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Top degree programs for veterans and active military

Transitioning the skills and knowledge gained during military service to a civilian career can be challenging. As a UW VETS Certified Campus, UW-Whitewater has been recognized for excellence in veteran education and supporting a successful transition. Degree programs through the College of Business and Economics can help translate those experiences, develop business acumen, and prepare veterans for a new challenge.

Dedicated veterans services staff are essential for assisting with Post-9/11 GI Bill, Wisconsin GI Bill, and other military education benefits, and UW-Whitewater has earned an outstanding reputation in this regard.

Aaron Kinney, prior U.S. Army Medical Service Corps Officer and current Doctorate of Business Administration candidate, relates, “A lot of schools say they have people to handle military benefits, but in my experience, UW-Whitewater really delivers. The staff was amazing at taking care of my GI Bill benefits — they literally walked me through the process each semester so that my benefits were in order with no interruptions or challenges.”

Veterans Benefits Coordinator Jan Nordin describes the meaning she finds in her work, saying, “I was basically a military brat. Both my family and my husband’s family were deeply committed to military service. I wasn’t able to serve in the Air Force as I’d hoped, so for me, this is another way to serve.”

In addition to personal attention, the College of Business and Economics delivers an exceptional education experience. As an AACSB-accredited school, the college is one of just five percent of business schools worldwide verified to meet this rigorous standard. It has also been ranked by US News & World Report, Princeton Review, Military Times and other respected sources as a top-performing institution.

Doctor of Business Administration student Aaron Kinney presented his dissertation defense. (UW-Whitewater photo/Heather Browning)

Doctorate of Business Administration candidate Aaron Kinney presents his dissertation defense in Hyland Hall on November 6, 2017. (UW-Whitewater photo/Heather Browning)

These outstanding programs are offered at a superior value. The flat-rate tuition for the online Bachelor of Business Administration and online Master of Business Administration programs is the same for all students — no matter if students are out-of-state, international, or from Wisconsin. Whether courses are completed on-campus or online, tuition is usually covered 100 percent by military benefits.

Online courses are especially well-suited to active military who must balance coursework with military obligations. UW-Whitewater has 20 years of experience delivering quality online content, and its online MBA was ranked 16th in the nation’s best online MBA programs by US News & World Report in 2017. UW-Whitewater offers 11 distinct MBA emphases, allowing students to personalize their education.

Environmental Safety and Health is a newly-available MBA emphasis. In addition to being in high demand, ESH careers provide the opportunity to manage complex environmental safety and health issues in the workplace. The College of Business and Economics also offers a fully online Master of Science in Environmental Safety and Health program that can be completed in about two years on a part-time schedule.

Whether students complete their degrees online or on-campus, they receive the same high-quality education and degree from an AACSB-accredited business school.

Associate Dean Paul Ambrose explains, “Because our online and on-campus courses use the same rigorous curriculum taught by the same full-time, Ph.D. faculty, our degrees do not differ based on format. Your transcript will not indicate how you completed classes.”

For those considering a doctoral degree, UW-Whitewater’s Doctorate of Business Administration program requires a one-weekend-a-month residency that allows for a balance between career, life, and education, while face-to-face instruction during the intensive weekend sessions helps students navigate the demanding curriculum. Students pay the same flat-rate tuition whether they live in Wisconsin or out-of-state.

Learn more about the College of Business and Economics’ degree programs and how to make the most of your military education benefits. Veterans, active military and U.S. Army Reserve/National Guard members may qualify for application fee waivers, as well as consideration of GMAT/GRE waivers. (Certification submittal, review and approval are required.)

