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Philosophers’ Café returns with Ganyard talk on history… and science fiction

It’s time, once again, to grab a chair and a treat and enjoy a fascinating Philosophers’ Cafe conversation, this year on a new night. The series kicks off Wednesday (Sept. 3), from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Titletown Brewing Company in downtown Green Bay. Award-winning professor Clif Ganyard of Humanistic Studies and History will lead a talk about the “surprising overlap of history and science fiction.” Science fiction itself has a history, and the examination of past histories of the future can reveal much about past values. Historians now write science fiction, as well, in the form of alternate histories, asking “what if…?” questions.

The Philosophers Café is organized by the UW-Green Bay Philosophy Department and supported by Humanistic Studies, with sessions free and open to all. The best source for additional info is the Facebook page at

‘Linen mini-dress’ lands Aldrete on Public Radio International

Distinguished UW-Green Bay Professor of History and Humanistic Studies Gregory S. Aldrete did a radio interview about the Linothorax Project on the show “The World,” which is a co-production of the BBC, WGBH Boston, and Public Radio International. In it, he discusses his work to solve the mystery of the lightweight linen armor that helped Greek armies conquer the ancient world. The episode already aired on the radio, but you can listen to it at the online archives of the show. Aldrete’s segment is part of the July 10, 2014 episode, beginning around 34:30 minutes in. The online archives are at: PRI also did a written piece; read piece.

Associate Prof. Ganyard, Chancellor Harden honored during UW Regents meeting

UW-Green Bay Associate Prof. Clifton Ganyard and outgoing Chancellor Tom Harden were honored during Friday’s (June 6) UW System Board of Regents meeting at UW-Milwaukee.


During the morning session, Ganyard accepted his Regents Teaching Excellence Award, the UW System’s highest recognition for members of its faculty and academic staff. Introduced by Regent Chuck Pruitt, who praised his passion for teaching and commitment to interdisciplinarity, Ganyard said he truly loves what he does — and how his colleagues and UW-Green Bay help him do it.

Prof Clifton Ganyard“I love teaching, so this award really means a great deal to me,” said Ganyard, Humanistic Studies (History). “I love interacting with my students — it’s why I went to graduate school; it’s why I chose to work at UW-Green Bay.

“For me, teaching is learning — I think that’s why I love it so much. I’m constantly learning new material as I teach, and I learn the most from my students. … It means a great deal to me that you have recognized me for something I really enjoy.”

Ganyard added that his fellow UW-Green Bay faculty members — several of whom were present, along with his wife and Cofrin Library Director Paula Ganyard — motivate him to be a better teacher.

“It’s because of my colleagues,” he said, “that I’ve really been moved and inspired to become the best teacher I can.”

Chancellor Tom Harden

Chancellor Harden also was honored during the meeting, as Regent Tim Higgins read a resolution praising Harden for his years of service at UW-Green Bay. Higgins recalled a holiday party he’d hosted, and the feedback one of his guests — a UW-Green Bay alumna — had about “that darling Tom Harden.” The encounter prompted the alum to send a donation to the UW-Green Bay Foundation, Higgins added.

“I’m jealous,” he said, to laughs. “People love you and they want to send you money.”

Chancellor Tom HardenIn accepting the honor, Harden said he knew the time was right to step down, noting “I didn’t think it’d be emotional, but it is.”

“I feel very fortunate to be here, to have had this opportunity to work with a phenomenal university,” Harden continued. “If you’ve been there, you would agree that we have really, really good people, and they are as committed as any people I’ve ever worked with. And I’ve worked for a long time and I’ve worked with a lot of people.”

Harden recognized his wife, Cathy, as well as UW-Green Bay Provost Julia Wallace and Chief Budget Officer Kelly Franz, calling on Cathy to stand and noting, “that’s my best decision, but the others that have been outstanding have been associated with the people I’ve hired.”

UW-Green Bay’s fifth chancellor closed his remarks with a word about transition, expressing confidence in his successor, the newly hired Gary L. Miller.

“I step aside,” Harden said, “a really happy man.”

Twelve UW-Green Bay faculty members earn academic promotions, tenure

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents approved promotions or tenure for 12 UW-Green Bay faculty members during its meeting June 5-6 at UW-Milwaukee.

The following faculty members promoted from assistant professor to associate professor with tenure: Gaurav Bansal, Cofrin School of Business; Caroline Boswell, Humanistic Studies (History); Michael Knight, Cofrin School of Business; James Loebl, Cofrin School of Business; James Vincent Lowery, Humanistic Studies (History); Sampathkumar Ranganathan, Cofrin School of Business; Gabriel Saxton-Ruiz, Humanistic Studies (Spanish); Christine Vandenhouten, Nursing; and Lora Warner, Public and Environmental Affairs.

The Regents also promoted the following individuals to the rank of full professor:

Heidi Fencl, Natural and Applied Sciences, teaches Modern Physics, Introductory Physics, and Astronomy, and is a member of the Women’s and Gender Studies faculty. She received her B.S. in Physics from Nebraska Wesleyan University, her M.S. in Physics from the University of Nebraska, and her Ph.D. in Nuclear Astrophysics from the Ohio State University. Prior to joining the Physics faculty at UW-Green Bay in the fall of 2001, Fencl taught physics and astronomy at Concordia College Moorhead and was concurrently founding director of the UW System Women and Science Program and coordinator of UW Oshkosh’s Science Outreach Program. Fencl also was the founding director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning at UW-Green Bay.

Fencl’s scholarly interests are in physics education, and in particular she studies pedagogical approaches and out-of-classroom support for effective problem solving process and development of self-efficacy in physics. In addition to the enjoyment she takes in teaching, Fencl enjoys gardening, knitting and making vegan cheeses.

Cristina Ortiz, Humanistic Studies (Spanish), is chair of the Modern Languages program and coordinator of the Spanish program at UW-Green Bay. She joined the faculty in 1993 after receiving a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati. Ortiz has authored a monograph on Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges and has published her research on contemporary Spanish and Latin American female writers in top-tier journals in Spain and the United States. Her area of research focuses on issues of gender, nation and nationalism in contemporary Spanish and Latin American literature and film. Her work has also been included in several edited collections, most recently in Across the Straits: New Visions of Africa in Contemporary Spain.

Ortiz is a member collaborator of the American Academy of the Spanish Language and a special contributor to the academic journal of this organization. In addition to teaching a wide range of courses at UW-Green Bay, Ortiz has been instrumental in the creation of a Visiting Spanish Scholar in Residence program and the Spanish in the Professions program at the University, as well as in establishing numerous local internships for UW-Green Bay students and institutional connections with the Hispanic/Latino community. She also has led study abroad programs to Spain, Mexico, Guatemala, Australia and Cuba. Ortiz is the recipient of two UW-Green Bay Founders Awards. She received the Founders Award for Excellence in Institutional Development in 2004-05 and, most recently, for Excellence in Community Outreach (2013-14).

Michael Zorn, Natural and Applied Sciences, teaches Chemistry and Environmental Science courses and is a member of the graduate faculty of the Environmental Science and Policy program. He was chair of the Chemistry discipline for six years from 2006 to 2013, and he is currently the vice chair of Natural and Applied Sciences.

Zorn’s research interests include development and application of real-time environmental sensors; studying the cycling of nutrients and oxygen in the lower Fox River and Green Bay; utilization of catalysis and photocatalysis for conversion of undesirable organic compounds to non-toxic products; and development and evaluation of alternative energy technologies. Since coming to UW-Green Bay, Zorn has been directly involved in research projects totaling more than $1.6 million in funding.

Zorn has participated in several international travel opportunities associated with UW-Green Bay, including travel to Panama (to set up a January travel course); Finland (to establish research collaborations); and the Universidad del Desarrollo in Santiago, Chile (to further collaborative activities between the two universities).

Zorn began his UW-Green Bay career as an assistant professor in fall 2001, and received promotion to associate professor in 2006. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from UW-Green Bay and his Ph.D. in Environmental Chemistry and Technology from UW-Madison.


Alumni rising: UWGB alumni provide quality early education at Encompass

encompass-group-topEncompass Early Education and Childcare is a nationally accredited organization that provides quality education for children beginning at six weeks of age. The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay plays a significant role in providing staffing for the seven-center organization, with more than 20 Encompass staff members holding a UWGB degree.

The vast majority of staff members are educators, while a few, such as Candee Hendricks ’99 (front row, fourth from left in the photo above), find their way into the organization through other means. Hendricks started as an accountant for Encompass in 2002 and is now its Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Instead of the traditional feature, we decided a Q & A from a few Encompass employees who call UWGB their alma mater would be a better showcase of diversity, talent and impact.

Candee Hendricks, ‘99 Chief Financial Officer
Major: Accounting

Q: How did you get your start?
A: I started as an intern at the C.A. Lawton Company and was hired as an accountant when I graduated. I worked there three years and started at Encompass in December of 2002. I am now the Chief Financial Officer for the organization.

