Phoenix Hall of Famer Pam Roecker ’83 was inducted into the Madison Sports Hall of Fame

Phoenix Hall of Famer Pam Roecker ‘83, (Communications) was inducted into the Madison Sports Hall of Fame, May 31, 2023, with prestigious company, including longtime Badgers men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan. The dinner banquet and awards ceremony was held at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center.

Roecker, the Regis College Dean of Athletics, was one of five people selected for induction. Roecker was a three-sport athlete at Madison LaFollette High School, where she won nine varsity letters in tennis, basketball and softball. Her softball team won the Big 8 Conference championship and became a WIAA State finalist. During the tennis season, she was a City Doubles champion and was a First Team All-City selection, advancing into the WIAA State Tournament. She was all-city and all-conference in basketball, helping her team advance to the WIAA State Tournament. In s stellar four-year career at UW-Green Bay, she was a 1000-point scorer and remains the all-time leader at UW-Green Bay in assists in a single game, assists in a season, and assists for a career.

After coaching in the college ranks a number of years, she moved to the administrative side of collegiate athletics full-time at Emmanuel College from 2003 to 2015. She was AD at Gann Academy in Waltham from 2015-2017 and took over as Dean of Athletics at Regis College in May of 2017, where she remains. For the last 20 years, Roecker has been a regional TV and Web broadcaster for college basketball games on ESPNU, ESPN+, ESPN3, Fox, MSG Network, and CBS Sports Network. She has also been a guest speaker at basketball camps throughout the Northeast.

Roecker was inducted along with Gary Buss, an all-conference football player at the University of Wisconsin; Michelle Jesperson, an All-American swimmer at Stanford University; Doug Parrish, who played football at UC-Berkeley and the Canadian Football League; and Bo Ryan, legendary men’s basketball head coach at three different colleges within the University of Wisconsin system, including UW-Madison from 2001 to 2015.

The Madison Sports Hall of Fame Club began in 1963 to recognize and honor great athletes and sports figures from Madison, Wis. The group hosts weekly luncheon meetings from August through May and holds the induction ceremony every year. Over 200 individuals have been previously inducted into the Madison Sports Hall of Fame. Go to madisonsportshalloffame.org to find out other information about the club.

May 2023 Class Notes

1980s

Joseph Hoffmeyer ’82 Majored in Business Administration and minored in Regional Analysis. Was chosen for Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2023.

William Koehne ’88 Majored in Business Administration and minored in Human Development. Finalist for the 2023 Business Person of the Year Award from Greater Green Bay Chamber.

Jon Pethke ’89 Majored in Organizational Leadership. Created a dating app called CoyAmore.

1990s

Debra Tomaszewski ’90 Majored in Human Development. Retiring from School District of Crivitz after 30 years.

Mark Husen ’97 Majored in Human Biology. Was recently inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame.

2000s

Amy Spears ’01 Majored in Earth Science and minored in Business Administration. New position as the Organizational Development Specialist for the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin.

Juan Corpus ’03 Majored in Public Administration. Was selected for the Forward 48 leadership program.

2010s

Kayla Karius ’11 Majored in Business Administration and double minored in International Business and Spanish and Latin American Studies. Was chosen for Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2023.

Celeste Ratka ’11 Majored in Human Biology. Was chosen for Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2023.

Ashley Oleksiak ’09 ’12 Bachelor’s in Biology, minor in Human Biology. M.S. in Environmental` Science and Policy. Employed as an Environmental Program Specialist for Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

Keifer Sykes ’15 Majored in Communications. Was chosen for Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2023.

2020s

Jacob Immel ’17 Double majored in Political Science and Public Administration and minored in Human Development. Published his first book called, “What Do You Worship? A Guide for Combating Idolatry.”

UW-Green Bay Alumni Supports Community with Cellcom Marathon Water Station

On Sunday, May 21st, more than twenty UW-Green Bay alumni, family and friends along with support from the UW-Green Bay Pi Beta Phi sorority volunteered at a water station at the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon.  The weather was perfect.   All enjoyed helping hydrate and cheer on both the half marathon and marathon walkers and runners.

