General

StayWell New Administrator for Well Wisconsin Program

Starting in January 2017, the State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program will be contracting with StayWell to bring us the Well Wisconsin Program.  The steps to earn the $150 incentive will be the same, but it’ll be easier to earn the incentive, and the deadline for submitting a request for the incentive will be moved up.  More details will be mailed out in early 2017, including how to access the StayWell web-portal.  The StayWell web-portal will contain the Well Wisconsin health survey, provider forms for health screenings, and resources and tools for getting and staying healthy.

Employee Spotlight: Lynn Rotter

lynn-rotter-dec-2016Name: Lynn Rotter

Position at UWGB: Ticketing & Information Services Manager, University Union

Summary of what you do: Manage operations at the University Ticketing & Information Center, box office manager for University Ticketing Services, and assist with daily operations for University ID Services.

How long have you been employed: Since September of 1995 (I began as a student employee)

Brief history of employment with UWGB: I began employment at the Cofrin Library my first week of my freshman year in 1995, switched to the Weidner Center my second week of my freshman year (sorry Cofrin Library friends!) and worked as a Guest Services Associate and then Box Office Supervisor, I graduated and began employment as the Assistant Box Office Manager and later Box Office Manager until 2005. Then I moved over to the University Union and help incorporate campus ticketing into the University Information Desk operations. I also worked for a year and half overseeing the Union Promotions and Graphics, but moved back to the UTIC. And I’ve been there ever since.

Three words that describe you: Talkative, detailed, friendly.

Personal interests: Home renovation, gourmet food, interior design (especially midcentury modern and Scandinavian design), hiking.

Random facts/interests: I didn’t fly until I was 23 years old because my dad was in a plane crash in Vietnam, so we drove to FL and back 8 times when I was a kid.

(Answer any of the following):

Are you messy or organized? Mostly organized at work. Somewhat disorganized at home.

Best vacation you’ve been to? San Francisco & Napa Valley

Describe what you were like at age 10. An awkward skinny kid with glasses and a retainer. Not very good at sports, but I did well in school.

Do you have a favorite newspaper, blog? Apartment Therapy blog

Do you have a favorite quote? Pivot, piviot, pivot.

Do you recall any embarrassing moment at work? Too many to count! I incorrectly said “Scarlet Pimpernel” to an elderly patron at the Weidner Center once… you can guess how I said it.

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

If you could be anyone from any time period who would it be and why? 1960’s because I love the fashion, music, architecture and design.

If you could interview one person (dead or alive) who would it be? David Bowie

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see? The first moonwalk

If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? Pizza because there is so much variety

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

Least favorite Food? Miracle Whip

Motto or personal mantra? Go with the flow.

People would be surprised if they knew: that I was a dog sitter for Gregory Peck once.

Tell us a little bit about your family. I’ve been married for 14 years and have two children, ages 7 and 2. My husband works in health insurance and was formerly a chef.  I grew up in Green Bay and lived here for most of my life. I lived in 13 different residences on the East Side (if you count apartments during college) but bought a house on the West Side.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us? I recently found out I’m descended from General William Tecumseh Sherman.

Tell us three things most people don’t know about you. I will eat almost anything (except baluts and insects), I exclusively drove stick shift for 20 years, and I can sail.

Top 3 life highlights? My wedding, birth of my daughter, birth of my son.

What are three career lessons you’ve learned thus far? 1. Don’t be afraid to try. 2. You probably know more than you think you do… don’t doubt yourself. 3. Change is not always bad. Sometimes change is a really good thing!

What are your hopes for our industry/school? I hope enrollment continues to grow, and we continue to see exciting things happen here at UWGB.

What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most? I enjoy seeing my student employees achieve success after they graduate.

What book did you read last? ‘Arrows’ by my friend Melissa Gorzelanczyk

What books are at your bedside? Just magazines, even though I have several friends that are librarians.

What celebrity do people think you look like? Pamela Druckerman (author and writer for the NY Times)

What did you want to be when growing up? A veterinarian, an architect, and then an interior designer.

