General

Human Resources Staffing Transition

Human Resources will be going through several staffing transitions with the hiring of the Payroll and Benefits Specialist position.  Current HR employee, Jolene Truckenbrod was hired to fill the vacancy being created by Susan Miller’s upcoming retirement.  Jolene will begin the transition to this role, taking over the bi-weekly payroll and administration of university staff fringe benefits.  Kimberly Danielson will begin the transition to Unclassified monthly payroll and benefits administration during Sue’s remaining time in this role.

Congratulations to Jolene on her new role!

 

University Staff Performance Evaluations

The new year is upon us, and with it begins the University Staff performance evaluation process for 2015. Supervisors should initiate the review process with employees within the next week.

Human resources will be hosting training sessions to familiarize supervisors and employees with the review process. Sessions will be held in the 1965 Room of the University Union. If you are a new employee or if you would like a refresher on the process please plan to attend one of these sessions.

Resources:

Per Operational Policy TC4, compensation adjustments must be based upon merit and employee performance.  Therefore, any future pay adjustments will be contingent upon satisfactory performance.

In an effort to facilitate timely completion, evaluations are due by Friday, March 25, 2016.

Please note that annual performance evaluations are not required for individuals who have had a probationary review on or after July 1, 2015 or for new employees that have been hired since this date. Contact Human Resources if you have any questions about the University Staff performance evaluation process.

 

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) proposed rule change

Currently, employees are considered exempt per FLSA rules if they are paid on a salary basis, perform exempt job duties, and are paid at least $23,600 per year ($455 per week). The US Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed changes that would raise the minimum salary threshold to the 40th percentile of weekly earnings for full-time salaried (exempt) workers, which is $970 weekly or $50,440 annually. Included in this proposal is potential for annual increases by at least the Cost of Living.  Please be aware that the final rule may be different from this proposal, but some changes are said to be forthcoming sometime during 2016 with an estimated effective date mid-year.

In anticipation of this change, Human Resources will be working with departments and divisions to analyze the current employee population and discuss with supervisors the various options available once a new law is effective. More information will be communicated when it is available. For more information on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and how this proposal may affect you, please review the FAQ’s below.


What is the Fair Labor Standards Act?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 (29 USC Ch. 8 § 201 et seq.) is the United States’ federal wage and hour law, administered by the US Department of Labor. Among other things, it establishes the minimum wage and overtime pay, affecting employees in the private and government sectors. 

Everyone is “covered” but some employees are exempt from FLSA regulations and some are nonexempt. The FLSA requires one-and-one-half times the regular rate of pay in Overtime or Compensatory time be paid for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek for nonexempt employees.

 

What does it mean to be exempt or nonexempt?

Exempt employees are considered “salaried” and are excluded from overtime payment. Nonexempt employees are considered “wage earning” and are subject to the payment of overtime. 

 

What is changing?

The Minimum Salary Test. The US Department of Labor has proposed changes that would raise the minimum salary threshold to the 40th percentile of weekly earnings for full-time salaried workers.

While the final rules may vary somewhat, it is anticipated that for 2016 the minimum salary, above which an employee can be designated as exempt from overtime requirements, will be $970 a week or $50,440 per year.

The effective date is presently unknown, but it is projected to take effect in the second half 2016.

 

Who does this affect?

University Staff and Non-Instructional Academic Staff. All academic staff have historically been designated as exempt, but this will no longer be the case if the rate of pay is below $970 per week or $50,440 per year.

Most non-instructional Academic Staff whose pay is below the threshold will have to account for their hours on an hourly basis, as nonexempt University Staff must do.

 

How does this affect a part-time or a less-than-100% contract employee?

Pay for part-time appointments will not be pro-rated under the new regulations. An employee with a .75 appointment, to a position that would pay $60,000 (over the threshold) for 1.0 FTE, is paid $45,000.  $45,000 is below the minimum salary threshold and the employee will be nonexempt.

 

What about employees that work a nine-month academic year with an extra two months’ contract in the summer; is the total pay averaged over the 11 months so that the exemption will remain in place all year?

