Author Archives: stewartr4

“I would take my UWGB education…any day of the week.”

Commencement speaker Joseph J. Carroll, Ph.D., a rising star in the world of ophthalmology research, told the Class of 2014 at UW-Green Bay Saturday that he has always believed his college education was a terrific investment.

Carroll is a 1997 Human Biology graduate of UW-Green Bay who today is an associate professor of ophthalmology, biophysics, cell biology, neurobiology and anatomy at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and a widely published researcher on human vision and the cellular structure of the eye. He congratulated the more than 600 new grads in attendance on the wisdom of their college selection.

“The key word is ‘value,’” he told them. “You’ve just gotten the best value of your life. Trust me. Better than the dollar menu at McDonalds.”

In his address to an audience of nearly 5,000 at UW-Green Bay’s Kress Events Center, Carroll praised the University’s faculty members, calling them not only amazing educators, but definitive experts in their respective fields.

He recalled his own positive experiences with faculty including Andy Kersten, Donna Ritch (and her “infectious passion for biology that has stuck with me”), Forrest Baulieu and even Prof. Harvey Kaye, who Carroll said “unintentionally helped steer me away from sociology by giving me a bad grade.”

He acknowledged there’s a tendency to think a small- to mid-size public university might not offer the same educational quality of bigger and “bigger-name” school, but quickly added that he believes UW-Green Bay “is second to none.”

“The truth is, I would take my UWGB education over one from Marquette, Harvard, Stanford, Duke, you name it, any day of the week. Not only was it a fraction of the price, but in my time as a graduate student and as a post-doctoral fellow, and now as a faculty member at the Medical College of Wisconsin, I have interacted with students from colleges and universities all over the country. Some of them have been smarter than I, and most were better looking, but never once have I felt that they were better educated or better prepared to succeed.”

Carroll said it’s always a thrill to return to campus, which has undergone major changes since he graduated in 1997.

“Walking around campus, I reminisce about the countless hours I spent working and playing pool in what is now the Phoenix Club, relaxing in the “people pockets”, playing golf at Shorewood where a chance encounter with an optometrist inspired me to pursue a career in eyeballs, or watching the men’s basketball team enter the national spotlight with three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, and upsetting Cal in the first round 20 years ago.”

He closed his address by returning to the theme of being intellectually prepared for life’s challenges — “The Prepared Mind” of his talk’s title — and told them to be alert to opportunities and new people and places.

“If you are constantly surrounded by the same people and things, you can’t expect new opportunities to just show up. So don’t wait for opportunities to find you, create them. Actively seek them out.


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Dornbush, Faculty Mentor

Adam Von Haden transferred into UW-Green Bay his sophomore year unsure of what he wanted to study. After taking a few classes with Prof. Matthew Dornbush, he knew he wanted to get a degree in Environmental Science. Von Haden and Dornbush studied plant diversity and reproduction in his undergraduate career.

Full article available in: Inside – May 2013

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Filed under Applied Learning, Solve Problems from Multiple Perspectives, Teaching Excellence, Uncategorized

Game On! Video Game Career Started Here

Ben Kvalo, a 2010 UW-Green-Bay graduate, works in THE video game paradise. He works at 2K, which is part of the Take-Two Interactive corporation which was ranked as the world’s No. 1 video game publisher in 2012. Kvalo describes it as his dream job and states that Faculty Mentor Lucy Arendt, Professor Tim Meyer, and Jennifer Jones helped him step out of his comfort zone and follow his dreams.

Full article available in: Inside – May 2013

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360° of Panama

UW-Green Bay students and faculty traveled to a small village in Panama, with the task of studying exotic spiders. Their experience involved much more than just the task at hand, such as experiencing the culture in San Antonio, Panama, learning the Wounaan culture’s way of life, and eating their food.

Full article available in: Inside – May 2013

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Student earns Red Cross award after getting start on campus

A UW-Green Bay student who got involved with the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin by joining our campus club has been named the organization’s “rookie of the year,” earning kudos for her enthusiastic volunteerism. Jennifer Pederson recently was honored “for her exceptional work and dedication” after she “hit the ground running after being recruited by some of her friends to get involved with the UW-Green Bay Red Cross club,” according to a blog post announcing the award. The Red Cross, of course, also employs one of our terrific alums — Jody Weyers ’96, recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Recent Alumni Award. Weyers, Volunteer and Communications director for the chapter, is pictured with Pederson in the post: click here.

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Health Sciences students gain unique perspective on travel course – August 2013

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay anatomy and physiology students traveled 4,500 miles this summer to the Plastinarium in Guben, Germany for a chance to work with a preservation technique called plastination.

The students and tour leaders, Human Biology Prof. Amanda Nelson and Associate Dean Donna Ritch, worked side-by-side with German anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens, who discovered the process now made famous by controversial Body Worlds international touring exhibits.

The dissection and anatomical study of preserved corpses is clearly of value to medical science and education. UW-Green Bay students — many of them with successful health science and medical careers in front of them — benefited from the trip. The course adds a unique perspective to an already rigorous program at UW-Green Bay designed to prepare undergraduates for graduate schools or health careers.

“As it becomes more and more competitive to gain entry into professional programs in the health sciences, students are looking for ways to enhance their resume,” Nelson said. “Immersing themselves in this intense, hands-on anatomy experience can highlight a student’s already impressive academic career and provide a great springboard for discussion during an interview.”

Ritch said the experience is unlike any other.

“The students that participated in this two-week travel course had an amazing, unique experience that they could not get anywhere else,” she said. “They worked in Dr. von Hagens’ laboratory and had the opportunity to meet and ask questions of him. Their free time allowed them to experience the German and Polish cultures.” Side trips took them to the site of an Auschwitz concentration camp and the Krakow Main Square — the largest medieval town square in Europe, which dates back to the 13th century.

UW-Green Bay student Emily Brown said the experience was so impactful, she didn’t want to return home.

“Participating in the workshops at the Plastinarium was an unforgettable experience,” she said. “I learned so much from the employees and exhibits and gained so much experience; I never wanted to leave!”

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