For more than 30 years, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumnus Jeff Marks ’77, of Oshkosh, has worked in the “trenches” of social work, quietly transforming lives.
Marks serves as the support services director for the Outagamie County Health Center/Brewster Village, where he has worked since 1988.
He is well-known for his groundbreaking efforts involved in funding, building and incorporating the “village concept” into Brewster Village, a national model for long-term residential care. The facility follows a social, rather than the traditional medical, model of care.
At UWO, he has served on the social work department’s Community Liaison Committee, as a field instructor for UW Oshkosh students and as an ad hoc professor.
Marks will be among the 2010 UW Oshkosh Distinguished Alumni Award honored as part of Homecoming activities by the Alumni Association at a dinner Friday, Oct. 22.
In his own words…
Achievement(s) of which you are most proud:
The small, everyday improvements in people’s lives. Participating in the design and development of a new model for long-term care. The opportunity to mentor developing young professionals and, hopefully, help instill within them the passion and inspiration that others did in me.
Favorite UWO professor:
Many: Dr. Lois Miranda, Dr. Carol Schulke, Dr. Farouk Sankari, Dr. Lew Tuskin, Dr. Bani Mahadeva, Charles Hormann and Camille Maurice.
Favorite UWO memory:
Being intellectually stimulated by the above mentors.
What does your UWO education mean to you?
It formed the foundation for both my professional career and my adult life.
What advice would you give today’s UWO students?
Never lose touch with the core passion that fires you up, drives you and originally led you to your chosen professional endeavors. Find and focus on the deeper meaning in what you do.
Family, aerobic athletics (cross-country skiing, biking, running), stained glass, wide interest in reading material, current events and travel.
Wisconsin Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (WAHSA), Fox Valley End of Life Coalition and Fox Valley Senior Resource Network.
Nature trail work in state parks, assisted with building Little Oshkosh, and Oshkosh Cycling Club.