The UW-Green Bay community is invited to watch the First-Year Student Convocation on Monday, August 31 at 10 a.m. as we formally welcome the Class of 2024 to UW-Green Bay! Livestream available here.
Provost Kate Burns address the University Community during 2020 Faculty and Staff Virtual Convocation. Video transcript follows:
I was so impressed by this weekend’s drive through graduation. Megan DuFrane-Groose, Gail Sims-Aubert, and the entire Office of Student Life should be commended for all of their hard work and creativity in making this event a success. It was really touching to hear the graduates share their stories, see students’ families crammed together in a vehicle (and sometimes several vehicles) to celebrate this important milestone, and feel the pride exuded by our faculty and staff who cheered them on.
It made me think a lot about how we get students to this goal. I know we oftentimes think of graduation as simply a classroom accomplishment. At drive through graduation, it was clear that students were excited to see the familiar faces of people who had supported them both inside *and* outside the classroom. Faculty. Academic and University Staff. We are *all* making an impact on students during their time here.
Last spring we all worked together to somehow accomplish the impossible. We reached out to students. We called them when they hadn’t registered. We checked in on them when they weren’t turning in their work or missing class. We were focused on caring for the whole student inside AND outside the classroom. Academic Affairs and Student Affairs partnering together. These efforts paid off. Our enrollment is up, especially at a time when others across the country are seeing enrollment declines. Our enrollment is up, partly because of recruitment, but largely because of retention.
Retention is everyone’s job. Let me say that again. Retention is EVERYONE’s job. I want all of us (regardless of our roles) to be thinking about how we can better support and better retain our students. This may take a variety of forms:
- Creating an inclusive campus climate. When students come to our campuses, we want them to feel welcome and that they belong. I am so glad that we will be engaged in inclusivity and equity training this year. Our times call for this emphasis on social justice, but it is also the right thing to do. Cultural competence is a journey, not a destination. As an institution of higher education, we need to model this dedication to learning, reflection, and growth.
- We have proudly announced ourselves to be an access institution. This means we need to support the students we have. I know many of you attended the SpeakOut Institute this summer. One quote that really stuck with me is “Access without support is not opportunity.” We should all consider in our own areas what that support may look like. We are rolling out Navigate this fall semester. This is a great time to take a look at the Canvas training and learn more about this tool if you haven’t already. Our early alert system with grades and feedback is only as effective as we make it. Research has shown that early alert systems are especially important for students of color and first generation students who may not know how they are performing in their classes. We need to build early feedback into our courses so that students can better understand how they are doing and take steps accordingly.
It’s a new academic year. I appreciate the herculean effort it took to get us here. Countless staff and faculty working together to get us ready. I know many of you are feeling excited, optimistic. But also nervous. Overwhelmed. Worried about work/life balance/childcare and school arrangements. This is not business as usual—we are very much outside our comfort zone. This is how our students are feeling too. Here’s the thing though. Our students have always felt this way, excited about the promise of higher education while simultaneously navigating the headwinds in their lives. I want us to harness these new positive and negative emotions we’re feeling as we go into the fall to better understand and support our students. This is a massive empathy boost. If last spring taught us anything, we can accomplish so much when we were all working together toward a singular purpose: student success.
I would like to start my remarks today by saying thank you. It can’t be said enough. We have pushed to be as ready as possible for the fall. Our staff has worked tirelessly to recruit and retain students and prepare our classrooms and living spaces, our faculty have reimagined what it means to provide access to classes, and campus leadership have mobilized all summer to adapt to changing environments, policies, and shifting situations. My goal is to keep the convocation to under one hour and if I properly thanked everyone for their work at the end of last semester and over the summer, as opposed to giving a speech, it is quite possible we would not finish before the end of business today. Plus, I would much prefer to dialogue with each of you.
How do I sum up what we have been through as a campus over the last six months? I can simply say that we have clearly risen to the challenge that we have been presented with. As of today, our enrollment is up and most importantly our retention of students is up. Our students have responded to us by the fact that our summer enrollment was up over 40%, students are choosing to start here in the fall, and our current students are sticking with us in significantly higher numbers than last year.
Today, I can tell you we are financially stable in an industry that is filled with tremendous risk. We are definitely not wealthy, but we are living within our means, which provides us a path forward. We have been able to navigate an unprecedented event in higher education to this point, but there are certainly more challenging times ahead. While I would love to provide you certainty today, it would not be candid for me to try to do so. We are standing in as good of a place as possible today, but that can change at any moment based on events that could occur that might be entirely beyond our control. While all of our attention at the moment is on trying to figure out how to effectively operate a university in the midst of a pandemic, I think the most important questions we must ask ourselves right now have to do with how we will evolve to meet our mission and vision in the coming years.
I would like to focus today on what we can control moving forward. Three years ago, I was given a book by someone very special to me that in hindsight, I think accurately identifies the problem we are trying to solve today in higher education. The book is entitled The Common Good by Robert Reich is relevant to the complex problems we are trying to navigate today in higher education. I believe that we need to set our goal to build our university as one that belongs to the common good. The idea is that we must reach beyond what is just good for us individually, what is good just for us as a university, and strive for what is good for our communities and our region. I ask you today to join me on a quest to make that happen.
This is not a quest for those that fear a challenge. It is obvious that universities are good for the economy, for research, and for advancing specific academic disciplines. It is also clear universities benefit and reward those that do well in the traditional way in school, score high on tests, have family that have attended a higher education institution in the past, and often come from a socioeconomic background that is above the poverty line. However, I ask you if this really serves the common good or only a portion of the population? What about those who want to solve problems, but do not go to a school that inspires them to do so? What about students who are eager to learn, but show it in a way that does not translate well to the memorization and regurgitation of information in a high school class? What about those who do not have their basic needs met, do not have the means to move out of their region, and do not see how a higher level of educational attainment could help them and their community? And, how does a university create equity in a community? How does a university create dialogue among people who disagree? How does a university help its populace appreciate the value of science to solve problems and the value of the liberal arts to help explain and improve the human condition?
