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As the largest college at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, the
College of Letters and Science is filled with faculty and staff who do
extraordinary things inside and outside the classrooms. The COLS Special
Reports aims to bring their stories to you through multiple platforms.
(All the audio and video podcasts are also available on iTunesU.)
Regardless of the format, these stories all share a common theme: a strong commitment to excellence in teaching and learning.
Growing up in Kenosha, Wis., John Koker had no idea what he wanted to do when he grew up, but he did know one thing: he didn't want to teach.
But the son of an auto factory worker and a jail cook soon discovered that life doesn't always turn out as planned. To support his graduate studies, Koker worked as a teaching assistant and was thrust onto the teaching stage.
Monday November 9, 2009 is the 20th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, an event that changed history. Many of our students were not even born when the Wall fell, and yet they have grown up in a world that was shaped by the political, social, geographic, and cultural significance of that event. To commemorate this important day in history, several members of the UW Oshkosh faculty have organized a series of presentations and exhibitions to explore the impact of the Wall and new world order that was ushered in when it fell.
Filmmakers make films.
Those three words could sum up Troy Perkins' teaching mission at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where he is an associate professor in the radio-TV-film department. Perkins is aware that most film programs insist on students producing a film of their own as a rite of passage. However, he is also aware of the great difference in quality between student-produced films and professionally produced films. His solution to bridge the quality chasm?
Read more about Filmmaker & Teacher a chat with Troy Perkins
Dr. Teri Shors is an associate professor with the Department of Biology and Microbiology at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Prior to her arrival at UW Oshkosh in 1997, she served two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, Maryland, under the direction of Dr. Bernard Moss, Chief of the Laboratory of Viral Diseases, National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases. Her research training/specialy has been in the field of poxviruses. She is a leading virologist and the author of Understanding Viruses, a comprehensive introduction to human viral diseases.
Dr. Eric Kuennen wanted to take his students, all future teachers of math, out of their comfort zone. He wanted them to view the world of mathematics from a different perspective. This desire to shake things up led Kuennen and 16 of his students to the mountains, jungles and deserts of Peru.
Read more about Lessons from the Inca Trail
Andre Gaskins doesn't get stage fright. Ever.
In fact, Gaskins is most at ease performing for an audience with a cello bow or a conductor baton in his hand. With those tools, he's able to do magic.
"The power of music and live performance is this ability to transport people to another place," says Gaskins, who is the new director of orchestral activities and cello at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
In a place where all residents had been judged and sentenced, there is one room in the Taycheedah Correctional Institution where judgment is checked at the door. This is the room where 10 female inmates and 10 University of Wisconsin Oshkosh students came together to learn alongside each other with the help of their instructor, Dr. Carmen Heider.Read more about Prison from Inside Out
In a rapidly evolving world where entertainment can be found on a cell phone screen, Richard Kalinoski still sees the stage as a significant and viable medium. “If students learn that the theatre offers a level of intimacy not applicable to film and TV—the power of immediacy—they can sometimes begin to appreciate the mystery and charm of the theatre,” says Kalinoski, an award-winning playwright and associate professor in the Department of Theatre at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
Read more about The Play's the Thing: A Chat with Richard Kalinoski.
As a former Endowment for Excellence Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Dr. Carrell currently teaches in the Department of Communication and also serves as Director of the Center for Scholarly Teaching.
Today, Dr. Carrell joins us to discuss the power of Transformative Teaching and how her own lights-on teaching moment challenged her to do better for herself and her students.
While the Iraq War is being fought halfway around the world, we find relevancy right here on campus. UW Oshkosh has students and alumni who have already seen the war firsthand in the Middle East or are awaiting the order to serve abroad. This multimedia project -- which includes a book, a series of podcasts and a photo exhibit -- gives these student soldiers and Marines a forum to tell the world why they enlisted, what they did and what they felt at the front lines of war.
Dr. Jim Feldman is an assistant professor of Environmental Students and History and the acting director of the Environmental Studies program at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. In Spring 2010, Feldman taught a Special Topics: Campus Sustainability course in which his students conducted an audit of the university's solid waste stream. In this Q & A with COLS Special Reports Producer Grace Lim, Feldman shares what he and his students have learned from studying trash.
Read more about Waste Not, Want Not: A Chat with Dr. Jim Feldman.
As part of a class project, two groups of journalism students at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh were given a real-life client – The Grand Opera House. Their task? Figure out how to attract college students to the restored Victorian theater, which has been an arts and entertainment hub in downtown Oshkosh since the late nineteenth century.
Read more about the Grand Plan here.