UW-Green Bay’s Kelly House wins campus research communication prize in WiSys Quick Pitch

Press Release from WiSys, April 14, 202

UW-Green Bay’s Kelly House was recognized for excellence in research communication during the WiSys Quick Pitch on April 7.
The student “pitch” competition inspires UW System students to consider the impact of their research and effectively communicate it to the public via three-minute presentations.

Kelly House
Kelly House

House, a psychology and First Nations studies student, took first place and a $300 prize for the presentation “Origins of Imposter Syndrome in Indigenous Communities.”

“I would like to commend Kelly and the other students for their excellent presentations,” said WiSys President Arjun Sanga. “It is great to see the breadth of research activities at UW-Green Bay as communicated by their impressive students.”

House is now eligible to advance to the virtual WiSys Quick Pitch State Final on May 26 to compete against student researchers from across the UW System.

This year’s campus-level WiSys Quick Pitches are taking place virtually due to continued concerns about the pandemic. The UW-Green Bay competitors presented during the same showcase as students at three other UW System schools—UW-Eau Claire, UW-Parkside, UW-River Falls. Winners were selected from each campus.

For more information about the WiSys Quick Pitch Program or to watch the student presentations, visit wisys.org/quickpitch.

WiSys is a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state.

 

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Craig Sauer

WiSys | Marketing & Communications Associate

608-316-4039

@WiSysCraig

 

‘Beyond the Asterisk: Understanding Native Students in Higher Education’ live discussion, April 22

The next CATL “Tough Talk” will be around the book “Beyond the Asterisk: Understanding Native Students in Higher Education” by editors Heather J. Shotton, Shelly C. Lowe, and Stephanie J. Waterman. This book will help lead discussions about how to better support our First Nations students and support those who are trying to remove the asterisk as a signaling tool for First Nations peoples in research and practice.

Join in  Thursday, Apr. 22 from 1–2 p.m. via Microsoft Teams to discuss some actionable, tangible strategies or steps we can take to affect change at UW–Green Bay. Our discussion will be facilitated by Crystal Lepscier, UW–Green Bay’s First Nations Student Success Coordinator, and Adrienne Thunder and Steven Martin, co-authors of Chapter 2 of the book! Register on CATL’s blog, The Cowbell, for access to the reading materials and meeting link.

SEEING RED: The reality of MMIWG is Tuesday, Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Native American women have a murder rate that is 10 times above the national average. Many of these murders and cases of missing individuals remain unresolved. The reality of the epidemic continues to image First Nations communities and needs to be made visible.

Join a moderated panel on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 5:30 p.m. through TEAMS, to hear various perspectives on the Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls movement to learn the severity of this crisis and how to take action.

Register here or scan the QR code in the graphic.

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.

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.

Scholarship honors UW-Green Bay alumna and former State Representative Sharon Metz

Family and friends of former State Representative and UW-Green Bay alumna Sharon Metz (’84, Communication and the Arts), who passed away on June 19, 2020 have created an endowed scholarship in honor of Metz and her husband, Tom.

The Sharon and Thomas Metz Scholarship will benefit undergraduate students who are majoring in First Nations Studies and demonstrate financial need. It will be renewable for up to two years.

Mitch Metz, son of Sharon and Tom, says this scholarship aims to carry on his parents’ fight for recognition and respect for indigenous people.

“We are happy to work through the university to make sure that Mom and Dad have ‘passed the torch’ and are helping shape a new generation of advocates and leaders on tribal issues,” said Mitch Metz.

During her 12 years of service as a legislator from Green Bay, Sharon Metz was instrumental in passing what became the Wisconsin Indian Education Act in 1979. She also laid important groundwork for passage of Act 31 in 1989 and is one of the overlooked heroes in that effort.

Sharon and Tom founded HONOR—Honor Our Neighbors Origins and Rights—in 1990. Their efforts through HONOR organized nationwide support for Native peoples during the height of the treaty rights controversy in Wisconsin. Sharon and Tom rallied strong non-Indian support to stand with the tribes on many issues, including treaty rights, team mascots, religious freedom, gaming, and the protection of burial and sacred sites. Tom worked to make accurate, authentic books and instructional materials available to teachers, students, and community members when such materials were not easily found.

