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Prof. Gregory Aldrete to receive UW System’s highest teaching honor

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will honor UW-Green Bay Frankenthal Professor of History and Humanistic Studies, Greg Aldrete, on April 10 for his outstanding achievements in teaching. Aldrete will receive the 2015 Regents Teaching Excellence Award, UW System’s highest recognition for members of its faculty and academic staff.

Prof. Gregory Aldrete

Prof. Gregory Aldrete

Aldrete started teaching at UW-Green Bay in 1995 and since has been awarded several distinguished titles for his contributions in teaching. In 2012, he was selected as Wisconsin Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for the Advancement of Education (CASE). Aldrete was selected for the Frankenthal Professorship at UW-Green Bay through 2017, he received the UW-Green Bay Founders Association Awards for Excellence in the categories of teaching (2003) and scholarship (2006), and in 2009, received a national award of merit from the American Philological Association as one of the nation’s top teachers of classics at the college level.

In addition to his role as professor, Aldrete has excelled in the field of research. His interest of all things ancient Rome makes its way to his classroom and beyond. He regularly teaches eight different courses of approximately 450 students per year, as well as numerous independent studies. His teaching methods include analyzing primary documents, holding debates, role-playing, and other hands-on activities.

Recently, he developed an innovative interdisciplinary course on military history in which students learn through “living history.” An example was the multi-year Linothorax Project, in which his students re-created and tested the linen armor that Alexander the Great wore during his conquests. Aldrete’s published results garnered international attention on Public Radio International, the Canadian network History Television and were featured in Ancient Warfare Magazine.

Aldrete recently was a guest on The Great Courses radio program featured on Sirius Satellite radio. He teaches “The Decisive Battles of World History,” a course that focuses on discovering the military conflicts that have had the greatest impact in shifting the direction of events and defining our world.

Aldrete has written and recorded dozens of video lectures for The Teaching Company, with the first series entitled, “The History of the Ancient World: A Global Perspective.” Aldrete gives frequent public lectures, including local venues as well as Iowa State University, Boston University, and the University of Manitoba in Canada. His students frequently comment on his depth of knowledge and passion for the subject of history and for teaching.

Aldrete joins other esteemed UW-Green Bay faculty who have also received the UW System Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award: Clifton Ganyard, Humanistic Studies (2014) and Regan A.R. Gurung, Human Development (2011). The UW-Green Bay Professional Program in Education received the UW System department of the year honors in 2011.

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Aldrete to receive 2015 Regents Teaching Excellence Award

Just released today, UW-Green Bay Humanistic Studies Prof. Gregory S. Aldrete is one of two professors and an academic program recognized for outstanding achievements in teaching, and will receive the UW System’s highest recognition for members of its faculty and academic staff on April 10. Aldrete, along with Shubhangi Stalder and the Department of Mathematics at UW-LaCrosse will be honored with the 2015 Regents Teaching Excellence Awards. We will have more on this tomorrow, but if you can’t wait, here is the UW System release.

Aldrete gets Sirius date, tonight

Here’s a programming note, if you have Sirius satellite radio (and it’s a nice faculty note, whether you subscribe to the service or not): UW-Green Bay History Prof. Gregory S. Aldrete has been selected to appear on this week’s broadcast of The Great Courses radio program. It airs from 8 to 10 p.m. CDT tonight (Saturday, March 14) on Sirius XM, channel 121. Following an intro to genealogy segment, Aldrete will hold forth on “The Decisive Battles of World History,” to be followed by another Great Course instructor discussing books that shaped America.

UWGB Alumnus Simons returns ‘home’ as new Brown County Library Director

Brian Simons in front of the Cofrin Library.After years apart, one alumnus is returning to his Green Bay area roots.

Brian Simons, a 1998 History graduate, has been appointed the new director of the Brown County Library System.

“The board is extremely impressed with Brian’s experience, knowledge and commitment,” said Board President Kathy Pletcher. “His results-driven leadership style, record of innovation, fiscal management, team building, and community involvement makes him the leader that the Board was seeking to head Brown County Library.”

