The Teaching Press

UW-Green Bay's student-managed publisher and press

Launched! A Portrait of Grief and Courage: Hmong Oral Histories and Folktales

One of the most moving events we could hope for was our December 2023 launch of Sandra Shackelford’s A Portrait of Grief and Courage: Hmong Oral Histories and Folktales, translated and transcribed by May Lee Lor and Ma Lee Lor, and with an introduction by Pao Lor.  Feel free to peruse our photo gallery here, or watch the YouTube video,

This historic collection of oral histories, folktales, and photographs is on sale now at Lion’s Mouth Bookstore (Green Bay), WordHaven BookHouse (Sheboygan). You can order a copy directly from the Teaching Press here. 


Now on Sale: The Golden Age of Brown County Enterprise, by Phil Hauck

Did you know northeast Wisconsin was once one of the preeminent business communities in the United States?

It’s true. In the 1980s and 90s, companies like Krueger International, Fort Howard Paper Company, Schneider National and Schreiber Foods were leaders in innovation, creative solutions and cutting-edge technology, unlike anyone else in the U.S.  In this re-issue of The Golden Age of Brown County Enterprise, author Phil Hauck outlines these historic and successful business strategies through interviews with local industry leaders, showcasing the  incredible success of businesses whose names are part of the bedrock of the community.

Phil Hauck was a former writer for the Wall Street Journal who spent thirty years facilitating CEO Groups for The Executive Committee and its successor, Vistage, as well as a Senior Marketing/Sales Executive group.

The Teaching Press was saddened to learn of Phil’s passing in late 2023, and we’re proud to be reissuing his book. In keeping with the family’s wishes, proceeds will support student learning at The Teaching Press— a small and innovative Green Bay business  in its  own right,  for which Phil Hauck raised funding, awareness, and support.

The Golden Age of Brown County Enterprise
Hauck, Phil

Now on Sale! A Portrait of Grief and Courage: Hmong Oral Histories and Folktales, by Sandra Shackelford

A book cover depicting a Hmong woman holding a pictureThis unique collection of oral histories and photographs captures the storytellers, storytelling, folktales, and personal  journeys of the earliest Hmong residents in Northeastern Wisconsin.

Click here to order. 


“A shadow in the dark corner of the room moved. Slowly a woman walked toward us. Tears streamed down her face. She pointed toward me and spoke to May Lee in Hmong. This is what she said.

‘Please give me the words to speak my grief.’”

When Sandra Shackelford, an artist and documentarian, heard these words while working for Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s High Risk Family Support Program, she knew she was about to begin a decades-long project to preserve the words of the Hmong people living in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Forced to flee from their homes in Laos to escape a secret holocaust, the Hmong people have found refuge in America for the past fifty years. This compendium presents readers with gripping and compelling perspectives told first-hand and reveals the hardships faced by this forgotten community. Many voyaged through jungles without much food, water, or shelter. Many lost family members along the way, some even had to be left behind to protect those running.

Transcribed from Hmong into English, these raw testimonies will tell the stories of the grief Hmong refugees faced when first arriving in America and the courage they had to persevere through it.


A Portrait of Grief and Courage: Hmong Oral Histories and Folktales, documented by Sandra Shackelford, translated by Mai Lee Lor, transcribed by Ma Lee Lor. Published by Mimi & Rupert Books, an imprint of The Teaching Press at UW-Green Bay, a student-managed publisher and printing house. With a preface by Pao Lor, author of  Modern Jungles: A Hmong Refugee’s Childhood Story of Survival.  181 pages. For more information, contact the Press Director.


Historic Book Captures A Portrait of Brown County’s First Immigrants

UW-Green Bay’s Teaching Press launches rare collection of oral storytelling and photographs on December 13

Read all about our new title in Inside UW-Green Bay News

Click here to purchase your copy of A Portrait of Grief and Courage: Hmong Oral Histories and Folktales today! 



On Sale: Lower Fox River PCB Cleanup Timeline: An Electronic Reference Library


You are invited to explore the world of unintended consequences of producing carbonless paper and its underlying chemistry of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) on the health of the Fox River and Lower Green Bay.  Using an interactive timeline, this book by author Greg Neuschafer offers  an overview of 70-years of PCBs impacting the river, from initial chemistry development through discovery of its toxicity, to societal mobilization, to the dozens of complex court cases, to government and contractor intervention including actual physical cleanup, and finally environmental recovery.   Each page of this timeline and resource book folds out, and features QR codes (scannable with a smart phone) that direct you to selected original references in the electronic searchable library to begin your journey.

This book is on sale now. Email The Teaching Press  to purchase your copies!

Learn more about how our team created this book here

Who is Pa Lee?

Pa Lee was born in a village called Khang Kay. She got married and had two children in Longcheng, living under a cruel communist regime for 14 years. Pa Lee’s family feared retribution from the Viet Cong because her husband had worked with the U.S. military, so they decided it would be safer to live in the jungle, poor and hungry, but at least away from the Viet Cong. They lived this solitary life of fear and poverty for six years before Pa Lee’s husband was shot by the Viet Cong, so she chose to take their children to Thailand. It was a long and difficult journey, but they were successful. Pa Lee remarried, had a humble house, and survived on foraging, but they had to leave when Pa Lee’s second husband was killed by the Viet Cong. She now had three children to take care of as the family fled west, crossing treacherous rivers and being shot at by soldiers. Pa Lee and her children survived the jungle and the war; they made it to a refugee camp in Thailand, where they were finally taken care of and kept safe until the Viet Cong pressed in. When she resettled in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in the 1980s-90s, her encounter with artist Sandra Shackelford changed both of their lives. 