UW-Chancellor Beverly Kopper presents student veterans and staff with an award she received from the UW System Board of Regents on behalf of the university, recognizing UW-Whitewater for its programming and support for veteran success.  Receiving the award from the Chancellor was Richard Harris, right, Veterans and Military Services Officer for UW-Whitewater.  UW-Whitewater observed Veterans Day with a ceremony and speakers on Friday, November 11, 2016.  (UW-Whitewater photo/Craig Schreiner) DIGITAL MANIPULATION OF PHOTOGRAPHS OTHER THAN NORMAL MINIMAL CROPPING AND TONING IS PROHIBITED., CREDIT PHOTOS: UW-WHITEWATER PHOTO/CRAIG SCHREINER

UW-Whitewater Chancellor Beverly Kopper presents student veterans and staff with an award she received from the UW System Board of Regents on behalf of the university, recognizing UW-Whitewater for its programming and support for veteran success. Receiving the award from the Chancellor was Richard Harris, right, Veterans and Military Services Officer for UW-Whitewater. UW-Whitewater observed Veterans Day with a ceremony and speakers on Friday, November 11, 2016. (UW-Whitewater photo/Craig Schreiner)

Red, white and blue cords are placed on a table in Kachel Gym for graduating seniors who are veterans.  The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater held its winter commencement ceremony on Saturday, December 17, 2016.  (UW-Whitewater photo/Craig Schreiner)

Red, white and blue cords are placed on a table in Kachel Gym for graduating seniors who are veterans. (UW-Whitewater photo/Craig Schreiner)

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Creating new business leaders at home and abroad

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater College of Business and Economics is committed to providing exceptional internship opportunities, including both regional and international work experiences. These experiences are critical avenues for ensuring students are career-ready, as well as helping to develop the global perspective in high demand by employers.

Senior accounting major Karley Kolberg can attest to the transformative nature of both regional internships and international work experiences. Kolberg transferred to UW-Whitewater from Loyola University Maryland after her first semester freshman year. Despite this detour, Kolberg did not miss a beat academically. In fact, she is on track to graduate in three-and-a-half years.

transformative nature of both regional internships and international work experiences. (UW-Whitewater photo/ Jonathon Kelley)

Senior accounting major Karley Kolberg relates her experiences with local and international internships through the UW-Whitewater College of Business and Economics. (UW-Whitewater photo/Jonathon Kelley)

Kolberg also showed early initiative by exploring internship opportunities while still a sophomore. When attending her first career fair, her goals were to make contacts and polish her networking skills. However, her meeting with Megan Long and Karie Larson, representatives of Kerry, led to a formal interview and an internship offer for her junior year.

This first Kerry internship was in master data management, which falls under the company’s commercial finance department. Master data management governs data company-wide and drives business intelligence and analytics.

“It was overwhelming in the beginning,” Kolberg admits. “My work was project-based, and I was asked to lead projects right from the start. It also required some pretty advanced Excel functions that I wasn’t familiar with, yet. Everyone was very supportive and helpful, though.”

After a successful internship with Kerry, she was offered a position throughout the academic year. The international company was in the midst of a multi-year transition to SAP enterprise resource planning software. Kolberg, who is minoring in Spanish, was given the opportunity to work as a data steward for the Latin America product data transition.

In the summer of 2017, she was presented with an international internship opportunity related to the Latin America SAP transition. She was one of three employees from Kerry’s Beloit, Wisconsin facility to visit the facility in San Juan del Rio, Mexico.

“It was an awesome experience!” Kolberg shares. “I was really busy with project work when I was there. I felt like I had a purpose and that I was making a contribution.”

The international internship also boosted Kolberg’s self-confidence. Though she had expected cultural and language barriers, she experienced very few difficulties. In fact, one of her greatest takeaways was the benefit of meeting other members of the Latin America data transition team.

“I realized how important it is to build relationships,” she states. “The more people you know, the more knowledge you have.”

Kolberg was ultimately offered a full-time position with Kerry’s master data management team, which she will start after she graduates this December. Having participated in the planning stages, she looks forward to the execution of Kerry’s Latin America SAP transition and rollout of future phases.

Kolberg noted that Kerry’s culture is both demanding and rewarding.

She explains, “I was challenged to do more than I may have thought was possible, but it helped me to quickly build my skills, expertise and confidence.”