Special thank you to Jim Schwartz ’83 and Mark Brunette ’85 for once again overseeing this year’s event!

 

 

April 2023 Class Notes

1990s

Mark Dittloff ’83 ’90 Undergraduate major in Urban Studies. Masters in Community Human Services. New job as Bellin Health Psychiatric Center in Oconto as a Licensed Professional Counselor.

Lisa Cribben ’92 Majored in Managerial Accounting and minored in Business Administration. New job as Partner for Hawkins Ash CPA.

Christine Lensmeyer ’92 Double-majored in Psychology and Social Change & Development. Recently promoted to General Manager of Business Systems for Acuity Insurance.

Lara Fritts ’93 Majored in Regional Analysis and minored in Economics. New position with the Fredrick County Office of Economic Development as Acting Director of Economic Development.

Femi Cole ’97 Majored in Communication Processes and minored in Communications and the Arts. New position at Element as a public relations manager.

Mark Husen ’97 Majored in Human Biology. Recently named to the Wisconsin Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame.

2000s

Melody Wuest ’02. A.A.S. in Business Administration. Recently promoted to Senior Regulatory Affairs Analyst with Acuity Insurance.

Amanda Mack ’05 Double majored in Human Development and Psychology and minored in Business Administration. New position with the Grafton School District as the Director of Pupil Services.

2010s

Robert Davis ’13 Masters in Applied Leadership for Teaching & Learning. New job as Director of Development and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Green Bay Packers.

Vanya Koepke ’15 Double majored in Political Science and Business Administration. Published his book “You Are Here for a Purpose: Living Life to the Fullest in All Seasons”

Alex Brandt ’18 Majored in Communications and minored in Human Development. Recently promoted to Senior Claims Representative for Acuity Insurance.

Mikaela Reed ’19 Majored in Human Biology. New position as a primary care provider at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital Prevea Mountain Health Center.

This is not a drill: Dr. Laura Rammer ’01 pursued her dream of becoming a dentist at UW-Green Bay

Alongside her professors and fellow math and science lovers, Rammer refined her strengths to attain her goal.

A trip to the dentist’s office can be a stressful experience, but for Dr. Laura Rammer, it was always something that she enjoyed. She saw her bi-annual visits as an opportunity to ensure that her teeth were healthy, cared-for, and an important aspect in the attainment of a winning smile.

Dentistry quickly became her #1 career choice growing up, with acceptance into Marquette University School of Dentistry (MuSoD) as her ultimate goal. But Rammer needed to complete her undergraduate studies before applying to MuSoD. Initially wanting to explore beyond the borders of Sheboygan County, Rammer elected to attend a liberal arts college nearly eight hours — and a whole state — away. Having earned several academic scholarships, she studied at the smaller college for three semesters.

Rammer’s experience at the smaller college was beneficial, but she wanted to continue her education at a university that was closer to home. Her mom, Mary, suggested UW-Green Bay. Mary earned her communications/public relations degree in December of 1993, and the opportunities, challenges, and coursework left a positive impression on her. Coupled with Rammer’s research on the benefits of UW-Green Bay, the decision became easy.

Attending UW-Green Bay brought Rammer back into her own backyard, and she couldn’t have been more excited at the prospect of learning under approachable, knowledgeable professors and alongside a cohort of other math- and science-minded students.

Finding her flock

Once Rammer got situated on campus, she worked closely with her advisor to ensure that she was meeting her degree requirements and selecting elective courses that would set her up for success when applying to dental school. As she got into her coursework and began interacting with professors and peers, she was reassured that she had made the right choice.

For the next two and a half years, she was fully engaged with the educational material and furthered her understanding of those subjects — the perfect preparation for pursuing a professional degree.

Math and human biology courses are very complex,” Rammer notes. “Leveraging professors’ office hours and after-class opportunities in an effort to work through tough subject matter really helped with my sense of mastery. I thrive in environments where I feel supported and encouraged, and I received those gifts from my professors from day one.”

