Meet our students
Chris Friedrich, 30
Hometown: Oshkosh, Wis.
Current City: Hortonville, Wis.
Graduated: May 2012, Bachelor’s of Liberal Studies
Current position: Personal Banker Leadership Development Trainee at Baylake Bank
In 2010, Chris Friedrich was in his sixth year of college and he said he felt like he would never be able to graduate. That’s when Friedrich said fate led him to meet then UW Oshkosh online degree and certificate program adviser Kelly Hudson.
Friedrich, then a personal banker at Associated Bank, met Hudson when she came to him to refinance the loan on her house. Friedrich later turned to Hudson for help in completing his bachelor's degree.
Michael Harvey, 28
Hometown: Appleton, Wis.
Current City: Neenah, Wis.
Started at UW Oshkosh: Fall 2010
Current Position: Autogrinder operator at Neenah Foundry
Michael Harvey is no stranger to change. He spent two years at UW-Fox Valley before switching to University of Phoenix for two years and then heading to San Antonio, Arizona, where he was a medic in the National Guard. His major changed throughout the years from history to nursing to social work and finally to human services.
“My life and schooling has been a nonstop journey, and I think that’s for everybody,” Harvey said. “You just never really know until something clicks. Once you find that niche and know what works for you and drives you, everything will be clearer.”
Kodye Shier, 22
Hometown: Rice Lake, Wis.
Current city: Oshkosh, Wis.
Position: Aeronautic Flight Instructor
Graduated from FVTC: 2011
Started at UW Oshkosh: Spring 2012
Standing beneath the airplanes as they came in for landing, the roar of the engine and the size of the airplane had 3-year-old Kodye Shier hooked. He said it was then he knew he wanted to fly.
Melissa Spielman, a student at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and a firefighter/paramedic with the Green Bay Fire Department, was awarded the Candice E. Tylke Scholarship, named in honor of a 1994 UW Oshkosh graduate and veteran firefighter/paramedic, who passed away in 2008 at the age of 42
Spielman and Tylke were classmates in Madison Area Technical College’s fire science program. Today, Spielman is working toward a Bachelor of Applied Studies in Fire and Emergency Response Management (FERM). UW Oshkosh is the only university in Wisconsin to offer this program.
After more than a decade in the field of graphic design, Dave Hunt decided it was time to finish a project he had started long ago.
Twelve years had passed since Hunt's last college class, but he was ready to move forward, personally and professionally. He enrolled in the Bachelor of Liberal Studies program in the Center for New Learning at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, which accommodates nontraditional students through accelerated courses taught both in the classroom and online.
When Jeffrey Bowen, a police officer from Kaukauna, Wis., was thinking about going back to school, he was looking for a university that provided the right program and wasn’t too far from home.
“I had looked into a couple different schools and did some visits, but didn’t find what I was looking for. I kind of gave up on the idea of returning to school for a little while,” Bowen said.
But when Bowen realized his veteran benefits were going to run out, he started looking again. “It was the kick to get me going,” he said.
A bachelor’s degree was something that John Leski, a training and development specialist, always wanted to achieve. He had researched schools online and talked to university representatives from various colleges, but he says he just needed a push.
“The catalyst came in 2008, when my job description was modified and I was required to have a bachelor’s degree to keep my position. That was the push I needed,” Leski said.