2020 UW-Green Bay Alumni Awards Collage

UW-Green Bay to recognize outstanding young and distinguished alumni at 2020 Alumni Awards Dinner, Feb. 28

LaForce President and CEO Brian Mannering will receive an Honorary Alumni Award

Green Bay, Wis.—The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will recognize a number of outstanding alumni and one honorary alumnus at the 2020 Alumni Awards Dinner, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 in the Phoenix Rooms on the Green Bay Campus at 5 p.m. The event is open to the public. The cost is $50 per person. For more information, contact the UW-Green Bay Alumni Office at 920-465-2074 or alumni@uwgb.edu.

Receiving this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award are Neil Diboll ’78, Todd Jadin ’84, Paul Northway ’90 and Lisa Merkel ’00 and ’10. Diana Delbecchi ’10 and Amanda Reitz ’08 will be honored with the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award and Brian Mannering, CEO and president of LaForce, will be designated as an Honorary Alumnus.

The Alumni Awards highlight UW-Green Bay graduates and other individuals who have made special contributions to UW-Green Bay, their communities and professions. Awardees go through a nomination and selection process by committee consisting of internal staff and past Alumni Award recipients. About the awardees:

Neil Diboll
Neil Diboll

Neil Diboll ’78 (Environmental Sciences) is currently a prairie ecologist at the Prairie Nursery in Westfield, Wis. He attended the University of Michigan Biological Station in Pellston, MI (Boot Camp for Biologists) during the summer of 1977. He has since worked for the U.S. Park Service in Virginia, the U.S. Forest Service in Colorado and the University of Wisconsin. In 1982, Diboll began his involvement with Prairie Nursery, producing native plants and seeds and designing native landscapes. He has since devoted his efforts to championing the use of prairie plants, as well as native trees, shrubs and wetland plants, in contemporary American landscapes. In addition to helping popularize the use of native plants long before they were “cool,” Diboll developed the first scientific methodology for designing prairie seed mixes. Diboll’s work includes designs for residential, commercial and public spaces throughout the Midwest and Northeast United States. The essence of Diboll’s philosophy is that we, as stewards of the planet, must work to preserve and increase the diversity of native plants and animals with which we share our world. The protection of our natural heritage and our soil and water resources is essential to maintaining a high quality of life for today and for the children of future generations to come.

Todd Jadin
Todd Jadin

Todd Jadin ’84 (Business Administration) is vice president of Associate Relations and Talent Management for Schneider, a premier provider of transportation, intermodal and logistics services. In this position, Jadin is responsible for delivering an exceptional associate experience on behalf of the company. He is accountable for corporate recruiting, learning and development, change management, associate relations, employment law compliance and the human capital processes—which includes performance appraisals, succession planning and overall talent management. He began his professional career with Schneider in Feb. 1985 as an extended coverage manager. Since then, he has held leadership positions in nearly every operating unit of the business. Previous roles during his 35-year tenure have included director of Network Planning, general manager of Integrated Delivery Fleet Services, senior vice president of Dedicated Services, senior vice president of Operations, vice president of Alliance Capacity and vice president of Schneider’s Mexico division. As an industry expert, he has represented Schneider on the Council of Logistics Management, the North American Transportation Alliance, the American Trucking Associations Intermodal Council and the BNSF Customer Advisory Board. He has also been recognized as a “Logistics Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine. Most recently, he was awarded the inaugural Don Schneider Presidential Award by Schneider in Feb. 2019. Jadin served or continues to serve his community in his role on the Board of Directors for the YMCA of Green Bay, the UW-Green Bay Founders Association and the UW-Green Bay Alumni Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Schneider Foundation core team. In addition, Jadin has been actively involved in youth basketball in the Green Bay area. He serves as president of the Green Bay Area Girls Basketball Association, he coached numerous boys and girls Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball teams and he was a member of the boys’ varsity staff at Notre Dame Academy High School. He has been married to his wife, Sara, for 30 years, and together they have four children: Hanna, Kate, Dante and Tessa.

