UW-Green Bay alumna shares her story of faith and hard-work | The Compass

UW-Green Bay alumna Robyn Hallet (Urban & Regional Studies, Spanish) ’98 has gone on to do great things in the community. She is the current executive director of Literacy Green Bay, spending her time helping others get accustomed to the area and learning the English language. Her time at UW-Green Bay strengthened her faith and gave her opportunities to help others and get involved with the community; one of these opportunities was an internship with the Brown County Planning Commission.

Now, Hallet is working with Literacy Green Bay, and she is a member of the Homeowner Selection Committee for Greater Green Bay Habitat for Humanity. She spends much of her time in Downtown Green Bay, either working or worshipping, and she hopes to do more for the local Latino community. Read more about Hallet’s story via Faith influences all parts of her life | The Compass.

UW-Green Bay alumna announced as new president and CEO of UNICEF USA | PR Newswire

UW-Green Bay alumnus Michael J. Nyenhuis (Urban and Regional Studies, Communication) ’83 was recently announced as UNICEF USA’s new president and CEO. Prior to this new appointment, Nyenhuis was president and CEO of Americares since 2014, and president and CEO of MAP International for 13 years prior. Read more via UNICEF USA Announces Michael J. Nyenhuis as New President and CEO| PR Newswire.

Faculty note: Hutchison heads-up a new book series in urban sociology

If you are starting a new publishing house in the UK and want to introduce an innovative book series in urban sociology that will highlight emerging research studies from around the world — who are you going call? Look no further than UW-Green Bay! Prof. and Ray Hutchison (Sociology, Anthropology, and longtime chair of Urban Studies), was sought out by Anthem Publishers to head-up its new book series in urban sociology. The series will publish 3 to 4, 200-page monographs each year. The first members of the editorial board selected by Hutchison include Richard Ocejo (John Jay College, City University of New York), Marta Smagacz-Poziemska ( University of Warsaw), and Tomasso Vitale (Sciences Po, Paris). View publisher information about the series, here.


Photos: Student Paul Karpenko wins Business Idea Competition, next up Sheboygan Campus contest

UW-Green Bay Urban Studies major Paul Karpenko took first place in the Fall 2018 UW-Green Bay Student Business Idea Contest, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. Green Bay Campus students from several majors pitched their innovative idea in front of judges within a 90-second time frame for cash, scholarships to a summer entrepreneurial extreme accelerator travel course, and the ability to represent UW-Green Bay at other pitch contests this spring for more cash, in-kind services and automatic entries into accelerators. Here are the contest winners and their big ideas:

Karpenko’s idea, MeritCoin, won the first place cash prize of $500. His idea rewards students who work on real problems based on curriculum written by private sector sources.

Second place and $250 was awarded to Courtney Gersek (Business Administration) with Twistables – her take on a better peanut butter jar without the eventual mess getting the peanut butter out at the bottom of the jar. Gersek developed her idea over the summer at the European Innovation Academy in Portugal with a team of international students. It was ranked #1 in the patent award category out of 70 teams there. Last year, Gersek competed in the spring 2018 UWGB student business idea contest with one of her many other ideas, Swift Shopper, and was awarded honorable mention. That honorable mention award earned her a scholarship to attend EIA to start the develop of Twistables.

Third place and $100 was awarded to Maria Arunkumar (Business Administration) for her Build-a-Wedding app idea. The app walks those getting married easily through the planning of their wedding, including helping connect them to wedding planners and wedding facilities coordinators. Arunkumar won the Light Up the Lakeshore business idea contest in Two Rivers in August with this idea, and she was featured in local print and on local television. She continues to develop the idea toward reality having presented her idea along the way at 1 Million Cups Green Bay and most recently at kinnektorCon.

Receiving honorable mention and $50 were the following Green Bay Campus students:

  • Alexa Hietpas (Business Administration) – GPS Buck Tracker
  • Jada Taylor (Business Administration) – University Book Exchange
  • Christopher Conrad (Business Administration) – RentPlus
  • Alyssa Allen (Business Administration) – Hazel Hills scholarship Alzheimer’s facility
  • Leah Zorn (Business Administration) – PLUM
  • Ketti Bloom (Business Administration) – a center to help care for the homeless and their pets too
  • Charity Joy (Design Arts) – an at-home yoga trainer business
  • Olivia Heilman (Business Administration) – Stay Dry
  • Riley Heimann (Data Science) – a cloud-based benchmarking system
  • Erik Johnson (Communication) – Cross Track Shack
  • Sabrina Vang (Education & Psychology) – fresh: quick and easy healthy fast food
  • Cory Gruedemann (Business Administration) – a quicker movie selection app
  • Renee DeGrand (Business Administration) – Fervid Life
  • Hamza Umar (Business Administration) – Color-Bagging

The UWGB Sheboygan Campus Student Business Idea Contest is Thursday, Nov. 8, kicking off Wisconsin Startup Week Sheboygan. Prior to the business idea contest, the Sheboygan Campus will host a business idea workshop for the community, and community members will be encouraged with cash to pitch their ideas too! Details are here: http://blog.uwgb.edu/kauthr/startupsheboyganbusinessideaworkshop/. UW-Green Bay Manitowoc and Marinette Campuses will have their student business idea contests and community business idea workshops in the spring 2019 semester.

