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Department of Public & Environmental Affairs

Alumni and Student Reflections

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I would like to thank the Department of Public and Environmental Affairs for choosing me as a finalist for Outstanding Student of 2013-2014. It is an honor to be recognized by a department that does so much to improve both the campus and the community at large. I plan to keep trying to make a difference and moving along a path of greater learning.

- Paula Miller, Finalist
PEA 2013-2014 Outstanding Student Award
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I am honored to be recognized as a finalist for the outstanding teaching assistant award 2012-2013. During my time as a PEA student I have been able to travel to over 13 countries, work with passionate and dedicated professors, and share my experiences with new students as a peer mentor. After graduation I hope to continue my education and work with a non-profit group building passive energy homes called Earthships in developing countries and then in the U.S.

- Portia Georgia, Finalist
PEA 2012-2013 Outstanding TA Award
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I first want to express my appreciation for being considered for an award such as this. We have some great Teaching Assistants in PEA and it is an honor to be a finalist. Being a Teaching Assistant for Professor Joseph Devaney these past few semesters has been an amazing and educational experience. As a Teaching Assistant you are challenged by not only the professor but by the students. The experience has had a lasting impact on me as a student and as a person. I wouldn’t trade he knowledge that I gained from my time in the PEA Department and I would encourage all students to given the opportunity to be a Teaching Assistant to take it.

- Melissa Childs, Finalist
PEA 2012-2013 Outstanding TA Award
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Heba is a third year student pursuing majors in Political Science and History, with an Environmental Policy and Planning minor. Her interests include human rights, specifically focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Her future career goals revolve around the resolution of this conflict. Heba's role models include her father and Abraham Lincoln.

- Heba Nael Mohammad, Class of 2014
PEA 2012-2013 Outstanding TA Award Co-Recipient
PEA 2013-2014 Outstanding Student Award Recipient
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I am truly honored to have been selected as a winner of this years PEA Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. During my time as a Teaching Assistant with Professor Dallas Blaney, I learned endlessly the communication, organization, and self-reliance skills it takes to not only be successful in teaching, but growing as a young adult. I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing my strengths and talents to encourage student learning. I hope my commitment to the Teaching Assistant position proved to be effective for every student. I hope to continue on a similar path throughout the rest of my college career; helping others while demonstrating the academic and personal skills necessary to become successful. Thank you again for choosing me as this years award recipient, I will be forever grateful!

- Tiffany Bowring, Class of 2014
PEA 2012-2013 Outstanding TA Award Co-Recipient
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I am currently attending my last semester at UWGB as an Environmental Science major, Environmental Policy and Planning minor and I will have also completed the Environmental Sustainability and Business certificate through the EMBI program. I believe my chosen profession will enable me to fulfill all of my desires to help the environment and all people on earth, to continuously expand my knowledge in the sciences and to travel the world. The PEA staff has been more than helpful in improving my scientific education and providing me with opportunities outside the classroom to enhance my career once I do graduate this coming May. I am very grateful to have received the PEA Outstanding Student Award as this achievement will increase my level of competitiveness for further education into graduate school or when I enter the work force. I have high aspirations for playing a role in improving our environment and am very enthusiastic to become a part of identifying and implementing the changes needed to achieve a sustainable future.

- Morgan Gantz, Class of 2012
PEA 2011-2012 Outstanding Student Award Co-Recipient
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I will be graduating in May 2012 with degrees in both Economics and Public Administration. As I approach graduation, it is evident the tremendous impact that the PEA Department and the entire University of Wisconsin-Green Bay faculty and staff has had on my educational experience. I am honored to be receiving such an award from faculty whom I respect and admire. I am positive that the lessons learned while in the classroom will stay with me throughout my career and I am grateful for the opportunity to be receiving the PEA Outstanding Student Award and Scholarship.

- Chad M. Bianchi, Class of 2012
PEA 2011-2012 Outstanding Student Award Co-Recipient
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I feel very honored and respected by the PEA department that the faculty members would seriously consider me for this award. Teaching, learning, and scholarship are all respected traits for a student to have, but if it were not for the Professors who mentor students, there would be no passion or creativity in the learning process. I will always be thankful for this life-lesson.

- Stephanie Suchecki, Class of 2012
Teaching Assistant, Finalist for PEA Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award
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I will be graduating from UWGB in Spring 2012, and I am very fortunate to have landed in my chosen field long before that. Because of my unusual and nontraditional education experiences, I have been lucky to have been able to count on Professors Levintova and Kraft to help me complete my degree and to push me when the workload seemed overwhelming. I owe them both a sincere debt of gratitude that I hope can be repaid.

