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Grads find careers at alma mater

teacher

Photo by Cheyenne Makinia/Fourth Estate

Assistant professor of political science Aaron Weinschenk, right, lectures his American government class. Weinschenk applied for numerous professing jobs across the country before settling at UWGB.

Christopher Johnson , News Writer
October 31, 2013
Filed under News, Top Stories

Many UW-Green Bay graduates are finding their way back to campus for employment.

In fact, 161 of the 556 full-time workers currently employed by UWGB are graduates of this institution, which is just under 30 percent, according to UWGB’s Human Resources Department.

UWGB Human Resources Director Sheryl Van Gruensven said administrative support staff, academic professional staff and a few faculty professors comprise the bulk of employees who hold degrees from the school.

“For all of our permanent positions we are an AA/EEO (Affirmative Action/ Equal Employment Opportunity)employer,” Van Gruensven said, “so we have established hiring procedures that we must follow for all of our searches.”

Van Gruensven said this may be common because they worked

here as a student employee and had an opportunity to learn some skills and knowledge in areas where they’ve applied for jobs, which may have helped them in the hiring process.

Van Gruensven said some departments may boast several graduates of UWGB because they possess the knowledge and skills that are needed for the jobs, not because of any trends towards hiring its own.

Aaron Weinschenk, assistant professor of political science, is in his first semester teaching at UWGB.

A 2007 UWGB graduate with degrees in political science and public administration, Weinschenk said he never forgot his experience as a student here.

“I know what it’s like to be a student here,” Weinschenk said. “I always tell my students ‘I went here. I’m proud I went here. I know about the quality of the education that you’re going to get. I wouldn’t come back here and teach if I didn’t believe that this was a good place with a solid reputation that produces good students.’”

After interviewing at various places across the country, Weinschenk said this was the one that felt like the best fit.

“I have family here because I’m originally from the area, and this is just such a nice place to work,” Weinschenk said. “The faculty support you get from other members in your department is just great. It’s just a good environment to be in, I think most people who work here would agree with that.”

Having a great experience with the faculty while he was a student also made coming back that much more appealing, Weinschenk said.

“To be able to come back and potentially create that same experience for other students is exciting,” Weinschenk said. “it’s always exciting to go back to the place you came from with some new knowledge and try to make it better.”

Amy Mauk also graduated from UWGB in 2007 with a bachelors of arts in communication processes and minors in corporation communications and human development.

The Area Coordinator of Residence Life, Mauk said she always wanted to return to her roots as a Phoenix.

“UWGB has always had a special place in my heart,” Mauk said. “I enjoyed my experience as a student and resident while I lived on campus. I wanted to return in a role that would help make an impact on the students’ experiences so that they, too,  would grow to love UWGB.”

For future graduates who may also seek employment here, Mauk said to remain patient.

“You may not be hired right after graduation, but don’t give up hope,” Mauk said. “Spend time acquiring experience elsewhere while keeping an eye out for the perfect opportunity at UWGB to arise.”

Student Service Specialist Kristina Berg graduated from UWGB in 2012 with a degree in communication.

Berg said she decided to stay at the school after serving as a student worker in the admissions department.

“I loved what I did and I liked the people here,” Berg said. “There was an opportunity available and I applied for it.”

Originally from the Milwaukee area, Berg said she now prefers Green Bay.

“I like it because this is where I grew up with college,” Berg said. “I have my favorite places in town and all of my college friends still live in Green Bay. I wanted to go into the event planning and marketing side of communications, so I thought this would be a stepping stone into that, and getting involved with the marketing for admissions with the university.”