Paul Northway ’90 (Business Administration, Political Science) joined American National Bank in 2013 as part of a succession plan for key executives who were retiring. In his current role as CEO, Northway is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the local business bank, as well as being the caretaker of the company’s culture. Northway is also a member of the bank’s Board of Directors. With nearly 30 years of experience in the financial industry, Northway is very adept at developing mutually beneficial relationships throughout the community. Prior to joining American National Bank, Northway had leadership roles at Baylake Bank (regional

Paul Northway
Paul Northway

president) and Associated Bank (Commercial Banking Team leader). Northway is a lifelong resident of Northeast Wisconsin, having grown up in De Pere. He obtained an MBA at UW-Oshkosh and completed the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin. Passionate about his alma mater, Northway and his wife, Kristin, have established a scholarship at UW-Green Bay for business students. He serves as a member of the Chancellor’s Council of Trustees. A season ticket holder for men’s basketball and a supporter of the Phoenix Fund, you will find him cheering on the Phoenix from his seats behind the bench. Additionally, Northway regularly speaks to classes on campus about the topic of selling and sales management. In 2012, he was recognized by the Cofrin School of Business as an honorary inductee into Sigma Beta Delta. Other community involvement includes service on the board of directors and executive committee of both, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fox Valley and Curative Connections. Northway served as the chair of Curative’s Rising Tide Capital Campaign in 2018. His contributions in the community have been recognized by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Wisconsin (Marie Krohn Award) and Neighborworks Green Bay (Community Builder Award). Northway and his wife have two children, Andrew, a current UW-Green Bay student, and Aaron.

Lisa Merkel
Lisa Merkel

Lisa Merkel ’00 and ’10 (Bachelor of Science in Biology and Master of Science in Applied Leadership for Teaching and Learning) A passionate teacher, Merkel has been an educator at Green Bay West High School since 2001, where she currently teaches Physical Science and Chemistry classes. The effects of poverty on learning was the focus of her research as a graduate student at UW-Green Bay. For nearly a decade, Merkel developed and taught two graduate classes related to the education of impoverished children to area educators and administrators through the UW-Green Bay Outreach Program (now Continuing Education and Community Engagement). She contributes her expertise on the effects of poverty on learning in a variety of programs including the Green Bay West Building Leadership Team, AVID, S3 teaching teams, Student Council and the Medical College of Wisconsin Equity Team. In 2014, won an equity award from the Green Bay Education Association for her dedication and commitment to uniting cultures through education. In 2016, Merkel was awarded the Herb Kohl Foundation Fellowship Award for teaching excellence and innovation in the State of Wisconsin. In 2018, she received a Serious About STEM (SAS) grant for $100,000 from the Medical College of Wisconsin to implement the program she developed to increase positive outcomes for first-generation female students interested in STEM fields. Lisa and her husband, UW-Green Bay Professor Brian Merkel, love spending time with their three beautiful children and Jade, an unapologetically spoiled Weimaraner and true baby of the family.

Diana Delbecchi 10 (Psychology and Human Development) is a passionate social justice advocate with a key interest in refugee rights and issues around educational equity. After graduating from UW-Green Bay in 2010, she served as the University’s Student Employment and Scholarships coordinator for almost five years. Leaving to pursue her own dreams of a higher education, she moved to Ireland and received a Master’s Degree in Gender, Globalisation and Rights. Since graduating in 2016, she has spent time working abroad in a refugee camp providing educational programming for out-of-school refugee youth, where she conducted a research project that led to the design and implementation of the first youth education program in a refugee camp of 700 residents. Delbecchi also helped found a local group for resettled refugee youth in Green Bay called the United ReSisters. This group helps make the dreams of college education accessible, affordable and achievable for these young women. The group recently published a book on their experiences titled “The First Winter.” Delbecchi also served as the assistant director for a freshmen travel program at St. Norbert College and is currently the Green Bay Area Public School’s first-ever Community Schools Resource coordinator. Delbecchi was a contributing author for the scholarly publication, “Journey to Refuge: Understanding the Refugee, Exploring Trauma, and Best Practices for Newcomers and Schools.”

