A group of 14 University of Wisconsin System students—nine from UW Oshkosh, three from UW-Milwaukee and two from UW-Madison—traveled to Poland and Lithuania to learn about modern Polish history and the history of the Holocaust. They came back changed and impassioned to make a difference in the world.
“Our goal was to provide a study-abroad trip that was collaborative, international, thought-provoking and challenging,” said Karl Loewenstein, associate professor of history, Faculty Senate president and co-leader of the trip.
Students earned six credits during the spring 2016 interim course in History 336: History Study Tour and History 333: The Holocaust, spending a week on campus preparing for the trip and two weeks abroad. They traveled to Kaunas, Krakow, Lublin, Vilnius and Warsaw.
“We wanted to do study not just about death and destruction, but also about understanding the context of the Holocaust and connecting the Jewish and Polish cultures,” Loewenstein said.
Through the study-abroad trip, students visited some of the most notorious places in history, including Auschwitz, Majdanek and Vilnius and gained insight into the history of Poland, Lithuania and their experiences of World War II.
In Lithuania, the students toured the 9th Fort, where more than 100,000 people were massacred.
“The tour guide downplayed the mass murder of people that occurred there and when our students asked about it, the guide said, ‘That is not our history’,” Loewenstein said. “It is a reminder that history isn’t just history, it is also a reflection on the current state and how Jewish history is separated out.”
As part of the interim courses, students completed research projects by looking at the way historical events were portrayed at different museums and in different locations.
“We had students looking at souvenirs in different areas and reflecting on current Polish society and its reflection on the Holocaust,” Loewenstein said. “It got our students thinking about how to share this experience and communicate what happened. Being at these sites is different than just reading about it in a book and got our students asking what they could do to make sure we don’t fall into this bigotry and racism again.”
As part of the course, students created several blog posts and expressed interest in keeping this going and making the world a better place, Loewenstein said. The students’ blog posts also were featured on the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center (HERC) website.
Through an anonymous donation, the HERC provided a $900 scholarship to each student on the trip, which was co-led by Shay Pilnik, HERC executive director and adjunct professor at UW Oshkosh.
Read student blog posts from the trip:
The scholarship application cycle at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has moved to the fall semester.
Students can apply for 2017–2018 scholarships beginning Monday, Aug. 29. The new system—Academic Works—has been streamlined, making it easier for students to find and apply for scholarships.
Students who applied for scholarships in Academic Works in spring 2016 will need to fill out a new general application and upload an updated STAR.
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A University of Wisconsin Oshkosh graduate student was among those honored at the ninth-annual Wisconsin Science and Technology Symposium (WSTS), which hosted more than 50 unique student poster presentations, ranging from improved solar energy conversion techniques to psychological research on aggression.
Rhiannon Carr, of Kaukauna and a master’s student working in UW Oshkosh biotechnologist Toivo Kallas’ lab, took first place in the competition with her presentation titled, “Metabolic engineering for β-Pinene production in marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus Sp. PCC 7002.”
Her work, on which a divisional patent application has been filed through WiSys, detailed the potential to replace conventional fossil fuels with microbes produced by plants and commonly referred to as blue-green algae. Carr won a $250 cash prize from WiSys.
In addition, the Robert R. Wise Award was given to the student poster team whose presentation effectively communicated a strong impact on Wisconsin’s society and economy. The award was named in honor of WiSys’ first regional associate, Bob Wise, who had an incredible impact on the program and the foundation throughout his two years in the position.
As an alumnus of UW-Stevens Point and a faculty member at UW Oshkosh, where he was the head of the faculty research development program, Wise represents research excellence at the UW regional comprehensive campuses.
UW Oshkosh students Robert Krueger, of Waukesha; and Klaire Laux, of Oshkosh, along with a team of students led by Sabrina Mueller-Spitz, won the Robert R. Wise Award and a $150 cash prize for their project, “Deinococcus Aquaticus: Life or death in a biofilm driven by desiccation tolerance.”