Probably not.   For 2016, employees must make at least $970 per week to be exempt.  If the employee makes more than $970 per week during the academic year but less than $970 per week in the summer, he or she will be exempt during the academic year but nonexempt over the summer.

 

Can I opt out of this change if I want to continue to be considered a salaried or exempt employee?

No.  These changes are not institution- or agency-driven policy making.  This proposal is for permanent changes to a long-standing federal law that will apply to all employees in the private and government sectors alike.

 

How is tracking hours worked different for an hourly employee?

It is the same as the time reporting required of nonexempt University Staff.  Nonexempt employees must account for their time worked rather than accounting for leave used.   Nonexempt employees, for example, do not work during (unpaid) lunch breaks, and lunches of 30 minutes (or more) are unpaid time.  All time worked must be reported.

 

How is overtime calculated?

Overtime or compensatory time must be paid for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.  The computation of “40 hours worked” does not include paid time out of the workplace (e.g., sick leave, vacation time, etc.).  See UPS Operational Policy TC 3 Compensation  for more detail. 

 

As an Academic Staff employee, does being paid hourly mean I will become a member of the University Staff?

No. Academic staff that become nonexempt will remain academic staff.  They will become hourly academic staff, not University Staff.

 

As a nonexempt employee, can I still work early and late? Can I check my messages from home?

Nonexempt employees can still make arrangements with their employer to work from home occasionally, to check in at night, or to completely change their daily schedules to different hours than were previously expected, but all time worked except the very most de minimis must be accounted for and recorded as “time worked.”  Any alternative arrangements will have to be made with the individual School/College/Division or Institution for which you work.

 

As a new nonexempt employee, will this result in a pay increase?

There is very limited funding available to raise salaries to the expected new salary threshold of $50,440.  Human Resources will work with supervisors to review position descriptions and analyze duties performed to determine the best option available to comply with the new law.

 

As a nonexempt employee, can I still attend professional conferences?

There is no prohibition on professional development activities that applies to exempt employees but not to nonexempt employees.  Nonexempt employees must account for the hours of their travel time, and for the hours of conference attendance, but there is no blanket prohibition on traveling or professional development attendance.

 

How much Compensatory (Comp) Time can I accumulate as an hourly employee? 

The rules on accumulating Compensatory Time were recently changed to allow an accumulation of not more than 80 hours.  Any excess OT or Comp Time over that limit has to be paid out. 

Any Compensatory Time earned in a calendar year which is unused by April 30 of the following year will be converted to a cash payment and included in the earnings for the pay period that includes May 1. See UPS Operational Policy TC 3 Compensation  for more information.

 

As an employee, is there anything I can do to prepare for this potential change?

Employees can work with their supervisors to ensure they have current and accurate position descriptions.

 

Farewell to Sousie Lee

LeeSousieSousie Lee has announced her departure effective Friday, January 22, 2016.  Sousie began with the HR office in 2012 with most recent duties in personnel transaction processing, immigration, visa and I-9 processing and compliance, and oversight of student employment.  Sousie will be taking on a new position as an Education Coordinator with the Medical College of Wisconsin, housed at St. Norbert College. We wish Sousie all the best in her new endeavor!

Please contact hr@uwgb.edu or ext. 2846 for questions on the areas Sousie previously handled and one of our staff will get back to you.

Employee Spotlight: Teri Ternes

Teri Ternes Jan 2016

This month’s employee spotlight is someone who is very energetic, is very involved on campus, and is a big Packer fan. Teri Ternes works with the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. She has 3 children, 4 grandchildren and a dog. In her position, no day is the same.

