Opening Night Page 2
Beyond Classroom Walls Opening
UW Oshkosh student Troy Landry and Dr. Carmen Heider glance through the Beyond Classroom Walls book, which features five student-faculty projects that took place outside the traditional classroom setting. Heider led a class in a prison that included Landry and other UWO students and 10 female inmates. (Photo by Tom Reich.)
Another project involved 10 students from UW Oshkosh and
10 female inmates from Taycheedah Correctional Institution, who took a
class together at the prison. The class, taught by Dr. Carmen Heider,
focused on the students both “Inside” and “Outside” learning from each
other about social justice.
Kalen Ruck, the program supervisor from the Wisconsin Women’s Correctional System, said not only did the class give students in the course an understanding of life in prison, but also gave back to the prisoners in the class.
“It connected the inmates, ‘Inside’ students, back to the community,” Ruck said. “It gives them motivation to go back to their community and to be a part of it and to keep learning.”
Other projects included journalism students working with the Grand Opera House to create an ad campaign and RTF students creating films with their professor Troy Perkins.
One of the highlights of the night was about the documentary Airboat Rescue 1, a film made by RTF students and Lim. Lim talked about the hurdles of creating a documentary and how she collaborated with students, Mark Mazur and Trent Hilborn. The film is about Norm Lee, his family from Poygan, Wis., and an airboat named Rescue 1. Lee and his sons, Colin and Perry, have been volunteer ice rescuers for more than 30 years.
Lim said that Mazur and Hilborn
were two of the bravest students she had ever worked with, describing
how they flew in a homemade airplane, hung off the side of a speeding
airboat on the icy waters of Lake Poygan and leaned out of a moving
vehicle to capture video footage.
“Trent and Mark are scarily fearless,” she said. “Trent and Mark fully understood that the college learning experience wasn’t just about getting the A. For them, it was about getting the story and getting it right.”
The Lee family was humbled by the presentation. “We had the privilege of taking it to a big room full of people… most of those people were crying by the end of it,” Joyce Lee, Norm’s wife, said.
After the screening, the Lee family received a standing ovation. Several members of the audience wiped away tears as the Lee family stood and waved to the almost 150 attendees.
|Joyce Lee and Chancellor Richard H. Wells. (Photo by Katie Holliday.)
Music professor Andre Gaskins and his
students performed music from the documentary soundtrack. Gaskins, a
Grammy-nominated cellist, created original pieces for the film and
recorded the music with Callie Soddy and Amanda Martin.
“To see it all come together was just so amazing and a wonderful experience,” said Martin, who plays the flute. “I just really enjoyed working with everybody. It was great.”
John Koker, Dean of the College of Letters and Science, said the event was a great place to show people the projects students have been diligently working on for months. “It’s really nice for the public and for everyone to know some of the things that our students really do outside the classroom,” he said.
Chancellor Richard H. Wells hopes the event will inspire more projects conducted outside of the traditional classroom.
“There are faculty, staff and
students from many departments in the campus, and they get out there and
do some real innovative things that really leads to really high quality
education experiences,” Wells said.
Wells also presented a commendation signed by Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle and State Rep. Gordon Hintz. The commendation declared that Beyond Classroom Walls is a “great student/faculty collaborative works and is a celebration of extraordinary selfless community service.”
| The students and faculty involved in the Beyond Classroom Walls projects with Chancellor Richard H. Wells. (Photo by Tom Reich.)