Green Bay, Wis.—The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will return to the time-honored tradition of an indoor Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021, to celebrate its most recent class of fearless dreamers and problem-solving achievers. Nearly 500 students, from all four UW-Green Bay campuses (Green Bay, Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan), have applied to graduate this semester, while nearly 300 have registered to participate in the ceremonies.
The to-be graduates, many of them the first in their families to earn a college degree, have weathered the adjustments caused by the pandemic and persevered through difficult circumstances to celebrate their degree. While Commencement returns indoors for the first time since December of 2019 (UW-Green Bay moved to outdoor celebrations in the midst of the pandemic), the University is moving to two ceremonies to accommodate the graduates and their families in the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts.
The 9:30 a.m. ceremony will recognize students from the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS) and the College of Health, Education and Social Welfare. All students earning Associates Degrees will also be recognized in the morning ceremony with CAHSS. The 2 p.m. ceremony will recognize the graduates from the University’s Austin E. Cofrin School of Business and the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. Some of the highlights:
Student Speaker and Poet Kimberly Davis Explored Outside Her Comfort Zone on the Way to Her Degree
Even today in our seemingly perpetual “uncertain times,” the top reason for attending college remains steadfast: to embark on a career path you enjoy with a salary to match. Davis, perhaps a romantic throwback to the idealistic nature of college, was seeking something more—a journey of self-discovery. And in that journey, she discovered not only a career, but also a calling, and perhaps best of all, herself.“I’m not going to lie,” she says. “I originally chose Green Bay because of the private bathrooms in the residence halls.” Bathrooms got her here, but what kept her here was an indefatigable desire to succeed. The English major will inspire her classmates during the morning ceremony with a call to “continue their story.”
Policy Advisor to Six Chancellors, Daniel Spielmann to receive University’s highest honor
UW-Green Bay retiree Daniel Spielmann will receive the Chancellor’s Award—the highest honor bestowed on a community member. Among his many roles through a 36-year career with the University, Spielmann served as chief of staff and/or policy advisor to six chancellors. He was athletics director during the program’s rise as an NCAA Division I contender. Other roles included interim assistant chancellor, legal counsel, and director of Major Gifts and Government Relations. He was also known for his passion for teaching, and his involvement in university fundraising and fiscal management, among many other contributions. The Chancellor’s Award is presented to individuals who have assisted in some significant way in the development of UW-Green Bay.
Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach will deliver Commencement Address
Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach will bring a community perspective to the December 2021 graduates and will provide the Commencement Address at both ceremonies. Streckenbach is focused on building Brown County’s economy by creating an environment that retains and encourages business development in Northeast Wisconsin. In addition, his vision for the future has produced concepts to attract 21st Century investment in the new economy. Streckenbach was the lead advocate for Brown County’s STEM Innovation Center on UW-Green Bay’s campus, which houses the Richard J. School of Engineering. Most recently, Streckenbach celebrated the grand opening of the Resch Expo, a $93 million state-of-the-art facility. He is a life-long resident of Brown County and resides in Allouez with his wife Jennie and three children.
Gage Beck Proves Value and Affordability of College Degree
Gage Beck, a Public Administration major in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, will graduate after five semesters with no debt and has secured a job after graduation as grants manager for the Green Bay YMCA. The West De Pere High School graduate got a jumpstart, taking several college courses in high school and taking extra credits each semester throughout his time at UW-Green Bay. By living at home and working at the University Union, Beck will graduate debt-free! He points to the real-life learning opportunities that propelled his interest, and likely a job in his chosen field:
“The most challenging yet rewarding part of studying at UW-Green Bay was focusing on my major,” Gage said. “Through the support of my professors, I was able to challenge myself in researching and analyzing public issues. I was fortunate enough to have two internships, a research assistantship, and participate in the Political Science Research Lab. I am honored to have received the recognition of Outstanding Student in Public and Environmental Affairs, the Center for Public Affairs Research Scholarship, and the Chancellor’s Leadership Medallion. As a result of my internship at the Greater Green Bay YMCA, I have accepted the full-time position of Grants Manager which I will start in January.”
‘Mastering’ a Management Degree and a New Home; Adela Kadiasi Makes the Most of a Tough Situation
After graduating from college in Albania with a bachelor’s degree in business informatics and a master’s degree in computer engineering, Adela Kadiasi was encouraged by friends to apply for the Master’s in Management program at UW-Green Bay’s Cofrin School of Business. Working with counselors from UW-Green Bay, she was able to get all of the necessary paperwork in and was accepted into the program and was awarded a scholarship in January 2020. The pandemic limited her travel home, and she hasn’t seen her family since coming to UW-Green Bay. Meeting the challenges head-on, she interned in Door County Shipwrecked Brewery and Door Peninsula Winery—learning all the aspects of the brewing/distilling industry. As she approaches graduation at UW-Green Bay in December, the world awaits… She is currently researching the United States job market and find a job position which will help her utilize her management skills, or look into positions in software engineering