UW Credit Union wins EPA designation

The UW Credit Union has achieved the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Leadership Club designation for 2013.

The company received the Leadership Club designation due to its 100 percent usage of renewable energy for lighting.

It is Wisconsin’s eighth business, as well as the nation’s first credit union, to receive this achievement, according to the company’s press release.

The UW Credit Union has joined the likes of Microsoft, the University of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Air Force, to name a few. There are more than 1,400 partners in this effort, according to the EPA.

Paul Kundert, UW Credit Union president and CEO, realizes the importance of this recognition.

“We’re committed to doing what is right for our members and our environment,” Kundert said in a press release. “As an organization that continues to grow, we are dedicated to reducing our carbon footprint just as we are dedicated to our members’ best interest.”

This honor was no surprise to Brad McClain, executive vice president and chief financial officer of the UW Credit Union.

“We’ve had more enhanced efforts in buying renewable energy,” McClain said. “Relative to that, one of the qualifications is you have a stronger percentage of green power for operations.”

In order to accomplish that, McClain said the credit union purchased green power for its headquarters, which is its largest building. After that, it made the decision in January to expand its purchase to all of the facilities it operates, including the one on the UW-Green Bay campus.

The most important criteria to be met in order to gain Leadership status is the percentage of green power based on the annual wattage needed for a facility, according to the EPA.

A full 100 percent rating was needed for facilities using 1 to 10 million kilowatt-hours per year.

EPA guidelines also mandated that these requirements had to be met with power from new renewable facilities — that is, facilities installed within the last 15 years.

The credit union purchases a little more than 2 million kilowatt hours per year for its facilities, McClain said. As a result, this eliminates about 5.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide.

“When it’s all said and done, that’s the critical element to what this is all about,” McClain said.

McClain recognizes the importance of this designation as an eco-friendly establishment, as well as the sole financial institution to receive this designation so far.

“It’s a confirmation of what we’re doing and the recognition we receive as part of an EPA partnership of the green efforts we’ve put forward to lessen our impact on the environment,” McClain said.

McClain said these sustainability partnerships differentiate this credit union from not just a credit union perspective, but also a broader, financial institution perspective.

Besides purchasing green power, the credit union constructs its branches under the league-certified standards of the EPA.

Since 2007, the credit union also reduced its water usage by 16 percent as well as its carbon dioxide emissions by 75 percent, according to a press release.

McClain said some features include energy efficient lighting fixtures, zone heating and air conditioning, water consumption-sensitive plumbing fixtures, dual flush toilets and waterless urinals.

“There’s nothing overtly exciting in these plumbing fixtures, but they sure do lessen the impact on our usage of water,” McClain said.

Aside from its partnership with the EPA, the credit union also established a partnership with Sustain Dane, a sustainability initiative based in Dane County, McClain said.

Sustain Dane’s main focus is to lessen the corporate impacts on the environment by partnering with corporate businesses and exchanging ideas and suggestions with the businesses.

The credit union has partnered with Sustain Dane for more than four years. It’s a group the credit union can have a free-flowing exchange of ideas with, McClain said.

“That’s where we really started to engage strongly in our efforts from a sustainability standpoint,” McClain said.

UWGB student promotes UW System online

UW-Green Bay senior English education major Nellie Schafer was recently chosen to represent the UWGB campus through the UW System’s Knowledge Powers Wisconsin program.

Schafer showcased the university and what it has to offer using Twitter.

Schafer impressed UW System administrators with her creative tweeting abilities.

Knowledge Powers Wisconsin program, which researches the effectiveness of each individual UW campus in the UW System and how it appeals to students across the state, created the UW Powers Me Twitter account.

It marks a new way for students, alumni, faculty and staff to share their UW experiences. It offers an interesting new insight into today’s UW campuses in the hopes of offering perspective to students from other universities and high school students.

David Giroux, executive director of communications and external relations for the UW System, is heading the campaign to find what the UW System offers the state of Wisconsin. He said their goal involves three components: a stronger workforce, stronger businesses and stronger communities.

“We want to show how the university impacts those three things,” Giroux said. “The UW Powers Me Twitter account is part of that campaign.”

