Reminder: First Global Studies Roundtable Discussion is Friday, Sept. 13

The UW-Green Bay Global Studies program is holding a very important campus discussion about the legacy of Alexander von Humboldt, whose anniversary of his 250th birthday is celebrated by the world in 2019. The first fall 2019 conversation, “Alexander von Humboldt: An Intellectual Giant for All Ages,” will be led by Professors Marcelo Cruz (Global Studies, PEA, Geography) and Cristina Ortiz (Global Studies, Humanities and Spanish). The event is Friday, Sept. 13 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in Phoenix C, University Union, Green Bay Campus. It is free and open to the public.

Come and discover why Alexander von Humboldt is still important and why Green Bay has a street named after him! Following the presentation, the audience will get a chance to ask our experts questions. These discussions allow us, as a campus, to have important and timely conversations about topical events and processes around the world.  

Spread the word. See the event on facebook.

First Global Studies Roundtable Discussion is Friday, Sept. 13

The UW-Green Bay Global Studies program is holding  a very important campus discussion about the legacy of Alexander von Humboldt, whose anniversary of his 250th birthday is celebrated by the world in 2019. The first fall 2019 conversation, “Alexander von Humboldt: An Intellectual Giant for All Ages,” will be led by Professors Marcelo Cruz (Global Studies, PEA, Geography) and Cristina Ortiz (Global Studies, Humanities and Spanish). The event is Friday, Sept. 13 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in Phoenix C, University Union, Green Bay Campus. Free and open to the public.

Come and discover why Alexander von Humboldt is still important and why Green Bay has a street named after him! Following the presentation, the audience will get a chance to ask our experts questions. These discussions allow us, as a campus, to have important and timely conversations about topical events and processes around the world.  

Spread the word. See the event on facebook.

College roommates, world-class problem solvers

top-story-roommatesHalvorsen ’92 acts locally, Bhojwani ’90 works in developing nations.

On a late-summer day, fellow UW-Green Bay graduates and lifelong friends Noel Halvorsen and Haresh Bhojwani agreed to meet on campus.

There was the usual catching up on each other’s families and reminiscing about good times shared as roommates 25 years ago in the old student apartments.

They also talked about their professional careers and challenges. It’s something they do at least a few times a year, using each other as trusted sounding boards. Though Halvorsen and Bhojwani arrived at UW-Green Bay in the late 1980s with vastly different backgrounds, pursued entirely different majors and now often find themselves on different continents, they tend to see things the same way.

“When we met, Haresh had been all over the world, and I had never been anywhere,” recalls Halvorsen, a Sheboygan native who now lives in Green Bay, “but we were almost surprised to find out that we had very similar world views.”

Then and now, they tend to believe that good public policy requires good data, that even relatively small adjustments can bring maximum benefit, and that organized and dedicated people can make change happen.

Halvorsen, a 1992 graduate in Urban and Regional studies, is well-respected locally as longtime executive director of NeighborWorks, a not-for-profit housing and community development agency based in Green Bay. NeighborWorks promotes neighborhood revitalization and home ownership through counseling, education, loan programs and new investment.

Daily, he applies lessons learned at UW-Green Bay and in previous jobs with the city of Green Bay and Brown County. His first five years after graduation he was a planning specialist with the city and then spent three years as land information officer, managing land records and GIS activities, for the county.

Halvorsen says his approach to his work is not all that different from Bhojwani’s, whose involvement in economic development projects takes him from South Asia to Africa to Latin America.

“We learned a lot at UWGB about how to look at the world,” Halvorsen says, mentioning the liberal arts emphasis, the breadth and scope of the problem solving and the ample opportunities for students to lead and create. “Those were the experiences that made a great difference.”

Bhojwani, a ’90 graduate in English, is based in the New York City area as deputy director of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University.

He racks up frequent flyer miles establishing partnerships with governments and international development organizations to help at-risk societies be pre-emptive and proactive. The time to respond to a massive crop failure in Ethiopia, for example, is not afterward when children are starving, but when it’s apparent that crucial early rains aren’t going to materialize. A relatively small financial intervention up front, then, can tide people over and keep a farm family from eating their seed stock or selling their oxen… which would all but guarantee a larger, multi-year failure.

Bhojwani came to Green Bay from prep school in the United Kingdom. After graduation, he taught English in Spain and worked in a peasant cooperative in El Salvador during that nation’s transition from civil war to peace. He came back to earn a law degree at Marquette and create the first legal services for the indigent in Milwaukee, working with long-term immigration detainees and human rights victims. From 1999 to 2005, he worked with indigenous communities, NGOs, the private sector, and government agencies on economic development programs in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Brazil.