What do you always want to try and never did? I wish I had traveled abroad when I was a student.

What do you like most about your job? I still really enjoy ticketing, and the excitement that comes with big shows or busy nights.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Sleep, if I can.

What do you like to do on your days off? Get caught up around the house.

What else do you do for fun? Home renovation. So far, my husband and I have gutted and remodeled our 2nd floor and a lower level bar and bathroom.

What is the first concert you attended? Live (Throwing Copper Tour)

What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery? A bigger house.

What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years? That two kids are a lot harder than one.

What is your biggest pet peeve? Lying

What is your family like? My immediate family is small but loud. My husband’s family is large but quiet. I have 15 nieces and nephews, and 7 great nieces and nephews… all on my husband’s side of the family.

What is your favorite meal? Sushi

What is your favorite sport? Bowling

Hidden talent? Flipping my tongue in half and holding it. Or maybe wiggling my ears.

What one food do you wish had zero calories? Cheese

What phobias do you have? I really freak out when my children get a tummy bug.

What places have you lived in? Green Bay my entire life, except for when we moved to Florida for 7 months when I was in 8th grade.

What tv show/movie are you ashamed to admit you love? I still love Sex and the City

What was your favorite book, toy, or outfit as a child? I had a rag doll that my dad bought me from the Bellin gift shop on the day I was born. Her name was Doll Doll. I took her everywhere. My mom had to re-embroider her face at least 5 times over the years.

What’s on your bucket list? Travel to Europe and maybe Northern Africa.

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

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? A rabbit’s kidney

Where is your favorite place to eat? Brickhouse Burgers or Hinterland

Where is your home town? Green Bay

Where would you like to go on a dream vacation? Tour Europe for a month

My UW System transitioning to local domain My UWGB

As you may have noticed, the UW System portal has undergone changes over the past couple months, including a locally branded UWGB login and domain.  The employee portal used for HR, Payroll and Benefit News, Time and Absence, Payroll and Benefit Information along with other resources will be transitioned from the my.wisconsin.edu domain to a local my.uwgb.edu.  What does this mean for you? The login “button” and branding of this page will be changing to the recognizable UWGB Phoenix colors and theme, nothing more. 

myuwsystemlogo

 

FLSA conversions on hold following judge’s injunction

As previously communicated, a U.S. District Court judge from Texas issued a preliminary injunction postponing the effective date of the U.S. Department of Labor’s overtime threshold increase.  Based upon this injunction, planned and previously communicated employee conversions from exempt to nonexempt status and other position adjustments have been put on hold.  More information, including some helpful FAQ’s can be found below:

What happened?

After hearing arguements from the DOL and 21 states/50 or more business groups that had challenged the DOL’s change, judge Amos L. Mazzant issued a preliminary injunction against the changes.

Is this a final decision that permanently puts an end to the rule?

No. The overtime rule could still be implemented later down the road.

A preliminary injunction isn’t permanent, as it simply preserves the existing overtime rule—which was last updated in 2004—until the court has a chance to review the merits of the case objecting to the revisions to the regulation.

However, the revised regulation may face an uphill battle: The judge wouldn’t have granted the preliminary injunction unless, among other things, he thought the challenge had a substantial likelihood of succeeding.

[Read more: Federal Judge Halts Overtime Rule]

What’s next?

Employees and supervisors have been notified today and further information will be communicated as it becomes available.  Supervisor and Employee question and answer sessions have been scheduled and communicated to affected parties.

For further questions, please contact Christine Olson at olsonch@uwgb.edu or (920) 465-2846.

Updated I-9 Form Released

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published the revised version of the Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification. The updated form includes a separate Instructions Page for Form I-9.

By January 22, 2017 employers must use only the new version, dated 11/14/2016 N.

Among the changes in the new version, Section 1 asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used,” and streamlines certification for certain foreign nationals.

