Women’s Basketball Victory against UW-Madison!

From our faculty/staff eletter today….  Great accomplishment!

Phoenix beats the Badgers, 60-58
The regular season winning streak is now 22, as the UW-Green Bay women’s basketball team held off a late run by the UW-Madison Badgers, Tuesday (Nov. 24) at the Kohl Center in Madison. The Phoenix never trailed, leading by double digits midway through the second half. But turnovers and cold shooting allowed the Big T1e1n Badgers to narrow the margin. With 2.5 seconds left, guard Alyssa Karel missed a base-line jumper that would have given the Badgers the lead. Phoenix freshman Adrian Ritchie was fouled on the rebound and made one of two free throws to seal the victory.

Prof. Gurung is Wisconsin Professor of the Year

UW-Green Bay Prof. Regan A. R. Gurung of Human Development and Psychology was formally recognized Thursday (November 19), as the Wisconsin Professor of the Year. The recognition came from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching at an event in Washington, D.C. The award honors undergraduate teachers who excel as educators and influence the lives and careers of their students. A member of the UW-Green Bay faculty since 1999, Gurung is well known for knowing each of his students by name, even in classes held in large lecture halls. He also is highly involved in independent projects with students and provides a number of opportunities for student research. Some of these efforts have led to undergraduate student presentations at regional and national conferences. Gurung takes the “craft” of teaching seriously. He co-directs UW-Green Bay’s Teaching Scholars program, which works with both new and tenured faculty in a yearlong program to improve teaching and research that can potentially be published and shared with others. He serves on the UW System Office of Professional and Instructional Development Executive Committee that works to improve teaching across the entire UW System. He has published extensively in areas of teaching and pedagogy. He has edited books, including Exploring Signature Pedagogies: Approaches to Teaching Disciplinary Habits of Mind and Getting Culture: Incorporating Diversity Across the Curriculum, along with numerous journal articles on teaching and pedagogy research. He has also authored a major text on health psychology titled Health Psychology: A Cultural Approach. Gurung received “fellow” designation from the American Psychological Association in 2008. The University’s Founders Association recognized him twice, in 2007 as the University’s best in scholarship, and in 2004 as its best in teaching.

Prepping for the Future

Do your students seem to think that it will be forever before they start a career?  It’s not, really – only a few short years.  The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay can help your students get from here to there, from now to then!  We have academic programs that prepare students for good careers, and that’s what many of them are looking for, isn’t it?

 UW-Green Bay has many features that help graduates get good jobs:

  • Real-world experience – many of our students get professional experience before graduation.  Our students have done marketing with the Green Bay Packers, accounting with Wisconsin Public Service, food science with Schreiber Foods, media relations with the Green Bay Blizzard…just to name a few.
  • Hands-on projects – Lots of classes at UW-Green Bay include projects that help students apply what they learn in class to real-life projects.  They might do a marketing audit of a local company.  Work with a professor to analyze water quality in Green Bay.  Create art for a juried exhibit.  The possibilities are endless. 
  • Opportunities to lead – UW Green Bay is a smaller campus, which means that anyone who wants to get involved can do it.  This includes music, theatre, intramurals, student government, service organizations…you name it.  Did you know that one of our students actually helped make the arrangements when David Cook performed at UW-Green Bay?  That’s great resume material.
  • Travel and exchange programs – Our students can spend a month, semester, or year in another place.  UW-Green Bay has lots of opportunities!  They could go to to Florence, Italy for a semester (I wish I could!), or to Paris for two weeks.  They will have opportunities to experience the world, and come back better prepared to work in a global economy.
  • Professors who know them – This is something that high school students might think is a “no brainer” but it’s really not.  Small classes and professor contacts often happen more at small schools than at large ones.  UW-Green Bay grads talk a lot about how much they appreciate our faculty, and how much our faculty helped them have a great college experience.  A big plus: professors who know them can provide great recommendations when they look for a job.