The diverse poster topics on display at WSTS represented the vast student and faculty research being done at UWO and across the UW System.
A panel of more than 30 poster competition judges deliberated over the posters, evaluating intellectual merit, research methods, quality of the students’ presentations, and significance or potential impact of the project. In addition to awards for the best posters, awards for the best game design and most impactful poster were added to the competition this year.
UW-Eau Claire student Heather Hintz was awarded second place and a $150 cash prize for her work on “Pi-expanded coumarins with switchable propeller geometries” under the mentorship of Dr. Bart Dahl.
In third place, UW-Platteville students Patrick Drazkowski, Autumn Nelson, Jamison Tibbetts and Nicholas Loes won $100 for their project, “Nitrogen-rich porous organic polymer for separation of carbon dioxide,” in Dr. Mohammad Rabbani’s lab.
New this year to WSTS, a special gaming showcase highlighted some of the impressive computer sciences work being done by students across the UW System. Three student teams demonstrated their gaming projects and competed for another $100 cash prize. The winning team, Katherine Stull, Jeremy Behreandt, Andrew Condon and Bill Miller of UW-Whitewater, presented their project titled, “A Dream Within a Dream,” designed to interactively teach middle school students about the works of Edgar Allen Poe.
All student and faculty projects were displayed throughout the two-day conference, allowing industry partners, UW System faculty and potential future collaborators the opportunity to thoroughly peruse the impressive research being done at the University of Wisconsin comprehensive campuses.
WiSys Technology Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) supporting organization of the UW System. WiSys supports 11 four-year universities, 13 freshman-sophomore UW College campuses and statewide UW-Extension to identify innovative technologies and bring them to the marketplace.
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.
The Northwestern, Aug. 23
The Washington Post, Aug. 19
Retired lieutenant colonel and University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumnus Morgan Bailey ’12 DNP, of Oshkosh, has lived a life of service—both military and civilian.
For his accomplished career as a sailor, soldier, registered nurse and leader, Bailey will be honored with a 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award from the UW Oshkosh Alumni Association as part of Homecoming 2016 in October.
Bailey currently works as a nursing supervisor at the Wisconsin Resource Center, Wisconsin’s only resident psychiatric treatment facility serving both incarcerated males and females. Before that, he served as a health service unit manager at Taycheedah Correctional Institution.
“Correctional healthcare is a unique and challenging area of healthcare delivery,” said Mary Muse, chief nursing officer and state director of nursing for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. “One of Morgan’s significant and important contributions is the reshaping and restructuring of the health services delivery at Taycheedah. Through Morgan’s leadership, nursing care delivery at Taycheedah saw significant improvement.”
In 2012, Bailey was among the first to graduate with a doctorate of nursing practice from UWO. That followed a bachelor’s in nursing from Cardinal Stritch, an MBA from Western International University and a master’s in nursing from UW-Madison.
Bailey’s career in correctional healthcare began following his 2007 retirement from the Army Nurse Corps. He started his military service as a Navy dental assistant and a psychiatric nursing aide. He continued to advance his education and take on more diverse positions of increasing clinical and leadership responsibilities, including serving in some of the most challenging nursing positions. He earned the highly coveted Expert Field Medical Badge, among other high honors.
Since 2009, Bailey has served UW Oshkosh in a variety of ways, including as an instructor in the Accelerated BSN program and a member of the Board of Visitors.
Bailey said UW Oshkosh taught him the importance of “investing in the human capital of today’s youth, for they will be the leaders of tomorrow.”
“The greatness of the University is in its ability to unlock the potential of the students who attend, learn, grow, develop, explore, create and contribute to humanity,” he said.
For more information about the Alumni Awards Celebration on Oct. 21, please contact the UW Oshkosh Alumni Relations Office at (920)-424-3449 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wisconsin Public Radio, Aug. 15
Fox 11, Aug. 18