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.

Campus recognizes Women’s History Month

Throughout history, women have achieved breakthroughs in equality. This month, UW-Green Bay is proving this by holding several events in honor of women’s accomplishments.

Women’s History Month occurs every March and is an international celebration of women and their accomplishments over time.

Each year, UWGB hosts a variety of events to spread awareness of Women’s History Month. Three events will take place in the next two weeks.

The First Women’s Recording Company: Forty Years Strong, a discussion about Olivia Records, will take place March 26 at 4 p.m.

Catherine Henze, associate professor of English, will lead the discussion. Henze has a personal connection to the company, having listened to its records for several years.

This year was the 40th anniversary for the company, which was originally created to give women an opportunity and voice in the record industry.

Henze hopes students will realize the importance of the company.

“It’s particularly important for people interested in women and gender studies and the birth of feminism,” Henze said. “This will help students have a clearer understanding.”

Another women’s history event is Trade Offs: A Conversation on Work and Family, which will happen March 27 at 4 p.m.

Alison Staudinger, assistant professor of democracy and justice studies, is organizing and moderating the event.

According to Staudinger, Trade Offs is an opportunity to discuss how family and work relate to one another today.

The goal is to introduce how the issue affects working-class people, families and African American women, many of whom have been working much longer than other women.

Staudinger says many people assume that Women’s History Month is only for women or feminists. She hopes the event will reach a wider audience and open their eyes to the importance of understanding women’s issues.

The event is intended to be conversational, yet effective.

“I want people to think that this problem is important for everyone, not just for women,” Staudinger said. “Trying to balance family and work while trying to make political changes and making that possible is everyone’s job, not just something that moms care about.”

There will also be a group of panelists in the discussion, including one student and two members from outside organizations.

Another discussion will take place about the film “Daisy Bates: The First Lady of Little Rock”  March 28 at 4 p.m.,

Vincent Lowery, assistant professor of humanistic studies and history, will introduce the film and moderate the discussion. He is closely connected to the topic because he teaches classes on African American history.

According to Lowery, Bates coordinated the integration of African-American students into Little Rock Central High School in 1957.

Lowery hopes students realize the Civil Rights Movement was led by more people than just Martin Luther King Jr.

Lowery said the movement included a large group of people and challenges that spread across the South. African American women had one of the most vital roles, and Daisy Bates is an example of this.

“The movement succeeds where it does and achieves what it does because of the vital role that African American women play,” Lowery said.  “They play as leaders, organizers and activists and fight for African-American rights.

All the events will take place in the Christie Theatre and are not just for women. All students are encouraged to attend the discussions.

Graduation celebrates LGBTQ seniors

Rory Cowart, a senior psychology and human development major, will be graduating at the end of the semester. But before he puts on the cap and gown, he’ll be recognized in a different graduation ceremony. Beside him will be his family, friends and boyfriend of five years.

Lavender Graduation is a graduation ceremony and dinner that honors the achievements of graduating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students at UW-Green Bay. This is the second year UWGB will hold Lavender Graduation and Cowart is very excited.

“It will be great to be recognized for the work I’ve done for the LGBTQ community,” Cowart said. “Those of us who are LGBTQ don’t just graduate as a Phoenix or certain year but also a member of the class? We Made It.’”

Although this is only the second ceremony held at UWGB, the Lavender Graduation has been a part of senior tradition at universities around the country for several years. The first was held at the University of Michigan in 1995. In those 18 years, students who have self-identified with the LGBTQ community have been able to feel recognized and accepted by their university.

“Our college experience is, or can be, much different than other students’ and sometimes a lot harder,” Cowart said.

“Research shows students who come out on a college campus probably struggle the most,  both socially, economically,” Mai Lo Lee, multicultural adviser at UWGB, said. “If they come out to their parents, there might be a financial cut-off.”

Lee said Lavendar Graduation and similar events are for the LGBTQ community to feel supported by the university.

Lee was one of the main contributors in bringing the ceremony to UWGB. After attending a staff member workshop at the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference in Madison, Lee’s interest sparked when a staff workshop was tailored to ways to be more supportive. That’s when she heard about the Lavender Graduation.


