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Opening Night

last modified Dec 10, 2010 12:17 PM

By Thomas Hanaway and Mai Yeng Xiong
COLS Special Reports news interns

At the grand opening of the Beyond Classroom Walls exhibit, scores of visitors poured into the Steinhilber Art Gallery to get an up-close-and-personal look at five student-faculty collaborative projects that took place outside the traditional classroom setting.

The projects in which students applied their classroom lessons under real-life conditions took place in a prison, on a beach, under the scaffolds of a Victorian theater and on a frozen lake. The photographs documented the students and faculty’s journey.

UW Oshkosh senior Linsi Whitman marveled at the nearly life-sized photograph of herself that hung on the gallery walls.

Linsi Whitman at Exhibit

Seeing Double: UW Oshkosh student Linsi Whitman stands next to a photograph of her as a beach monitor in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. (Photo by Katie Holliday.)

Like the others delighted by the 2-D versions of themselves, Whitman couldn’t resist asking a friend to take a photo of her standing in front of the photo.

“It was very cool seeing a huge picture of myself hanging on the wall,” Whitman said, who spent her summer in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., testing the beach waters for E. coli and other bacteria.

In addition to the exhibit, which opened Nov. 11, the Beyond Classroom Walls event included a presentation at the Reeve Union Theatre and a preview screening of Airboat Rescue 1: When the Ice Breaks, a short documentary about a family of hometown heroes.

Beyond Classroom Walls producer Grace Lim described the event as a dual celebration of high-impact student-faculty collaborative projects and a public recognition of extraordinary selfless community service. Lim is a lecturer in the Department of Journalism and the director of Airboat Rescue 1.

During the event, students from Lim’s Multi-platform Storytelling in the Digital Age course documented the entire night. While some students snapped photographs of Beyond Classroom Walls, others videotaped interviews or live-tweeted about the event using the Journalism Department’s Twitter account. The whole presentation was also streamed online for people all over the country to see.

At the presentation in the Reeve Union Theatre, Lim described the significance of documenting such projects, as well as talked about her passion for storytelling. “I love a good story,” Lim said. “I love sharing a good story with others and I love being on a campus where there are so many talented people, students, faculty, staff, from all disciplines who share the same love of story.”

One of the stories showcased the Environmental Microbiology Collaboration, in which more than 150 students tested the water in rivers and lakes to determine if it was safe for people to swim in or not.  

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by Lim, Grace Y last modified Dec 10, 2010 12:17 PM