Amanda Reitz ’08 (Elementary Education) is the founder of Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary (HEA). She was born, raised, educated and now lives in Green Bay. Reitz’s passion is simple; she loves creating positive change for pets and people across the nation. She founded HEA at just 21-years old. This dream wasn’t supported by everyone. Her father’s words were, “forget about it…it’s never going to happen.” Ironically, he has been extensively involved every step of the way. Today, both of her parents and her brother have made HEA’s

Amanda Rietz
Amanda Rietz

mission their life’s work. Reitz founded HEA when many communities were killing more than 50% of the dogs and cats that entered their animal shelters. Since 2006, HEA has successfully paired more than 4,000 companion animals with loving families. While proud of the impact, Reitz is far from satisfied. There are still hundreds of thousands of animals dying in shelters every year. She wants to see a world where the life of every companion animal matters. Reitz has been recognized by UW-Green Bay’s Inside Magazine as a Service-Minded Alumni, the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce (1 of 20 People You Should Know), and by You Magazine (1 of 20 Women to Know). She’s also a graduate of Leadership Green Bay’s class of 2012. Grateful for her faith, her family and her community, Reitz finds the greatest joy in being able to engage her heart in the service of others—both people and pets.

Brian Mannering will receive the Honorary Alumni Award. Mannering is committed and passionate about the Green Bay community and the important role that UW-Green Bay plays in the continued growth and prosperity of Northeast Wisconsin. Although not an alumnus, the president and CEO of LaForce Inc., has demonstrated incredible support for UW-Green Bay. He is a member of the Phoenix men’s basketball golf

Brian Mannering
Brian Mannering

committee, is an avid fan, and spreads this excitement throughout the company he leads. Mannering and LaForce continue to support various initiatives throughout campus including a recent gift to the Phoenix Innovation Park and the development of the University’s new Mechanical Engineering Program. LaForce Inc., headquartered in Green Bay, Wis. with additional offices across the United States, is a leader in providing door opening solutions for life safety and building security. Mannering has a proven executive management track record with more than 30 years of experience driving sales and growth for LaForce. He began his career in shipping & receiving and has held numerous positions in the company, including vice president of sales and vice president. In 2007, he was named president of the growing company, and in 2016 he acquired the title of CEO. Mannering models efforts of community engagement and encourages LaForce employees to do the same through corporate donations and employee activities. A native of Green Bay, Mannering believes the development of a community has a strong impact on the success of a company. Mannering is a member of the Chancellor’s Council of Trustees and is an active supporter of the NEW Community Shelter. He previously served as a board member for the Green Bay Boys & Girls Club. Brian and his wife Amy have been married for 33 years and have three children: Austin, Alyssa (a UW-Green Bay graduate) and Brock.

–02-20

UW-Green Bay faculty to speak at Door County Talks

UW-Green Bay faculty are scheduled to give presentations at the 2020 Door County Talks winter series. Presenters include Associate Prof. Alise Coen (Political Science), Associate Prof. of History and Director of Student Success Vince Lowery, Associate Prof. Kimberley Reilly (Democracy and Justice Studies) and Assistant Prof. Nolan Bennett (Political Science). Below is a description of the presentations.

Immigration Politics: Between Rights and Restrictions with Associate Prof. Alise Coen (Saturday, Jan, 18, 2020 at 10 a.m.)

Debates over U.S. immigration policy have been shaped by a complex history characterized by tensions between migration restrictions and migrant rights. To understand ongoing policy shifts regarding immigration and asylum, it is important to engage with the evolution of both nativism and human rights advocacy. International law and evolving court interpretations have also played a crucial role in immigration politics, exemplified by recent discussions about the Flores Settlement Agreement and zero tolerance policies designed to deter undocumented migrants and asylum-seekers. Coen’s presentation aims to weave together these diverse and sometimes paradoxical historical forces to help shed light on current political realities.

How Many Reconstructions Does It Take to Be Free? A Meditation on the Long Civil Rights Movement with Associate Prof. and UWGB Director of Student Success Vince Lowery (Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020 at 10 a.m.)

With the abolition of slavery, the United States entered the period of Reconstruction, which historian Eric Foner calls “the unfinished revolution.” The meaning of freedom for African-Americans, and in fact all Americans, remained in question. That “revolution” began again in the mid-twentieth century with the civil rights movement, which some historians refer to as the “Second Reconstruction.” Now fifty years removed from that event, in light of the persistence of Jim Crow-style policies and practices, many are calling for a “Third Reconstruction.” In his talk, Lowery will trace the threads connecting these three eras, exploring moments of progress and regression and the road left to travel.

Woman Suffrage 100 Years Later: Assessing Its Triumphs and Limits with Associate Prof. Kimberley Reilly (Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020 at 10 a.m.)

How did the women’s rights movement win passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, and what lesson can we learn from that victory? One hundred years after women won the constitutional right to vote, we will examine the history of the suffrage movement alongside battles that were left unfinished. We will also consider how the legacy of the suffrage movement influences the fight for gender equality today.

The Radical Vision of the American Abolitionists with Assistant Prof. Nolan Bennett (Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 at 10 a.m.)

Speaking at a Fourth of July celebration in 1860, the formerly enslaved Frederick Douglass famously asked his audience: “Why am I called upon to speak here today? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence?” With this fierce denunciation of American hypocrisy—that the country would celebrate liberty and equality while so many remained enslaved in the South—Douglass offered a radical vision of American history and democracy. In this talk, we will look at how those opposed to slavery (like Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, David Walker and Abraham Lincoln) offered a new, expansive reading of American ideals as they challenged the “peculiar institution.” We will consider how they looked back to the founding era and its documents and forward to a new dawn of justice. In light of that progressive outlook, we wi;; also discuss the lasting legacy of the abolitionists and how slavery continues to influence American politics and ideas.

No RSVP is required for the Door County Talks series. Freewill donations will be encouraged at the door. Coffee and bakery from Kick Ash Coffee will be available for purchase for DC Talks and Coffeehouses.

Prof. Weinschenk’s Political Science Research Lab completes journal article

During the Fall 2019 semester, Associate Professor Aaron Weinschenk (Political Science) offered—for the first time ever at UW-Green Bay—a research lab in political science. (This year, there were 14 undergraduate students enrolled in the lab). The goal of the lab was to have students experience the research process from start to finish and help them develop and practice research skills, which Weinschenk says are increasingly important to employers.

This semester, the lab studied the nationalization of state supreme court elections. Previous research has shown that the correlation between voting patterns in presidential elections and sub-presidential contests (congress, gubernatorial, state legislative) has increased dramatically over the last several decades, but there have not been any studies on whether this is happening in the context of state supreme court elections.

Under Weinschenk’s supervision, students in the lab assembled an original dataset containing nearly 15,000 county-level state supreme court elections results (from 2000-2018). According to Weinschenk, this is an amazing feat because, unlike other types of elections, there is not a preexisting database of state supreme court election results. The students had to gather all of the election results themselves from government sources, which took several months to complete.

After assembling the dataset and conducting statistical analyses, Weinschenk and the students collaborated to write a journal article, which has now been completed and is available here for those who might be interested. The article will be submitted to a peer-reviewed political science journal focusing on elections very soon! All of the lab members will be listed as co-authors on the paper.

Weinschenk says it is important to develop and institutionalize high-impact experiences like this for undergraduate students. He notes that “research has shown that high-impact experiences help make students feel like they are in a supportive campus environment. In addition, participation in high-impact experiences can lead to boosts in GPA and increase the probability of retaining students.”

When asked about their experience doing undergraduate research, students in the lab reported that it was an incredibly valuable experience.

“The lab gave us the opportunity to conduct research on a different level than any other class and be able to submit it for publication,” Tara Sellen, one of this year’s lab members, said. “It was amazing to be a part of a hardworking group and to produce such a substantial product that can contribute to the literature.” She said students in the lab did something “we never thought we could accomplish.”

