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.

Faculty note: Prof. Bakshi publication

UW-Green Bay Assistant Prof. Mandeep Singh Bakshi  (Chemistry, NAS) published the research work of Indo-US post-doctoral fellow Meenakshi in the high impact “Journal of Materials Chemistry C” of Royal Society of Chemistry, UK. This work highlights an efficient way of removing toxic metal particulates from fresh water by using magnetic nanomaterials.


Three UW-Green Bay faculty bestowed named professorships

Green Bay, Wis. — Three members of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay faculty were bestowed named professorships today (August 21, 2019) at the University’s 2019 Fall Faculty and Staff Convocation. Named professorships are created through private gifts that support the study and research of a faculty member who has an outstanding record of scholarly accomplishment. The annual stipend associated with these professorships is for five years, but the recipient retains the title for life. Stipends are typically applied to research expenses or special projects benefiting students or service to the community.

Luis Fernandez
Luis Fernandez

Announced earlier this summer, new faculty member, Assistant Prof. Luis Fernandez, will receive the inaugural Robert and Joanne Bauer Endowed Professorship in Strings. While Fernandez has performed with symphonies from Venezuela to the Fox Valley, teaching remains at the heart of his mission as a musician, having earned a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Miami.

“I will be teaching individual applied strings (violin and viola), string techniques for Music Education majors, directing the string orchestra and supervising student teachers.”

Fernandez is known for his work outside the college campus environment, often leading youth, who otherwise wouldn’t have an opportunity, to a love for music. His passion for teaching springs from his childhood in Caracas, Venezuela, where he began violin studies through the El Sistema, a free music-education program for youth from impoverished backgrounds.

“The program’s mission was not just to create professional musicians,” Fernandez recalls, “but also to help children and young people reach their full potential- learning values and skills through music, that in turn improve their growth and life.”

As for an encore, his performing talents will take center stage as Director of Orchestras and principal violin with the recently established Weidner Philharmonic Orchestra. Fernandez concurs that the prospect for artists and audiences looks bright.

“I’m relatively new to the region and I’ve been very impressed by the high level of enthusiasm and support for the arts. I think in this kind of environment, it’s possible to build a thriving and successful program.”

The Bauer Endowed Professorship is made possible by a million-dollar gift announced in January 2019, from UW-Green Bay’s founding Band Director Robert J. Bauer and his wife Joanne, a UW-Green Bay alumna.

Pao Lor
Pao Lor

Professor Pao Lor has been named to the Patricia Wood Baer Professorship in Education.
Patricia and Frederick Baer established the Patricia Wood Baer Professorship in Education in 2005. Patricia, daughter of L.G. Wood, founder of Paper Converting Machine Corporation of Green Bay, and her husband Fred, were presented the UW-Green Bay Chancellor’s Award in 1991.

The award recognizes and supports a tenured faculty member who demonstrates a productive commitment to scholarship and/or outreach and whose work exemplifies the spirit and mission of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. The Patricia Wood Baer Professorship is specified to faculty who work directly with K-12 schools, K-12 teachers, or UW-Green Bay students who later enter the teaching professor. Eligibility is not restricted to faculty in the professional program of Education.

As one of the few Hmong scholars in the world, Lor’s research and scholarly activities inform and advance the ever-changing dynamics of school culture, diversity, achievement gap, culturally responsive teachings, school curriculum and globalization. He is extensively published and his work has advanced new knowledge to the Hmong American diaspora. His expertise is often sought-after on challenges involving Hmong American communities.

He describes his teaching philosophy as an enriching, transformative process. “I have gone from face-to-face and direct-instruction to hybrid, online, independent studies, project-based learning, personalized-learning, self-discovery learning, mentoring graduate students outside of the institution, studying abroad, among other learning formats. I encourage a person to learn, discover, understand, or solve problems on his or her own, as by experimenting, evaluating possible answers or solutions, or by trial and error, stimulating interest as a means of furthering investigation.”

Lor’s teaching philosophy is rooted in two deeply-held beliefs:

  1. As engaged learners, we must take responsibility for our independent and cooperative learning.
  2. As professionals and future educators in teaching and learning organizations, we must learn to reflect critically upon our own strengths and limitations.
Michael Draney
Michael Draney

Prof. Michael Draney has been named the Barbara Hauxhurst Cofrin Professorship of Natural Sciences, established in 1985 by Dr. David and Mary Ann Cofrin of Gainesville, Florida, in memory of David’s sister-in-law. Barbara Hauxhurst Cofrin was a devoted mother of six, an active participant in her community and an accomplished sportswoman. Her service included the local school board and PEO sisterhood.

The award recognizes and gives support for a full professor who has demonstrated a productive commitment to scholarship and/or outreach and whose work exemplifies the spirit and mission of UW-Green Bay. The Cofrin Professorship is specified for a professor in the natural sciences.

Draney’s research interests center on a diverse but often misunderstood group, spiders. He is interested in the ecology and distribution of the thousands of species that live in North and Central America, and often collaborates with ecologists by identifying spider species that they are studying. His students often study communities of spider species in order to learn how natural or human-caused changes effect the ecosystem, because spiders are highly mobile and reproduce quickly, so the spider communities respond to environmental changes quickly. Draney is also interested in discovering and describing new spider diversity both here and in poorly-studied tropical ecosystems, and has described over two dozen new species of spiders.

He is an expert on one family of spiders, the sheet-web spiders, which is the second largest family of spiders worldwide, and the most diverse group of spiders in Wisconsin. He also identifies insects and spiders free for the public, does entomological consultation for local and statewide media, and does entomological outreach presentations for both adults and children.

About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs to nearly 8,000 students with campus locations in Green Bay, Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan. Established in 1965 on the border of Green Bay, the University and its campuses are centers of cultural enrichment, innovation and learning. The Green Bay campus is home to one of the Midwest’s most prolific performing arts centers, a nationally recognized 4,000-seat student recreation center, an award-winning nine-hole golf course and a five-mile recreational trail and arboretum, which is free and open to the public. This four-campus University transforms lives and communities through student-focused teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities, powerful connections and a problem-solving approach to education. UW-Green Bay’s main campus is centrally located, close to both the Door County resort area and the dynamic economies of Northeast Wisconsin, the Fox Valley region and the I-43 corridor. UW-Green Bay offers in-demand programs in science, engineering and technology; business; health, education and social welfare; and arts, humanities and social sciences. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.

Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.

Convocation Named Professorships

Photos by Dan Moore, Office of Marketing and University Communication



Faculty note: Prof. Draney publication

UW-Green Bay Prof. Michael Draney (NAS) has published “A Revision of the spider genus Epiceraticelus (Araneae: Linyphiidae) with a description of a new species” in the journal Zootaxa, with three coauthors from the University of Indianapolis and the US Forest Service Southern Research Station (Athens, GA). They described a new species first discovered by Draney, and named it Epiceraticelus mandyae after their late friend and colleague Mandy Howe.

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.

Green Bay Partners With NASA To Monitor Blue-Green Algae | Wisconsin Public Radio

Green Bay is now one of three freshwater locations where NASA is monitoring blooms of blue-green algae. WPR talks with a local researcher — Prof Kevin Fermanich ·(NAS) about how the program will work and the types of water pollution the area is dealing with.

via Green Bay Partners With NASA To Monitor Blue-Green Algae | Wisconsin Public Radio.

Become a Scientist for a Day – Door County Pulse

Conservation organizations invite the public to participate in a day of scientific discovery and research at the BioBlitz event June 21 at the Three Springs Nature Preserve. Join the staff, scientists and volunteers of the Door County Land Trust, UW-Green Bay Cofrin Center for Biodiversity, Friends of Toft Point, The Ridges Sanctuary and Milwaukee’s Urban Ecology Center in discovering and collecting species to document the health of our land. Community members are invited to become scientists for a day free of charge. Details and registration are available at doorcountylandtrust.org/BioBlitz.

Door County conservation partners are working together to study the Door Peninsula coastal wetlands. Community participants will assist researchers using mammal traps, cameras, bird-mist nets, acoustic bat detectors, snake boards, insect sweep nets and aquatic sampling nets to discover and document species. Results of the BioBlitz measure the health of the Door Peninsula’s coastal wetlands’ ecology and provide data on populations of particular species.

via Become a Scientist for a Day – Door County Pulse.

Prof. Fermanich educates at NEW Water and NASA announcement

UW-Green Bay Professor Kevin Fermanich talks water quality at announcement

On May 30, 2019, NEW Water announced a partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to further the scientific knowledge of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae. As part of their announcement, UW-Green Bay Prof. Kevin Fermanich (NAS) helped educate area leaders on water issues impacting Northeast Wisconsin.

In the photo, left to right: Prof. Kevin Fermanich, UW-Green Bay; Sarah Bartlett, Water Resources Specialist, NEW Water; Nancy Quirk, General Manager, Green Bay Water Utility; Tom Sigmund, Executive Director, NEW Water; Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich. Photo provided by the City of Green Bay.

“What happens on the land directly impacts water quality,” said Fermanich. “Our work in the watershed actively addresses the runoff issues that lead to water problems in the Bay. Through strategic partnerships, we will be able to achieve healthier waters for the community to enjoy.”

NEW Water was selected to partner with NASA due to its well-established Aquatic Monitoring Program, which has monitored area waters since 1986. NASA’s AERONET-OC instrument referred to as the SeaPRISM is mounted at one of NEW Water’s monitoring stations. To “ground truth” the water color measured by NASA satellites, data is collected at the surface of a body of water.

Learn more: www.newwater.us/seaprism. Photos below provided by NEW Water.

NEW Water Bay Guardian Workboat[1]
NEW Water Bay Guardian
Water testing, NEW Water