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.

“It was an honor to be inducted into the Madison Sports Hall of Fame, and my opportunity at UWGB was definitely an integral part of the athletic, academic and professional career that was recognized,” Roecker said.

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 to find out other information about the club.

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.


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.

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.


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.”


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.


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.


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!”


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.


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.

UW-Green Bay Alumni Rise to the Distinction of Distinguished and Outstanding

The University’s 2023 best of the best to be recognized in April 2023 along with Terry Fulwiler who will receive the Honorary Alumni Award

Green Bay, Wis.— The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will recognize a number of outstanding alumni and one honorary alumnus at the 2023 Alumni Awards Dinner on Thursday, April 20, 2023 in the Phoenix Rooms in the University Union. The event will begin with a reception at 5 p.m. and is followed by dinner at 6 p.m.  The program will begin at approximately 6:40 p.m. The event is open to the public. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at UW-Green Bay Alumni Awards. For more information, contact the UW-Green Bay Alumni Office at 920-465-2074 or

“One of our strongest assets as a university is our alumni,” said UW-Green Bay Chancellor Michael Alexander. “UW-Green Bay graduates make a difference every day in communities across our region, state, nation, and the world. We need their insights and experience to help UW-Green Bay continue to grow and influence the next generation of graduates. We are honored to recognize these alumni for their career achievements and the impact they have made in our community and throughout the world.”

The Alumni Awards highlight UW-Green Bay graduates and other individuals who have made special contributions to UW-Green Bay, their communities and professions. The 2023 Distinguished honorees are Neil Jacobstein’76, Laurie Lindborg Parsons ‘80, Eric Lund ’89, siblings Rita Owino ’97, Peres Owino ’99, and David Owino ’03. Receiving the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award for 2023 will be Sarah Beckman ’08. Terry Fulwiler, retired CEO and Chairmen of the Chairmen of the Board of WS Packaging, who has worked tirelessly to advocate for UW-Green Bay and has extensive community involvement, will receive an Honorary Alumni Award.

“The true strength of UW-Green Bay lies in the collective accomplishments of all of our graduates,” said UW-Green Bay Alumni Relations Director Brian Rammer. “These recipients are examples of all those that have been able to use their talents and share their expertise to have an extraordinary impact on their profession and community. We are proud to be able to recognize these individuals for their achievements.”

About the awardees:

Receiving 2023 Distinguished Alumni Awards

Neil Jacobstein ’76 (Environmental Sciences) is the Chair of the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Track at Singularity University. He is a founding Singularity Expert, and past President of Singularity. Neil was a MediaX Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Stanford University from 2007-2022, where his work focused on augmented decision systems. He was CEO of Teknowledge Corp, a pioneering AI company that did successful AI application work but was too early for the mass adoption we see today. Neil has practical and strategic AI/ML system building and R&D consulting experience with a long list of industrial and governmental partners, including: Deloitte, E&Y, PWC, Boeing, GM, Ford, BMW, GE, Applied Materials, Texas Medical Center, NASA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Science Foundation, NIH, EPA, DOE, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force, GM, Ford, Boeing, Applied Materials, Xero, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and more. Neil served at the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Division of Earth and Life Sciences 2015-2020, and the Academy’s Strategic Planning Committee 2020-2021. He wrote the founding white paper for the Queenstown Machine Learning Institute in New Zealand. Neil provides public speaking and interdisciplinary technical consulting services to corporations, venture capital, and government organizations worldwide.

Neil received his B.S. in Environmental Science, Summa Cum Laude in 1976 at the University of Wisconsin’s Green Bay Environmental Campus. He earned his M.S. in Human Ecology, under a US Public Health Service Scholarship, University of Texas School of Public Health and the NASA Johnson Space Center, Environmental Physiology Simulation Program. He spent four years doing environmental systems research as a Research Associate at the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems at Washington University and the Research Foundation of CUNY. He completed the Stanford University Advanced Management College Executive Program and the Aspen Institute Crown Fellows Program.