“This is just like how other academic departments have their own little reception or ceremony,” Lee said. “I was looking at the history of it and I thought this is something that I could easily do.”

The ceremony includes dinner, speakers and awards. Faculty, staff, students, family and friends are all invited to attend.

“For our LGBTQ students who are freshmen, sophomores and juniors, I think its really important for them to see that there are graduating seniors,” Lee said. “That allows them to see there are resources and supportive people out there.”

At the ceremony, the Lavender Award is presented. It’s awarded to any faculty, staff or senior who has contributed to creating a more inclusive environment for LGBTQ students.

“In the crowd, there were deans. People were like,?I didn’t realize this many people supported me and this lifestyle’,” Lee said.

Last year’s guest speaker was a UWGB alumnus who spoke on his experience of coming out and self-identifying in the ?90s. Lee said she thought this was important for the graduates to hear to realize that they too can be successful.

Anyone is welcome to attend the event for free. Lee said she feels it’s important for all students to be aware of the importance of what this event represents and that students don’t have to be part of the population to be part of the change.

“To use an analogy, it wasn’t black people who voted themselves to be free slaves. It had to be white people for the cause who had the power,” Lee said. “For the LGBTQ population, they may be fighting for it, but as a straight person who has privilege, I’m the one who should be advocating.”

Cowart thinks the event is important for showing support.

“I think it’s great that we can show those who haven’t identified yet that we’re a good and open community with great support from faculty and staff,” Cowart said. “Each member comes from different walks of life and is willing to support one another.”

Award recognizes student employees

Hard work, dedication and experience. These are all things students can gain from employment in college. Each year, several students are nominated for the Student Employee of the Year award, only one of which wins.

According to Kristina Berg, Student Service Specialist and a member of the Student Employee of the Year committee, 10 to 15 student employees are nominated each year.

This year, there were 14 nominees from a variety of departments.

The committee consists of seven members from different campus departments and also includes last year’s Student Employee of the Year winner.

Winners are chosen based on reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism and uniqueness of contribution, according to the Student Employee of the Year page on the UW-Green Bay Student Employment website. This is the ninth year the award has been given.

This year’s nominees are introduced below. For more details about the nominees or for other student employment information, go to the Facebook page at facebook.com/UWGBStudentEmployment.

Mitch Babe, senior business administration major, has been a marketing coordinator in the Dean’s Office in College of Professional Studies since August 2012. He handles many communication tasks, including print, digital, social media and other visual mediums and reports to the operations manager. Anne Buttke, Babe’s supervisor, described him as a creative, reliable and professional worker who surpasses expectations, even when he faces unexpected challenges.

Chiara Boss is a senior public administration major with an emphasis in nonprofit management and a psychology minor. She is the university advancement student assistant and handles a variety of tasks related to fundraising and donor relations. Boss’ supervisor, Shannon Bedura, described her as reliable, detail-oriented and able to complete projects even without all of the necessary materials.

Amanda Cheney is a senior human biology major with an emphasis in exercise science and a French minor. She is currently a reference/resource sharing assistant and has held a variety of positions at the Cofrin Library since September 2008. Some of her duties include customer service, event planning and training new students. Cheney’s supervisor, Emily Rogers, said she wanted to recognize her for her tremendous effort she puts into her job. She describes Cheney as creative, resourceful and able to overcome obstacles.

Morgan Hansen, junior public administration major with an emphasis in nonprofit management, works as a student office assistant and is responsible for follow-up activities related to the Alumni Phone-a-Thon. She is also a Phone-a-Thon caller and program supervisor. Hansen’s supervisor, Tracy Heaser, said she is trustworthy of sensitive information and is a conscientious, hard-working employee.

Stephanie Kessler, a senior in the nursing program, has worked as a student assistant in collection development/acquisitions in the Cofrin Library for four years. She receives and processes U.S. government documents and also helps with inventories in various collections. Leah Liebergen, Kessler’s supervisor, nominated her for her ability to learn tasks quickly and said her greatest strength is her willingness to follow through on projects.

