UWO, UWGB alter mid-year commencement plans | WLUK

UW-Oshkosh and Green Bay will not hold traditional mid-year commencement ceremonies to celebrate the next graduating class.UWO announced Wednesday its mid-year commencement will be virtual.The Dec. 19 ceremony will award nearly 750 bachelor’s degrees, more than 150 master’s degrees, about 170 associate degrees and eight doctorates.The ceremony will stream online beginning at 9:30 a.m. and will feature remarks from UWO Chancellor Andrew Leavitt, Provost John Koker and two guest speakers: Dr. John Newman, president of Aurora Medical Center Oshkosh and Sydney Devitt, a senior political science and international studies major.After the event, a recorded version will be available online for those who missed it.Graduating students will officially receive diplomas after the end of the term in January.UWGB also announced Wednesday that while a formal fall/winter commencement ceremony will not be held because of the COVID-19 pandemic, graduates are invited to participate in the Spring 2021 ceremony.The university says the address from class speaker Georgie “Dolly” Potts will be released Saturday on the UWGB homepage.

Source: UWO, UWGB alter mid-year commencement plans | WLUK

Video: Commencement speaker Georgie ‘Dolly’ Potts uses her storytelling gift to inspire the 2020 Fall/Winter UW-Green Bay graduating class

Note: Georgie “Dolly” Potts was selected from a number of nominations to be this semester’s Commencement Speaker. As COVID-19 postponed the University’s plans to celebrate with the Fall/ Winter 2020 graduates until Spring 2021, Potts’ speech was recorded and is released today, Fall/Winter Commencement Day, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020. See her biography.

Video Transcript

Bear Story

Ani, Nazwin nadisnaquas Mishodanikwe-Prairie Band, Totem Kikos.

Hello, my name is Dolly Potts, I introduced myself in my language (Potawatomi). I have been named Student Speaker for the 2020 Fall/Winter graduates. This is quite an honor, for those who do know me, know that I am a storyteller. I am sharing with you a story that I believe will carry with you into your future:

Eagle Clan decided one day to host a lodge. Eagle built an enormous lodge. Plenty of space for all the clans to comfortably sit. Eagle placed cedar boughs along the sides of the lodge for the clans to sit. The smell of cedar filled the air. After completing the lodge Eagle went out into the forest to invite all of the animal clans to his lodge.

On the day of the lodge all the animal clans entered the lodge. Coyote was first in as they would be the clan at the door. Coyote would announce all the other clans. Being Coyote they entered the lodge yipping and yapping nodding to Eagle clan. Sniffing the air, they could not help but smell the cooking fires nearby.

Fish Clan was next quiet and serene. Looking sternly at Coyote clan immediately quieting them with calming nature. Fish Clan reverently sat down in their places.

Hoof Clan was next, they danced into the lodge gracefully. Their wide eyes open and ears perked for any noise to alert the others to. They nodded to Eagle Clan with their long necks.

Bear Clan was last to enter. Huffing and puffing with massive breaths all the other clans scooted a little closer to the lodge wall giving Bear Clan all the space they needed. Bear Clan sat down on the soft cedar boughs and stared at Eagle Clan to begin.

Each clan representative gave Eagle clan a report on their responsibility in the forest. Coyote reported all of the sounds mentioning if any were different or unusual. Fish Clan talked about the waters of the forest how much or how little there was. Hoof Clan talked about the sights and sounds of the forest. If they had seen or heard anything to report to all of the clans.

Bear Clan was last. Bear stood and all of the animal clans fell silent. Bear stood to his massive height from his cedar bough seat. In a voice rumbling from deep in his chest. Bear told the animal clan that he was the leader of all the clans. There was no one stronger than Bear and he had no enemies who could defeat Bear.

All the clans looked up at Bear nodding in agreement. Yet Bear added if there is danger in the forest, come to me and I will protect you. For his testimony all the animal clans loved and respected Bear.

What a great feast it was. Coyote munched noisily on his chicken soup at dinnertime. Hoof Clan savored their maple sugar. Bear Clan gulped and chomped on the most delicious berries. Eagle looked at all of the clans satisfied for they had hosted a good lodge. All the animal clans were happy and safe in the forest.

My story is a story of Power, as we go into our future many of you will have Power. Our college education will afford us positions that are supervisory or as directors. It may lead us down other paths too, like more Education or building our families and communities.

As we go into the world, go in as the Bear—strong, respected, and caring. Be proud as testimony to the University of Wisconsin- Green Bay. Meet your future in a good way.

