Employee Spotlight: Elaina Koltz

elaina-koltzName: Elaina Koltz

Position at UWGB: Financial Aid Senior Advisor, Veteran Services

Summary of what you do: Assist students with their financial aid and Veteran benefits.

How long have you been employed: Since February 22, 1999

Brief history of employment with UWGB: Started in Admissions in 1999, moved to Registrar’s office in 2002, moved to Academic Staff and Financial Aid Office in 2009; At the same time – a non-commissioned officer with the WI Army National Guard and activated in 2002-03 for Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom with the 1157 Transportation Company in Oshkosh.  Retired from the NG in 2004.

Three words that describe you: patriotic, stubborn, dependable,

Personal interests:  riding horse, dogsledding, reading, wine tasting, gardening, binge-watching Game of Thrones

Random facts/interests: Am blessed with a career I love.  I missed being a part of something great after retiring from the military in 2004.  It is nice to have the opportunity to continue working with America’s heroes here at UWGB.

Any favorite line from a movie? Jake fell off his horse??!

Are you messy or organized? Organized

Best vacation you’ve been to? Aruba with my sisters and mom

Describe what you were like at age 10.  Living in Dedham, MA, third to the youngest of nine children, learning to love reading, living in my swim suit all “summa.”

Do you have a favorite newspaper, blog?  Wall Street Journal, In the Market with Janet Parshall

Do you have a favorite quote? “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” ~Albert Einstein

Do you have an office nickname? What is it? Not that I know of

Do you recall any embarrassing moment at work?  One time I wore two similar but different color shoes to work.

Favorite travel spot?  Athens Greece

If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day? Mary when Jesus was a boy.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?  Drew Barrymore

If you could be anyone from any time period who would it be and why? St. Joan of Arc, I admire her bravery

If you could change one thing about working here, what would it be? It would be great to work 4-10 hour days!!

If you could interview one person (dead or alive) who would it be?  My father in law.  I would love to get his thoughts about this year’s elections.

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see? Benghazi on 9/11/12 (with a few of my sharpshooter friends – to be the help they didn’t receive).

If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? Pizza with lots of veggies and cheese

If you were an animal what would you be?  Dolphin

If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?  I really was a soldier.

If you were to write a self-help book, what would the topic be? How to get what you need from the VA.

If your house was burning down, what’s the one non-living thing you would save? My purse

Least favorite Food? Squash

Motto or personal mantra? No weapon forged against you shall prevail. ~Isaiah 54:17

People would be surprised if they knew:  My dad was in a movie with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.  He had a Model T Ford they needed and they asked him to drive it in the film The Great Gatsby.

Tell us a little about yourself.  I pretty much take on any opportunity thrown my way.  This has made my life very interesting.  My husband and I are proud we have children who are very independent but wish they lived closer.  I miss my grandsons every day.

Tell us a little bit about your family.  I met and married my husband in Germany.  He is second oldest of 11 children.  My children, Jenna and Jordan, were born in Heidelberg, Germany.  They grew up to love the military life also.  My daughter and son are my heroes. My daughter for her time as a soldier in Iraq and my son for going to Kuwait without training or support to be a civilian contractor for the Air Force.  I call my daughter “the mother of dragons.”  She has four little boys!

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us? I am learning sign language on line to help my grandson who has a learning disability.

Tell us three things most people don’t know about you.  Met my favorite author, Stephen King, in HS (he was a college friend of my English teacher).  I was living in Germany when the wall came down.  I love Celtic music.

Top 3 life highlights? My daughter and son coming back safely from a war zone.  The birth of my grandkids, travelling the world/working with General Otis

What advice would you give to recent new hires?  Network on campus.  Get out and meet your co-workers.  You can’t have fun without them.  There are opportunities every day to do so.  It is the people that make the place.

What are three career lessons you’ve learned thus far? Don’t be afraid to speak your thoughts.  Learning how to listen is a skill.  Guide – don’t control.

What are your hopes for our industry/school?  Work more as a stepping stone with NWTC and UW 2 year schools.  Childcare on Campus!!  We are one of the few UW Schools who do not have childcare or offer childcare subsidies.  Our non-traditional students need it.

What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most? Seeing the students succeed – it is why I volunteer at graduation.

What book did you read last? Tricky 22 by Janet Evanovich.  She combines my favorites – mystery and comedy!

What books are at your bedside?  Bible, Darien

What celebrity do people think you look like? Sorry have no idea.

What children’s character can you relate with most? Why? Nancy Drew – love mysteries!

What did you want to be when growing up? Detective

What do you always want to try and never did? Parachuting

What do you like most about your job?  The students and the opportunity to help them.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Read, drink wine with friends, work outside,

What do you like to do on your days off?  Get as many family members/friends together to ride horse, clean house, run errands, drink coffee at the ranch with my mother in law

What does a typical day look like for you? Help students figure out what their benefits are; plan functions to help our student Veterans; answer lots of email; update reports

What else do you do for fun? Play with the dogs, horses and Tim the cat.  Ride horse with my husband.  Listen to music and poetry around a campfire after riding all day,

What is an ability you wish you had?  Time travel

What is the first concert you attended?  John Cougar (before he admitted to being a Mellencamp) and Heart

What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery? Pay off bills, buy a Friesian Horse for my husband

What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?  Being a Grandma is the best feeling in the world!

What is your biggest pet peeve? Disrespecting the flag and those who gave their lives for it (all colors) by kneeling during the National Anthem

What is your family like?  Huge, loud, loving, close, dependable

What is your favorite meal?  Anything Italian

What is your favorite movie and book? Movie:  The Illusionist and From the Hip  Musical: Oliver Twist  Book:  The Stand by Stephen King

What is your favorite sport? Soccer

Hidden talent? Skijoring with my dogs

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work? Wayside Rough Rider Horse Club, Member of American Legion Post 539, Brown County Fair Volunteer, Member of History on the Move/Wagon Train, Secretary for the Friends of Brown County Veteran Memorial

What one food do you wish had zero calories?  Cheesecake

What phobias do you have?  Wasn’t afraid of spiders until I read the book It by Stephen King

What places have you lived in? Massachusetts, Maine, Germany, Colorado, Wisconsin

What tv show/movie are you ashamed to admit you love?  The Christmas Kiss – watch it every year

What was your favorite book, toy, or outfit as a child?  Island of the Blue Dolphin

What would people never guess you do in your role? Answer Veteran benefit questions from all over the state.

What would you like to be famous for?  Being kind

What’s on your bucket list?  What isn’t? Zip lining, learn to play guitar, visit Israel – walk in holy footsteps, teaching my grandkids important things along with fun, annoying habits

What’s the one thing, you can’t live without?  Laughter

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?  Food in Nicaragua (not sure what was in some of it).  Steamed clams – love them.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Green Bay? Work with other Veteran groups with their projects.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?  Retired (wishful thinking)

Where is your favorite place to eat?  Flippers Cove in Greenleaf

Where is your home town?  Gray, Maine growing up, Greenleaf, WI since 1992

Where would you like to go on a dream vacation?  Alaska or Australia