Marin Kniskern is a senior art major with minors in anthropology and design arts. She has worked as an office assistant in Career Services for two years. She completes clerical projects, such as creating information in PRO, and is a backup receptionist. Her supervisor, Amanda Vande Hei, said she nominated Kniskern because of her strong work ethic and ability to manage all of her tasks professionally.

Jennifer Nooyen, junior social work major, has been a student office assistant at the NEW Behavioral Health Training Partnership for two and a half years, where she handles many customer service duties. She also works on several tasks supporting the training manager. Nooyen’s supervisor, Sharon Locklin, said she nominated her for going above and beyond her expectations. Locklin describes Nooyen as a quick learner who is trustworthy and follows through on her tasks.

Ashley Skalecki, senior public administration major, has been an office assistant for the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium since November 2011. She maintains the website and completes other general office duties and requests from the office coordinator. Brittany Luedtke, Skalecki’s supervisor, nominated her for her professionalism, accuracy and dedication to the position.

Cassandra Stanzel is a junior business administration major with a human resources emphasis and a psychology minor. She is a student office assistant for alumni relations, where she helps with office support for the Alumni Association. Stanzel’s supervisor, Jeane Stangel, described her as extremely reliable and dependable while working with sensitive and confidential records.

Jacob Eggert, graduate student in environmental science and policy, is the lead intern for the Aurora BayCare Healthcare Internship and has been employed there since 2011. He works with the center to evaluate environmental performance. Eggert’s supervisor, John Arendt, said he is always confident and driven to excel.

Mysty Kepler is a senior communication major with a public relations emphasis and a business administration minor. She works as a financial aid student specialist.

Katie Van Straten, senior business administration major and graphic design major, was hired in September 2012 as a for-credit intern for Marketing and University Communication. She became a student employee this semester as a graphic design intern. Van Straten’s’ supervisor, Kimberly Vlies, said her level of creativity, reliability and quality of work is similar to that of a professional designer, rather than just a student.

Andrew Wenig, senior human biology major with a health science emphasis, has worked in the University Union since January 2011 and became a building manager in June 2011. He is responsible for opening the building as well as overseeing activities and equipment and supervising service areas. Wenig’s supervisor, Poppy Grant, said he is passionate about his job and is always willing to help others out.

Spencer Karls is a senior working on his second undergraduate degree in art with an emphasis in photography. His first degree is in environmental science. He works as a darkroom and woodshop assistant for the art department.

Diversity Task Force highlights social issues

Diversity exists in many forms. Whether it’s race, religion or social status, people across the world are different in countless ways, and UW-Green Bay is no exception.  The Diversity Task Force hopes to bring awareness to various social issues with the event Boxes and Walls April 10 and 11 from 1-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. in the Alumni Rooms.

Boxes and Walls is a diversity program with many different options for development. The experience allows the UWGB community to face some of the most difficult and complex social issues that may not always be apparent.

It was last offered in 2007, where topics such as Hmong culture and body image were discussed.

This year, there will be four rooms available: First Nations Studies, Transgender, Poverty and Glory Glory.

Each room is led by members of the Diversity Task Force and other campus leaders.

Jeff Willems, area coordinator for Residence Life, said all four rooms will have activities to bring awareness to issues in each of the selected topics.

Program sessions will be located in different rooms throughout the Union. The Alumni Rooms will be the starting point for the program, but Willems described it as a self-guided tour.

Ben O’Heran, junior first nations studies and environmental policy and planning major, will be one of the people in charge of the First Nations Studies room.

According to O’Heran, each student will be given a card with the name of an indigenous nation that is currently in Wisconsin.

Students will learn about the tribes, traveling from pre-contact to self-determination, with stories and pictures along the way, imitating Native Americans’ progression through time.

Following the activity, students will also discuss a variety of current issues, such as derogatory school mascots.

O’Heran hopes students will gain a better understanding of the change and hardships throughout history.

“People tend to live in the here and now and ignore everything that’s happened before them,” O’Heran said. “People and things that have happened in the past have an effect on the current situation and the mindset of the peoples that live here.”

There will also be a room focused on issues faced by the transgender community.

Jack Mellberg, senior human development and psychology major, will be one of the leaders for the room.