Laurie Lindborg Parsons ’80 (Environmental Sciences/Chemistry) is the U.S. Water Resources Division Lead with Ramboll.  Her career began with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in water quality planning and policy development prior to attaining her Master’s Degree.  After receiving her M.S., she launched her consulting career at Warzyn Engineering, Inc where she worked both in water resources and environmental engineering capacities.  After seven years Laurie was offered an opportunity to establish engineering services for then-startup company Natural Resource Technology, Inc.   Thirteen years later she took on an ownership role with partners, and led NRT as president and CEO, doubling the size of the firm, expanding services, and adding offices in Illinois and Michigan. Having achieved national recognition for work in the environmental consulting sector with specialized expertise in cleanup and restoration of contaminated waterways, NRT attracted the attention of larger firms. After 10 years leading the firm, Laurie and the NRT team joined forces with a mid-size east coast engineering firm, O’Brien and Gere, expanding their Midwest footprint.  She then served in various leadership roles, and was a member of the company’s board of directors until 2019 when O’Brien and Gere became part of Ramboll, a 17,000-person engineering and consulting firm headquartered in Denmark.  In her current role at Ramboll, Laurie leads the US Water Resources Division, serves in leadership roles on the Americas merger and acquisition team, and the firm’s equity, diversity, and inclusion council.  All with a mission of being a partner for sustainable change in in the firm’s water, energy and environmental services.

As a recipient of the Milwaukee area “STEM Forward Engineer of the Year” award for 2015, that was endorsed by the American Society of Civil Engineers, Laurie is committed to public service, including her regular participation in events that expose young people to careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Through these events, Laurie has become a prominent role model, especially for girls and women.  Presently she is Chair of the UW-Madison, Civil and Environmental Engineering visiting board and is recipient of the College of Engineering 2020 Distinguished Achievement Award.

Laurie graduated from UW-Green Bay with a B.S. in Environmental Science/Chemistry in 1980 and received her M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UW-Madison in 1987.

Eric Lund ’89 (Psychology/Human Development) is chief clinical officer at Caravel Autism Health.  Dr. Lund leads their team of expert clinician and is a licensed psychologist who has specialized in the diagnosis and therapy of childhood disorders for nearly three decades and has focused on autism spectrum disabilities for the last 20 years. Dr. Lund is passionate about setting the standard for quality clinical outcomes and building Caravel’s proprietary outcomes platform. He has a doctorate in clinical psychology and a post-doctoral master’s degree in clinical psychopharmacology. He is board certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BCBA-D) and the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). Dr. Lund founded Caravel in 2009 with Chris Van Dyke.

Eric graduated from UW-Green Bay with a B.S. in Psychology with aa minor in Human Development in 1989, a Psy.D. degree in Clinical Psychology from Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in 1993 and M.S. degree in Clinical Psychopharmacology from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2006. He is board certified in clinical psychology and behavior analysis and is licensed in WI, IL, WA, ID, MN. IA, CO, MI.

Rita Owino ’97 (Human Biology) is a healthcare executive with more than a decade of leadership experience and is currently a healthcare consultant. In this capacity, she collaborates with a variety of clients, from startups to multinationals, to implement transformation initiatives by leveraging innovation to design new care delivery and business models aimed at improving access, quality of care, and outcomes for health systems and patients in emerging markets.

Rita’s professional career spans 20+ years and is marked by roles of progressively increasing scope and responsibility with Fortune 100 companies in the United States and Africa. Her background is in medical and digital technologies at GE Healthcare, “big 4” management consulting at KPMG, and managed care at UnitedHealth Group.

At GE Healthcare she worked with the global health community to design and implement innovative primary healthcare delivery models that improved access to care and health outcomes for patients in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. She was awarded a GE Healthcare Hero Award by GE Healthcare’s global President and CEO in recognition of her work, contributions, and impact delivered both to communities served and the organization. As a healthcare advisor at KPMG, she advised a wide range of healthcare clients on strategy, care system redesign, and operations optimization. And in managed care, she worked across the healthcare value chain to manage the total cost of care related to quality improvement and cost reduction by implementing various managed care techniques.

A life-long learner committed to both personal and professional growth and development, Rita is currently pursuing her MBA at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business.