As she ascended into upper-level requirements, Rammer’s class sizes were on the smaller side, further playing to her strengths. The more intimate settings fostered compelling conversations and made the learning experience more comfortable. Rammer wasn’t afraid to ask questions and the enthusiasm from her professors was evident. She could feel their excitement as they taught and knew that their goal was to ensure every student succeeded.

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Laura and friends in a college apartment, while a student at UW-Green Bay

But her time at UW-GB wasn’t all studying all of the time. Rammer made a lot of great friends, many of whom she maintains relationships with today. From taking advantage of residential life events to seeing her first Broadway musical “Rent” at the Weidner Center to enjoying food and fellowship at “Dinner for a Dollar” nights at the Ecumenical Center on campus, Rammer and her friends found the perfect balance of work and play.

Incisors and canines and molars, oh my!

Finally, the day arrived when it was time to apply to dental school. As one of 1,600 MUSoD applicants, where 80 were accepted, Rammer made it to the interview round and was ultimately awarded a spot as an alternate for the 2006 graduating class. While Rammer wasn’t able to start that Fall, she was undeterred.

Rammer spent the interim year back at UW-Green Bay taking an additional two science classes and an extra English class to further strengthen her application. Her dedication paid off. Over 1,700 applicants sought the 80 spots, and this time, Rammer was accepted. She began four years of year-round studies in the Fall of 2003, successfully graduating as the Marquette University School of Dentistry’s Class of 2007.

After Rammer obtained her Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) credentials, she joined her mentor, Dr. Paul Gruber, when he offered her a job at his Sheboygan dental office. After a couple of years, the two started having discussions about his impending retirement and a transfer of ownership plan. Rammer purchased the practice in 2010. Since then, she has mentored today’s all-woman team and has helped to grow a successful practice in an environment where employees and patients are valued and respected. Her favorite hire? Her mom! While Rammer provides dental health and wellness services to patients, her mom is the first person that patients see when they enter the office.

Laura posing with a kindergartener during a dentist field trip

“Mary offers a warm, friendly greeting and makes sure that everyone is comfortable leading up to their appointments. Thanks to her, our patient roster is comprised of wonderful people who have become trusted friends.”

Rammer’s patients are without a doubt her highest priority, but she is also a major advocate for accessible dentistry for all. Rammer has dedicated her time across various committees for the Wisconsin Dental Association (WDA), as well as joining their efforts to recruit and retain member-dentists within the association.

As a regular attendee of the annual Legislative Day at the Capitol in Madison, Wisc., Rammer carves-out time with her local legislators to impart the importance of dental health for all citizens and discusses how legislation can impact the profession.

Another cause near to Rammer’s heart is Mission of Mercy, a traveling charitable care dental clinic (organized through the WDA). For a decade, Rammer has played a part in the multi-day endeavor where hundreds of dental professionals — including dentists, oral surgeons, hygienists, chair side assistants, general volunteers, translators, equipment technicians and lab technicians — volunteer their time to provide cleanings, fillings, extractions and limited partial dentures free-of-charge on a first-come, first-served basis. In June, Mission of Mercy will take place in Green Bay, where Rammer will serve as the co-lead for the Exit Department.

Laura and fellow members of the Wisconsin Dental Association at the Mission of Mercy Dental Clinic

As if all that doesn’t keep her busy, Rammer is a member of the International College of Dentistry, as well as the Pierre Fauchard Academy, an international organization that recognizes outstanding leadership in the dental profession. MUSoD honored Rammer as the 2019 Young Alumna of the Year—a fitting accolade for her dedication to the profession.

Phorever a Phoenix

To say that Rammer is busy is an understatement, but she wouldn’t want it any other way. Her sights were set on dentistry at an early age and UW-Green Bay provided the supportive environment that she needed to actualize her dream. When she won the UW-Green Bay Young Alumna Award in 2012 for her achievements, she couldn’t have been more proud to be recognized by her fellow Phoenix.

“I enjoyed my time at UW-Green Bay and appreciate all it did to ready me for success. When they say, ‘Together We Rise,’ they truly mean it. I can’t wait to see all of the great things that the university will continue to do on behalf of its students.”

