Humanistic Studies

UW-Green Bay

Author: Heidi Sherman

How do the Humanities Connect to a Non-Profit Organization: My Internship with the Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin

By Dana La Verne

The humanities explore the human experience, and one way to do this is interning with a non-profit organization. This semester I have been completing my humanities degree by interning with Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin (CWAC). CWAC is a non-profit dedicated to promoting a safe, healthy, and sustainable environment for the region. Throughout this internship I have gained a positive experience in helping humans and the environment stay healthy.

Clean Water Action Council 2019 Farmers Market Booth

I have had many opportunities through this internship. I was able to talk to the local Green Bay community about CWAC at the Winter Farmers Market. The community is what allows us to be able to continue doing our work. I was also able to attend the Making the Connection Conference in Madison, WI which discussed environmental health in our society. I was able to listen to doctors and every day individuals discuss the work they do in society to help us live the healthiest lives possible.

Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin Spring 2019 Newsletter

With this internship I also learned about managing a non-profit organization. I am the manager of the weekly update. This is an update we email to our members and email list with events, actions, new legal permits, and important environmental news that is happening in Northeast Wisconsin and around the world. I am also in charge of social media. I post everything from the weekly update, and anything that I find useful that the public should know about. CWAC also has a quarterly newsletter that we publish. For the Spring 2019 Newsletter I published an article called “Electric Vehicles Making a Positive Impact Toward Global Warming”, which discussed that electric vehicles will be a healthy form of transportation for humans and for the environment.

The Clean Water Action Council also hosts many events such as health forums to help keep the public informed. This includes keeping up with research, and what the public is interested in learning. The health forum I helped promote was “The Environment and Health: Why what we eat, touch, and breathe matters.” One major project we are working on with a sister non-profit, Clean Wisconsin, is discussing the dangers of Coal Tar Sealants. In the tar sealants are Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, or PAHs. They are found in parking lots and driveways which pose a threat to anyone, but especially the sick, elderly, and our children who play on these surfaces. We have hosted three presentations in Brown, Oconto and Marinette Counties, sent emails and letters to schools, hospitals, and public officials in the counties, cities, villages, and towns, and advertised throughout the communities. Legislation has been passed in neighboring areas to help raise awareness, which we now want to do in Northeast Wisconsin.

“Interning for a non-profit organization allows you the ability to experience humanities from a different perspective.”

Dana La Verne

Another important aspect with working with a non-profit organization is learning how to fundraise, either through the organization or through grants. For instance, we received a grant for the Coal Tar Sealants. We sell merchandise such as bags, t-shirts, and sweatshirts, but our biggest fundraiser is our annual banquet. I had to contact local businesses for donations to our silent auction, advertise the event, sell tickets, and help with the planning process. Our banquet included a social, silent auction, dinner, program, and dance. This year the meal was slow roasted free-range chicken which was gluten-free or mushroom Marinara, which was vegan and also gluten-free. You also got a mixed green salad, roasted sweet potatoes, vegetables, and a dessert bar. Our food was locally sourced. If you didn’t find something you liked to eat, there was no hope. The program included speaker Paul Matheson from Clean Wisconsin discussing protecting our families from toxic pavement sealants, and the band was Terry Murphy and the Cherry Pickers. It was a fun time promoting CWAC and the work that we do, but it was also a lot of work. The greatest thing I enjoyed was seeing everything come together.

Speaker Paul Matheson discussing Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, or PAHs, in tar pavement sealants, and the harm it causes to the public health.
Photo Credit: Intern Lauren Felder
My boyfriend Devin and I all dressed up at the Clean Water Action Council Banquet. My family are my greatest supporters.
Photo Credit: Kayla Carolyn Photography

Interning for Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin gave me a well-rounded experience. I learned how to manage a non-profit through the wonderful guidance of President and Director Dean Hoegger, I organized events, managed the weekly newsletter and social media, wrote a published article, and I went out of my comfort zone with fundraising by calling businesses. I also gained important relationships with the other interns, Lauren Felder and Jace Hannemann, and interim manager Caitlin Cravillion. We helped each other when needed, supported each other on difficult days, and became wonderful friends. This internship helped me gain professional experience that I can use in my future careers and endeavors, and it helped me build long lasting relationships.