He said it has been the most unique and outside-of-the-box strategy they’ve thought of so far to generate feedback from students, alumni and professors.

“A good way to explain the theory behind the page is less corporate and more organic,” Giroux said. “Instead of the university talking about how it educates 180,000 students, we want to give a voice to one student on how they are empowered by their UW experience.”

As the voice of UWGB, Schafer said her main goal in managing account for the week was to tell how students benefit from being at a UW college. It gives an outlet to students to tell their story.

Schafer utilized her week by tweeting 250 times about different things going on at the campus. She tweeted a song of the day and night, inspirational quotes, pictures of things going on and sound bites from students on campus.

“I started getting creative and contacted as many areas of the university as I could to see what they had going on,” Schafer said.

Giroux said everyone was pleased with Schafer’s tweets and her unique insight into the UWGB experience.

“Nellie was the perfect example of how one person can bring their own voice,” Giroux said. “She did an excellent job engaging people with photos and videos.”

Christopher Sampson, UWGB director of university communication, also applauded Schafer’s efforts with the Twitter page.

“Schafer was so well versed in social media,” Sampson said. “She set a very high bar for the UW campuses that are going to follow.”

Sampson said that the Twitter followers were almost doubled in the week Schafer managed the UW Powers Me page.

“The UW system administrators in Madison couldn’t get over how interesting her posts were and how prolific she was,” Sampson said. “They were very impressed.”

Sampson said when it comes to projects like this, the best sales people are going to be students.

Schafer is actively involved on campus. As an English education major, she also participates regularly in the education program on campus, has been a part of multiple organizations around campus and has been on the dean’s list.

Schafer’s enthusiasm was evident on the UW Powers Me Twitter page. She immediately gained student followers from UWGB and other universities. She also talked to many high school students who were either looking at the campus or who were already admitted to the school.

“It was a really cool experience,” Schafer said. “I didn’t know how well it was going to be received at first, but I’m glad I got the chance to showcase the university and everything it has to offer. It shows where we come from and where we’re planning to go. It is something I’m proud of, and I’m also proud of our university.”

UWGB mourns loss of outreach art instructor

The UW-Green Bay community is mourning the loss of Arda Ishkhanian, painting instructor for UWGB’s Outreach and Summer Art Studio camps program. Ishkhanian died in a single-car accident Feb. 7 while traveling to Wadi Hitan, a paleontological site near Fayoum City, Egypt.

Ishkhanian was born in Cairo, Egypt, and is survived by her husband, UWGB Art Curator Stephen Perkins, daughter Nina Perkins and brother Arlen Ishkhanian, according to her obituary published in the Green Bay Press-Gazette Feb. 26.

Those who worked with or knew Ishkhanian were impressed by her love of teaching the arts, particularly to children.

David Coury, UWGB professor of humanistic studies and friend of Ishkhanian, remembers the passion she had for creating and teaching art.

“Arda was well known throughout Green Bay as an advocate and teacher of art,” Coury said. “She was so warm and funny —just a wonderful person.”

Of Armenian descent, Ishkhanian was born in Egypt and attended high school in Beirut before immigrating to America in 1979. Ishkhanian graduated from California College of Arts with a degree in film and video in 1985. She then went on to study interactive multimedia at San Francisco State University and later received a bachelor’s degree in art education from the University of Iowa in 1994, according to her online biography.

Ishkhanian taught at Green Bay Public School and De Pere Public School throughout the previous 10 years. More recently, she taught at Wisconsin International School in De Pere, but she hasn’t always taught in Wisconsin.

“She lived and worked in San Francisco before teaching in this area,” Coury said. “She was incredibly curious, like all good artists are, and she traveled a lot.”

Ishkhanian had traveled to a number of countries, including Lebanon, Syria, Germany, France, England, Scotland, New Zealand, Jamaica, Belize, Guatemala, among many others.

Travel played a large role in her teaching philosophy. Ishkhanian’s artwork has been displayed in New York City, Amsterdam, Cairo, Chicago, Iowa City, San Francisco and Green Bay. She was also fluent in four languages: Armenian, Arabic, English and French, according to her online biography.

