UW-Green Bay Professor of Human Biology Brian Merkel talks about why it takes time to develop a vaccine, how health professionals will know it works and if the general public should feel safe taking it once it becomes available. Source: UW-Green Bay professor answers coronavirus vaccine questions – FOX11
Students in Advanced Microbiology class, GRAM stain soil samples on slides and exam soil to distinguish and classify bacterial species. Students and faculty are able to continue their work in the Biology Lab inside the Lab Sciences building on the Green Bay Campus by adhering to all safety and COVID-19 safety protocols. Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.
– Photos by Sue Pischke
Prof. Brian Merkel passed along this advice from alumni trying to get into graduate school. The following was shared by Halee Berens, who is working to become a physicians assistant through Concordia University.
Anything you think UW-Green Bay students should know?
Have confidence in yourself, you’ve come so far, you will make it! A trick to get shadowing hours: If you repeatedly get denied hours through the hospital shadowing service. Ask your grandparents or other relatives if they see a PA and have them ask if they would be willing to allow you to shadow. It worked for me twice! Get involved on campus! Serve in a leadership position of a club or participate in a research study. Volunteer. Make yourself a well rounded applicant. Start accumulating patient care experience hours early. CNA, EMT, ER tech, Lab tech are all popular ways to obtain hours. Healthcare experience is necessary and is very competitive when applying to schools. Scribe hours DO NOT count as patient care experience hours, however many of my classmates were scribes and they are very knowledgeable.
Ever since high school you have been competing to be the best-of-the-best in order to be accepted into the next step of your education. Once you are accepted into a PA program, that fierce competition ends. Grades will no longer define who you are, you just have to pass the exam and the class in order to be successful. Once you graduate from the program and pass the PANCE no one cares about your grades. Your PA class will be like your family. We all help each other out in order to succeed by sharing ideas, making study guides, and answering questions. Being a PA is about being a member of a team, so you all work together to achieve the same goal.
The following electives taken during my time at UW-Green Bay have proven to be beneficial for me in succeeding in my current classes:
Human Anatomy (cadaver) Lab
My #1 piece of advice:
To those of you debating whether to apply to school as a junior or wait until after you graduate: Take the gap year. You never know what opportunities may come to you your senior year. You may take a new class that sparks your interest, participate in research and present at symposiums, become nominated for a university award, or achieve that honor roll status upon graduation that you have worked so hard to obtain. If you wait to apply until after graduation, all of your achievements from senior year will be included and can make you stand out compared to other candidates.
Take your time, obtain experience, make some additional money to pay for school, and relax for awhile, because once you begin the program, it is about 26 months of accelerated nonstop education. The youngest students in my class are 23 and our oldest is 40. There is no set time you need to apply. Do it when you are truly ready.
UW-Green Bay senior Carolyn LaTour (Human Biology) shares her observations as a surgical technician in a local hospital. Concerning for her are PPE and staff shortages, and what increased COVID-19 cases can mean to local healthcare. She also shares her pride in her classmates and Phoenix family members for working to keep COVID-19 infection rates low on the four UW-Green Bay campuses.
My name is Carolyn LaTour. I am a senior at UWGB, and I’ve been working in healthcare for the past nine years as a surgical tech and a surgical first assist. I am majoring in human biology here at UWGB in hopes of becoming a physician assistant in the future.
As a surgical tech we get the operating room ready in the morning and throughout the day for surgeries and as a surgical first assist I assist the surgeons in the operating room as well.
My observations throughout the pandemic, at the hospital specifically, have been that we are low on our PPE and other supplies that are needed in the operating room and throughout the hospital. We’ve been short on staff throughout the pandemic the shortages in PPE and supplies is very stressful. We have to be very mindful of how much PPE we’re using and to preserve it throughout our day and shifts.
As COVID progresses, I do believe that we’re going to have to cancel more of our scheduled cases, unfortunately, due to the increased volume and the limited number of beds that are in the hospitals.
As part of the campus community and being a Phoenix, I’m very proud of the numbers and the low infection rate that we have at UWGB right now on campus. It just shows that we as students are taking this very seriously to ensure that our education in our classes and our in-person labs are still going to be going on.
