problem of human trafficking and how awareness and education may help prevent further victimization.”

Throughout the semester, UW-Green Bay students investigated other topics such as suicide prevention, teen pregnancy/sex education and early childhood learning. They developed a request for proposal, reviewed proposed projects and visited three area organizations. Students voted the Sexual Assault Center program as this year’s recipient.

Strategic Philanthropy student, Logan Laskowski, has written an essay on trafficking in our region. Read about students’ experiences in the class on the UWGB students’ blog: https://uwgbsp18.blogspot.com/ and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/uwgbstrategicphilanthropy.

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UW-Green Bay, UW Extension partner in food pantry findings

Local food pantry consumers have reported a much lower rate of food insecurity than in 2009, a study released last week reports. Food insecurity rates of food pantry consumers have fluctuated over the past 15 years, peaking at 89% in 2009 and decreasing to 45% in 2014 according to the report, Food Insecurity, Barriers and Possible Solutions (pdf), released last week. Brown County UW Extension Nutrition Education Program and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (Social Work and Center for Public Affairs) have partnered to monitor trends that will enable the community to engage in action strategies to improve food security in Brown County. See the press release and link to the report.

Study Finds Food Pantry Consumers Less Food Insecure Than in Past

Households with children more likely to be food insecure

Green Bay – Local food pantry consumers have reported a much lower rate of food insecurity than in 2009, a study released this week reports. Food insecurity rates of food pantry consumers have fluctuated over the past 15 years, peaking at 89% in 2009 and decreasing to 45% in 2014 according to the report, Food Insecurity, Barriers and Possible Solutions (pdf), released this week. Brown County UW Extension Nutrition Education Program and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay have partnered to monitor trends that will enable the community to engage in action strategies to improve food security in Brown County. Pantry consumers participated in a 20-minute survey given by UW-Green Bay Social Work students in late 2014, answering questions used nationally to measure food insecurity, such as: “The food that we bought just didn’t last and we didn’t have money to get more. Was that often, sometimes, or never true for you in the last 12 months?” The UW-Green Bay Center for Public Affairs assisted with data analysis and reporting.

Among notable findings: a higher proportion of households with children than adult-only households were food insecure; employed pantry consumers reported high rates of food insecurity; the number of food pantry consumers with education beyond high school tripled since 2004; and pantry patrons receiving disability benefits almost tripled since 2009. Borrowing money from a friend or family, not paying utilities on time, and neglecting healthcare continue to be reported as the top strategies used to have enough money for food. Half of respondents reported health conditions and special dietary needs.

Karen Early, M.S., R.D.N., Nutrition Education Program Coordinator at U.W. Extension-Brown County, stated, “As a community, there is an opportunity to address pantry consumers’ keen interest in education on topics such as dealing with stress, selecting healthy food, and being physically active. We hope that the Brown County community will continue to engage and apply this data to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes related to food security within the context of all social determinants of health.” The report is found at www.uwgb.edu/cfpa and www.browncountyextension.org.

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iPat film series returns on Monday, March 7

The next film in the iPat series is “Wrenched,” — exploring deviant behavior as a mode of achieving environmental action. The film will be shown at 7 p.m. Monday, March 7 in the Christie Theatre. “When environmental consequences of human activity are unacceptable, is socially unacceptable behavior acceptable? What are the limits when trying to bring about environmental change?” See the movie and interact with faculty  (Public and Environmental Affairs) Karen Dalke and Elizabeth Wheat, as they provide a reaction to this film about Edward Abbey and the kind of eco-activism to which his name has become attached. Open to the public. Free admission and popcorn. Monitoring and sign-in available for extra credit if faculty provide notification. iPat stands for Impact = population, affluence and technology. The series is sponsored by Public and Environmental Affairs, the Center for Public Affairs, PEAC and The Campus Common Theme.