Ishkhanian’s artwork was most recently exhibited at the Neville Public museum. Ishkhanian was also co-curator of the WC Gallery in De Pere, according to her obituary published in the Green Bay Press-Gazette Feb. 26.

A temporary account has been created by friends of Stephen Perkins at the UW Credit Union, located in the University Union, for those who would like to assist in efforts to mitigate travel expenses or other costs.

“This was so sudden, and there were a lot of expenses associated with traveling to Egypt to take care of the arrangements,” Coury said. “We wanted any friends or colleagues who want to assist her family to have the opportunity to do so. Really anyone in the UWGB community is welcome to help ease their financial burden during this difficult time.”

UW System overpays employees

A recent report indicates 60 UW System employees received compensation beyond legal limits set by Wisconsin law, including one UW-Green Bay employee.

According to law, full-time and salaried employees providing services apart from normal work duties cannot receive more than $12,000 in extra pay annually.

A Feb. 12 Gannet Wisconsin Media report indicates some UW System schools violated the cap more than others. Of the 13 UW System schools, 60 employees received compensation beyond statutory limits.

Four UW System schools didn’t exceed the $12,000 overpay limit for any employee. In addition to UWGB, UW-Eau Claire and UW-La Crosse each had one employee exceed the cap. Of the 60 faculty and staff overpaid throughout the state, two are considered UW System employees and weren’t listed as faculty of any particular school, according to the report.

Professors and lecturers who took on more work than their salaries allotted were the primary recipients of pay exceeding the statutory limits.

David Giroux, UW System spokesperson, noted the overpayments shouldn’t have occurred and better training could have prevented this from happening.

“It’s not an excuse, but it doesn’t seem to be a widespread problem that can’t be fixed with some local instruction and coaching to the employees involved,” Giroux said in a Gannet Wisconsin interview Feb. 11. “No matter how small the number, however, people should have been aware of the cap and the need to avoid such situations.”

The UW System consists of 26 campuses — 13 universities and 13 technical colleges. Approximately 3,200 full-time and salaried employees received overload compensation during 2012 and averaged $4,000 each. However, technical college instructors averaged $12,000 in overages while university professors averaged $1,400, according to the Gannet Media analysis.

During 2012, UW-Green Bay compensated 165 employees beyond their standard salary. Of those, one employee received compensation for work beyond the $12,000 threshold, in the amount of $12,818.

Sheryl Van Gruensven, UWGB human resource director, noted the oversight in payment was due to the employee working for more than one campus.

“We are constantly tracking overload payments and duties performed by our faculty,” Van Gruensven said. “The reason why our employee went over $12,000 was because of work performed at another campus. That’s difficult to track.”

According to the statute, UW System employees receiving more than $12,000 in overpay are required to repay the overage. However, this would conflict with labor laws, which require employers to pay employees for completed work.

“We are legally obligated to pay people for the work they’ve done,” Giroux said in a Badger Herald report published March 13. “We cannot take pay back from people who have done work to earn that pay.”

UWGB’s human resource department, along with others from institutions throughout Wisconsin, won’t have to consider the cap in the near future. This June, the statute regarding overload pay will be voided, and UW System faculty won’t be limited to the current cap of $12,000 of overload pay.

Wisconsin’s 13 technical colleges don’t abide by the same statute. Each technical college campus can compensate instructors accordingly as workloads increase. Like universities throughout the state, technical colleges experience staff shortages caused by retirements, resignations or other issues.

In a 2011 letter addressed to Gov. Walker, Kevin Reilly, UW System president, addressed the issue of overload pay and how it impacts UW System students and faculty.

“The Legislature established a $12,000 limit on overload pay for university faculty members in the 1970s, and that cap remains in effect today,” Reilly said. “This constrains faculty creativity and entrepreneurship by removing the incentive to pursue outside funding for projects that have the potential to employ others, give students hands-on research experience and benefit the local economy.”

As current laws on professorial overpay expire, it will offer universities the same flexibility for faculty compensation already afforded technical colleges throughout Wisconsin.

