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Institute for Learning Partnership

Category Archive: Phuture Phoenix

Phuture Phoenix trains Silver Lake College in Manitowoc

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13th Annual Institute for Learning Partnership Fall Conference

The Institute for Learning Partnership’s 13th Annual Fall Conference will be taking place October 20-22, 2011.

Keynote Topic: Elevate Your Professional Practices with 21st Century Skills

“To ensure 21st Century readiness, we must fuse the three Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic) and four Cs (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, creativity and innovation.”  – John Kuglin

Technology pioneer and education leader, John Kuglin, and other local experts, offer advice to educators who want to explore, experience, understand, and gain current 21st century skills.

October 20, Thursday evening, UW-Green Bay: Conference keynote and pre-conference workshop

October 21, Friday morning, Green Bay School District administrative offices: Meeting (live and online via Elluminate) with administrators from CESA 7 and 8 schools

October 22, Saturday morning, Green Bay Preble High School: Educator workshops

For more information contact Juliet Cole of the Institute for Learning Partnership at (920) 465-5094 or

UW Regents honor UW-Green Bay educators


Regent Manydeeds with UW-Green Bay Professional Program in Education members

MILWAUKEE – The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents on Friday (June 10) honored two professors and one academic program for their outstanding career achievements in teaching, as they bestowed the UW System’s highest recognition for members of its faculty and academic staff.

The 2011 recipients of the Regents Teaching Excellence Awards are:

  • Craig Berg, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, School of Education, UW-Milwaukee;
  • Regan A.R. Gurung, the Ben J. & Joyce Rosenberg Professor of Human Development and Psychology, UW-Green Bay; and
  • The Professional Program in Education, UW-Green Bay.

Regent Betty Womack, who chaired the selection committee, said that this recognition is “a welcome reminder of what a treasure we have in our faculty and academic staff, those who bring that special dedication, creativity, and passion to their craft, and to whom we entrust the education and enlightenment of the citizens of the future.”

Regent Jeff Bartell introduced the first award recipient, Dr. Regan Gurung, a professor of psychology at UW-Green Bay. Dr. Gurung’s self-described goal as a teacher is to “make students realize that they can do better than what they think is their best,” Bartell said. In 2009, Gurung was named the Wisconsin Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Bartell noted that Gurung has built a reputation not just as an outstanding teacher, but as an outstanding scholar, and he is nationally known for his research and publications on teaching and pedagogy.

“I am proud to be a teacher, and I am very proud to be a part of the UW System,” said Garung. “We’re here for the students. We’re here because we believe that education improves life. I believe that, and that gives me energy.”

Gurung recognized those in the room for the work they do to support teaching, saying,“I am very buoyed by what the Office of Professional and Instructional Development, OPID, does. I salute what they do for faculty to make sure we keep educating, and I thank all of you for the work you do. That helps me know that I can focus on the classroom, and that’s what gives me strength.”

Regent John Drew introduced Dr. Craig Berg, who has been on the faculty in the School of Education at UW-Milwaukee for more than 20 years, where he has focused on building a top-notch science teacher preparation program.  Drew also noted that Berg has been an “ardent advocate for improving the lives of urban children and increasing their chances for success,” and has personally invested thousands of hours into fulfilling that mission in the Milwaukee area.

“Although you know we’re expected at this university to be highly productive in terms of scholarship, writing grants, publications, and service, teaching is still the central core of what I want to do, and what I’m expected to do,” Berg said. “It’s the most important part of me being a faculty member at UW-Milwaukee.”

Finally, professor and department chair Timothy Kaufman accepted the program Teaching Excellence Award on behalf of the UW-Green Bay Professional Program in Education.

“This is a program that is firmly grounded in UW-Green Bay’s campus-wide commitment to connecting learning to life,” said Regent Edmund Manydeeds, in presenting the award.  He noted that students in the program are provided with rich and varied opportunities to put the theories of education into practice, working with children and families from different ethnic, cultural, and economic groups, as well as children with exceptional educational needs.  One of the department’s most recognized initiatives is the “Phuture Phoenix” mentoring program, which encourages at-risk youngsters to pursue a college education.

Kaufman said, ““This is truly a group effort. Our vision and commitment is to produce the teachers of tomorrow, really the greatest profession in the world. Professionals that are not only well prepared, but highly desired by schools and districts. Practitioners who are comfortable and nimble in diverse settings and who are able to adapt and successfully serve the needs of young learners, especially those who are at risk or underserved.”

Phuture Phoenix celebrates success with donors

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will have 15 Phuture Phoenix scholars on campus this fall, more than doubling the number of scholarship holders in the second year of the scholarship program.

Kim Desotell, Jack and Ginny Riopelle, Lois Weyers

Award recipients will include six returning scholars and nine first-year students, Phuture Phoenix Director Kim Desotell announced during a special reception held May 19 for Phuture Phoenix supporters.