Sponsors of the contests are WiSys and the Cofrin School of Business and CEO (Collegiate Entrepreneur’s Organization). Keynote speaker was international exchange student Zeeshan Ali from the UGRAD Pakistan program.

Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.

Business Idea Competition Fall 2018

– Photos by Liesl Sigourney, Marketing and University Communication Student Intern

UW-Green Bay alumnus arranges deck concerts

Joel Kroenke ’81 (Urban and Regional Studies), a UW-Green Bay alumnus (Urban and Regional Studies), recently built an outdoor deck for performers to come to his hometown. Kroenke is putting together the Summer 2018 Music Deck Concerts at Cotter Creek, and this year’s lineup includes different styles of music, such as a classical orchestra. He is the founder of Shawano Folk Music Festival, and a member of the board of the Shawano County Historical Society. The Shawano Leader has the full story.

Congratulations to UW-Green Bay alumni Golden Apple Award winners

Three outstanding UW-Green Bay alumni were declared Golden Apple Award winners this year. Larry Laraby, ’98 (English and ’07 graduate in MS Applied Leadership), is a 9-12 grade teacher at Preble High School. April Moran ’97 (Elementary Education) is a kindergarten teacher at Cormier Early Education Center. Nick Rusboldt, ’04 (Urban and Regional Studies) and ’09 (Elementary Education), is a member of the Kewaunee School District’s special education team. The Green Bay Press Gazette has the story.

Waterfront Design: Urban and Regional Studies students asked to polish a diamond in the rough

Past the Zippin Pippin and the Sea Dragon, beyond the Ferris wheel and the bumper cars, away
from the crowds and squeals of delight at Bay Beach, UW-Green Bay’s Urban and Regional Studies students envisioned a waterfront diamond-in-the-rough that could become one of the city’s crown jewels.

Study Area
Study Area

The students were part of Associate Professor Marcelo Cruz’s Waterfront Design and Visioning Project, a studio design course based in the Department of Public and Environmental Affairs. Working with the City of Green Bay and a group of waterfront stakeholders, they prepared a plan that would connect the Green Bay community to the waterfront area adjacent to Bay Beach.

“The waterfront district is an area of keen interest to us,” said Wendy Townsend, Green Bay’s programs and projects manager. “It’s not unusual for port cities like ours to have a strong industrial presence on their waterfronts. That’s the primary role they filled as these cities developed. Over time, the waterfront’s historical commercial/industrial role has changed. Port cities are now looking at ways to bring people back to these predominantly industrial corridors.

Project Visualization
Project Visualization

“In our case,” she continued, “we have a world-class sport fishery right here, with limited access to it and no on-site infrastructure to support it. We also have waterfront property we can use much more productively. The community and economic benefit of repurposing this property is great. In many ways, water is the new gold.”

The value of the waterfront was echoed by Chip McDonald, co-owner of South Bay Marina and a community representative on the project team.

“We are very committed to helping our community access the great amenity of Green Bay,” said McDonald. “It is a true blessing we need to respect and care for. All of us who work and live in this part of the city greatly appreciate the work of everyone involved, especially the efforts of the instructors and students, and the support of the city, county and NEW Water.”

Renard Island detail
Renard Island concept detail

“There are already projects underway in and around Bay Beach,” said Cruz. “After talking with Wendy, it was decided that we would assist them to develop ideas for 377 acres of waterfront connecting Bay Beach, Renard Island and South Bay Marina.”

“This project fit well with the University’s desire to be part of the community and gives students the opportunity for hands-on learning,” he continued. “Students learned urban design principles and environmental design concepts as they developed the plan for the city. The project involved students from pubic administration, history, environmental science, environmental planning and design, political science and urban and regional planning.”

South Bay Maritime Museum concept
South Bay Maritime Museum concept

The project vision involved many industries and commercial storage sites in the area. Specifically excluded were Bay Beach Amusement Park and NEW Water’s treatment plant.

The students were completely engaged in the process.

“It is satisfying to know that I have real-life experience in the planning world,” said Breanne Rasmussen, a senior studying Environmental Policy and Planning. That’s a sentiment echoed by other students in the class. “It’s exciting to know that what I’ve done in this class can potentially be implemented in the future. I’ve come to appreciate how important planning tools are and how they help people perceive their environment.” Making that connection is central to the project, according to Cruz.

Community Exploration Center concept drawing
Community Exploration Center concept drawing

“Our urban design focus was on place-making and connectivity within the project area,” said Cruz. “We worked with property owners in the area to envision what was possible. Chip McDonald led us on a three-hour tour of the entire project area. Our eyes were really opened!

