Wednesday is Denim Day (and a great day to discuss sexual assault awareness)

Wednesday, April 26 is Denim Day. For nearly two decades the organization Peace Over Violence has run its Denim Day campaign on a Wednesday in April in honor of Sexual Violence Awareness Month. (Originally triggered when a rape conviction was overturned because the “victim was wearing tight jeans, thereby implying consent.”) The Dean of Students created a display for the occasion in the second floor of the Union.

UW-Green Bay reports positive climate for sexual assault prevention and treatment

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. At UW-Green Bay, students reported overall positive perceptions of the school climate in dealing with sexual harassment and working toward assault prevention, response and treatment, although University officials acknowledged that there is always room for improvement.

The responses were reported in the College Experiences Survey (CES) Campus Climate Survey Validation Study, and results were recently released to the nine participating colleges and universities. Surveys were completed by 23,000 undergraduate students across the nine campuses.

Sexual Assault Awareness Infographic (pdf)

The survey, conducted by RTI International and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, collected data on UW-Green Bay’s campus climate and sexual victimization during their academic career. Of the 2,445 UW-Green Bay students completing the survey, 1,691 were women, and 754 were men. Some findings:

  • About 97 percent of men and 94 percent of women said they strongly agree or agree that sexual harassment is not tolerated at UW-Green Bay.
  • In addition, about 93 percent of men and 92 percent of women reported in the survey that UW-Green Bay personnel would take their case seriously if they were sexually assaulted.
  • Seven percent of undergraduate females reported experiencing a sexual assault since the beginning of the 2014-2015 academic year. For both rape and sexual battery incidents, more than half of the victims reported that the perpetrator was not affiliated with the school. Most commonly, the perpetrator was someone the victim knew casually, and most incidents of rape and sexual battery took place off campus.
    • Sexual Battery was defined as any unwanted sexual contact without penetration
    • Rape was defined as unwanted sexual contact involving penetration
    • Sexual Assault was defined as a sexual battery and rape during the same incident.
  • Although students are encouraged to report any and all incidents of sexual assault, victims who did not report the incident to school officials most commonly responded that they did not need assistance, did not want any action taken, or did not consider the incident serious enough to report.
  • About 63 percent of men and 53 percent of women said they are aware of, and understand, the school’s procedures for dealing with reported incidents of sexual assault.

According to UW-Green Bay Assistant Dean of Students Mark Olkowski, sexual assault, and where to seek help if an incident was to occur, is a topic that is addressed to UW-Green Bay students early in their college experience.

“Sexual assault is an issue we talk to students about early in their college career,” said Olkowski. “It is part of our first-year student orientation, and we continue with a variety of programs related to the topic throughout the year. By the University talking about the topic, it becomes easier for the students to talk about it and get help if they need it.”

Olkowski said surveys like these demonstrate that the University’s educational efforts are working and provide a chance to educate the campus community about the prevalence of these incidents on campus, as well as the procedures in place to respond to them. For instance, did you know…

  • UW-Green Bay has six specially trained investigators (3 females, 3 males) for instances of sexual harassment and assault. UWGB Public Safety also has trained police officers of both genders available.
  • The UWGB Sexual Assault Response Team meets monthly to review any new reports, confirm follow up and services have been provided to victims, and look for options to prevent similar assaults.
  • UWGB has a multi-disciplinary Title IX team to review and improve our campus efforts to prevent and address gender discrimination in all its forms.
  • The faculty, staff and students who hear cases of sexual misconduct receive annual training about sexual assault related to trauma, substance use, facts vs myths, and how to be supportive of victims.
  • Fight, Flight or Freeze are the three ways the human body responds to stress or trauma. Freeze is a very common response to a sexual assault while it is occurring and immediately after the event. This is also known as tonic immobility.
  • “Tonic immobility” is when a person freezes during a sexual assault.  It is a biological response, and does not mean the person was “giving in” or consenting.
  • UW-Green Bay adopted an Amnesty Policy last year, stating that it will not proceed with criminal actions or seek implementation of certain disciplinary sanctions for violations of the campus alcohol policy for incidents in which victims of sexual violence or bystanders who assist victims of sexual violence request emergency assistance.

What one should know if he or she has been assaulted:

  • Go to a safe place.
  • Call 911 if in physical danger.
  • Preserve evidence.
  • Seek medical care ASAP.

For more information:

For more information regarding the survey or related topics, please contact Mark Olkowski at

Summary by Amy Bauer and Sue Bodilly, Office of Marketing and University Communication and Mark Olkowski, Dean of Students Office. Infographic by Kimberly Vlies, Office of Marketing and University Communication.