Name: Teri Ternes

Position at UWGB: University Services Assoc II

Summary of what you do: Administrative support services in the office of the Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences

How long have you been employed: September 9, 2006

Brief history of employment with UWGB: I began my career at UWGB under interim Dean Fergus Hughes and Associate Dean Regan A.R. Gurung.  Fortunately I am a self-starter as my predecessor had already left for her new position in the Chancellor’s office.  However I was left with detailed instruction from a very organized individual [thank you Becky!!].  I perform various duties for current Dean Scott Furlong and Associate Dean Donna Ritch [I got lucky here too…awesome supervisors!!].  Some of my duties include setting up the Academic Excellence Symposium, preparing for conferences and general meetings, assisting students and faculty, overseeing EMBI budgets, working with the Czech Slovak Voice Competition, arranging travel for faculty and staff, editing the CLAS Newsletter. I am the Admin Assistant for UWGB’s chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society. I’ve been actively involved on the University Staff Committee [formerly Classified Staff Advisory Council] currently serving as chair for the Professional Development committee.  I am a member of the Emergency Operations Committee.

Three words that describe you: Energetic, organized, willing to help others

Personal interests:  Cooking, scrap booking, gardening, veggin’ in the sun!

Random facts/interests: I like to eat…almost anything except anchovies!!

Are you messy or organized?  Organized

Best vacation you’ve been to? Girlfriends trip to Puerto Vallarta

Describe what you were like at age 10.  A little girl who loved playing w/her dolls.

Do you have a favorite newspaper, blog? FB page: I Grew Up In Port Washington – fun to reminisce on your hometown!

Do you recall any embarrassing moment at work?  Yes, the day I interviewed – I didn’t know my way around campus and was running late; asked a gentleman how to get to Theatre Hall [dah, I was standing at the bottom of the outside stairwell]; later found out it was Professor Brian Sutton!

Favorite travel spot?  Door County!!

If you could interview one person (dead or alive) who would it be?  Princess Diana

If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?  Veggie Pizza

If you were an animal what would you be?  Dog

– If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it? Me, Myself and Who?

If your house was burning down, what’s the one non-living thing you would save? Photos

Least favorite Food? Anchovies…hmm, not sure I ever had ‘em but they look gross!

People would be surprised if they knew: I like mustripen [no it’s not blood sausage!!]

Tell us a little about yourself.  Born and raised in Port Washington Wisconsin, attended St. Mary’s Catholic School and PWHS; played piano & the glockenspiel in grade school; was in HS choir and musicals, member of the PW Drill Team/rifle bearer during HS, Girl Scout, traveled after HS before attending LTC for Medical Assistant, moved to GRB in ’78, Cub Scout/Boy Scout den mother, Girl Scout leader, manager Girls/Women’s soccer team for GB Metro, like to have fun, like to shop

Tell us a little bit about your family.  Youngest of 4 children; born in Port Washington Wisconsin, married to husband John in ’78, 3 children, 4 grandchildren, and a dog!

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us?  Went zip lining in Montana – not at all like around here.

Tell us three things most people don’t know about you. I like rearranging furniture and cleaning the bathroom!!

Top 3 life highlights? Birth of our 3 kids, marriage of 2 children

What advice would you give to recent new hires? Don’t hesitate to ask questions, participate in all that is offered, walk campus – it’s beautiful

What are three career lessons you’ve learned thus far? Listen, respect others opinions

What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most? Meeting and greeting others!

What book did you read last? Rediscovering Jesus

What books are at your bedside? Mother Love [my prayer book]

What children’s character can you relate with most? Why? Micky Mouse…loved that show as a kid!!

What did you want to be when growing up? A nurse

What do you always want to try and never did? Hot air balloon ride

What do you like most about your job? Not routine!!

What do you like to do in your spare time? Work outside, ride my bike

What do you like to do on your days off? Be outdoors, cook, clean

What does a typical day look like for you?  Up @ 5AM, coffee on, sit in dim lighting sipping coffee & watching news, off to work @ 7:10

What else do you do for fun? Be silly…life’s too short to be ‘stuffy’!!

What is the first concert you attended? John Denver

What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery? Hmm…never really thought of this.  I probably would pay off my bills, maybe buy a new car and then give the rest to those less fortunate.

What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?  Be sensitive to others!

What is your biggest pet peeve?  Lying.

What is your family like?  Simple, fun, honest

What is your favorite meal? Beef roast

What is your favorite sport? Soccer

Hidden talent?  Leafing

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work? Biking, hiking, babysitting the grandkids, volunteering

What one food do you wish had zero calories?  Chocolate – isn’t this everyone’s wish?