Learn more about how math and science go hand-in-hand to prepare you to become the next generation of healthcare professionals.

March 2023 Class Notes

1970s

Mark Thimke ’76 Majored in Social Change & Development. Retired from Foley & Lardner, LLP.

David Freedman ’78 Majored in Science & Environmental Change. Recently received the 2023 Earth Caretaker Award with UW-Green Bay Environmental Management and Business Institute (EMBI).

1990s

Wendy Wimmer Schuchart ’97 Majored in English and minored in Human Development. Employed as Editor in Chief for Informa. Involved as the president of The Art Garage board of directors.

2000s

Erin Van Daalwyk ’01 Double majored in Psychology and Human Development. Recent promotion to Dean of Students with University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Mitchell Frydrych ’03 Majored in Information Science. Recent promotion to chief technology officer at National Exchange Bank & Trust.

Megan Schuessler ’04 Majored in Communications and minored in Corporate Communications. Recent promotion to assistant vice president of donor services and gift planning for The Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region.

Megan Kautzer ’07 Majored in Psychology and double minored in German and Human Development. Employed as school counselor for Kiel Middle School.

Adam Gastonguay ’06 Majored in Human Biology and minored in Chemistry. Employed as Director of Intellectual property with 2Seventy Bio, Inc.

Erin Deeley ’08 Majored in Social Change & Development and minored in History. New job as a Partner with Stafford Rosenbaum LLP.

2010s

Matthew Honzik ’16 Majored in Business Administration. New job as Director of Member Services with Holy Family Memorial Credit Union.

Danielle Murray ’16 Double-majored in Human Biology and Psychology. Employed as an Athletic Trainer for University of San Diego.

Sara Ladwig ’18 Majored in English and minored in Business Administration. Employed as Subject Matter Expert/Leadership for UnitedHealth Group.

2020s

Ernest Oberst ’22 Majored in Psychology. New job as Manager with Oneida Vocational Rehabilitation.

How Lorna Nowvé’s urban studies education prepared her to help save New York City’s special spaces

This UW-Green Bay alum’s passion for green spaces evolved into a lifetime pursuit of historical preservation.

At first glance, Neshota Park, in the southeast corner of Brown County, and Bryant Park, located smack-dab in the middle of Manhattan, don’t appear to have much in common beyond the shared symbol for “park” on your phone’s map app. But there’s a deep, significant link between them that takes a human form: 1974 UW-Green Bay graduate Lorna Nowvé.

In fact, the bustling New York City Park that today attracts 12 million visitors and hosts 1,000 free public events was shaped in part by the knowledge and experiences Nowvé gained while studying at UW-Green Bay.

HEEDING THE GREEN CALL TO GREEN BAY

Nowvé’s journey to Green Bay was a fairly unexpected one. A native of the Bronx, Nowvé took a giant leap out of her big-city comfort zone by heading to the northeast Wisconsin shores right out of high school. It was 1972, Nowvé was one of many inspired by the burgeoning green movement and there was no better place to let her passion bloom than at UW-Green Bay.

“I loved my ecology class in high school and was the leader of the environmental action committee,” recalls Nowvé. “When I heard about a new university in Wisconsin that had an environmental focus, I sent away for the catalog – that’s how you learned about schools in those days.”

Impressed by what she read, Nowvé enrolled and took her first steps on Wisconsin soil when she arrived for orientation. After a few months of feeling a bit like “a fish out of water,” the native New Yorker began to thrive in her new surroundings. Nowvé found a home for her interest in the environment and her love of city culture in the urban analysis major and community science minor programs.

“There were two professors in particular who were a big influence on me: Ron Baba and David Damkoehler,” she notes. “They taught me a lot about design and architecture.”

EARLY OPPORTUNITIES IN URBAN PARK DESIGN

In addition to nurturing her love for the topics in the classroom, Nowvé’s professors connected her with summer jobs that helped her apply her newfound knowledge to real-world projects. Her first summer in Wisconsin was spent doing research on the county’s recreation opportunities. She surveyed people who were tenting and camping about what they liked, didn’t like and needed in county parks, and she used her findings to help produce a report detailing their concerns.

The next summer, Nowvé was offered the opportunity to help design a new park in Brown County: Neshota Park. She brought her learnings from the previous summer to her work, which helped her team know where to place the parking, camping and pavilion areas within the 260-acre setting. The park remains an all-weather local favorite today for gatherings and picnics and was even named one of the coolest winter spots for getting outside in Green Bay.

URBAN STUDIES EDUCATION MAKES BIG IMPACT ON THE BIG APPLE

When Nowvé moved home after graduation, she found New York City to be in a precarious state: The city was on the verge of bankruptcy. Armed with knowledge about open space planning and architectural history, Nowvé wanted to save her hometown’s beautiful sites. To that end, she was hired by the Municipal Art Society of New York City (MAS), an advocacy organization that helps lift the voices of those who are trying to make urban landscapes accessible.

Back then, the MAS’ small staff was based out of a tiny office in 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Nowvé came on board just as they were working on one of their most famous projects (the successful campaign to save Grand Central Terminal from demolition) with one of its most famous supporters – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Finding herself fulfilled by historical preservation work, Nowvé’s next stop in her career was the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation (BPRC). As the associate director of the organization with experience in urban park design from her UW-Green Bay days, Nowvé helped create a new master plan for the park. She then worked to raise both the funds and community support needed to implement it. Today, it is one of the busiest public spaces in the world.

NEW CAREER, FAMILIAR CHALLENGES

Growing up in New York City had infused in Nowvé an appreciation of entertainment, which she explored a bit during her UW-Green Bay days with some theatre history classes.

Feeling ready for a change near the end of her time with BPRC, Nowvé realized she wanted to try her hand at TV and film production. She spent a year networking and taking classes before landing her first job in the industry with a popular ’80s sitcom. For the next two decades, Nowvé specialized in production finance for shows ranging from “Law & Order” to “Only Murders in the Building.”

She also optioned scripts and worked to finance films – an endeavor that was strangely similar to her historical preservation work. “When you have a project in front of you that you care deeply about, you can see what needs to be done, and then you have to try to raise the money to do it!”

BACK WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

After COVID transformed the entertainment industry, Nowvé felt a pull back to her first love.

She had always kept in touch with friends in the preservation world, and one of them told her about an interim executive director position available at the Historic Districts Council (HDC), an advocacy organization for all of New York City’s historic neighborhoods that used to be part of MAS.

During her time in the role, Nowvé worked with neighborhoods threatened by development and helped people who live in historical sites stay in their home/space through advocacy, education and public programming.

LASTING IMPACT OF EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCES

Though decades have passed since Nowvé’s love of architecture and history was first ignited at UW-Green Bay, the flame that was lit back then has never burned out. She continues to nurture those interests in a variety of ways: serving on the HDC’s board of advisers, volunteering with an organization that teaches elementary school students about their neighborhoods and environment, and playing tourist in her own town.

“My partner Michael and I live on Manhattan’s west side,” says Nowvé, ”but many days, we pick an area of the city and just walk around the neighborhoods.”

As she explores New York City, she sees sites that have very special, personal meaning.

“I could point to a lot of things and say I had a hand in helping to protect them,” she muses. “That’s a really wonderful feeling, and it will always mean a lot to me and give me a lot of pride. At the time, I never thought about it. It’s just what we did. But we were witnesses to history, as well as facilitators, in a way.”

Even though she has spent the vast majority of her life in New York, Nowvé’s ability to impact its built environment first took shape 1,000 miles west of the city – on the UW-Green Bay campus.

“Going to college at UW-Green Bay gave me access to things I wouldn’t have had here in New York,” she enthuses. “That list definitely includes the great outdoors but also opportunities that I wouldn’t have had at another school. Even though I live in one of the biggest cities in the world, UW-Green Bay showed me more of the world.”

Lorna Nowvé found the inspiration and information she needed to help preserve New York City’s public spaces by moving from the Bronx to Green Bay. Learn more about the UW-Green Bay program (now known as Urban Studies) that develops individuals who want to make a difference in their communities and neighborhoods.