Reminder: Dealing with Disruptions

Save the date for the “Dealing with Disruptions” presentation, 1 to 3 p.m. Sept. 28, or 10 a.m. to noon, Oct. 6, in the Christie Theater. Have you ever been seriously concerned for a student, co-worker, friend or family member? Unclear on a course of action? Have you thought of your personal safety and those around you in times of workplace disruption? Recognize when to be concerned, what to do, and who to call for help. Encourage discussion between you and your colleagues to determine a plan of action for personal safety. Registration begins Sept. 6. Questions can be directed to ASPDPC chair Bekky Vrabel, or USPDC chair Teri Ternes, The University Staff Professional Development Committee and the Academic Staff Professional Development Programming Committee are the sponsors. The workshop is presented by UWGB offices of Public Safety, Counseling and Health, and the Dean of Students.

Henniges appointed Interim Dean of Students

Provost Greg Davis announced today that Amy Henniges has been appointed Interim Dean of Students to replace Brenda Amenson-Hill who left recently for another career opportunity. Henniges, has been the UWGB’s Director of Counseling and Health Services since 2009. She will be taking on the new role until a permanent replacement is found for Amenson-Hill. In her new role, she is responsible for leadership in the Student Affairs Division — Residence Life, Student Life, Counseling, Health Services, American Intercultural Center, Judicial Affairs, First-Year Experience, Pride Center, Disability Services, Career Services and advising Student Government. Henniges expresses “special thanks to the Counseling and Health staff and Students Affairs directors and staff who are taking on additional delegated tasks and projects to support my dual interim role.”

Change in leadership of FOCUS Program

Leadership of FOCUS (First Year Opportunities and Connections for UW-Green Bay Students) is transitioning this fall, from the Dean of Students Office to the Office of Student Life. Student Life staff member Grant Winslow is taking over for Erin Van Daalwyk as FOCUS Director. Van Daalwyk remains with the program through Orientation in fall 2016. Winslow will then become the main contact for all FOCUS-related inquiries. Stephanie Kaponya continues on as the direct supervisor to the University Ambassadors.

A message to the campus community from Van Daalwyk:

“Thank you to the hundreds of faculty/staff and thousands of students I have gotten to work with while directing the FOCUS program over the past four years. I have appreciated the opportunity to get to know even more about this great University community that I have been a part of for so many years. I am excited to get back to some of the work I was doing when I started in the Dean of Students Office and know that FOCUS will be in excellent hands with Grant Winslow.” 

Reminder: Farewell to Deans Mattison and Amenson-Hill

A celebration is planned in honor of the departing Deans Brenda Amenson-Hill (Dean of Students) and Sue Mattison (Dean of Professional Studies), from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 6, in the Mary Ann Cofrin Hall Winter Garden. Amenson-Hill is departing after an 18-year career at UW-Green Bay for a role as VP of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Mattison is leaving after five years at UWGB for the Provost position at Drake University. Please join us in celebrating their dedication and commitment to UW-Green Bay.

Farewell to Amenson-Hill planned for Wednesday, May 11

She served nearly two decades at UW-Green Bay, now Dean of Students Brenda Amenson-Hill is headed to Minnesota State University Morehead.  Friends and colleagues are holding an ice cream reception in her honor from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 11 in the University Union outside The Phoenix Bookstore. Please wish her a fond farewell. More on the announcement from Moorhead here.

RSVP for Austism Spectrum speaker

Michael John CarleyNational speaker on Autism spectrum disorders, Michael John Carley will present on campus from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, on the main stage in Theatre Hall. This lecture is free to UWGB employees, students, and the public and is sponsored by Inclusive Excellence, the Dean of Students, Enrollment Services, Residence Life and the Diversity Task Force. To ensure a spot at this popular lecture which is filling quickly, please RSVP.

RSVP Online

More on Carley

John Carley is the founder and first executive director of GRASP, the largest organization comprised of adults on the autism spectrum. He is an author of several books; has appeared in the media widely including the New York Times, Washington Post, The London Times, and HuffPost Live, ABC news, BBC News, and Terry Gross Fresh Air. He is an active consultant for organizations wishing increase their ability to work with employees on the spectrum or who have Asperger’s Syndrome. For more on Carley, visit

UW-Green Bay honors top faculty, staff with 2015 Founders Awards

founders-award-winners-postThe University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has recognized its top faculty and staff members with 2015 Founders Awards for Excellence. The award winners, honored at the annual UW-Green Bay Faculty and Staff Convocation Wednesday morning, Aug. 26, are:

Teaching — Associate Prof. Georjeanna Wilson-Doenges
Scholarship — Prof. Matt Dornbush
Community Outreach — Prof. John Luczaj
Institutional Development — Associate Prof. Denise Bartell
Academic Support — Mike Kline
Classified Staff — Amanda Wildenberg
Collaborative Achievement — The Digital and Public Humanities Project

Posing in the photo, above, standing from left are Wilson-Doenges, Luczaj, Dornbush and Bartell. Seated are Wildenberg and faculty members representing the Digital Humanities Project, Associate Profs. Chuck Rybak and Caroline Boswell. Not pictured: Mike Kline.

The awards were presented before an audience of more than 400 in the Phoenix Room of the University Union. Made possible by private philanthropic support, the awards program has been an annual fixture at UW-Green Bay since 1975. Honorees are selected by a campuswide committee from among nominations submitted by faculty, staff and others.

