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AeroInnovate_logo_taglineAeroInnovate announces Drone Terminus, PreFlight Aviation Camp, Sonin Aerospace, TakeFlight Interactive and Tellus Aerospace as the 2017 virtual accelerator program participants.

AeroInnovate is an aviation accelerator program that operates under the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Business Success Center. The participants in this year’s accelerator will bring a new design, modification or services that may revolutionize the aviation industry of the future.

AeroInnovate perfectly matches UW Oshkosh’s strategic priority of expanding community engagement and economic development,” said Steve Slocum, director of AeroInnovate. “Oshkosh is already a revered name in the global aviation and aerospace community and AeroInnovate is helping UW Oshkosh become synonymous with driving aviation development and entrepreneurship.”

More about this year’s accelerator participants:

  • DroneTerminus was founded in 2016 by Joe McMillian and Mark Messina in Boca Raton, Florida. Drone Terminus makes an appliance that will receive and store drone delivered packages. It’s a smart, internet connected, drone helipad that can recharge, transfer files, and monitor a drone’s status while automatically receiving, storing, and securing packages.
  • PreFlight Aviation Camp was founded in 2015 by Liz Duca in San Marcos, Texas. PreFlight Aviation Camp is for pre-teen and teenage girls with a mission to break stereotypes and inspire more girls to join the aviation industry. Classes are taught by female pilots who empower campers by relating aviation topics to broader life lessons.
  • Sonin Aerospace was founded in 2016 by Curtis Foster in Atlanta, Georgia. Sonin created In-Flight Recharging System (IRFS) that allows Sonin’s Ranger drone to stay in the air for hours, days, and even weeks.
  • TakeFlight Interactive was founded in 2015 by Brandon Seltz in Seattle, Washington. TakeFlight develops an interactive flight-training platform that provides virtual instruction on a variety of simulation hardware. TakeFlight leverages game-design techniques to drive engagement and lower time to mastery, creating safer pilots in less time at dramatically reduced costs.
  • Tellus Aerospace was founded in 2016 by Russell Kirkman in San Jose, California. Tellus Aerospace has designed an acoustic liner that reduces the noise of the airplane’s engine significantly.

Accelerator program participants will be part of the 9th Annual Pitch & Mingle, which will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 26 at a private hangar, 635 20th Ave., Oshkosh. The Pitch & Mingle draws hundreds of investors and industry partners annually with a passion for aerospace and aviation. AeroInnovate provides access to capital, expertise and mentorship to participants.

About AeroInnovate: Founded in 2007, AeroInnovate helps aviation and aerospace entrepreneurs from across the globe start and grow aero-related businesses and bring related new technologies to the marketplace. The program goal is to facilitate the alignment of passionate, successful investors and industry leaders with the best aviation-related opportunities in the world. AeroInnovate is a program of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Business Success Center and is partially funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense – Office of Economic Adjustment. For more information on AeroInnovate, visit aeroinnovate.org.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to contribute calendar items, campus announcements and other good news to UW Oshkosh Today.

3a4a8e2University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumnus Josh Springer ’02, recently scored a top honor as USA Today’s girls basketball coach of the year for North Carolina.

For 10 years, Springer has served as the head varsity girls basketball coach as well as a health and physical education teacher at Providence Day School in Charlotte, North Carolina. Over the past 13 years, Providence Day has won 105 conference games straight and the 3A state championship of North Carolina independent schools for eight years in a row.

Over the years, some of the players from the Providence Day girls basketball team have become McDonald’s All-Americans and Gatorade N.C. players of the year.

Springer graduated from UWO with a  physical education major and a coaching and health education minor.

“I wanted to go to an outstanding school in terms of their health and physical education and coaching fields,” Springer said. “UW Oshkosh had an outstanding reputation for that. I knew once I visited, it would provide the foundation for me as one of the best educational schools in the Midwest.”

Springer’s passion to coach basketball began at the age of 15. Throughout his years at UWO, he worked hard to make his dream of becoming a high school or college basketball coach come true by taking many classes and going to coaching clinics.

“I graduated in four years from a five-year program (education) and averaged 22 credits a semester for four years straight,” Springer said. “I took 8 a.m. class every single day for four years because going to class earlier in the morning allowed me to be able to coach in the afternoons.”

He often scheduled as many classes as possible in the morning and then either drive up to Menasha to UW-Fox Valley to coach with his dad in the afternoons and evenings. In later years, good friend, Riley Woldt, offered Springer the opportunity to be a freshman coach and assistant varsity coach. Woldt is currently an assistant women’s basketball coach at St. Norbert College.

A special part of Springer’s college experience was getting to share it with his dad, Joe Springer. Joe graduated in 2003 as a double major in psychology and physical education.

“I went to UW Oshkosh sharing my entire college career as an undergrad with my dad,” Springer said. “It was unique that we went to the same school, at the same time.”