Peres Owino ’99 (Social Change and Development/Theater) is an award-winning Kenyan-American storyteller who came onto the scene with her directorial debut, “BOUND: Africans vs African-Americans”, which played in over two dozen festivals around the world winning the Women In Film- Lena Sharpe Award at the Seattle International Film Festival, the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, and the Best Film Directed by a Woman of Color Award at the African Diaspora Film Festival in New York. Her latest film projects, include the short films “Stray”, produced by 20th Century Fox Digital as part of Hulu’s Best of Huluween and “Glimpse.”

Peres’ feature credits include her original screenplay, “The Basket Weaver”; winner of the NYWIFT Writer’s Lab supported by Meryl Streep, “Seasons of Love”, produced by Taraji P. Henson, nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing of a Television Movie; and “Once Upon A Time in Africa”, currently in pre-production. Her original works for the stage include her one act play, “Cut” which premiered at The Walt Disney Concert Hall – REDCAT and her one-woman show, “Beauty For Ashes”.

The show, “African Queens” which she co-wrote for Netflix, Westbrook and Nutopia premiered on February 15, 2023. She is currently developing various TV projects for Warner Brothers, Berlanti, Hartbeat, TinkerToy Productions and Gaumont. Peres is repped at Creative Artist Agency and Yorn Levine et. al

David Owino ’03 (Business Administration) is the Vice President of Business Development at Forbes Marketplace. His role involves generating new business for the company, innovating the monetization funnel and maintaining partnerships across the world. At Marketplace he has been instrumental in leading the teams that secured brand partnerships for the award-winning performance media brands – Forbes Advisor, Forbes Health, Forbes Home and Forbes Wheels.

This University of Wisconsin – Green Bay Econ alum began his postgraduate journey at Schneider Logistics, managing the Northeast Market for all General Motors deliveries. Dave then took the position of Affiliate Manager at a small digital marketing startup in Florida to escape Wisconsin’s brutal winters. Learning the ins and outs of the digital marketing space, Dave led a team that built the Flexoffers Affiliate Network, which was later sold to Bankrate to power their partnership network. This network currently generates over $50 million annual revenue.

A two-time Affiliate Manager of the Year nominee, Dave recruited, onboarded and launched the affiliate programs for several big brands, including,,, and

Dave Owino currently lives in Miami, FL with his college sweetheart and their two kids.

2023 Outstanding Recent Alumni Award

Sarah Beckman ’08 (Social Work) started in a new role as Executive Director with Achieve Brown County in January of 2022. ABC is part of the StriveTogether network and one of over 70 organizations in the United States that focuses on collaboration and community led collective impact to ensure that every child from cradle to career succeeds regardless of race, income or zip code.

Sarah has always wanted to be in nonprofit administration. For most of her career, she worked in nonprofit fundraising. With each nonprofit she worked for, she gained more experience and more responsibility. In 2017, she decided to go back to school to pursue her MBA as she looked to take the next step towards a career goal of moving into a nonprofit Executive Director role. Halfway through her schooling, she achieved this goal when she was selected as the next Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity Lakeside in Sheboygan, WI. A major achievement since moving into this role has been Sarah’s efforts in working with the Habitat for Humanity Lakeside’s Board of Directors to create and launch a 5-year strategic plan for the organization. In addition to this, Sarah takes pride in her mission knowledge and length of service with Habitat for Humanity that dates all the way back to 2004 when she first got involved with Habitat for Humanity as a student at UW-Green Bay. Sarah has presented at statewide and national Habitat conferences and in webinars that have had a national audience. In 2019, she received her M.B.A. from St. Norbert College.

In addition to her work with Achieve Brown County, she currently is a volunteer with the Brown County United Way Advocacy Council, the Volunteer Center of Brown County’s Reading Coaches for Kids Program, with Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes and with the Greater Green Bay Chamber on the Partners in Education Board as well as the Young Professional Advisory Board. Sarah was previously named Emerging Leader of the Year by Brown County United Way in 2018, Future 15 and Young Professional of the Year by the Greater Green Bay Chamber in 2018 and Top 10 Best Under 40 Recipient by the Sheboygan County Chamber in 2019.

Sarah graduated from UW-Green Bay with a Bachelor of Social Work with emphasis in Child Welfare in 2008 and received her M.B.A. from St. Norbert College in 2019.

2023 Honorary Alumni Award

Terry Fulwiler currently serves on the UW-Green Bay Council of Trustees. Terry and his wife, Kris have supported UW-Green Bay establishing the Terry and Kris Fulwiler Phuture Phoenix Scholarship.  He is also currently on the bord of directors for the following corporations: Bellin Gunderson Health Systems, the Green Bay Packers, East Shore Industries, Bellin College, Northeast Technical College and On-Site Productions. He is also a strong supporter of the Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay, Bellin Foundation, Unity Hospice, and the Meyer Theater.  

 Terry is formerly CEO and Chairman of the Board of the WS Packaging Group of Companies.  He was selected Converter of the Year for 2000 by the Tag & Label Institute, which is the Trade Organization for the Tag & Label Industry. He also was selected as the 2010 winner of the Stanton Avery Lifetime Achievement Award [named after the inventor of pressure sensitive labels] which is presented to the person that has made a lasting mark on the label printing industry. In 2011, Terry was selected as the Green Bay Free Enterprise Award recipient which is presented by the Rotary Club of Green Bay to the person that has made an outstanding contribution to both business and the community.

Terry is a native of Algoma and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1972 with a degree in Aerospace Engineering.

Dr. Rosa King’s Journey to and Through First Nations Studies

Meet one of the first graduates of our First Nations Education Doctorate program

Each fall, students in the Oneida language immersion program excitedly harvest the bounty from the Three Sisters garden located at their school in Oneida, Wisconsin. What might appear to an outsider as a simple outdoor activity for energetic children is actually much, much more. In fact, it’s a key milestone along a year-long learning journey led by their teacher, Dr. Yekuhsiyo Rosa King, and inspired by her own education journey at UW-Green Bay.

Beginning in the spring, Oneida students build mounds and plant the Three Sisters seeds (first corn, then squash, finally beans). With each step along the way – culminating in braiding harvested corn for winter storage – the children absorb crucial concepts in math, meteorology, agriculture and nutrition. But the process also instills in them their community’s customs, values, history, songs and ceremonial practices and the cultural significance of every action.

Knowing how natural and valuable the Three Sisters garden project is for the program’s students, it’s hard for King to remember that it didn’t always unfold in such a holistic way. She first started teaching it on a mainstream school calendar that didn’t allow for the summertime experience of caring for the growing plants. Yet once King started her doctoral program in First Nations Education studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, she began to see new and better ways she could advance student learning by using their own language and culture.

Because of the wisdom and resources King gained from her experience at UW-Green Bay, the young minds in the program now attend their 180 days of school in a year-round configuration that emphasizes holistic curriculum instead of subject segmentation. They are more connected to their culture and more prepared for life inside and beyond their community.

Their lives are transforming before King’s eyes – not unlike the way her own life has transformed through her UW-Green Bay journey.

Dr. King’s students using gardening tools as they plant the Three Sisters garden

Dr. King’s students using gardening tools as they plant the Three Sisters garden

College, Community and Career

King grew up in the Green Bay area. Naturally curious and driven, she earned a bachelor’s degree in American Indian studies at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and a master’s degree in tribal administration and government at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

In addition to her formal studies, she took on the very meaningful personal challenge of learning her native Oneida language with help from a friend in the community’s language department.

“When I first started my language studies, only two out of some 18,000 people spoke Oneida,” King recalls. Because of federal education policies, a lot of the language of the Oneida Nation, as well as most indigenous communities, is being lost and on the verge of extinction. Today, less than .0001% of Oneidas speak the language.

With such passion for her community and for learning, it is no surprise that King started her professional career working as a Native American advocate at a school district in Northeast Wisconsin.

Language as Identity

Her appreciation for the endangered Oneida language grew during the five years she spent in her advocate role – and with it, a new determination to ensure its survival. King now understood the impact language and culture could have on her community.

“Providing people with language gives a strong sense of identity, and when you’re strongly rooted, it guides you in all other areas of your life,” she explains. “There are a lot of social issues that affect our community, and if we can centralize our language and culture proactively, we can combat things like suicide and drug and alcohol use.”

