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UW-Green BayFoundation

Katie Hemauer Memorial Endowed Scholarship

Discipline: Natural and Applied Sciences

Student: Continuing

Katie Hemauer was a 2004 graduate of UW-Green Bay, majoring in Environmental Science (Ecology emphasis). Katie transferred to UW-Green Bay after completing two years at UW-Fox Valley. Once she arrived on the UW-Green Bay campus, Katie accomplished many extraordinary things. Professor Steve Meyer says, "In my time as a faculty member, both at the University of Nebraska and UWGB, Katie still stands out as the best student I have ever known. She was, in fact, the most complete student I have ever come across."

Katie was an outstanding academician, and not just because she had a 4.0 grade point average.  Katie had this drive to thoroughly understand the subject material in every class she took. Her understanding of the material was so complete, that Professor Meyer says he would always grade her exam first to make sure his answer key contained everything it should. Not only was her comprehension of subject material outstanding, her participation in classroom discussion was fantastic - plus, she had this knack of drawing participation out of the entire class.

Katie had a tremendous curiosity about the natural world around her, making her a wonderful researcher/scholar. Katie wanted to know how and why the environment worked the way it did.  Katie once met with Professor Meyer during office hours and informed him she wanted to learn about soil temperatures. As a result, he worked with her on a proposal she submitted to the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity's Student Research Grant Program. Professor Meyer remembers fondly the Thursday mornings during the Fall 2003 semester when he'd walk with Katie to her research sites in the arboretum to download a week's worth of soil temperature data. "We'd talk about everything, anything, and nothing - I loved those Thursdays," Professor Meyer says. Upon presenting her research results, one colleague commented that it was the best research presentation he had ever seen by an undergraduate student.

Katie was dedicated to serving the campus and community. Katie served the UWGB campus as a student ambassador. During one FOCUS Orientation, Katie demonstrated tremendous compassion for an incoming freshman who was overcome with severe homesickness. If it were not for Katie sitting down and consoling this student for a lengthy period of time, there is little doubt that student would have packed up and left for home that afternoon. It turned out that student not only stayed, but also completed their degree with a 4.0 grade point average and later received a substantial scholarship to pursue their doctoral degree. Today, that student is a very successful, well-known professional in their field. Katie also served the community. Even though she was not married and had no children, Katie served as a Brownie Troop leader. The Brown Troop's activities were decidedly biased toward science projects, a fact for which she unabashedly did not apologize.

The UWGB Faculty couldn't wait to see to which graduate programs Katie would apply. She would be a rock star, the poster child for the outstanding education and opportunities available through UW-Green Bay. But Katie had always mentioned that her goal in life was to get married and start a family. While this decision surprised many faculty members, she was supported with those dreams for her future. Knowing how she loved teaching her Brownie Troop about the natural world, it was certain that Katie's children would grow up with a love of the outdoors, learning all about the forests, prairies, streams, lakes, and wildlife. She would be the perfect mother and her children would be some of the luckiest kids in the world. We will never know, however, because on the night on November 25, 2005, Katie was taken from us, killed by a drunk driver. She hadn't even reached the prime of her life, her best years were yet to come. She had so much potential, so much to offer, and so much to give. Professor Meyer says, "I know better than to question God's intentions, motives, and actions. I can only trust that He had bigger plans for Katie." He established this scholarship in her memory in 2014 to support future generations of students who share Katie's curiosity of the natural environment and commitment to the campus and community. « View All Funds