Category Archives: Stories

UWGB Transformed David by…

…expanding “ECO U” beyond the campus and into his own life.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, UWGB earned the nickname “ECO U” for its focus on environmental research and sustainability, and perhaps no UWGB graduate has embraced his alma mater’s early moniker more than David Muench.

As an undergrad, David enjoyed the Shorewood Club, intramural ping-pong tournaments at Deckner, and Phoenix basketball games at the arena, but his coursework and later master’s degree was rooted in environment research and studies of the natural world. And David says his UWGB transformation was natural, of course.

“In graduate school, I became interested in wetlands through Bud Harris and devoted much time to the subject,” David explains. “I studied federal and state legislation as it related to wetlands and wetland management and became fascinated with the function of wetlands and their benefit to the environment.”

However, even after leaving the UWGB campus, David says that his appreciation for the natural world has only increased.

“Wetlands and the environment have stayed with me through my UW-Extension career and afterward, and I was able to work wetlands into the job and outside interests, including bringing wetland education to youth in southwest Wisconsin,” David asserts.

Adding to these accomplishments, David also brought his interest in wetland education to east-central Wisconsin in an Extension appointment in Outagamie County, where he expanded his wetland education programs to three sessions with props and facilitated dozens of programs over the years.

After his time at the Extension came to a close, just like a Phoenix, David rose to the occasion again and immersed himself in environmental outreach studies.

“After retiring from Extension, I learned about an opportunity to participate in a long-term study called the Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program,” David explains. “One aspect which interested me was monitoring frog populations, and I spent the next ten years counting frogs by listening for their sounds at a site near Shiocton. This has expanded to helping start a DNR frog counting program at Northeastern Wisconsin Land Trust.”

Emphasizing his dedication to the natural world surrounding him, David has taken his professional and academic interests and carried them into his personal life.

“When my wife and I were looking for some property on which to build a second/vacation home, the site we chose had a small wetland,” David says. “She appreciates wetlands–and frogs–as much as I do. It is an important part of our property, not only for us but for visitors. I built a boardwalk through the wetland to more closely observe the activity that goes on. I hope to instill the interest in wetlands in my grandkids.”

And David’s efforts have not only helped his immediate family and his environment, but his extended family, too.

“When my in-laws farm was threatened financially during a bad agricultural economy, I encouraged them to participate in some available federal programs which constructed wetlands and woodlands out of some lowlands they have,” David asserts. “Thirty years later, the area is productive in trees and wildlife and the nearby Branch River no longer receives tons of soil runoff from the continuous corn previously occupying the site.”

Today, David stays connected with ECO U by partnering with several professors on campus for community projects involving the environment, but has also served the Alumni Association and the Alumni Board for fourteen years over four decades. So if current Phoenix are walking the Cofrin Arboretum, listening attentively to the sound of nature that surrounds them, David Muench is probably listening, too.

 

Name: David Muench

Grad Year: 1972, 1979

Major: Regional Analysis, Natural Resources Management

Minor: None

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We’ve asked alumni to either share stories of how their lives were transformed by the UWGB  experience or how they are making the world a better place with transformational work in their careers, homes, or volunteer experiences. As UWGB celebrates its 50th Anniversary, meet an alum each week who has experienced a “UW-Green Bay Transformation.” Stories were self-submitted and then edited by Zachary Taylor, a 2010 English Education graduate currently serving as Interim Associate Director of the Phuture Phoenix program.

 

 

 

 

UWGB Transformed Lindsay by…

…giving her the confidence to launch her very own fine arts company.

When Lindsay Barr (nee Kujawa) came to Green Bay, she admits she was a quiet girl who lacked self confidence and a direction.

“I knew I loved theatre, but not for the performance aspect, but for the academic potential it provided,” Lindsay explains, “and through my four years at UWGB, I not only grew into the academic theatre professional I have become but into a person who is confident and strives to help my students find their confidence everyday.”

As often is the case, Lindsay’s professionalism was inspired by a number of UWGB professionals, Laura Riddle, Mike Ingraham, and John Mariano to name a few.

“Laura Riddle really encouraged me to challenge myself and grow. She taught me the importance of passion and academia within theatre, and pushed me to expand my views on the world,” says Lindsay. “Mike Ingraham was one of the toughest professors I encountered, but he deeply impacted my teaching style. He showed me how effective ‘tough love’ can be and although he probably doesn’t know it, his kindness and understanding during my senior year was one of the most influential experiences of my college career. And John Mariano was the first person to really believe in my academic abilities. He pushed me academically like no other teacher I’ve encountered. His passion for theatre history and dramaturgical importance in production is one of the main reasons I am pursuing a career in dramaturgy and producing. Beyond that, John was an incredible director and acting professor, and I feel extremely lucky to have been a student of his.”

As a result, her time at UWGB inspired the creation of Lindsay’s very own Introspect Arts, a fine arts company currently in its 7th season, run entirely by a new generation of young artists. And Lindsay credits UWGB for showing her how mentorship, collaboration, and excellent artistry can deeply impact one’s community.

“My time at UWGB prepared me for the real world far beyond some of my fellow colleagues. The liberal arts education, not only within the college but also the Theatre program, gave me more opportunities than I thought possible,” Lindsay says.

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We’ve asked alumni to either share stories of how their lives were transformed by the UWGB  experience or how they are making the world a better place with transformational work in their careers, homes, or volunteer experiences. As UWGB celebrates its 50th Anniversary, meet an alum each week who has experienced a “UW-Green Bay Transformation.” Stories were self-submitted and then edited by Zachary Taylor, a 2010 English Education graduate currently serving as Interim Associate Director of the Phuture Phoenix program.

Do you want more out of your UWGB experience? Adhere to the “Seven C’s” says Meyer

UW-Green Bay’s Secretary of the Faculty and Staff Steve Meyer was the sixth and final speaker in the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s “Last Lecture Series,” presented in celebration of the University’s 50th Anniversary.

Meyer, also a member of the UWGB science faculty, presented “Forget the Three T’s: Focus on the Seven C’s” on Wednesday, April 27 in the Christie Theatre of the University Union.

Many familiar with UW-Green Bay have heard of UWGB’s “3 T’s” — known affectionately as trees, tunnels and toilets (in every dorm room). (Recent students have added a fourth — teachers). Meyer suggests in his Last Lecture that if the UW-Green Bay family focuses less on the “T’s” and more on the “C’s” UWGB would be a better place to work, play and study.

“The C’s are not conifers, commodes and concourses,” he joked, but “cavort, challenge, conviction, compassion, considerate, character and commitment.” Meyer’s heartfelt presentation was a reflection on his personal faith as a Christian, and his potential influence as a friend, father, husband, teacher and peer.

“In the end,” he says, “Life is all about relationships… The only thing that matters in the world are the people in your life… and the most important thing you can do is touch the lives of others.”

In Prof. Meyer style, he left the Last Lectures audience to reflect on two classic movie scenes — one from “It’s a Wonderful Life” when angel Clarence tells George, “Remember, no man is a failure who has friends,” and from the pop classic “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” “Be excellent to each other.”

The following is the list of Last Lecture participants and topics:

  • Sept. 23 — Derek Jeffreys, Professor, Humanistic Studies
    “The Mystery of the Person: Teaching Philosophy and Religion in a Maximum-Security Prison”
  • Oct. 28 — Jeff Entwistle, Professor, Theatre and Dance
    “We All Need Theatre in Our Lives and in Our Future”
  • Nov. 18 — Susan Gallagher-Lepak, Professor, Nursing
    “E-Learning: The Train has Left the Station”
  • Feb. 17 — Lucy Arendt, Associate Dean, College of Professional Studies
    “Made to Serve: The Tragic Corruption of America’s Founding Values”
  • April 13 — Phil Clampitt, Professor, Information and Computing Science
    “The Magical Connection between Uncertainty, Innovation, and the Human Spirit.”
  • April 27 — Steve Meyer, Associate Professor, Natural and Applied Sciences
    “Forget the Three T’s: Focus on the Six C’s”
Taylor, Jordan

UWGB Transformed Jordan by…

…catalyzing his passion for science.

Global warming, drought, and exponential energy consumption: these are only a few of the crises facing the 21st century scientific community, but after receiving what he calls an “invaluable education” at UWGB, University of California-Riverside PhD student and Research Scientist Jordan W. Taylor is passionate about changing the world for the better.

“UWGB converted my interest in science into a passion,” Jordan asserts. “I was not only granted my first research experience on campus, but UWGB also provided me with an invaluable education in tutoring and working in the chemical stockroom. I have come to find that the small classes and the ability to be on a ‘first name basis’ with professors is very rare and separates UWGB from many, many other universities.”

These professors Jordan credits–Franklin Chen, Warren Johnson, and Michael Zorn–not only educated him in the ways of Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Physics, but also allowed him the experiential knowledge to conduct his own research.

“Chen, Johnson, and Zorn gave me my first taste of research and taught me how to be a research scientist. And lab tech Joe Schoenebeck allowed me to experience the inner workings of a chemistry lab, which has given me an advantage over many other students,” Jordan says.

And while he admits that transforming the world is quite a large task, Jordan’s doctoral research is focused on 21st century energy resources and methods of constructing efficient energy systems.

“I use coordination chemistry to design catalysts that can help solve the world’s energy issues,” Jordan explains. “I work to identify new catalytic strategies and binding modes that could in turn lead to more efficient and better designed catalytic systems. It is deeply humbling to think that any of my research could one day affect how other researchers think. And I owe it all to UWGB.”

Name: Jordan W. Taylor

Grad Year: 2013

Major: Chemistry

Minor: Physics and Environmental Science

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We’ve asked alumni to either share stories of how their lives were transformed by the UWGB  experience or how they are making the world a better place with transformational work in their careers, homes, or volunteer experiences. As UWGB celebrates its 50th Anniversary, meet an alum each week who has experienced a “UW-Green Bay Transformation.” Stories were self-submitted and then edited by Zachary Taylor, a 2010 English Education graduate currently serving as Interim Associate Director of the Phuture Phoenix program.

UWGB Transformed Brittany by…

…helping her commit to lifelong learning.

When a student graduates from UWGB, Brittany Schreiner insists that their learning isn’t over: in fact, it’s just beginning.

Schreiner, BrittanySlowly realizing that learning is a lifelong commitment, Brittany decided to expand her horizons and study abroad in Cuernavaca during a winter interim session, opening her eyes to what was possible if she conceptualized learning outside of classroom walls. Contributing to this transformation were teachers Lucy Arendt, William Lepley, and Don McCartney.
“These three individuals love what they do and are so passionate about the subject matter they present, it’s impossible not to be inspired,” Brittany says.

Now, Brittany is thriving after graduation because of her love of learning, an interest developed at UWGB. “I have been recognized as a person who always wants to learn more, do more, and be more at my place of employment. I know that this is due to the relationships cultivated with faculty and students at UWGB,” Brittany posits. “My time there inspired me not to be afraid to take on new challenges and learn new and interesting things. UWGB ignited a spark inside me that made me hungry to learn more. Intelligent people never really stop learning.”

Name: Brittany Schreiner

Grad Year: 2014

Major: Business Administration

Minor: Spanish and International Business

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We’ve asked alumni to either share stories of how their lives were transformed by the UWGB  experience or how they are making the world a better place with transformational work in their careers, homes, or volunteer experiences. As UWGB celebrates its 50th Anniversary, meet an alum each week who has experienced a “UW-Green Bay Transformation.” Stories were self-submitted and then edited by Zachary Taylor, a 2010 English Education graduate currently serving as Interim Associate Director of the Phuture Phoenix program.

Video: Phil Clampitt’s Last Lecture

Prof. Phil Clampitt, the fifth speaker in the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s “Last Lecture Series,” presented, “The Magical Connection between Uncertainty, Innovation, and the Human Spirit.”

“I’ve been researching how to manage uncertainty for many years and I’ve been fascinated by innovation since I was a young boy,” said Clampitt, as to why he selected this particular topic. His lecture focused on the intersection of uncertainty management principles and innovation, and concluded with a discussion of personal life lessons for thoughtful human beings.

In a presentation that he said wouldn’t be appropriate for the classroom, Clampitt allowed the crowd of faculty, staff, students and quite a large representation of alumni (traveling as far as from Madsion) in the Christie Theatre, a glimpse at his personal side. He summarized his presentation with four recommendations:

  • Embrace doubt
  • Experiment and debate where to tweak
  • Move beyond fears
  • Express gratitude

Clampitt is the Blair Endowed Chair of Communications at UW-Green Bay and has been a member of the faculty since 1981. The popular faculty member has written and co-authored a number of books including his best-seller, “Communicating for Managerial Effectiveness, and Embracing Uncertainty: The Essence of Leadership.” He is a requested speaker across the United States —including a presentation at the U.S. Army War College — and internationally, at the University of Pisa, University of Aberdeen and the University of Ulster, among other locations.

The published author has works in journals such as the MIT Sloan Management Review, Academy of Management Executive, Management Communication Quarterly and Journal of Business Communication.

The following is the list of Last Lecture participants and topics:

Larsen, Erica 1

UWGB Transformed Erica by…

…showing her how to rely on her herself.

For many freshman, the transition between high school and college can be a rocky one because it’s the first time they have been on their own. Thankfully for Erica Larsen, she was able to find the right blend of people and experiences at UWGB to allow her to seize her independence.

Larsen, ERica 2 “I came to UWGB a timid, shy, and sheltered bookworm,” Erica explains,” but I rapidly transformed into a hard-partying wildchild, and eventually mellowed into a happy medium between the two before my third year.”

Once Erica settled into her studies, she credits numerous UWGB faculty and staff members for making her into a much more self-reliant person.

“Bryan Vescio really challenged me to think critically and not take anything at face value,” Erica says. “Rebecca Meacham inspired me to push my own boundaries and, when faced with closed doors, taught me to build my own. And Denise Scheberle gave me self confidence and the ability to rely on myself for the first time in my life.”

Now with a wonderful career working for a large local financial institution, a fantastic family, and both professional and personal success, Erica says she has come a long way and has UWGB to thank.

“I never imagined this for myself when I was a scared and anxious freshman,” Erica says.

Name: Erica Larsen

Grad Year: 2010

Major: English

Minor: Humanistic Studies

Photo submitted by: Erica Larsen

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We’ve asked alumni to either share stories of how their lives were transformed by the UWGB  experience or how they are making the world a better place with transformational work in their careers, homes, or volunteer experiences. As UWGB celebrates its 50th Anniversary, meet an alum each week who has experienced a “UW-Green Bay Transformation.” Stories were self-submitted and then edited by Zachary Taylor, a 2010 English Education graduate currently serving as Interim Associate Director of the Phuture Phoenix program.

Welcoming Regents and Guests

Please join UWGB Chancellor Gary L. Miller and campus organizers in welcoming the UW System Board of Regents, UW chancellors and staff members and special guests to UW-Green Bay Thursday and Friday, April 7-8. UWGB’s 100-plus guests will be using much of the University Union for meeting space and break areas. The Regents are visiting by special invitation of Chancellor Miller as part of UWGB’s yearlong 50th Anniversary celebration. All full board and committee meetings are open to the public. A full agenda (including timing of UWGB presentations and projects) is available here. The Regents typically visit campuses on a rotating schedule. The last time they were at UWGB was October of 2011. Please wear your UWGB gear on Thursday and Friday to show your Phoenix Pride.

See Inside UW-Green Bay news posts about the Regents visit.

UWGB Transformed Elizabeth by…

…establishing a culture of “hands-on” learning.