Amanda Loehrke, another one of the lab members, shared her experience.”Being a part of the Political Science Research Lab has been very rewarding,” Loehrke said. “Working with a group of peers to produce a research paper was challenging, educational, and very enjoyable. The experience has given me and my peers first-hand experience with the research process from collecting data to running statistical analyses to writing the final article. I am very thankful to have been part of the first research lab for the department and am looking forward to seeing if our paper gets published!”

2019 Student Speaker Hannah Malmberg

Student Commencement Speaker Hannah Malmberg tells fellow Phoenix to have the courage to start anew

Student Speaker Hannah Malmberg (Political Science, Communication) tells her fellow grads to have the courage to start anew. Here’s her speech:

Hello everyone. I feel like we’ve been trained to introduce ourselves with our name, major, and a fun fact about ourselves. So why not do it one last time? My name is Hannah Malmberg, I’m a Political Science and Communication major, and as for a fun fact about myself? Well I ran out of those after the 20th time of having to do this on the first day of class.

But I do have a fun fact for you. Did you know that the UWGB mascot wasn’t always a Phoenix? Up until 1970, the mascot was a water-skiing badger called the Bay Badger. Which honestly does sound kind of cool, but it made me think about the meaning of being a Phoenix.

What is a Phoenix, besides a dope mascot named Phlash?

The Phoenix is an ancient mythological creature found in folklore spanning several cultures that symbolizes renewal and rebirth. It bursts into flames before beginning its new life and soaring.

Which is beautiful, but in order for the Phoenix to be resurrected from the ashes and start anew, it must first fall.

While we may not be living in a legend of old, I’m sure many of us can relate to a tale about failing before finding success. I know that I can.

Before what was supposed to be the first semester of my sophomore year of college, I actually dropped out of this University.

2019 Winter Commencement Student Speaker Hannah Malmberg
Hannah Malmberg

My freshman year was a struggle. My mental health was in one of the worst states it had ever been in since I began my battle against mental illness many years ago. I felt disconnected and lost from everything and everyone around me. I wasn’t adjusting to college life like I had expected. Combine that with the fact that high school had been academically easy for me, so college was going to be too right?

Well not exactly. I even failed a class, American Government and Politics. Which is hilarious considering I became a Political Science major. Don’t worry, I retook it.

After taking a semester off, I decided to reapply and was admitted once again to the University. This time around, I challenged myself and sought help from those around me when I needed it. I also wanted to become that person for others as well. I became a peer mentor in the Gateway to Phoenix Success Program so that I could help others have an easier transition to college than I did. I am proud of helping the next generation of Phoenix succeed. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to have a second chance and try again.

So to me, being a Phoenix means being resilient because I know my story is not unique. We have all faced obstacles along our journey to this very day. But look at us now! I’m proud of that fact that we have created a community of support where we help each other rise when we one of us has fallen.

As I look out at all of you, I see how much we have grown and I know that the sum of our achievements is extraordinary. We have served as mentors and tutors. Conducted research, created beautiful pieces of art, and competed as talented athletes. We have left this campus and community better and stronger than when we arrived.

We may live in an uncertain world, but I know we will land on our feet and excel. We will create the world we want to see for ourselves. We are Phoenix after all.

Before I go, I would like to take the time to thank those who have helped me along my college journey. To my family, thank you for letting me discover my own path and for letting me make mistakes while loving me all the same. Today I am thinking about my Grandma Doris who always inspired me to pursue an education but passed away before she could see me graduate. To my friends, thank you for being there on those sleepless nights, for listening to me when I’m at my wit’s end, and for helping me create some of my most cherished memories. I am forever grateful for meeting you. I also want to thank the incredible faculty and staff I have met here at UWGB, especially Dr. Levintova and Dr. Helpap. I would not be up on this stage if it wasn’t for the guidance you gave me, the confidence you helped build, or the opportunities you provided.

So congrats UWGB Class of 2019, we finally made it and for old time’s sake, Go Phoenix. Thank you.