These are the questions we must consider. We must figure out the role we play as a regional comprehensive in answering them. Our answers will be different than R1s, wealthy private institutions, and even universities in different regions and with different demographics. It is easy for us to complain about the fact that higher education is underfunded, under attack, and undervalued by many. It is harder to change our goal as a university to actually solve the issues I just mentioned for the community we serve. It is possible that as we currently exist, we are doing good for our community, but we may not fully be contributing to the common good.
Justice Louis Brandeis asked and answered, “What are the American ideals? They are the development of the individual for his own and the common good; the development of the individual through liberty; and the attainment of the common good through democracy and social justice.” And FDR stated, “We now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence on each other; that we cannot merely take but we must give as well; that if we are to go forward, we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline, because without such discipline no progress is made, no leadership becomes effective.” Consider the proverb, if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. How relevant are these statements now in the midst of a pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement?
How do these statements apply to our university? I believe that we must be willing to fully unite behind our mission. This is uncomfortable. It means we will challenge norms. It means we may look different than many other universities. It means we might fail in a particular activity in an attempt to reach our overall goal. It means we will need courage. And it means we will have to let some traditions go in order to get to replace them with things that focus on the common good and not just the good of those that have traditionally gone to college in our region. I ask that we consider the following:
In his book How to Be An Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi writes, “We arrive at demonstrations excited, as if our favorite musician is playing on the speakers’ stage. We convince ourselves we are doing something to solve the racial problem when we are really doing something to satisfy our feelings. We go home fulfilled, like we dined at our favorite restaurant. And this fulfillment is fleeting…The problems of inequity persist…We persistently do something to make ourselves feel better as we convince ourselves we are making society better, as we never make society better. What if instead of feelings advocacy we had an outcome advocacy that put equitable outcomes before our guilt and anguish? What if we focused our human and fiscal resources on changing power and policy to actually make society, not just our feelings, better?”
Let’s further consider Kendi’s powerful statement. Let me start with the simple things we have already done. We have provided meaningful funding for the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion to be done. We will require all full-time employees to have initial important discussions and training on how to improve our equity and inclusionary practices as individuals and as an institution. We have formed a police advisory council to support our university police to have a continuous open dialogue with the campus, and led by Chief Jones, our police have created several new programs to further the ways they can positively interact with the students they serve to protect. We have started to enact our strategic plan for inclusive excellence. And we have formed an impact initiative committee on the Council of Trustees on the subject of social justice that will be chaired by alum Cordero Barkley. While a good start, unfortunately, this is not enough.
Brown County is 15% below the national average for the percentage of the population with an undergraduate degree and 41% below the average for graduate degrees. This is why we must continue to grow. By growing, we are solving a societal problem. We are also below national and state averages for degree attainment when you look at our region. If we do not solve this problem, our communities will fail due to inequity and an unsustainable economy. Are we serving the common good?
Forty-eight percent of white students in Brown County are proficient in English and Language Arts, Black students are 14% proficient. That statistic is not because Black students are less capable of proficiency in these areas. It is because there is not equity in how those two populations access education. What are we doing to not further exacerbate these problems at the higher education level? We can’t just choose who we want to teach, instead we choose to teach all who want to be taught. The goal of the university should not just be access, but success; not privilege, but growth. Are we serving the common good?
There are more students in the Green Bay Area Public Schools whose native language is not English than there are in the total school population of students in 90% of the school districts in Wisconsin. Are we doing, as a University, all we can to welcome students to UW-Green Bay that are not native English speakers? I ask again, are we serving the common good when our student population is only 15% ethnically diverse (luckily that number is growing) and 69% of our student population comes from within our 16 county footprint. We must stop saying some of our students are underprepared for college. That may be true, but it is not the fault of the public schools or the students themselves. This is, once again, a societal issue and we should build our university around being ready to meet students where they are when they enter and not bemoan that they are not where we want them to be. The question is are we willing to fix the problem or pass the buck? The question comes down to what our goal is for education at a regional university like UW-Green Bay. In my opinion, we must measure the growth of each student and use that as our measure of success. We set high expectations for growth, but we do not start with a bar that is unattainable and then say the student could not leap over it. Only with this attitude do we improve our society. Only teaching well prepared students is comfortable, but will not create equity or a sustainable and diverse region for the future. Are we willing to consider the common good?
Is our curriculum advancing more than just the traditional western canon or are we truly honoring the part of our mission that says we want to be globally informed? What examples do your classes highlight? Who is writing the books you are assigning, the music you are performing, and the art you are displaying? Who owns the business we show as examples of success? Are we providing connections to populations not traditionally entering the sciences? This hits at the core of who we are welcoming in our classes. Do they see themselves succeeding? Are we willing to learn from the perspective of our students and not just provide our perspective to them? Are we struggling to serve the common good in our classrooms or just teaching what and how we were taught as students when we were in school?
Consider that the average age of our students is 22, but how much energy and resources do we provide to those who are above the 18-22 age range? Only ¼ of our students live on campus, but how much energy do we spend engaging those that are not living here? Are we willing to continue to adapt to what we have learned from the pandemic? Why did we grow by 40% in the summer? I think it is because we expanded our offerings only in a way that met students where they were at and not taught in a delivery mode that has made us traditionally comfortable. Are we willing to view education as something that can occur outside of 8:00-5:00? Are we providing high impact practices in all that we do and for all who study with us or just those that can be at a class from 10-11 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday? I am so proud of our faculty for wrestling with these issues. Our students are clearly responding and if we get the mix of synchronous and asynchronous offerings right, we will grow in ways we could never have dreamed. What aspects of education do we need our students to be in person for? Are we willing to also let them learn on their own and be informed by their prior life experience outside of the classroom?
In what may sound like an odd statement, I also think we need to stop worrying about degree completion for all students and start worrying about degree progression in a timely and efficient manner for everyone. Each student will have a different educational goal when they come to us. For most that start at 18, the goal will be to get a degree in four years, but for others that start mid-career, they may not want a degree, but a specific aspect of education that can advance their knowledge and opportunity. This is a change in thinking. We want all students to have access to education in an efficient way, but we must understand that not everyone will want a prepackaged degree. They may only want a certificate, they may want non-credit skills-based courses, and they might even just be curious about a particular class.
