Six COEHS seniors to be honored with Chancellor's Award for Excellence
Six senior COEHS students who exemplify high academic and leadership qualities and a deep commitment to serving others will be recognized at the May 17 Commencement ceremonies as recipients of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence.
The criteria for this award include academic performance, University-related service and community involvement. The 2014 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence recipients from the COEHS are:
Jonathan Delray graduates with majors in music education and vocal performance. Recognized as a trusted leader by his peers, Delray served as the president of the Chamber Choir for four years, a piano tutor and as a community adviser for the Department of Residence Life. He also served as an assistant conductor for the University Choir, as the founder, conductor and music director for the Oshkosh Correctional Facility’s Second Chance Choir and as the president of Students for Music. Delray’s musicianship is extraordinary; he played many lead roles in opera theatre and earned three of the music department’s top scholarships in performance, music education and service.
Eric Jenks graduates with a major in human services leadership. Jenks was involved with the Department of Residence Life through a role as a community adviser and as the Alcohol and Other Drugs Representative for the United Students in Residence Halls. He served also as the public relations representative for the Human Services Leadership Organization and on the Social Justice Steering Committee. Passionate about inclusivity, Jenks was an intern for the LGBTQ Resource Center. Jenks volunteers at the Day by Day Warming Shelter, with Cerebral Palsy of Mideast Wisconsin and as a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee; he has also participated in Hands on Oshkosh during each of his years at UW Oshkosh and has participated in an alternative spring break trip to Louisiana to assist at a Habitat for Humanity build site.
Derek Johnsrud graduates with a major in elementary and special education. On campus, Johnsrud held several leadership roles, including as president of Taylor, Webster and Donner Halls, as treasurer of Athletes in Action and as a member of the Optimist Club. Additionally, Johnsrud served as the 2013-14 Homecoming King. Beyond his dedication as a child-centered teacher in training, Johnsrud also gave of his time as a volunteer to Father Carr’s shelter, the Christine Ann Center, the annual Hands on Oshkosh volunteering initiative and to the students at Read Elementary School. Johnsrud also served as a campus tour guide and in a role with Beyond Boundaries of Autism, where he provided in-home therapy to children with autism.
Mckenzie Retzlaff graduates with a major in education. Retzlaff is recognized as a member by two honors societies on campus: National Honor Society of Leadership and Success and Golden Key International; Golden Key International took her through the ranks of public relations officer, secretary and vice president and on a mission trip to Costa Rica. She was also involved with the Student Wisconsin Education Association and the Student Council for Exceptional Children. Within the greater community, Retzlaff has given of her time to the Oshkosh Area United Way, the Oshkosh Area Food Pantry, Special Olympics and Wisconsin Thaw Speech and Debate.
Stephanie Rodriguez graduates with a major in human services leadership. Rodriguez aims to make every day count; on campus, she was very involved and active with many student groups. She served as the vice president of membership development for the Panhellenic Association, a board member for Rainbow Alliance for HOPE, as a peer mentor, as a member of Gamma Phi Beta and as homecoming royalty director. She also worked as in intern in the LGBTQ Resource Center and Intercollegiate Athletics. For her involvement and leadership, Rodriguez was recognized with many awards and honors. She was selected as one of 15 students nationwide to serve on the Campus Pride advisory board and received the 2014 Campus Pride Voice Award and Action Fraternity and Sorority Award.
Matthew Wolfert graduates with majors in early childhood and elementary education. He was involved with the campus community through his responsibilities as a community adviser; he also served as president and program/event coordinator for Rainbow Alliance for HOPE, which stands for Helping Others Perceive Equality. As a student-leader at the University, Wolfert encouraged others to raise money and supplies for the Boys and Girls Club of Oshkosh, Fox Valley Children’s Hospital, the Christine Ann Center, Oshkosh Area Food Pantry and has participated in volunteer efforts through Hands on Oshkosh. Additionally, Wolfert served as a volunteer and research assistant on an alternative spring break trip to Honduras. Wolfert won the Community Adviser of the Year Award and the South Gruenhagen Community Adviser Programmer of the Year Award in 2013.