Other changes include:

  • The addition of prompts to ensure information is entered correctly.
  • The ability to enter multiple preparers and translators.
  • A dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to add it in the margins.
  • A supplemental page for the preparer/translator.

The instructions have been separated from the form, in line with other USCIS forms, and include specific instructions for completing each field.

The revised Form I-9 is also easier to complete on a computer. Enhancements include drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates, on-screen instructions for each field, easy access to the full instructions, and an option to clear the form and start over. When the employer prints the completed form, a quick response (QR) code is automatically generated, which can be read by most QR readers.

For questions on the revised Form I-9, please contact HR at (920) 465-2390 or hr@uwgb.edu.

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

Policy on Paid Leave Bank and Vacation Cash Payouts

As communicated recently, UW Green Bay has developed a policy on Paid Leave Bank and Vacation Cash Payouts.  This policy has been developed based upon recently implemented changed by UW System to the accounting process for ALRA & Sabbatical leave payouts.  In an effort to reduce the fiscal and operational impact to departments while establishing a consistent administration of accumulated paid leave bank and vacation payouts.

Please review the full policy and notable highlights below:

Upon Hire
Employees hired to UW-Green Bay from other agencies shall have all accrued leave paid out by the prior employer.

Movement
Internal: UW-Green Bay employees moving from a leave eligible position to another leave eligible position will retain all accrued leave and transfer this to the new appointment.

External: UW-Green Bay employees moving to another agency of the state or UW System employer shall transfer all leave accrued to the new leave-eligible appointment at the approval of the new employer.  If not accepted by the new employer, any accrued/banked leave shall be paid out as a lump sum on the final payroll with UW-Green Bay.

Resignation/Retirement
Effective November 1, 2016, employees who resign or retire from UW-Green Bay will end their employment on the last day physically worked.  Any remaining accrued/banked leave will be paid out as a lump sum on the final payroll.

Current employees who submit a resignation notice no later than December 31, 2016 will be eligible for limited continuation of the current practice regarding payroll extension through the use of banked leave (ALRA/sabbatical), vacation and vacation carryover so long as the requesting employee’s last day on payroll is not later than June 30, 2017.

Please contact Human Resources with any questions on this updated policy.

 

Benefits Open Lab Sessions

Do you have questions about your benefits, the Annual Benefits Enrollment period (10/17/16 to 11/11/16), or benefits changes for 2017?  Please stop in to an open lab in IS 1004 during the following times.  Benefits Specialists will be on hand to answer your questions and help you with the online eBenefits election process.

  • Wednesday, October 19th
    • 10:00 to 11:00 a.m
  • Monday, October 24th
    • 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 27th
    • 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.
  • Tuesday, November 1st
    • 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
  • Friday, November 4th
    • 8:00 to 9:00 a.m.
  • Monday, November 7th
    • 2:30 to 4:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 9th
    • 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, November 10th
    • 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Please contact payrollandbenefits@uwgb.edu or ext. 2390 with any questions.

 

SECC Statewide Annual Campaign

secclogo2016

The Statewide Employees Combined Campaign (SECC) annual workplace campaign begins Monday October 10th. You can make a pledge anytime between then and November 30, 2016 The SECC Statewide is Wisconsin’s largest voluntary fundraising campaign and the only annual, cooperative, on-the-job campaign authorized to run at your workplace.  Thanks to your help, the campaign raised money for more than 400 participating charities. The campaign is online, making it easier for you to give and make a difference in your COMMUNITY and the WORLD.

The CHOICE is yours…

You decide:

• How you want to give – choose payroll contribution, cash or check.

• Where your dollars go – when you designate your gift to specific charities, only the charities you choose will receive money from you. Pick from more than 400 state, national and international charities.

If you would like to make a pledge:

Go to www.seccstatewide.wi.gov

  • Click on the link for University employees
  • All University employees are pre-populated.  To login click on “Login Now” in the upper right hand corner OR click on “Log In” in the middle of the screen.
  • Log in using the following information:
    • Username:  Your university email address
    • Password:  “wi” + birth month + birth day. (example: wi0804)
  • Find out more information about the charities and decide who you would like to give to.
  • Follow the instructions on the website to complete your pledge.