Brown County Life Study is underway

The UW-Green Bay Center for Public Affairs will serve as a research consultant on the Leading Indicators for Excellence (LIFE) study of Brown County, now underway. The Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, Greater Green Bay Chamber, and Brown County United Way are sponsoring and spearheading the work. The study, a measure of the quality of life in Brown County through analysis of available data, expert opinion and surveys of residents and community leaders, guides the alignment of community resources to achieve the greatest impact. The first Brown County LIFE Study was published in 2011. This current effort will help identify progress and current status after five years of community investments and continued community growth. Joining with the lead partners are two local higher education institutions bringing unique and specialized expertise to perform the work. The St. Norbert College Strategic Research Institute will conduct survey work for the study. It has initiated confidential surveys of nearly 900 community leaders and 1,500 scientifically selected households to gather public opinion on the quality of life in Brown County. Those surveyed are asked to share their thoughts on a comprehensive series of indicators that measure various aspects of life in the community. As a research constant, UWGB’s Center for Public Affairs will help gather and examine data related to the indicators and work with local experts to delve further into each area of measurement. The findings will be analyzed by the UWGB Center for Public Affairs, and they will also take the lead in drafting the final report. The full release can be found here.

iPat Film ‘The Power of One Voice’ is here Monday, Feb. 1

The first of the iPat Film Series will be shown at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1 in the Christie Theatre. Join the screening for The Power of One Voice. (“This 50-year perspective on the life of Rachel Carson is a groundbreaking documentary examining her life and the profound implications of her environmental work. Today, Rachel Carson remains a role model and inspiration for people across the globe, even as controversy created by her challenge to the chemical industry continues unabated.”)  Free admission and popcorn. Discussion to follow.  The film series is sponsored by Public and Environmental Affairs, The Center for Public Affairs, PEAC and The Campus Common Theme. It is free and open to the public.

Grant of $441,000 from Great Lakes will fund internships for UWGB students

GREEN BAY — The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has been awarded a three-year, $441,324 Career-Ready Internship Grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation to create nearly 250 new paid internships over the 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years.

The grant will be used to create paid internships for juniors and seniors who don’t receive enough financial aid to cover college costs. UW-Green Bay will work with local businesses and nonprofit agencies to identity placement opportunities for eligible students.

“Paid internships benefit students, colleges and employers,” says Richard D. George, Great Lakes President and Chief Executive Officer. “Students gain meaningful workplace skills and are more likely to earn degrees and use their internship experiences to help secure good jobs upon graduation.”

UW-Green Bay has a significant number of students who are first-generation college attendees, and many are of modest means. Great Lakes and UW-Green Bay officials note that those with financial need are often unable to accept unpaid internships because they need to earn a paycheck. By passing on internship opportunities, they miss out on valuable, real-world experience in their fields of study.

“Through the Career Ready Internship program, UW-Green Bay can enable students to achieve educational and professional goals while meeting personal and family obligations,” said Ashley Heath, associate director of the Center for Public Affairs, which is administrating the program at UW-Green Bay in collaboration with the school’s Environmental Management and Business Institute (EMBI).

UW-Green Bay is one of 33 colleges and universities in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin receiving a combined $12 million in Great Lakes grants to make internships more equitable for their students with financial need. This is the third Career Ready Internship grant UW-Green Bay has received from Great Lakes.

Following three months of administrative planning, employer outreach and student recruitment this fall, UW-Green Bay will place eligible juniors and seniors in paid internships beginning in January 2016. The Great Lakes grant period continues through May 2018.

How to participate as an employer:
Businesses and organizations in Northeastern Wisconsin interested in hosting UW-Green Bay student interns by way of the grant program should contact Ashley Heath of the UW-Green Bay Center for Public Affairs, at (920) 465-2608, or John Arendt, EMBI associate director, at (920) 465-2953, for more information.

About Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation:
Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates was established in 1967 as a nonprofit group focused on a single objective: helping students nationwide prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education and student loan repayment. As a leading student loan guarantor and servicer, Great Lakes has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education to provide assistance and repayment planning to more than 8 million borrowers—as well as assistance to colleges and lenders nationwide. The group’s earnings support one of the largest and most respected education philanthropy programs in the country. Since 2006, Great Lakes has committed nearly $154 million in grant funding to promote higher education access and completion for students of color, low-income students, and first-generation students. For additional information, visit home.mygreatlakes.org.