I would also like us to consider our hiring practices in the years ahead. Are they aimed at advancing our mission or encouraging us to look like all other institutions? What do we value when we provide tenure and promotion and is it in alignment with our mission? Are we hiring people that bring a diversity of ideas and backgrounds to our university or those that already confirm what we already know? Can we search for people who believe fiercely in our mission, but might get there in ways that are outside of our norms? Are we hiring and promoting for the common good of our region or to further the machine of higher education as it currently exists?
We must also look at our internal policies and practices and consider how the pandemic might have changed our acceptance of certain norms. It is essential that we start measuring success in our workplace based on the quality and quantity of the work produced and not the number of hours spent in an office. If we want to recruit and retain great faculty and staff, we must be willing to allow for complicated modern lives. We also have to be willing to understand that our students also have complicated lives. Why have we recruited and retained better this year? My sense is that it is partly that we were working from home and could adjust our hours as we saw fit to accomplish our jobs and meet the needs of our particular family circumstances. We must be committed to prioritizing the health, mental health, and wellness of not only our students, but also our faculty and staff. To that end, we have formed another impact initiative with the Council of Trustees to guide us in these efforts.
If we do not fully grasp the equity issues laid bare by the pandemic, we will fail. I do not have the answer to all of the questions I have asked today. The answers will vary in every discipline and for every professor. It will be found in the way we, as a staff, respond to every student’s circumstance. Even when we have answered the question countless times before. Even when we are tired. That is uncomfortable. All I can ask you to do is to constantly question if you are teaching and performing your job as a staff member in a way that provides access and furthers the goal of the common good. This applies to every facet of the university from facilities to residence life; business and finance to academic advisors, and IT to police. We must fight for every student’s success. Only with all of us working individually towards this goal can it be accomplished. Leaders must be willing to make hard decisions, all of us need to hold ourselves accountable for keeping our work focused on this goal, and we all need to be aware of the opportunity we have as a university to truly define what it means to have a regional university focused on making the community it serves a better place.
Let me conclude today with a reminder of what I think makes us special. When we did the work last year to see what made us unique, Carnegie Dartlett listened to us and gave us the following observations about our campus. We are innovative, we are resilient, we are caring, and we are willing to fight to meet a noble mission.
We are innovative. Continue to prove it with your actions. Learn and experiment with how you can teach differently, truly provide high impact practices in every class, and perform research that can directly benefit your fields and our region.
We are resilient. Model that. Embrace the unknown just like we are asking our students to do. Herd cats and celebrate when they all get to the end of a goal even if they take different routes to get there. Don’t control the sound of the orchestra you are conducting. Listen and value all of its unique voices to make a powerful whole.
We are caring. Prove it every day. Care when nobody is looking. Just go out of your way to have empathy. Do one thing each day that lets a student or colleague know that you care. Just one thing.
We are willing to fight to achieve a university that aims to build a society that values the common good. If a hurdle is in our way, we will get through it. We will do so by being innovative, resilient, and caring in all that we do, but we will not stop. We simply will not stop.
As we come together today, I hope the routine of the annual return to learning brings comfort and unified purpose to each of you.
I love this university. It is poised to build on the profound vision on which it was founded. Let us all rise together into the unknown.
Have a great year.
We are in this together.
One of the highlights every year of Faculty and Staff Convocation is recognition of the Founders Awards Winners by the Awards and Recognition Committee. This year, Prof. Laura Riddle and Anna Merry announced the awardees in a virtual presentation. The Committee selected the following to be recognized for excellence in each category:
Sherri Arendt, Academic Support Award for Excellence
Barbara Holschbach, University Staff Award for Excellence
Prof. Gaurav Bansal, Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship
Linda Toonen, Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching
Mai Lo Lee, University Award for Excellence in Community Outreach
Associate Prof. James Loebl, University Award for Excellence in Institutional Development
UntitledTown Board of Directors, University Award for Excellence in Collaborative Achievement
- Rebecca Meacham, Co-President (University of Wisconsin-Green Bay)
- Amy Mazzariello, Co-President (Lion’s Mouth Bookstore)
- Derrick Holt, Vice-President (Audio/Music Professional)
- Maria Konkel, Treasurer (Nicolet National Bank)
- Mai J. Lo Lee (University of Wisconsin-Green Bay)
- Cristina Ortiz (University of Wisconsin-Green Bay)
- Jerod Santek (Write On, Door County)
Good Morning! I’m honored to present the recipients of the Founders Awards and to share this honor with my Committee colleague, Anna Merry. We want to acknowledge the outstanding work of the members of the 2019-2020 Awards and Recognition Committee: Iftekhar Anam, Sarah Detweiler, Cynthia Estrup, James Kabrhel, Ruth Pearson, Katelyn Strzok, and William Yazbec, as well as the support and guidance provided by the Office of the Secretary of the Faculty and Academic Staff; Mary Kate Ontaneda and Steve Meyer.
Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching
The recipient of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching began teaching at UW- Green Bay in 1985. Decades later, former students speak passionately about this devoted teacher who left an indelible impression as they pursued careers in myriad fields. Her colleagues speak with great respect about her exceptional dedication to making student success the highest priority and her compassion for students facing great challenges in pursuing a college education. A former student, now a colleague wrote, “When I look at all those students waiting outside her office on any given weekday, I can’t help but imagine that line stretching out into the classrooms and homes across our community. She makes this university more than just an institution of higher learning. She makes it a home. She is the meat and potatoes, the foundation of our students’ success.”
This year’s recipient of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching is Linda Toonen.
Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship
The recipient of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship is an Internationally recognized scholar in the fields of management and organizational behavior, “big data,” environmentalism, gender, and cybersecurity. Holding the esteemed position of the Frederick E. Baer Professorship in Business, he is also a senior editor of the Journal of Information Technology- Case and Application Research he has over one thousand citations of his research and more than forty publications in the US and internationally in high impact journals such as Information & Management. A sought-after speaker on data visualization and ethics, he has enriched the regional business community with his presentations, and has been called
“one of the most influential thinkers worldwide on the issue of information security and privacy.” This year’s recipient of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship is Gaurav Bansal.
