Popular ‘Museum of Natural Inspiration’ moves to Door County Gallery

Due to the popularity of the Lawton Gallery’s first exhibition of the year, “Museum of Natural Inspiration: Artists Explore the Richter Collection,” a selection of the artwork will now be hosted at the Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor from Nov. 5, 2019 to Feb. 29, 2020. An opening reception will be held Tuesday, Nov. 5 from 4 to 7 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public, and it includes refreshments.

The Lawton exhibition was originally organized to raise awareness of the Richter Museum of Natural History, which is located on the first floor of Mary Ann Cofrin Hall.

Poster Artists Explore the Richter Collection
Poster for event

Associate Prof. Daniel Meinhardt (Human Biology and Women’s and Gender Studies), and curator of the Richter Museum, will be giving introductory remarks on the exhibit at 5:45 p.m at the opening reception. In addition, The Open Door Bird Sanctuary will have live raptors from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., with a program at 6 p.m.


Campus mourns loss of lecturer Don Drewiske

Members of the Green Bay Campus learned of the passing of  Associate Lecturer Donald Drewiske, who passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 16, 2019. The lifelong educator taught both biology and math at UW-Green Bay. The De Pere native began his teaching career at Abbott Pennings High School, then working for the Oneida Tribe, and lastly UW-Green Bay, primarily teaching courses in Biology and Math. According to his obituary, “he loved to read, play with his dogs, try new recipes, go running, build furniture, garden, and complete crossword puzzles. He had recently begun to pursue his interest in painting and completed a large collection of
beautiful landscapes. Don enjoyed outdoor activities in every season, and was a great nature lover. He looked forward to family gatherings and was a proud husband and father.”  Read the full obituary. Friends may call from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019 at Ryan Funeral Home, 305 N. Tenth Street, De Pere. A memorial service will be held at 3:30 p.m. with Deacon Mike Vander Bloomen presiding. Memorial donations made in his honor may be sent to Happily Ever After (heanokill.org) or the Human Biology Program Fund, UW-Green Bay Foundation, UW-Green Bay, Cofrin Library Suite 805, 2420 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay, WI 54311-7001.

Concordia’s School of Pharmacy and UW-Green Bay sign 3+4 dual degree agreement

Concordia University announced the signing of a 3+4 Dual Degree agreement with the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. In the agreement, students complete three years of undergraduate coursework at UW-Green Bay and, after admittance into CUW’s School of Pharmacy, use coursework from their first year of Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) studies to apply toward a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology (health science emphasis) from the UW-Green Bay College of Science, Engineering and Technology as they continue to work toward their Doctor of Pharmacy degree at Concordia. See more via Concordia’s School of Pharmacy and UW-GB sign 3+4 dual degree agreement.

Faculty note: Collaboration between faculty (Zhu, Reilly, Olson Hunt, Horvarter) leads to publication

An eight-year span of data collection, two years of data analysis, and hard work over summer 2019 resulted in a collaborative publication by Associate Prof. Janet Reilly (Nursing), Associate Prof. Le Zhu (Human Biology), Associate Prof. Megan Olson Hunt (Mathematics & Statistics), Senior Lecturer Rebecca Hovarter (Nursing) and a retired public health nurse, M. Brigid Flood. “Comparison of Rural Childhood BMI Percentiles: Prevalence and Trends in a Midwest County, 2008–2016” was published by SAGE Publishing and The Journal of School Nursing. The article ABSTRACT: The number of children who are obese and overweight continues as a public health challenge despite decades of research. The purpose of this article is to describe trends in body mass index (BMI) percentile data collected from 11- to 14-year-old school children in 2008–2009 and 2015–2016 in rural Wisconsin. The BMI percentiles from 1,347 students were compared using time, gender, age, and school (public vs. parochial) as predictors. The trend over time indicated a decrease in students of healthy weight and an increase in those overweight or obese. Also noted was a significantly higher proportion of children who were overweight or obese in parochial compared to public schools. Discussed are the observed trends, community-wide initiatives implemented, as well as how schools can employ a more comprehensive approach to childhood obesity that first ensures community readiness and involves school, home, and community.

Makenna Pucker

Manitowoc Campus student Makenna Pucker named ‘Promise Scholar’

Congratulations to Manitowoc Campus student Makenna Pucker ’20, who has been selected as a 2019 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar and will receive a $1,000 scholarship designated for Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society members.

Pucker outlined her future plans in this video. The Rosendale, Wis. native, plans to transfer to UW-Green Bay and is looking into a double major in Human Biology and Environmental Sciences. Eventually she hopes to become a psychiatrist or enter a medical field such as genetic counseling.

Associate Prof. Amy Kabrhel (Chemistry) is the advisor of Phi Theta Kappa on the Manitowoc Campus.

The Leaders of Promise Scholarship, sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, recognizes 200 Phi Theta Kappa members with awards totaling $200,000. Recipients were selected by a panel of independent judges from nearly 900 applicants. Promise Scholars are selected based on outstanding academic achievement and demonstrated leadership potential.

The Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program was launched in 2001 to assist new Phi Theta Kappa members in obtaining an associate degree and encourage participation in Society programs.

Phi Theta Kappa is an honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 11 nations. Learn more at ptk.org.


UW-Green Bay student wins third place at Wisconsin Science and Tech. Symposium

UW-Green Bay undergraduate student Akanksha Gurtu (Human Biology, Philosophy) won third place out of 63 poster entries at the Wisconsin Science and Technology Symposium (WSTS) at UW-Stout, July 22 and 23, 2019. Gurtu works as an undergraduate research student with Assistant Prof. Mandeep Singh Bakshi (NAS). Her work highlighted the applications of functional magnetic nanomaterials in removing bacterial contamination from drinking water.

Samantha Kuba in the medical examiner's lab

A dissection class was the impetus for alumna Samantha Kuba, now a medical examiner

UW-Green Bay Chair of Biology and Human Biology Prof. Dan Meinhardt, writes about a rare opportunity to observe one of his former star students, alumna Samantha Kuba ’13 (Human Biology, Biology) in action, as she continues to develop her UW-Green Bay found-passion in dissection into a career as a medical examiner. His story and insight, follows:

As I get decked out in a disposable apron, surgical mask, and shoe covers, I notice the lack of any noticeable smell. In fact, I sense nothing remarkable in the prep area between a small suite of offices and the morgue. Almost all my experience with human dissection has involved preserved cadavers, which are maintained in a distinct-smelling ethyl alcohol solution (formaldehyde is still used to harden soft tissues in specimens for dissection, but too harmful for long-term preservation). Here I sense nothing but the chilly air-conditioned air and the generic smell of “office.”

The safety equipment I’m being instructed to don would be at home in any light industry setting, like one of the many dairy food facilities back in Green Bay. But as I am led into the morgue, where two recent decedents in body bags lie awaiting their autopsies, all thoughts of food run quickly from my mind.

Medical Examiner Samantha Kuba
Samantha Kuba

I am visiting the Pinal County Medical Examiners Office at the invitation of former student, and 2013 UW-Green Bay graduate, Samantha Kuba. Sam, an Appleton native, says she “fell in love” with dissection while earning degrees in Human Biology and Biology (emphases in Health Science and Animal Biology, respectively) at the Green Bay campus. She describes my Comparative Anatomy class as her first real introduction to dissection, and credits two other UW-Green Bay experiences for getting her hired into her current career.

“I participated in the Germany/Plastinarium trip in 2012, and…the cadaver lab my final semester. Out of 245 applicants for a lab-tech position at the Maricopa County (Arizona) Medical Examiner, Sam says, ‘I was chosen entirely because of what I was able to do at GB.'”

The Maricopa County Medical Examiner serves the Phoenix metro area, the nation’s eleventh largest, so Sam’s training made her witness to everything the field could throw at her. After a little over a year and a half, she left Maricopa for a unique opportunity to set up and lead a new facility at nearby Pinal County.

“I basically got to start up my own morgue. I set all the standard operating procedures, organized the work space how I wanted, and trained all staff. I currently run all morgue related operations.” In addition to all this, Sam is working toward certification by the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators, and training in forensic photography. I know her hard work is recognized when I see the respect afforded Sam by her supervisor, Pathologist Dr. John Hu. “I am the doc’s eyes in the body, and he trusts that I’m going to alert him to any abnormalities,” Sam tells me.

Samantha Kuba
Samantha Kuba

We’ve kept in touch since Sam left the University, so I was aware of all the impressive things she’s been learning and doing, the amazing stories she can tell, but even that didn’t prepare me for what I saw. It’s not for everyone, so I’ll spare the details, but the anatomist in me was floored by both the speed and precision of Sam’s dissection. It came as no surprise when a newly hired tech told me how lucky she was to learn the job from Sam. As I watched the team finish, I also felt lucky to get the chance to see her work, and proud to have played a small part in her training. In a little more than an hour Sam and her trainee had processed two decedents, and my time at the morgue came to an end.

It may seem ironic to some, biology is the study of life after all, but for specimen-based researchers like me it usually involves working with dead organisms. Often, the field of anatomy is viewed as old fashioned, offering nothing new to learn. But even humans, one of the most studied organisms on the planet, continue to offer new insights. And when it comes to understanding the cause of an individual’s mysterious death, or finding those responsible for a murder, careful dissection is one of the only means to an answer.

Samantha Kuba getting her start at the plastinarium
Samantha Kuba getting her start at the plastinarium

Nothing is more rewarding than seeing someone take the training they received at UW-Green Bay and apply it to such important, fulfilling work.

Story and photos submitted by Associate Prof. Dan Meinhardt to the Office of Marketing and University Communication.


Joshua Vollmar

Josh Vollmar recognized as UW-Green Bay’s ‘Most Outstanding Student’

Being good at something is one thing. Being passionate about learning is another. Outstanding Student Award Recipient, Joshua Vollmar, came to appreciate the difference after taking an Introduction to Human Biology class, realizing that learning about health science while sharing compassion through active volunteerism were key to how he wanted to build his future career. That combination of learning and living make Vollmar a most deserving recipient of this year’s Outstanding Student Award.

Joshua Vollmar-1Vollmar was presented with the award by the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Alumni Association at a May 17 student award ceremony on campus and was recognized on Saturday, May 18 at the 99th Commencement Ceremony at the Kress Events Center. The Alumni Association, which has been designating a single Outstanding Student Award Recipient for each graduating class since 1976, recognized Vollmar for his undergraduate success as a student and volunteer service for others and the community. He was nominated and selected from all students eligible to receive diplomas at May commencement.

Vollmar graduates today with a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology with a Health Science emphasis. A native of Suring, Wisconsin, Vollmar first came to the UW-Green Bay campus as a fifth grader on a Phuture Phoenix field trip more than 11 years ago. Today, he crossed the stage as an example of UW-Green Bay’s finest: a graduate with a 3.787 GPA, five semesters earning honors, a student highly engaged on and off campus, a Chancellor’s Medallion recipient and a Phoenix ready for more.

Throughout childhood, money was tight and an education past high school was rarely discussed. “I never thought getting a degree was an option for me, let alone being able to have an extensive resume,” Vollmar wrote in his award application. “Attending UW-Green Bay has changed my life for nothing but the better. I have found passion in pursuing a career in medicine and am hoping to return to the area to continue serving the community.”

As a first-generation college student and Phuture Phoenix, Vollmar received several scholarships upon enrolling at UW-Green Bay. He credits these scholarships as the turning point in his education, when he was able to focus more on his academics than on his financial responsibilities. These awards also granted him the opportunity to experience a human biology travel course to Germany and Poland.

Vollmar also worked throughout college to fund his education, starting as a table assembler for a woodcrafts organization and ending as a Certified Nursing Assistant for Bellin Health.

As a human biology major aiming to make a difference, Vollmar immediately got involved in campus organizations including the Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society, where he assisted in turning the organization from inactive to a bustling chapter with 68 members and 22 graduate members and helped create the Human Biology Professional Development Council. Vollmar is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and has participated in the UW-Green Bay Fall Research Symposium, the Tiny Earth Research Symposium and the Undergraduate Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity (URSCA) Symposium.

Vollmar’s community volunteer record is impressive and includes giving of his time and talent to numerous community and campus events over the last four years. “Every chance I was given to give back to the community through donations or assisting with an event revolved around one driving force, and that is compassion. While there may be times when the world needs more of it, I am grateful to have witnessed the power of compassion and the effect it can leave on a community. I am excited to carry these qualities into my future career.”

2019 Student Nominated Teaching Award winners

The Student Nominated Teacher Award is an effort of the Instructional Development Council and Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning that recognizes excellent teaching from a student perspective. This year, the committee changed the administration of the award to reflect the breadth and diversity of outstanding teaching that is taking place on this campus. The IDC will no longer limit the award to one early career and one experienced teacher. Instead, any instructor who receives three or more nominations demonstrating real impact on the student experience is recognized as a recipient. The IDC’s goal in making this change is to celebrate a larger group of instructors, and endow students with greater agency over the process. The campus community thanks the following 16 instructors for their dedication to teaching and to their students:

Franklin Chen – Natural and Applied Sciences
Heather Clarke – Business Administration
David Coury – Humanities
Jason Cowell – Human Development
Lydia Dildilian – Art and Design
Peter Fields – Humanities (English Composition/Writing Center)
Patrick Forsythe – Natural and Applied Sciences
Kevin Kain – Humanities
Carly Kibbe – Human Biology
Alan Kopischke – Theatre and Dance
Katia Levintova – Democracy & Justice Studies
Rebecca Meacham – Humanities
Uwe Pott – Human Biology
Sarah Schuetze – Humanities
Aaron Weinschenk – Public Environmental Affairs
Georjeanna Wilson-Doenges – Human Development