After graduating from UW-Green Bay, Simons has had a 13-year career in public libraries across the state, including working at libraries in Manitowoc, Delavan, and Verona. During his time as the director of the Verona Public Library, the library was honored with the prestigious Wisconsin Library of the Year award.

His return to Green Bay was motivated both by the family he still has in the Green Bay area, and the potential he sees in the Brown County Library System.

“Their focus on cultural diversity mixed into the other three main focus points, those being early literacy education, economic and business development support, and providing a space for community engagement, sets the foundation for a library that can do some very impressive things for the communities it serves,” he said.

In addition to his work within the library, Simons is active in national organizations, often advocating for library legislation and financial support for public libraries.

Simons looks forward to building relationships in the community and giving people as many opportunities as possible to transform their lives for the better.

“I believe public libraries, much like the entire Wisconsin Idea, can be incredible resources and valued assets to businesses,” he said. “They can provide space for meetings, training, and other activities. Libraries can provide the research support that many small businesses cannot afford. Lastly, libraries can be a focal point that can ignite redevelopment in a city.”

Simons began his position on March 2, 2015, succeeding Lynn Stainbrook, who served as library director from February 2008 to October 2014.
Story by Katelyn Staaben, editorial intern, Marketing and University Communication
Photo by Eric Miller, Marketing and University Communication

National History Day competition to bring hundreds to campus

national-history-day-2014
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will host the Northeastern Wisconsin Region’s National History Day competition Saturday, March 7, marking the 13th consecutive year the event has been held on campus.

The competition will welcome more than 350 students from grades 6 through 12, representing 19 schools from throughout the region, with a total of just over 200 projects.

In keeping with this year’s theme of Leadership and Legacy in History, project topics include John F. Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Vince Lombardi, Gandhi, and many others. Students hail from public and private schools, as well as homeschools, in a multi-county area including Brown, Oconto, Shawano, Outagamie, Sheboygan, Marinette, and Manitowoc counties.

“We are proud to have UW-Green Bay serve as host to one of the largest regional competitions in the state,” said UW-Green Bay’s Deb Anderson, coordinator for the Northeastern Wisconsin region. “National History Day provides students of all abilities and interests an opportunity to learn about a topic of their choosing and present it in a creative way. I am impressed by the depth and breadth demonstrated by the students…in their topic selection, research, and final projects.”

Anderson shares the story of one young student who was making a research-oriented, pre-competition field trip to the UW-Green Bay Cofrin Library’s archives and local history center, who remarked to his teacher, “Best day ever! I have never done anything this cool in school before.”

“When you hear something like that,” Anderson adds, “it makes it exciting to be part of creating a strong passion for history”

Students can enter the National History Day competition in a variety of categories, including historical papers, exhibit displays, documentaries, performances and websites. They are required to use primary sources for projects, which often include interviews with individuals who have lived history.

The 2015 National History Day competition will be held in the Kress Events Center and Mary Ann Cofrin Hall at UW-Green Bay, 2420 Nicolet Drive. It is free and open to the public. The all-day event begins with an opening ceremony at 9 a.m., with judging taking place from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Awards will be presented in the Kress Events Center at 4 p.m.

Winners from the regional competition will move on to the April 25 state contest, and may have the opportunity to compete at the national competition in Washington, D.C. in June. On an annual basis, National History Day serves more than 600,000 students annually in all the U.S. states and territories.

In addition to students, families, educators and friends, the regional National History Day competition relies on 100 volunteers, including UW-Green Bay students, faculty, alumni and community members, to keep it running smoothly, Anderson said.

Its financial sponsors are the Brown County Historical Society, the Green Bay-De Pere Antiquarian Society, the Jean Nicolet chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, UW-Green Bay’s Institute for Learning Partnership, the Fox Wisconsin Heritage Parkway, the Historic Allouez Society and the De Pere Historical Society.

For more information contact Deb Anderson at UW Green Bay Archives at (920) 465-2539; or andersod@uwgb.edu.
Photo at top of post was taken at the 2014 National History Day held on the UW-Green Bay campus, April 5, 2014

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