Alumnus Andrew Mannenbach ‘16, of Green Bay, started working for the Green Bay Packers in April while he was still a student at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
“My faculty mentor, Michelle Kuhl, called Packers historian Cliff Christl to see if there were any opportunities available,” Mannenbach said. “I then met with Cliff, showed him my research I had written on football and he hired me to assist in collecting Packers history.”
Mannenbach worked with Kuhl to complete his research paper, A War for Manhood. His research focused on the identity flux for middle and upper class men in the Northeast and South in the United States during the last 20 years of the 19th century.
As a result of the Civil War, both regions underwent rapid transformations, and Mannenbach’s research, which he presented at the 2015 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), explored the use of football as a way for men to fulfill their identities as men.
Mannenbach spends his time with the Packers collecting historical information and facts on the Packers, which he then sends on to Packers historian Cliff Christl ‘70, of Green Bay.
“I read history and news stories and compile them into a PDF arranged chronologically,” Mannenbach said. “I send it on to Cliff who then uses the information for the Packers website, programs and other materials.”
Christl joined the Packers organization in 2014, after retiring from a 35-year career as a sports journalist in 2007.
“Throughout my time as a journalist I had done a lot of Packers research and had covered the team, so they approached me about being the Packers historian,” Christl said.
In his role as Packers historian, Christl spends his time doing research and working on a variety of writing projects.
“I wrote almost all of the historical text in the Packers Hall of Fame, I write one historical piece for the website each week, I’m working on the 100th anniversary celebration and am writing bios for each of the 150 Packers in the Hall of Fame,” Christl said.
Both Mannenbach and Christl credit UW Oshkosh with setting them up for success in their careers through the opportunities available to them.
“UW Oshkosh is small enough that you get to work directly with faculty members, and that intellectual development is so valuable,” Mannenbach said. “Opportunities, like the student-faculty collaborative grant, don’t exist at larger schools.”
As a political science major, Christl also took advantage of the opportunities available to him at UW Oshkosh, taking radio TV film and journalism courses in addition to his political science coursework.
“I also worked at the WRST-FM radio station and wrote for the student newspaper the Advance–Titan,” Christl said. “I also wrote freelance pieces for The Paper, a daily start-up that was very popular on campus and was started by Miles Kimball.”
Christl credits these experiences, his coursework and the overall college experience with helping him to have a 35-year career as a journalist and now as the Packers historian.
“When I think about my time at Oshkosh, it’s the total experience of growing up, learning independence and the courses that were so beneficial,” Christl said. “I started a scholarship at UWO largely because of these experiences.”
In addition to Mannenbach and Christl, UW Oshkosh alumni Kregg Shilbauer ‘88, works as the director of digital production and game presentation, Chris Kirby ‘94 works as the team’s video director, Ann Dabeck ‘82, works as a payroll coordinator, Nicole Ledvina ‘98, works as the vice president of human resources and Beth Magnin ‘85, works as the special events corporate sales manager.