Thank you.

Celebrating Fall/Winter 2020 UW-Green Bay Graduates

‘Celebrating 2020 Graduates’ Booklet

UWGB December 2020 Graduation Booklet Cover
Download the Booklet (pdf)

Congratulations, UW-Green Bay December 2020 Graduates. Your accomplishments and persistence to degree completion during a pandemic is remarkable. Under normal circumstances, you would be reading this booklet during the commencement ceremony and you would be hearing our comments from a stage. We never could have imagined the obstacles and roadblocks that we would have to face as a campus community, but you did it.

Download the Booklet (pdf)

Flip through this booklet

Pieter deHart, associate vice chancellor of Graduate Studies, UW-Green Bay

Associate Vice Chancellor of Graduate Studies congratulates graduating graduate students

Pieter deHart, associate vice chancellor of Graduate Studies, congratulates UW-Green Bay’s graduating master’s students for their perseverance in this video.

Transcript:

Greetings and congratulations to all our graduating master’s students! I want to extend my sincere appreciation, gratitude, and commendation to our students this December for their fortitude and patience in this past year. We have seen tremendous growth and resiliency among our graduate programs from our faculty, staff, and especially our students. I would also like to thank the friends, family, and partners of our graduate students – your support during a difficult and often challenging year has proven to be crucial to their success. On behalf of the graduate studies office, and UW-Green Bay, I would like to thank all of you for your commitment and dedication to bettering yourselves and embracing new opportunities. Congratulations graduates!

Celebrating Fall/Winter 2020 UW-Green Bay Graduates

UW-Green Bay Celebrates its Graduates

Commencement Ceremony postponed until Spring 2021

Green Bay, Wis. — Aaron Splan from Pulaski, Wis. is one of six students who will graduate this semester with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering—the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s first graduates from that program since it was offered beginning in Fall of 2018.

For Splan, like many of his engineering classmates and nearly 500 graduating UW-Green Bay peers, adjusting to hybrid and online classes was difficult. But he… and they… persisted.

Dec 2020 Graduate Aaron Splan
Aaron Splan

“Online learning during the pandemic was a difficult change for me personally,” Splan said. “I learn best in a live classroom situation. Unfortunately, meeting in person was not possible due to COVID-19, and a transition to online learning was absolutely necessary. The sudden transition was hard for everyone. However, I was extremely encouraged by the University’s quick response and I felt like they did everything they could have done to serve their students in light of the situation.

“Due to online learning, my engineering laboratory experience was curtailed,” Splan said. “This is unfortunate as I and my colleagues were looking forward to using the brand-new facilities and lab equipment (at the Brown County STEM Innovation Center) on campus. The professors did as much as they could to bring that experience online such as recording labs for us to observe and providing real data to use in our lab reports. Luckily, I was able to use the new labs for one course as the professor was able to safely conduct them in accordance with COVID-19 safety guidelines.”

Splan was also able to get practical experience as an intern at PCMC (Paper Converting Machine Company), Green Bay.

“PCMC was an extremely formative experience for me and complimented my engineering schooling perfectly,” Splan said. “Working there kept me motivated to finish my degree as I truly enjoyed the work I was doing. I always felt like an important member of the team and was given meaningful work that helped the company succeed. I believe that participating in an internship experience in your field of study is one of the most important things students can do to get the most out of their educational experience.”

Splan started a full-time mechanical engineer position at Retroflex Inc. in Wrightstown at the end of August.

“Due to my previous internship at PCMC and education at UWGB, I was able to hit the ground running and immediately start taking on projects typically reserved for more experienced engineers,” he added.

Splan also graduated debt free.

This Year’s Graduating Class:

This semester, 494 students have applied to graduate from the University. Because of the pandemic, UW-Green Bay will not have a formal commencement ceremony this fall/winter, and instead, is inviting all fall/winter graduates to participate in Spring 2021 Commencement. If not for COVID-19, this would have been the first time that graduates from all four UW-Green Bay campuses (Green Bay (462 graduates), Marinette (7), Manitowoc (11) and Sheboygan (14) would have gathered together for commencement ceremonies. They will join the 40,492 students who have graduated from UW-Green Bay since the first ceremony in June of 1970. The Spring Commencement will be the University’s 102nd.

“We are extremely proud of the members of entire four-campus community,” said Chancellor Mike Alexander. “Our faculty worked incredibly hard to prepare for the unconventionality of teaching during the pandemic, and our students faced challenges not seen by previous generations, yet persisted to degree completion. I have great admiration for this class of students.”