“We are in the process of developing a new policy to provide guidance for when employees may work and receive an overload,” Van Gruensven said. “We want to ensure the quality of teaching and other responsibilities are maintained at a high level in conjunction with any other additional work taken on.”

According to the report, UW-Oshkosh had the most with 18, UW-Whitewater followed with 10, UW-Stout had nine, UW-Superior with seven, UW-Stevens Point with six and UW-Milwaukee had five, according to an online Gannet Wisconsin Media database.

Students behind on loan payments nationally

In the past four years, college debt loads have increased and a growing number of students are borrowing money to pay tuition. But as the number of students borrowing increases, the percentage of young borrowers to fall behind on their student loan payments has skyrocketed.

A report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said 35 percent of people under 30 who have student loans were at least 90 days delinquent on their payments at the end of 2012. That’s up from 26 percent at the end of 2008 and 21 percent in 2004.

Sue Steeno, assistant director for the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment, said statistics at UW-Green Bay aren’t nearly as staggering.

Steeno said the default rate at UWGB has gone down from 2.8 percent to 2.3 percent during the last year, according to records for the fiscal years of 2010 and 2009. She said these rates are well below the current national average of 9.1 percent.

“While this is a good thing, our population of defaulted students has indeed gone up during the long term, and I’m sure some of this can be attributed to the economy as well as other factors,” Steeno said. “In the 2008 fiscal year, our default rate was just 0.8 percent, so you can see that it has definitely gone up during a longer period of time.”

Shannon Bauer, former UWGB student and financial services employee of nine years, said making payments on time is very important.

“Payment history is a major factor in a person’s credit score, which affects his or her ability to borrow money for anything in the future, including a car or home,” Bauer said.

However, making payments on time is becoming increasingly difficult for some graduates.

Junior accounting major Matthew Honzik has worked in the financial services industry for four years. He said the amount people are getting paid after graduation is not keeping pace with the cost of tuition, which inevitably results in delinquencies.

“We have a system in place where there’s a constant rise in the price to attend college,” Honzik said. “The price of school is inflated because student loans are easy to get, whereas if people with the same income level were to apply for a home loan, they wouldn’t be able to do so because there’s no income.”

Steeno said about 70 percent of the student population borrows at some point during their time in college, and that number that hasn’t changed much over the years.

Statistics from UWGB’s Institutional Research Office show the number of UWGB students to complete the FAFSA is up to 81 percent for the 2012-13 academic year compared to 77 percent for the 2009-10 academic year.

Steeno said students should borrow no more than is necessary to cover their expenses. Following a budget is an effective way for students to ensure they are not borrowing too much.

“When meeting with students to discuss borrowing, we always counsel them on taking out only what is needed and following a budget rather than borrowing the maximum,” Steeno said. “All new student borrowers also have to complete what is called Loan Entrance Counseling, which is a federal requirement.”

The online session educates students on loan fees, the effect of borrowing and students’ rights and responsibilities when borrowing from a student loan program. Steeno said students can calculate their direct costs of attendance and money management on the financial aid office’s website.

Senior communication major Corrissa Frank said she thinks students don’t completely understand what kind of commitment they are signing up for when agreeing to paying back what they owe.

“They automatically think by the time they graduate, they will be able to pay back the large debt of tuition,” Frank said. “But it takes an actual plan to be prepared.”

Frank said it’s important for people to plan their decisions about where to go to school and what they expect for a salary once they graduate.

“It’s important to consider what a post-graduation salary will be when deciding how much to borrow,” Honzik said. “College is important, but don’t let debt rule your life.”

UWGB gets thrifty with style for Recyclemania

UW-Green Bay students and faculty popped some tags for Recyclemania with the Upcycling Showcase March 5.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 97 percent of post-consumer textiles are recyclable.

In recognition of this, the Office of Student Life encouraged the UWGB community to take a used piece of clothing and turn it into a new outfit, a growing trend known as upcycling. Inspiration also came from newdressaday.com, a blog from a woman who made a goal of creating 365 new outfits from used clothing with a budget of $365.

To help students and faculty get started, Student Life provided items from Goodwill. Participants could pick something for free, snap a before photo and then get creating.