Phuture Phoenix, UW-Green Bay’s signature program that bolsters college aspirations for young people, began in 2003 as the result of an extended conversation between Cyndie Shepard — the wife of former chancellor Bruce Shepard — and University Trustee Ginny Riopelle.  The pair discussed establishing a mentoring program that could boost postsecondary awareness for students in at-risk schools and help them establish a vision for attending college. Phuture Phoenix since has served more than 8,000 schoolchildren from elementary schools with significant low-income populations. The program has become a model, and is being replicated at UW-Eau Claire, Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., and Silver Lake College in Manitowoc.
The cornerstone Phuture Phoenix event is an autumn tour of the campus for approximately 1,400 fifth-graders from at-risk schools in the greater Green Bay area. UW-Green Bay student volunteers, many of whom are first-generation college students, offer tours and a snapshot of campus life.

Through the years, the Phuture Phoenix program has grown well beyond a field trip. Each year, UW-Green Bay students visit middle and high schools to serve as positive role models and mentors for at-risk students. It is a connection that begins in fifth grade and extends to graduation.

Scholarships will be made available to qualified Phuture Phoenix students as the numbers grow. The scholarships are renewable each year a qualified student attends UW-Green Bay.

For more information about Phuture Phoenix contact Kim Desotell at (920) 465-5170; or,

Maybe we should be known as 'Education U'

The Professional Program in Education at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has been selected to receive the UW System’s top honor for outstanding teaching.

At the June 10 Board of Regents meeting in Milwaukee, faculty members in the teacher-preparation program will receive the 2011 Regents Teaching Excellence Award in the category of outstanding academic department. Regent teaching awards will also go to two individuals: Human Development Prof. Regan Gurung of UW-Green Bay and Education Prof. Craig Berg of UW-Milwaukee.

The Professional Program in Education has long been one of UW-Green Bay’s most heavily enrolled programs. More than 500 students are either majors, pre-majors or candidates for teaching certification in elementary education, or are pursuing disciplinary majors and certification in secondary education.

Associate Prof. Timothy Kaufman serves as chairperson. Other full-time faculty members are associate professors Scott Ashmann, James Coates Jr., Mark Kiehn, Pao Lor, Patricia Ragan and Linda Tabers-Kwak; assistant professors  Susan Cooper, Steven Kimball and Karen Lieuallen; and senior lecturers Karen Bircher and Art Lacey.

The UW System announcement of the program’s selection cited several factors:

  • Sponsorship of UW-Green Bay’s award-winning Phuture Phoenix program, which pairs children as young as fifth grade with University student mentors and promotes the idea that college is possible;
  • A variety of community outreach initiatives, highlighted by in-school research and work with practicing teachers at the graduate level, especially those teaching “at risk” and disadvantaged children;
  • The unit’s emphasis on providing future teachers with diverse experiences including work with various ethnic, cultural, and economic groups and children with exceptional educational needs. In recent years, Education has sought to place its students in classroom settings as early as possible, even as first- and second-year students, to aid and observe practicing teachers and maximize their exposure to the profession.

In addition, the University has won praise for the success of its Center for First Nation Studies, a resource to help current and future educators do a more comprehensive job of teaching youth about the history, culture, sovereignty and contemporary issues of American Indians. The center was founded in 2009 to provide leadership after the state of Wisconsin mandated increased attention to K-12 instruction in this area. Co-directed by Kaufman of  Education and Prof. Lisa Poupart of the University’s First Nations Studies program, the center is notable in that it invites local tribal elders to assist in teacher education and the preparation of K-12 teachers and University faculty to better address native issues.

Also mentioned in announcement of the UW System award was the relatively high placement rate for Education graduates seeking their first teaching positions. Nearly 50 percent of student teachers last spring had secured full-time contracts by fall.

The Education program and its campus/community partnership arm, the Institute for Learning, have strengthened ties to the region’s K-12 educators over the last decade through an annual professional development conference, a continuing education certificate program for working teachers, and the launch and growth of a successful graduate program,  the Master’s of Science in Applied Leadership for Teaching and Learning.

This is the 19th consecutive year for the Regents Teaching Excellence Awards. Recipients are selected by a board subcommittee, which this year consisted of Regents  Betty Womack (chair), Jeffrey Bartell, John Drew and Ed Manydeeds. Selection criteria include strong commitment to teaching and learning; use of effective teaching strategies to enhance student learning; and significant impact on students’ intellectual development.

The UW-Green Bay Education unit will share a $5,000 stipend to be used for professional development.

–University Communications

Bergeron receives Whitney Radder award

Nicholas Bergeron, a sophomore from Fall Creek who is studying Math Education, was presented with the Whitney Radder Phuture Phoenix Phenomenal Role Model Award, Wednesday (May 4) in a special ceremony held on the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay campus.