Reflecting on her experience at UW-Whitewater, she adds, “The rigorous and challenging nature of the accounting program definitely helped prepare me to be successful at Kerry.”

Commenting on UW-Whitewater and the international experience opportunity Kolberg’s manager, Megan Long, states, “UW-Whitewater has proven to be a great source of talent for our business needs over the years. We find internship opportunities are an effective way for both the intern and the company to determine whether the role or the company are a fit.”

She adds, “Our finding is that when providing short-term international opportunities such as Karley’s, the world becomes a smaller place and employees often experience growth in confidence, critical thinking, communication and career progression opportunities.”’

Karley Kolberg (second from right) and Kerry colleagues stand in front of the monument of doña Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez in the Plaza de la Corregidora in Queretaro City, Mexico. Kolberg had the opportunity to sightsee during an international internship at Kerry’s facility in San Juan del Rio, Mexico.

Kolberg (second from right) and Kerry colleagues stand in front of the monument of Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez in the Plaza de la Corregidora in Queretaro City, Mexico. Kolberg had the opportunity to sight-see during an international internship at Kerry’s facility in San Juan del Rio, Mexico.

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College partners with Ireland-based Kerry to enhance student opportunities

Members of the UW-Whitewater student organization Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) visit Kerry in Beloit, Wisconsin, on Friday, Oct. 6. (Photo: Anthony Wahl)

Members of the UW-Whitewater student organization Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) visit Kerry in Beloit, Wisconsin, on Oct. 6. (Photo: Anthony Wahl)

The College of Business and Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater today announced a new strategic partnership with Kerry, the taste and nutrition company headquartered in Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland.

Both parties have signed a letter of intent, which forms the framework to promote cooperation and shared goals in the following areas:  faculty/staff engagement, student engagement, internships, recruitment, university financial support and continued learning.

John Chenoweth, Dean of the College of Business and Economics, states, “We’re pleased and excited to have Kerry as a strategic partner. The participation of business leaders and corporate partners is critical to the success of the college and our students. They help ensure our curriculum and learning outcomes are relevant in a fast-changing business world. It also ensures our graduating students are marketable and career-ready.”

Mike Gransee, Global Chief Procurement and Risk Management Officer from Kerry’s Beloit, Wisconsin location, relates, “The partnership is a natural extension of our existing relationship. Kerry and the College of Business and Economics share the values of commitment, teamwork, excellence, entrepreneurship and value creation. In addition, as a community stakeholder, we feel a responsibility to help prepare students for the world that awaits them.”

With locations across six continents, Kerry is uniquely positioned to help students prepare for the global workplace.

“Kerry has people on the ground in more than 50 countries,” Gransee shares, “and we understand the importance of diversity and international perspective. Quite simply, professionals who understand the world outside their own national boundaries have a distinct advantage.”

Chenoweth agrees, saying, “We recognize international experiences are critical to the personal and professional success of our students. For this reason, we’re committed to promoting a range of opportunities—including international internships, study abroad and travel study courses—that develop the skills and global mindset employers value.”

Kerry also looks forward to continuing to hire UW-Whitewater graduates.

“Recruitment is an intensive endeavor,” Gransee explains, “and finding candidates with the right skill and culture fit is especially tough. Kerry prides itself on being a challenging but highly rewarding place to work. We keep returning to UW-Whitewater’s College of Business and Economics because their students and graduates have the work ethic, skills and knowledge base needed to excel here.”

This formal partnership is the first of its kind at the college, and important to its overall strategic priorities.

“By earning the respect and backing of corporate partners, alumni and other benefactors, and with sound management of our fiscal resources, we’re able to fund world-class faculty, cutting-edge technology and exceptional student experiences with minimal draw on the University of Wisconsin System.”