The outfits were showcased at a fashion show in Phoenix Room B with a runway, lights and music. A panel of three judges was present to award the three best outfits. Winners received $30, $20 and $10 gift certificates to Goodwill.

Melissa Kiela, one of the judges for the event and president of the Public and Environmental Affairs Council, said she and the other judges critiqued the outfits on creativity, design and wearability.

“A lot of creativity and skill was exhibited during the showcase,” Kiela said. “I was impressed with the effort some competitors took to reuse every single item from the original clothing and make a completely different outfit.”

Second-place winner Karli Peterson, sophomore English and communication major, said she wanted to go for a country and Western style with her outfit and transformed a large plaid shirt into a racer-back dress with a matching headband.

First place went to Mai J. Lo Lee, multicultural adviser at the American Intercultural Center. Using a black and white jacket, Lee created a party dress. Seenia Thao, junior social work major, modeled the outfit at the showcase.

“I was inspired by Lady Gaga,” Lee said. “Plus, I wanted to create an outfit that a real college student would wear out dancing.”

Lee used the jacket and its lining for the dress and turned the buttons into a matching necklace.

Peterson and Lee both said upcycling is something almost anyone could do.

“I honestly believe anyone can make a skirt and a corset,” Lee said. “You just need to learn how to pin fabrics together and sew in a straight line. Patience is a key to designing and sewing.”

Peterson said great sewing skills aren’t required and suggested using fabric tape as well. Making a new outfit doesn’t have to be complicated.

“Just pick up a $2 T-shirt and make it your own,” Peterson said.

Lee, who grew up in a large family and often received hand-me-downs, not only enjoyed the creative aspect of the event but also agreed with its environmental message of reusing items.

“Sustainability has always been a lifestyle for me and has really taught me to buy quality items,” Lee said. “I find myself always asking, ‘What else can I do with this item?’ before I donate, recycle or throw out items.”

Kiela hopes the event encouraged people to think more carefully about repurposing items before sending them to the landfill.

“Almost anything can be upcycled, which will diminish our overall waste,” Kiela said. “Our main focus for the Upcycling Showcase was the idea to reuse — something that should come to mind before you throw anything out.”

For upcycling tips and inspiration, check out newdressaday.com and head to the nearest thrift shop to pop some tags.

Students given chance to honor professors

For many students, it’s easy to come up with a faculty member on campus who has made a significant impact in their education. Why not give them the recognition they deserve through the Student Nominated Teaching Award?

Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning Director Aeron Haynie said the Instructional Development Committee created the award.

“The IDC decided we should have an award that’s directly tied to the students,” Haynie said, “and that’s where the Student Nominated Teaching Award came from. What’s really special about this is it’s generated by students, so it’s all their input and very student driven.”

The nominating is done electronically, and students can decide if they want to be anonymous or give their name. To qualify for the award, professors must receive two or more nominations. A committee receives  statements from the students, and decides on a winner for two different categories.

“One award goes out to a professor who is teaching early in their career and one who has been here a while,” Haynie said.

Besides winning the Student Nominated Teaching Award and holding that title, the two selected instructors often gain more intrinsic honors. Professor Ekaterina Levintova, last year’s winner of the Early Career award said she was glad to know she was reaching students.

“I was so touched to receive this award,” Levintova said. “One of the people who nominated me read two statements that were very touching. The classes I was teaching were to prepare students, challenge them and make the learning process more tailored to students. Some of the students said really nice things about the class and what they got out of it. We as instructors teach the students, and that’s the biggest compliment that somebody can give — that it resonates to students on some levels.”

Students who wish to pay tribute to an instructor can fill out a nomination form, which is available at uwgb.edu/catl. The deadline for nominations is March 1.

For two winning participants, it is possible for student nominations to make an instructor feel like his or her hard work has paid off.

“When I learned about winning this award, I had to close the door to my office and yell in excitement because it was really meaningful to me,” Levintova said. “I’m very student-oriented, and to have this honor from students is just incredible. At the end of the year, I was just thinking about the highlights of the year, and this was definitely one of them.”