Whether it was participating in the Academic Excellence Symposium or having the opportunity to engage with the Lawton Gallery, Elizabeth Gigstead insists that her “hands-on” learning experiences truly prepared her for the real world.

“The entire art department faculty–in particular Stephen Perkins and Ellen Rosewall, professors Gigstead, Elizabethin my respective major and minor–were great influences and are exceptional leaders in the classroom,” Elizabeth says. “These individuals–coupled with rigorous and challenging coursework–gave me the confidence to exhibit a body of work at the Lawton. I took away so much with the hands-on learning in the Lawton Gallery especially, an extremely imperative piece of the work I do today being at the helm of a museum.”

Although the Lawton Gallery provided Elizabeth with an invaluable artistic outlet, she reflects fondly on the guidance of Ellen Rosewall, Elizabeth’s “biggest inspiration.”

“Professor Rosewall always provided a culture in her classroom that was challenging, fun, and hands-on. She was always seeking opportunities outside of the classroom to enhance the coursework,” Elizabeth asserts. “The key here was the opportunities: they were plentiful, whether it was an internship, exhibit opportunity, or volunteer experience.  It was the real-world experiences I had that gave me a leg-up and positioned me for success after graduation.”

Elizabeth now works in the museum field, where she engages in hands-on learning on a daily basis, a culture she says was cultivated at UWGB.

“I enjoyed my four years at UW-Green Bay, as they provided me the skills and tools needed to excel in my post-graduation endeavors,” Elizabeth says.

Name: Elizabeth Gigstead
Grad Year: 2004
Major: Museum Studies
Minor: Arts Management

Photo submitted by: Elizabeth Gigstead

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We’ve asked alumni to either share stories of how their lives were transformed by the UWGB  experience or how they are making the world a better place with transformational work in their careers, homes, or volunteer experiences. As UWGB celebrates its 50th Anniversary, meet an alum each week who has experienced a “UW-Green Bay Transformation.” Stories were self-submitted and then edited by Zachary Taylor, a 2010 English Education graduate currently serving as Interim Associate Director of the Phuture Phoenix program.

Wilmot, Mary 2

UWGB Transformed Mary by…

…helping her establish life-long academic and personal relationships.

Wood Hall will always hold a special place in Mary Benton Wilmot’s heart.

Wilmot, Mary 1

Photo submitted by: Mary Benton Wilmot

“I met my husband in my second semester as a freshman,” Mary recalls. “We met in Wood Hall and married four years later. We are going on sixteen years of marriage in May 2015, and meeting him changed my life forever. We often joke about how we met in Wood Hall. We stared at each other for a month, as he was with his friends and I was with my friends, and when finally he saw me alone, he came over to ask me out. The rest is history.”

Yet for as life-changing as Wood Hall was, Mary also insists that meeting her husband in no way took a backseat to her academic experiences.

“The professor that I learned the most from was Don McCartney. My husband had him as a professor and recommended him. He was great to learn from, and I remember feeling accomplished when I finished his classes,” Mary explains. And upon graduation, Mary felt absolutely prepared for whatever life may throw at her.

“I felt like I was armed and ready to get into the ‘real world’ after leaving UWGB. Little did I know how much I didn’t know. UWGB students always made me feel at home and UWGB staff always provided great guidance for how to chart my career based on my interests,” Mary says, “and I’ll always be grateful for the experience.”

As it turns out Mary’s UWGB experience has served her well: she is now a Senior Program Manager for a leading cloud and virtualization technology company–VMware–and lives in San Francisco, California.

Name: Mary Benton Wilmot

Grad Year: 1998

Major: Business

Minor: Graphic Design

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We’ve asked alumni to either share stories of how their lives were transformed by the UWGB  experience or how they are making the world a better place with transformational work in their careers, homes, or volunteer experiences. As UWGB celebrates its 50th Anniversary, meet an alum each week who has experienced a “UW-Green Bay Transformation.” Stories were self-submitted and then edited by Zachary Taylor, a 2010 English Education graduate currently serving as Interim Associate Director of the Phuture Phoenix program.