What phobias do you have? Falling in a dark hole!!

What places have you lived in? Port Washington, Milwaukee, Sheboygan & Hobart Wisconsin; San Diego, California

What was your favorite book, toy, or outfit as a child? I had a little brown stuffed dog; wonder what ever happened to him?

What would people never guess you do in your role? I’ve been honored to be the preparer of EMBI’s Earth Caretaker Award.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Green Bay? Enjoy all the Packer hoop-lah on game day, even outside of the stadium!!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Retired and traveling

Where is your favorite place to eat? Friday night fish fry @ Farr’s Grove!!

Where is your home town? Port Washington Wisconsin

Where would you like to go on a dream vacation? Ireland or Germany

2016-2017 Leadership Green Bay Program Information

Each year, the University sponsors one employee to participate in the Leadership Green Bay program.  This program was established in 1983 by the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce and offers select individuals the unique opportunity to develop leadership skills while enhancing the well-being of the Green Bay area. Program goals include enhancing the participant’s knowledge of the Green Bay community; obtaining a greater awareness of issues that face the Green Bay area; enhancing leadership skills; and making an impact on the Green Bay Community.

Participants meet one day per month, October through May, following a two-day overnight retreat in September. Programs focus on Green Bay’s local economy, education, local history and heritage, diversity and cultural awareness, human services, government, and environment. In addition, small groups work on projects designed to enhance awareness of community problems, identify systems and methods to effect change, and develop their project management, team, and presentation skills. The groups meet on their own time outside Leadership Green Bay sessions.

All UW-Green Bay employees are eligible to express interest in being considered.  Supervisors are also encouraged to nominate employees for participation in this program. If you are nominating someone, be sure to contact the people you are nominating to determine if they are willing to participate if selected.  After the deadline, one employee will be selected by the Position Review Committee, and will asked to complete the nomination materials representing UW-Green Bay.

In order to express interest in participation, or to nominate an employee, please complete the Leadership Green Bay Interest Form.  This form should be filled out and signed by the employee, their supervisor, and the Dean/Division Head (if applicable).  Completed forms must be received in the Human Resources office by Friday, February 26th for full consideration.

You are also welcome to visit http://www.titletown.org/programs/leadership/leadership-green-bay for more information about this program.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Human Resources at (920) 465-2390 or hr@uwgb.edu.

IMPORTANT Changes to Student Employment Policy and Procedures Effective January 1, 2016

Based upon compliance requirements for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), changes have been made to UPS Operational Policy: GEN 20 on Student Employment which go into effect January 1, 2016.

The updates to the Student Employment Policy include:

  • 25 hour per week limitation during the 39-contiguous weeks of the Academic year for all UW System employment and up to 40 hours during designated break periods
  • Limiting lump sum payments.
  • Recording of hours worked with any lump sum payments that continue.

At this time we are working through the effects to our campus, including changes in the hiring and payment for student lump sum employees and the monitoring of weekly hour limits for all student employees.  We will go through the updated policy and new procedures regarding student employment during the scheduled forums:

  • Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at 1:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 2:00  p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 8:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 1:00 p.m.

(Please note each session will be limited to 25 attendees.

All forums will be held in Room 103 in the University Union.

Due to required changes in student employment and payroll procedures, anyone supervising students is required to attend.

Please RSVP using this link for the date and time you are able to attend. Thank you.

Employee Spotlight: Dr. Ryan C. Martin

Ryan Martin

UW-Green Bay’s Chair of Psychology and anger researcher Dr. Ryan Martin is the Employee Spotlight for December. Ryan likes to spend time with his family along with teaching, advising, and running. He has been with the University for 11 years and has been the chair for 5 years.

Name: Ryan C. Martin

Position at UWGB: Associate Professor, Chair of Psychology

Summary of what you do: I teach upper-level psychology courses related to mental health, emotion, and research methods. I also research anger and manage a blog (/http://blog.uwgb.edu/alltherage) and handle all the social networking for the Psychology Program

How long have you been employed: This is my 11th year.