First female African American senator to speak on campus

Seventy-two years after women won the right to vote and 24 years after the Civil Rights Movement, Carol Moseley Braun made history and became the first African-American woman to be elected to the Senate.

In honor of Black History Month, and to start Women’s History Month, UW-Green Bay students and faculty have the opportunity to hear her speak Feb. 25 at 5 p.m. in the Phoenix rooms. The event is free and open to the public.

“We’re really excited,” said Christine Smith, chair of women’s and gender studies. “The students often don’t know who she is, but they need to. She’s part of history.”

Born and raised in Chicago, Moseley Braun has been a politician, lawyer, senator and educator. A graduate of the University of Illinois, she earned her degree in political science and went on to receive her law degree. Post-graduation, she worked as an assistant U.S. attorney.

Her first political seat came in 1978 as a democratic representative to the Illinois House of Representatives. She worked for education, government and health care reforms, as well as social change.

In 1988, Moseley Braun was elected recorder of deeds for Cook County, Ill.

Then in 1992, she took on the national political stage, making history as she became the first African-American woman senator.

President Bill Clinton appointed her U.S. ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa in 1999, a position Moseley Braun held for the duration of the Clinton administration.

Throughout her time in office, Moseley Braun fought for many issues and was a strong voice for women’s rights and civil rights — two issues the public will get a chance to hear her speak on.

Moseley Braun said she plans to speak about why civil, gay and women’s rights are all still relevant in this generation.

“What I hope to suggest is that the track record and lessons from these movements have a lot to share,” Moseley Braun said.

According to her, these lessons can be applied to any issue the nation faces today.

“I want to communicate some timeless lessons that can be applied to such issues, whether they’re poverty or violence against women,” Moseley Braun said.

Smith played a major role in getting Moseley Braun to the UWGB campus and hopes students will see the good work that Moseley Braun has done and be inspired.

“She’s encouraging everyone to get involved,” Smith said. “I hope everyone will see her as someone who has accomplished something and a role model and part of history. I hope they’re inspired and they hear the big message.”

Moseley Braun aspires to have a positive impact at UWGB as well.

“I want to share life experiences and stories and hope that people who come will take something from those stories,” Moseley Braun said. “It’s not about me, it’s about you.”

For students who may feel as if something like gender, race or sexual orientation will keep them from accomplishing their goals, Moseley Braun has some advice.

“Don’t get in your own way,” Moseley Braun said. “Don’t sell yourself short. Extraordinary is done by the ordinary. Once you understand that, that will help you develop what you want to do for yourself.”

Luncheon broadens students’ view of women’s issues

Violence, lower wages, fewer rights and education. These are just some issues women still face today. Lubomira Slusna, an internationally known human rights activist, will address a few of these inequalities at the International Women’s Day Luncheon March 6 at noon in Phoenix C.

Slusna frequently speaks about the struggle of the Roma people, coommonly called Gypsies, in Slovakia. Many of these issues include the gender equality that exists not only in other countries, but in the U.S. as well.

The luncheon is held each year as a part of Women’s History Month.

International Women’s Day occurs annually March 8 and was established in 1911. It’s an international celebration of the accomplishments of women and raises awareness of challenges that still exist.

Sheila Carter, program coordinator for the Office of Student Life, runs the luncheon and tries to get an international speaker each year.

“We want to make students aware of things that they can do and ways they can help,” Carter said.  “Just because you live in Green Bay doesn’t mean you can’t have a global impact.”

Christine Smith, chairwoman of women and gender studies, agrees with Carter. She also said students are surprised every year by the issues presented.

“It’s easy for us to just focus on what’s going on in the here and now,” Smith said. “A lot of us don’t realize all the other things that are going on in the world for women.”

Slusna has spoken across the U.S. and several other countries, especially in Europe. She last spoke at the UW-Green Bay campus in 2007.

Brent Blahnik, director of the Office of International Education, encourages students to attend the luncheon each year.

Blahnik feels students’ knowledge of women’s equality varies widely. He says  any kind of information and discussion can help spread the word about issues.

“Learning happens in so many different settings, both in and out of the classroom,” Blahnik said.  “This is just one of the many examples where students have a great learning opportunity on campus but not necessarily in class, and the students get a free meal out of it as well.”

