Heather Hagen ’07 propelled by her love of helping people

GREEN BAY—Heather Hagen’s success in the Social Work field was fueled by her success at UW-Green Bay, her love for helping others, and her determination to be a rise above life’s challenges.

Hagen received her Bachelor’s degree from UW-Green Bay in 2007. Growing up in the small town of New London, she chose to attend UW-Green Bay because it felt like home from the start.

“I wanted to remain close to my family, yet far enough away to be independent and face new challenges on my own. UW-Green bay had everything I could ask for.”

Originally focusing on going into the education field, a variety of experiences helped her realize that social work would be a better fit for her skills and passion.

“I enjoyed the one-on-one interactions that social work offered and the wide variety of professions that were available through this field. I knew that helping others reach their goals was something that came naturally to me in my personal life and working in the social work field was the right path for me.”

While attending UW-Green Bay, Hagen wasn’t hesitant about jumping in and getting involved. She volunteered with Habitat for Humanity where she went on two spring break trips. She also served in the position of Volunteer Coordinator for the Social Work Club in which she participated in a variety of community projects. She interned at Door County Departments of Human Services, assisting elderly individuals that helped them remain living independently, and she was an intern with Transitional Living Program at Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin, aiding homeless and at-risk youth learn independent living skills.

Shortly after graduating, she married her husband Wes, and the moved to Portland, Oregon where she worked in the transitional living program, helping young adults with significant mental health concerns learn the skills that are necessary to live independently. A little over a year later, she and her husband joined the Peace Corps and moved to Tanzania. While in Tanzania, she worked as a Health Education Volunteer while her husband worked in the Environmental program.

UW-Green Bay was very successful in preparing Hagen for her professional success. She was given the technical knowledge she needed for her job, and through her internships she was able to obtain a real-world experience. She currently supervises a program that assists adults with developmental disabilities to obtain and maintain community employment.

“Our program walks clients through every step of the process, from assessment to determine if they are ready to work, to resume writing, job search, on the job training and ongoing support.”

She also manages a contract with a local county to provide intensive case management to their Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) participants. She enjoys her job because every day is a different day, and it pushes her to be a better person.

“No two days are the same and I really get to be creative when trying to problem-solve issues that our clients face. I enjoy being part of a team that is always trying new ideas and doesn’t want to be stagnant in our work. I am challenged and encouraged to be a better person every day.”

This feature was not officially published, but was put together on Feb. 23, 2016, based on the interview questions provided for me. I do not take complete credit on this feature.


CSWEA recognized Matthew Nichols for Academic Excellence Award

Central States Water Environment Association (CSWEA) recognized Matthew Nichols on receiving the 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient for University of Wisconsin – Green Bay.

The CSWEA presents an Academic Excellence Award to a student from each university with a recognized Graduate Program in Environmental Engineering in the state, which is to host the annual meeting. Nominations are made by the faculty of the engineering department.

From the city of Wausau, Nichols was inspired to come to UW-Green Bay because of skiing, the academic programs, and environment-friendly atmosphere. He is the captain of UWGB’s NCAA Division I Nordic Ski Team. Nichols will graduate this upcoming May with a Bachelor’s in Chemistry and Environmental Engineering. He aspires to work in a water and wastewater treatment field after he graduates.

The award will be presented during the banquet at the 89th Annual Meeting, which will be held at the Monona Terrace in Madison, WI. The banquet will be held during the evening on Thursday, May 19, 2016. The award includes a paid one-year student membership in CSWEA, complimentary conference registration, lunch and dinner on May 19th, one night’s lodging, $50.00 for expenses, plus a $250 cash award.

This feature was not officially published, but was written on March 15, 2016.
Check out his success as a skier qualifying for NCAA Nationals or his Bio

Students and Community Service: Making an Impact

GREEN BAY – University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has a highly motivated and active student community. In the school year of 2012-13 there was a record breaking of 17,035 total hours volunteered. The following academic year 14,000 hours was dedicated to community service.

From workshops and lectures, social activities, and service projects, the Office of Student Life provides many and varied opportunities for students to become involved. In the 2014-15 academic year there were approximately 124 student organizations that were supported. The service-centered student organizations include Circle K International, Habitat for Humanity, Green Bay Phoenix Optimist Club, Healthy Helping Hand, Oxfam America, Phoenix Philanthropy Club and the Red Cross. Other student groups that conduct service projects and fund-raisers are Greek organizations and Residence Life. Among the agencies serviced were:

  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters
  • The Children’s Museum
  • Freedom House
  • Girl Scouts
  • Golden House
  • Highway Cleanup
  • Paul’s Pantry
  • National Railroad Museum
  • Wildlife Sanctuary

In fall of 2015 the Community Fair brought dozens of agencies including Bay Area Human Society, Sexual Assault Center and Freedom House together, along with 350 students who participated. Also in fall 2015, UWGB hosted its third Color Run, bringing 5,000 visitors and raising over $18,000 for various organizations which helps pay for service activities. More than 800 students and community members volunteered in the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run/Walk in December 2015. For Make a Difference Day, over 300 students, faculty and staff volunteered 1,000 hours of service at several sites including Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, Baird Creek, St. Vincent de Paul and the Green Bay Botanical Garden. The group also partook in Volunteer Center’s “Neighborhood Volunteer Connection” which delivered 5,000 letters throughout Green Bay to recruit volunteers to assist seniors and people with disabilities.

Along with campus organizations, there are other various activities happening such as UWGB Nites. This late-night program is held in the Union and happens one weekend night per month. Often times a service project such as making cards for veterans or designing T-shirts for Domestic Violence Awareness will take place. The total attendance for UWGB Nites in 2014-15 was about 2,025.

Campus Kitchen is an organization that’s reducing food waste while feeding the hungry in the community. This organization made big accomplishments over the 2014-15 school year. About 222 students dedicated over 500 volunteer hours to recover 1,544 pounds of food. This recovered food created and distributed 916 meals to members of the community.

Since September, Campus Cupboard, a student organization that helps provide food and other essentials to students and community members in need, has provided services to 75 students—filling a total of 84 brown paper bags.

This press release was not officially published, but was written on March 1, 2016.
Check out the Campus Cupboard feature.