About Kerry

Kerry provides the largest, most innovative portfolio of Taste & Nutrition technologies and systems and Functional Ingredients & Actives for the global food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. The consumer foods division, Kerry Foods, is also a leading consumer foods processor and supplier in selected EU markets. Kerry’s industry leading technologies are backed by the industry’s most robust in-house processing capabilities and expertise to address manufacturing challenges and help customers design winning consumer products.

Junior accounting student Joseph Barrett smiles as members of the student organization Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) participate and listen to a panel discussion during their visit to Kerry. (Photo: Anthony Wahl)

Junior accounting student Joseph Barretto smiles as members of the student organization Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) participate and listen to a panel discussion during their visit to Kerry in Beloit, Wisconsin, on Oct. 6. (Photo: Anthony Wahl)

Members of the UW-Whitewater student organization Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) learn about the Taste and Nutrition Discovery Center during a tour of Kerry Ingredients & Flavours Inc. in Beloit, Wisconsin, on Friday, Oct. 6.

Members of the UW-Whitewater Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) learn about the Taste and Nutrition Discovery Center during a tour of Kerry. (Photo: Anthony Wahl)

Freshman accounting and French major Nayeli Govantes Alcantar suits up in the mandatory jacket, hairnet and glasses before entering the research and development facility at Kerry in Beloit, Wisconsin, on Friday, Oct. 6. (Photo: Anthony Wahl)

Freshman accounting and French major Nayeli Govantes Alcantar suits up in the mandatory jacket, hairnet and glasses before entering Kerry’s research and development facility in Beloit, Wisconsin. (Photo: Anthony Wahl)

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Final lap: Completing a BBA online while fulfilling a NASCAR dream

The College of Business and Economics offers its AACSB-accredited Bachelor of Business Administration degree 100 percent online. With rigorous curriculum, award-winning faculty specifically trained in online teaching, value-driven tuition, and engaging online platform, we can help you reach your goals with a program that fits your life. Learn how to complete your BBA degree online today.

 


Final lap: Completing a BBA online while living a NASCAR dream

Greg Ebert was just 12 credits away from earning his undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater when he got the chance of a lifetime to pursue his love of NASCAR racing.

Greg has fond memories of UW-Whitewater, where he pursued a Bachelor of Administration in general management at the College of Business and Economics. He formed lifelong friendships living in the Knilans residence hall and later sharing an apartment with nine other young men. He also worked as a Resident Adviser, went to football games and was even on homecoming court.

But one of his longtime friends got a job with Roush Fenway Racing, and during his senior year, Greg had the chance to interview for a travel mechanic position with the company’s NASCAR truck team in Michigan.

When he got the call offering him the job, he was torn.

After a lengthy hiatus, NASCAR car chief Greg Ebert ‘11 finished his undergraduate degree through the UW-Whitewater online BBA program. (RCR/HHP photo)

After a lengthy hiatus, NASCAR car chief Greg Ebert ‘11 finished his undergraduate degree through the UW-Whitewater online BBA program. (RCR/HHP photo)

He explained, “I felt like I had to go for it, but it was an extremely difficult conversation with my parents. They had been paying half my tuition, and at first, they told me I couldn’t quit.”

Greg’s brother, Brian, intervened, however. Their father had owned a race car, and racing had been a family affair. Greg worked on Nathan Haseleu’s Late Model team and crisscrossed the state on the short track circuit as well. Brian cautioned his parents that they would be cheating the whole family out of a dream.

In the end, Greg’s parents gave him their reluctant blessing with one caveat: he had to promise to eventually finish his degree.

To ensure he could keep that promise, he worked with UW-Whitewater administration and advising to fully understand his status and what would happen with his credits. He finished out the semester, packed his belongings and moved to Michigan to start a new life.

The next eight-and-a-half years sped by. He lived in Michigan for two years, until the truck team moved to North Carolina. He followed them south to stay in truck racing for two more years, enjoying his first big national wins with the team. He switched to one of the Roush Fenway cup racing teams in 2005. By the end of that year, he was promoted to car chief, or lead mechanic, and stayed in that position until the end of 2009.

Greg and Roush Fenway Racing parted ways in 2009; however, Roush Fenway helped Greg get a job with Richard Petty Motorsports. He was with Richard Petty Motorsports through the end of 2016.

But at the end of 2009, in the gap between working for Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports, Greg had gone home to spend Christmas in North Carolina with his wife, Chelsie, and 11-month-old son, Brady. Chelsie asked him what he was going to do when he was done with racing, and reminded him of his promise to finish his degree.

Taking Chelsie’s words to heart, Greg called the UW-Whitewater admissions office early in January 2010. They helped him enroll in the online BBA program before the spring semester began.

He eased in by taking one class at a time, but after a nearly nine-year hiatus, it was still an adjustment.

He admitted, “Finishing my degree with 50 to 70-hour work weeks, a brutal travel schedule, and a one-year-old at home was probably a bigger challenge than I’d expected. It took a lot of discipline and time management to make it work.”

Greg completed his credit requirements and graduated on May 18, 2011, to the delight of his wife and parents.

Greg has been working for the Richard Childress Racing team as a car chief since January 2017.

Though he has not worked in a traditional setting, he has applied his business education in his career. The team is run as a business, and Greg is responsible for managing people, time and other resources.

He explained, “I’m in charge of the other four or five guys that work on the car. It’s my responsibility to teach people and guide them while making sure projects get done in timely fashion.”

There is a lot on the line if the car is not ready to race.

“It’s a huge responsibility as a car chief,” he said. “Between equipment costs, travel costs, sponsorships and prize money, there might be a half-million to a million dollars at stake for one team on one race weekend.”

Reflecting on the last 16 years, Greg has no regrets that he pursued his dream when he had the chance, but he is also glad that the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater offers an excellent online undergraduate program so that he could finish his degree and keep his promise to his parents.

“It’s never too late,” he urged. “The UW-Whitewater online program is easy to navigate and it’s user-friendly. The professors are really great when you have questions. They’re prompt and responsive to emails. If you can’t get back to campus, you can still finish your degree.”

Learn how to reach your goals through the online BBA program from the College of Business and Economics.

Despite 50 to 70-hour work weeks, 38 weekends of travel a year, and a one-year-old son at home, Ebert completed his degree in less than 18 months. Greg, right, is pictured with Matt Hien 'xx, left, friend Clint Anderson, and Ryan Helser 'xx in Kansas City, Kansas on May 9, 2015.

Despite 50 to 70-hour work weeks, 38 weekends of travel a year, and a one-year-old son at home, Ebert completed his degree in less than 18 months. Greg, right, is pictured with fellow UW-Whitewater alumnus Matt Hein ’01, left, friend Clint Anderson, and UW-Whitewater alumnus Ryan Helser ’02 in Kansas City, Kansas on May 9, 2015.

Ebert shares, “It’s not desk job or an office job, but I’ve used a lot of what I learned in my classes at UW-Whitewater. Being a car chief requires a lot of management.” Ebert, left is pictured talking with Robert Stramiska as they fine-tune a Talladega car in Alabama. (RCR/HHP photo)

Ebert shares, “It’s not desk job or an office job, but I’ve used a lot of what I learned in my classes at UW-Whitewater. Being a car chief requires a lot of management.” Ebert, left is pictured talking with Robert Stramiska as they fine-tune a Talladega car in Alabama. (RCR/HHP photo)

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CyberGirlz Assemble at UW-Whitewater

Christina Outlay, associate professor of information technology and supply chain management, has a mission, but it is not secret. She is helping develop a new generation of tech superheroes through the CyberGirlz camp program. With a disproportionately small number of women in IT and computing careers, Outlay is doing what she can to spark girls’ interest in these STEM fields.

The 2017 CyberGirlz camp was held July 18th and 19th at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade girls flooded the campus with their excitement and laughter. They had the opportunity to experience classrooms and labs in Hyland Hall, get a taste of hardware, engineering and programming projects, and learn about tech careers.