To my fellow classmates and students, I just keep saying to wear your mask. Keep wearing your mask because you don’t know how it’s going to affect you, your family, your friends or our fellow classmates. We just want to keep everyone safe and to ensure that our education is still going to be present here, that in-person campus lectures are still going to go on.
As students we should feel very responsible as our contribution to the community with keeping the infection rates low. If we’re wearing our masks and keeping social distancing, at least you know you’re doing the part in the community and keeping the hospital infection rates lower.
Brian Merkel is an associate professor in UW-Green Bay’s Human Biology & Biology programs. He joined Rachel Manek on Good Day Wisconsin to discuss why it’s important to educate oneself about the coronavirus and influenza and understand the science behind the viruses.
Caitlyn Hibner knew most of her life that she wanted to become a physical therapist. She has gone through physical therapy herself and came out with a strong desire to help others regain their life. Caitlyn really loves the hands-on labs in the Human Biology Program and how her professors “genuinely want you to succeed and want you to be successful in whatever pathway you’re taking.”
I chose the Human Biology Program here at UW-Green Bay because I’ve known that I wanted to go into physical therapy for pretty much my whole life. Going through the physical therapy process myself really solidified that for me so, I knew that I needed to get there, and the Human Biology Program was the way to go. My favorite lab that I have taken at UW-Green Bay is Exercise Physiology being an athlete myself I kind of am forced to work out a lot and this class was so engaging and we did so many cool experiments with all the incredible equipment that we have here and just to learn how the body responds to all that activity is really incredible. What I personally enjoy most about the Human Biology Program, is the professors. They don’t make you just feel like another face in their class. They genuinely want you to succeed and want you to be successful in whatever pathway you’re taking. They help you learn hard content without even really feeling like you’re learning because they make it so fun and so engaging. And I think the biggest thing that they do for you, is they give you opportunities outside of the classroom. They want you to join in on their research and they will go above and beyond to make sure that you get whatever you need whether that’s in their class or not.
A career in physical therapy has always been my dream. I really just want to help people. And since being here, I feel prepared and I feel ready and I know that I’m going to be successful at the next level because of the classes and the experience that I’ve gotten here. The Human Biology Program here at UW-Green Bay is an incredible program for anyone looking to go into the healthcare field, physical therapy, dietetics, future medicine.
So, don’t worry, come to campus and when it’s all said and done, you’re going to miss it and you’re going to want to come back.”
— Video by Sue Pischke, Office of Marketing and Communication
STEAM Engine XII is a free event at the Neville Public Museum, downtown Green Bay on Wednesday, Sept. 9 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. There are only 65 spots available due to social distancing, so please register! It will also be broadcast LIVE on Facebook if you can’t make it. Jay Shefchic will be talking about renewable gas, Georgette Heyrman is going to talk about CRISPR, and UW-Green Bay’s Assistant Prof. Douglas Brusich (Human Biology) will talk about giving concussions to flies to inform research on traumatic brain injuries. Link to FB event.
A number of organized sports and exercise programs with trained leaders were canceled because of COVID-19, so people of all ages are creating their own regimens. Add to the mix hot and dry weather, and you have a recipe for injury. Kevin Miller (Human Biology), an Athletic Training Program faculty member in the School of Rehabilitation and Medical Sciences, is well informed on heat-related sports injuries. Some recommendations from Miller include consulting a healthcare professional, setting goals, and staying positive during this time. Source: The Morning Sun
The Niagara Women’s Civic Club awarded $500 scholarships to two senior girls and one adult woman returning to school. Elsa Champeau, daughter of Joe and Shanna Champeau, will study Human Biology at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, then attend graduate school for occupational therapy. Anne Nanninga, daughter of Robert and Janet Nanninga, will study Business Administration at UW-Green Bay.
Spring 2020 graduate Elena Garcia (Human Biology, Nutrition Science emphasis) was named this year’s Outstanding Dietetics Student in an accredited undergraduate program by the Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The award recognizes an emerging student leader for their achievements as a nutrition and dietetics student. Garcia will begin a dietetic internship this fall at UW-Green Bay with the goal of becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. This is the sixth time in eight years that a UW-Green Bay nutrition student has been selected for this state-wide award.