Archive for the 'Faculty/Staff' Category

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Career Path Series: Jessica King

Career Services presents Jessica King, a University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumna and current Wisconsin State Senator. Sen. King, a native of Fond du Lac, received her undergraduate degree from UWO with majors in International Studies, History, and Political Science.

King was very involved on campus as she was the president of five different organizations including Phi Mu Fraternity and the Oshkosh Student Association. Later, King went on to study law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law where she received her degree along with a Certificate in Global Legal Studies.

In 2004, King returned to Oshkosh as an associate attorney as well as an adjunct professor at UWO.  On April 10, King will again revisit her alma mater to share her life experiences that shaped her career. She will also discuss the importance of involvement and the strength to take career chances. Please join us in welcoming her back to campus with our Career Path Series on April 10 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in Sage Hall room 1214.

Thrifty and Thriving Episode 2

Career Services would like to show you how affordable it is to find multiple outfits on a budget for the workplace! We took our Intern Emily out with $35 dollars and we were able to find three outfits and more!

Thrifty and Thriving Episode 1

Want to look your professional best but on a tight budget? Cassie and Lucy from Career Services will show you how it’s done!


Career Adviser Intern Stephanie Levine Unpacks Her Study Abroad Experience

By Stephanie Levine (pictured below wearing black)

Hi, I am Steph Levine, the College of Business Career Advisor Intern in Career Services. In addition to working in Career Services, I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in professional counseling at UW Oshkosh. During January interim I had the opportunity to participate in a two week study abroad to Malaysia. The course, entitled Counseling, Spirituality, and Service in Malaysia, counted for a three credit elective toward my degree. Since completing my undergraduate degree, my one regret was never studying abroad. When I learned about this opportunity from my professor, Dr. Kelli Saginak, I knew it would be the perfect chance for me to gain the study abroad experience that I always felt I had missed.

Our group consisted of twelve students, our professor Dr. Kelli Saginak, and her friend and colleague, Dr. Thana Singarajah from Idaho State University’s Department of Counseling. As well as being a professor and clinical provider of mental health services, Dr. Thana is originally from Malaysia and was a great resource for us on our journey.

Our trip was split between two destinations, one week in the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, and the second week in George Town on the island of Penang. During our time, we participated in a number of service learning experiences including volunteering with toddlers and school aged children as well as children and adults with disabilities. In addition to service learning, we assisted our professor in leading three days of workshops on play therapy. The attendees, who were mental health professionals and graduate students, shared their excitement and passion for learning.

It was wonderful to see so many professionals dedicated to providing excellent care to children and adolescents, especially in a society and culture where counseling is not viewed in a very positive light. Our trip also consisted of cultural experiences, including visiting temples and mosques, attending cultural dance performances, hiking and seeing the waterfalls at Templer Park, visiting an elephant sanctuary (and riding elephants!), and making Chinese “love letters,” a wafer like fortune cookie in celebration of the Chinese New Year. To say that our days were busy is an understatement.

Overall, it was a great learning experience for me both personally and professionally. I feel I am leaving my journey with an increased sense of multicultural awareness and the desire to break down cultural and language barriers to connect with others. Based on my experience and hearing the positive experiences of friends throughout the years, I would highly encourage any student to consider studying abroad. It is a once in the life time opportunity and a great learning experience to add to your resume.

Have you completed a study abroad and are not sure how to include it on your resume? Call or stop by Career Services to schedule an appointment with a Career Advisor. We would be happy to help you showcase your learning and experience!

To learn more about what life is like abroad, check out The BIG Guide to Living and Working Overseas!

Movers and Shakers: Jodi Carlson and Jessie Pondell of UW Oshkosh receive honors at WI-ACE December conference

Jodi Carlson has been an active member of the Wisconsin Association of Colleges and Employers since spring 2008. The mission of WI-ACE is: “To provide an opportunity for employers and career services professionals to share knowledge and ideas that inspire, guide, and promote best practices that effectively connect students and employers.”

Photo: Jodi Carlson (right) pictured with Erica Dequaine (left) who also received an award at the WI-ACE conference.

As the employer relations manager for Career Services, Carlson finds that WI-ACE is a great opportunity for her to network with a variety of employers and to encourage them to make UW Oshkosh a school of choice when planning their recruiting strategy.

Beginning Spring 2010, Carlson was asked to serve on the Wisconsin Association of Colleges and Employers board of directors as a co-chair on the Conference Planning Committee. She is in charge of organizing two conferences each year with the goal of bringing employers and career services professionals together to network and learn information, which will encourage personal and professional growth.

At the December 2011 conference, Carlson was presented with the President’s Appreciation Award. This award is given to someone who has done an exemplary job in his/her role.

To date, she has been part of planning four conferences located around the state, which have included some nationally known presenters.

“We are always trying to raise the bar from the previous conference to ensure our participants see the value in our organization and continue to be active in WI-ACE,” Carlson said.

Another UW Oshkosh faculty member, Jessie Pondell, won the election at the December Conference in Madison and is now the president elect of WI-ACE. Pondell is the director of professional development in the College of Business.

Wisconsin Career Development Association’s Conference in Madison

By Cassie Curry

On Wednesday morning Chrissy Lambie, Angela Victor and I met bright and early at the fleet vehicle site. After being shocked into a state of alertness by the smell of the biodigester and Starbucks, we headed to Madison for a morning of professional development.

While in Madison Chrissy, Angela and I attended the Wisconsin Career Development Association’s conference on technology in the job search. The focus was on five areas including: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and email/online job applications.

Sarah Barber and Kelly Cuene researched and presented on the topic. Sarah is the special projects manager at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Continuing Studies. Kelly is the assistant director of advising and career planning at UW-Madison.

UWO Career Services already uses and educates students on the above five technologies, but Sarah and Kelly were able to share some of the feedback they have received from employers regarding the use of these technologies.

The staff at Career Services is dedicated to getting their students the best and most up to date information. As a staff, we have professional development goals, which can be met by attending conferences, workshops and educating themselves through books and social media. These goals are in place to make sure the students continue to receive the best information when they visit Career Services.

Feedback from employers


  • When job searching please connect to the company you are interviewing rather than the individual interviewing you.
  • The only time you should connect with individuals is if you already have a relationship with them or you are having another connection introduce you.
  • If you have no connections to an individual and don’t know their email address, don’t list them as a friend on LinkedIn just to get the connection. This is awkward; the point of LinkedIn is to connect to people you know with similar professional interests.
  • Don’t forget you can job search on LinkedIn!


  • It is very important to connect with the company rather than the individual person.
  • Employers will be checking out your Facebook page. Make sure your privacy settings are high and your profile picture is appropriate.
  • Don’t delete your Facebook profile at the beginning of your job search. Your potential employer will wonder about the content you deleted.


  • The importance of Twitter in your job search depends on your industry.
  • Following a company on Twitter can be a great way to research that company.
  • You can connect with both organizations and individuals on Twitter.
  • Make sure your Twitter profile is filled out and you are posting about things relevant to your industry. You want the organization to follow you too.
  • If you are majoring in a field like marketing or journalism you should be using Twitter actively. Your Twitter handle should be at the top of your resume!


  • Skype can be a green and inexpensive way for companies to interview students, but most companies are still worried about the technical difficulties that can arise.
  • UWO Career Services frequently offers Skype interviews. There is usually a Skype opportunity during mock interviews as well.

E-mail and Online Applications

  • Know that you will probably be applying to jobs online and communicating with employers through email; this communication should be as professional as a research paper. You are not texting!
  • You will probably be filling out an online application. Even most fast food restaurants require online applications.

Meet Cassie Curry, College of Letters and Science career adviser for UW Oshkosh, on YouTube!