Q: There are a number of UWGB graduates at Encompass. What can you tell us about them?
A: I’ve noticed that the UWGB graduates employed at Encompass are prepared for their career. Several UWGB graduates have moved up the career ladder and are in leadership positions here. Encompass is required to have teachers with degrees in each of our classrooms due to our national accreditation standards. Although UWGB does not have an early childhood degree program, several graduates from UWGB employed at Encompass have Human Development or Elementary Education degrees.

Melissa Franken, ‘90 Center Director at the Bellin Center
Major: Human Development

Q: Tell us about your career path:
A: I started out managing retail stores and once I married and had children went into the early childhood field. I started out as a preschool teacher and then moved to Green Bay and started as a Center Director for Encompass.

Q: Any observations about early education and care?
A: Early education and care for our youngest people is extremely important. We’ve long known the importance of the first years of a child’s life, but now studies can prove it. Brain development in those early years is critical. We also know that teachers need to learn strategies for challenging children because we are seeing an increase in children with challenging behaviors.

Candace Dantinne ‘99, Toddler Teacher at the Bellin Center
Major: History

Q: How did you end up at Encompass with a history degree? What about your future?
A: My sister, who also works at Encompass, recommended me. I found that the culture at Encompass reflects my values — respect, appreciation, communication, honesty, and laughter. The culture and values of Encompass make working there enjoyable and fulfilling. I was prepared for the position from experience and with training from additional child care classes. I see myself continuing to provide children with a program that develops the whole child — intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically.

Q: What are your observations regarding the childcare industry?
A: The first thing I learned is that Encompass is not your typical day care. Encompass utilizes the High Scope Curriculum that emphasizes “Active Participatory Learning.” Children’s interests and choices are at the heart of the program while giving direct, hands-on experiences with people, objects, events, and ideas. Children construct their own knowledge through interactions with the world and people around them.
Being a non-profit and having multiple funding sources leads to the complexity of the organization. There are always new challenges and opportunities. Encompass partners with area school districts to provide four-year-old Kindergarten at five locations. Encompass tries to provide opportunities for all children to receive quality early education and care. Some of the children in our care receive state assistance to make care more affordable. Encompass receives funding from United Way and other community support in order to provide scholarship assistance to families who cannot afford the full fee rates.

Heather Hrabik ‘13, 4K teacher at Bellin Center
Major: Education

Q: What do you like best about Encompass?
A: I finished my student teaching in January and applied for a temporary position at Encompass that since became permanent. I like how community oriented Encompass is. The classroom is like a family — we eat together, learn together, and play together.

Brianna Hegewald ’13 Administrative Support Specialist
Major: Communication

Q: How did you end up at Encompass?
A: Shortly after I graduated, I discovered Encompass had a position open for an administrative support specialist. Being familiar with Encompass’ values and high standards, I knew it was the place where I wanted to work. The passion for kids is evident in every aspect of the organization — from the teachers, to center directors, to the Boards and the Leadership Team. Encompass takes in even the most difficult of children, loves them and gives them the opportunity to succeed that they might not have had if they had gone to child care and/or early education elsewhere. And most importantly, they don’t single out the kids who may be a little different. They truly believe in giving all kids the same attention and affection they deserve, while preparing them for elementary and middle school. I can honestly say I’ve never been so proud to work for a company.

Q: Were you prepared for the job?
A: Without my education from UWGB, I would not have been prepared to take on the fast-paced, detailed job here at Encompass. In fact, I was so prepared that I was soon assigned even more tasks that were not included in my original job description. In a few years, I will still be able to say I work for an organization that values its employees, value and mission as much as Encompass does. I also anticipate that I will be able to take on even more responsibilities and continue to grow as an asset to this organization.

Photo at top of post: Encompass employees who proudly attended UWGB, from left to right, front row: Kimberly Dagit, Heather Hrabik, Jane Brzezinski, Candee Hendricks, Candace Dantinne, Nicole Moua, Breanna Conard, and Kelsey DuBois. Back row: Annette Seidl, Brianna Hegewald, Crystal Kempton, Melissa Franken, Deanna VandenLangenBerg, Renee Huebner, Antoinette Thomas, Jennifer Feyen. Missing: Amanda Delagarza, Sheryl Ledvina, Sue Loberger, Amy Massey, Christina McKee, Houa Moua, Barbara Nenning, Elizabeth Rowling-Delaurel and Grace Schindel.

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