King knew one of the best ways to revitalize a language was to instill it in children through immersion education, which means teaching through the use of only the target language. Yet at the time, there was no Oneida  language immersion program.

So she started one.

Dr. King teaching while sitting at a table of kids

The Birth of the Oneida Language Immersion Program

Since 2018, King has been teaching 3–6-year-olds in the Oneida language immersion program she created. Soon after she founded the program, she started looking for a new challenge to tackle – especially one that would enhance her leadership and teaching abilities within the program she founded.

“I always knew I would get my doctorate degree, but I didn’t know when,” King says. When her education networks started buzzing about a new, innovative First Nations Education Doctorate (FNED) program at UW-Green Bay, it didn’t take her long to decide to jump in with both feet.

Even though she had spent most of her life in the Green Bay area, King’s only experience with UW-Green Bay until that point was watching her mother earn her degree. Now, just a few years after her mom’s graduation, King herself was a Phoenix. She quickly realized she had made the right decision.

The 54-credit FNED program consists of core courses that address topics such as ancestral leadership, indigenous pedagogy, First Nations law and policy, generational healing and indigenous research methods. An applied dissertation project is the culmination of the doctoral program, and the students can direct their efforts into any area of their choosing. King’s focus? Indigenous language immersion education.

“Even though I was already doing the work, I needed an educational foundation in how to set up an immersive program so I could incorporate best practices into it,” King notes. “I got so much guidance and tools from my professors. No one else in our area is doing this, so they introduced me to things I never even knew existed!”

Flexibility and Financial Support Make the Difference 

Balancing King’s career with her doctoral work was manageable because of the flexibility of the program. Classes meet only on weekends, and the students can tackle individual or group assignments on their own schedules.

UW-Green Bay also helped King with the financial aspect of pursuing higher education. “I received some monetary support from my community, but also from the university. They wanted us to be successful, so they were always there to help to reduce those financial barriers.”

Even though she worked full time throughout her doctoral pursuit, King earned her degree in just four years. In May 2022, she and her three fellow cohort members (Crystal Leah Tourtillott Lepscier, Artley Murray Skenandore Jr. and Vicki Lee Young) became the first cohort to graduate with an education doctorate in First Nations Education. Because King was the first to defend her dissertation, she was technically the first to graduate.

Dr. King with her family at her mom’s graduation from UW-Green Bay

The Legacy of a Quality Education

The support King had come to rely on from UW-Green Bay didn’t end when she walked across the graduation stage.

“I think I’m even more connected to UW-Green Bay now than I was when I was in school!” laughs King. “I stay in touch with the cohorts that are pursuing their degrees to give guidance, but I also am in touch with so many of the new people I met during my doctoral work. I am now networked with other immersive programs around the world, so we share information and techniques to help strengthen and grow our programs.”

In fact, King recently attended the prestigious and influential National Coalition of Native Language Schools and Programs Summit. There, King learned from the industry’s top experts as a representative of the Oneida language immersion program – one of only 25 schools in the country invited to the event.

In this way, she says, UW-Green Bay’s FNED program is making an impact both locally and globally.

“As someone who works in education, I know it’s all about quality – never quantity,” King muses. “I was not just a number at UW-Green Bay; quality is the foundation there. It’s unmatched, and what I was able to do is so unique. I literally could not have done it anywhere else! I’m so grateful I was able to be a part of that.”

Rising Up

Before King arrived on campus, she was already a full-fledged trailblazer. With a doctoral degree in hand, she’s started to chart the next course.

“All the decisions I’ve made have directed me to where I am today,” she says. “My experience in the doctoral program was part of my journey and path. The support, mentorship and direction I got from UW-Green Bay helped me navigate this terrain I was building in my own community through language.

“It also helped me do a lot of inner work and crystallize what I value in this world: education and social justice. These are now at the forefront of my work as both a professional and as a person, and I’m doing it unapologetically so that I can make the path easier for others to walk.”

Many words can be used to describe the trail King is blazing: inspiring, impactful and impressive, to name a few. The same can be said for so many other Phoenix who – like King – use the incredible educational empowerment available at UW-Green Bay to chart their own unique courses toward personal and professional fulfillment.