Although activities are still being planned, Mellberg and other members of Sexuality and Gender Alliance hope to have transgender individuals themselves design the room.

Mellberg aims to spread the word about the lack of consideration for a third gender.

“We hope to gain a little more insight,” Mellberg said, “not to invoke a sense of sympathy or discrimination, but to enforce the idea that the gender binary, which basically is female and male, is a nonexistent, yet socially created aspect.”

Glory Glory will be a discussion about the perceptions and realities of war.

The most recent war discussed in the session is the Vietnam War.

Laina Wydeven, junior history major, is one of the students running the room.

During the session, images will be displayed showing how war has been glorified in the past and the reality of it, which is frequently overlooked.

Wydeven said each student may take something different out of the session.

“I hope they take a critical analysis toward issues like that,” Wydeven said. “I want them to understand there’s always more than one side to why conflicts are fought.”

Another issue being presented at the program is poverty.

Seenia Thao, junior social work major, hopes the session will add a lot to students’ knowledge of the issue.

Thao wants people to realize that poverty is all around us and affects everyone, even though it may not seem like it.

Since program attendees will have different reactions to the process, Willems hopes to have counselors available throughout each session.

Room 103 in the University Union will be a processing room, where students will have the option to ask questions, as well as give feedback regarding the sessions.

Willems hopes the program will encourage students to take action and learn more about different issues.

“I hope students get a better understanding of what’s out there,” Willems said. “I hope they look at things a different way with a critical view.”

Vietnamese luncheon redefines perceptions

Experience the food of another country without ever leaving campus at the Cultural Cuisine Vietnamese Luncheon April 25 in the Phoenix Rooms.

Four Cultural Cuisine Luncheons are held each year to bring culinary and cultural awareness to UW-Green Bay students,  faculty and the surrounding community. Poppy Grant, assistant director of operations in the University Union, organizes the events, which have been held for 14 years.

The luncheons feature several different dishes from the chosen culture, a guest speaker and sometimes music and performances.

Hung Nguyen, who is Vietnamese and executive director of the Mauthe Center, was selected as the speaker for the upcoming luncheon.

“After selecting him, I had some really exciting reviews of him from community members,” Grant said. “I’m excited to meet him and hear what he has to say.”

Nguyen felt speaking at this event would be a good opportunity to help people learn about Vietnamese culture, which is often underrepresented or misunderstood.

“Most people look at us and automatically think we’re Hmong,” Nguyen said.

According to Nguyen, many people also associate Vietnamese people with the Vietnam War, and this is something Nguyen hopes to help change at the luncheon.

“The majority of Vietnamese were born after the war, and quite frankly, very few of them know what the heck that is,” Nguyen said. “The conversation needs to move past the war and which side is right and which side is wrong. It’s time to move beyond that and have a conversation that I hope will be richer in context and complexity.”

Nguyen said there are two things he will avoid during the luncheon. One of those is trying to represent all Vietnamese.

“The whole thing is about having a conversation instead of categorizing Vietnamese as this group or that group,” Nyugen said.

More importantly though, he hopes to avoid drawing any conclusions because he wants the discussion to be ongoing and to continue outside of the luncheon.

Nguyen is passionate about food and thinks it’s an excellent way to get people involved in such discussion.

“Whether it’s good conversation or tough conversation, food gives us the opportunity to start,” Nguyen said.

This event’s menu includes five dishes: Pho-bo Vietnamese beef noodle soup, grilled five spice chicken, fried rice, carrot salad and banana rice pudding.

All dishes are prepared by A’viands chefs, headed by Executive Chef Fazli Admi, who also plays a large role in developing the menus. Event speakers also help in planning the menu.

“I think it’s a good menu because it represents the three distinct regions of Vietnam, the North, Central and South,” Nguyen said. “We’ll use that to weave in the story of what it means to be Vietnamese.”

Grant agrees that food can be a unique way to explore a culture and converse with others, and encourages anyone to attend.

“This is about coming to expand your taste buds and try things you haven’t tried before,” Grant said. “A lot of students have pretty much only eaten foods that are served in their area, and they need to expand and grow in that.”

