Employee Spotlight: Kimberly Vlies

2015.05.22-kimberly-vlies-at-deskHave you ever wondered who is responsible for the eye catching logos, websites, and graphics that UW-Green Bay uses in it’s daily communication to make the University recognizable, well known and up to date with the timeless Phoenix? Look No Further! Kimberly Vlies, a Web/Graphic Designer within the Office of University Marketing and Communication designs any number of the web-related layouts and graphics recognized as beloved UW-Green Bay displaying the Phoenix Pride! Recently, Kimberly has been designing graphics and layouts for the templates that drive top-level institutional and departmental pages including the 50th Anniversary SiteAlumni Site, Foundation SiteChancellor’s Site, Provost Site, Marketing and University Communications Site and Inside News Site. In her personal life, Kimberly is an amateur photographer and sometimes can be spotted assisting with photography for university events such as convocation and freshman move-in day.

Kimberly is interested in drawing, painting, photography and Spanish and is a self-proclaimed Facebook junkie, stating she spends more time than I care to admit on it. She says, if you’re on Facebook too, please feel free to add her as friend! Read on for more about Kimberly on and off the job!

How long have you been employed: Over 7.5 years…not quite 8 (Since Oct. 1, 2007)

Brief history of employment with UWGB: October 1, 2007 was my first day at UW-Green Bay. I began as Associate University Relations Specialist with a working title of Web/Graphic Designer in the office of Marketing and University Communication. I started out with my role being part web and part print designer but my position changed to focus on electronic media. In 2013 my title progressed to University Relations Specialist (minus the ‘associate’), where I continue today.

Three words that describe you: contemplative, cautious, adventurous

Random facts/interests: I graduated from UW-Oshkosh in December 2004 with a B.F. A. In Graphic Communications and B.S. In Spanish. I studied abroad in Spain for a semester and became fairly fluent (but you’d be surprised how quickly that fades without practice). Now I enjoy opportunities to practice my spanish skills, like meeting UWGB Spanish students and faculty for conversation. My fine art studio classes included drawing, painting, printmaking, photography and sculpture. I loved creating art and miss it very much, but it requires an intentional decision to make time for it. I like doing things that allow me to enjoy Wisconsin’s outdoors, like walking, white water rafting, kayaking, cross country skiing, hiking, camping, fishing and hunting.

– Any favorite line from a movie? “You’re killing me, Smalls” The Sandlot

– Are you messy or organized? Messy. My life is a constant losing battle against the forces of chaos. I cleaned my desk off for the photo.

– Best vacation you’ve been to? Germany/Belgium trip in with my BFFs in 2005

– Describe what you were like at age 10. I was a daydreamer, the kid that got picked on, a slow reader and an advanced drawer.

– Do you have a favorite newspaper, blog? The Onion, Huffinton Post, Psychology Today

– Do you recall any embarrassing moment at work? One quiet afternoon a friend sent me a song as a joke and I put my noise canceling headphones on to listen to it, but the audio was really faint so I turned up the volume as high as it would go. It was a techno song with a woman’s voice with a British accent saying “I don’t want to study, I just want to party.” Eventually my co-workers came over to my open door to inquire what on earth I was doing. Turns out my headphones were not plugged in. Kelly Moore and I still laugh about it.

– Favorite travel spot? It’s hard to choose…let’s go with Madrid, Spain

– If you were to write a self-help book, what would the topic be? It would probably revolve around being creative and a responsible adult at the same time.

– If your house was burning down, what’s the one non-living thing you would save? The external hard drive that has all my photos on it.

– People would be surprised if they knew: I owe a lot to the UW-Green Bay pre-college programs. I qualified for the Upward Bound Program because neither of my parents had gone to college and my mediocre grades showed I wasn’t beyond hope, but could flourish with a little assistance. The program was looking for students that were at risk for not pursuing higher education. I’m certain that without it, I would not have gone on to school, I would be an entirely different person, and my life would be drastically different. I learned study skills and got the support I needed to be successful. By my final semester, I had gotten all As. UB took the notion of going on to college, which in my mind was a path for a different type of person, and made it a reality for me.

– What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most? I love illustrating and I wish it were something I could do more of and become better at. I love it when I am asked to draw something for work.

– What do you like most about your job? I’m blown away by the amazing opportunities my job at UW-Green Bay has afforded me. The most memorable for me include translating for visitors from our sister institution in Peru, directing/producing a nutcracker parody holiday video with UW-Green Bay Dance and Phlash Phoenix, flying over UW-Green Bay in Lidia Nonn’s small plane to take arial photos of campus, presenting tech workshops, chairing the AS Prof. Dev Programming committee and planning a day-long conference, climbing high into the air on shaky utility ladders and catwalks to get campus photos with Bill Hubbard, holding one of Prof. Draney’s madagascar hissing cockroaches, and sporting press credentials as official UWGB photographer for Bill Clinton’s visit stumping for Obama’s re-election campaign. I think back on all of these experiences—they were terrifying and exhilarating—and I’m so tremendously grateful for the opportunity to have been here for all of them.

Also, I am deeply impressed by and enamored of people who are passionate experts in their fields, which makes UW-Green Bay an ideal work environment for me. I love the opportunities I have had to join a knitting group with our art professors, participate in book discussions with women in higher ed, attend Tertulia, UWGB’s Spanish program’s conversation group, and speaker series like After Thoughts, Cultural Cuisine Luncheons, NAS lecture series, Outreach’s Dinner Lecture series, and various other talks and events featuring visiting and resident experts.

– Hidden talent? I had a short stint in comedy. I auditioned and made it onto the ComedyCity Improv troupe at the Green Room Lounge in DePere. I performed in their improv shows a handful of nights. I even performed in their LaughBox Stand-up Comedy Show once. Sue Mattison came to see me. It was terrifying and amazing.

– Where is your home town?Green Bay, WI