About the Class Speaker:

Commencement Speaker
Georgia “Dolly” Potts

Georgie “Dolly” Potts was nominated and selected as the class speaker. Her address to her graduating peers will be released virtually on Saturday, Dec. 19 (what was meant to be the date of commencement) on the University’s homepage, www.uwgb.edu. Potts, who will be graduating with a First Nations Studies degree is a member of Prairie Band Potawatomi from Kansas. Nominators said her achievements transcend academics. Her speech will be a story passed through her family for generations.

“We believe in the seven generations. I am in the middle. I learn and listen to my ancestors from the past three generations and I look to the future three generations,” Potts explains. “These stories come from my ancestors. We pass them down to our children, to our grandchildren.” She recognizes this is a concept that doesn’t always fit neatly in a Western worldview. But she adds, “If you talk of the seven generations to a native, they know exactly what you’re talking about.

In just two years, after transferring from College of Menominee Nation, Pott’s stature among students, faculty and the First Nations community on campus has grown through her words of encouragement, empathetic listening and a unique life perspective influenced by Potawatomi traditions.

See Potts’ biography.

Noteworthy:

The Mayor’s Office of the City of Green Bay will honor UW-Green Bay graduates on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 by lighting the Ray Nitschke Bridget and the Walnut Street Bridge in school colors.

About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs to more than 8,700 students with campus locations in Green Bay, Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan. Established in 1965 on the border of Green Bay, the University and its campuses are centers of cultural enrichment, innovation and learning. The Green Bay campus is home to one of the Midwest’s most prolific performing arts centers, a nationally recognized 4,000-seat student recreation center, D-I athletics, an award-winning nine-hole golf course and a five-mile recreational trail and arboretum, which is free and open to the public. This four-campus University transforms lives and communities through student-focused teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities, powerful connections and a problem-solving approach to education. UW-Green Bay’s main campus is centrally located, close to both the Door County resort area and the dynamic economies of Northeast Wisconsin, the Fox Valley region and the I-43 corridor. UW-Green Bay offers in-demand programs in science, engineering and technology; business; health, education and social welfare; and arts, humanities and social sciences. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.

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Storyteller Dolly Potts will share her journey and advice (virtually) with her graduating peers

Note: Georgie “Dolly” Potts was selected from a number of nominations to be this semester’s Commencement Speaker. As COVID-19 postponed the University’s plans to celebrate with the Fall/ Winter 2020 graduates until Spring 2021, Potts’ speech was recorded and will be released on what was to be 2020 Fall/Winter Commencement, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 at news.uwgb.edu.

LIFE AS A STORY

Georgie “Dolly” Potts is a firmly grounded person. That includes in this present moment of celebration at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, as well as her past and her future.

As a member of Prairie Band Potawatomi from Kansas and a graduate receiving a bachelor’s of arts in First Nations Studies, Pott’s achievements transcend academics. In her nomination, Mai J. Lo Lee noted, “Dolly is an exemplary UW-Green Bay student because of her love for learning, compassion to listen and her ability to connect life to learning.”

When asked about her “special” ability to connect life with learning, she says simply, “I’m good at telling a story.” Even more remarkable is not just her talent in telling, but retelling stories. “These stories come from my ancestors. We pass them down to our children, to our grandchildren.”

And her journey to today is a story few others could tell.

In just two years, after transferring from College of Menominee Nation, Pott’s stature among students, faculty and the First Nations community on campus has grown through her words of encouragement, empathetic listening and a unique life perspective influenced by Potawatomi traditions.

“We believe in the seven generations. I am in the middle. I learn and listen to my ancestors from the past three generations and I look to the future three generations,” Potts explains. “These stories come from my ancestors. We pass them down to our children, to our grandchildren.” She recognizes this is a concept that doesn’t always fit neatly in a Western worldview. But she adds, “If you talk of the seven generations to a native, they know exactly what you’re talking about.”

These “native” traditions she describes simply as “choosing the way of the earth.” And it’s not just all talk. Potts travels throughout the region to participate in teachings from tribal Elders (a title of respect that also applies to her), from her community and others. She uses these learning experiences, to directly impact the students and colleagues on campus and in the community through teaching, demonstrations and celebrations.

Every question she is asked comes not with just an answer, but also a story—including her name Dolly. “My oldest sister named me Dolly. When I was born, there were 10 years between us, so I was her dolly. Georgie’s after my father.” Addressing her as Koya (Grandma) Dolly is also acceptable—especially considering she has three sons, one daughter, 13 grandchildren and number 14 on the way.