Through both campaign and congressional politics, I have been honored to work for the people of Wisconsin as well as my inspiring bosses. It is my firm belief that the methods, attitudes, and policies of the last few decades have landed America in our precarious situation, and that vastly increased awareness, participation and activism by young people will be required to push our country and our unique ideals into the 21st Century. I encourage my peers to get involved and stay involved. After all, our future is on the line." for more about Derek, please see this website.

- Derek Ellerman, Class of 2012
Legislative correspondent, Office of US Congressman Reid Ribble (R, Wisconsin)
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I am a junior here at UWGB majoring in both Political Science and History, and I hope to further pursue my education and eventually teach at the college level. I'm also a transfer student, having come here from Madison for the Fall 2009 semester. After experiencing the extremely personable faculty in the PEA department and getting the opportunity to be a TA, I can say with full confidence that I made an excellent decision coming to this university and choosing to get involved with the Political Science and PEA departments. Being a TA has greatly improved my skills in teaching and education in general, and it's also allowed me to forge relationships with professors that will be invaluable throughout my life. Without a doubt, my experience as a TA has greatly enhanced my confidence for the future and has allowed me to take the first steps in preparing myself for the long academic road ahead.

- Danny Mueller
PEA 2010-11 & 2011-12 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award Recipient
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"I feel very fortunate that I chose to study Public Administration at UWGB. The PEA faculty helped me find internships that were in line with my interests, and having local leaders visit classes leads to great opportunities for both networking and learning. The internships and my experiences as a teaching assistant helped strengthen my applications for graduate programs, and the PEA faculty were very helpful in providing feedback and advice throughout the application process.

As graduation nears, I feel confident that I have a strong foundation of skills to build upon. The time and resources that the faculty devotes to the Outstanding Student Award are a testament to their dedication and involvement in the development of students."

- Jake Lopez
Class of 2011, PEA Outstanding Student Award Recipient and Finalist for Outstanding TA Award
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"My time in the PEA program at UW-Green Bay has been invaluable. My teachers have gotten to know me on a personal level and as a result have come to know my best and expect it from me in all aspects of my life. As a future teacher, being a TA allowed me to see the other side of academics at the college level. I'm grateful for the time I've spent with the PEA program and its teachers."

- Sarah Meuer
Finalist for PEA Outstanding TA Award
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I am a senior at UW-Green Bay majoring in public administration, environmental policy and planning, and political science. As a PEA student, I have been able to take a variety of courses that have provided me with a well-rounded base of knowledge and skills. I have also had opportunities to serve as an intern, teaching assistant, and prepare an honors in the major project, which have significantly contributed to my learning. However, most instrumental to my learning has been the PEA faculty, all of whom take the time to get to know their students. The PEA faculty provides the encouragement and assistance that allows students to succeed and the program to excel. I am confident that the knowledge and skills that I have gained as a PEA student have prepared me for both graduate school and professional positions I may later hold.

- Kassidy Swartz
Class of 2011, PEA Outstanding Student Award Recipient
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The individual focus that the PEA faculty members provide to their students is outstanding. In preparation for further academic study and in addition to being a Teaching Assistant, I was able to work one-on-one with PEA faculty through independent study courses. Furthermore, while planning for the future and graduate school, multiple faculty members have provided assistance and guidance that will enable me to achieve my goals. My educational experiences in PEA have fostered confidence in my academic abilities going forward because of the quality of education I have received.

- Ben Royer
Class of 2011, PEA Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award Recipient
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My degree in Public Administration was my platform. The program taught me to think critically and in an organized fashion about problem solving. This lead directly to my success in graduate school, law school, as a lawyer, public official and as a businessperson. While other degrees or programs may do this, none will do it with the scope of the public administration program.

- Timothy F. Nixon
Attorney - Godfrey & Kahn S.C. Attorneys at Law

Working as a Teaching Assistant has helped me out a great deal. Even though it is a class I have already taken, it is helping me relearn the material by keeping it fresh in my mind. I get new ideas from students as well. It has also given me a greater respect for what professors go through on a day to day basis dealing with students. I also had the chance to lecture to the class as well...and I have discovered I really enjoy teaching and I have now been seriously considering becoming a professor after grad school! This has been a great opportunity for me and students should jump at the chance to become a teaching assistant!

- Andy Teale
Teaching Assistant

View Deb's video reflections

- Deb Nett
Student Picture

As Head of the Environmental Protection Unit at the New York City Mayor's Office of Management and Budget, I am charged with developing, monitoring and maintaining the annual capital and expense budgets for the City's Water and Sewer Systems. UWGB prepared me well for this position. The PEA curriculum provided me with a balanced mix of management, policy, and finance courses which were not only informative and relevant, but exceptionally well taught. Through my studies, I acquired analytical and technical budgeting skills and gained an understanding of key environmental issues. Thanks to the knowledgeable and enthusiastic PEA faculty, my learning experience was memorable, enjoyable and meaningful.