Bhojwani naturally points to UW-Green Bay English faculty including Tom Churchill and E. Michael Thron as early influences, and Halvorsen cites Urban and Regional’s Ray Hutchison, Ron Baba and Marcelo Cruz, but they don’t stop there. They mention Orville Clark in philosophy, Martin Greenberg in international relations, geographer Bill Laatsch, linguist Don Larmouth, academic dean George Rupp… and several others.

Professors were academic mentors and also, often, friends.

“Bill Laatsch was such a knowledgeable and talented professor,” Halvorsen recalls. “Then, one of my first weekends on campus, I see him dressed as a giant mouse (for the annual Cheese Classic). Things like that did so much to make you comfortable here.”

Bjohwani remembers open poetry readings and other activities that offered students a chance to test their ideas among not only faculty and staff but also peers. Students learned from one another.

“I think it was a particular advantage at UWGB that not every student was the same age, 18 or 20, straight out of high school,” he says. “There was so many returning adults… people who had worked in a paper mill for 15 years, perhaps raised children, and then gone back to school to look at something different or to pump up their skills. They added so much to the experience.”

The two men learned from each other, of course, and continue to do so as proud alumni a quarter century later.

“It’s amazing how similar the issues are that we face,” Bhojwani says. “I’ll go to Noel for advice and he’ll do the same. Whether it’s in Wisconsin or on the other side of the world, it’s about making the right choices, or sometimes a small investment at just the right time.”

Faculty/Staff Notes: Goff, et al

Victoria Goff, associate professor of Communication and history, was the first speaker in the Brown County Library’s Local History Series on Oct. 1. Her topic, “Voyageur Magazine: 25 Years of History,” highlighted the history of the award-winning Voyageur magazine, which is celebrating its silver anniversary this year. Voyageur is published by UW-Green Bay in conjunction with the Brown County Historical Society. Founded in 1984 by former UW-Green Bay history professor Norbert Gaworek and George Nau Burridge, then president of the historical society, it has also had the help of many members of the campus community, including but not limited to David Voelker, Andrew Kersten, and Jerrold Rodesch (emeritus), history; William Laatch, geography; Jeff Benzow and Toni Damkoehler, graphics; Chris Style, art; Chris Sampson and Scott Hildebrand, university communication; Dean O’Brien, communication processes; Bill Meindl (publisher, UWGB alum; Jennifer Ham, German; Ken Fleurant, French, and many faculty and staff who have since retired. In addition, hundreds of current and former students have played a role in producing the magazine. Goff has been editor for 15 years.

‘Lesson Study’ grants awarded to six faculty teams

Prof. Regan A. R. Gurung, in his role as UW-Green Bay “Lesson Study” coordinator, has announced that six teams have secured Lesson Study Grants for the 2009-2010 academic year. The projects are funded by the UW System’s Office of Professional and Instructional Development (OPID). Full details will be posted later at the Center For Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL) website. In the meantime, here are faculty teams and topics:

• Illustrating core concepts relevant to geoscience, environmental science, and environmental policy and planning. Team members are John Luczaj (NAS, geoscience), Kevin Fermanich (NAS, geoscience), Matt Dornbush (NAS, biology), and Laurel Phoenix (PEA, geography).

• Optimizing the teaching and learning of APA style. Team members are Deirdre Radosevich and Chris Smith (Human Development), Jolanda Sallmann (Social Work), and Brian Sutton (HUS).

• On research design and statistical techniques. Team members are Jennifer Zapf, (Human Development, psychology) and Katia Levintova (Public and Environmental Affairs, political science).

• Fostering interdisciplinary thinking to strengthen workforce readiness. Team members are Doreen Higgins and Gail Trimberger (Social Work) and Susan Gallagher-Lepak (Nursing).

• Teaching about interdisciplinarity: a first-year seminar model. The grant was awarded to the First Year Seminar Committee.

• A lesson study on rational expressions. Team members are Theresa Adsit and James Meyer (both NAS, mathematics).

Lesson Study is a teaching improvement process in which a group of instructors jointly design, teach, observe, analyze, revise and document a single classroom presentation called a “research lesson.” The lesson has clear goals stated in terms of what students should know, what students should be able to do, how students should be affected or changed as a result of the lesson.