Front door with colorful paper hearts taped to the side-light windows.

UW-Green Bay faculty members create a Pandemic Poetry Exchange

UW-Green Bay Professors Alise Coen (Political Science, Public & Environmental Affairs) and Jessica Van Slooten (English, Women’s & Gender Studies) were featured in a local news story for their creation of an interdisciplinary Pandemic Poetry Exchange group. The pair talked to reporter Diana Bolander for the Herald Times Reporter.

Alise Coen
Alise Coen

The group has grown to more than 200 members on Facebook and offers a supportive creative space to help cope with physical distancing.

The Facebook group is called ‘VanCoen Pandemic Poetry‘ (a combination of their last names) and has more than 225 members. The group’s guiding principle is to be ‘a supportive space for members to read, create and share original poems (broadly defined) to help cope with social distancing and quarantine-like conditions during the COVID-19 situation.

Jessica Van Slooten
Jessica Van Slooten

Both Coen and Van Slooten said they find that the group helps them feel more connected to the world while in isolation.

Coen noted: “I am comforted and inspired by our group as a supportive space for sharing art through words. The poems shared are sometimes humorous, sometimes somber and almost always descriptive of people’s different experiences and perspectives.”



A poem and photo by Van Slooten:

Front door with colorful paper hearts taped to the side-light windows.Fold the paper vertically
and curve the scissors just
so: begin with a point,
flare into generous cures,
and finish in a deep cleft.
Unfold your heart.
Remember they come in all
shapes, sizes, colors.
Make a rainbow of hearts:
love is love is love.
Put two hearts together
to form wings, and fly.
Imagine every paper heart
beating steady, strong,
a talisman to heal broken
hearts, heart failure.
Tape the hearts on windows
and doors: spread the love

Not Aleppo by Coen

Tending to street cats
In the middle of war
The man in Aleppo
Knows far more
About trying to find peace.
Me with my books
With my smart phone in bed
Using words to escape
The traps in my head
Safely sprawled under fleece.

Still, I fell nervous
In my privileged bombless nights
Mulling over viral posts
Of healthcare worker plights
And epicenter quakes.
By the light of my screen
That comforting glow
The fear is well disguised
As a thing I need to know
So I read all the takes.

Prof. Weinschenk helps student to second place in national CSPAN contest

UW-Green Bay Associate Prof. Aaron Weinschenk (Political Science) recently mentored Bay Port High School student Trevor Connaher on material for a video submission to CSPAN’s student cam competition. Connaher won second place for his video “America’s Digital Divide.” Second place included a $1,500 cash prize and his video aired on CSPAN. Although CSPAN was unable to hold the celebration for winners in Washington D.C, a number of people (including Weinschenk, some elected officials from the region, etc.) recorded video messages of congratulations to Connaher. See the website and video.

Weinschenk article accepted for publication 

Associate Prof. Aaron Weinschenk (Political Science) recently had a peer-reviewed article accepted in the journal Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences. The article focuses on the biological underpinnings of political orientations and is co-authored with Chris Dawes (Wilf Family Department of Politics, New York University). The article will appear in a special issue of Current Opinion on political ideologies, which is guest edited by Professors John Jost, Eran Halperin and Kristin Laurin.

UW-Green Bay Assistant Prof. Nolan Bennett is a speaker in Door County series | Door County Daily News

UW-Green Bay Assistant Prof. Nolan Bennett (Political Science) “will be talking about the struggle of abolitionists beginning at 10 a.m. at the Door County Auditorium attached to Gibraltar Area Schools.” This is the fourth and final edition of the Winter Series Talk for the Door County Civility Project. See more.

Associate Professor Coen interviewed on BBC radio

UW-Green Bay Associate Prof. Alise Coen (Political Science, PEA) was interviewed on BBC radio this past weekend about the Syrian conflict and its impact on displacement and refugees. The BBC’s “Up All Night” program is now available to stream, and the segment featuring Dr. Coen begins around the 6:30 minute mark:

Mark Bennett: What if 2020 elections included Hoosier cities’ races? | News Columns |

City elections mean more when more people vote. Elected officials pay more attention to a wider variety of residents as turnouts increase.

Low turnouts anywhere can change the emphasis elected officials take once in office, said Aaron Weinschenk, a political scientist at the UW-Green Bay and co-author of the 2013 study by the Western Political Science Association.

“In some cities, turnout is at or below 10%. With a number that low … it’s very likely that those who turn out will have different attributes and preferences than the population at large, [such as being] more educated, wealthy, older, etcetera,” Weinschenk said by email last week. “Thus, low rates of citizen engagement can lead to biases in representation and policymaking.”

Weinschenk also disputes claims that lumping local elections in with state and federal results in additional votes cast by residents less knowledgeable about local issues. “Voters can actually make pretty good decisions with small amounts of information,” he said. “For example, they can use things like partisanship or incumbency status to assess whether a candidate is likely to align with their preferences.”

Source: Mark Bennett: What if 2020 elections included Hoosier cities’ races? | News Columns |

UW-Green Bay professor says State of the Union shows “highly partisan political climate” | WLUK

Many people are talking about behavior at the recent state of the union address. UW-Green Bay Political Science Professor David Helpap says while the State of the Union speech is usually very partisan, this was not your typical speech. “It tends to be very formal, it tends to be very procedural and some of those things we just didn’t see last night,” said Helpap. Source: UW-Green Bay professor says State of the Union shows “highly partisan political climate” | WLUK