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Carly Persson

Through her experience as an intern and outgoing president of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s Sociology Club, recent UWO alumna Carly Persson, of Marshfield, has shown her dedication to her field of study.

Persson recently earned the Olson Award for outstanding service to the sociology department. Through her leadership as president of the Sociology Club, she brought the club back to life.

“I worked to revitalize a previously dormant club and to gain Oshkosh Student Association club recognition,” Persson said. “I recruited an extraordinary board of officers and, together, we succeeded in making the club a place for discussion, service and bonding among those interested in the field.”

Persson said her UWO program adviser Paul Van Auken was influential in her undergraduate career.

“He helped me become a better writer and public speaker and forced me out of my comfort zone,” Persson said. “He also recommended Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC) to me, so I am very grateful.”

In August, Persson will start her position as a farmers market outreach coordinator with LVC. She will work with Faith in Place, an environmental justice organization, to develop farmers markets in Chicago area suburbs and lower income neighborhoods.

Last summer, Persson was the community outreach intern for Growing Oshkosh (GO), where she helped with day-to-day farming operations, including watering, weed-pulling, harvesting, organizing, processing and packing for the market. She also ran the GO booth at the Oshkosh Farmers Market.

“I was able to see the positive influence of GO on the greater Oshkosh community first hand,” Persson said. “I saw children getting excited about growing their own food, disabled adults’ faces light up as they tasted brightly colored nasturtium flowers and seniors putting their gardening or farming skills to use.”

In her free time, Persson enjoys running, bicycling, attending music festivals, drinking craft beer and strolling through farmers markets.

Persson said UWO’s sociology department has prepared her for life after graduation by broadening her sociological imagination.

“I am now able to look outside the confines of my own life and understand how social institutions are affecting those around me,” Persson said. “This ability will benefit me in any career setting.”

 Written by Jenny Goldade, Alumni Relations STEP student.