University Award for Excellence in Institutional Development
The recipient of the University Award for Excellence in Institutional Development has distinguished himself as an excellent teacher, a dedicated contributor to the University, and a partner with the community. His University service has included multiple terms on the Faculty Senate and membership on the University Committee. But his greatest institutional contribution has been in support of the growth of the Cofrin School of Business. His oversight of the School of Business from an embedded department within the College of Professional Studies to a stand-alone School in 2016 will continue to benefit countless students, faculty, and staff for generations. Currently serving as the Chair of the University Committee, he has agreed to remain on this important Committee for his final semester before retiring to help transition into the 2021-22 academic year.
This year’s recipient of the University Award for Excellence in Institutional Development is James Loebl.
University Award for Excellence in Community Outreach
The recipient of the University Award for Excellence in Community Outreach has been involved in so many projects connecting our university to the community that her nominator wrote, “When reaching out to folks in regards to support, there were so many ideas for [this person’s] community building that I had not even considered when originally nominating her.” This person is widely connected within our community and regularly brings those connections to the university to the benefit of our students and those outside UWGB. Several notable initiatives include the Black in the Bay panel during Black History Month, the JumpStart program through MESA, and the Back to School Store, which brought 1,211 children and their families to the Kress Center last year to receive school supplies and health screenings. This year’s recipient of the University Award for Excellence in Community Outreach is Mai Lo Lee.
Academic Support Award for Excellence
The recipient of the Academic Support Award for Excellence is known for her dedication, passion and advocacy for the students of our university. One nominator wrote, that “students feel welcomed and safe with her,” and continued “She is the ultimate collaborator and connector,” meaning not only does she make students feel like they belong, but she also works across many, many departments and initiatives to improve student success at UWGB. In 2017, this person led a remodel of their area that led to a 65% increase in the use of their services over the previous year! That is incredible, but just as impressive to me was the recent UWGB graduate who submitted a letter of support saying, “As I look back, I can honestly say that of all the staff I have met, she has had the greatest impact on my growth as a student and on my life as an adult.” This year’s recipient of the Academic Support Award for Excellence is Sherri Arendt.
University Staff Award for Excellence
The recipient of the University Staff Award for Excellence impacts departments all over campus with her high quality work, from university finances, to admissions, to advising. Her attention to detail and commitment to testing and problem-solving before the final deadline have probably saved every single one of us headaches that we didn’t even know we were missing. As this person’s nominator wrote, “There is not an area on this campus that does not have a need to produce or consume data, and it is [this person’s] responsibility to ensure that our systems are developed to meet those needs, to ensure that data is accurate, and that everyone understands how it all interconnects.” Major projects that our award winner has played a key role in include: the integration of UW Colleges Prism data into UWGB’s SIS, and student data inputs into the Incentive Based Budget model. This year’s recipient of the University Staff Award for Excellence is Barb Holschbach.
University Award for Excellence in Collaborative Achievement
The recipient of the University Award for Excellence in Collaborative Achievement is a group that seeks to put the city of Green Bay on the map for something other than “football, beer and cheese.” As one letter of support stated, “Though we do love all of those things, we know we are made up of so much more.” This project, which began in 2016, has been bringing more to the Green Bay area, while promoting the values of UW-Green Bay. That “more” includes panels, discussions and performances. It includes authors from R. L. Stine to Margaret Atwood, as well as a diverse mix of literary voices. This year’s recipient of the University Award for Excellence in Collaborative Achievement is the Board of UntitledTown Book and Author Festival, a festival that has been ongoing for three years, plus the planned but unfortunately cancelled festival that would have taken place this past spring. Congratulations to the board members, past and present.
Congratulations to all recipients of this year’s Founders Awards!
Professor Aaron Weinschenk from the Political Science program has been named the Ben and Joyce Rosenberg Professorship. This award recognizes and gives support for a full professor who has demonstrated a productive commitment to scholarship and/or outreach and whose work exemplifies the spirit and mission of the University.
Weinschenk’s productive commitment is easily documented by his research in collaboration with other scholars, and with our own UW-Green Bay students. Noteworthy is his work implementing an Undergraduate Research Lab which resulted in a peer-reviewed publication that included the undergrads as authors. His own list of peer-reviewed journals is lengthy and the topic —mass political behavior, and how people think, feel and act in political situations—has national media interest. Demonstrating to his students that civic engagement is ultimately the lifeblood of strong communities, he served as co-principal investigator of the 2016 Brown County LIFE Study—taking a close look at quality of life issues in Brown County. Most recently, he was appointed by the mayor to serve on the City of Green Bay’s Ethics Board. Finally, as one of the co-creators, he organized a sold-out series of TEDx Talks on campus that have brought tremendous recognition to the University, and continue to generate interest on You Tube.
Allen Huffcutt of the Business Administration faculty has named the Philip J. and Elizabeth Hendrickson Professorship for Business, which recognizes and supports a full professor who has demonstrated a productive commitment to scholarship and/or outreach and whose work exemplifies the spirit and mission of UW-Green Bay, while helping students understand the positive role of business in the community and the importance of business ethics.
Huffcutt’s research, particularly on employment interviews, has been widely recognized both inside and outside academia. Recently, he was noted to be among the top 2% most influential authors as measured by textbook citations. He is a Fellow in two organizations (the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology or SIOP, and the Association for Psychological Science. Forbes online and the Chronicle of Higher Education highlighted his research on interviews. Allen has a long history of involving students in research. Beginning last fall, Allen put together an undergraduate research team called the STARS (Students Together Achieving Research), with an end-goal of having the undergraduates conducting annual research and connecting with local business and industry and provide services related to employment teaching and development.
Rasoul Rezvanian has been named the newly appointed Austin E. Cofrin Endowed Chair in Business. The endowed chair is a faculty position in a focused area of importance to the University. The chair is filled by a distinguished faculty member who has a national or international reputation in his or her field. In his role as the Endowed Chair in Business, Rasoul will occupy a leadership and advocacy position in the Cofrin School of Business.