Movers and Shakers: Meet UW Oshkosh Career Servcies Director Jaime Page-Stadler

Movers and Shakers: Meet UWO Alumni Relations Director Christine Gantner

Perched above the first floor of Pollock Alumni House, a Spanish-styled home built in the 1920s, sits Christine Gantner’s office. At the top of an ornate yet charming staircase, her cove-like office is a converted reading room, drenched with light pouring in from the towering bay windows, a sun-seeker’s paradise. Running behind schedule after dropping her kids off at school for a late-start day, Gantner sheds her black trench coat and workbags like a labradoodle shaking off water droplets. After settling into her work nook in a corner of her roomy, antiquated office, Gantner looks up with an effervescent smile. Thoughts of errands left undone that once invaded her head seemed to retreat to the back of her mind as she melted into her comforting executive, leather chair.

Gantner has always been a busybody since she took on the role of alumni relations director at UW Oshkosh in 1998. Gantner is responsible for helping UW Oshkosh alumni stay connected to their alma mater now and for the rest of their lives. Through communication efforts, events and collaboration with other campus departments, Gantner sets out every morning, always stylishly dressed with her trendy yet manageable Tinkerbelle haircut, to work on one mission: connect with UW Oshkosh alumni, all 80,000 of them.

Growing up in Fond du Lac, Gantner made her way to Milwaukee where she attended UW Milwaukee in pursuit of a journalism/mass communications degree. Although she is now part of the UW Oshkosh family, the university wasn’t at the top of her list of colleges to attend when she was making the decision because it was “too close to home,” she said. However, throughout high school and later years, she became involved in numerous UW Oshkosh events and spent a lot of time on campus visiting with friends.

“I have visited UW Oshkosh several times and was fond of the institution, so I felt very familiar with UW Oshkosh as a campus,” Gantner said.

As a student at UW Milwaukee in the late 1980s, Gantner worked in the alumni relations office as a student employee. She was exposed to opportunities that allowed her to help plan events, work with alumni and write for their alumni publication.

“My experience there really honed my skills,” Gantner said.

Not only did her work in alumni relations help her perfect her skills as a journalist, but it also was there that she discovered her love of working with people.

In addition, she realized that her work in alumni relations utilized both of her skill sets, “the writing side and the people side,” she said.

“I was a mass communications major with a public relations emphasis,” Gantner explained. “I thought I wanted to be a journalist because writing was always a strength of mine, but instead of writing in a traditional newsroom, I felt that some of my skill sets really were building relationships, interacting with people and public speaking.”

Opportunity Knocks

In a sort of alignment of the universe, UW Milwaukee’s alumni relations office had an opening for a special events coordinator at the same time that Gantner was ready to graduate. Gantner figured that she had essentially been filling that role as a student worker, so she “threw her hat in the ring” and in the end got the job.

“I was really fortunate that I got that job right out of college doing something that I really really love,” Gantner said. “I can’t say enough about the power of networking and keeping your mind open to new opportunities.”

After a couple of years, she was promoted to assistant alumni director at UW Milwaukee, and for a stint, Gantner served as interim alumni director.

“My career in alumni relations just blossomed from there,” she said.

Although Gantner has been working in the UW schools system since graduation, she said she never envisioned herself working for her alma mater.

“I thought I was going to be a journalist or something and I kind of had tunnel vision,” Gantner said. “I had some internships where I did corporate communications, so I really was focused on more traditional paths you can take with a journalism/mass communications degree, but I had a professor tell me ‘don’t use tunnel vision when you’re searching for jobs.’”

Before accepting a full-time position at UW Milwaukee, Gantner was an intern at Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield at its Waukesha corporate headquarters. She wrote for its internal employee newsletter, which reaches thousands of people worldwide. She also pursued an internship in her hometown for the Fond du Lac Conventions and Visitors Bureau.

“As part of that internship, I was able to hone my skills in event planning and public relations,” Gantner said.

She got the chance to team up with several community volunteers and plan major events for the city of Fond du Lac.

“That was a wonderful opportunity because it helped me make a lot of connections with business professionals who volunteered,” Gantner said.

From 1992 through to the end of 1997, Gantner worked at UW Milwaukee in alumni relations, both as the special events coordinator and then assistant alumni director. And then Gantner heard of an open position through a friend at UW Oshkosh as the director of alumni relations. She thought it would be a good fit, Gantner said.