Wilson-Doenges, the recipient of the Founder’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, is an associate professor of Human Development and a specialist in environmental psychology and best practices in neighborhood planning and urban design. The award citation credited her with effectively connecting with students, regardless of major, in courses both online and in-person, and bringing energy not only to her classroom but to her work with students on internships, independent studies, and honors projects. One nominator said her enthusiasm for her subject has the ability to make even the statistical concept of standard deviation “riveting.” Wilson-Doenges joined the UW-Green Bay faculty in 1995 after earning her Ph.D. from the University of California-Irvine.

Dornbush, recipient of the award for scholarship, was recognized for his work as a professor of biology with the Natural and Applied Sciences academic unit. He has made a priority of involving both graduate and undergraduate students in his research projects where possible, and has been successful in winning outside grants to support that research. His primary interests involve the role of native plant restorations in improving ecosystems, including the potential use of native tallgrass for bio-energy purposes, and the restoration of wild rice, bulrush and wild celery stands in the lower bay. Dornbush joined the UW-Green Bay faculty in 2005 after earning his doctoral degree in ecology at Iowa State University. He recently joined the academic affairs administrative team at UW-Green Bay as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Professional Development and Grants, and Director of Graduate Studies.

The award citation for Geoscience professor Luczaj, a member of the Natural and Applied Sciences faculty, called the Founders Award for Excellence in Community Outreach a perfect fit for a faculty member who is “an asset to UWGB as a researcher, instructor and community ambassador in the field of geology.” An authority on the geology and bedrock of Northeastern Wisconsin and related groundwater issues, Luczaj has provided guidance to technical groups on vital groundwater issues and advised varied stakeholders on aquifer protection strategies. In addition to working with UWGB students, he has connected with the community through geoscience presentations to family and K-12 groups as well as to UWGB Learning in Retirement audiences. He holds a Ph.D. in geology from Johns Hopkins and joined the Green Bay faculty in 2005.

Bartell, honored in the category of Institutional Development, was recognized for her efforts in ensuring the success of new and continuing students and the larger University. Bartell is an associate professor of psychology in the Human Development academic unit. In recent years she has assumed leadership in campuswide efforts to improve student retention and graduation rates, particularly for first-generation students and those who are from under-represented groups or who face special challenges. She is founder and program director for the Phoenix GPS Program, which has identified “high-impact” practices to help students thrive. (The practices include encouraging greater campus involvement, mentoring, effective study skills and active/engaged learning experiences for newcomers.) Bartell joined UW-Green Bay in 2002 after earning her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Texas.

Kline received the Founders Award for Excellence in Academic Support in recognition of his success in fostering, according to the award citation, “a department culture where academic success, not just completion, is an uncompromising priority.” Kline works in Phoenix Athletics administration as assistant AD of Compliance and Student Welfare. A 1988 graduate of UW-Green Bay, he landed the position of Phoenix cross-country coach while still a student-athlete in 1987. In 1999 he accepted additional duties as academics coordinator for all Phoenix teams. In the years since, the program has posted at least 31 consecutive semesters of cumulative GPAs of 3.0 or better, had a series of all-league and even all-America academic honorees, and had individual teams rank among the best in America in terms of academic performance. Nominators described Kline as “dedicated” “tireless” and “passionate” about encouraging academic and career success.

Wildenberg, recipient of the Founder’s Award for University Staff , is a university services associate in the Dean of Students Office. Nominators praised her customer-service orientation, good humor and cool under pressure in interacting with a clientele as varied and diverse as the University itself — students, parents, faculty, staff, senior administrators and others. She takes a lead role in coordinating a major, Universitywide program that serves almost a thousand new students and their families annually. The award citation also mentioned her technological skills, involvement in staff governance and efforts to “make UW-Green Bay a better place to work.” Wildenberg, who earned her bachelor’s at UW-Milwaukee, joined the UW-Green Bay staff in 2008.

The Digital and Public Humanities Project, led by Associate Profs. Chuck Rybak and Caroline Boswell of the Humanistic Studies faculty, earned the Founders Award in the category of Collaborative Achievement. The project, which began with creation of a “digital commons” at UW-Green Bay, relies on modern technology to greatly expand opportunity for sharing the humanities — ancient and modern languages, literature, philosophy, religion, history and the visual and performing arts — rather than distract from, or diminish interest, as some might expect in what is often characterized as an age of shortened attention spans. One nominator wrote of Rybak and Boswell, “by bringing students into this field (they have) opened new doors that will lead not only to new employment opportunities, but new ways to engage in lifelong interdisciplinary learning.” The project is credited with helping students avail themselves of new digital technologies, advance their skill sets and also make the field more accessible to the public at large. Boswell, a historian, joined the UW-Green Bay faculty in 2008 after earning her Ph.D. at Brown University. Rybak, a professor of English and creative writing, is a widely published poet who received his Ph.D. at the University of Cincinnati.