For additional information, if you have any questions or if you would prefer paper materials please ask your coordinator or call 608.256.1066 extension 205.

 

Employee Spotlight: Rebecca Meacham

rebecca-meacham

Name: Rebecca Meacham

Position at UWGB: Professor of English, Humanistic Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies, Director of the Creative Writing Program, Advisor Sheepshead Review

Summary of what you do: I teach courses in writing and American literatures, advise the 70+ students in our creative writing program, mentor the editors and staff of our campus journal of the arts, give readings and lead public workshops, fundraise for room remodeling (donate to our Revise the Room-TH 378 Fund!) and develop our writing program.

How long have you been employed: since 2002

Brief history of employment with UWGB: As an Assistant Professor, I relaunched Sheepshead Review in 2003 and added courses in African American literature and Literary Publishing to the UWGB Curriculum, and taught additionally for ILS/ADP, LIR, online and in person. As an Associate Professor, I taught new courses in Ghost Stories, Caribbean writers, The Harlem Renaissance, and Novel Writing, among other areas. I won the Founders Award in Teaching in 2011, and was promoted to Full Professor in 2016.

Three words that describe you: Energetic, fast-talking, fast-walking.

Personal interests: Parenting my fantastic kids, watching superhero and spy shows with my husband, running relay races and gossiping with my Green Bay friends, and reuniting with far-flung friends every few years in sunny locales.

Random facts/interests: I have lopsided dimples, a tattoo on my ankle, and I’m 5 ft. tall.

Are you messy or organized? Both. Syllabi, calendars, desktop computer folders: organized. Every single surface of my house and office: messy.

Best vacation you’ve been to? In May, my mother treated me to seeing “Hamilton” on Broadway with the original cast. I’m grateful to have traveled around world with friends and family throughout my life. I’ve backpacked, camped, and stayed in hotels and on people’s couches in Europe, Canada, all around the U.S., including Hawaii.

Do you have a favorite quote? From my daughter’s namesake poet, Gwendolyn Brooks: “Conduct your blooming in the noise and whip of the whirlwind.”

Do you recall any embarrassing moment at work?  As a new teacher in the 1990s, I forgot to bring something to erase an overhead projector (remember those?), and so I spit on the screen and wiped it off with my sleeve in front of 25 students.

Favorite travel spot? My family and I stay in Door County several times a year.

If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day? I’d love to be the birthday party planner for zoo animals.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you? My former colleague says I look like Emma Watson.

If you could interview one person (dead or alive) who would it be? The author Toni Morrison, but I couldn’t actually speak in her presence. “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda would be delightful, and we could sing together between questions.

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see? Prince or Michael Jackson in concert at their peak.

If you were an animal what would you be? One of my housecats. What a life!

If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it? “Hang On.”

Tell us a little about yourself. I grew up in Toledo, Ohio, and went to college and two graduate programs up and down Interstate 75 (Oxford, Bowling Green, Cincinnati). I wrote my first poem in 1st grade, sent my first Letter to the Editor in 3rd grade, and published my first magazine in 4th grade. In High School, I was a cheerleader, wrote for the newspaper, sang in musicals, and stayed silent as “The Mute” in “The Fantastiks.” The first time I majored in English was during my PhD program, which is a lousy time to start. My work has always been interdisciplinary, in the fields of creative writing, American Studies, and ethnic American literatures. I’ve published two well-received story collections, and I’m currently doing my darndest to finish writing a novel set during the 1871 Peshtigo Fire.

Tell us a little bit about your family. I am so lucky to be married to Chuck Rybak, a fellow writer, UWGB English professor, and spy-movie fan. My household includes our cats, our two hilarious, brilliant daughters and my darkly funny mother, who moved from Ohio when she retired from her law practice and built a house that connects to our house.

Tell us three things most people don’t know about you.