Brief history of employment with UWGB: I started as an Assistant Professor of Psychology and was promoted to Associate Professor in my 5th year.  I became Chair of the Psychology program about five years ago.  

Three words that describe you: Curious, Fun, Stubborn

Personal interests: Spending time with my family, Running, James Bond movies.

Random facts/interests: I’ve never eaten a Pop Tart

 

Any favorite line from a movie? “Sometimes nothin’ can be a real cool hand.” (Cool Hand Luke)

Are you messy or organized? Organized… Very Very Organized.

Best vacation you’ve been to? My Mom took my wife, kids, and I to Disney World last year. It was amazing.  Everything about it was perfect.

Describe what you were like at age 10. I was shy and disinterested in a lot of things. 

Do you have a favorite newspaper, blog? I’ve really been enjoying Vox.com lately.  I think they do a great job of providing background on current events.

Do you have a favorite quote? It’s actually the same one as above. “Sometimes nothin’ can be a real cool hand.”

Do you have an office nickname? What is it?  Probably, but no one has called me it to my face… J

Do you recall any embarrassing moment at work?  I tried to start class in the wrong classroom once.  It wasn’t at the beginning of the semester either.  It was one of the last days and I just walked in and started teaching.  The other instructor wasn’t there yet, but a student politely told me I was in the wrong spot.

Favorite travel spot? Door County.

If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day? Daniel Craig.  He’s Bond for starters.  Plus, it would make my wife happy. 

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you? Ryan Phillippe.  He’s about my age and we have the same first name so… why not?

If you could be anyone from any time period who would it be and why? Can I use Daniel Craig again?

If you could change one thing about working here, what would it be?  Whenever someone has a good idea (which is often), I would like the response from the rest of the faculty, staff, and administration to be “How can we make that work” instead of “Here’s why that won’t work.” 

If you could interview one person (dead or alive) who would it be? Paul Newman. I think he might be the coolest, most interesting person to ever walk the earth.  Plus, I want the recipe for his Ranch Salad Dressing. 

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see? The birth of my youngest son.  My kids are adopted but we were there when my oldest was born.  We were not for his little brother, and I wish I would have seen him come into the world. 

If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? Pizza.  I wouldn’t even miss anything else, I don’t think.

If you were an animal what would you be? Dog

If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it? In Defense of Anger. 

If you were to write a self-help book, what would the topic be? Anger

If your house was burning down, what’s the one non-living thing you would save? My computer.  It’s got all the pictures on it.

Least favorite Food? Mushrooms

Motto or personal mantra? It is what it is.

People would be surprised if they knew: How much I can eat.

Tell us a little about yourself. I was born in Minnesota.  The youngest of four.  My dad was a lawyer and my mom is a mayor so I grew up around politics and law. I love playing sports, and enjoy watching them sometimes too.  

Top 3 life highlights? = Getting Married, Having kids, Getting my PHD.

What books are at your bedside? Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Deadline

What celebrity do people think you look like? I’ve heard everything from Russell Crowe to John Mayer to Elvis.  I don’t see any of them.

What did you want to be when growing up? Teaching

What do you always want to try and never did? Hockey

What do you like most about your job? Helping students who never thought graduate school was part of the plan start making plans to go.

What does a typical day look like for you? I get up between 4 and 5 to work for a few hours before my kids get up.  I hang out with them and get them ready for school, drop them off, and come to the office. I teach, answer email, meet with RAs and Interns, then go home to have dinner and hang out with my family. 

What else do you do for fun? Hiking, Running, Camping, Trips to Door County.

What is the first concert you attended? I think I saw Billy Joel when I was in 8th grade.   

What is your biggest pet peeve? Habitual lateness.

What is your family like? Fun, busy, smart, kind.

What was your favorite book, toy, or outfit as a child? I read the book Dear Mr. Henshaw over and over and over for some reason.  I’ve been meaning to read it again to try and figure out why I liked it so much.

What’s on your bucket list? I would like to visit all the continents.  I have three done.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Here, doing what I do now, only better.

Where is your favorite place to eat? El Serape… every Friday night.

