Select Page

Eighteen senior students who exemplify high academic and leadership qualities and a deep commitment to serving others will be recognized on May 12 as recipients of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. The criteria for this award include academic performance, University-related service and community involvement.

Here’s a snapshot of each spring 2012 Excellence Award winner:

Michael Beaupre graduates with a major in marketing and economics. He is an ambassador for the College of Business, Economic Student Association member and officer and active member of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church. Early in his academic career, Beaupre was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Freshman Academic Scholarship. He went on to receive other scholarships and awards including the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation’s Lee Epstein Scholarship, the Sales and Marketing Professionals Performance Recognition Award and scholarships from 4imprint and Sentry Insurance Foundation.


Emma Bruden graduates with a major in political science. Among her most memorable college experiences was studying abroad in Peru. She was also the recipient of the College of Letters and Science Liberal Arts Scholarship and the National Honors Society Scholarship, and is a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society and the Golden Key International Honour Society. Bruden also spent time as a math tutor and volunteer for the Christine Ann Center in Oshkosh and Loaves and Fishes in Fond du Lac.



Nana Adjoa Sankoa Coleman graduates with a major in accounting. During her academic career – one which brought her to the United States from West Africa – she served as a STEP program leader, accounting research assistant and a tutor. Coleman was also recognized as an honors student and participated in the Accounting Club, Black Student Union, Multicultural Education Coalition and the International Student Association. She also volunteered at Father Carr’s Place 2B shelter and St. Jude Parish. Coleman plans to attend graduate school to earn an MBA.



Jonathan Dudzinski graduates with a major in accounting and finance. A bone marrow donor and soon-to-be kidney donor, Dudzinski believes in giving back. He was co-president of the Finance Club, involved with the Global Investment Research Challenge and a member of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity and the Alpha Lambda Delta and Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Societies. Dudzinski was also recognized for a national internship achievement award and was the recipient of several scholarships. In the future, Dudzinski plans to start a hedge fund based on research he participated in through the Student and Faculty Collaborative Research Program.


Katie Geis graduates with a major in geology and a minor in chemistry. Geis credits her involvement in the community and her experiences studying abroad in Australia and China in making her a well-rounded person. She actively volunteered with Career Services and with Undergraduate Admissions as an Odyssey Leader. Her on-campus jobs gave her experience working as a teacher’s assistant for Science Outreach, with the UW Oshkosh commencement team and at the University book store. Geis hopes to obtain a master’s degree in higher education or counseling and work in student affairs.



Luis Granados graduates with a major in economics. He is a McNair Scholar and honor roll student, served as a textbook editor in the economics department and as an economics tutor for many students in various course areas. Granados was also treasurer of the UW Oshkosh Economic Student Association and won second prize in 2008 for the Nevin James Writing Contest. His goal is to attend graduate school and eventually earn a doctorate in economics.




Abby Halverson graduates with a major in secondary English education. She was a recipient of the Chancellor’s Freshman Academic Scholarship and has consistently made the dean’s list and honor roll. Using her skills and talents to assist others, Halverson is involved with Taps for the American Legion’s Memorial Day Celebration; she also served as a writing consultant for the UW Oshkosh Writing Center, as a math tutor at Reed Elementary School in Oshkosh, a clinician at Merrill Middle School in Oshkosh and a student teacher at Woodworth Middle School in Fond du Lac and at Oshkosh North High School.


Molly Kopplin graduates with majors in political science and history. At UW Oshkosh, Kopplin was involved with United Students in Residence Halls as president, the Oshkosh Student Association, the Campus Sustainability Council and the Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Task Force. She also served on the Edward Pension Distinguished Teaching Award and John McNaughton Rosebush review committees. Kopplin’s involvement took her abroad to Czech Republic, London, England, Scotland and Germany. Kopplin plans to attend graduate school and has hopes to pursue a career as a university professor and researcher.


Chee La Lor graduates with a major in fine arts with an emphasis in design and a minor in Japanese language and culture. An extreme interest in Japanese culture led La Lor to volunteer as a camp counselor for the Guy Healy Japan USA Summer Camp program; he also twice earned a certificate of excellence for exceptional achievement in the Japanese language. He was an active member of the UW Oshkosh Hmong Student Union and the Asian Student Association. La Lor’s artistic abilities earned him a 4imprint scholarship, as well as various other awards and exhibition opportunities throughout his college tenure.


Zachary Matthews graduates with majors in supply chain management and marketing. He served as president of the UW Oshkosh Student Chapter of the American Production and Inventory Control Society and as state-wide finance chair for the College Democrats of Wisconsin. Inspired by his time there as a youth, Matthews is a volunteer and mentor at the Boys and Girls Club of Oshkosh and in St. Raphael’s Parish’s LifeTeen program. He hopes to earn a master’s degree in business administration.




Emily McAleavey graduates with a major in Spanish education and minors in business and music. McAleavey was a recipient of the Chancellor’s Freshman Academic Scholarship; she made the University honor roll every semester. She has volunteered for Webster and Washington Elementary Schools in Oshkosh, at the Boys and Girls Club of Oshkosh and at the Oshkosh Public Museum. McAleavey would like to pursue a master’s degree with a focus in Latin American culture and linguistics.




Sarah Paff graduates with a dual major in elementary and special education and a minor in music. Paff was deeply involved with the Department of Residence Life on campus leading the Community Service Team. She also served as a Leadership Development Specialist and Program Assistant for which she was named Assistant of the Year. She led an alternative spring break trip to Mississippi, was a member of the Disability Awareness Committee and served as Student Wisconsin Education Association Volunteerism Chairperson. Paff intends to continue her education by working toward a master’s degree in educational psychology.


Aaron Robinson graduates with a major in biology and minors in chemistry and neuroscience. An interest in public health led Robinson to volunteer in various healthcare settings, including Mercy Medical Center, Aurora Medical Center and Winnebago Mental Health Institute. He also served as a peer advising liaison at the Undergraduate Advising Resource Center, a research assistant, a member of the Intertribal Student Association and president of Building the Winneconne Area Youth. Robinson was rewarded for his achievements through various scholarships and was named a McNair Research Scholar of the Month. Robinson plans to become a physician.


Tim Suess graduates with a major in accounting. He demonstrated a passion for leadership as the president of the Oshkosh Student Association, and a member of the Model United Nations Team, Accounting Club and the Citizen Advisory Committee for Vision Oshkosh. Suess was the recipient of several scholarships, including awards from the Bemis Foundation and the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, both recognizing academic excellence. Suess was also recognized as a member of Beta Alpha Psi, an accounting honors organization. He will begin a job as an audit assistant at a firm in Milwaukee.


Matthew Swenson graduates with majors in philosophy and political science. On campus, he was involved in the organization of the Wisconsin Philosophical Association’s annual meeting through a STEP position. He was also an Odyssey leader for the UW Oshkosh Dean of Students Office, a tutor and peer educator for the Center for Academic Resources, vice president of the Pre-Law Society and a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, a national political science honor society. Swenson plans to teach inner-city students through Teach for America and attend law school.



Jenna Wheat graduates with a major in secondary education. She has been an active member – public relations officer, board member and president – of the Collegiate National Association of Music Education for four years. She is a member of the Student Wisconsin Education Association and was an Odyssey Leader for the UW Oshkosh Dean of Students Office. Wheat’s volunteer work took her to Jamaica for a field service project and to Mississippi on an alternative spring break mission trip. She is active with the Special Olympics and with VSA Choir. In the future, Wheat hopes to teach abroad.


Tracy Wilichowski graduates with majors in history and philosophy and a minor in social justice. On campus, Wilichowski was a member of the Philosophy and History Clubs, and a Social Justice Steering Committee. She volunteered for Student Legal Services, an organization in which she was eventually named director. In addition, Wilichowski also volunteered at the Winnebago County Legal Assistance Clinic. She spent a semester abroad in India and as a volunteer at a summer camp in Japan. Wilichowksi plans to teach inner-city students through Teach for America in Miami.



Seth Winchel graduates with a major in religious studies and minors in psychology and military science. As a member of the Army National Guard, Winchel was named Soldier of the Cycle for his leadership in basic training in 2007. He was also runner up in 2009 for the Wisconsin Soldier of the Year Honor and ranked in the top 8 percent of cadets with UW Oshkosh’s ROTC. He volunteered as a wrestling coach for the Special Olympics. Winchel plans to continue serving while growing through the ranks of the Army.




Read more: