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College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Beau Thomas completes murals at UWGB, Downtown Green Bay

UWGB alumnus and artist Beau Thomas put the finishing touches on a long-awaited mural exhibited on the exterior of the studio arts building. The mural was a special project supported by the 50th Anniversary Committee. Thomas continues work on what will be the largest mural in downtown Green Bay on the exterior building of Kuehn Printing (620 Main St.) with completion set for the end of May.  Click here for more information.

2016-2017 Theatre season announced

The 2016-17 UW-Green Bay theatre program has been announced. UWGB faculty member Brian Sutton brings his original musical, Searching for Romeo to the Jean Weidner Theatre.  Also planned for this upcoming season are Play Nice by Robin Rice,  The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, and I Never Saw Another Butterfly by Celeste Raspanti.  Danceworks under the artistic direction of Denis Carlson-Gardner will also be presented on April 1 and 2.  For more details, see the full season.


Students board the Train Jam express for real-life gaming experience

Tom Rismeyer and Jacob Labeots, two UW-Green Bay student, and UWGB lecturer BEn Geisler (Computer Science) broaded the 52-hour train ride from Chicago to the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco along with 200 game designers, programmers and artists from across the country.

The participants met in Chicago and split into groups. The groups were then given the theme “Maximum Overdrive” and tasked with creating a game that incorporated the theme in the time it took to travel to the conference.

Rismeyer and Labeots joined forces with professional Ryan Smith of Human Head Games in Madison to create their game, “Tickets Please.” Focusing on keeping it simple, they had a working version of the game after 45 hours and a completed game close to the time limit.

“Our game was based around the idea that the player was in charge of a train station,” said Labeots. “The player’s job is to place passengers onto their respective trains based off of the information on their tickets. If the train reaches the maximum amount of passengers it can hold before it leaves, the player gets an extra bonus.”

“It involved a lot of new concepts including user interface programming, artificial intelligence work, and animating in-game models,” said Rismeyer.

Labeots and Rismeyer said that working with the professionals was an incredible opportunity.

Looking to the future, Labeots, a fourth-year Computer Science major, looks forward to taking this experience and applying it to his future. “Game development is a main goal for employment coming out of college. This was a great opportunity to get to network with people already in the field and get a sense of what it is like to work in the game industry.”

Rismeyer, a junior majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Mathematics with an emphasis in Statistics, aspires to become a data analyst post-graduation.

Geisler said the Train Jam opportunity is an incredible portfolio-building experience for his students.

“Both of the students that took advantage of this opportunity last year are working in the game development field,” said Geisler. “That’s a great track record and we hope to continue this especially as we launch the Game Studies major in fall 2016. Interested students in game development and design should keep their eyes on the Information Sciences section of the UWGB course catalogue, which will officially roll out Game Studies as an emphasis this year.”

Kaspar Spider Collection donated to UWGB

UW-Green Bay’s Cofrin Center for Biodiversity announces the donation of a major spider collection to the Richter Museum of Natural History in Mary Ann Cofrin Hall. Prof. John “Jack” Kaspar, Ph.D. an arachnologist and biology professor at UW-Oshkosh for more than 30 years, amassed a collection of 10,000 spider specimens during his career, mainly from Wisconsin and the Midwest, but also from Mexico, Canada, Europe, Africa, South America, and East Asia.  Kaspar chose the Richter Museum for the donation because of a longtime friendship with Richter Museum Curator, Tom Erdman, and the expertise of arachnologist Prof. Michael Draney (Natural and Applied Sciences), who will be working with the collection. Kaspar’s generous donation, the largest collection of spiders in the state of Wisconsin, is an important legacy that will allow UWGB to better understand the importance of these animals to the ecology and biodiversity of our region.

Strategic Philanthropy Class Announces Winner of $10,000 Grant

Over the past four years, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Strategic Philanthropy class has awarded $45,000 to viable organizations dedicated to an urgent need in the Brown County area. Each year, these funds are made possible by a grant from the Learning by Giving Foundation founded by Doris Buffet.

This year’s recipient is Howe Elementary School. Howe displayed what the UWGB students perceived as the best initiative to promote literacy among children in our area while incorporating an arts component into the curriculum. Students appreciated the school’s collaboration with the Howe Community Resource Center to enable disadvantaged children to continue reading during the summer. The students observed that Howe has a well- trained and dedicated staff with the ability to handle the challenges presented by such an endeavor. The class also congratulates two other finalists — the YMCA of Greater Green Bay and the Green Bay Boys and Girls Club.

“This year’s class ‘pushed the envelope’ by encouraging applicants to be creative, and asking that they integrate authentic arts experiences with literacy instruction,” says Prof. Lora Warner, who teaches the Strategic Philanthropy class. “We were very pleased with the response. There is growing recognition of the multiple benefits that come from kids being involved with music, visual, and performing arts.”

The majority of children living in inner city Green Bay do not read proficiently at early ages, setting them up for future academic challenges. The public is often unaware that there is a large gap in reading achievement between underprivileged children (many of whom are racial/ethnic minority students) and their economically better-off counterparts. This year’s philanthropy class studied this so-called “achievement gap” and agreed that their $10K should address this important community need.

“While a $10k gift can go a long way, more help is certainly needed,” said student Mark Petroski. “There are many organizations in the area which tackle the issues of literacy and instruction in the arts for school aged children here in Brown County. We urge you to pick up the phone or your laptop and get involved. A little can go a long way.”