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iPat movie: ‘Andromeda Strain’

At 7 p.m. this coming Monday (Dec. 7) in the Christie Theatre, the iPat film series will revisit a classic Hollywood thriller that “went viral” back in the days when UWGB was still new. With a nod to UWGB’s 50th anniversary, “The Andromeda Strain” from 1971 will be screened with an introduction and discussion led by Christine Vandenhouten, associate professor of Nursing. It’s a chance to discuss the movie — about a military space capsule that brings a deadly microbe back to Earth — and its current relevance to public health in an age of renewed concern over viruses, pandemics and climate change. Free admission and popcorn! If faculty would like to use this for an extra credit assignment, we can monitor a sign-in sheet for your class. The film series is sponsored by the Public and Environmental Affairs Department, the Center for Public Affairs, PEAC and The Common Theme initiative. Questions? Contact John Stoll, stollj@uwgb.edu or 465-2358.

‘It’s still a wonderful life’ says Warner

top-story-warnerThe good news according to UW-Green Bay Associate Prof. Lora Warner, is that research supports that Brown County is still highly valued for its quality of life.

Warner (above with her students) presented to a near-capacity crowd at UW-Green Bay’s After Thoughts event, Tuesday, March 3.

The director of UW-Green Bay’s Center for Public Affairs has a front-row seat to all the community has to offer after leading a number of community-wide quality of life studies, including serving as principal investigator for the Fox River Region Leading Indicators for Excellence, or LIFE Studies, the first large-scale, two-year effort that concluded in 2011.

The Life Study included multiple surveys and focus groups, combined with an analysis of census, health, education and other data. The report date was finite, but work to protect all that we hold valuable in the community continues, Warner said.

This wide-ranging study of the quality of life in Northeastern Wisconsin looked at 10 key areas of quality of life (arts, community, health, vulnerable groups, education, environment, leisure, safety, self-sufficiency and economy) in Brown County, the Fox Cities and Oshkosh.

Research supports tremendous satisfaction from both community leaders and community members.

The community is not without its challenges, however. On the top of the ”challenge” list:

  • Achievement gap
  • Water quality
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Health
  • Community life and diversity issues
  • Access to higher education

For instance, 66 percent of Green Bay Area Public School children are considered economically disadvantaged, and despite efforts for years, there are still huge gaps in their educational achievement.

Warner has continued to explore these issues with the Center for Public Affairs, which connects students and faculty with the community through research, internships, service projects and various courses. Students take on high-impact experiences while the community benefits from the expertise of student and faculty, resulting in more engaged citizens and better community strategies for enhancing quality of life.

Warner said that educating oneself and getting involved are keys to strengthening our local community and protecting our current quality of life. Warner points to student-initiated activities such as UWGB’s Steps to Make a Difference Walk and the partnership with the “Learning by Giving Foundation” by which her students receive a $10,000 grant to research, solicit nominations and eventually award to other non-profit organizations — as novel ways to advance the next generation’s understanding of philanthropy and improve the lives of others.

Warner’s “After Thought”… “YOU have a role in our quality of Life. Do something.”

About After Thoughts:
After Thoughts connects women in the community with UW-Green Bay. The gatherings showcase University faculty, staff and guests after their workdays for learning, enrichment and fun. The sessions are so named because they provide “After Thoughts” for participants to take with them when they leave.

The final After Thoughts presentation will be April 7, with presenter Kristy Aoki, UWGB’s International Student Adviser, who will speak on the value, challenges and joys of international education.

Each After Thoughts takes place from 5-7 p.m. in the Grand Foyer of the Weidner Center. The events begin with time to network, mingle and enjoy hors d’oeuvres before the featured guest speaker begins.

The cost of each program is $14. To reserve your spot, send a check (payable to “UW-Green Bay Foundation”) to: UW-Green Bay Foundation, CL 805, 2420 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay, WI 54311; or register online. Walk-up registration also is an option. Call (920) 465-2074 for more information.

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Photos by Eric Miller, Marketing and University Communications