Resvanian serves as chair of the new Impact MBA program. His research interests are focused on areas of international financial markets, institutions and bank management. Rasoul’s teaching specialties are corporate finance, financial markets and institutions, bank management, and international finance. He has served as a discipline peer reviewer for the Council for International Exchange of Scholars for Fulbright applicants, as well as the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
The three were announced during UW-Green Bay Faculty and Staff Convocation, August 26, 2020 via a virtual Teams meetings with faculty, staff and supporters.
A time honored annual tradition at UW-Green Bay’s Faculty and Staff Convocation was more difficult this year—welcoming and recognizing our new employees. Not even headshots could be accommodated, as in-studio headshots have been placed on hold, for now. But we do have a list of 91 new employees who started with our four-campus community since last year at this time. Please welcome them if given the opportunity:
|Tricia Adams||Performing Arts Coordinator||Music/Theatre & Dance||9/4/19|
|Benjamin Ahearn||Network Administrator||IT Network & Systems||9/23/19|
|Erik Aleson||Associate Director of Facilities Management||Facilities Management||2/25/20|
|Ali AlQahtani||Assistant Professor – Computer Science||Resch School of Engineering||8/24/20|
|Michael Aschinger||Police Officer||Police Department||7/20/20|
|Dhanamalee Bandara||Assistant Professor – Statistics||Resch School of Engineering||1/3/20|
|Nicole Becker||Advising & Recruitment Specialist (Manitowoc)||Academic Advising||3/23/20|
|Paul Belanger||Lecturer – Writing Foundations||Humanities||8/24/20|
|Miriam Brabham||Multicultural Advisor||MultiEthnic Student Affairs||10/21/19|
|Elizabeth Brinks||USA2||Provost & Vice Chancellor||9/30/19|
|Katie Burke||Lecturer – Mathematics||Resch School of Engineering||8/24/20|
|Erin Carlson||Student Services Coordinator||Education||8/10/20|
|Nick Carncross||Custodian Lead||Residence Life||2/3/20|
|Shara Cherniak||Lecturer – Education||Education||8/24/20|
|Preston Cherry||Assistant Professor – Finance||Accounting & Finance||8/24/20|
|John Cheslock||Counselor (75%)||UW-Green Bay Wellness Center||8/3/20|
|Tammy Clausen||Progressive Business Development Specialist||Continuing Education & Community Engagement||1/27/20|
|Susan Craver||Lecturer – Management||Marketings & Management||8/24/20|
|Pieter deHart||Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies||Provost & Vice Chancellor||1/6/20|
|Kelly Deuerling||Assistant Professor – Water Science||Natural & Applied Sciences||8/24/20|
|Andrew Georgenson||IT Project Manager||IT Administration||12/2/19|
|Nicole Gouin||Lecturer – Nursing||Nursing & Health Studies||8/24/20|
|Sara Greenwood||Lecturer & MSW Field Coordinator||Social Work||7/6/20|
|Kpoti Gunn||Assistant Professor – Environmental Engineering||Engineering||1/3/20|
|Todd Hillhouse||Assistant Professor – Biological Psychology||Psychology||8/24/20|
|Christopher Houghton||Lecturer||Natural & Applied Sciences||8/24/20|
|Michael Hutter||Custodian||University Union||8/3/20|
|MD Rasedul Islam||Assistant Professor – Mechanical Engineering||Resch School of Engineering||1/27/20|
|Kristin Kearns||Grants and Research Program Manager||Office of Grants & Research||1/19/20|
|Rick Klein||Facilities Repair Worker (Sheboygan)||Facilities Management||10/22/19|
|Nichole LaGrow||Distance Education Coordinator||Provost and Vice Chancellor||11/11/19|
|Junliang Lai||Student Services Specialist||GBOSS (Marinette Campus)||11/22/19|
|Jennie Lambrecht||Lecturer – Education||Education||8/24/20|
|Lisa Lamson||Lecturer – History||Humanities||8/24/20|
|Nora Langolf||Foundation Accounting Supervisor||University Advancement||9/3/19|
|Crystal Lepscier||First Nations Student Success Coordinator||Education||5/4/20|
|Kimberly Lintner||Assistant Director of Advising and Retention||Academic Advising||6/22/20|
|Cindy Lopez Johnson||Multicultural Advisor||MultiEthnic Student Affairs||8/3/20|
|Tyler Lovato||Police Officer||Police Department||3/2/20|
|Marina Lyudmer||Financial Specialist Senior||Controller’s Office||3/23/20|
|Vanessa Mahlik||Student Services Specialist||Student Services||12/2/19|
|Shawn Malone||Assistant Professor – Geoscience||Natural & Applied Sciences||8/24/20|
|Kathryn Marten||Student & Community Engagement Coordinator||Dean of Cofrin School of Business||3/9/20|
|Lauren Mauel||Lecturer – Education||Education||8/24/20|
|Kathy McKee||Lecturer – Marketing||Marketings & Management||8/24/20|
|Samantha Meister||Assistant Professor – Education||Education||8/24/20|
|Kim Miller||IT Support Specialist||Client Services||8/29/19|
|Laura Mintel||Advisor||Academic Advising – Sheboygan Campus||11/6/19|
|Joanna Morrissey||Assistant Professor – Sports Psychology||Psychology||8/24/20|
|Mai Moua||Lecturer – Computer Science||Resch School of Engineering||8/24/20|
|Heidi Nell||Financial Specialist Senior||Facilities||9/11/19|
|MD Tarique Newaz||Assistant Professor – Marketing||Marketings & Management||8/24/20|
|Steve Ninnemann||Custodian Lead (Sheboygan)||Operations||2/24/20|
|Kenneth Noe||Facilities Maintenance Specialist||Facilities Management||11/4/19|
|Lawrence (Freddie) Owens||Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach||Athletics||7/13/20|
|Aniruddha Pangarkar||Assisatnt Professor – Marketing||Marketings & Management||8/24/20|
|Sue Pischke||Photographer/Videographer||Marketing & University Communication||11/25/19|
|Judy Price||Progressive Business Development Specialist||Continuing Education & Community Engagement||1/27/20|
|Brandon Pritzl||Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach||Athletics||7/13/20|
|Kevin Ray||Police Officer||UW-Green Bay Police||2/24/20|
|Rasoul Rezvanian||Associate Dean – AECSB||Austin E Cofrin School of Business||6/1/20|
|Alexandra Ritchie||Marketing & Communications Recruitment Coordinator||Marketing & University Communication||1/27/20|
|Jermaine Rolle||Deputy AD for Compliance and Student Services||Athletics||8/24/20|
|Jennifer Ronsman||Lecturer – English Comp||Humanities||8/24/20|
|Will Ryan||Head Coach – Men’s Basketball||Athletics||6/10/20|