Her story continues in A Portrait of Grief and Courage: Hmong Oral Histories and Folktales, documented and photographed by Sandra Shackelford, translated by May Lee Lor, transcribed by Ma Lee Lor.

A Portrait of Grief and Courage: Hmong Oral Histories and Folktales, by Sandra Shackelford, with translations by May Lee Lor and transcriptions by Ma Lee Lor, is now on sale. Click this link for purchase and pick up information. 


Who is Sandra Shackelford?


Sandra Shackelford in 2023.

Sandra Shackelford has long been a proponent of racial justice. When her art professor chastised a student due to his race, she boycotted the university. When Emmett Till was lynched, she was among the crowds calling for justice. When Shackelford’s newspaper and recreation center were burned down by the KKK, she moved from the frontlines, but she did not stop fighting.

She moved to Green Bay and joined a program to learn about Hmong refugees and their transition to life in America. Again, she found grim and harrowing stories of isolation and destitution. But she also found glimmers of hope, people who fought and struggled to create better lives for themselves and their children.

Sandra Shackelford in 1991.

Sandra Shackelford has compiled the stories of these Hmong refugees in her book, A Portrait of Grief and Courage: Hmong Oral Histories and Folktales. These are the stories as told by the refugees, detailing their previous lives in Southeast Asia, as well as their new  lives in America, as seen in drawings, photographs, and observations by Sandra herself.  

A Portrait of Grief and Courage: Hmong Oral Histories and Folktales, by Sandra Shackelford, with translations by May Lee Lor and transcriptions by Ma Le Lor, is now on sale. Click this link for purchase and pick up information. 


I Believe in Voice: An Interview with Sandra Shackelford

A Portrait of Grief and Courage: Hmong Oral Histories and Folktales, by Sandra Shackelford, with translations by May Lee Lor and transcriptions by Ma Le Lor, is now on sale. Click this link for purchase and pick up information. 

Interviewer’s note: Sandra’s written responses have been edited to include further details and quotes that she provided during our verbal interview. Interviewer’s notes have been marked in brackets. All other words, while occasionally adjusted for flow, are Sandra’s own.

Sandra Shackelford, 1991.

You’ve been fighting for civil rights for decades — a battle that continues even now. What drew you, a white woman from Green Bay, Wisconsin, toward amplifying marginalized voices?

I was a junior in the Academy, an all-girl high school in Green Bay. I was popular. I was invited to so many dances and proms I ran out of space filling up my many dance cards. What I wasn’t was your standard “smart.” I hadn’t been able to read until the seventh grade. [Interviewer’s note: At the behest of her trained ballerina and cosmetologist mother, Sandra’s early education lay primarily in the performing arts — dancing and singing — for which she received both acclaim and the disapproval of the nuns at her Catholic school.] Later on in my educational sojourn, I had a surprise.

That’s when my Latin teacher called me aside after class. I expected to be reprimanded for something.

Instead, she said this: “Sandra, you’re not very bright, but you’ve got a nice personality. I know a place that could use a girl like you.”

My life changed forever. Continue reading

‘What’s Past is Prologue’: An Interview with Greg Neuschafer

Author Greg Neuschafer published The Lower Fox River Clean Up: An Electronic Resource Library with The Teaching Press in October 2023. Email the Teaching Press to buy your copies! 

Interviewers’ notes: This interview was conducted via e-mail by Abby Jurk and Autumn Johnson, in stages, from 2022-2023. 

Why embark on this project?

Let me begin with some converging parameters.

In “The Tempest” William Shakespeare wrote “what is past is prologue”. In geology, my chosen field of university study, a basic tenant is, the Uniformitarian Principle which describes that the same natural processes that operate today in our environment have operated in the past.

Author Greg Neuschafer speaks at the book launch, October 2023

Winston Churchill in a 1948 speech to the House of Commons paraphrased American philosopher George Santayana, who said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. During four decades of oceanography research for the US Navy I learned the need to chronicle scientific processes and progress in order for new discoveries to stand future scrutiny.

For a number of years, I have supported UWGB’s Professor Kevin Fermanich’s Lower Fox River Watershed Water Monitoring Program. In a meeting with him after his annual student conference in 2018, he showed me a video clip of the operation of the high-tech filter-cake PCB cleanup process. We discussed the enormity of the Fox River Restoration in terms of scale, funding resources and time. I rhetorically asked if someone was summarizing all the effort going into this project? Dr Fermanich said he believed UWGB’s Professor Emeritus Bud Harris who had been a personal consultant to the technical cleanup operations was assembling a memoir. Continue reading

Meet the Lead Designer of The Viking House Saga and A Portrait of Grief and Courage

The Teaching Press had 21 students working as interns and staff in Fall 2023. We’re featuring their work in small batches—the same  way we print books at the Press! 

Emily Heling was lead designer for two  Teaching Press titles in 2023: The Viking House Saga: A Journey into Experiential Archeology at UW-Green Bay, by Owen Christianson and Heidi Sherman (October 2023), and A Portrait of Grief and Courage: Hmong Oral Histories and Folktales, by Sandra Shackelford (December 2023). Her design work included researching Old Norse carvings and Hmong story cloths, boosting photo quality for color and black and white images, designing book covers and interiors, choosing fonts and colors, and meeting about  style options with three different authors.


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