Outlay’s energy is focused on building students up and encouraging them not to let obstacles become roadblocks.

Seventh-grade students, enjoying the "Parent Dectector" activity in a Hyland Hall computer lab. (©UW-Whitewater/Craig Schreiner)

Seventh-grade students enjoy building a “Parent Detector” video system. (UW-Whitewater photo/Craig Schreiner)

As the seventh-graders kicked off the “Parent Detector” project using hand-held Raspberry Pi computers, infrared motion sensors, and Python programming, she reminded them, “If something goes wrong, we fix it. If we can’t fix it, we work around it. We don’t panic.”

Similar to previous years, each grade group had a slightly different agenda. They witnessed technology at work at the UWW TV/radio station, the CoBE media studio, and UW-Whitewater campus police station. They even went on a campus tour, visited a residence hall, and ate at Esker dining hall.

Learning modules included mobile app development, building and programming robots, Internet safety and security, computer hardware and software, Scratch and Python programming, introductions to HTML and CSS, and for the eighth-graders, a focus on entrepreneurship. The eighth-grade girls were asked to think of a business idea, and by the end of the two-day program, they created and presented a website for it.

A new addition to the camp program, meeperBOTS, was a runaway favorite with the girls. Meeper Technology, located in Whitewater, Wisconsin, develops fun, engaging toys that encourage STEM activities like robotics and coding.

Ancha Barry reacts to a meeperBOT vehicle she and her sister are operating at Cybergirlz technology camp. (©UW-Whitewater/Craig Schreiner)

Ancha Barry reacts to a meeperBOT vehicle she and her sister are operating at CyberGirlz technology camp. (UW-Whitewater photo/Craig Schreiner)

CEO Liz Eversoll introduced Meeper Technology and the project to the girls, while Meghan Konopacki and Brayden Mitchell helped them pair and control the meeperBOTS. Eversoll explained the breadth of expertise required to make a tech product like meeperBOTS, and connected this to the wide range of STEM careers.

She related, “I was the only female in many of my college computer science classes. It’s wonderful to see dozens of girls excited about robotics, coding, and building. It’s important we foster and grow this interest in STEM so that these young girls can design, code and build our next generation of products providing an important perspective and input that is lacking today. Girls with STEM skills will also realize the economic benefits of tech careers and help fill our national tech skills gap.”

Describing the girls’ reception of the activity, Outlay said, “At the start of the second day of camp, we always ask the girls to review the activities from the previous day. When asked what their favorite activity was, the girls enthusiastically shouted out, ‘meeperBOTS!’”

When asked about her future plans for the CyberGirlz program, Outlay shared, “CyberGirlz is supported largely through sponsorship and donations. One of our goals is to make sure that the camp is financially sustainable for many years to come, especially as we add upgraded technologies and greater staffing needs each year, but still low-cost and accessible to as many girls as possible. I’m also focused on increasing the diversity of girls who attend the camp. Women are in short supply in the IT field; women of color are even more rare. Finally, my biggest goal is to get and keep the girls excited about IT and coming back each year — hopefully, enough for them to foster that love of computing through high school and college, and ultimately, into an IT career.”

The CyberGirlz program began at UW-Whitewater in 2008, and Outlay has run the program since Fall 2015. Outlay’s passion projects also include colorcoded, which strives to increase the number of minority and low-income youth participating in computing. As recently as 2014, women represented only 26 percent of the computing workforce; minority women represent less than four percent.

©UW-Whitewater/Craig Schreiner

UW-Whitewater senior Sonia Kalmogo, in purple shirt, high fives girls in her group at a CyberGirlz camp on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 in Hyland Hall after they assembled components of a computer on the desktop in the middle. (UW-Whitewater photo/Craig Schreiner)

©UW-Whitewater/Craig Schreiner

Campers in CyberGirlz technology camp use toy bricks to build robotic vehicles on platforms provided by Meeper Technologies of Whitewater. (UW-Whitewater photo/Craig Schreiner)

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