Springer said the best years of his life were spent at UWO.

“I feel ridiculously blessed and humbled to have made so many personal and professional relationships,” Springer said. “I had a great family experience with my dad as a part of my college experience, along with outstanding mentors. I also developed great friendships with a lot of the people in my major all as a result of the UW Oshkosh environment.”

Learn more:

Members of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh women’s soccer team have embarked on an overseas trip with stops in both Holland and Germany.

The players, coaches and family members left Oshkosh on Thursday, May 18, and will return on Sunday, May 28. While abroad, the team will play a few games, watch a professional soccer game and bond over traveling together in a foreign country.

These experiences will be shared via a blog by two student-athletes, Katie Schauer, a senior studying journalism, and Maddie Morris, a sophomore pre-nursing student.

Women's soccer team

May 19

Halo (“hi” in Dutch)

Four-thousand miles later and the UW Oshkosh women’s soccer team has arrived in Amsterdam. One long night of traveling makes for 16 very tired girls! We hopped off the plane at 6:45 a.m. and began our adventures.

Our first stop on the trip was walking around the city. It’s similar to what you’d expect a European city to look like; old buildings with brick roads and then you see modern buildings that made you want to stop in each one of them.

Walking past bakeries you couldn’t help but take in the mouth-watering smells. Indulging in the bakery treats were not a disappointment.

Our tour guide, Niek, explained to us some of the cool things to see. One of the coolest things we walked through was the Red Light District.

Women's soccer team

After touring around the city and shopping, next on the agenda was lunch. Lunch and shopping in the city? What more could a girl ask for? Soon the jetlag started to sink in and it was time to make our way back to the hotel.

On the train back the team was so tired that everyone started to fall asleep, but the day wasn’t over! We still had to have dinner. Luckily dinner at Elders Restaurant was AMAZING. Prime ribs and cheese croquettes was a perfect way for everyone to end the night in good spirits. Overall the day was so much fun and made us so excited for the rest of the trip!

May 20

Our first stop of the second day of this soccer journey was to visit the Amsterdam Arena, where Ajax and the Dutch National teams play.

soccer game

On first arrival, you could hear the “oohs” and “aahs” from a few teammates just admiring the sheer size and glory of the stadium. Renovated in the last 10 years, the stadium is a staple for the town of Amsterdam and is a symbol of the beauty that soccer can bring.

Within our tour, we saw the incredible dressing rooms for both sides, walked the halls of the legends, gave press conferences to our fellow teammates and much more. Since it is concert season here, there is no pitch (field), instead the stage for the numerous acts fills this venue.

A truth breathtaking experience with a little history lesson thrown in there as well.

After our morning tour, we took a bus to SC Buitenveldert, a local Holland club team, and had lunch in their clubhouse to prepare for our afternoon match. With a bit of fear for playing a local team, we hit the field with smiles on our faces.

Women's soccer team

Even with our sore legs from all the traveling the previous day, we worked hard to make the most of the game and experience no matter what the score was. It makes the game more challenging when you can’t understand the language of the opposing squad, but the basic principles of our game remain unchanged.

After the game we handed our UW-Oshkosh soccer shirts to the opposing team to share a little memory with them and also took a combined photo as a memory for the both of us.

After a quick wash up in the locker rooms, we boarded a 40-minute bus ride to the Utrecht stadium to watch a semi-pro Dutch match. Upon walking in the stadium, you could feel the passion the fans had for their team as well as for the sport.

With Utrecht winning the game 2-1, the atmosphere was perfect for a mini dance party to celebrate the win as well as our second day in the Netherlands.

After a busy soccer day, we returned to the hotel with our heads filled with many more memories from just our second day abroad.

Tot ziens (“See you later” in Dutch)

— Katie Schauer and Maddie Morris

18452684_10101622769574273_332089356_oUniversity of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumnus and Chicago-area actor/comedian Robert Bacon recently found that dating is even more daunting in front of a TV camera.

The 2009 graduate is set to appear on an upcoming episode of the “Love Connection” reboot, hosted by Andy Cohen and scheduled to premiere May 25 on Fox.

The audition process to land a spot as a bachelor on the game show, which first rose to popularity in the the 1980s with host Chuck Woolery, took months to complete.

“Once I was accepted, I had to go through a ton of stuff like background checks and psychological evaluations,” Bacon explained.

Filming the episode proved to be a fun experience.

“I went on three dates in Chicago at some really cool places,” he said. “I was then flown out to L.A. for four days of filming in the studio. I got to meet a lot of awesome people, including Andy Cohen who was a delight to be on stage with.”

Bacon’s UWO education came in handy during the shoot.

“When you’re in front of a large studio audience, it never hurts to have a speech communications degree,” he said.

Learn more:


WFRV, May 18

Wisconsin State Journal, May 19

Journal Sentinel, May 18

NBC 26, May 16

The Northwestern, May 16

The Northwestern, May 16