Grant receives help with the luncheons from various Union employees as well as Student Ambassadors, many of whom she said are surprised by how good these different foods can be. She also said that once people come to one luncheon, they want to come to more.

Besides eating a unique meal, attendees can also enter to win door prizes. Past prizes have included free tickets to the next Cultural Cuisine Luncheon, tickets to performances at the Weidner Center for Performing Arts, free golfing at Shorewood Golf Course, basketball tickets and other prizes.

The luncheon will be held noon to 1 p.m. Tickets are $8 for students, $13 for faculty and staff and $14 for community members. Tickets are on sale at the University Ticketing and Information Center until  April 22 and can be purchased with cash, check, credit card or Pass or Dining Points.

Nguyen looks forward to speaking with the UWGB campus and community to help people — and himself — to think more deeply about not just food, but culture.

“I hope people leave with a full belly and a spark to start asking questions and to start learning more about each other,” Nguyen said. “Not only just Vietnamese culture, but there are other things that I would love to learn about other people; there are other underrepresented groups that if we change how we ask the questions we can tease out a richer conversation.”

Intertribal Student Council celebrates culture, tradition

Members of the Intertribal Student Council hopes to emphasize the importance of culture through a Pow Wow April 13 from 1-10 p.m. in the Kress Events Center.

A Pow Wow is a religious or social gathering. In this case, it’s a social gathering for old and new friends and family to get together. At this 16th annual Pow Wow, everyone is welcome.

Members from various tribal communities all over Wisconsin and the Midwest will arrive for the gathering.

Alan Caldwell, limited term academic advisor, is helping guide Intertribal Student Council students with the planning of this event. He describes it as a cultural activity to showcase aspects of different communities.

Caldwell has been involved with Pow Wows across the U.S. and Canada as a veteran and dancer for 30 years. He describes the dancing experience as spiritual, physical and mental rejuvenation.

Although the first grand entry is not until 1 p.m., doors will open at 11 a.m. for vendors to begin selling.

Two grand entries will occur, at 1 and 7 p.m., where the dancers and color guards proceed into the dance arena.

The grand entries will begin with the host drum and the Potawatomi and Oneida color guards, which consist mostly of military veterans from the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam and Korea.

This year’s host drum will be the Young Bear Singers from Mandaree, North Dakota.

Following the color guards will be the head dancers: Donald Keeble and Chelsea Dodge, both UW-Green Bay students.

The rest of the dancers, such as the royalty and traditional dancers, follow the head dancers in.

A theme is announced each year, and this year’s theme is Honoring Our Children.

As a part of the theme, there will be two dances held in honor of the children.

The first dance is for children up to 9 years old, while the second dance acknowledges children ages 10 to 18. All children, native or non-native, are welcome to come to the dance floor during this time.

Several dances will be performed throughout the night honoring different people and traditions. The announcer will introduce descriptions of outfits, dancers and their culture.

According to Caldwell, pictures are allowed at the discretion of the dancers. Visitors should ask dancers before taking pictures of them. There are certain ceremonies where pictures are prohibited. Announcements will be made accordingly.

Caldwell suggests attendees take a picture with their eyes and their mind.

A feast will be served at 5 p.m. in the Mauthe Center. The feast is free and open to everyone. Roast beef, potatoes, carrots, wild rice casserole and strawberry shortcake will be served.

Event volunteers will bring carryout plates of food for the elders and disabled to the Kress Events Center as a sign of respect.

Various vendors will sell arts, crafts and food, including fried bread, wild rice and Indian tacos.

Donald Keeble, senior first nations studies major and head male dancer, hopes the Pow Wow will break stereotypes.

“Everything has a meaning within what we do at a Pow Wow,” Keeble said. “We want other students to have a good time and be able to experience some different culture in a good way.”

Sara Smith, senior first nations studies and biology major, and Jose Villa, sophomore finance major, are president and vice president of the Intertribal Student Council, respectively.

Smith and Villa both see the Pow Wow as an opportunity to educate students and other members of the community more about traditions and culture.

Caldwell expects approximately 300-400 attendees.

All students and members of the public are encouraged to stop by or stay all day free of charge.