Liberal Arts Essay Scholarship Competition

The UW-Green Bay Office of the Provost is pleased to announce the fifth annual Liberal Arts Essay Scholarship Competition. This undergraduate essay competition aims to promote understanding of the purpose and value of a liberal arts and science education. We invite eligible students from across campus to submit essays for the competition.

Submission Deadline: March 1, 2021

Selection Process and Awards:
All essays will be judged by a group of UW-Green Bay faculty. Student essays selected as winners of the UW-Green Bay competition will receive an annual continuing scholarship of $1000.00 for up to three years or completion of a baccalaureate degree (whichever comes first) to cover educational expenses at UW-Green Bay.  Recipients will be notified in spring 2021.

This year’s competition is open to any UW-Green Bay undergraduate student in good academic standing who plans to enroll at least half time for at least one semester during the 2021-2022 academic year.

-One scholarship will be granted to a current first-year student.
-One scholarship will be granted to a current sophomore, junior, or senior.

This Year’s Topic:
How has a liberal arts education prepared you to be successful during the pandemic and make positive contributions to society in a post-pandemic world?

Strong student essays will invite reader engagement through description and reflection on personal experience, as well as demonstrate careful consideration of the prompt.  To learn more about the goals of a liberal education, you may wish to check the liberal education learning outcomes.

The submission deadline is March 1, 2021.

Submissions must be sent electronically to the Provost’s Office c/o Clifton Ganyard at; all essays must be attached as a .pdf document.

All submissions are to be original essays, 1,000-1,250 words in length, typed, double-spaced.

Each essay must include a title page with the following information:

  • title of essay
  • student’s name
  • current school standing (first-year, sophomore, junior, or senior)
  • major (undecided is acceptable)
  • home address
  • e-mail address
  • telephone number

The title page must also include the following statement:

 “I hereby affirm that this is an original essay and my own work.”

Prof. Kuenzi named high-impact practices coordinator

Please join the Office of Academic Affairs in congratulating Assistant Prof. Kerry Kuenzi as the 2021-2023 high-impact practices (HIPs) coordinator. Kuenzi has been with UW-Green Bay since 2018 in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, in the Public and Environmental Affairs (PEA) unit. In the role as HIPs Coordinator, Kuenzi will be working with the Provost Office to promote high-impact practices and experiences in our institutional culture. Collaborating with offices across the institution, including the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, Student Success and Engagement, the Center for Civic Engagement, the Office of Institutional Strategy and Effectiveness, and the assessment coordinator.

Kuenzi was a faculty facilitator during the Pivotal Pedagogy course held by CATL over the 2020 summer. The focus of this course was implementing community-based projects in an online modality that emphasized evidence-based strategies for experiential learning.  Kuenzi is a member of the UW-Green Bay HIPs Initiative Task Force, and a representative for the system-wide HIPs Initiative. Kuenzi was a co-coordinator for the NASH grant in her unit. She has experience using HIPs initiatives in planning courses, evaluation of peers for merit and promotion, and recruitment of student to the PEA unit. Having a background in public administration, which focuses in part on policy/program implementation, has helped her to develop the strategies needed for addressing equity gaps and increasing student success on college campuses.

Kuenzi is an alumnus to UW-Green Bay and received her Ph.D. in Public Affairs from the School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver.



New director of Institutional Strategy and Effectiveness is Bojan Ljubenko

Bojan Ljubenko, Ph.D. will be joining UW-Green Bay as the director of Institutional Strategy and Effectiveness starting on January 11, 2021. Bojan (the “j” is pronounced like “y”) comes from Moraine Park Technical College having served as the director of Institutional Effectiveness for the past seven years. “We are looking forward to Bojan’s vision and passion for institutional research,” said Provost Kate Burns. “Thanks to Dean Matt Dornbush for chairing this important search, to the search panel members, and to all of those who took part in the interview process.”

Video: Provost Kate Burns reminds students to reflect on your accomplishments this semester

Hi everyone, I’m Kate Burns, the Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs here at UW-Green Bay. I’m here to talk about the end of the semester which is quickly upon us.

I know at the beginning of the semester we are all thinking… How would this happen? How would we engage in a socially distant semester? What would this look like with all of these online classes and hybrid courses? Now we’re almost at the end, we’re finally almost there!

I just want you to take a moment and really think about all you’ve accomplished this semester; how you’ve grown, how you’ve changed, how you’ve pushed yourself in ways that you didn’t think were possible. The good news is that we are so close to the end, so we are counting the moments, we are counting the days.

We might feel a bit overwhelmed at times. I urge you to think about what’s worked well for you this semester and I want to encourage you to reach out if you need help. Talk to your professors. Talk to GBOSS. If you have any questions or concerns we’re here to help you get through.

