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Student Launch Program President Kelsie Engelhardt Finds ‘Safe Harbor’

There may still be those “old fashioned” types out there. Preferring that higher education stick to the “three Rs” of reading, writing and arithmetic. Kelsi Engelhardt Forged Her Own Path Embracing the ‘Three Cs’ –community, connection and caring.

She isn’t worried about the under-representation of technical skills in the Engelhardt family. “My eldest sister has all the talent for numbers, she is a senior analyst of strategic information.” The middle sister finds a middle ground between the two, launching a career in industrial psychology and social services. And no worries, success is assured. All three are graduates of UW-Green Bay.

Kelsi Englehardt ’22 Psychology Student Lecturer, Spring Commencement ’22

The achievements of Kelsi Engelhardt? Long and audible. But an impressive resume doesn’t begin to tell its story. As Professor and Chair of Psychology Georjeanna Wilson-Doenges says, “The accomplishment that really sets Kelsi apart is her obvious passion for advocating for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence at Safe Harbor in Sheboygan.”

Her story began in her home in Sheboygan. His reasons for going to college at UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan campus are familiar. “I wanted to stay close to home and save some money while I figured out what I wanted to do for my career.”

She enjoyed research, taking a range of courses. “I thought I might want to teach biology or become a nurse or even an actress.” She made the most of every opportunity the Sheboygan campus had to offer, from being a peer tutor to being a paid stage manager for college theater.

Then, with an associate’s degree in hand and only two weeks into her first semester at Green Bay, “I took a huge leap of faith. I dropped out of my biology class and took two psychology classes instead. She never looked back.

Since then, her accomplishments have been impressive: reference editor for a professor’s manuscript; peer-counsellor for the psychology department; production assistant with the Psychology & Stuff podcast; design their own research study as a specialized project; join a research team whose results were accepted into the Research in the Rotunda conference at the Capitol in Madison and the 2022 Midwestern Psychological Association (MPA) conference in Chicago where she won a regional research award.

Engelhardt was also recently nominated for the UW-Green Bay Psychology Rock Star Award, the highest student award in a department of nearly 900 psychology majors.

For some, these accolades could represent a “ticket out of town” and on to bigger and shinier things. But for Engelhardt, his heart is inexorably tied to his home community and to Safe Harbor.

One reason was that Engelhardt’s grandmother, Mary Kalk, a longtime member and former president of Wisconsin NOW (National Women’s Organization) in the 1980s, was instrumental in founding Safe Harbor. . “She is still a huge inspiration to me,” adds Engelhardt.

But Kelsi Engelhardt’s connection to Safe Harbor was even more personal.

“I always wanted to work for them because I was a victim in the past. They were the advocates who worked with me and changed my life.

The incident happened in high school. She simply calls it “a date gone wrong. A lawyer from Safe Harbor came to the hospital, was very supportive and helped me through the healing process. It was a sexual assault. It took me a while to get used to it.”

Fast forward seven years and an opportunity to give back.

“I got my foot in the door with an internship. My supervisor saw a lot of potential in me. I was offered a part-time job and now a full-time position.

Even now, she wonders if that past victimization has also spurred her interest in psychology. “Psychology was something that I knew would allow me to work with people. I also wanted to understand the way people thought, navigated and experienced the world the way they did.

What also inspired her was the support she found throughout her journey.

“The people I met in Green Bay and Sheboygan are what made my college career what it was. I just want to thank the people in my life who have helped and supported me, because without them I couldn’t have done this.

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