|Aubrey Schramm||Executive Manager of GEAR UP Services||Continuing Education & Community Engagement||1/3/20|
|James Schramm||Campus Executive Officer – Sheboygan & Manitowoc||Provost & Vice Chancellor||1/6/20|
|Dalton Schwartz||Custodian (1st Shift)||Operations||1/6/20|
|Kevin Sevcik||Assistant Controller||Controller’s Office||7/20/20|
|Lois Stevens||Assistant Professor – First Nations Education||First Nations Education||8/24/20|
|Samantha Surowiec||Data Reporting Specialist||Provost||3/23/20|
|Jared Swanson||Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach||Athletics||7/8/20|
|Jennifer VanBeek||Office Manager||Student Affairs||1/21/20|
|Virginia Villarreal||Associate Advisor||Admissions||1/6/20|
|Keir Wefferling||Assistant Professor – Biology/Herbarium Curator||Center for Biodiversity||8/24/20|
|Bethany Welch||Advisor||Academic Advising – Marinette Campus||1/3/20|
|Joy Wick||Executive Director of Advancement||University Advancement||9/16/19|
|Troy Williams||Development & Marketing Assistant||Weidner Center||12/23/19|
|Nancy Williquette||Marketing Manager||Marketing & University Communication||11/19/19|
|Alaynie Woollard||Assistant Softball Coach||Athletics||10/4/19|
|Peter Xiong||Advisor||Pre College||1/21/20|
|Maria Yakushkina||Assistant Professor – Spanish||Humanities||8/24/20|
|Khou Yang||Advisor||Pre College||1/21/20|
|William Yazbec||Lecturer – Writing Foundations||Humanities||8/24/20|
|Jennifer Zeitler||ADA||Human Biology||12/19/19|
|Jian Zhang||Assistant Professor – Mechanical Engeineering||Resch School of Engineering||8/24/20|
In 1973, the UW-Green Bay Founders Association was established to build campus-community relationships and encourage philanthropic support for a young University. One of the first initiatives of the Founders was to establish the Awards for Excellence program. The awards were created to honor the outstanding work of UW-Green Bay faculty and staff members, based on a cumulative record of sustained excellence, rather than a single noteworthy achievement.
While the Founders Association, as an organization, fulfilled its purpose and has disbanded, the mission lives on in the work of the Council of Trustees, the Foundation and other groups. A highlight each year at UW-Green Bay’s Fall Convocation (August 21, 2019) is the announcement of winners of the Founders Awards, kept confidential until the awards ceremony.
Award winners recognized for 2019:
Associate Professor Katia Levintova (Political Science, Global Studies) received the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. Levintova is a dedicated advisor to her students. In a summary of her abilities, colleagues noted that Levintova possesses “all the qualities that UW-Green Bay looks for in an educator: high evaluations from students over a sustained period, teaching innovations, as well as the supervision of independent studies, honors projects and internships.”
Her recognition included “an engaging teaching style, enthusiasm for the subject, and genuine care for students. She oversees many varied independent studies, honors in the major projects, and internships, and strongly encourages her students to present their work at the academic excellence symposia and/or present at conferences.”
In the past five years alone, in addition to her regular teaching duties, Levintova supervised 20 independent studies in research projects, directed two honors in the major projects, and supervised 45 internships for a total of 67 different individualized learning opportunities.
Evaluations and observations of her teaching testify to her innovative and student-focused work in the classroom where she blends discussion and lecture with simulations and the signature pedagogy of her field. She also incorporates collaborations between students in upper- and lower-level courses to stage public opinion polls and a campaign.
As one student notes, “She put so much time and effort into me to show what UW-Green Bay has to offer and to get me involved. She helped me to create my sorority and mentored me in four internships. I already have a full-time job scheduled after graduation. She’s made me the leader I am today.”
Jen Jones (Public Administration) ’99 received the Academic Support Award for Excellence, given to a staff member who exemplifies a commitment to their work, demonstrates innovation and creativity, and is willing to devote additional time to get the job done. She is currently the acting assistant vice chancellor of Enrollment Services.
Jones’ extraordinary accomplishments related to admissions and enrollment services since she started at UW-Green Bay in 1999, includes initiating the Majors Open House program, the Refer-a-Phoenix program, the Phoenix Scholar Award, and the Rising Phoenix program. In 2018 she was recognized as one of Green Bay’s “Future 15,” a group of young professionals who are excelling in their careers and contributing positively to the Green Bay area.
Colleagues, in their nomination, characterized her as “selfless,” “an inspirational leader,” a “connector” for both staff and students and “the ultimate perfectionist.” Her team building skills, positivity, and creative leadership have led to significant increases in enrollment and helped in the successful campus restructuring in its first year.
As one colleague observed, “she inspires students and staff to get involved, become resourceful and make a difference in the community. One cannot use the phrase ‘Phoenix Family’ without thinking of Jen. She is simply wonderful.”
Associate Professor Patrick Forsythe (Natural and Applied Sciences) received the Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship. Since joining UW-Green Bay in 2011, Forsythe has developed a highly productive research program that is regionally recognized as a leader in freshwater ecology. Local fisheries management agencies, such as the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have gained a greater understanding of many important ecological questions surrounding Green Bay from his expertise and research.
This research program has led to considerable grant money to UW-Green Bay. He is managing five grants totaling more than $860,000, which allows for a large number— often paid—student research opportunities to both graduate and undergraduate students.