We’re just going to focus on these moments—these days together. Good luck with all the remaining work that you have to do. We’re here with you and we’re here to help you thrive.

Thank you for all that you’ve done this semester. You should be really proud of all that you’ve accomplished.

We are Phoenix. We are thriving, together.

Valerie Murrenus Pilmaier named UW-Green Bay assessment coordinator

Please join the Office of Academic Affairs in congratulating Valerie Murrenus Pilmaier as the 2020-2022 Assessment Coordinator (AC). Pilmaier has been with UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus since 2009 and an Associate Prof. of English and Women’s and Gender Studies since 2015. In her role as AC she will oversee assessment efforts carried out by the University, and collaborate with various offices across the institution, including the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, Student Success and Engagement, Institutional Strategy and Effectiveness, General Education Council, and University Assessment Committee.

Valerie Murrenus Pilmaier
Valerie Murrenus Pilmaier

Murrenus Pilmaier was the institutional assessment Coordinator for the UW Colleges from 2012-2016. In this role she oversaw the entire assessment program for the UW Colleges (which included departmental and campus assessment), worked closely with the Office of Academic Affairs,  the Senate Assessment Committee and the Senior Information Manager, as well as other student-focused offices in the institution, and introduced and helped to implemented a variety of initiatives that ensured that we maintained national best practices for educational excellence.

As the public face of assessment at the UW Colleges, she frequently presented the work to institutional, national and regional conferences and was interviewed by the HLC whenever they visited the institution. Murrenus Pilmaier views assessment as a recruitment tool and hopes it will ensure that our students receive an equitable experience via standardized learning outcomes (discipline-specific) that focus on student learning rather than arbitrary/antiquated measures of knowledge. She has worked with TRIO and Pre-College Initiatives, better incorporate the LEAP initiatives more deliberately in department learning outcomes, as well as various work within UW Colleges Assessment. She received her Ph. D. in The British Novel and Twentieth-Century British Literature from Marquette University.



UW-Green Bay Provost Kate Burns stresses empathy, appreciates ‘herculean effort’

Provost Kate Burns address the University Community during 2020 Faculty and Staff Virtual Convocation. Video transcript follows:

Hi everyone.

I was so impressed by this weekend’s drive through graduation. Megan DuFrane-Groose, Gail Sims-Aubert, and the entire Office of Student Life should be commended for all of their hard work and creativity in making this event a success. It was really touching to hear the graduates share their stories, see students’ families crammed together in a vehicle (and sometimes several vehicles) to celebrate this important milestone, and feel the pride exuded by our faculty and staff who cheered them on.

It made me think a lot about how we get students to this goal. I know we oftentimes think of graduation as simply a classroom accomplishment. At drive through graduation, it was clear that students were excited to see the familiar faces of people who had supported them both inside *and* outside the classroom. Faculty. Academic and University Staff. We are *all* making an impact on students during their time here.

Last spring we all worked together to somehow accomplish the impossible. We reached out to students. We called them when they hadn’t registered. We checked in on them when they weren’t turning in their work or missing class. We were focused on caring for the whole student inside AND outside the classroom. Academic Affairs and Student Affairs partnering together. These efforts paid off. Our enrollment is up, especially at a time when others across the country are seeing enrollment declines. Our enrollment is up, partly because of recruitment, but largely because of retention.

Retention is everyone’s job. Let me say that again. Retention is EVERYONE’s job. I want all of us (regardless of our roles) to be thinking about how we can better support and better retain our students. This may take a variety of forms:

  • Creating an inclusive campus climate. When students come to our campuses, we want them to feel welcome and that they belong. I am so glad that we will be engaged in inclusivity and equity training this year. Our times call for this emphasis on social justice, but it is also the right thing to do. Cultural competence is a journey, not a destination. As an institution of higher education, we need to model this dedication to learning, reflection, and growth.
  • We have proudly announced ourselves to be an access institution. This means we need to support the students we have. I know many of you attended the SpeakOut Institute this summer. One quote that really stuck with me is “Access without support is not opportunity.” We should all consider in our own areas what that support may look like. We are rolling out Navigate this fall semester. This is a great time to take a look at the Canvas training and learn more about this tool if you haven’t already. Our early alert system with grades and feedback is only as effective as we make it. Research has shown that early alert systems are especially important for students of color and first generation students who may not know how they are performing in their classes. We need to build early feedback into our courses so that students can better understand how they are doing and take steps accordingly.

It’s a new academic year. I appreciate the herculean effort it took to get us here. Countless staff and faculty working together to get us ready. I know many of you are feeling excited, optimistic. But also nervous. Overwhelmed. Worried about work/life balance/childcare and school arrangements. This is not business as usual—we are very much outside our comfort zone. This is how our students are feeling too. Here’s the thing though. Our students have always felt this way, excited about the promise of higher education while simultaneously navigating the headwinds in their lives. I want us to harness these new positive and negative emotions we’re feeling as we go into the fall to better understand and support our students. This is a massive empathy boost. If last spring taught us anything, we can accomplish so much when we were all working together toward a singular purpose: student success.

