Major: Human Development and Psychology
Future Plans: Graduate school for a PhD in educational psychology.
I wasn’t even sure about going to college but right away in my freshman year I made lifelong connections with my classmates and professor by enrolling in a freshman seminar. The professors give me one-on-one time and opportunities to grow constantly through real world challenges. One professor allowed me to help with research, which has been recognized by her peers. Because of this experience I have developed a passion for teaching and working with first year students.
When I first came to UW-Green Bay I was afraid to be somewhere new, but I have found community here. Professor Clampitt helped me by giving me the confidence to go after my dream. It required changing my major and I am so much happier. I have been a teaching assistant for Professor Clampitt, which has been an incredible experience and it has really taught me how to be a problem solver. I now know how to think critically and hopefully one day companies will ask me to help solve their problems.
Major: Human Biology
In high school we never questioned anything, people of authority, teachers, leaders, everyone just gave us information and we never questioned their motive or why we would be doing something but UW-Green Bay has broadened my horizons. Professors have challenged me and staff has supported me so that I can question everything around me and think for myself. I am going to be a gynecologist in my home country of Malaysia so I can help Muslim women have healthier pregnancies through counseling and care. I am no longer passive; I am open-minded and think critically. Instead of just reacting I really look at what options I have available.
Major: Communication, Journalism and Public Relations
I plan to be a journalist after graduation and if I were to point to a person who helped me change my life at UW-Green Bay it would be Professor Vicki Goff. She is constantly talking to us about our future and relaying to us what we might expect to find in the workforce. She has been in our shoes and she shows us what employers are looking for. She goes above and beyond in preparing us for finding our career after college.
Mary Gallagher Damiani, 1990
A lot of my classmates seemed to know what they wanted to do with their lives, they had them
all mapped out. They had passion. I liked watching Letterman and memorizing the acts of the
comedians I saw, but I knew that probably wasn’t a “passion” per se. I didn’t think I had any
passion for anything.
But as I watched all my friends make college plans, I decided that I wanted to go to college, too.
Maybe I’d find my passion there. Maybe college itself was my passion. I’d find out when I got
there, right? So I told my parents, “I want to go to college!” I figured they’d write a check, buy
me some new outfits, and send me off. After all, I lived in the wealthy suburb of Elm Grove, and
that’s what wealthy suburban parents do, right?
Not so much.
Instead my father said, “Well, school is expensive. You’d better start saving your money.”
Apparently my dropped jaw was a signal to explain further, because he did. “It will mean more to
you if you pay for it yourself.” continue reading (PDF)
Jill Neuendorf, 1995
Instructor of Russian
I entered UW-Green Bay in 1990 as a declared German major. In the fall of 1991, I took my first upper-level German class with Professor Jennifer Ham. What struck me most about this class was that it was taught entirely in German. (Up until that time all of the German classes I had taken in high school and with other German instructors at UWGB were taught only in English.) Needless to say, I felt overwhelmed but, at the same time, I also found myself working hard to learn new material and making great progress in German.
One thing that I appreciated the most about Professor Ham was that she always made her students come up to her level, rather than going down to ours. In addition, she spent hours of her free time helping me when I was confused about grammar points in German. I took this lesson with me and applied it when I began to teach in 2005. At that time, I was teaching third-year Russian (yes, I totally changed my language focus from German to Russian after graduating from UWGB!). I used only Russian in class with my students, just as Professor Ham had done with my class, and required that they write weekly essays in Russian, just as my class had done in German.
In essence, then, one of the main reasons I regard Professor Ham so highly is because she believed in us and believed that we could indeed cope with the task at hand, no matter how difficult it was. In addition, she required the same of all the students in our class, regardless of their command of German.
Currently, I teach Russian at Georgetown University and apply many of the things in my teaching that I learned while taking classes with Professor Ham. Without question, one of the most rewarding parts of teaching is hearing my students say "thank you." That is why I want to say "thank you" to Professor Ham for having made such a positive influence on me and my language learning at such a critical time in my life. UWGB is fortunate to have a language instructor like Professor Ham who is so passionate about what she teaches. Every university should be so lucky.
Tracy Korpela, 2004
Marketing Director/Leasing Specialist
Grand Avenue Shops, Milwaukee
Truth be told, I really wanted to go to Loyola University for college. After touring several private schools and some state schools, I was highly encouraged by my parents to choose a state school and ended up deciding on UWGB. There were moments that I missed being in a bigger city and wished there was more to do, however, after I met a few people and immersed myself into my Theatre studies and Business degree, I felt completely at home.
There were two professors that had a significant impact on my education: Professor Don McCartney and Professor Regan Gurung. Professor McCartney is an excellent, well-versed teacher who gave me a very solid, realistic base for my future in business. Professor Gurung is truly one of a kind. He has a creative, worldly and approachable teaching style that allows students to not only learn, but retain that knowledge for future application. He made it a point to learn each one of his student’s names in EVERY class he had by about week two.
Julie (Londo) Davenport, 1986
Senior Systems Engineer
Distance Education and Educational Technology, Central Texas College
I’m thankful for the lessons I learned in his courses at UWGB many years ago. I was one of the first Information and Computing Science graduates. I took as many of his courses as I could; he made me love to write code (and even made recursion understandable)! Twenty-four years later, I’m working for a community college in Central Texas, and I still love to write code. Unfortunately, now I also have to go to meetings, supervise staff, and do research, but I still make time to do the fun stuff. Dr. Shay was a great teacher, and he cared about his students. I’m a better developer because of him.
Hometown: Tony, WI
High School: Flambeau High School, 2009
Major: Design Arts
Shy. Not a word that most people would use to describe Ryan Stewart. Yet, when asked to describe how UW-Green Bay has changed him, he says, "I’m more confident and comfortable...more of a people person…less shy."
Ryan's story is not unusual for a UW-Green Bay student. He grew up on a farm in a small town in northern Wisconsin. He was a good student in high school, went to Badger Boys State, and was involved in sports and theater. He earned college credit while in high school, and was the only student from his graduating class who came to UW-Green Bay.
Ryan is also not unusual in the sense that he chose UW-Green Bay for many of the same reasons that we frequently hear from new students: he wanted a "small town" feel to his school while also having access to a city like Green Bay (yes, he’s been to some Packers games); he wanted to be in a place where he could easily meet and connect with other people; he wanted to know his professors. UW-Green Bay was a great fit for him, and he felt it as soon as he set foot on campus.
Once enrolled at UW-Green Bay, he found that his professors were very influential. (This, too, is a common experience.) Among them was Prof. Steve Meyer, who taught the class "The Ocean of Air" – a course that fulfills a general education requirement and is taken by many freshmen. Ryan describes how Prof. Meyer would help lead students to the correct answers for questions, rather than just passing over someone who needed help.
Professor Meyer also led Ryan to the moment that he calls his "defining moment" at UW-Green Bay: the day he was selected as a UW-Green Bay Ambassador. Prof. Meyer nominated Ryan for the Ambassador position, which he wouldn’t have thought of pursuing otherwise. (Remember the "shy" description!) Ryan applied for the Ambassador position and was selected - and the rest is history! You might have even had Ryan as your tour guide if you visited campus. Ryan now describes himself as well-rounded and able to handle lots of different situations. Of his changes he says, "You have to learn to handle lots of things by yourself; you won’t always have someone to help you. Harsh but true."
Ryan's experience at UW-Green Bay has helped him to be ready for whatever life brings him, which is likely to be graduate school for computer graphics and animation. He hopes to apply his knowledge and skills in the film industry.
When asked if there was anything he’d want to say to this year’s graduating seniors, he just smiled and said, "UW-Green Bay changed my life."
Hometown: Medford, WI
High School: Medford High School, 2008
UW-Green Bay major: Psychology
"I was ready for a change at the end of high school. I love my hometown, but I wanted to go somewhere that not many people knew me so I could start over and do something new...where I could be who I wanted to be without expectations and without being judged."
"My experience at UW-Green Bay has really opened my eyes. In the end, I'm still the same person, but with new perspectives, more knowledge, and different interests. Now I'm willing to get involved and try new things. This wouldn’t have happened if I would have stayed home. The change was good for me."
Jeanine Hunkele Knapp, 1991
UW-Green Bay majors: Economics, Public and Environmental Affairs
I participated in the Louis O. Erdmann Into to Performing Arts class While "Lou" isn’t around to read this, my world became bigger, smaller and strengthened through his class experience. I love especially how the performing arts bring to "life" the interdisciplinary nature of our experiences. Performances touch us in the heart, where we are moved to feel, and hopefully act, in ways more humane and compassionate with ourselves, each other and our fellow inhabitants. Thanks Lou!
On the radio...
2000 Grad Communication Major Director of Convention and Corporate Sales, Hotel Sierra and KI Convention Center
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1998 Grad Urban & Regional Studies Community Economic Development Specialist, Dimension IV
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2008 Grad Social Work Program Outreach Specialist, Wise Women Gathering Place Inc
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