Learn more about an Ed.D. in First Nations Education, degree options in First Nations Studies and how they’re empowering students to rise to their career potential.

UW-Green Bay Alumna Laurie Butz Receives ATHENA Leadership Award


Congratulations to Laurie Butz ’91, President and CEO of Capital Credit Union on winning the ATHENA Leadership Award! Sponsored by Bergstrom Automotive, this award is given to a woman who has achieved the highest level of professional excellence. This individual contributes time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the Fox Cities community and actively assists others, particularly women, in realizing their full leadership potential.

Butz has held senior leadership roles in HR, Organizational Development, Training, Sales Administration, Investments, and Insurance Services for profit and not for profit organizations including Community First Credit Union – Appleton Wisconsin, Alta Resources, United Health Care and Associated Bank. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, a master’s degree in Business Administration from University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and earned a three-year designation as Certified Chief Executive (CCE) through CUES. She is also a certified Six Sigma Green Belt through Juran Institute. Most recently, UW Oshkosh, where she was an adjunct faculty member for over 10 years, selected Butz as the 2022 Beta Gamma Sigma honoree to recognize her achievements in business and exemplify her pursuit of wisdom. In November of 2022 she was also appointed to the Advisory Board of the Business College at UWGB. Her commitment to community has been demonstrated through Board Chair, and or Personnel Chair roles for YMCA of the Fox Cities and United Way Fox Cities, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fox Valley, as well as through management oversight of the Fox Cities Marathon.

Laurie will receive this award at the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce’s Celebrate Fox Cities Dinner on January 26.

UW-Green Bay Alumna Wendy Wimmer’s Debut Collection Receives National Attention

UW-Green Bay alumna Wendy Wimmer (English, 1997) has received national attention for her newly published debut short story collection ENTRY LEVEL: STORIES. The collection received a starred Kirkus Review and a favorable feature in Publisher’s Weekly, as well as being lauded by literary news site The Millions as one of the most anticipated releases of the second half of 2022.

Wendy Wimmer Schuchart

Kirkus writes of the collection, “Wimmer is a strong writer and fills the pages with elegant, evocative phrasing (“We said words of respect in our native languages, which between the eight of us totaled fourteen gods and six words meaning ‘grace’ ”). Her tone is often wry (“Evelyn thought of her bed like a trapdoor spider, capturing the interest and monetary resources of her romantic partners”), and even the book’s most sardonic narrators balance their misanthropy with a touch of curiosity. The stories vary in length and format but retain a clear aesthetic sense throughout, making it easy to imagine that the characters from “Flarby” and “Intersomnolence” might someday cross paths. The work educates without being didactic; readers learn about Wisconsin bingo regulations and Waardenburg syndrome in “INGOB” and the properties of sphagnum moss in “The Bog King,” with the bits of trivia blending seamlessly into the tales.”

The Washington Post featured Wimmer’s collection in it’s feature “10 Award-Winning Short Story Collections Worth Reading” on October 17, 2022. It said, “If punchy first sentences are to your taste, Wendy Wimmer’s “Entry Level” (Autumn House Fiction Prize) is the book for you. “When Mary Ellen’s left breast grew back on its own during our Saturday dinner break, we had confirmation that something weird was happening.” Many intros seem designed to startle; several stories enter fantastical terrain. In the delightful “Texts from Beyond,” a company purportedly helps people send messages to deceased relatives. Equally affecting are stories more rooted in the real, where Wimmer gets closer to character and emotion, such as “Billet-Doux,” told via unsent letters addressed to celebrities, random people, inanimate objects, a recurring guy on the BART and the protagonist herself.”

The collection was also featured in the October 24 issue of People Magazine as a Best New Books selection, next to Colleen Hoover’s IT STARTS WITH US. Of Wimmer’s book, the reviewers stated “This gleefully subversive debut presents 15 weird, wild and wonderful stories of everyday folk surviving in a world gone haywire… ENTRY LEVEL, like its title story, is strange magic indeed.”

After launching the book at Green Bay’s own The Lion’s Mouth Bookstore on October 6th, Wimmer embarked on a West Coast book tour, including stops in Denver, Salt Lake City, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Las Vegas, with future events in Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, New York, Seattle and Kenosha.