Provost Burns updates students on fall classes

In this memo on August 10, 2020, Provost Kate Burns updates UW-Green Bay students on status of fall classes.

Dear Students,

We have been hard at work to prepare campus for your arrival in a few short weeks. I wanted to update you on the status of fall classes. Nearly all classes at the UW-Green Bay campuses have been updated in terms of their course delivery modality. Classes at the Sheboygan, Marinette, and Manitowoc campuses should be finalized by the end of this week.

Please check your SIS account to see the latest on your fall class schedule. We needed to significantly alter the fall schedule to ensure we were following the CDC guidelines of six-foot distancing in our classrooms after the Board of Regents approved this policy in July. These guidelines will allow us to offer safe in-person instruction, but they also dramatically limited the number of students we could accommodate at one time in a classroom. As a result, some courses that were previously listed as in-person were moved online. Some in-person courses moved to different classrooms or to other spaces on campus, such as the University Union and Weidner Center. And some in-person courses became hybrid/blended, meeting both in-person and online, with varying percentages of in-person and online instruction depending on the class.  The learning options website describes what these different class modalities entail and how to determine which modality your course is in.

We appreciate your flexibility and patience as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve,. While the bulk of the fall schedule changes will soon be complete, there is a chance that we may need to make further small changes. In addition, we will continue to monitor the health situation in our region and will follow local health authorities’ and UW System guidance on if we need to adjust further. Again, I would encourage you to regularly check SIS as the most up-to-date information on your fall schedule.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to GBOSS at or 920-465-2111 and they will be able to help.  The fall semester may look different than previous semesters, but we are so excited to welcome you back.

Take care,

​Kate Burns
​Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

UW-Green Bay plans for fall | WBAY

UW-Green Bay’s Provost sent a letter to students Thursday regarding plans to resume classes on campus for the fall semester. Kate Burns says UW-Green Bay plans to offer classes in-person, online and “blended.”

“In order to account for required safety guidelines, including physical distancing, some courses that were previously listed as in-person will need to be moved online. Some in-person courses will need to move to different classrooms or to other spaces on campus. And some in-person courses will need to become hybrid/blended, meeting both in-person and online, with varying percentages of in-person and online instruction depending on the class,” says Burns.

Source: UWO to welcome students back to campus in September | WBAY

UW-Green Bay Provost Burns messages students about fall class delivery

Interim Provost Kate Burns messaged students about fall plans today (June 11, 2020)

Dear Students,

As we plan for classes to resume and campus to open this fall, I want to keep you informed as decisions are made. Today I am writing to share with you updates regarding course delivery and distance education fees.

This fall we will be offering courses in many different modes: in-person, online, and hybrid/blended courses. We are hoping to offer enough courses in various formats, allowing you to choose the classes and formats that best fit your needs.

In order to account for required safety guidelines, including physical distancing, some courses that were previously listed as in-person will need to be moved online. Some in-person courses will need to move to different classrooms or to other spaces on campus. And some in-person courses will need to become hybrid/blended, meeting both in-person and online, with varying percentages of in-person and online instruction depending on the class.

All of these adjustments are already in progress and will take some time to process. We are targeting a mid-July completion date and encourage you to check SIS regularly to verify the delivery method assigned for your classes.

Classes are scheduled to follow our current academic calendar, beginning on September 2.

For Fall, we are planning on charging the Distance Education fee for online, blended, and distance education classes, regardless of whether the course was originally listed as such or if we adjusted the format this summer. Usually we charge $25 per credit for the Distance Education courses. This Fall we are cutting the fee in half ($12.50 per credit) to recognize the financial challenges many students are facing and to encourage you to continue your educational pursuits. Unfortunately, we cannot completely do away with these fees, which cover the software, technology, student support, and faculty training necessary to deliver online and distance education, which are vital in our current remote environment. We are working to balance this vital infrastructure withaccommodating students’ needs to take more online and distance ed classes during the pandemic. If you have financial concerns, please contact Financial Aid at or 920-465-2111. You could also consider applying for one of our emergency grants.

These changes are necessary to help keep students, faculty, and staff safe while also offering a variety of options to best serve you. Striking the right balance is an ongoing pursuit. We have been partnering with Prevea and Brown County Health to determine safety guidelines for a safe return to campus and will share more information about this later this summer. If you have any questions or concerns about any of these changes, please reach out to GBOSS at or 920-465-2111 and they will be able to help.  Your commitment to higher education at this time is so important and we want to make sure you are able to achieve your goals.

Take care,

Kate Burns
Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs