…motivating her to be a marathoner, not a couch potato.
“Entering college, I was a scared and timid 18-year-old,” says Natalie Salkowski, “but I left a confident woman. Being involved as a Resident Assistant, at the Kress as a Fitness Instructor, and in the Professional Program in Education developed me into a strong young woman who could fearlessly face the world.”
Helping her along the way were Chrisanna Coletta and Laura Vietmeyer, Natalie’s mentors and supervisors during her time as an RA and Fitness Instructor. “Laura has inspired me to always reach for all of my dreams no matter how lofty. Chrisanna now lives further away, but I am still glad to call her a friend as well,” Natalie says. “She helped me so much to grow into myself and to be true to who I really am. Her advice and friendship helped me in more ways than I can explain.”
During her time as a Resident Assistant, Natalie recalls having “an amazing staff to work with every single year.” Whether it meant putting on programs or simply spending quality time with each other, Natalie says, “It was a ton of fun to relax every night after class and be ridiculous with a group of people who were only there to be kind and not to judge.”
As a lover of fitness and exercise, Natalie also discovered a love of running while at UWGB. “I would run in the arboretum after class as a stress reliever that grew into a new passion. This passion grew into members of the Kress staff inspiring me to run in the Green Bay 1/2 Marathon as a junior. Once I did, I was hooked. The day after I graduated in 2013, I ran in the Green Bay Full Marathon and did so last year as well. With the love and support of my UWGB family, I was transformed from a couch potato to a marathoner.”
Ultimately, it was this blend of academic and personal experience that allowed Natalie to flourish as a person. “I discovered through all of these activities my love of leadership, fitness, and learning. It has made me a better teacher at the school I work at, a better coach, and a good role model for all of my students,” Natalie says. “The people I have met at UWGB have surely shaped me into the person I am today and have made me a better person.”
Name: Natalie Salkowski
Grad Year: 2013
Minor: Secondary Education
Photos submitted by: Natalie Salkowski
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.