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endeavors 2013The spring semester has come to a close and the first round of 2013 University of Wisconsin Oshkosh graduates have been recognized for their student achievements. But what about faculty achievement?

That’s where Endeavors steps in—a faculty scholarship magazine highlighting the work of UW Oshkosh faculty and staff. Along with the observance of several newly acquired professorships, teaching awards and other faculty achievements, Endeavors 2013 showcased the personal stories of six faculty members—Kimberly Udlis, B.S. Sridhar, Carmen Heider, Michelle Kuhl and Patricia Scanlan.

The stories of faculty achievement at the University and beyond were written by student reporters in adjunct journalism professor Grace Lim’s course on reporting. Lim said students’ experience writing for Endeavors taught them how to conduct more in-depth interviews.

“They learned to do more than the usual cursory profile,” she said. “I wanted them to show readers a different side of the faculty members.”

Lim said the students learned that writing is a difficult task.

“They learned that writing is rewriting, that they can’t cling to their early drafts,” she said. “They learned that writing well is hard.”

Senior journalism major Hannah Opacich agreed that the writing process was particularly difficult when it came to fitting the pieces together into a well organized story. Opacich, along with journalism alumna Alyssa Volkman ’12, co-authored an article about  Kimberly Udlis, the assistant director of the advance practice nursing graduate program.

The article shared Udlis’ stories as a practicing nurse, as well as her experience teaching with a doctorate in nursing. Opacich said the extensive interview she did with Udlis was an unnerving experience.

“I had never interviewed someone so in-depth before that point, so I was pretty nervous beforehand,” she said. “But when I met Kim, I quickly realized that she is a very easygoing and inviting person, and her personality quickly set me at ease.”

Opacich described a heartening story about the interactions between Udlis, who was only a year out of nursing school at the time, and a patient of hers that needed open-heart surgery. The patient later wrote a poem about the extraordinary comfort Udlis provided, which still hangs on the wall of Udlis’ office.

Another senior journalism major, Noell Dickmann, shared a similar experience in writing her article about communication studies professor Carmen Heider and her time teaching a course as part of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange program at Taycheedah Correctional Institution in Fond du Lac. Heider’s course brought together “inside” students, incarcerated females at the institution, and “outside” students from UW Oshkosh.

“She really opened my eyes to a whole new world and I gained a new perspective on incarceration just from interviewing students in the class,” Dickmann said.

Dickmann said she took personal care in ensuring that all the information she received was correctly conveyed in her article.

“I wanted her to know that I took her story seriously and that this was more than just a grade for me,” she said.

Dickmann said she struggled with not being able to include every interesting detail into her article, but felt she developed stronger descriptive writing skills and strength in her story-telling ability.

“I grew as a journalist, plain and simple,” she said. “On top of that, I have a pretty great addition to my portfolio.”

Opacich also said it was fulfilling to have her work published in Endeavors.

“I think there aren’t really any words that can explain how happy it makes a writer to see their work being read and appreciated by the public,” she said. “But it was also nice to know that Kim Udlis’ story was told to the world, because she deserves that.”

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