Carter believes that although the campus has a variety of students, they’re not exposed to many global issues.

“We try to get women who are talking about women’s issues that are global and still going on,” Carter said. “We have a lot of issues in the U.S., and some of the issues are global issues, too.”

Blahnik explained International Women’s Day as important in a variety of ways.

“It’s a celebration of women and their accomplishments,” Blahnik said. “It also raises awareness that inequality still exists.”

Blahnik said students will get different things out of this event, but if they recognize the challenges that still exist, then it will be a success.

“Slusna will give students a lot of perspectives,” Blahnik said,  “not only on women’s issues, but cultural issues as well.”

Approximately 45 students come to this event each year, but Carter hopes for 50 to 60 to be in attendance this year.  Because the luncheon is during the day, she understands if students need to arrive late or leave early because of classes.

All students are encouraged to attend. A light lunch of soup and sandwiches will be provided.

The luncheon is free, but students must pre-register before March 1. The registration form is available on the Student Life website.

Lukan leads Phoenix into postseason

The No. 20/20 Green Bay Women’s basketball team is gearing up for the Horizon League Tournament as the No. 1 seed.

The Phoenix have been following the leadership of seniors this season: guard Adrian Ritchie, forward Sarah Eichler and forward Lydia Bauer. But redshirt sophomore Megan Lukan may be the unsung hero for the Phoenix.

The former Ms. Canada 2010 and Barrie Central High School standout has had a steady season for Green Bay. Lukan leads the team in assists averaging 4.3 per game, and she’s third on the team in steals with 34 on the season. She also averages almost seven points per game.

Recently though, Lukan took her game to another level.

In Green Bay’s last five regular-season games, Lukan averaged 14.4 points and 4.4 assists per contest. She connected on 15 three-pointers over that span after starting the season 6-34 from behind the arc.

Lukan’s offensive game is the rise, but much of what she brings to the table for the Phoenix doesn’t show up on the stat sheet.

“Defensively she does a great job at keeping her girl in front of her,” said Green Bay head coach Kevin Borseth. “Offensively, she handles the ball really well and makes great decisions.”

Her teammates and coaches know Lukan as a tough, tenacious defender who refuses to quit on any play.

“She’s feisty and strong,” said redshirt senior forward Jenny Gilberston. Coach Borseth reiterated the same, calling Lukan a “bulldog.”

Lukan also echoed similar things about her own play.

“I’m tough,” Lukan said. “My on-ball defense is my greatest strength. I have confidence in myself that I can shut someone down if I need to.”

Before coming to Green Bay, Lukan played her prep career at Barrie Central. She was named Barrie Central’s female athlete of the year in 2010. Lukan was also a two-year member of the Canadian Women’s Junior National Team and won the bronze medal in the 2009 Canada Games as a member of the U17 Ontario team.

During her freshman season, Lukan decided to redshirt as former Green Bay standout Celeste Hoewisch was in her senior season for the Phoenix. Lukan was grateful that she was able to learn from Hoewisch during their short time together.

“She was tough, but I learned a lot from her,” Lukan said. “It was truly rewarding to play against her and learn from her for a whole season.”

Following her redshirt season, Lukan averaged 6.6 points per game and was fourth in both assists and steals per game, while averaging more than 30 minutes a game.

This season, Lukan has taken over the starting point guard role and hasn’t looked back. In a Nov. 17 game against Central Michigan, Lukan set a career-high with eight assists in a 75-48 Phoenix victory. In the next game, Nov. 22, against James Madison, Lukan scored 13 points and added four assists in 89-86 overtime loss.

As the season continued, Lukan’s confidence grew, catching the attention of her head coach.

“Her game developed well throughout the season,” Borseth said. “Megan’s biggest thing that she has done this season is play confidently.”

Due to the fact that she redshirted her freshman season, Lukan will have two years of eligibility remaining after this season. With a strong senior class playing its last season in Green Bay, the 2013-14 season is playing out to be led by Lukan.

For now, Lukan and the Phoenix continue to get ready for postseason play in the Horizon League Tournament and the NCAA Tournament this month.