Potts describes herself simply: “I’m a traditional native. I grew up with my ways.” Her “growing up” included life on a Kansas reservation and attendance at a Catholic boarding school in South Dakota. Her love of Wisconsin began in her teenage years, traveling to the Green Bay-area to take part in tribal pow wows. Potts remembers “We would all get together to sing and dance.” The purpose of dancing? “For joy.”

Beyond her naturally fun-loving nature, Potts’ achievements within the University and community have been impactful and transformative. First as an intern in the Education Center for First Nations Studies, where she worked with the local indigenous community. During that time, she arranged for several Elders and knowledge-keepers to present to campus on various topics. Her nomination as Commencement Speaker noted, “As an undergraduate student and tribal Elder, Dolly’s skills and abilities surpass those of many professionals already working in a higher education setting.”

Potts’ activism and community outreach has extended state-wide to Madison, where she shared her research on Act 31—a requirement that all public school districts provide instruction on the history, culture and tribal sovereignty of Wisconsin’s 11 federally-recognized American Indian nations and tribal communities. In true “Koya Dolly” fashion, she met with Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction Carolyn Stanford-Taylor and established a “grandma-to-grandma” connection.

But most of all Potts enjoys being herself. “I love who I am. I’m very proud of being native.” Essential to her identity is a tribal oral tradition she explains as “telling stories about our ancestors, or the world around you that helps explain human nature.”

The unique quality of “Koya Dolly’s” power to connect with others is that it comes from her giving nature. She shares that power freely in the form of her stories. Lisa Poupart, director of the First Nations undergraduate and doctoral programs, describes her as a role model for all students and community members. “She embodies the commitment to lifelong learning and service to others,” Poupart said. “We will all benefit from her wisdom and shared words at commencement.”

As for her Commencement Speech, she’s got a story to share and offers this hint: “It’s about a bear and about power. Because many of the students that are graduating will go into positions of power.”

And as for plans beyond graduation?

“I’ll use my education as a pillar to support the foundation of my people.” And for Potts, that foundation stands on a love of learning about the past, present and future.

Her story continues.

Nominate a student speaker by Friday, Oct. 23, 2020

Reminder: the University is seeking nominations for Student Speaker of the Fall/Winter graduates. Please nominate one or more students for this honor. Nominees must be graduating in December 2020 or January 2021. Please send your nominations to Megan DuFrane-Groose, via e-mail to commencement@uwgb.edu and include the following information:

  1. Student’s Name
  2. Student’s Major(s)/Minor(s)
  3. Cumulative GPA
  4. Postgraduate Plans
  5. Brief Description of Student’s Accomplishments
  6. Other Reasons Why This Student Should be Recognized
  7. The Names of All Faculty/Staff Who Support This Nomination

This is the minimum amount of information required to nominate a student. Nominations are reviewed by the campus Awards and Recognition Committee. Please feel free to provide as much additional information as you would like to support your nomination(s).

 

UW-Green Bay postpones December commencement to May 2021 | WFRV Local 5 – Green Bay, Appleton

A local university has decided to push its December Commencement Ceremony to May 2021. According to a letter shared with WFRV Local 5, UW-Green Bay says the decision is in response to the “current global health crisis.”

Source: UW-Green Bay postpones December commencement to May 2021 | WFRV Local 5 – Green Bay, Appleton

Video: Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies congratulates graduating master’s students

Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies, Pieter deHart released this statement congratulating graduate students on their phenomenal achievement in honor of commencement this weekend.

2020 Graduation Statement Video-deHart.mp4

Video transcript: “Greetings and congratulations to all of our graduating master’s students. My name is Pieter deHart, and I am the Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies here at UW-Green Bay. I am so pleased and inspired to see the dedication and perseverance of our graduate students throughout these unprecedented times. I know this year’s commencement might not look the same as you had originally imagined, but know that you deserve a celebration, nonetheless. Echoing the comments of Chancellor Michael Alexander, I am proud to say that our graduate faculty, staff, and students have taken each of these new challenges during this pandemic in stride, and proven that their dedication to their education has remained steadfast. I want to congratulate each of you today as well as your families, friends, and support systems. This achievement would not have been possible without your encouragement and patience for these students as they made a commitment to better themselves and achieve new opportunities. Congratulations graduates. As Phoenix, we rise!”