“I interviewed and was fortunate enough to get the position in 1998 and it’s been great ever since,” she said.

When Gantner left UW Milwaukee, her title was assistant alumni director. Although she loved her job there and the people she worked with, Gantner “carped the diem” and took the position at UW Oshkosh. She yearned for the opportunity to be a full-time director of a successful program and for her career to flourish as well, Gantner said.

Hello UWO

Now Gantner, a bubbly and enthusiastic director, uses communication, event planning and interpersonal skills she learned from previous internships and job positions to succeed at her profession.

“We have 80,000 UW Oshkosh alumni worldwide and I think the most fundamental thing we do with all 80,000 of those people, or try to do, is communicate with them,” Gantner said. “We keep them informed and updated about what is going on at their university so they still feel a connection and involved.”

In efforts to connect to and engage with alumni, Gantner works diligently with communications manager Natalie Johnson through outlets such as Engage magazine and UW Oshkosh Today. Johnson, with both her computer monitor and laptop opened in front of her, frantically searches the database to remember when she began working at Pollock House. The year was 2003 when Johnson was working in university relations before it became integrated marketing communications, and Gantner was dabbling in alumni relations. The two collaborated on projects for events such as homecoming, and now Gantner serves as Johnson’s supervisor, but their relationship is far from that of a boss and employee.

“She gives direction but is very in to hearing my ideas and we work side-by-side to get the word out and promote all the good things that are going on at UW Oshkosh for alums,” Johnson said. “She’s one of the most enthusiastic and supportive supervisors that I have ever had. It’s a joy; we come to this house and we share a lot of really great ideas and it is fun work to be doing together.”

Another way that Gantner tries to reach out to alumni is by organizing special events. The alumni relations office hosts several events in various cities throughout Wisconsin and the U.S.  Those are called geographical alumni events. Upon graduation, many UW Oshkosh alumni have migrated to warmer regions of the country where separate alumni chapters are now thriving. Gantner has been able to visit chapters in the central Florida and Phoenix areas.

“Those alumni events allow us to take the university on the road and to our alums in the communities in which they live and work,” Gantner said. “We get to share updates about what is going on around the campus and help alumni be proud of what is still happening at their alma mater.”

Gantner said these events also provide alumni with the opportunity to meet one another, network and develop professionally. The alumni relations office, under the direction of Gantner, also hosts larger campus events in hopes of getting alumni to come back to Oshkosh. Homecoming and the Golden Titan Reunions, which ensues every spring, are two momentous events for the alumni relations office.

Gantner often teams up with university services associate Linda Cotton to effectively coordinate these events. Cotton has been working at Pollock Alumni House since Gantner graduated from college in 1991. Cotton’s duties include a lot of secretarial work and database upkeep as well. From behind her bulky, oak desk, she staffs the entrance of Pollock House. Religious calendars, scribbled notes and Jesus knickknacks are scattered about her desktop, personalizing her territory. Although things at the alumni relations office can get hectic during homecoming and the weeks before commencement, Cotton feels that the ladies at Pollock House make a great team.

“We all have our expertise, our strong suits, and we blend beautifully with what our responsibilities are,” Cotton said.

Having known Gantner the longest, Cotton’s relationship with her extends far beyond employee and boss. Cotton said Gantner is always very supportive and has always treated her employees with great appreciation.

“I’ve been very blessed to have wonderful alumni directors during my whole career here,” Cotton said. “She’s definitely one I’m thankful I can call my boss and my friend. That is how I introduce her, because she truly is a friend. It makes work a pleasure every day when you don’t have to live under a heavy thumb.”

Student workers at Pollock Alumni House also expressed their gratitude for an understanding and patient boss. Sheraden Bobot, the program and development intern for Pollock Alumni House, works closely with Gantner to market alumni relations services to incoming and current students.

“I really feel like what we do is we collaborate and we come together and have sort of a meeting of minds,” Bobot said, whipping a strand of her curly red hair out of her face. “I say what I feel about my experiences with students and she will take it and run with it. It’s a great feeling to have your superior take your ideas and make them happen. It makes you feel valued and appreciated and you feel like you’re in a self-fulfilled position.”

Another student worker at Pollock Alumni House, Stephanie Dercks, serves as a student assistant. She met Gantner a year and a half ago and immediately thought of Gantner as an outgoing, determined and personable boss, Dercks said.

“I think her openness is what sets Chris apart from others,” Dercks said. “She always carries herself with a sense of grace and pride. Her work ethic shows how strong and determined she really is.”

The two are currently working on a video where Gantner will give a tour of the historic Pollock Alumni House, from the ostentatious foyer and grand staircase to the musty and cozy bedrooms turned offices.

“There is never a time when Chris doesn’t have a million and one things to do, yet she manages to pull it off perfectly every time,” Dercks said with a glint of admiration in her eyes.

Bobot agreed and said Gantner is always going the extra mile to make alumni, students and faculty/staff on campus happy.

“If someone needs something from her on her end, she immediately responds and is more than accommodating,” Bobot said reassuringly.

Other ways that Gantner and her team try to reach soon-to-be alumni are through the Student Alumni Ambassadors program, in which Bobot serves as the adviser, and through the “almost alumni” lunches held every year near commencement.

“Chris is a very innovative director and is always thinking of new ways to engage alums and students in all ways they approach ‘alumni-hood,’” Cotton said. “It’s an exciting and non-stagnant thing to work with Chris.”

Not only does Gantner build and maintain relationships with alumni, students and employees, but her influence also spider webs out to different departments on the UW Oshkosh campus.

“She is a very work-driven woman and just a pleasure to work with all around in every capacity, with departments, alumni and student,” Bobot said.

Most recently, Gantner helped the journalism and radio-TV-film departments bring back several alums to speak to students over homecoming weekend.

The alumni relations office also joins forces with UW Oshkosh’s career services to provide alumni with career-related help and to identify alumni who are willing to come back to campus and participate in some of the career services programs like Dining with Professionals.

“All of the things we do are to engage our alums and let them know that they can continue to use the resources at the university long after graduation and actually throughout their lifetimes,” Gantner said.

Overall, Gantner’s work efforts and influence reach almost every corner of the UW Oshkosh community.

“She is very much in tune with the every aspect of the alumni office, alumni relations and reaching out to the alums,” Cotton said. “As the years go on, many of our alums, locally and non-locally, see what a wonderful alumni director she is. She’s definitely the right woman for the Job!”

Gantner said that her favorite part about her position is working with people.

“I have met so many alumni and friends of the university through this position and that to me is the most energizing part of my job, working with people and listening to their stories,” Gantner said. “They tell me how transformational UW Oshkosh has been for their lives and how their education here and the relationships they made impacted their lives in very significant ways. That is very rewarding.”

Johnson said that Gantner is always really receptive about incorporating new ideas and alumni tales into the alumni relations agenda.

“There are so many great stories out there and she is always on the lookout for chances to spread the word about what our alums are doing,” Johnson said.

Home Life

When Gantner is not a busybody at work, she’s a busybody at home. She lives in the Fond du Lac area with her husband, Tom Gantner, and their two children, Sam, 11, and Madeline, 8.

“I almost forgot to mention, we also have two dogs, two cats and a bunch of fish,” Gantner said with a chuckle.

She and her family love the outdoors, Gantner professed as her eyes drifted to the sunny autumn day outside.

“We live in the country, so we love going for bike rides and walks in the woods,” she added. “We love earth and nature.”

Gantner, when not acting in her official capacity as alumni relations director, is a member of the Lomira School District Parents and Teachers for Children, an organization that conducts fundraisers and social functions.

“I try to be active and involved as much as my schedule allows with my kids’ school,” she said.

Gantner also spends time volunteering at Hope Lutheran Church as a Sunday school teacher and with youth activities. On top of trying to make time for family and religious activities, Gantner serves as a member of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, an international professional development organization for people who work in alumni relations. She is a part of the CASE V district of the Midwest. Last year, she and her team won an award for best practices in alumni relations for an institution of 10,000 and more full-time-equivalent students. As part of her work with CASE, she and Johnson have been asked to present at its annual meeting in Chicago this December.