Where is your home town? Shoreview, MN.

Important Semester/Year End Information for Student Supervisors

ATTENTION ALL SUPERVISORS OF STUDENT EMPLOYEES

This post contains information on:

  • Graduating Seniors and students not continuing/ Other Important Dates
  • Federal Work Study Balance Reports
  • Posting a position on PRO
  • Earning Statements/W2

 

GRADUATING OR STUDENTS NOT RETURNING IN SPRING

The last day of work for graduating seniors and those not returning for the spring semester is DECEMBER 21, 2015. This applies to all student employees, work study or regular. If your student employee is graduating or will no longer be a student, you may have the option of hiring them as an LTE. All LTE requests have to be approved by leadership before hire. Please contact Human Resources with any questions about this process.

If your student employee is graduating, their appointment will be ended by HR. If your student employee is not return for any other reason or their position is changing please complete a Student Employment Form and select the appropriate action from the top drop down and complete the necessary information.

 

Other Important Dates

January 25-First day of classes for Spring semester
May 13-Last day of work for students graduating in May or not returning for Fall 2016

 

FEDERAL WORK STUDY (FWS) BALANCE REPORTS

These reports are sent bi-weekly via email to students with a FWS award. This email contains FWS amounts & balances. Ask your FWS student employee(s) to provide you with these emails as a way to monitor award balances. An accurate FWS balance will assist supervisors when scheduling hours for spring and help avoid exceeding a student’s FWS award.

 

ADVERTISING OPEN STUDENT POSITIONS

Open positions should be posted in the Phoenix Recruitment Online (PRO) site. Jobs can be submitted by completing an online form or instructions to post directly in PRO can be found on the Student Employment website: http://www.uwgb.edu/student-employment/employers/opening.asp

 

EARNINGS STATEMENTS

Earnings statements are available to all current student employees through access to the My UW System Portal at http://my.wisconsin.edu and can be accessed at any time, from any computer that has an internet connection.  To login, the student will need to select UW-Green Bay, and then enter their UW-Green Bay user ID and password.  Access to the portal is tied to employment, thus if employment ends so will access to the portal.

The 2015 W2 will be sent to the student’s home address and a copy will be available in the portal at the end of January. Please have the student review their personal information on the portal. If the address listed is incorrect, please notify PayrollandBenefits@uwgb.edu before the end of the year.

 

QUESTIONS:

Employee Spotlight: Megan Olson Hunt, PhD.

OlsonHunt

Have you ever repelled off of a summit? Can you barefoot waterski? These are just a few things that Megan Olson Hunt can do. She is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics teaching all levels of Statistics courses.  She also acts as a consultant and data analyst for scientists (and many others) doing research. Check out this months’ Employee Spotlight for more fascinating facts about Megan Olson Hunt!

From Megan’s website, she graduated with her PhD in biostatistics from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to that, she earned two Bachelor’s degrees from Winona State University in Minnesota, spanning the areas of mathematics, secondary mathematics education, psychology and statistics. During undergrad, she had a great math summer research opportunity that took me to Rutgers and Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. For two years after undergrad, she taught math at high schools in New Zealand (Rotorua and Auckland for those of you in the know). She is originally from Eau Claire, WI and is glad to be back amongst the midwest lakes!

 Position at UWGB: Assistant Professor of Mathematics (Statistics)

 Summary of what you do: Teach all levels of statistics courses, both applied and theoretical; act as a consultant and data analyst for scientists (and many others) doing research; conduct theoretical research on missing data and high-dimensional data; serve the university in various ways, including through the Wellness Committee and the NAS Scholarship Committee

 How long have you been employed: 1.5 years

 Brief history of employment with UWGB: Started in the fall of 2014 after getting my PhD in April of that year

 Three words that describe you: Conscientious, driven, goofy

 Personal interests: Animals; rock climbing; photography; gardening; cooking and healthy, sustainable food; waterskiing; ecology/sustainability; snowboarding; being in/on/around water; hiking; camping

 Random facts/interests: I have three dogs, three chickens and two pet rats. I look for any excuse to be around animals and daydream about being one of the lucky people who get to rescue and rehabilitate them. Animals bring out my silly side – I often sing to my pets and hold conversations with them (with me talking on their behalf, of course). Before moving to Green Bay, I volunteered for a retired racing greyhound rescue in Pittsburgh for five years and helped place hundreds of dogs into homes. Now I volunteer at Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary a few times a month. I’m also on the Board of Directors for the New Leaf Market co-op that we’re trying to open in the Green Bay area.