 UW-Green Bay graduates get good jobs.  We have teachers, doctors, and veterinarians who are UW-Green Bay graduates.  Ditto for sportscasters and weather persons.  And attorneys and judges.  And accountants.  And nurses. And news writers.  And web developers.  And artists.  And musicians….  You get the picture. 

We’re proud of our graduates, and think the the “UW-Green Bay Experience” helps prepare them for success.  See the link for “Graduate Surveys” on the right side of your screen to connect to our alumni survey.  You’ll find a wealth of information there!

Opening Doors for Foster Youth

Ever been to a conference or professional meeting, and find that one of the sessions really sticks with you?  It happened to me last week.  The conference was for Admissions professionals and Registrars.  (The organization is called WACRAO – please no cracks about how it sounds like “wacko!”)  The session was called “Opening Doors to College for Foster Youth.” 

 Check out these YouTube videos, by a remarkable young lady who testified before Congress: Greta’s testimony part 1, Greta’s testimony part 2, and Greta’s testimony part 3.

At some level I had certainly understood about the challenges facing foster youth, especially as they “aged out” of the foster care system (which, in Wisconsin, happens at age 18).  What I didn’t realize was how astonishing some of the numbers are: on a national basis, foster youth are 20% less likely to graduate from high school and 40% less likely to attend postsecondary education than their non-foster peers.  Thing is, a majority – 64% – say they want to graduate from college (or beyond) when surveyed at age 17.

So, somewhere the dream dies.

And why wouldn’t it? 

Foster youth have a high probability of changing schools and of missing extensive amounts of school.  They often do not have in-home adults who value and promote higher education.  They are disproportionately low-income and/or homeless.  They perceive the cost of college as more of a barrier than it is in fact.  They often lack a stable, long-term relationship with an adult who can help them navigate the bureaucratic barriers often inherent in higher education.

Discouraging isn’t it?  Imagine how much more so for them.

There is some good news, though – we are in a position to help: “we” being you as school counselors, and “we” being those of us in college admissions.  How?  Well, first we in admissions need to know who these kids are – that’s where you can help, either by telling us (with permission, of course) or by encouraging the student to self-disclose in the applicant statement/essay.  Once the situation is identified, then we can proceed sensitively…taking into account the unique challenges inherent in the foster-youth experience.  This does not mean that we throw standards to the wind – but it does mean that we can look deeper into the student’s experience to better assess the student’s likelihood for success on campus.   Knowing circumstances can explain a lot, and can help us better translate prior experience into present potential. 

In addition, we can help the student to navigate the sometimes-tricky bureaucracy of higher education.  There are designated campus contacts in Wisconsin, at both the University of Wisconsin campuses and the Wisconsin independent colleges and universities.  Contact Denny Roark at UW HELP (denny.roark@learn.uwsa.edu) for the list.   (Contacts at the Wisconsin technical college campuses are forthcoming.) 

Let’s face it, we didn’t get into higher education for the money.  We are in the profession because we believe in the value of education and its potential for life transformation.  So, when the opportunity arises to truly change a life, most of us will welcome the opportunity.  Once a student is identified, we can get to know the student can become the “go-to” contact on campus.  Sometimes the saying holds true: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know….”  Most of us have been in higher ed (and on our campuses) long enough to know who to go to for what, and how to get things done.  Our expertise and familiarity with “the system” can help roadblocks become mere speedbumps. 

So, if you have a student who might benefit from a savvy campus contact, let us know.  Perhaps we can work together to make college a reality for another deserving student like Greta.  Isn’t that why we’re in this business?

Helpful links:

Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Chaffee Foster Care Independence Act of 1999

McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act

Education and Training Vouchers (ETV)

DCF Scholarship Application

Orphan Foundation of America

Talent Incentive Program (TIP) Grant

Tips for Foster Youth Completing the FAFSA

Higher Education Act Reauthorization: Homeless and Foster Youth

Foster Club