I hope this blog post makes you realize that humanities can be more than interning at museums or historical societies. It is also about learning about humanity today. I gained that experience by interning at CWAC. You can gain that experience by working at any non-profit you could imagine. It doesn’t even have to be a non-profit. You take out what you want from your participation in an internship.

“This internship and everything I learned along the way will stick with me for the rest of my life. “

Dana La Verne

I would like to end by saying thank you to the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, the humanities department, and especially Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin for giving me this opportunity and professional experience. I hope to take everything I learned and the portfolio I built throughout the semester to continue impacting humanity and society in a positive way.

Upcoming Lecture September 22 at the Neville Public Museum by Professor Saxton-Ruiz at the Neville Public Museum

How to Ride the Chicken Buses of Central America, presented by Gabriel T. Saxton-Ruiz (Humanistic Studies and Spanish), Wednesday Sept 22 at 6:30 pm.

Explore the history behind refurbished U.S. school buses that find a new life in Central American countries. Join Professor Saxton-Ruiz in a discussion of the art and slogans that are painted on these buses as an expression of popular culture and as a space for traditionally marginalized groups to express themselves.

Location: the Neville Public Theater of the Neville Public Museum

Aldrete wins Solmsen Fellowship

Greg Aldrete, Professor of Humanistic Studies (History), has won the Solmsen Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Institute for Research in the Humanities for the academic year, 2010-2011. This is a residential fellowship at the Institute for Research in the Humanities in Madison.

Here’s his project description:

Riots in Ancient Rome: The inhabitants of ancient Rome seem to have been a riotous lot.  For the 575-year period from 200 BC to AD 375, there are at least 154 episodes of unruly collective behavior in the city of Rome that could be considered riots (an overall frequency of 1 significant riot every 3.7 years).   The worst of these resulted in pitched battles in the streets, hundreds of deaths, widespread looting, acts of arson, and even the lynching of leading magistrates of the state.   Due to such incidents, Rome has often been characterized as a lawless and violent place, and its inhabitants, especially the poor, portrayed as disorderly and fickle.   The reality, however, is considerably more complex.   Many outbreaks were organized, instigated, and exploited not by the indigent, but rather by Rome’s political and social elites.   Furthermore, acts of violent urban collective behavior frequently occurred within the constraints of a tacit but nevertheless well-recognized set of informal societal expectations.  Finally, the motivations of those who participated were far more varied than the primary sources typically depict.  The goal of this project is to produce a scholarly book that is a comprehensive study of the riots that plagued ancient Rome during the Republic and Empire, and which not only explores their history, but also offers a more nuanced investigation of their causes, characteristics, organization, and effects.

Great Books Fall 2010

The Department of Humanistic Studies and the Brown County Library invite you to participate in the spring semester’s Great Books Discussion series.  On the second Tuesday of each month, a member of UW-Green Bay’s Humanitistc Studies faculty will lead a discussion on one of the “great books” of western and world culture.  The schedule for the fall semester 2010 is…

September 14, TOPIC: NATURAL LAW/RELIGION, Leviathan, Hobbe Chapters 6, 12 and 14, Presented by Professor Derek Jeffreys

October 12, TOPIC: UTOPIANISM, Utopia, Thomas More, Presented by Professor Kevin Kain

November 9, TOPIC: LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY, Open Veins of Latin America Presented by Professor Gabriel Saxton-Ruiz

December 14, TOPIC: RUSSIAN DRAMA, The Cherry Orchard, Chekov Presented by Professor Heidi Sherman

The discussions are free and open to the public.  Faculty, students, and community members are encouraged to attend.  Of course, we encourage you to read the “great book” before attending the discussion, but even if you cannot finish the work, you may find the session enlightening.

The Great Books Discussion series is held on the Lower Level of the Brown County Library (Central Branch – 515 Pine St., Downtown Green Bay).  Discussions begin at 6:30 p.m.

See you there!

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