Despite the pressure of 80,000 alumni waiting to be reached, Gantner manages to maintain her confident composure by finding solace in spending time with her family and in enjoying what she does.

“The one thing that is kind of hard is juggling a somewhat demanding job, which requires long hours, weekends and nights, with the family stuff like band concerts and sports activities,” Gantner admitted. “I’ve been able to find an opportunity for balance. I love what I do here and have a passion for it, so it all flows pretty naturally.”

Movers and Shakers: Meet Career Adviser Rich Marshall and learn about Inclusive Excellence

Rich Marshall, Career Advisor  – Thoughts on Inclusive Excellence

Inclusive excellence is a term that has received a lot of recent visibility around the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus. The Department of Student Affairs, in addition to a number of other departments on campus, established committees to focus on implementing inclusive excellence programs within their divisions. Through my role in Career Services, I have served on the Student Affairs’ Inclusive Excellence Committee for the past several years. Despite the increasing visibility of the inclusive excellence term, it appears that uncertainty exists as to the definition and ways to incorporate inclusive excellence into our personal and professional development.

Inclusive excellence stems from a more familiar term, diversity. The reality is that we all come from unique backgrounds and cultural perspectives. From the definition offered by the UW System, diversity is a term that reflects the ability to include individual differences (i.e. personality, learning styles and life experiences) and group/social differences (i.e. race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, ability and political, religious, cultural and other affiliations) in the process of learning. Inclusion is the active, intentional and ongoing engagement with diversity in ways to increase one’s awareness, knowledge and compassion for those with different perspectives and cultural backgrounds.

In simpler terms, diversity acknowledges and embraces the fact that differences exist in our personal and cultural backgrounds, values and perspectives. Inclusive excellence begins with the belief that these differences bring value to the greater community (educational, social and professional). It solidifies itself with a personal plan to increase one’s awareness and understanding of the cultural experiences and perspectives of others. These personal plans require stepping outside of one’s own reality and comfort zones.

I grew up in a rather non-diverse environment that embraced a very white and middle class perspective. I did not discover the existence of different cultures and perspectives until I entered college. I did not truly start to embrace and appreciate the differences in others until I started to step outside of my reality and comfort zone. College provided an excellent avenue to increase my experience and awareness. I attended speakers, events and student organizational meetings to interact with people from different backgrounds.

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh offers an avenue to put inclusive excellence into action. Many student organizations and campus departments host multi-cultural events and speakers. OrgSync and university announcements are great ways to stay connected to the plethora of opportunities that exist right here within our university community. In fact, the InterTribal Student Organization is hosting Ariel Luckey, a nationally-known speaker who merges storytelling, spoken word poetry, dance and hip hop music into narratives of personal and political transformation, next Friday, November 18, at 6 P.M. More information will come out via university announcements next week.

I encourage each of you to look within yourselves, embrace diversity and put inclusive excellence into action.

Keeping your Titan Jobs profile up to date

By Justin Lyons,

Career Resource Specialist for UW Oskhosh’s Career Services.

It can be very beneficial to keep your Titan Jobs profile up to date, and it is important for a number of reasons:

  1. Employers are constantly perusing students’ profiles. This means that they can see information of potential candidates, and the information they encounter can help to form their opinions.
  2. The website is easier to use when all information is up to date. Whether it be applying for jobs or registering for career events, an up-to-date profile can make your use of Titan Jobs simple and efficient.

Updating your profile is really quite easy:

  1. Log in to your Titan Jobs account using your student ID number (username), and password. From here you have a number of options in the menu bar.
  2. For profile information editing, click ‘My Account’ and then ‘My Profile’. This will bring you to your account where there are tabs under which all your information is listed. Simply click the ‘Edit’ link in the upper right hand corner of any one of these tabs, and begin updating.

Some of the most important fields to keep updated include:

* GPA (grade point average)


*Year in school (e.g. freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior)

*Which jobs you’re looking for (e.g. Full-time, part-time, internships, e

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