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Commending Comm Week

February 9, 2017

UW-Green Bay made its first ever Communication Week, also known as Comm Week, with over 180 people came out and attended the events, that led this to become a major success.

Comm Week celebrates the past, present, and future of UW-Green Bay’s Communication Department. This week long celebration allowed current Comm students to gain experience to speak and interact with alumni and professionals in their career field. Professor Clampitt, Communication Chair, envisioned the idea of Comm Week to re-connect past alumni and current Comm Students through insight and participation.

Comm Week started off strong on Monday, January 30th with an attendance of over 60 students for the “Comm One Comm All” event. There the students represented their emphasis. To name a few were: Journalism, Mass Media, and Public Relations. Many other events included: Capstone Preview, Alumni & Professor Tell All panel, guest speakers, FREE Social Media Workshop, and much more. At the last event, on Thursday night, February 2nd ended with the Banquet.

The Alumni & Professor Tell All was a panel of alumni and professors made up of Professor Clampitt, Professor Froelich, Nick Rudd, and Dylan Buboltz. The panel was an hour long, filled with well received advice in both career path and insight of the real world outside of UWGB.

Nick Rudd, a social media specialist, advised graduates to do their research, to put work into their job search, and to examine the company’s background. Through this, the graduates can know for themselves if they are a qualified candidate and if the job is suitable for them. Nick Rudd also advised students to be confident and self-aware and “to get ready for teamwork.”

Dylan Buboltz, onboarding specialist, suggests for graduates to utilized their professors. To feel free to ask for help from experts and advice. He also advised for students to take on responsibility, time manage, communicate effectively, and to think not just strategy but strategically as well. 

The event kicked off from Monday with “Comm One and Comm All” event to Thursday night, ended with the banquet has left a huge impression for current Comm students and well equipped for what is to come after graduation. The event left students outside of the program well-informed of the communication field and the programs held at UW-Green Bay.

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Home Away from Home

February 21, 2017

Taken in Thailand National Park right before they came to America. Kaying
Aged 1 (at left) See Lor aged 20 (middle) Xeng Thao aged 26 (at right)

In the year of 1980, on May 7, Xeng Thao and See Lor arrived from a plane to a foreign land, called America. They were Hmong refugees who came to this strange foreign land with only the clothes on their back, special documents, their passport, and their 1-year-old son Kaying.

The Hmong people originated between Laos and Thailand. One of the many events in history where the Hmong were involved in was the ‘Secret War’ also known as ‘The Vietnam War’. This piece of history was not revealed out to the general public that the Hmong people served as soldiers for the United States. Once the Americans decided to pull out from the war. General Vang Pao, an important figure in the Royal Lao Army and leader of the Hmong American community in the United States discussed with the United States officials to help the soldiers who served during the war from being killed by the enemy since the Hmong at the time were considered as outside foreigners. Afterwards, the United States and other countries received a large sum of Hmong living in their community. This caused an outcry and confusion to the Americans, wondering and asking who are the Hmong people and why are they here.

Xeng Thao was 26 years old, at the time, and a soldier who served the ‘Vietnam War’ and brought his wife and child to live in the United States. “At the time, there was no place to go” he says. “A place where there was a better opportunity than where he grew up on a farm. Challenges to overcome and a place they needed to go.” They first arrived in Denver, Colorado and adjusted to their new life staying with See’s cousin, Lor Lue, another Hmong refugee who was sponsored by the church. Xeng and See shared many concerns such as not knowing the language and having no previous education on the customs of American society.  

The challenges to overcome were to learn English and adjust to the new accustoms of American society. One incident was when See happened to be pregnant with her second child, while Xeng, at the time, earned his income working in factories with limited English. They all had difficulty adjusting according with their situation. Xeng had to support this wife and growing family as See had difficulty finding a way to the hospital and speaking with the medical professionals. Due to their limited English and the language barrier, in Wisconsin, at the time, had a better supportive English learning program, so they decided to move to Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Xeng Thao says he has adjusted living here in Green Bay because of his children. He has adapted for his children to strive for a better education. See Lor also mentions that she was able to adjust for her children as well. “For my children so then they don’t have to work as hard as we did to raise them” she says. “So then they don’t have to worry as much about other things.”

Xeng Thao and See Lor have adjusted to their new lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin with their six children. Xeng is a huge Packer fan and enjoys being able to fish as he once did back in his homeland. See enjoys gardening and attending local farmer’s market where is she can enjoy her leisure time being out in nature.

After thirty plus years, there have been number of times where Xeng and See would often think about their homeland. They wish to see the land change and grow, similar to the changes they see here in Green Bay. They’ve missed and/or have lost contact with their living relatives who had stayed behind. They hoped to one day go back to their homeland and see their family come together again.