…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 degrees,” 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.