  • I seriously considered becoming a hot-air balloonist after my first and only flight.
  • I can make ice cream from scratch—Peppermint Stick, Salted Caramel, Blueberry Cheesecake.
  • I never imagined being a teacher, let alone a college professor, until my first semester as a Teaching Assistant, when I taught my own class just 3 months after graduating college myself.

What advice would you give to recent new hires? For new teachers: The consequence of innovation is often failure, and that’s just as useful as success. Sometimes a fantastic assignment goes terribly wrong and a terrible assignment goes startlingly well. Sometimes it’s you, sometimes it’s the day, sometimes is the classroom, sometimes it’s luck. Along the way, don’t be afraid to make your process, failures, and your objectives transparent to your students—and to seek their input. Set clear standards, and create thoughtful, scaffolded assignments — but also allow students to experiment, self-direct, and move their insights beyond the boundaries of the classroom and, ideally, beyond you.

What are three career lessons you’ve learned thus far? 1. Don’t make assumptions about students’ lives, backgrounds, preparedness, or interest. 2. Do reach out to peers, colleagues, learned friends for advice, help, and reality checks. 3. Admit you will never grade when you say you’re going to grade.

What are your hopes for our industry/school? My Humanities colleagues and I impart to students—and to our community—the skills of tolerance, creativity, adaptability, self-direction, critical thinking, and empathy. These qualities are central to UW-GB’s interdisciplinary mission, and a key reason I took this job in 2002. My hope would be that UW-GB would commit to not just preserving, but also to growing, programs that question, investigate, critique, and listen to the human stories at the center of our often systematized, polarized, power-driven world.

What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most? The students– UWGB students are so willing to take risks, to stretch, to learn, and to try. Also, I regularly thank the Employment Gods for my warm colleagues, staff, and workers all over campus. And once in a while, I drive to work with my husband, and that’s quite nice.

What book did you read last? The Public Library (stories), by Ali Smith, for a blog post I have to write.

What books are at your bedside? What books aren’t?! I’m an English professor married to an English professor—we’re lucky we can find the bed.

What children’s character can you relate with most? Why? I loved Pippi Longstocking, because she was independent and confident and gloriously nutty and kept a horse on her front porch.

What did you want to be when growing up? When I was six, I wanted to be a “joke-teller” and a carpenter. In my actual job, I’m kind of doing both: crafting things, looking at how things are made, and cracking people up—at least myself.

What do you like most about your job? I get to read great writing, then have conversations with people about how great it is, and help people write their own great work as well.

What do you like to do in your spare time? I try to write my novel—although sometimes I cheat on that novel by trying to write a different novel.

What is an ability you wish you had? To ride roller coasters. I get carsick just looking at my iPhone.

What is the first concert you attended? John Denver. I was seven, and at the concert, a girl my age went up on stage and gave him a rose, and I seethed with jealousy forevermore.

What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery? An otterarium. Followed by an annual salary for a personal chef. These are not related.

What is your biggest pet peeve? Intolerance and bullying.

What is your family like? Witty, self-deprecating, book-loving homebodies. My dad and mom are competitive and have morbid senses of humor, as do I. Everyone else, from my step-mom to in-laws, are warm and funny and genuinely wonderful to be around when they visit.

\What is your favorite movie and book? Anything I’ve just seen or read.

Hidden talent? I can sing and love harmonizing. I used to make jewelry from beads, clay, or old watch parts and sell it. I make excellent dioramas for, ha! I mean with, my kids.

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work? I run 5-8 miles several times a week. I’m a fierce Uno player. I’ve just discovered the TV show “The Americans.”

What tv show/movie are you ashamed to admit you love? You wouldn’t think so, but I am unashamed of my love of the show “Arrow.” Everyone should watch it for the shirtless ladder pull-ups, I mean great writing.

What was your favorite book as a child? I really loved The Westing Game, a puzzle storybook by Ellen Raskin. This summer, I read it to my daughters over a week–truly one of the best experiences ever.

Where would you like to go on a dream vacation? My entire family would explore Australia for a month.