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Nearly 1,000 graduates will receive degrees on Saturday, Dec. 17 as part of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s 47th Midyear Commencement Ceremony.

More than 130 graduate students and nearly 860 undergraduate students are in line to receive degrees Dec. 17. Adding in May’s Spring Commencement totals, UW Oshkosh will have conferred approximately 2,400 degrees in 2011.

UW Oshkosh Chancellor Richard H. Wells will confer diplomas to the graduating students at 9:30 a.m. at Kolf Sports Center, 785 High Ave.

State Senator Jessica King and Charles Pruitt of the UW System Board of Regents will participate in the ceremony. A reception follows for faculty, new alumni and their parents and guests in Kolf’s lower level.

Marian Rothkegel will be the featured student speaker at the Commencement Ceremony. Rothkegel is graduating as one of the Chancellor’s Excellence Award winners — senior students who exemplify high academic and leadership qualities and a deep commitment to serving others. The award winners are chosen based on their academic performance, University-related service and community involvement.

Rothkegel is graduating with a major in supply chain and operations management and minors in global business and geography. His educational experience has dovetailed with military experience, including deployment to Kosovo while serving with the German Armed Forces, where he worked on a multinational level with NATO. He is an active member of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. He plans to pursue a graduate degree in business.

The Commencement address will be delivered by College of Nursing Professor, Graduate Program Director and Assistant Dean Sharon Chappy.

Chancellor Wells will also award the Chancellor’s Medallion to Kristy Bradish, a UW Oshkosh alumna who serves as director of the Winnebago Conflict Resolution Center.

The Chancellor’s Medallion is awarded in recognition of outstanding contributions in the area of community, state and national service. In addition to mediating diverse disputes and leading workshops throughout Wisconsin for the last 17 years, Bradish has been an innovator in her field, co-authoring two nationally-recognized manuals for mediation training and launching the successful Foreclosure Mediation Program serving Calumet, Manitowoc, Waushara and Winnebago Counties.

For hundreds of UW Oshkosh, Commencement will serve as a ceremonial ending of successful academic journeys, the beginning of new careers and, for many, the pursuit of additional education with the goal of earning graduate degrees.

The 2011 Midyear Commencement graduates’ experiences at UW Oshkosh, including those in collaboration with community agencies and businesses, are as dynamic and diverse as ever.

Through an internship with the Women’s Fund of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, Rebecca Krummel, graduating with a human services degree, was able to gain experience creating and implementing the “Girls Granting Initiative,” an innovative grant program giving high school girls the power to award thousands of dollars to a program they believe will improve the lives of peers.

Brittany Wall will be graduating with a nursing degree. Her UW Oshkosh experience reached new heights this summer during an international nursing trip to the Alto Cayama area of Peru. From mid-May to mid-June, nursing students volunteered in a kitchen serving about 800 people, worked at a health clinic, provided basic medical care at a daycare and performed home visits and demographic surveying. Students were able to give immunizations and provide some basic care in a birth center.

Family, friends and supporters of graduates who cannot attend the Midyear Commencement ceremonies will be able to watch live, streaming video at the event’s Web site beginning at 9:30 a.m.

A video podcast of the ceremony will also be available for download the morning of Sunday, Dec. 18 at UW Oshkosh’s iTunesU site.  

There are also a handful of ways to be part of the Midyear Commencement excitement through UW Oshkosh’s Facebook and Twitter:

  • Twitter:  Commencement graduates and guests are invited to join the conversation and share photos on Twitter by including the official hashtag #uwograd in tweets.
  • Facebook:  Grads and guests can also share commencement photos by sending them to We will post a selection on our “I’m Graduating from UW Oshkosh” page on Monday, December 19th.
  • Foursquare:  Commencement attendees are welcome to check in at “UW Oshkosh Commencement” on Foursquare and let friends know they or their loved ones are graduating.

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