 

Are you messy or organized? Organized x 1000

Best vacations you’ve been on? Entire north island of New Zealand, a train ride through Norway, Fiji and the northwest shore of Lake Superior (Duluth, Palisade Head, Shovel Point, Grand Marais)

Do you have a favorite newspaper, blog? NPR and Al Jazeera for news; food blogs (particularly like My New Roots and The Raw Dessert Kitchen), Grammar Girl (blog)

Do you have a favorite quote? Humans aren’t the only species on Earth, we just act like it.

If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day? A person who can actually surf well

If you could be anyone from any time period who would it be and why? Rory from Gilmore Girls, because who doesn’t want to live in Stars Hollow and go to Luke’s Diner?

If you could change one thing about working here, what would it be? Get my workload under 12-14 hours/day (someday…)!

If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? A salad with collards, kale, all sorts of veggies and fruit, olive oil and balsamic vinegar

If you were an animal what would you be? Oh my gosh, how do I decide?! A bird – walk, swim or fly!

If your house was burning down, what’s the one non-living thing you would save? My aunt’s artwork

Least favorite food? Parsley and black licorice/anise

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us: I can barefoot waterski

Tell us a few things most people don’t know about you: I played the violin and clarinet for 13 years (and would like to start again someday), I love running late at night, a few years ago I finally worked up the courage to go over jumps on my snowboard, I have a blog about small things people can do every day to help the environment, I’ve done a few sprint-length triathlons, I was on the Min-Aqua Bats waterski team and I’ve hiked 39 miles of the Superior Hiking Trail

Top three life highlights? Climbing to the summit of Seneca Rocks in West Virginia, living and working in New Zealand (where I met my husband!), seeing through my goal of getting my PhD and becoming a professor

What books are at your bedside? The Lady Tasting Tea (David Salsburg), The Canon (Natalie Angier), The Nature of Things (Will Curtis), A New Earth (Eckhart Tolle)

What did you want to be when growing up? In first grade, I told my mom I wanted to be a school bus driver (I really liked my bus driver). Later, I wanted to be a violinist in an orchestra and photographer for National Geographic (except for having to go in caves). In undergrad, I knew I wanted to be a math professor.

What is the first concert you attended? Pearl Jam

What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery? A lot of land so it couldn’t be built on, and I’d turn it into a nature preserve and/or animal sanctuary

What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years? The best way to solve a problem is to walk away from it for a while (the answer will come to you when you least expect it)

What is your favorite movie and book? Ace Ventura: Pet Detective; A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle and Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

Which foods do you wish had zero calories? Espresso Oreo ice cream, donuts with maple frosting and cheese curds (of course)

What phobias do you have? Claustrophobia

What places have you lived? Eau Claire, WI (hometown); Winona, MN (undergrad); Manitowish Waters, WI and Piscataway, NJ each for a summer; Prague, Czech Republic for a couple of months; Rotorua, New Zealand; Auckland, New Zealand and Pittsburgh, PA

What TV show/movie are you ashamed to admit you love? Blue Crush

What was your favorite book, toy, or outfit as a child? A Pound Purry named Purrr

What’s the one thing you can’t live without? Sleep (not just from a physiological standpoint – I really love sleep)

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? Freshwater eel (it’s delicious)

What’s your favorite thing to do in Green Bay? Go to the farmers’ markets, walk/bike/run on the Fox River Trail, sit down on the CityDeck and go to Luna and Kavarna

Where do you see yourself in five years? Tenured!

Where would you like to go on a dream vacation? Croatia; back to Norway; Maine; Savannah, GA; New Orleans; Vancouver and other south Pacific islands (Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu)