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In STEP with students: Amy Knoll

Name: Amy Knoll
Role: Scholarly Research Event Planner/editor for Endeavors
Department: Office of Grants and Faculty Development
Major: English
Year: Senior
Hometown: Oshkosh

Amy Knoll has a keen eye for catching copy mistakes for the Office of Grants and Faculty Development at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Most notably, Knoll, a senior studying English at UW Oshkosh, helps edit Endeavors, a magazine produced by student writers, which is dedicated to recognizing both the professional achievements and personal stories of faculty and staff. She does this as a part of the Student Titan Employment Program (STEP) at UW Oshkosh.

Through the STEP initiative, UW Oshkosh provides opportunities for students to achieve proficiency in the University’s essential learning outcomes. STEP is best viewed and described as part of an effort to advance learning while working.

Knoll works alongside the Office of Grants and Faculty Development Assistant Director Susan Surendonk to compile the list of achievements by professors for Endeavors.

“It is a pretty extensive project, all of the faculty sent in their achievements and we had to put them in the right format and do fact-checking, editing and proofreading,” Knoll said.

The achievement lists consist of awards, contributions to publications, grants awarded to professors, professional presentations performed and elections to various committees.

“With Amy’s help, compiling such a long list was less daunting than it could have been,” Surendonk said. “We worked together as colleagues to fine tune a hodgepodge of faculty achievement information.”

STEP has allowed Knoll the ability to see the odds and ends of what professors do in their spare time through the list she helped sort and navigate.

“It’s been really interesting to see the other things that professors do with all their research and how the University really helps them with that,” Knoll said.

Knoll also gets the opportunity to help plan scholarly events such as the University’s annual Celebration of Scholarship, an event that gives students an opportunity to showcase their research and creative activities in an exhibition or presentation setting.

Surendonk expressed the how much she appreciated the help editing and was glad to watch Knoll’s attention to “behind-the-scene details” grow through her STEP position.

“It is always helpful to have someone look it over especially because even if you are a really good editor you always need another set of eyes to look at it because you are going to miss things,” Knoll said.

As an English major, Knoll stressed the importance of what she has learned in helping her education as well as improving her communication skills.

“I’ve learned a lot especially about editing. The more that you do something, the more you learn about it. I’ve gotten an opportunity to do a lot of different kinds of things,” Knoll said. “There have been other skills like just sending out emails or answering calls and learning how to do that and how much goes into planning these kind of events.”

The University benefits from students working in STEP positions as well. Knoll’s work has helped Surendonk improve the process of compiling the achievement’s list for future issues of Endeavors, which this year will be done via online entry form.

“Amy’s work in the Office of Grants and Faculty Development has enriched her liberal education while benefiting our department and the University,” Surendonk said.

The Student Titan Employment Program (STEP) offers students quality educational experiences while providing faculty and staff members with needed assistance in areas such as media services, student-faculty research, supplemental instruction, library assistance, instructional technology and academic computing support and Web page development and maintenance.

Written by Matt Hietpas, Integrated Marketing and Communications STEP student