Author Archive for Tim Holdsworth

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Experience At All Levels

Loryn CornetteSenior Human Service Leadership major, Loryn Cornette, of Greenleaf, blogs about her final semester at UW Oshkosh. Loryn juggles being a full time student, holding the Treasurer position of the Human Services Organization on campus, having an on campus job in the Undergraduate Academic Resource Center as a Peer Advising Liaison, and working 21 hours a week at her advanced internship placement at UW-Fox Valley’s Student Services Office.  Follow Loryn’s blog posts as she writes about her final experiences on campus before commencement in May.

I was given the opportunity to administer and proctor the Regional State Placement Testing held at the University of Wisconsin Fox Valley for two Saturday’s in April.

I agreed to do this because I thought it would be great experience to learn more about the regional testing and to communicate with various high school senior students.  I administered a room of 65 high school seniors for the Mathematics, English, and Foreign Language placement tests.

It is a great learning experience and a great addition to my resume in higher education.  After all, this is a task that the Student Services office handles and runs.  The experience was able to give me more of a diverse background of higher education and be able to work with a diverse population of students. I would love to proctor further regional testing placements if given the opportunity.

Constantly learning

Alli ThompsonAlli Thompson, from Wisconsin Rapids is currently a senior at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh majoring in Human Services, with a minor in History.  At the UW Oshkosh she juggles four classes while serving as president of the Human Service Organization along with being a member of  National Society of Leadership and Success and Golden Key International Honor Society. Follow her as she blogs about her final semester at UWO and her internship experience at Winnebago Mental Health Institute.

It is April already?  Where did the last month go?  It is crazy how fast this semester is going.  I can say with full confidence that the WMHI is a perfect fit for me.  Like I said in my previous post,  I am constantly learning.  I feel like every day I learn something new about mental illness or about WMHI itself, which is makes coming into WMHI every day fun.

A quick overview of the last month: I continued to work with the Occupational Therapist staff, which consisted of me going up on the units.  During my time spent on the units I worked with patients on social interactions with others by partaking in a morning coffee group, playing cards such as Uno, Skipo, Phase 10 and participating in daily exercise, creativity and personal growth groups.  My time spent on the units is always different but also a ton of fun.  This month I also had the opportunity to go down to the Waterwood School.  This was a learning experience, because it was a different than what I had originally expected. I learned that many of the students have drug abuse issues and every day for an hour they partake in ADOA class.  The teachers are wonderful individuals who truly care about the schools and work hard to prepare the students for their future outside of the WMHI.

Lately I have not been on the units or at the Waterwood School, because I have been focusing my time down at Volunteer Services  working on our Volunteer Recognition event.  My supervisor Linda has given me full authority to make the event my “baby”.  Our theme is “Volunteers are Recipe for Success” with green and red colors.  I never realized until this internship how hard and time consuming it is to put on event like this.  I have had to go out silicate to local businesses, call them up to make see they had time to consider our donation request.  My supervisor and have come up with ideas for the volunteers gift, because I have made up a bingo game, which consisted of me thinking of 36 questions, because it is somewhat different than a typical bingo.  This game asks questions and then you have to find the answer on the board in the form of picture.  I have also typed up recipes for the volunteers to take home.  These recipes are all recipes used frequently at WMHI as meals and are considered staff and patient favorites.  On top of Volunteer Recognition we have spent a lot of time preparing for WMHI’s 140th Birthday.  For this we are supporting together poster boards of information, playing the bingo game I have created, and opening the museum for two days and for longer hours.  So, for anyone interested come visit the WHMI Julianne Farrow Museum on Tuesday April 23 and Thursday April 25 between 1-6 p.m.  to learn more about WMHI and see what it once was to what it is now.

On top of my internship I have still have my classes and balancing my time between Human Service Organization, National Society of Leadership and Success and Golden Key.  I am constantly busy and feel like at times I never have time to breathe, but like I said early I love my internship which gets me excited to go bed at night and start the day all over again.  This semester I have learned a lot about myself and have had great opportunities to work on my professional skills such as time management, communication, and leadership abilities.  As busy as I am would not trade it for anything. But sadly, it is getting late and I am rather tried, one thing this internship has done to me is make me morning person and no longer an night owl! Stay Tuned!