- Stephen Malmberg
Class of 1995

The teaching assistantship allowed me to improve my skills as an aspiring educator.

- Corey Livieri
Teaching Assistant

View Andy's video reflections

- Andy Rosendahl
Student Picture

The Public and Environmental Affairs program at UWGB provided me with a wide array of opportunities to add to my repertoire. The PEA faculty and staff were always willing to assist students like me with developing their skills and experience in a multitude of ways. First, the coursework and faculty guidance in the PEA program prepares students for graduate school and a large host of careers in the public and nonprofit employment sectors. Additionally, I was able to lead classroom discussions as a teaching assistant for the introduction to public administration course and worked one-on-one with an instructor in an independent study course. Outside of the classroom, the PEA department was more than willing to support the Political Science Organization with funding to attend the Arrowhead Model United Nations Conference of 2009, as well as mentoring students to prepare them for the conference. Furthermore, members of the PEA department encouraged me to think about graduate school, assisted me in applying to graduate school, and were advocates for me to receive the Chancellor's Leadership Medallion and become the commencement speaker. In the end, I feel divine intervention must have brought me to UWGB and placed me in the PEA program, because the program benefited me more than I could have ever imagined.

- Ben Schmidt
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Being a Public Administration major gave me the tools that I need to excel in my field (Emergency Management). Every day I draw on the information that I learned during my coursework in intergovernmental relations, public policy, environmental affairs, and budgeting. Additionally, the strong emphasis that UWGB puts on public speaking and writing has allowed me to develop strong intrapersonal skills which are a necessity in my profession.

- Cullen Peltier
Director - Brown County Emergency Management

Participating as a teacher's assistant was an incredible and enlightening experience. It allows a student to not only develop a unique understanding of the entire college experience, but also to gain an incredible appreciation for the efforts of everyone involved. It was one of the most worthwhile experiences of my education at UW-Green Bay.

Christy has also done a video reflections

- Christy Tesch
Teaching Assistant

View Michelle's video reflections

- Michelle Eis

If I had to sum up my Taing experience in a couple of sentences I would say first of all if was one of the best things that I decided to partake in, in my entire college career. It was an opportunity to get to experience what being a professor is like. We had already had the student experience and this opportunity gave us a whole new perspective and appreciation for what professors do everyday. I loved that I got to interact with students and at least in a small way, accompany them on their college journey. I loved being a TA and it was a worthwhile and enriching experience!

- Jesse Krejcarek
Teaching Assistant

Being a TA for Global Politics and Society this semester has been a fantastic experience. I got to see the 'other side' for a semester and now I realize how much professors actually do. Being able to support students, answer their questions and overall help them throughout the semester meant a lot to me. I very much enjoyed sharing this experience with my fellow TA's.

- Julia Stock
Teaching Assistant
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Although no amount of 'training' can prepare you for the diversity of issues you will face, the range of different jobs responsibilities you will have in your career or the rate of change the world will experience in the course of your lives, I was fortunate UW Green Bay's Political Science department taught me to think critically and problem-solve, so I could handle the range of opportunities life has presented. Working with UWGB Political Science faculty provided me the ability to analyze a problem in order to determine the best course of action from several possible solutions. I will be forever grateful for helping me develop that skill.

- Craig Cobain
Associate Professor of Political Science, Western Kentucky University, Class of 1990
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I work at the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in Madison, and I am the Director of the Focus on Energy Program. Focus on Energy is the statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program and has received numerous national awards over the years from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U. S. Department of Energy and others for its innovative approaches to saving energy. It is an extremely exciting time to be working on energy policy because there is so much activity. Issues such as climate change, carbon trading, and how efficiency fits into energy planning for the state are front and center and the Public Service Commission is where these decisions will be made. The national focus on green jobs and how the Focus on Energy program can help in this area, has also contributed to the increased activity.

My undergraduate degree from UW- Green Bay (1986) is in Public and Environmental Administration and Political Science. The time I spent at UW-Green Bay was tremendously important as it gave me the basic knowledge and analytical tools I use in my job every day. My professors were great and the individual attention students received in the Department contributed greatly to my learning experience.

- Jolene Sheil
Director of the Focus on Energy Program, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, Class of 1986
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I am a senior at UW-Green Bay pursuing degrees in political science, public administration, and environmental policy and planning along with a minor in environmental science. Through my studies, I have gained the analytical and critical thinking skills needed to succeed at UW-Green Bay and beyond. This intellectual development would have not been possible without the phenomenal faculty in the Public and Environmental Affairs Department. The members of the faculty are very knowledgeable in their respective areas of research and interest. However, perhaps more important than being knowledgeable they are eager to share their knowledge with students. While sharing this knowledge they challenge students to grow intellectually and in turn foster the development of important skills like critical thinking and problem solving. Furthermore, the members of the faculty are very approachable and are always willing to help. With the above being said, the rigor of the various classes coupled with the passionate, knowledgeable, and approachable faculty makes the Public and Environmental Affairs Program one of the most fulfilling and intellectually satisfying areas of study on campus.

In the end I am confident that the education I have acquired from UW-Green Bay, specifically from the PEA Department, will help me to succeed with graduate school, law school, and later as an environmental attorney.

- Nick Vlies
Student Government Vice President - University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
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I am a Policy Analyst for a State Senator, and primarily work on health care and human service policy. I read drafted legislation as it comes into the office and determine what the outcomes of implementation would be. How the potential law could affect the state and the county that my boss represents as well as what unintended consequences may follow if implemented. I also research potential policy in these areas, work with the Legislative Council to help draft legislation and work with organizations to move various policy initiatives forward. I also assist constituents of the Senator's district on problems they may be having with the State Department of Health Services, Department of Children and Families, etc. and write press releases for our local media.

In addition to my full time job, I am an elected official serving on the Rock County Board of Supervisors. I was elected in 2006 and reelected in 2008. I sit on the Human Services Board, Developmental Disabilities Board and am Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Disproportional Minority Contact. Primarily, we make budgetary decisions about the programs that the County provides.

Each day - whether in my full time capacity or on the County Board I am presented with new challenges and I appreciate that I am never bored! My job not only provides me an amazing opportunity to continue learning new things every day but also the ability to help people.

My degrees in Political Science and Public Administration have helped me to have in depth knowledge of history, constitutional law, process of elections, and government in general which all help me in my day to day work. Specifically, my degree in Public Administration has given me great help when working with the State and County budgets. I am confident in my research skills and document reading capabilities from the great preparation I had at UW-GB.

- Jennifer Bishop,
Policy Analyst, Class of 2002
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I am currently a senior at UW- Green Bay pursuing a degree in both Public Administration and Political Science. The Public Administration program is not only balanced in regards to gaining a solid understanding of policy, management, and financing/ budgeting, but it has also challenged, yet improved, my analytical and critical thinking skills. It was through this program that I realized I could positively affect the lives of many by working with public policy and have therefore decided to pursue a graduate degree in Public Affairs.

The Public Administration faculty is outstanding! I have gained a personal connection with each and every professor I have worked with thus far and hope to continue and maintain some of those connections after graduation. They have given me GREAT insight and have ALWAYS been more than willing to help!

- Megan Loritz

While in the PEA program I was able to participate in a wide range of activities that directly motivated me to explore my interests and passions. It was also this program that gave me some of the most interesting and practical portions of my education. Many of the classes had some sort of practicum involved that was very influential in my growth as a student. The best examples that come to mind are evaluating Habitat for Humanity's programs, discussing real scenarios in public management, group discussions on different administrative law cases and their affect on citizens' lives, and the Phoenix forum discussions that involved serious critical analysis of issues in the community and world today. By having these discussions and practical experiences I have felt more prepared to handle workplace problems and issues. The PEA program has instilled the perfect skills sets and critical analysis needed for the emerging world and local issues that PEA students will face.

- Nick Cibula
Class of 2010
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No one dreams of being an Admissions Advisor when they grow up, but I am in my sweet spot. Through the Public Administration program at UW-Green Bay I learned of the career I now love. Through the guidance of my advisor in the PA program and her encouragement to do internships I got practical, hands-on experience that sealed my interest in working for a state university. The skills I practiced have helped me to be successful in my role and promoted to the position of Assistant Director for Admissions. The expert, but caring faculty and the internship opportunities are what makes our PA program outstanding.

- Jennifer Jones
Class of 1999

After work at a utility, a stint at the Wisconsin DNR and some policy work in Madison I accepted a position with the Oregon Department of Energy. In this role I serve as the program and technical lead for the state's bioenergy programs, a very challenging and rewarding position, with a lot of responsibility in this environment. I oversee all policy evaluation and state research into bioenergy as well as designing all of the state's policy and incentive programs for biomass, biogas, biofuels and range of emerging technologies. I again thank you for the patience and guidance during my undergrad years at UWGB. I went on to receive an MBA from UW and various other professional training in agriculture cooperative leadership, construction project management, and environmental investigations.

- Matt Krumenauer
Class of 2003, Sr. Policy Analyst, Oregon Department of Energy