Katherine Bruni

Fulbright honor takes UW-Green Bay graduate from Wisconsin to the Netherlands

Katherine Bruni has always wanted to make a positive impact on the world. She is well on her way.

While UW-Green Bay was her first stop from her hometown of Baraboo, Wis., the world awaits this passionate Phoenix whose next destination is the Netherlands to study public policy and human development with a focus on risk and vulnerability studies. Bruni will be earning a master’s degree at Maastricht University’s Public Policy and Human Development program—a dual-degree program with the United Nations University—made possible through a prestigious and competitive Fulbright grant.

Specifically, Bruni will be focusing on man-made and naturally occurring risks and disasters and looking at how we can predict, manage, and mitigate their impacts through policy.

Katherine Bruni
Katherine Bruni

“Essentially, I am studying how to help countries become even more resilient and adaptable by increasing the efficiency, equity, and effectiveness of their responses to crises while also managing the adverse socio-economic impacts these disasters can have.”

Associate Prof. Elizabeth Wheat, who has been working with Bruni since her first-year seminar on focusing on environmental justice, describes Bruni as “a truly extraordinary student who has overcome tremendous personal challenges in her life and worked incredibly hard as a Phoenix.”

Bruni says she “squeezed every bit of knowledge and opportunity” that she could during her time at the University.

While she started as an intended education major, that first-year seminar with Prof. Wheat provided a new interest — environmental justice. “The course and the topics covered in it really just lit a fire in me that has continued to grow ever since.”

She quickly switched majors to Environmental Policy and Planning and added Public Administration to her academic profile. But it was a term paper written for Natural Resource Law with Prof. Wheat that provided the confidence to excel in this academic area.

“I wrote my term paper on the natural resource management of Biscayne National Park which is a marine park off the coast of Florida. When I got the paper back at the end of the semester, there was a note from my professor saying that she really enjoyed the paper and she thought that I should submit it to the Midwest Political Science Association’s annual conference and she said she would provide the help to do so. It turned out to be one of the largest political science conferences in the United States.”

While her paper was accepted, it also developed into a comparative policy analysis where she analyzed natural resource management strategies utilized in Biscayne National Park as well as the Galápagos Marine Reserve; a concept that developed through a study abroad trip to Ecuador with Prof. Marcelo Cruz.

Among her long list of accomplishments, a policy analysis for a course with Prof. Helpap on clean water access in Kewaunee County, eventually led to her being invited to speak on the floor of the Wisconsin State Assembly. In her “spare time” she ran the Public and Environmental Affairs Council, served on the University’s sustainability committee, was a Resident Assistant for a year, and served as an economic teaching assistant.

The Fulbright grant, she says, is validating. “Being a Fulbright grant recipient is affirmative reinforcement that I am on the right path and can make a positive impact on this world. It is validating. Particularly because with the competitiveness of the graduate school I applied to as well as the grant itself, having passed all of those checkpoints reenforces the idea that I do have what it takes, and these institutions see that in me. Even if I have not realized my full potential yet—they are willing to help me along in that process.

“This grant allows me to pursue my passions without the restrictions and financial burdens that normally accompany a graduate degree program. Also, by not having to work for a living outside of attending graduate school full-time, I will have the opportunity to pursue internships that will enhance my education in the field, as well as volunteer opportunities where I can engage with the community outside of academia.”

“My experience at UWGB provided not only the competence to pursue a graduate degree but the confidence as well—and that is the key piece of the puzzle. I am extremely grateful for my time at UWGB because of the relationships I formed with professors, administration, and fellow students because that is what really pushed me to be able to apply to graduate school in another country as well as apply for a Fulbright grant.”

–###–

Faculty note: Prof. Sarah Meredith Livingston placed on Fulbright Specialist Roster

Prof. Sarah Meredith Livingston has been recommended by the Peer Review Panel for placement on the Fulbright Specialist Roster for a tenure of three years, from Friday, Oct. 12, 2018 to Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. As a candidate on the Fulbright Specialist Roster, Prof. Meredith Livingston is eligible to be matched with projects designed by host institutions in over 150 countries globally.

Photos, video, article: Visit by Chilean sustainability delegation

UW-Green Bay’s partnership with Chile’s Universidad del Desarrollo took another step forward earlier this spring with a visit to Green Bay by about 15 Chilean master’s degree students and faculty in sustainability management and industrial engineering. Hosted by Prof. John Katers of Natural and Applied Sciences, the delegation attended the Heating the Midwest conference and toured green companies including FEECO, ENCAP, the Green Bay municipal wastewater plant, and others. Their Chile-to-Wisconsin trip followed a 2013 visit to Santiago by a UW-Green Bay delegation led by Katers, who earned a Fulbright Specialist position for the purpose of pursuing an ongoing partnership on topics of sustainability, pollution control and waste management. Sorry we didn’t post all this earlier, but we have more including a link to the Chilean students’ short video recap of the trip, photos, and a Santiago newspaper article.

Music’s Meredith Livingston receives Fulbright grant to teach, perform in Brazil

UW-Green Bay Music Prof. Sarah Meredith Livingston will head back to Brazil later this month (and again next year) after receiving a Fulbright Specialist grant in U.S. Studies (General) at the University of Sao Paulo-Ribeirao Preto, Brazil. The grant is an extension of a previous award Meredith Livingston earned in 2011 and that brought her to teach and perform in Brazil in both 2011 and 2012. The current grant includes two invitations, one for this year (May 21-June 4) and another for next May. During this year’s trip, Meredith Livingston will present a full recital and teach American repertoire and diction for singers. She also will work with community choruses in the area, and is hoping to lay the groundwork for future faculty visits and collaborations. Our news release has full details.