Cherish the small victories

Michael HarveyMichael Harvey is an online Human Services Leadership student in his final semester. Originally from Appleton Wis., he moved around the country after two years of college as a way to help him determine what he wanted to do with his life. Those experiences lead him to want to help those less fortunate, which is why he chose to major in human services leadership. Follow along as he shares his experience throughout his final internship.

The middle of the semester has hit, spring break is winding down and the snow is finally starting to melt.

My time at COTS homeless shelter has been anything but routine.  Sure, I have my set appointments with clients where we set goals and figure out what resources are needed.  In between those times it is a roller coaster ride. And  I am finding these experiences to prove invaluable.  I have all the responsibilities as the other case managers as well as the frustrations that come with that.

There are times in this field when you give and give for a client.  This client may come strides forward, find stability and is ready to make the next step towards independence.  He or she may talk about how proud they are of themselves or say that they have not felt this good in many many years.  Then they might decide that they are not ready to make these changes after all and regress several steps, only to end up back where they started.  I am finding it is the small victories are those to cherish.  It is a labor of love.  We cannot help the unwilling and we cannot force choices, even when you know in your heart that it is probably not the best idea.

As an intern I feel lucky to have found a place like COTS: one that is willing to give their interns the full experience to those willing to learn.  I am shoulder-to-shoulder with staff.  I would highly recommend to anyone who is looking for a placement that wants experience as a case manager to check this place out.

Developing professional identity

JacquelineJackie Paplham, from Kewaunee, Wisc., is in her fifth year at UW Oshkosh and will be graduating this May. She is majoring in Human Services with minors  in Psychology, Women Studies and Social Justice with an emphasis in Prejudice and Discrimination. Follow along as she shares her internship experiences during her final semester at UW Oshkosh.

My internship at CHAPS has been a wonderful experience thus far.  I am acting in accordance with CHAPS governing principles and regulations regarding their three mental health services.  I have been observing and interacting with many aspects of the non-profit organization.  I have been able to observe therapy sessions with clientele and the horses and participate in activities with the Day Treatment Program.

Through these experiences I am able to demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the situation and develop effective problem resolution and intervention strategies.  I sit in on staff and collaboration meetings as well as developing a food program and creating a fundraising event.  Through these opportunities I exhibit leadership ability by multi-level thinking and resourcefulness.  I really enjoy working with the staff as well as interacting with the clientele.  Through CHAPS I am able to really experience the many avenues of a non-profit organization and create my professional identity.

My internship with Peggy Miller I was able to observe a divorce mediation facilitated by a retired judge.  It was a valuable learning experience to evaluate his method of mediation as well as an opportunity to display my interpersonal communication skills at a professional level consistent with the Human Services profession’s conduct and ethical standards.  In addition I have been able to use technology and information management skills to perform administrative aspects within Dispute Solutions system.  Dispute Solutions is a new institute and is extremely well structured.  I am honored that I am able to continue creating my professional identity through Dispute Solutions.

Touring for Experience

Loryn CornetteSenior Human Service Leadership major, Loryn Cornette, of Greenleaf, blogs about her final semester at UW Oshkosh. Loryn juggles being a full time student, holding the Treasurer position of the Human Services Organization on campus, having an on campus job in the Undergraduate Academic Resource Center as a Peer Advising Liaison, and working 21 hours a week at her advanced internship placement at UW-Fox Valley’s Student Services Office.  Follow Loryn’s blog posts as she writes about her final experiences on campus before commencement in May.

The TRiO – Educational Talent Search program took their first spring field trip on Friday, March 15 to Milwaukee.  The trip was an overnight field trip to the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Marquette University and Discovery World.  The program was able to accommodate 49 middle and high school students on the two day trip. I was able to chaperone this field trip and had a fantastic time. I primarily work with the TRiO Alumni college students at the University of Wisconsin Fox Valley so it was great to be able to work with middle and high school students from the Menasha and Kaukauna school districts.

The students were very excited to attend the overnight trip.  We had a pizza dinner at UW Milwaukee where we heard college experience stories from other college students and were able to ask questions. The group then attended a science experiment lecture in one of the large lecture halls in the Physics building. After talking with many of the 6th and 7th grade students, they could not believe the size of the classroom!

Saturday morning we attend a pre-college fair at Marquette University. Students were able to learn about different summer opportunities at colleges around the state and get a mini tour of Marquette. Saturday afternoon consisted of workshops and exploring Discovery World. Students were able to do hands on experiments and explore the museum on their own, which they found to be very exciting and interesting.

Trips such as these through the TRiO program are very beneficial to students because they are able to experience the college atmosphere and attend college like lectures to get a better picture of college life. Students are able to tour different colleges around the state so that they have an idea of which schools fit them best and which ones they would like to apply to in the future. The TRiO students really enjoy these opportunities because every field trip always hits maximum capacity. Other upcoming field trips include the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Fox Valley Technical College, the University of Wisconsin Fox Valley, the University of Wisconsin Steven’s Point, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and the University of Wisconsin Whitewater.

New opportunities, new experiences

Alli ThompsonAlli Thompson, from Wisconsin Rapids is currently a senior at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh majoring in Human Services, with a minor in History.  At the UW Oshkosh she juggles four classes while serving as president of the Human Service Organization along with being a member of  National Society of Leadership and Success and Golden Key International Honor Society. Follow her as she blogs about her final semester at UWO and her internship experience at Winnebago Mental Health Institute.

It is hard to believe that month has already gone by.  I have learned so much over this month and I am excited to share my experiences with you.  My first month at WMHI was a huge learning experience.  I am into the internship with no prior knowledge or experience with working with individuals with a mental illness.  I had to quickly learn some of the most common mental illnesses.  Coming into the internship with no prior knowledge was both a pro and a con.  It was a pro because everything was new and exciting and I was constantly asking questions and taking in the new information.  However, it was overwhelming and I felt apprehensive because I felt that I would not be useful.   I get to work with a wonderful staff who understood my lack of experience and allowed me to take baby steps.

I have had the opportunity to work with the occupational therapist (OT) staff up on the units and interact with face to face with patients.  During time spent with the OT staff I get to have casual conversations with the patients during the morning for coffee.  This is important interaction because this casual conversation is both therapeutic and helps the patients work on their daily communication skills. Every day we have exercise which can range from doing a work out video on the unit to going down to a recreational room where the patients can walk on treadmills, elliptical, bike or walk circles for 20 minutes.  Then they get to part take in an activity ranging for Wii to playing pool to playing cards.  Depending on the day we either have provide the patients with creativity, relaxation or a personal group activity.  It must be noted that patients have the choice to join the group activity or not.

I also spend majority of my time down in Volunteer Services where I continue to learn about the hospital and mental health itself.  I have been given the opportunity be a part of the Volunteer Recognition.  I have so far created a program and invites. I am learning a great deal of what it takes to plan a huge banquet.  I will say a lot more thought and time go into putting a large scale program such as this that most who are attending do not even think of.  I am currently helping put together three boards for the 140th anniversary of WMHI.  This project has been interesting because I have learned a great deal of NOW and THEN.  I am truly grateful for my experiences thus far at WMHI.  I look forward to March and planning more for Volunteer Recognition and continuing to learn about WMHI.

Filling the Gap

Loryn CornetteSenior Human Service Leadership major, Loryn Cornette, of Greenleaf, blogs about her final semester at UW Oshkosh. Loryn juggles being a full time student, holding the Treasurer position of the Human Services Organization on campus, having an on campus job in the Undergraduate Academic Resource Center as a Peer Advising Liaison, and working 21 hours a week at her advanced internship placement at UW-Fox Valley’s Student Services Office.  Follow Loryn’s blog posts as she writes about her final experiences on campus before commencement in May.

I have been working hard in my Advanced Internship placement at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley in Student Services with the TRiO – Educational Talent Search program.  The Educational Talent Search program is just one of the programs that belong under the TRiO umbrella.  TRiO is a set of federally-funded college and university-based educational opportunity outreach programs that motivate and support students from low-income backgrounds-including military veterans and students with disabilities (US Department of Education).  Other TRiO programs include: Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math/ Science, Veterans Upward Bound, Student Support Services, Educational Opportunity Centers, and the Ronald E. McNair Post baccalaureate Achievement.  Many of these programs are available to other middle school, high school, and college students.

With the semester well underway, I have been assigned many projects to complete over the course of her time at UW-Fox Valley this semester.  One project in particular relates directly with TRiO alumni students at the University of Wisconsin Fox Valley.  The current Educational Talent Search grant allows the TRiO Coordinators to only work with middle and high school students.

However, to meet the requirements of the grant, the program must submit how many TRiO alumni students graduate with a degree within so many years of graduating from high school.  Although many Universities have some type of TRiO program at their University for these students, it does not necessarily mean that the students are involved in the college level program.  The University of Wisconsin Fox Valley currently does not have a college level TRiO program for their students.  This is where I will be filling the gap.

I will be meeting one on one with TRiO alumni students at UW-Fox Valley to assess their progress at the University level and provide any additional help to resources that they may need.  Sometimes students do not realize all the resources that are readily available to them within their University. I hope to make a strong connection with these students to provide and guide them to any resources they may need to better their success at the University level.

Understanding the need for human connection

Nelessen_Carla_webCarla Nelessen, from Neenah is a non-traditional Human Services Leadership major in her last semester at UW Oshkosh. I am taking  She has been married for almost 26 years, has four children and is also taking classes at University of Upper Iowa (via Wausau) to obtain a Social Work Certificate after graduating from UWO. Her personal goals are to do things well, with her heart and mind engaged, and believes you are never too old to learn. Follow along as she shares about her internship experience.

Since I’ve started my internship with VIOS, I have learned so many things. The Human Service areas that Outagamie County Volunteer in Offender Services (VIOS) impacts are far reaching and needed. In the beginning of my internship, the director of VIOS, Mr. Stuart Driessen gave me two books to read. The first was “Games Criminals Play” by Bud Allen. The purpose of this book is to explain the subtle ways the inmates test to see if they can get employees (volunteers) to violate minor rules and eventually gain peer status and contraband. The book explains the subtlety of deception by providing a tool for recognizing and reckoning with these manipulative processes. I learned that there are some ways to not be susceptible to manipulation. The second book I read is “The First Offender” by Joe Alex Morris. This book was written in 1970. Keith Leenhouts was a young judge in Royal Oak Michigan, he wanted to prevent young lawbreakers (mostly charged with misdemeanors) from turning into habitual felons.

To help me best understand what VIOS stands for, Mr. Driessen pointed me to the website: http://docs.legis.wi.gov/statutes/statutes/973/11/1/a/2. He explained the Wisconsin Statue 973.11,  called placements with volunteers in probation program. In part it states: Directive to a volunteer to provide one or more of the following functions for the defendant:

1. Role model.

2. Informal counseling.

973.11(1)(a)3. 3. General monitoring.

4. Monitoring of conditions set by the court.

This is just a small excerpt of the statue that was written and put into place in 1991.

I feel like I am just getting my feet wet concerning all the areas VIOS is at work, through the law, community outreach, connections with other human service organizations and individual lives.  One of the ways VIOS best influences the community is by the interaction with the offenders. The goal is to help the offender develop new attitudes and thought patterns about him/herself and society. The effectiveness of VIOS is the personal contact the offender has with the staff and volunteers at VIOS.

This blog is just some of my thoughts and experiences I’ve had during my internship at VIOS. I think I have re-learned that people just want to be heard, even though these clients do not have much of an option in coming through VIOS doors. Many of them are receptive to change because of the environment that is created by the team of people that work in the jail and office of Outagamie County VIOS. It was helpful to me read the books that the director gave me, however, I believe the most helpful thing to me is observing the staff interact with the various clients.

One of my first experiences with a client was back in November and this person was very resistant and unwilling to take responsibility for their actions. The staff person who met with this client was concerned that things would get worse in the client’s life before they would get better.

Actually, that is what happened. The client had another run in with the law (within the next month) and things and the problems escalated to more serious consequences. To my surprise, the next meeting with the client went extremely well! The client had a huge change in heart and mind, partly due to family members who gave a “tough love” action. The staff member decided to continue to work with the client and explain to them that the road will not be easy. It was at this point, that I realized, that people can change and are willing to change especially when the people in their lives are willing to help but not enable.

I attended the Outagamie County Impact Panel of Victim & Offender of Drunk Driving. There were about 40 to 50 people in a room. Those in attendance have been court ordered, as part of their conviction as a second time drunk driving offender. The purpose of the panel is not to blame or judge, but rather to reach the audience on the emotional level. The goal of this program is to reduce the rate of repeat drinking/impairment and driving. There were two people who told their heart wrenching stories of losing their young adult children to drunk drivers. The audience seemed responsive to the speakers. I thought the speakers did a good job of telling their stories without shaming the people in the audience. I thought it was important that VIOS also handed out a survey after the presentations to ask the attendees questions about what they heard.

Being involved with this internship has helped me understand the need for human connection.

Highs and lows

Michael HarveyMichael Harvey is an online Human Services Leadership student in his final semester. Originally from Appleton Wis., he moved around the country after two years of college as a way to help him determine what he wanted to do with his life. Those experiences lead him to want to help those less fortunate, which is why he chose to major in human services leadership. Follow along as he shares his experience throughout his final internship.

The games have begun and it has been a very exciting start.  I have started seeing clients at COTS homeless shelter, working as a men’s case manager. Going forward I am thankful that I am back with this organization.  I know that the experience I am getting here is the best I could have asked for.  When coming back, it was like I was on vacation after all my hellos were said they handed me my files and I hit the ground running.

I meet with each of my clients weekly to discuss goals, a budget, refer to outside services or anything else.  I also have been involved with doing intake assessments for perspective residents at COTS.  I even had the chance to sit in on a strategy meeting.  This meeting is held once every few years where all board members and all staff at COTS get together and plan how they want to move the organization forward. From what I have seen they have some very big ideas.  I was very happy to be able to be a part of that, even if it was just as a fly on the wall.

Even though I am just in the beginning of the internship, I have already begun to see the joys of success and the crushing realities of addiction.

Because I was here for my intermediate internship, I actually knew some of the residence who happens to still be living here when I arrived back.  I was able to see the metamorphosis that took place in my absence.  One gentleman in particular stands out as someone who was in pretty rough shape when he arrived shortly before the end of my prior internship.  After seeing him again a few weeks ago, he was a whole new person.  He has found permanent employment, was able to take care of all his legal issues, he is stable in his recovery from alcohol and is now looking into an apartment.

Sadly, not every resident who comes to COTS is able to pick up the pieces.  In my short time here we have had a number of residence relapse.  The saddest example was one who had finally reached sobriety after years of battling a heroin addiction.  He was able to hold a job which was his first in a very long time.  I went with him to drug court where he would proudly announce that he was clean and sober.  Then, suddenly, he vanished. He left what belongings he had in his room, was a no show at work and now has a warrant for his arrest because he didn’t show for his probation meeting.

I don’t know what may be around the corner for me. I do know that after leaving here I will be ready for whatever challenge comes my way.  For now I will bide my time, keeping my eyes and my ears open, paying close attention to those who have done this before.  I want to learn what I can from every client personal experience in hopes that maybe I can use what they did during a hardship to help guide others away from hardships.

Non-traditional student juggles family, school and an internship

Nelessen_Carla_webCarla Nelessen, from Neenah is a non-traditional Human Services Leadership major in her last semester at UW Oshkosh. I am taking  She has been married for almost 26 years, has four children and is also taking classes at University of Upper Iowa (via Wausau) to obtain a Social Work Certificate after graduating from UWO. Her personal goals are to do things well, with her heart and mind engaged, and believes you are never too old to learn. Follow along as she shares about her internship experience.

My internship is at Outagamie County Volunteers in Offender Services (VIOS). The mission statement of VIOS is: To return to the community law abiding, productive, responsible and self-sufficient people who are better prepared to be successful in family, work and community. This is done through 1-to-1 matches with volunteers, education, rehabilitation programs in the jail, and community service work. This program is a wide-reaching Human Services program and contains many of the facets of which I am passionate. The diversity of this internship is great and works with a population I am interested in expanding my knowledge and hands-on experience.

A couple ways this will happen include working in the community to raise awareness and build the volunteer base for the program. An example of this is the Impact Panel of Victim & Offender of Drunk Driving. I will also assist in a program called Safe Streets Treatment Option Program, SSTOP. This is a volunteer program that allows second- and third-time offenders to have an alternative to jail. I will also work with the Alternative Treatment Coordinator in regard to AODA assessment. I am also considering continuing my education as some point in the future in AODA counseling. The majority of clients at VIOS have struggles with addictions. I will also be learning about the different treatment courts that Outagamie County has. Last semester I finished the Law and Ethics course, which class peaked my interest in law and how people become involved in crime.

I am grateful to learn outside of the classroom in this hands-on experience. I look forward to learning more about VIOS and the needed roll it plays in our community. I am thankful for this internship and think it will be both challenging and rewarding time for me.

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