Faculty note: Associate Prof. Aaron Weinschenk publishes peer-reviewed article

Associate Prof. Aaron Weinschenk (Political Science) recently had a peer-reviewed article accepted for publication in the International Journal of Public Opinion Research. The paper is entitled “Does Education Instill Civic Duty? Evidence from Monozygotic Twins in the United States and Sweden.” It is co-authored with Associate Prof. Chris Dawes (New York University) and Prof. Sven Oskarsson (Uppsala University, Sweden). Weinschenk is the lead author on the paper.

Hannah Malmberg

Graduating class speaker, Hannah Malmberg, models what it means to be a Phoenix

“The price of success,” the legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi once said, “is hard work.” But if you were to ask anyone who has had the privilege of working, or just knowing, Hannah Malmberg, they would more likely characterize their experience with her as priceless.

“I’ve rarely encountered somebody so accomplished, yet so unselfish and humble,” says Katia Levintova, professor of Democracy and Justice Studies. “She is always serving others in the most profound ways.”

The proof? A list of accomplishments that would be impressive for two people, including serving as a peer mentor for the Gateways to Phoenix Success (GPS) program. This year-long commitment matched Malmberg with at-risk first-year students to help ensure academic and social success. What’s all the more impressive about this commitment is that Hannah herself faced the challenge of adapting to the college life experience to the extent she left school for a semester.

But she came back and rose from the ashes like a true Phoenix. Not only surviving, but thriving. Levintova notes, “completely turning things around, becoming a super-star student, a role model, and a very accomplished person.”

From that moment on, Malmberg embraced all her opportunities—including a social media internship at the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. She is also currently a member of Political Science Research Lab (one of 13 students selected for this honor).

Even while gaining experiences on campus, she continued to reach out to fellow students as a resident assistant—receiving additional training ranging from peer guidance, leadership development and more to cope with daily adventures of residence life.

Malmberg also found time to deliver lectures at the Green Bay Film Society and the UW-Green Bay Office of International Education, as well as working in the offices of TRiO and Upward Bound and volunteering for the Model United Nations event that brought local high school students to campus.

Malmberg’s hard work went above and beyond campus life and into the community. Two highly competitive internships included one at Green Bay City Hall and a current internship at NEW Water.

Malmberg also found time to be of service—even in Hawaii, traveling to Maui on a “build trip” with UW-Green Bay Habitat for Humanity. In 2018, she traveled to Ecuador with Associate Professor Marcelo Cruz, visiting indigenous communities in the heart of the Amazon region. Along the way, she discovered that some of the most enduring lessons can be learned far from a classroom.

“Prior to going to Ecuador, I had never traveled outside of the country and was nervous about being far from home, but studying abroad helped me discover confidence in myself that I never realized I had. I am so glad that I went and will forever cherish the memories made, education earned and relationships formed on that trip.”

What may be most impressive is that Malmberg has accomplished so much while maintaining a 3.68 GPA as a double major in Political Science and Communication, emphasis in Mass Media, with a Global Studies minor.

A University Leadership Award recipient in May 2019, she was nominated to serve as commencement speaker by faculty representing Political Science, Communication, Global Studies, Psychology and Public Administration—Katia Levintova, David Helpap, Aaron Weinschenk, Ryan Martin, David Coury, Bryan Carr, Alison Staudinger and Jemma Lund.

Malmberg’s own stated personal goal at UW-Green Bay was to “have a positive experience on this school and community; to have left it even better and stronger than when I started here.” And while Levintova admires Malmberg’s humility, she’s even prouder of her accomplishments. “Her list of achievements is incredible, demonstrating both the depth and the breadth of experiences, both on campus and in the community, sustained over a very long period.”

After graduation, Malmberg plans to further her work experience that combines her double majors before getting a master’s degree in either Public Administration or Public Policy.

Faculty note: Aaron Weinschenk writes blog post for Cambridge University Press

Associate Prof. and Chair of the Department of Political Science Aaron Weinschenk recently wrote a blog post titled “The Link Between Genes, Psychological Traits, and Political Engagement” for Cambridge University Press’ Cambridge Core blog. Weinschenk was approached by Cambridge to write a post based on his recent article published in Politics and the Life Sciences.