 Whitney Radder was a Phuture Phoenix tutor, pursing a degree in education, when she was killed in a tragic car accident as she returned from a Phuture Phoenix visit to Franklin Middle School on April 20, 2010. Wanting her strong spirit to carry on and serve as inspiration to others, her peers established this honor in her memory. This award is presented each semester to a Phuture Phoenix Role Model for exemplifying, upholding and exceeding the expectations of the Phuture Phoenix program, while providing phenomenal community service in Phuture Phoenix partner schools.

Phuture Phoenix began in 2003 from an extended conversation between Cyndie Shepard, the wife of former chancellor Bruce Shepard and University Trustee Ginny Riopelle about establishing a mentoring program that could help students in at-risk schools stay on course for college. It has since served almost 10,000 school children from elementary schools with significant low-income populations. And it’s being replicated at UW-Eau Claire, Western Washington University and Silver Lake College.

Attending the ceremony, which was held in the final semester’s class for ED 295, the Phuture Phoenix class was Keith Bowe, Whitney Radder’s cousin.

Look Ahead Lakers Modeled After Phuture Phoenix

Silver Lake College in Manitowoc is the third school to replicate UW-Green Bay’s popular Phuture Phoenix program. The Look Ahead Lakers will tour the Manitowoc school on March 24. The replication kicked off last fall, and like Phuture Phoenix will feature a tour date and mentoring course. Phuture Phoenix has already been replicated at Western Washington University and UW-Eau Claire.

Institute for Learning Partnership Office is Moving

We’re moving for a little while.

With the remodeling of Rose Hall complete, attention now turns to Wood Hall. In mid-January the Institute for Learning Partnership, the Professional Program in Education and Phuture Phoenix will vacate our offices in Wood Hall and move to a suite on the seventh floor of Cofrin Library.

While our location will change, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses will not be affected.

Here’s our tentative schedule during the move:

 We will be open Jan. 10 and 11, but we’ll be in the final stages of packing and sorting and storing and shredding.

 On Jan. 12-13 we will be transitioning to our new offices in CL 750. We’ll be closed Jan. 14 for a state-mandated furlough day, and on Jan. 17 to observe the Martin Luther King holiday.

 On Tuesday, Jan. 18 we will be in our new temporary home in Cofrin Library. We expect to remain there until the remodeling is completed in early summer.

 We hope you’ll bear with us if we seem a bit out of sorts. Moving does that. Doesn’t it?

Buddy Program helps raise Two Rivers’ student math, reading scores

TWO RIVERS – When L.B. Clarke Middle School Counselor Brian Schley created the Buddy Program at Clarke Middle School his motivation was “purposeful research” for a professional degree.
He’s got the certification – known as a Professional Development Certificate (PDC) – and the results have proven so successful helping students raise their math and reading scores that he wouldn’t dream of ending the buddy plan.

“When you find something that works, that helps students, it’s pretty hard not to continue,” Schley said in late

August as he prepared for the upcoming semester.

In a nutshell the buddy program works like this: teachers identify 5th graders who could benefit from some mentor tutoring by 7th graders. Held before school twice a week, it’s voluntary on the part of all students and enjoys parental permission.

The research project was a component of the PDC program, which is an individualized, self-paced program of professional development that is offered by the Institute for Learning Partnership at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and recognized by the Department of Public Instruction for re-licensure.

 Two Rivers, like many school districts, offers a financial incentive to educators who complete the PDC program. A major component of the PDC is an action research project that is developed by the educator and peer reviewed by a panel of master educators.

Schley, who received his bachelor’s degree from St. Norbert College and master’s degree in counseling from UW-Oshkosh, has been at Clarke Middle School for four years. His wife Tiffani is a counselor in the Manitowoc schools, who is in the process of earning her PDC certification.

“The first time I went before a PDC Quality Review Board I felt like a steak on the burner. But from that experience I learned so much,” he said. “The PDC really begs the questions: What are you doing and is it effective?”

As his Buddy Program project advanced, Schley worked with teachers to review test scores to find out whether students were benefiting from student mentoring. As the data rolled in, the answer was an unequivocal ‘yes.’

The concept is that the 7th and 8th graders work with their younger schoolmates to build basic skills. It requires training mentors on how they can help build those skills. It also requires some skilled paring of students and role models.

Fifth and sixth grade students who participated in the Buddy Program showed improvement in math and reading scores. And when asked to complete a self-assessment survey, students who were in the Buddy Program reported an improvement in behavior, attitude and self-esteem.

There are other encouraging outcomes from the Buddy Program – fifth and sixth graders benefit from building a positive relationship with older students. It’s had to understate the importance of self-esteem, especially in the middle school years.

“As counselors we focus on three domains – careers, personal-social skills, and academic development,” Schley explained. “I think we do the first two well, but academic development is one area that I think we could stand to do some work on. I think the Buddy Program with its focus on building skills is doing some of that.”

First Phuture Phoenix class graduates to the present