Forsythe is known for thinking outside the box to accomplish goals. He leveraged several grants and start-up money to acquire a new Boston Whaler research vessel and partnered with St. Norbert College to acquire an electrofishing boat. He and his students and peers are working closely with The Farmory (a self-sustaining, year-round indoor agriculture center) to develop aquaculture capacity, increasing perch production and sustaining the traditional, regional Friday fish fry.
Forsythe also recently broke new ground by hiring post-doctoral researchers — a first for UW-Green Bay.
One colleague stated, “The number and quality of his peer-reviewed publications and presentations at professional meetings, and the quality of students (and post-docs) he is able to attract to his lab are all testament to his leadership in this highly collaborative scholarship enterprise. He stands as a great model of what is possible to achieve with scholarship on our campus.”
The University Award for Excellence in Institutional Development was presented to Clif Ganyard. Members of the Council of Trustees recently described Ganyard as the “central campus operational leader” and “the calm leader in the center of the storms of change.”
In 2010, Ganyard earned the UW-Green Bay Founders Award for Excellence in Teaching, followed in 2014 by the prestigious UW System Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award. In 2015 he joined the Office of the Provost. In addition to his new duties, Ganyard became heavily involved with the innovative TurboCharge partnership; and the Crossing the Bridge seamless transfer collaboration between NWTC and UW-Green Bay.
His nomination stated “Ganyard is dedicated to this institution, and is one of those rare individuals who can represent a constituency while still keeping ‘the big picture’ and the welfare of our students and University at the forefront. He has approached all of his many roles at UW-Green Bay with a spirit of collegiality and respect that is obvious to all.”
Ganyard oversaw the significant and vitally important task of preparing for Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation. Perhaps the pinnacle of his contributions is his leadership to “Project Coastal” that focused on the integration of the Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan campuses to UW-Green Bay.
Additionally, the nomination stated, “His passion and compassion for the University and for the people affected by Project Coastal have been the glue that held this initiative together. Through his work with accreditation and the UW system, he has truly created a legacy evolving UW-Green Bay from a one-campus footprint to a new four-campus configuration covering 16 Northeast Wisconsin counties.”
Chancellor Gary L. Miller observed, “It would be difficult to find someone more deserving of this award given the extraordinary level of leadership our honoree has shown this past year in both planned and unplanned institutional development opportunities.”
Sergeant Cindy Estrup (University Police) received the University Staff Award for Excellence, bestowed on a member of the University Staff in recognition of outstanding accomplishments and service within the institution and the community. Estrup has demonstrated an exemplary commitment to her work and positive interaction with peers, students, faculty and staff. The honoree has served in campus policing on UW campuses for more than 15 years.
Estrup was recognized as “a consummate professional who interacts in positive ways with students, staff, and faculty on a daily basis.” Her “creative and dedicated service also helps to ensure that our campus is a safe and supportive environment for us all to pursue the educational mission of the university.”
With two master’s degrees, Estrup is said to have the heart of an educator. She sees her job, particularly on a college campus, as one that is fundamentally about education and service. One student, now an alumnus, was inspired by our honoree to become a correctional officer.
Estrup is no stranger to accolades. She was awarded the 2017 NBCC Mental Health Fellow as well as the Harvey Milk Scholarship.
A nomination letter stated that “her friendly and familiar interactions with students of multicultural backgrounds give them the confidence to know that UW-Green Bay is welcoming and safe for them.”
The University Award for Excellence in Collaborative Achievement was presented to the steering committee for Excellence in Psychology Instruction (EPIC). Committee members include Associate Dean Ryan Martin, UW-Green Bay faculty members Goerjeanna Wilson-Doenges, Jason Cowell, Jenell Holstead and former Prof. Regan Gurung and off-campus collaborators Jeff Gumz, Stephanie Franks, Amy Ramponi and Christopher Hamp.
This group of individuals is said to be very active in the scholarship of teaching and learning and engaged in “best” pedagogical practices. EPIC was developed after this group of individuals collectively noted a scarcity of professional development targeted toward high school teachers in their field. The group formed a steering committee to develop a conference to collaborate and foster a relationship with high school teachers and share their knowledge. Now an annual event, the EPIC Conference creates an opportunity for high school teachers statewide, and beyond, to learn from UW-Green Bay faculty who are experts in their field while also allowing the University to better understand the perspective of high school teachers and the background of incoming college students. These teachers incorporate cutting-edge research and pedagogies into their classrooms.
Says one nominator, “I am amazed at how much they have been able to accomplish in just a few years. I credit the outstanding teamwork of the steering committee in making this happen. This is a true collaboration between the University and the community… the high school teachers are true partners and collaborators in creating this event with UW-Green Bay faculty.”
The Founders Award for Community Outreach was awarded to the Dietetics Program. Members of the program include faculty and staff members Debra Pearson, Sara Wagner, Leanne Zhu, Michelle Johnson and Heather Masters. The program has a long-standing commitment to reaching out to the community through education, research and service. Outreach programs are a key component to endearing institutes of higher education to their surrounding communities.
This year’s winning program gives presentations on nutrition for Medical College of Wisconsin students, Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (WAND), local clubs and organizations. Courses involve students partnering with their community for “service-learning” projects to teach principles of nutrition and support other health-related projects. Many of the classes incorporate community activities in which students give presentations locally.
The Dietetics Program also oversees internships with various community organizations, such as the Green Bay Packers, Veterans Administration, ThedaCare, Aurora, aging and disability centers, LIVE 54218, and Oneida and Menominee clinics.
The program has been awarded many grants that allow its students to continue their work in the community. Such grants have enabled grocery store tours to promote healthy eating habits, student-faculty research projects and attendance at workshops and conferences. Research projects include a study of food pantry donations from the community, involvement with the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), and the “Remember the Food 5 Drive,” which is designed to enhance the quality of food donated in food drives.
UW-Green Bay and community partners worked collaboratively in a “communiversity” event entitled UW-Green Bay National Food Day to promote all the “partners in business” including small business, food-related services and vendors, and UW-Green Bay.
The program also provides support to the newly formed partnership between UW-Green Bay and the Farmory, an urban aquaponics farm.
This community outreach program provides an outstanding service to both UW-Green Bay and the community. As one supporter states, “They promote giving to the community both in their actions as well as how they instruct their students and interns.”
Green Bay, Wis. — Three members of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay faculty were bestowed named professorships today (August 21, 2019) at the University’s 2019 Fall Faculty and Staff Convocation. Named professorships are created through private gifts that support the study and research of a faculty member who has an outstanding record of scholarly accomplishment. The annual stipend associated with these professorships is for five years, but the recipient retains the title for life. Stipends are typically applied to research expenses or special projects benefiting students or service to the community.
Announced earlier this summer, new faculty member, Assistant Prof. Luis Fernandez, will receive the inaugural Robert and Joanne Bauer Endowed Professorship in Strings. While Fernandez has performed with symphonies from Venezuela to the Fox Valley, teaching remains at the heart of his mission as a musician, having earned a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Miami.
“I will be teaching individual applied strings (violin and viola), string techniques for Music Education majors, directing the string orchestra and supervising student teachers.”
Fernandez is known for his work outside the college campus environment, often leading youth, who otherwise wouldn’t have an opportunity, to a love for music. His passion for teaching springs from his childhood in Caracas, Venezuela, where he began violin studies through the El Sistema, a free music-education program for youth from impoverished backgrounds.
“The program’s mission was not just to create professional musicians,” Fernandez recalls, “but also to help children and young people reach their full potential- learning values and skills through music, that in turn improve their growth and life.”
As for an encore, his performing talents will take center stage as Director of Orchestras and principal violin with the recently established Weidner Philharmonic Orchestra. Fernandez concurs that the prospect for artists and audiences looks bright.
“I’m relatively new to the region and I’ve been very impressed by the high level of enthusiasm and support for the arts. I think in this kind of environment, it’s possible to build a thriving and successful program.”
The Bauer Endowed Professorship is made possible by a million-dollar gift announced in January 2019, from UW-Green Bay’s founding Band Director Robert J. Bauer and his wife Joanne, a UW-Green Bay alumna.
Professor Pao Lor has been named to the Patricia Wood Baer Professorship in Education.
Patricia and Frederick Baer established the Patricia Wood Baer Professorship in Education in 2005. Patricia, daughter of L.G. Wood, founder of Paper Converting Machine Corporation of Green Bay, and her husband Fred, were presented the UW-Green Bay Chancellor’s Award in 1991.
The award recognizes and supports a tenured faculty member who demonstrates a productive commitment to scholarship and/or outreach and whose work exemplifies the spirit and mission of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. The Patricia Wood Baer Professorship is specified to faculty who work directly with K-12 schools, K-12 teachers, or UW-Green Bay students who later enter the teaching professor. Eligibility is not restricted to faculty in the professional program of Education.
As one of the few Hmong scholars in the world, Lor’s research and scholarly activities inform and advance the ever-changing dynamics of school culture, diversity, achievement gap, culturally responsive teachings, school curriculum and globalization. He is extensively published and his work has advanced new knowledge to the Hmong American diaspora. His expertise is often sought-after on challenges involving Hmong American communities.
He describes his teaching philosophy as an enriching, transformative process. “I have gone from face-to-face and direct-instruction to hybrid, online, independent studies, project-based learning, personalized-learning, self-discovery learning, mentoring graduate students outside of the institution, studying abroad, among other learning formats. I encourage a person to learn, discover, understand, or solve problems on his or her own, as by experimenting, evaluating possible answers or solutions, or by trial and error, stimulating interest as a means of furthering investigation.”
Lor’s teaching philosophy is rooted in two deeply-held beliefs:
- As engaged learners, we must take responsibility for our independent and cooperative learning.
- As professionals and future educators in teaching and learning organizations, we must learn to reflect critically upon our own strengths and limitations.
Prof. Michael Draney has been named the Barbara Hauxhurst Cofrin Professorship of Natural Sciences, established in 1985 by Dr. David and Mary Ann Cofrin of Gainesville, Florida, in memory of David’s sister-in-law. Barbara Hauxhurst Cofrin was a devoted mother of six, an active participant in her community and an accomplished sportswoman. Her service included the local school board and PEO sisterhood.
The award recognizes and gives support for a full professor who has demonstrated a productive commitment to scholarship and/or outreach and whose work exemplifies the spirit and mission of UW-Green Bay. The Cofrin Professorship is specified for a professor in the natural sciences.
Draney’s research interests center on a diverse but often misunderstood group, spiders. He is interested in the ecology and distribution of the thousands of species that live in North and Central America, and often collaborates with ecologists by identifying spider species that they are studying. His students often study communities of spider species in order to learn how natural or human-caused changes effect the ecosystem, because spiders are highly mobile and reproduce quickly, so the spider communities respond to environmental changes quickly. Draney is also interested in discovering and describing new spider diversity both here and in poorly-studied tropical ecosystems, and has described over two dozen new species of spiders.
He is an expert on one family of spiders, the sheet-web spiders, which is the second largest family of spiders worldwide, and the most diverse group of spiders in Wisconsin. He also identifies insects and spiders free for the public, does entomological consultation for local and statewide media, and does entomological outreach presentations for both adults and children.
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 nearly 8,000 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, 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.
Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.
– Photos by Dan Moore, Office of Marketing and University Communication
Nearly 500 members of the campus community, including faculty, staff, retirees, board members and Regents celebrated Convocation in the Phoenix Rooms of the UW-Green Bay’s University Union on Wednesday, August 21, 2019. The program honored those with sustained leadership, community collaboration, and recognized and welcomed new faculty and staff. It also served as Chancellor Gary L. Miller’s reflection on his five year’s at UW-Green Bay. He departs fro the University of Akron’s presidency, in October.
Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.
– Photos by Dan Moore, Office of Marketing and University Communication
UW-Green Bay is a University on the rise! Opportunities have never been greater. We’re also a University on a mission—to sustain the places where we work, play and call home—in Wisconsin and beyond. Read the University’s newly approved select mission here.