Everyone has a story.
The inaugural issue of Endeavors, a magazine produced by student writers and dedicated to recognizing both the professional accomplishments and personal stories of the faculty and staff at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, is proof.
In just one semester, 11 of Grace Lim’s journalism students worked on the profile pieces in the 52-page publication. The written profiles were paired with additional online components.
“It is important for these professor’s stories to be told and I know every professor has a story that deserves to be told. As students, we typically only see these professors in an academic setting and we might form opinions on how they lecture, or what grade they give us,” said Morgan Counts, a sophomore studying journalism and economics, who wrote the profile on Laurence Carlin, a philosophy professor and outside-the-classroom coach.
The stories: 2,000 to 2,500 words, in-depth and interview intensive.
“I learned a lot about what good writing in journalism is,” said Counts, who told a story of Carlin outside of his classroom. “My writing grew during that semester more than it has in years. It takes a lot of time and a lot of editing to write a good story.”
Lim, who is undoubtedly proud of her students’ hard work, said the publication is a “prime example of collaboration and high-impact teaching and learning.”
Charged by the Provost’s Office to create such a publication, Lim said her goal is always to teach students how to be professional journalists.
“With a real product and real deadlines they must meet, these future journalists learn real-life skills. They learn to work in teams. They learn to be accountable for their work,” she said. “Every time I do one of these types of student-instructor collaborative projects, I am gratified by the response I get from students. They rise to the occasion. They become self-directed because I did not have time nor desire to hand-hold them. We had a magazine to produce.”
Ronald Basler, a junior studying journalism and history, can vouch for the time and effort he spent on the publication.
“I definitely learned how much time and effort went in to creating a final product. I read news stories very frequently, I never thought twice about how much time went into a story before it can be published,” he said. “I have so much more respect for journalists, I realize now they have one of the most stressful and difficult jobs out there. But it is also very rewarding.”
Basler was part of a team that worked on a profile about J. Ben Arbaugh, a professor of management who was the first faculty member to offer an online course in the College of Business.
The other faculty members profiled in Endeavors were: Judith Hankes, professor of curriculum and instruction; Judith Westphal, assistant professor of nursing; and James Feldman, associate professor of history and environmental studies. The magazine also includes a section that recognizes faculty and staff from throughout the University for Professorships, teaching awards, service awards and other achievements and accomplishments.
“After working on this project, it has changed my entire view about college professors. These are stories seldom told or explored, we are fortunate to be at a university that has educators with such diverse experiences,” said Basler. “The experiences and accomplishments of these individuals speak volumes for the teaching community. The professors at UW Oshkosh are very dedicated individuals, this goes beyond their credentials, these are people that simply love teaching and that never stop learning.”
Linda Freed, director of the Office of Grants and Faculty Development at UW Oshkosh, who worked with the Provost’s Office to conceptualize the publication said she thought Endeavors was a great opportunity for students.
“The students who helped write, edit, proofread and produce Endeavors experienced hands-on what it takes to create a publication. It is an experience that will help them in their own future endeavors.” said Freed. “This publication is important because it reflects the commitment that faculty and instructional academic staff members make to the teaching, research and service mission of our University. Scholarly research and creative activity are essential to our rich teaching and learning environment.”
A new issue of the magazine is expected to be released each spring semester.
To read the profiles and view the accompanying podcasts, visit Beyond Classroom Walls. Or, look for Endeavors around campus.
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