Tag Archives: Humanistic Studies

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.

Neuendorf, Jill

UWGB Transformed Jill by…

…showing her how to become a global citizen.

Part of what makes UWGB so special is its expansive network of international schools across the globe. And although Jill Neuendorf majored in German and Humanistic Studies, it was her willingness to embrace UWGB’s global network and its connections to Kharkov, Ukraine that paved her career path.

Jill vividly remembers taking a Russian class with Alisa Strelnikova from Kharkov, Ukraine in the summer of 1992, which Jill says “made the biggest impact of all on me and my life as a whole. Thanks to that class, I befriended Alisa and ended up going to Kharkov on a UW-GB exchange in 1994 just to reconnect with her and meet her family.” However, Jill ended up falling in love with Ukraine and the Russian language and culture, eager to learn more and more about the former USSR, its people, and the Russian language. As a result, Jill found her true passion and calling in life. “If I hadn’t taken Russian with Alisa at UWGB,” Jill says, “I would have never studied it and have no idea what I would be doing today.”

Although Jill’s course with Alisa in 1992 lasted only eight weeks, she and Alisa became good friends. Jill traveled to Ukraine two years later, “just to learn more about Alisa’s city and country, and to meet her family.” In the end, however, Jill ended up connecting her own life with Russia, its people, and the countries of the former Soviet Union. Jill says she will always be grateful to UWGB for facilitating the exchange with Kharkov State University, which made it possible both for Alisa to come to UWGB and for her to go to Kharkov.

After returning from Kharkov, Jill wanted “to go back to that area of the world again and again to keep learning more and more Russian,” which is exactly what she did. In total, Jill lived in Ukraine and Russia for about seven years and has also visited and/or lived in Estonia, Latvia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. Jill, who teaches Russian at Georgetown University, is involved in a variety of projects that require Russian language proficiency and is a true global citizen thanks to UWGB.

Name: Jill Neuendorf
Grad Year: 1995
Major: German and Humanistic Studies

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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 Christopher by…

…giving him the motivation to start his own business.

Ask any small business owner: entrepreneurship can be the most rewarding–and the most stressful–endeavor that a recent college graduate can undertake. Yet that is exactly what Christopher Lange did, and he credits his UWGB experience, one that helped him find the motivation to take the risk of small business ownership.

When I began attending UWGB, I was uncertain about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life,” Christopher says. “While I am still not certain where I will end up, I am most certainly better prepared because of my time at UWGB.  I started out unfocused and, to some extent, unmotivated, but through time, learning, and the diligent help of UWGB staff, I began to take my studies seriously.”

Christopher recalls his many lasting friendships made while at UWGB, but he insists that the leadership and inspiration from the UWGB staff and faculty is what truly made the difference in deciding his career path. Citing Gregory Aldrete, Clifton Ganyard, Ellen Rosewall, and Darrel Renier, Christopher believes that it was these people who transformed his academic career into one he could be proud of.

Now, Christopher is a small business owner and emphasizes that his UWGB education was indispensible in his success.

“Had I not taken time to make myself want to learn, and not had the tools and resources available to me at UWGB, I would not have been in a position to be a small business owner,” Christopher says.

Name: Christopher Lange

Grad Year: 2014

Major: History and Arts Management

Minor: Humanistic Studies

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 Susan by…

…embracing interdisciplinarity to make the impossible possible.

UW-Green Bay is known for its many high-quality academic programs, but for Susan Frost, UWGB’s Adult Degree program proved to be life changing. “What I remember is the very personal involvement and support that the staff of the Adult Degree program provided,” Susan says. “This was a formula for success. It was comforting and encouraging, and it was powerful in retention and in motivation. The people involved changed my life.”

When Susan arrived on the UWGB campus, she was already a successful business woman and in fact, Susan brought her secretary along for the ride.

“We both earned degreeFrost, Susans,” Susan recalls, “and when I started, I came to get a piece of paper to nail to my office wall that said I was ‘certifiably smart.’ What I got was something far more important, much to my surprise.” Susan asserts that her UWGB experience provided her with a deeper understanding of how interdisciplinarity works in the marketplace, crucial to her future success in the business world. “This understanding allowed me to transform my business from an ordinary advertising agency to a marketing company that has survived the test of time, when others have fallen, because true marketing is based in the humanities and understanding the human condition,” Susan says.

Of course, Susan did not arrive at this conclusion on her own. She credits Bill Laatsch for “engaging me in topics I never thought I’d like and teaching me how to teach,” Fritz Fischbach who “taught problem solving and helped me define my life’s work and passion,” and Cheryl Grosso whose class “let me put my toe in the water and understand that I could earn a degree.” And not surprisingly, Susan gleaned insight from a truly eclectic, interdisciplinary group of UWGB educators. “As anyone can see, this is an interdisciplinary education,” Susan explains, “and this why I have donated to the university. I want other students to have this amazing experience.”

Embracing this sense of interdisciplinarity, Susan has engaged herself to make a lasting impact on her community. “I have a very comprehensive understanding of how the dynamics within a community play out, and it has given me a foundation to contribute to the community I love by serving on the Neville, the Brown County Historical Society, the Founders Association, and the Evergreen Productions Board in a way I never could have in the past,” Susan insists. “None of this would have happened without the transformative experience of the university which provided me with the tools needed to provide broad community education.”

Now working as an Associate Lecturer, Susan says that UWGB helped make the impossible possible.

“My UWGB experience not only assured me of my ‘smartness,’ but it also opened the door to obtaining a master’s degree at UW-Milwaukee, something I never imagined possible,” Susan explains. “For all of this, I am eternally grateful to this institution. I owe it to the professors who opened so many doors, a profound debt which I try to repay with every student I touch now as an Associate Lecturer: again, this is something I never imagined was possible.”

Name: Susan Frost
Grad Year: 1997
Major: Business, Communications, and Humanistic Studies

Photo submitted by: Susan Frost

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.