The University is honored, says Chancellor Michael Alexander, to carry on the Metz legacy through this scholarship, which provides critical encouragement and support for students in the First Nations Studies program.

“UW-Green Bay is proud to support students in our First Nations Studies program,” Alexander said. “It is truly a distinctive and important program, and this scholarship support will be an immense help to students interested in the degree.”

The Sharon and Thomas Metz Scholarship will award its first $1,500 scholarship in spring 2021. The endowed fund means the scholarship will support student in the First Nations program in perpetuity.

The community is invited to honor the Metz’s legacy with gifts to the scholarship fund. Gifts may be made online. Checks may be written to the UW-Green Bay Foundation, and mailed to: UW-Green Bay Foundation, 2420 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay, WI 54311-7001. Write Sharon and Thomas Metz Scholarship in the memo line of the check. Questions may be directed to University Advancement or 920-465-2074.

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Two First Nations students complete summer 2020 GLITC NARCH internships

Kelly House (left) and Jennifer Barnes

Two UW-Green Bay First Nations students have successfully completed GLITC (Great Lakes Intertribal Council, Inc.) NARCH (Native American Research Centers for Health) Summer 2020 research internships. Under the mentorship of First Nations Studies faculty member, Prof. JP Leary (Cherokee/Delaware) and First Nations Student Success Coordinator, Crystal Lepscier (Little Shell/Menominee/Stockbridge-Munsee), students Kelly House (Oneida) and Jennifer Barnes (Menominee) have finished rigorous scholarly research based on UWGB First Nations student populations and how best to serve them.

House has continued her work from Summer 2019 on a documentary that will premiere in November. This documentary addresses First Nations student perspectives on UW-Green Bay. She has worked vigorously to format themes and align her visual presentation with the first hand accounts of the student experience. Barnes has drawn from scholarship on student services for First Nations students and combines her own experience as a transfer student as well as serving as a GPS mentor to focus on best practices to use with First Nations students at UW-Green Bay. She has formulated an ideal orientation model including post-COVID and current situational considerations.

hanging tribal flags in the University Union on Indigenous People's Day 2020

Video: UW-Green Bay celebrates Indigenous People’s Day

UW-Green Bay celebrated Indigenous People’s Day on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, with a student-led program, flag display and video, as well as an installation of a permanent Land Acknowledgement Display in the University Union. Watch the video that celebrates the history of the Tribal Nations in Wisconsin.

Campus mourns passing of alumna and former State Rep. Sharon Metz

Former State Rep. and UW-Green Bay alumna Sharon Metz (’84, Communication and the Arts) passed away over the weekend.  According to faculty member J P Leary, she and her husband Tom have lived allyship to Indigenous peoples. During her 12 years service as a legislator from Green Bay, she was instrumental in passing what became the Wisconsin Indian Education Act in 1979. She also laid important groundwork for passage of Act 31 in 1989 and is one of the overlooked heroes in that effort.

Sharon and Tom founded HONOR—Honor Our Neighbors Origins and Rights—in 1990. Their efforts through HONOR organized nationwide support for Native peoples during the height of the treaty rights controversy in Wisconsin. Their efforts through the HONOR Resource Center helped to make accurate, authentic books and instructional materials available to teachers, students, and community members when such materials were not easily found.

The family will hold a private memorial service. A public visitation will be held at Mueller Funeral Home, 904 E. Main St. Winneconne on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, from 5 to 7 p.m. Due to COVID, face coverings and social distancing will apply.

In lieu of flowers or memorials, the family suggests donations in Sharon’s name to Heifer International. If you wish please submit online condolences to muellerfh.net. Please see the full obituary.

Join the discussion ‘Dehumanization of Indigenous Women’ March 4

First Nations Education and Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA) invites the UW-Green Bay campus community to a free online webinar training event titled, “The Dehumanization of Indigenous Women,” Wednesday, March 4, 2020 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Christie Theater. Through both quantitative and qualitative research methods, Stephanie Cross (Comanche Nation) and Emma Allen (Cherokee Nation) will investigate various ways that Indigenous women experience dehumanization and the mechanisms underlying how they are dehumanized by others. This session will examine the effects of dehumanization on Indigenous women and their experiences both in and outside of the University of Oklahoma.