“We worked with Mr. McDonald and the other stakeholders from Bay Beach, NEW Water, the Port of Green Bay, Wisconsin DNR and the City of Green Bay to gather their ideas and visions for the space, we synthesized those into what we called the Phase One visualization, which we presented to the stakeholders in early March for feedback. With that feedback we created the Phase Two visualization and prepared our final presentation to stakeholders.”

housing drawing
Housing concept drawing

“They made our (development) job a lot harder and more fun at the same time,” Townsend said. She pointed to the students’ innovative ways to reconnect elements of land already there and recommendations for elements that are relevant to the space and meaningful to the public. Among these are three residential areas, ideas for bringing in new business opportunities, including a hotel and dedicated retail space; creating a bike trail, a boardwalk and water-specific educational features; establishing public access to waters that can’t be used now. It also included carving out family-friendly areas on Renard Island, with picnic tables, disc golf, an observation tower and an amphitheater; and creating a more welcoming “front door” where I-43 exits onto Webster Avenue.

“Conceptually,” said Cruz, “we want to create a space that has specific places for the public to live, work and play, transforms the uses of the area, enhances public accessibility and is sustainable and innovative.”

In short, a waterfront gem that truly sparkles.

Cruz and class instrumental in reshaping Northeast Wisconsin communities

“I feel we, as a public university, have an obligation to improve the quality of life in the communities around us.” ~ Dr. Marcelo Cruz

At UW-Green Bay, Associate Prof. Marcelo Cruz has invested in this philosophy — from The Broadway District in Green Bay to the streets of Tena, Ecuador. As a college student in England in the unsettled decade of the 70s, he came to believe that a university should be more than a place to educate professionals for their careers. He felt it should play an important role in the communities around it.

He carried that philosophy into teaching at the University of California Los Angeles and, 22 years ago, to UW-Green Bay. This deep sense of obligation to the community has brought benefits to everyone involved, and to many Northeast Wisconsin communities.

“The community gets the benefit of some great, creative minds and the students get the benefit of hands-on education,” said Cruz, who earned a doctoral degree in urban planning at UCLA’s Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning. “We’ve even taken this internationally, when we developed a comprehensive plan for Tena in the Amazon. It was a marvelous experience to see our Wisconsin students interact with students from Denmark and Spain. We all grew from that experience, just as we grow from every engagement like that.”

Here’s a partial list of the projects and communities in which Cruz and his students have been involved:

  • Students contributed to the streetscape design for On Broadway, where Cruz has served as a member of the design committee for On Broadway, Inc. since its founding in 1995.
  • Students worked with the ARTgarage on Olde Main Street, due in part to Cruz’s role as a founding member of Latinos Unidos in 1996.
  • UW-Green Bay students developed the first neighborhood master plan for Wisconsin’s Main Street Program and were later presented a Wisconsin Main Street Program award in Madison.
  • Cruz himself served as a member of the Transportation Commission for the City of Green Bay from 2004 to 2008.
  • Students updated the City of Algoma’s Neighborhood Transportation and Connectivity Plan in 2014.
  • Cruz and students contributed to the 2015 Community Profile document for Town of Stockbridge, which is used in the Town’s economic development initiatives and helped leaders to revise vision statement.
  • Students helped to develop elements the comprehensive plan of Tena, Ecuador (2011 to 2014), thanks to an international internship there developed by Cruz. Those students worked with students from Ecuador, Spain, Denmark, and from UW Milwaukee and Central Michigan University
  • Students gave strong support to Cruz, who, as a member of Green Bay’s Transportation Commission, worked to bring the universal bus pass to UW-Green Bay.

– Story by freelance writer Jim Streed ’05. Renderings by Mary Long, maps by Wade Connett and interior drawings by Marla Cherney.

Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.

Urban and Regional Studies Bay Beach Design Project

– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication

National Coverage for Cruz’s waterfront project

Under the direction of Associate Prof. Marcelo Cruz (Urban and Regional Studies) UW-Green Bay students proposed new ideas for Green Bay waterfront property from Bay Beach to the Marina, including Renard Island. Fox 11 had the original story. Associated Press picked up the story, and it was distributed with a reach in the millions. Coverage included US News & World Report and The Washington Times.

Supervisor Steckenback also mentions Prof. Cruz’s class

We mentioned last week that the new STEM Innovation Center was at the center of Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach’s State of the County address. Receiving an “honorable mention” in the speech was UW-Green Bay Prof. Marcelo Cruz’s course, Special Topics: Course in Urban and Regional Studies (Waterfront project — Bay Beach, Marina and Renard Island Visioning and Connectivity Study). Students suggest a new Waterfront District for the area from Bay Beach to the marina, including Renard Island.  Fox 11 covered a part of the project on Tuesday.


UW-Green Bay students propose ideas for new ‘Green Bay Waterfront District’

Brown County Leaders are discussing what to do with waterfront property from Bay Beach to the Marina, including the 55-acre Renard Island. Students in Prof. Marcelo Cruz’s course, Special Topics: Course in Urban and Regional Studies (Waterfront projcect — Bay Beach, Marina and Renard Island Visioning and Connectivity Study) have worked semester-long on the project and presented to city leaders and local business leaders, on May 8. Fox11 News covered the Renard Island portion of the story.